Who can keep up these days as the surreal becomes everyday?
The Arctic Lady: this cannot be real, and yet it is. A ruthless, backwoods politico whose cluelessness is matched only by her boundless self-confidence is about to be made president? An ignoramus who couldn’t find her way to Seattle without GPS is to direct our foreign policy? A nasty ideologue and religious fanatic who got down with her husband’s business partner and whose kids are out of control is to determine how we organize our society? A novice who saddled her miserable strip-mall town with a white elephant hockey stadium is to take over a 12-trillion-dollar economy in the midst of worldwide financial meltdown? People applaud these ideas?
Something is seriously wrong with a country that isn’t dismissing this stunt as a bad joke. [Jay Leno: Sarah Palin hasn’t been to the UN yet, but in all fairness she is a regular at the International House of Pancakes.]
The champions of free-market fundamentalism nationalize the commanding heights of finance. Even Salvador Allende didn’t manage such an extreme version of socialism. The McCainites who created this gigantic rip-off of first the consumer and then the national treasury now clamor for the masses to be protected against high taxes, of which they are about to apply $500 billion to rescue their banker friends. Drowning workers nod in agreement.
Smooth-ass commentator David Brooks, pretending he is not a partisan Republican, accuses both presidential campaigns of being moronic and infantile on the Wall Street chaos and insists that Obama be more serious, sober and policy-oriented. That way, he can lose. McCain fires off populist one-liners against his own policies.
Anyway, back to Sarah Palin, a Dalí-esque sketch emerging from an opium-addled nightmare: this joke on wheels is the ghost of the absurd Ronald Reagan resuscitated as mega-farce. It’s an offer to welcome death painlessly buried in comfortable fantasies. Are we that far gone?