Monday, November 19, 2012

Laughter Really Is A Good Medicine

(Editorial cartoon by Tom Toles, published 11/12/08 in the Washington Post, and found here.  Click on image to enlarge and then hustle on back.)

Did you ever have occasion to come across an hysterically funny satire, one which has you screaming with laughter because of its Onionesque proportions, and then discover that the author was not being satirical but was being serious, thereby moving you from gales of laughter to an outright Depends Moment?  That's what happened to me on Saturday after reading this op-ed piece by Charlotte Allen.  It'll be hard, but please try to keep in mind that Ms. Allen is totally serious.

The Republican Party has been doing a lot of hand-wringing and finger-pointing since the presidential election. Half the conservative columnists and bloggers say the GOP lost because it overemphasized social issues such as abortion and gay marriage. The other half says the party didn't emphasize them enough. And everyone denounces Project ORCA, the campaign's attempt to turn out voters via technology.

But I've got a suggestion for cutting short the GOP angst: Sarah Palin for president in 2016. ...

In 2008, Palin, running as my party's vice presidential candidate, was widely supposed to have cost John McCain the election. But that wasn't so. A national exit poll conducted by CNN asked voters whether Palin was a factor in their voting. Of those who said yes, 56% voted for McCain versus 43% for Barack Obama. ...

Gabriel Malor, writing for the New York Daily News' blog, pinpointed another reason: By focusing his campaign mostly on serious economic and political issues such as the national debt and tax incentives, Romney failed to take into account the fact that large segments of the electorate neither know nor care much about serious economic and political issues. What they — a group sometimes euphemistically called "uninformed voters" — do know and care about are the tugs on their emotions, fears, revulsions and heart strings provided by hours and hours of uninterrupted television watching. ...

Palin can more than keep up with the Democrats in appealing to voters' emotions. Hardly anyone could be more blue collar than Palin, out on the fishing boat with her hunky blue-collar husband, Todd. Palin is "View"-ready, she's "Ellen"-ready, she's Kelly-and-Michael-ready.

A Palin "war against women"? Hah! Not only is she a woman, she's got a single-mom daughter, Bristol, to help with the swelling single-mom demographic. On social issues, Palin, unlike Romney, has been absolutely consistent. And let's remember that most Americans, whatever their view of choice, disapprove of most abortions.

So, there you have it.  A huge swatch of Americans are uninformed and don't care about economic issues.  They just watch television.  They don't worry about being hungry or not having any safety net.  They just want an emotional jolt of some kind.  Palin can deliver that.

It doesn't matter that she has no leadership qualities, no ability to stick to a job where she might actually have to do some work.  She can field-dress a moose.  She can use her kids for object lessons.  She doesn't need to know the ins and outs of a complicated global economic system.  She doesn't need to know where Syria is, or Lebanon, or even Mali.  She can outsource that, I guess.

But the fact that she is unqualified to be President is irrelevant.  She just needs to win the election for the GOP.  That's all that matters to Republicans.  Winning.

I'm just surprised that Ms. Allen didn't go all the way and select a running mate for Palin, someone like ... oh, I don't know ... maybe Akin?

That's the ticket.

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Blogger Florence said...

i too have been mesmerized by the GOP's lack of perception during this time of assessing the election outcome. However, it is time to leave them in the dust and welcome the electorate to come with us as we do immigration reform, expand healthcare, extricate ourselves from Iraq and Afghanistan, and so much more.

6:29 AM  

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