Saturday, October 25, 2008

A VP's Only Job: Rule the Universe!

Sarah Palin was an idea John McCain believed just crazy enough to work. That now seems too fond a hope. But hold your head high John. No one will ever accuse you of scrimping on the crazy.

From the moment Palin entered the race I've maintained unswerving confidence in her ability to kill the Republican ticket. I don't know how anyone could say anything negative about this woman. She has exceeded my wildest expectations, and I will be indebted to her until the day I die.

The media was slower to take her proper measure, but it's easy to see why. She presents a baffling array of conflicting cliches, this feminist dominionist with the smart glasses, sweet ass, and reality-tv family. Even now it's not clear whether she can best be used to sell advertising for bibles or lingerie.

So they poked her warily with sticks until she showed her true colors. She's a talking bobble-head figurine! And if you keep pushing the button, there is no end to the riotous absurdities she will utter. The pretensions of foreign policy expertise. The cringe-worthy attempts to don the ill-fitting mantle of reformer and maverick. The tortured fragments of syntax spilling off her assembly line like forgings from no mold.

And now, to keep this story on it's wobbling legs, the media informs us that our mockery on all these counts must cease. Jocularity has its time, but this matter has passed from farce to threat, and nothing less than the future of our democracy is at stake. With that in mind, we must all pull together and henceforth mock her exclusively for her belief that the Constitution grants significant authority to Vice Presidents.

The press' outrage is manufactured, but valid nonetheless. Constitutionally, the vice President is our great government's sole spare part. Its job, like all spare parts, is to sit on the shelf and to cost too much. Thus, historically, those who have been most comfortable in the role are those that don't feel the need to be productive... well, pretty much ever.

So let us do our patriotic duty and mock Mrs. Palin. She may not have been smart enough to demur when McCain asked her to be his running mate, but I'm pretty sure she's not mentally disabled. And that means we can laugh at her with a clear conscience.

But remind me what exactly is so far-fetched about the possibility of Vice Presidential authority? Has everyone forgotten old you-know-who? The most powerful person in the world for the last eight years?

True, Dick Cheney had and has no formal authority. But like some diabolical political acupuncturist, he has altered history with a few pin pricks.

Who was the prime mover of the wars that cost trillions? Of the belligerent anti-diplomacy that has destroyed our international standing and which hastens the twilight of pax Americana? Of an altered balance of power that favors an authoritarian executive?

Sure, the orders came from a smiling puppet with a Texas twang. But in this production, Lady Macbeth is the one with a pace maker.

So it's embarrassing to watch the media haggle over Constitutional fine print like rabbis hashing out Talmudic arcana. Would somebody please ask the only question that matters?

How the hell did Dick Cheney happen?

The answer of course, is that Vice Presidents can wield exactly as much power as their wit, charm, connections, experience, and evil powers of sorcery can command. And as the President will cede.

Thus, Dick Cheney's successful conquest of the universe prompts two conclusions.

First, has there ever been a President more suggestible than George Bush? Mother of God, who reminds him to breathe out after he breathes in? Does he get hypnotized by the windshield wipers when he drives in the rain?

Second: Dick Cheney must have wit, connections, experience, and satanic power in spades, cuz' he sure didn't do it with charm.

Our experience with Mr. Cheney is germane. It tells us that Sarah Palin is more than just ignorant about the Constitution. She is also deeply deluded about her potential authority as a VP.

Sarah Palin is a simplest of one-trick ponies, a mere tool for getting John McCain elected. Her job is to smile, wave, praise Jesus and bash liberals. In the increasingly unlikely event that the guy that's always standing next to her--the one that looks like her grandfather--actually wins this thing, she will become invisible. Not because of anything the Constitution says, but because of who she is: an unconnected, unconvincing half-term Governor of an insignificant state who can't use the word "Machiavellian" in a sentence. No one in Washington knows her, respects her, or fears her. John McCain least of all. She'll be lucky if she can score Redskins tickets.

Sarah Palin the next Dick Cheney? As any movie goer knows, only the Dark Lord can wield the One Ring.

So if McCain is elected, and miraculously manages to keep senility and cancer at bay for the duration of his term, we won't need the Constitution to insure that Sarah Palin is one of history's most irrelevant Vice Presidents.

Though if John McCain is elected, Palin will be the least of our worries.


Scott Young said...

Democrats/liberals/the media were beside themselves when the Republican ticket nominated a female and one that she didn't fit their stereotyped image of what a female leader should be; a liberal, pro-choice feminist with one or no children. Sarah Palin, a well spoken, independent, attractive, experienced (clearly more so than Obama), involved mother, and conservative woman threw them for a loop. So their predictable reaction was to tear her down in relentless fashion to the point of sacrificing all credibility from the perspective of non left wingers. If it weren't so negative, it would be amusing.

Mark Lazen said...

I can't say I agree with your assessment of Palin as well-spoken. Independent? She really hasn't played in the political big leagues for long enough to have the opportunity to choose sides, so she's kind of independent by default so far. Attractive and involved mother is just not relevant for me.

And I totally don't buy the "more experienced" thing. There are lots of ways of proving yourself successfully via experience. One of the most capable people I've ever know almost had a nervous breakdown getting through Harvard Business School. You cannot imagine the pressure and competitiveness that lie en route to becoming editor of the Harvard Review of Law.

So I don't agree with you. But you know what? I really respect that you came here and said your piece in a civil way. We'll all do better if everyone will keep their cool while we figure out how in the hell to run a country with such diversity.

Take care Scott!

jk said...

Thank you for the pass, Mark, but I would mock freely if I weren't so damned scared of her becoming President.

I agree with your prediction of her Vice Presidency - but what about a prediction of her Presidency? If McCain dies (a very real possibilty) she's the boss.

You think G.W. is suggestible?

Mark Lazen said...

Howdy K--

Couldn't agree more that S. Palin would be putty in someone's hands if she were president. It's just... unthinkable.

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