The recent government shutdown may have hurt the Tea Party’s general popularity, but among its diehards, it is the gift that keeps on giving. Or grift, rather, as Senator Ted Cruz (R-John Birch) weaseled wads of cash in the wake of his fake filibuster. As the current Tea Party poster boy, his most strident defenders are ready to take to the interwebs in hopes of getting their own cut of that lucrative stash.
It should come as no surprise that Witless in Wasilla herself, Governor Sarah Palin (R-Hot Mess), offered up one of her patented word spews that has everything you could hope for from her and a requisite PR flack. Huffington Post gets the credit for bravely reviewing her Breitbart.com Palin-torial.
Death panels! Socialized medicine! Cynical use of the term “corporatism”! Clumsy noun-to-verb conversions! Self-serving laundry list of Alaska accomplishments! Plugging her documentary! Gross misinterpretations of the Constitution! Everyone is corrupt except her!
If you played a drinking game with her piece, your liver would be a helpless raisin within the hour. Your brain would meet the same fate, even without liquor. So allow me to share the sacrifice with Huffington Post, and elaborate just a bit on the tiresome talking points she trotted out.
Out of the gate, there is a real-life parable about the corruption she bravely conquered in Alaska, and how that relates to…what? Oh! The Washington Establishment, that old reliable punching bag — and guaranteed fund-raising trigger — couched in the usual bromides of right-wing populism. In ways even Tina Fey would find difficult to imitate, she makes artless parallels amusing and confusing all at once. All that, with pointed digs at the slippery ethics of numerous Alaskan officials, shamelessly omitting her own vices.
Which sets us up for… Obamacare! That had to be next, because it segues so nicely after tales of Alaska’s oil mafia. This is the rewarding part of her piece, if stabbing one’s eyeballs with acid-dipped rusty forks could be called “rewarding.” Once you’re done with your “death panel” chuckles, she’ll grab you with the omnipresent threat of socialism and its dreaded promise of single-payer healthcare. It would be disappointing if she didn’t re-hash these fears. She quotes St. Reagan too. That’s the free square if you are playing Palin Bingo.
The glitches with Obamacare’s launch, which even the president himself acknowledged, are perfect fodder for that peculiar nasal sneer she brings to all her commentary. Pour another shot, because here comes a utopian defense of the “free market.” Watch as the invisible hand of Adam Smith performs a rectal exam on the socialist body of U.S. healthcare. Then see her take a gratuitous and excessively dishonest swipe at Canada as she denigrates their healthcare system. Bonus points because she provided a geography lesson: “I dare say our good neighbor to your north, and my east.” See? She wants you to know that maps don’t flummox her after all.
It would be remiss if she didn’t pile on the lies about Obamacare’s costs. She tosses out a made-up Rovian figure about the average family’s premium increase percentage, and then throws in her own family’s figure, which low-balls the overall average considerably, undermining her own argument. She doesn’t provide actual dollar amounts, so her personal 65% increase has no context. ‘How to Lie with Statistics’, the Palin way.
Finally, this comes down to being a boilerplate defense of Ted Cruz and the unbroken resolve of the Tea Party in Congress. This is Palin at her most tedious, because she can do no better than sell her readers the “purse strings” defense of the shutdown. This is also where the Tea Party is at its most shamelessly ignorant and dangerously zealous. In true authoritarian fashion, they refuse to admit fault, embrace their seditious methods as constitutionally sound, and do not discourage the concept of a Republican civil war. They see themselves as the “real Americans”, fighting as the embattled noble minority, righteous and correct in their cause, vanquishing enemies who never rest. It stokes populist flames cloaked in the vernacular of God and Country, but in the end it’s just one tangled mess of a fundraising letter.