John McSame‘s selection of Sarah Palin for veep was too much even for a Village Elder like WAPO’s Richard Cohen who begins his column today:
One of the great sights of American political life — a YouTube moment if ever there was one — was to see the doughboy face of Newt Gingrich as he extolled the virtues of Sarah Palin, a sitcom of a vice presidential choice and a disaster movie if she moves up to the presidency: “She’s the first journalist ever to be nominated, I think, for the president or vice president, and she was a sportscaster on local television,” Gingrich said on the “Today” show. “So she has a lot of interesting background. And she has a lot of experience. Remember that, when people worry about how inexperienced she is, for two years she’s been in charge of the Alaska National Guard.”
Doing what, exactly, goes unmentioned. I watched McSame spokesmen Tucker Bounds duck and weave a question yesterday from CNN‘s bantam weight anchor, Campbell Brown, to provide just one example of a Palin decision that even remotely had any kind of command effect on the Guard’s deployment in Iraq. Pressed repeatedly, Bounds muttered something about equipment choices and was almost laughed out of the studio.
As other Rethuglican apologists, including national security expert Cindy McCain (fresh off her triumphant trip to what’s left of the country of Georgia) have tried to explain, Alaska borders Russia. This makes it the front line in the new Cold War that the Cheneyites are so busily trying to reignite with the Ruskies. This is a propaganda twofer, since it also magically conveys the kind foreign policy experience on Palin that she otherwise totally lacks.
Cohen goes on to illustrate a time proven Rethuglican propaganda ploy of using a negative to prove a positive (as in “Bush’s war on terror is a success because there have been no attacks on the US mainland since 9/11”):
Still, you have to admit that in all that time, especially since Palin became governor about two years ago, no Russian invasion force has come across the strait, maybe because she was in charge of the Guard, maybe because she herself is a hunter and an athlete. The record is unclear because no high-ranking Russian appeared on any of the weekend talk shows to say how they had considered an invasion of Alaska and then backed off when Sarah Palin became commander in chief of the Alaska National Guard. Who could blame them?
As the Newt & Company rush to portray Palin as a tough and capable C&C ready to toss judo black belt Vladimir Putin to the mat, Cohen invokes a different image:
It’s a pity Gingrich was not around when the Roman Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, better known by his nickname Caligula, reputedly named Incitatus as a consul and a priest. Incitatus was his horse.
Palin, we are led to believe, is a horse of different color. Call her “Maverick 2.”
UPDATE I: Here’s the Campbell Brown interview of Tucker Bounds.
UPDATE II: From TPM:
McCain Cancels CNN Interview As Punishment For Criticizing Palin
By Eric Kleefeld – September 2, 2008, 4:39PM
It looks like the McCain camp is now actively taking steps to punish media outlets that give them bad coverage.
Wolf Blitzer just reported that the campaign has cancelled a scheduled interview with Larry King due to an unfriendly segment last night on CNN — the segment we flagged last night where the network’s Campbell Brown grilled McCain spokesperson Tucker bounds over Sarah Palin‘s lack of foreign policy experience.
Blitzer said the McCain campaign complained that Campbell Brown’s grilling of Tucker Bounds over Sarah Palin’s lack of foreign policy experience was “over the line.”
Is the corporatist media, who Chris Matthews has famously described as “McCain’s base” ready to wake up yet?