Matt Taibbi on Sarah Palin's significance in the American political landscape:
She is the country’s first WWE politician — a cartoon combatant who
inspires stadiums full of frustrated middle American followers who will
cheer for her against whichever villain they trot out, be it Newsweek, Barack
Obama, Katie Couric, Steve Schmidt, the Mad Russian, Randy Orton or
whoever. Her followers will not know that she is the perfect patsy for
our system, designed as it is to channel popular anger in any direction
but a useful one, and to keep the public tied up endlessly in pointless
media melees over meaningless nonsense (melees of the sort that develop
organically around Palin everywhere she goes). Like George W. Bush,
even Palin herself doesn’t know this, another reason she’s such a
perfect political tool.
In the modern media age, having a sellable product is more important than having a good product. If quality was the determining factor in picking our political leaders, Dennis Kucinich would be President. Instead, we have camera friendly marketing creations like Sarah Palin, and to a certain extent, Barack Obama. Luckily, the latter happens to be phenomenally well educated and intelligent, but make no mistake about it, that wasn't why he was elected President. If 99% of Palin supporters have no idea what she actually stands for, at least 75% of Obama supporters have no clue either. That isn't to dismiss them - at least they were superficially voting for nice things like 'Hope' and 'Change' as opposed to the right to shoot animals from a helicopter or cut welfare benefits from single mothers.
The fact is, the public loves conflict, and Sarah Palin provides it on an almost daily basis. No one really knows what Sarah Palin believes, and no one really cares, especially her handlers. The Palin family and political drama has the potential to run for years and years, and in America, the equals lots and lots of money. She won't win the Presidency, and she won't be taken seriously the political establishment. But none of that matters when you have the ability to put backsides in seats, because when you can generate money, someone will always have a use for you.
(photo by David Seto)