Look, I know it's fun to laugh at Sarah Palin's "Ralph Wiggum-isms", but that's really beside the point here. For the most part, her difficulties lie in simply not knowing the GOP script. She was like a second understudy who is suddenly thrust on the stage. She's not bungling any lines about which country we're supposed to be at war with this week or the next. She just hasn't had the time to memorize the various talking points and lists of boogeymen yet.
It's important to remember that Republican politics is largely a con game. Yeah, I know, politicians are liars and con men. What a shocker. Excuse me while I reach for the smelling salts. But this is especially the case with Republicans. There is a public face they present to the voters every election, and then there is the private face they present when they actually govern.
When dealing with the American public, fear and loathing are the calling cards. It's all about suckering working class and middle class voters into going against their own best interests. Be afraid of Iran. Be afraid of China. Be afraid of Russia. Be afraid of terrorists. Be afraid of Muslims. Be afraid of taxes. It doesn't matter which shifting targets are employed. In the end, it's all the same. Fear, fear, fear.
It's also no secret that the neocons responsible for the Bush Doctrine have their sights set on Iran. It's a minor miracle, really, that this hasn't happened in Bush's second term. Perhaps our army was too tied down in Iraq; perhaps the Pentagon brass stood up and resisted. I know the Democrats didn't put up much of a fight. Push comes to shove, and they'll cave. They always do. It's their way of trying to show the voters they're not wimps. Which, of course, is really, really funny. Except for that whole Permanent War thing.
So why hasn't Bush and Cheney bombed Iran? They've even let up on the sabre rattling. Is it that the dumb masses have woken up? Hmm, maybe. I'm a bit cranky to believe that, even with the prospect of a sizeable Obama victory on November 4. Perhaps it's a combination of things. Perhaps Bush and Cheney just got tired of playing the game, and decided to let it be handled by the next frontmen for the wrecking crew. That's all Republican Presidents are in this nation, anyway.
I think that's why I can laugh and fear Sarah Palin at the same time. Yes, she's an idiot. Then again, I can remember at least a couple Presidents who were considered idiots. Ronald Reagan has become lionized as a Republican saint (which, by the way, is really, really creepy). George W. Bush will be swept under the rug until circumstances change. Then he could be lionized again. Or he could merely be replaced by the newer model. Bush was only a frontman. A simple prop to occupy our time.
The only thing seperating Sarah Palin from becoming the next George W. Bush is an ability to memorize the script. And all that requires is time. She will be a far stronger candidate in 2012, and you're a fool to ever believe otherwise. If it suits the Party to have her as their frontman, then she will become the next nominee. They were expecting to lose this year, anyway. Having John McCain, who is despised as a traitor to the hard right, will serve their purposes. The current and future exodus of Republican moderates and intellectuals serves the same purpose. It's the purging, the purifying. Soon, there won't be anyone who isn't carefully following the script. Having a "maverick" like McCain around to denounce your hypocricies hurts your brand. Having moderates who work with Democrats to stop the corporatist smashing of America hurts your brand.
So don't get yourselves too smug, kids. Don't kid yourselves for a second. These criminals are not going anywhere. They are not going to become a permanent minority in this nation. And they sure as hell aren't fools.
As for Iran....well, what do you want to hear from me? A vote for the Republicans is a vote for the Permanent War. What part of this did you miss these past eight years? Once they can find a way to wage the next war without paying any of its costs - and this is where the privatization of our military is so dangerous - the next war will commence.
Part of me still fears that Bush would bomb Iran on his way out the door. The recent strikes inside Syria and Pakistan demonstrate this possibility. I'm not so sure now. I have the feeling that if this scheme would have worked, it would have happened by now. There simply isn't enough time to smash Iran to pieces and then profit from all the chaos. War is a racket, remember. It's the one true reason why the Iraq War was a success. With the Democrats sweeping into majority rule, there simply isn't enough time to rob the banks.
Better for the gang to wait it out in their hideaway, and plan for the next big heist. Their opportunity will come. The Republican noise machine - mass mailings, talk radio, Fox News, fundamentalist religion - is still fully intact and operational. The tactics honed to perfection during the Clinton Era will be employed again, and in full force.
So you think Sarah Palin is a comic fool? Perhaps. But if it weren't for the Wall Street crisis in the middle of September, odds were very good that she and McCain were about to win this thing. The stupids in this nation can always be manipulated, herded like cattle, sleepwalked into their cages. This is almost always the rule; almost always, except for the rare event when the cattle wakes up. The threat of economic collapse will do that.
The great American battle of the next four years will be to keep this herd of cattle wide awake and aware of their surroundings. If they are lulled to sleep again....well, there's no point in telling them what's inside that large building they're being herded into. It would only upset them to know they're about to be churned into Happy Meals.