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Thursday, September 4, 2008

The pit bull wears lipstick. But not Prada. Yet.

The culture war got a bit angrier and more clearly defined Wednesday night. The Republicans apparently decided that the only way to counter the extravaganza of political theatrics put on by the Democrats in Denver was with an angry exercise in gracelessness. How do you counter a rock-star-like gathering? Try another popular genre. Soap opera. So Sarah Palin was cast in the lead role of a once-hot woman who trotted up and down the runways of the Alaska halter-and-gown shows and now faces adversity in her quest for the second-highest office in the land.

She quipped, "How do you tell a hockey mom from a pit bull?' "Lipstick." Rather than merely throw it out as a gag, she took it as a thesis she spent the night proving. She demonstrated why the members of her high school basketball team called her Sarah Barracuda.

To learn her role, she went into two days of seclusion with speech writers and oral interpretation coaches, presumably from the Karl Rove School of Elocution. She was a good learner, as she performed for the three act melodrama-soap-opera.

Act I was Family Values and Other Myths. It introduces the audience to the adversity: a husband who is a member of the steel workers union, which makes Republicans generally gnash their teeth and wail in anguish over the evidence that they haven't stamped out labor unions yet; a knocked-up 17-year-old daughter; and a five-month old infant son with Down Syndrome. Whereas the Obamas left the familly background to Michelle and a brief encounter of the two daughters and their daddy, the Palin story did a full production. It began showing Levi, the young man who impregnated the daughter, disembarking at the airport with his face washed, the stubble shaven, and wearing preppy clothes. Then came Trig the Down Syndrome prop who was passed around from the family to Cindy McCain and back again. At one point another Palin child held the baby and slicked down his hair with spittle even thought his hair didn't need slicking down. Good schtick, Rovie. It was great drama, except to snotty elitists who might find making a spectacle of a Down Syndrome child offensive. There was Trig being passed from person to person with a backdrop of waving signs proclaiming "Country First." But it's all a matter of taste, you know.

Act II was Oh, You Big Inflatable Doll, You. From Soccer Mom to Vice Presidential candidate. Here is where the story began to generate fodder for the fact checkers. It all began with the PTA and efforts to insure that children would get the best educations possible. Except for sex education. Then to the mayor's office. The soap kind of glossed over the disputes and how many city workers got fired. They weren't producing--enough support for Mama Palin, one assumes. But then the scene moved to the Governor's office where the fight against pork barrel and incompetence was initiated. The soap did not include how Ms. Palin looked after the interests of her sister whose state trooper husband abused her, it is said, and the Governor is now under investigation for violation of the ethics law for trying to get him fired. And then there is the Governor's airplane, which she listed on E-Bay. No one on E-Bay was interested, so the thing has been turned over to an aircraft broker. And she told of how she rejected the bridge to nowhere. She skipped over how she supported the bridge during her campaign, then rejected the bridge but took the money anyway. Or that she did not turn aside the $18 million approach to the bridge. An approach to the bridge to nowhere which did not get built. Country first.

Alaska is a state whose major sources of revenues are oil drilling assessments and money from the federal government. Good old frontier self-sufficiency, you know. Oh, and the part of how she allied herself with lobbyists to get those federal funds was also conveniently skipped over. Story line, you know.

In Act III the heroine takes on the great black axis of evil. The devil did not wear Prada, but he graduated from Columbia and Harvard Law School, the black, skulking elitist sombitch. What's worse is that he was a community organizer with no responsibilities, even though he started up an organization to work with the human blight in the south side of Chicago when the steel plants were shut down. He was a civil rights lawyer, served in the Illinois Legislature for 8 years, but he never did anything. Like be elected editor of the Harvard Law Review or teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago. No worthy experience whatever. He is one uppity phony who has to be vanquished and the pit bull is just the the paragon of virtue and family values to do it.

The soap opera story won't end until Nov. 4. But the ending is written. It further develops how an uppity do-nothng gets exposed for the closet Muslim he is who can't even produce a valid birth certificate but has the gift of brains and a tongue for golden oratory. And there is Sarah struggling and slashing and snarling to reach an alpha position in the dog pack.

The final scene shows a full moon rising behind the dome of the nation's capitol and Sarah leads the pack in a unified baying at the moon. The country is saved once again from the liberal horde.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States