Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Van Palin & The Monsters of Crock Tour

I thought on Saturday about getting up and dashing off an blog entry about McCain VP pick Sarah Palin. I was going to write about a slim silver lining of McCain winning would be the eventual commercial fisherman-out-of-water reality show that would soon feature her regular guy husband Todd awkwardly mingling with Washington muckety-mucks.

I was going to note that policy-wise, she’s a Dick in a dress (Cheney, that is). She’s just like him. Coincidentally, one of my all-time very favorite songs is “Lola,” by the Kinks, a catchy tune that addresses that very scenario so anytime I can use a line like “a dick in a dress,” count on it, I’ll not shy from the task.

And I was going to note that Alaskans must spend those dreadful months where the daily sun shines for about the length of your standard NFL commercial break procreating and dreaming up offbeat names for their many children. The Palin’s have Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig Paxon Van.

Serious journalists have many questions for the Palins these days, but the one I’d most like to ask is why they gave their 5-month-old son a second unnecessary middle name -- and can a second “middle” name even be considered middle? -- when they’d given him a perfectly useless one already.

I suspect the husband grew up rocking out to Van Halen and thought it would be cool to call their kid Van Palin in rocking tribute to a great band (and I’m talking about the Sammy Hagar years). I like it, but I sense the wife put the kibosh on it and let him add it as his three-quarter name.

I was going to write about all that, but my laziness got the better of me. And, besides, I thought, “nothing newsworthy’s going to happen over the next two days.”

That turned out to be a slight miscalculation on my part. Sure, I’ve made more consequential ones.

For instance, years ago I should have declared myself to be a staunch religious right conservative. Had I done that I’d be skating through life with essentially a get-out-of-jail free card. As long as you say you believe in the absolute right to life, guns and God, the reliably religious conservatives will forgive any number of your sins.

That became evident when it was revealed that the Palin’s 17-year-old daughter Bristol is 5-months pregnant with a child they’ll probably name Mesa Glacier Dokken Palin. Conservatives said this was great, galvanizing news. I wonder if the newly famous father of the baby feels the same.

Now the same crowd that went apoplectic with predictable scolds when 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears announced she was pregnant is saying this is a wonderful family situation. The movement that gave us Ken Starr and Linda Tripp says personal lives should be off limits.

This was typical of the wrong-headed thinking we’ve come to know from the political movement that was founded in America by Benedict Arnold.

It’s true. America’s most famous traitor was a religious conservative who thought America should remain a British colony and was hanged in devotion to that far-right cause. He was bitterly opposed to the Massachusetts liberals he and his hero King George considered radical extremists.

Go through the entire history of the United States, find the side the most conservative people favor and watch it be proven a complete failure. A sampler:

* Conservatives who favored everlasting slavery for 20 percent of the population left the Union and instigated the bloody Civil War because they were furious that radical liberals wanted to abolish slavery. Ditto for female suffragettes and civil rights.

* Conservatives like the disgraced Charles Lindbergh thought opposing Nazi Germany was bad for business while liberals like Franklin Delano Roosevelt recognized fascism as a tyrannical threat to the entire world.

* Sen. Joe McCarthy, a man many staunch conservatives wanted to see become president, used baseless innuendo to ruin the lives of thousands of men and women he wrongly suspected were Communist sympathizers. He died at the age of 48, a lonely, maligned alcoholic who was already beginning to sense that history would claim his name for anytime flag-waving “patriots” trample the rights of Americans who disagree with their First Amendment opinions.

* Conservatives thought escalating the war in Vietnam was a swell idea while radical liberals died at places like Kent State saying, no, it’s not.

* They thought Richard Nixon was a great president who should not have resigned in spite of mounting evidence of criminal activity, but that Bill Clinton should go because of a private indiscretion with a consenting female adult.

* Conservatives were bitterly opposed to the man they now hail as their greatest leader ever, Ronald Reagan. It was in 1987 when Howard Phillips of the Conservative Caucus called Reagan “a useful idiot for Soviet propaganda” for initiating Glasnost with Mikhail Gorbachev.

* They thought that George H.W. Bush was a war wimp while still supporting his clueless son though two calamitous terms as a historically failed president. And just think for a minute of what a bloodless, weeks-long cakewalk the conservatives ensured you the invasion of Iraq would be.

* They think the stuff that you’ve just read is stupid liberal nonsense that contains not a shred of intelligent fact.

Wrong again.

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