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Don’t Cry For Me, Wasilla

13 November 2008

train-wreck1How fast was that train going when it hit that car on the tracks?  It was not my intention to write about Sarah Palin, yet again, but I couldn’t help myself as she flashed across my television screen this morning.  This has got to be the longest-lasting train wreck ever in American politics. The train just keeps moving forward – off the tracks now – plowing its way toward who knows what.

energizer-bunny1A pundit on Morning Joe today called it Sarah Palin’s “Victory Tour.”  Everybody laughed because it’s a funny concept that a losing VP candidate just keeps on keeping on.  No matter that the economy continues to falter with the stock markets around the globe falling precipitously; no matter that the real victor in the presidential race is planning his new administration; no matter that the Republican Party is in defeated shambles; the Wasilla Bunny  — a nod to Eveready Batteries – continues beating her attention-getting drum and rolling from TV camera to TV camera.


Sarah Palin

Eva Peron

Eva Peron

This morning, as I watched her once again bring up Bill Ayers in an interview, I realized that she has got one foot firmly planted in the “glorious past” while trying to forge to the front of the line that would make up the Republican future.  Her backward looking posture sent me even further back in time to another charismatic woman who rode populism married to fascism to a position of great influence and power, Eva Peron.  Finally, in my historically thinking mind, I found that woman who most resembles the rise of Sarah Palin.  Now, I don’t want anyone to think that I am trying to compare the personal life of Sarah Palin with that of the often unseemly Eva Peron; but politically I see some interesting parallels.

Maria Eva Duarte de Peron

Maria Eva Duarte de Peron

Senora Peron came to a position of influence by aligning herself with an older, well-connected man with political ambitions.  Of course, the alignment took the form of marriage, the only option open to a woman in the Argentina of that time.  But once she had used her considerable abilities to rally the common people of Argentina behind her man, touting her very legitimate ties to them, she became, as first lady, a power in her own right.  One of the first things she did was to take her revenge on the “elitist” society of Buenos Aires by shunning them the way they had shunned her.  The common people of Argentina loved her for it, and her husband Juan Peron appreciated her ability to form a populist base for his party.  She became his confidant and in time became regarded as one would a saint among the common people.

President Juan Peron

President Juan Peron

She represented to them the possibilities that they had of moving up society’s ladder.  Of course, the whole thing came down to a Hollywood-movie-worthy ending when she was taken from her people by cancer.  Since that time, her sainthood has become a fact to many Argentines.

Spooky, huh?  If you’re not quite there yet, throw into this mix that Juan Peron aligned himself with Adolf Hitler during World War II and basically ran a fascist-style government in his own country.  It’s always interesting how quickly populism can turn into fascism with the help of a strong military element within the government.  Juan Peron was a career military man on top of everything else and was not afraid to use it to solidify his power.


"Evita" speaks to the masses.

The more I look at that period, the more similarities I see in the McCain/Palin election playbook.  Standing at the elegant balcony of the Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires, Juan Peron gave throngs of supporters speeches about what he stood for, but the real star was “Evita.”  It was for her that the crowds really came to life.  She was the catalytic converter of his “Presidency.”  She ignited the crowds to a level of frenzied support.  Obviously, she possessed tremendous charisma and enough presence to put it to good work.  Doesn’t this sound a lot like Sarah Palin?  Even in defeat she manages to dominate the news media – all the while decrying its liberal bias – on her “Victory Tour” through every show that will have her.  There she is being all “folksy” and saying things like, “John McCain, bless his heart…”  That’s code for, “poor old thing doesn’t know what he’s doing.”



So the train wreck that was the McCain/Palin campaign continues to surge forward long after it should have come to rest.  I sense that other ambitious contenders for the 2012 Republican nomination are gritting their teeth at this week’s governors conference.  While not coming out and saying what they really think about Governor Palin, they almost to a man hint at their disdain, pointing out that it is far too early to be looking forward to 2012.  But undeterred from her grand ambition, Sarah Palin charges ahead, eyes firmly fixed on 2012, even though she has given some recent lip service to the contrary.

crystal-ballWill she succeed?  Most pundits say no, but who really knows?  Only time will tell, but I still believe that she will find a crowded field of competitors emerge over the next three years and we’ll all find out what she’s made of.  So far, she still looks like somebody who talks off the top of her head because she lacks any real depth of understanding outside a few issues.  Today at the governors conference she offered – without using the campaign mantra “drill, baby, drill” – the same solution: let’s show as governors that we can drill our way out of this oil crisis.  It’s the same old Sarah offering the same failed solutions to the same old party that seems stuck in a time warp.

My wish as a Democrat is that somehow she prevails in her quest for the Republican nomination while not losing her ways of talk first, think later politics.  If the Religious Right rallies behind her pushing their social agenda one more time on the American people, I think they will find themselves on the losing side in even greater numbers.  So I say, “Don’t cry for Sarah Palin.  She can take care of herself.”  I also say; “Run, Baby, Run!”


9 Comments leave one →
  1. 13 November 2008 2:23 pm

    Sarah will be missed 😦 I pity for her since she had to return the $150k worth of Republican duds that she had in her closet. She will come back stronger in ever in 2012. This time she will know that Africa is a continent and will be able to speak intelligently on the Bush Doctrine.

  2. 13 November 2008 4:10 pm

    While I cringe at the very thought of ever hearing her voice again, I have to say that she has been digging herself into a proverbial hole with the verbal diarrhea that has been running from her mouth these past few days. She remains inconsistent in the answers to the questions she has been asked. Just last night Jon Stewart on the Daily Show had a short video in which they replayed one answer after another from her marathon exclusive interviews. She just runs on and on never making any sense. I have also been reading about her base which basically consists of uneducated white evangelical Americans. I have strong feelings that the Republican party will regroup just slightly right of center next time around. They cannot take the chance of continuing to alienate the many moderate independents that they assumed would come flocking to their nest this time.

    We still need to stay vigilant. They ( I usually hate the paranoid use of “they”) are already starting to regroup. There is a great piece at the Huff Post by Bob Cesca that addresses this.

    It’s good to be home….

  3. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    14 November 2008 9:58 am

    To: Willpen,

    Thanks for your comment. Thanks, also, for the referral to the Bob Cesca article at The Huffington Post. Sadly, he’s absolutely right.

    My dear Aunt Eunice, a Religious-Right Evangalical Christian Republican-no-matter-what Okie, has expressed a deep fear to my Mother that President-elect Obama is the Anti-Christ. If you knew her you would laugh, but she votes! That takes the humor out of it. She and my other retired Evangelical Preacher aunt get all their “news” from The Christian Broadcast Network and FOX Noise. They are a couple of real nut jobs, but they are my aunts, and I love them anyway. “God bless ’em!”

    All we can do in response to such idiocy is to remain vigilant and not let them sneak up on us like they did under the banner of “The Compassionate Conservative,” Education President,” George W. Bush. At least with Sarah Palin we will see her coming.

  4. 14 November 2008 1:11 pm

    Many, if not all of us have a dear Aunt Eunice in our family or circle of close friends, or at least someone much like her. Bless their hearts. 😉 They continue with their beliefs, and in some ways seem to revel in their fears. God help them if they should ever open their minds just a crack; their carefully-built house of cards would surely collapse.

    Too bad more of us who weren’t born and raised in the South don’t understand the code. While it’s delicious to think that Sarah does, I doubt it as that particular expression isn’t part of the national lexicon.

    Your comparison of Sarah to Eva Peron is excellent. The continued media attention on her victory tour boosts her appeal to her base. The key, as it is in every national election, will be if she somehow appeal to the independent middle. The idea of her debating economics against the likes of Mitt Romney in a 2012 GOP primary season is, well, I can’t even find the words. Should the far-right maintain control of the GOP, Obama-Biden might just find themselves running against Huckabee-Palin!

  5. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    14 November 2008 2:50 pm

    To: More Light than Heat,

    Huckabee-Palin? I had to take some time out to laugh out loud. That’s hilarious. Even today there was the leader of the Southern Baptist Convention offering his advice to the poor, beleagured Republican Party. He urged that they not stray from their conservative moral values while finding a more “help-the-regular-guy” message. He still doesn’t get it. Where would the next Republican ticket get its money if they didn’t continue to kow-tow to the demands of Big Oil and Wall Street not to mention “Big Religion.”

    They are still in a lot of denial over there on the right. Hopefully they won’t get too far in psychotherapy before the next election cycle comes and goes. Oh, that’s right, they don’t believe in all that new-fangled scientific-medical stuff! The Aunt Eunices of the party just keep on singin’, “Give me that old time religion; it’s good enough for me.”

  6. C. Allen permalink
    20 April 2010 7:39 pm

    It’s tough to take your blog and follow-up comments seriously when the supposedly “tolerant” liberal spinners take on an opponent. Sarah Palin is a complex, educated woman of extreme courage, firm family values, and she represents everything you liberals or genius (?) bloggers hate. (1) She believes in Christ as her Saviour. (2) She loves and supports her husband even when it means risking her life on those Arctic fishing expeditions. (3) She believes in life unconditionally – hence Trig, her little Down syndrome baby. (4) She believes in life, liberty and the persuit of happiness and, yes, the good old American flag and individual values. (5) She believes in protecting America and her interests as witness the Palin’s son going off to war with their blessing and support. And, finally, she did a fabulous job as gov. of Alaska in cleaning up the corp/gov corruption in the oilfields. She had the backs of the Alaskan citizens, and had an 83% approval rating to prove it.

    So why the hateful smears? Why the unrelenting effort to demean her motives, her speech, her apparently unbelievable popularity of everyday Americans; i.e., small business owners, rednecks, laborers (not union leaders who are in the political pockets of most of congress) and middle America. Gov. Palin sees clearly and tells it like she sees it. There isn’t a self-righteous bone in her body!

    So get onboard you doubters and haters, or at the very least take the blinders off and really look at the person you are villefying.

    • Left-Eyed Jack permalink
      26 April 2010 3:13 pm

      I guess we will just have to agree to disagree, because I think you are the one who needs to take the blinders off. Dig a little deeper into the news files about her and don’t restrict yourself to Fox News. Read the comments from both sides, and don’t assume anything. Make someone prove their statements. Just because she makes claims doesn’t mean they are true.

      There are two kinds of people in the world, Sharpies and Mullets. Former Governor Palin is a Sharpie who views Mullets as either dinner or bait!


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