Tuesday, September 02, 2008

So What's the Palin Lesson So Far?

I'd say it's pretty simple. She's almost the worst candidate imaginable.
  • Under investigation, and almost-recalled as mayor for the same petty abuses she's under investigation for as mayor;
  • barely qualified (at best);
  • has a teenage daughter who is either pregnant with her first or second child (depending on whether Sarah Palin ended up covering things up);
  • endangered the life of her newborn baby through an idiotic insistence on delivering the child in a hospital ill-equipped for premature babies, assuming that isn't a lie;
  • closely affiliated with Alaskan secessionists;
  • a creationist who doesn't believe in global warming;
  • and who knows what will come up tomorrow.
So what's the story here? The response. Look at this clip:

and this one:

Notice? They're spinning HARD. They've never had to spin this hard before. The GOP is in a scramble doing whatever they can, employing every single tactic they have, to try to make this work. This isn't normal GOP spin, this is the platonic form of GOP spin. The ridiculous talking points, the evasion of questions, the employment of near-constant crosstalk at a volume and tone designed to catch the ear over their lower-and-slower-voiced Democratic counterparts (and media hosts), the reinterpretation of questions, all of it. EVERY trick that they pull, EVERY game that they play, all of it is right up there. And they're not being subtle about it at all, because they're simply too overwhelmed.

That's good. That's great. Because it isn't subtle, it's obvious. It's so obvious that you can watch, listen, and learn. I would haul these clips out in front of every Dem anywhere near DC, and tell them "this is what they do. This is how they do it. Learn how its done, how to adopt what's remotely ethical and counter the rest." Sure, it'll be subtler next time, but they'll be innoculated against the subtler variants by the rhetorical cowpox we're seeing right now.

And, honestly, this is it. This is all they've got. If they had anything else, they'd be using it. So once you learn how to counter it? Yeah, they're pretty much powerless. and without the power of these mouthpieces, all the Scaife money in the world won't stop the whole conservative movement from looking and sounding ridiculous.

So Sarah Palin may herald the end of the conservative movement as we know it. At least that's one real accomplishment she can lay claim to.

(Edit: There's an excellent omnibus post on Palin over at New Yorker in DC.)

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