Bobbie L. Washingtonã
There was a television series called The Dead Zone, which starred Anthony Michael Hall as a clairvoyant who could foretell a person’s future by touching certain objects. In its final season, one of the plotlines to the show was an impending doom to the nation by the hands of a U.S. Senator who would become Vice President after the elected Vice President was assassinated. He manipulates his rise to power by orchestrated events and after shaking hands with the Anthony Michael Hall’s character; he sees the future where the Vice President is now the President and is the cause of the destruction to America through a nuclear incident. And although this scenario is fiction, does there exist the possibility that Sarah Palin is that political figure that could achieve that goal?
Former Vice Presidential candidate, former Alaskan governor and now published author, Sarah Palin has been making the media tour rounds with her new book, Going Rogue. She, at one point, had methodically and stealthily receded into the background a few months ago from the political arena after she resigned from her position as governor to Alaska but had not technically gone away. By using the portals of the Internet via Facebook and Twitter, she was able to stir up the political discourse by making her opinions known about the health care debate by creating the false caveat of the “death panels” into the bill. Her followers latched on to it as the cause de jour. Noted Republican members also took to the “death panels” like Ivan Pavlov’s drooling dogs to a bone. Her followers spoke with authority on this imaginary issue and it went on in debate with logic being tossed aside when told that it never existed. But the believers continued undeterred with the truth.
Palin emerges from the safe harbor of Facebook and slowly begins speaking tours but without the imposing glare of the news media. Each speaking event stipulates that it will be closed to journalists and news organizations. Her speaking fees are in the high six figures as her cocoon shell breaks away. Some of the things she speaks upon do leak out to the media as ramblings but without actual tape, it stays below the fold.
Now come the book tour and the media circus that follows. Pre-sales to her book helps with the promotion as she does her first sit down with talk show legend, Oprah Winfrey. It is a safe interview because nothing is said that hadn’t already been surmised in the generality of the questions and it is her point of view. But as more pages from her book is revealed in the coming days, there is a problem with the truth. She attacks the McCain staffers for her troubles as well as late night talk show host, David Letterman, CBS News anchor Katie Couric for “ambushing” her with questions about what newspaper she reads and the rest of the liberal gotcha media. She never blames herself for her own behavior during the campaign and the race-baiting rallies she held.
She finally sits down with a journalist, ABC’s Barbara Walters, and one would hope that the venerable Miss Walters would do a better job at digging into some facts. Alas, Palin handles Barbara. The rules were in play going into this interview like the rest of her media circus. Her handlers made it quite clear as to what will be asked and who will ask and how the settings will be. If Walters wavered from it, it would be politely but sternly dodged. Palin’s weakness has been her brain in dealing with hard-hitting or complex questions. This became evident when Walters asked her opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian situation when it came to Israel continued unabated housing settlement. Palin’s response was a hint to the danger she poses should she ever gain any power.
She said that Israel should not stop with the settlement because they need the land because they are growing. She said nothing about the Palestinian people and their plight; nothing to the fact that they are systematically being forced out of their homes to live on the streets to make way for these settlements; nothing to the fact that many of the radical Israeli citizens are ignoring the law and occupying Palestinian homes; nothing to the fact that this continued land grab as been condemned by the United States and the United Nations. This continuation of events is not furthering the cause for a peaceful solution in the Middle East. And Walters did absolutely no follow up with Palin’s response or the ramifications to what the Palestinians are going through. Not all Palestinians are militant extremists.
But with Palin, it was such a flippant response to a much more complex dynamic that it begs to wonder how much she is lacking in the realm of foreign policy? Andrea Mitchell attempted to interview Palin outside at one of her bookstore signings. Palin was asked to respond to the McCain camps response to her book that they had proof she was lying about several items she stated in her book. She glided over the question and was swiftly taken into the building by her bodyguards. And at the book signings, the rules are in play, no outside media and no questions from the public.
Of course she does have her comfort zones with Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. While on Fox with Sean Hannity, she kept referring to Iran as Iraq. Hannity did not correct her. If he had corrected her, it would have shine the unflattering light on her thinking process. I have noticed that Palin is making every effort to pretend like she is intelligent as she struggles to find the right words, preferably big words, to say. She also has the habit of injecting the word “Americans” in all of her interviews as she wrap herself around the flag and the troops. Clearly this is from the campaign. If all else fails, talk about American values, the American way of life and the troops even while everything else you said is about nothing.
If some vapid, blowhard, pompous, semi-attractive man is called an “empty suit”, Sarah Palin is the equivalent to an “empty dress”. She continues to stir up the masses while saying absolutely nothing of substance. She is the empty calories of a politics. And although Hillary Clinton may have been a polarizing figure during the campaign, she has at least redeemed her image for the better. Palin has exceeded Clinton tenfold in the world of polarizing figures. She protest too loudly as being the victim of sexism, misogyny, etc. and she is extremely thinned-skinned when it comes to justifiable criticism. If she thinks that what she experienced during a campaign and being interviewed by journalist is tough, what makes it possible for her to deal with some foreign despot dictator without taking it personal? Or could she possibly deal with the litany of economic problems both foreign and domestic without folding? She couldn’t finish out her four-year term as governor so what would make her a viable candidate to the highest office in the land? Her claim of being a “lame-duck” governor was hollow and inaccurate. She was not voted out of office and she was not being forced out due to term limits, as she was serving as a first time governor in a two-term state. She quit to make more money.
It was easy for Palin to attack Barack Obama during the campaign with some of the most vicious attacks ever in a season. Her rallies had ratcheted up to the point that they were hate speeches. She accused Obama as being one person shy of being a terrorist. She questioned his patriotism. And her followers shouted “kill him” at her rallies and she did nothing to discourage that behavior.
So, is Palin that politician that, if allowed, has the capabilities to place her finger on the button? She is a woman of myopic vision. If there ever were a doomsday scenario like the one in the disaster movie, 2012, it would be seeing Palin at a seat of power. Perhaps the television show, The Dead Zone, was not too far off in what could happen if the wrong person is allowed to have power.