Friday, September 12, 2008

The Sarah Palin strategery: Make 'em forget the question

"In what respect, Charlie"
Sarah Palin

In the sixth grade, at Chesterbrook Elementary in McLean, Virginia, I learned something about how to get out of trouble. It happened when my teacher, Ms. Smits, pulled me aside after class and asked me if I was helping a classmate cheat on his spelling test.

I was, in fact, helping my classmate Mike cheat. Mike was a cool kid. I was not. And I thought that helping him cheat on a spelling test would earn me the affection of the elusive Chesterbrook glitterati.

However, when Ms. Smits asked me if I helped Mike I panicked and started rapidly talking. I went around in circles, babbling about nothing and at one point, out of nowhere, pointed out that I was left-handed.

Ms. Smits looked at me with a mixture of sympathy and concern. It was clear that she did not comprehend a word I said. And instead of asking me to repeat myself or to explain it again she said “Jon-Marc, there is nothing wrong with being left-handed”.

And she left me alone and never asked about the cheating again.

In many ways I feel like that is what is going on with Sans-a-blink Sarah. The one thing she knows is that she does not know much. But when confronted she spews nonsense and throws in words like “Islamic extremists” and “reformer” and just before she’s done running down the clock she reminds us that she is, above all, a woman who took on the “good ‘ole boys”. She never settles on an argument because she has no idea what the argument is. But instead of saying as much, she believes that rambling on and on will fool us and leave us feeling that our questions, whatever they were in the first place, were answered.

The problem is, this is not sixth grade. Hell, this isn't even Wasilla. The job for which she is essentially applying requires more than platitudes pulled from the back-room of a stale campaign of a once honorable man.

But what it requires of us is to not accept her skirting of the truth. Otherwise we will be just like Ms. Smits and forget the question. “Sarah, there’s nothing wrong with being a woman”.

When we forget the question, we forfeit the prize.

(For Jon-Marc McDonald's baking blog, Bake it 'Til You Make it, click here )

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