Here to play Tchaikovskys first piano concerto in B flat minor is the world famous soloist, Sviatoslav Richter. During the performance, he will escape from a sack, three padlocks and a pair of handcuffs. So begins a legendary Monty Python skit. What follows is Richter, played by Terry Jones, writhing about on the ground in a burlap bag as the horns and strings swing into action. The pianist, in-sack, miraculously pounds the keyboard, generating perfect note after perfect note, all the while struggling to remove what we can assume to be his padlocks and handcuffs.
This reminds me of Sarah Palins performance during the vice presidential debate. As Palin struggled to answer even the most basic questions with the most roundabout non-answers, it became easy to imagine Richter struggling in his burlap bag. And like the pianist, Palin never really dropped a beat. Utilizing ridiculously over the top yet perfectly timed you betchas and possibly the best pronunciation of Ahmadinejad Ive heard, she miraculously hit the mark in looking confident and informed. Discerning people, liberal and conservative alike, all laughed at the absurdity of many of her answers just as they would laugh at the absurd Python skit. What is frightening is Monty Python is funny, and Sarah Palin is actually serious.
Her behavior over the past few weeks has revealed this to be no laughing matter. She blatantly misread the Constitution during the debates when asked about the powers of the vice president. She whiffed mightily at Katie Courics softball questions. In her mind, Putins head materializes over the Alaskan airspace. Despite her seemingly daily profession of love for Israel, she apparently does know where or what the Gaza Strip is. The other day, she declared women who do not support her are going to hell this was apparently read off a Starbucks coffee mug (so shes given up on the Bible?).
Ha ha ha haa whimper. It wont be so hilarious when shes in the White House.
Sarah Palin is serious about becoming the v ice president of a 72-year-old with a questionable health history. There is a legitimate chance this disturbingly average hockey-mom Jane, the one who intelligent people are falling over laughing at, may become leader of the free world. This is not funny. Palin is not qualified to lead the country, and the more liberals laugh at her, the less time there is to constructively point this out. As a Washington Post columnist recently wrote, Her phony, made-for-TV populism is a terrible distraction in a time of genuine crisis. There may be a serious global financial disaster on our hands, and she cannot be given any responsibility to right it even if her only real duty is to pose as a charismatic figurehead.
While everyone in Madison laughed wholeheartedly as Palins SNL-worthy debate performance, the mainstream media was rushing to sell her debate performance as a victory over expectations. Of course, Obamas lead in the polls has grown despite this, and perhaps the influence of the vice presidential candidate is not significant. But thats not how the Republican election machine is treating the ticket. Her simpleton image has become the perfect mouthpiece for falsely labeling her opponent a friend of terrorists. The press gladly gives her the headlines check out the latest Newsweek cover.
I implore everyone, do not poke fun at the furry bunny. Condescending Palins twisted sense of reality and incredibly poor command of the English language will not bring her down and may lift her up among average Americans who detest intellectual elitism more than bad grammar. The American independent electorate is inherently bipolar and simply ribbing her will do little to convince such voters the only difference between Sarah Palin and George W. Bush is lipstick.