The Palin Play: Pulpits...Puppets...Politics...Profits genre: Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak

Quite frankly, the GOP's political parlance is the equivalent of being told that one can engage in a circle jerk with one's self. I think it is actually more akin to placing one's head up one's behind.'s still a circle...but the outcome isn't quite as pleasant.

Look, I'll happily give the GOP credit for creativity and cunning. They do both well...especially when they combine the two to further their deceptive agenda. At the same time, there is something offensive about the audacity exhibited in the execution.

I want to focus on one particular that I believe typifies the sickening symbiotic relationship that has flourished between the GOP and the religious right...a coalition akin to two ambitious and unscrupulous tramps engaged in a classic I'd equate with a shallow and sleazy 69 suckfest.

So here's the backdrop. The McCain campaign, rightly so, rolled out their vice presidential nominee in a carefully crafted appearance at their convention. She hit all of the right notes demanded by the Christian conservatives who had threatened to twiddle their thumbs come November 4th...unless John McCain toss them a bone...or at least the lipsticked pit bull to gnaw upon the bones of the enemy.

Nothing wrong with any of that...even though I find it to be the equivalent of a marriage of convenience. After all, it's just the logical progression in the politicization of the world's oldest profession...and we know the GOP has always been "pro-business".

With that said, we can move onto the treachery...and the hypocrisy. The issue at hand is the GOP's strategy to insulate Palin from any unwanted media scrutiny...while manufacturing the meme that the mainstream media is out to get her. First, take a look at the following discussion between Chris Matthews, Pat Buchanan, and Michelle Bernard. In the video, Buchanan adopts this meme and argues that the GOP and the McCain campaign have every right to shield Palin from "unfair" media scrutiny.

Matthews, who I've often criticized for his biased treatment of Hillary Clinton, correctly calls Buchanan on his shameless spinning of campaign rhetoric. In essence, Buchanan and those complicit in the effort to use Palin for political gain (the GOP elite and their Christian conservative cohorts) are attempting to craft a paper-thin persona they feel will garner votes in November.

Again, nothing wrong with that objective...since every campaign does the same. However, the McCain campaign has chosen to take it to another level...electing to scapegoat the mainstream media in order to prevent them from scrutinizing Palin. In truth, it hasn't been the MSM that dug into Palin's personal life...but they want to make that case in order to justify their refusal to make their candidate available for questioning.

As if this weren't enough, the strategy has taken another turn designed to further sully the media and keep Palin in a protective bubble. Shortly after the McCain operatives initiated this strategy, some members of the MSM suggested that the campaign would schedule a few softball interviews and then argue that they had, in fact, made the candidate available. The goal, of course, centers on keeping Palin away from the tough questions.

Enter the manufactured GOP outrage aimed at Oprah. As the Drudge Report story goes, Oprah and her staff have been engaged in an internal spat over whether they should schedule Palin for an appearance prior to the election. Mind you, this contrived consternation is coming from the same people who routinely attack Oprah...accusing her of a liberal bias, of promoting a false religion, and of being a part of the elite celebrity media.

So here's the multi-faceted set up. The GOP and the McCain campaign don't want Palin interviewed by the media...but they also want to discredit those portions of the media they frequently frame as left-leaning elitists...all designed to further the idealized image they are attempting to attach to Governor Palin in the minds of voters. Call it theater in the extreme.

Let's jump ahead to the end view. Absent palpable positions on the issues, the damaged GOP brand must rely upon caricature creation, character assassination, and cynicism if they hope to win in November. Hence, the selection of Palin must be viewed as an expedient political calculation. Pick a relatively unknown woman from a remote state...who can energize the tepid evangelical base...capitalize upon the anger over the Clinton loss...offset the historic ramifications of a black candidate...and inoculate the party and the candidate from the media scrutiny that would accompany such a superficial strategy.

As such, the goal was to maintain secrecy, strike first, strike often, repeat the meme regardless of the facts, and hope to convince voters that every segment of the media is wrong and biased...thereby discrediting or diminishing any of the facts that may come to light about Governor Palin. In other words, the goal was to avoid all media appearances and infer the totality of the partiality found in every segment of the media. In fact, they never intended to have Palin appear on Oprah...they simply made the calculation that an inquiry would return a declination and allow the advancement of the meme.

Disgusting as this strategy may be, the real tragedy is far is the need to insure that it doesn't come to pass. The unholy alliance that exists between the evangelical elite and the GOP elite...designed to dupe voters...must be exposed and broken. Otherwise, change will never occur.

Unfortunately, this double-headed monster has succeeded in melding the narrow and intransigent mindset of morality, held by a majority of voters, with the overarching and well-disguised ambitions of those who stand shielded from scrutiny behind the pulpit and/or the podium. So long as these two tyrants are able to execute their obfuscated objectives, they will pursue and produce the propaganda needed to perpetuate their obsession for power and any cost.

Therefore, this election may well be the quintessential battle to break the strangle hold of those who have shown little hesitation to place their hunger for power ahead of the health and well-being of the nation. Like the religion they invoke to achieve these goals, the promises they make to the voters they court are equally ethereal and lacking substance. While they espouse the virtue of values in order to win votes, they defy virtue while working tirelessly to amass all that they view to have material value.

So long as we enable them to obtain their earthly desires, we will continue to forego the future we are told to faithfully await. It's an exchange we can no longer afford. Sarah Palin is a puppet...perhaps a knowing one...perhaps not...but a puppet nonetheless. This theater of the absurd will only go dark when voters demand a better the ballot box.

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Chris Matthews, GOP, John McCain, Media, Michelle Bernard, Morality, Oprah, Pat Buchanan, Politics, Religion, Sarah Palin, Values

Daniel DiRito | September 5, 2008 | 12:33 PM
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The GOP and the McCain campaign have chosen to debut Sarah Palin, while asking the media to forego a review of her credentials. Good theater is accessible to the audience. “The Palin Play” isn’t good theater. It will go dark when voters select an alter... [Read More]

Tracked on September 5, 2008 4:08 PM

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