Buying Sarah Palin | Part IV | The Supreme Court Gives You: President Foam Finger
Remember me? I’m the guy who, last September, lost out in his attempt to buy Sarah Louise Palin on EBay. Not the retiring type, I then issued a $200,000 personal challenge to the “I’m quittin’ for the good of Alaska” ex-gov to attend a second dinner where, on the record, she would answer policy issues and set the record straight. This was, I explained, a chance for her to solidify her political chops and change minds. She didn’t respond. Instead, Sarah chose to go to China and pal around with child-labor abusing, abortion sponsoring, pet-food poisoning communists while pulling a Dixie-Chicks on steroids criticism of our current president. All that was a prelude to her wildly successful journey onto the Best Seller Lists with her black comedy, Going Rogue. Two hundred large to charity for an honest discussion? As they say in New York, “fuhgiddabout.”
Were this the end of it, I’d be content to lay back and let the political winds blow where they might. But as I wrote in my original offer to Ms. Palin, there is a Category Five on its way and, unfortunately, today it struck. In September’s invitation, I explained my motivations with the following observation:
My reasons for such an offer are honorable and important. With the Supreme Court positioned to overturn campaign finance laws in the Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission case now before it, corporate contributions to federal elections will be unfettered. In other words, Sarah Palin with the help of an unlimited dose of corporate funds might one day be president. Already she has what appears to be a heady stable of influential supporters: Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, Bill Kristol, Lawrence Kudlow, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. In other words, I take her prospects seriously. And, as she has chosen to be a spokesperson for, as she says, “American Main Street,” it is vital that she come out from behind her handlers and speak on the record in unscripted fashion. We deserve to be enlightened by honest insights not merely prepared comments and pre-screened questions.
This morning, the Roberts Supreme Court — in its most activist incarnation since awarding George W. Bush the presidency in 2000 — did just what I predicted and reversed limits on corporate spending in elections. Essentially, our system of campaign finance laws (never a good one to begin with) becomes a financial free for all. And, in this new la la land of issues-be-damned, the human equivalent of a giant foam-finger (uh, maybe someone just like Sarah Palin) morphs into an ideal candidate for national office. Strap her face and image in front of nefarious handlers (can you say, “Dick Cheney?”), record a few easy to remember sound bites (“Pallin’ around with terrorists” or “Joe the Plumber” or “Drill, Baby, Drill”), prop up her fictional Main Street Cred, and keep her off the Katie Couric show. That’s it. Because elections will become wall-to-wall negativity, making the electorate hate an opponent enough to vote agin ’em might well allow a stupendously under-qualified person to stomp their way to victory. In other words, we are faced with George Bush beating Swift Boated John Kerry times a few billion. No restrictions, no limits, no need to bother telling the truth, even less incentive to discuss political philosophy (assuming a candidate has one). Main Stream Media will follow the scent and report on the rumors because they know issues don’t sell ads (especially since advertisers are the ones paying for the production of all those salacious stories).
Add to this the sad disenfranchisement of a progressive movement that now realizes fighting for and winning a massive majority in the House and Senate is meaningless and, bingo-bango, practice saying, “Hello, President Caribou Barbie.” Sounds like the Perfect Storm of political misfortune, doesn’t it? And, worse, if it isn’t to be Sarah Palin, how many George W. Bush wannabes are there? It only takes one, backed by a few billion ad dollars, to do the trick.
Thanks to the Supremes, it’s almost inevitable.