Sarah Palin is taking her act on the road. And it promises to be an eighteen month sideshow loaded with enough drama, pathos, and disfunction to make Barnum and Bailey blanch. And that's just the personal stuff.
When I read about this roadshow, I couldn't resist the temptation to blog mercilessly about the grim state of the Republican Presidential circus. But I admit that I have not been doling out equally between red and blue, which violates a premise of the site, where I at least aspire to neutrality. I promise to redeem myself soon. Really. I promise.
Newt Gingrich - Like Reuben, Newt will be the on-again, off-again pseudo patriarch of the roaming show. He'll step in from time-to-time and utter fatherly advice, pointing to the well-earned scars he bears as evidence of his worthiness. More often than not, he will overstep and say things that are actually honest and smart, thereby earning him the contempt of the family and urgent calls for Kool-Aid. Newt, despite his experience, seems to lack the instinct for dishonesty that is required for success in politics and will suffer the indignities of most parents of unruly adolescents. Newt, like Reuben, will tire of his burden frequently and disappear from the scene for long, unexplained intervals.
Smile While You Can
Donald Trump - Every bus has an exceptionally naughty boy and Palin's will not disappoint. Donald Trump has gracefully stepped off the bus to avoid some unpleasant financial disclosures and contractual difficulties associated with his wildly successful reality program, in which he demeans himself on a weekly basis by cruelly rejecting supplicants in mercurial, whimsical displays of arrogance. Clearly Presidential timbre. But I predict that The Donald's departure is temporary and he will mature, phoenix-like, in full pompous dudgeon to haunt the Republican Party as the nominees round the bend early next year. Watch for it! If not on the campaign trail, then on HBO.
The Magic Bus
Anyway, Sarah remains tactfully mum about her intentions for 2012, hoping to save that particular bitter pill for a time that doesn't emit quite as much hope as the first glorious weekend of summer. Perhaps she will announce at Jerry Lewis' farewell telethon on Labor Day, accepting from him the baton as the Nation's buffoon laureate now that Donald Trump has thankfully abandoned the field once confronted with the requirement to disclose his financial cesspool and the necessity to choose between real-life reality star and TV reality star.
If Sarah's new tour is anything like the campaign of 2008, her bus will be filled with misfits, awkward pauses, and downright silliness. As is her way, she will try to cover it all up with her homespun uber-charm. But it will be a thin veil and most Americans, even those who lean heavily toward tea, remain convinced that she can't be possibly be elected. A Republican Party that nominates Sarah Palin is one that drinks the Kool-Aid without the promise of eternal life.
Sarah will have plenty of company. Let's take a moment and honor the cast.
Herbert Cain - The Herminator doesn't have David Cassidy's looks or youth, but the children in the Party love to love him. He whips them up into a bible-thumping frenzy with stands on abortion, gun control, and gay marriage that make their hearts flutter and their cheeks blush, helping him to do well as the grown-ups stand aside or stumble. The guy has 8 percent support, which beats out just about everybody but the stealth leader, Mitt Romney. He also, according to Gallup, has the highest "positive intensity score," meaning that his supporters are so desperate for a savior that they will drink tainted Kool Aid provided by a stranger under engimatic circumstances. The Herminator has a small financial problem, though. He has $13 in his campaign fund.
Isn't It Pretty To Think So?
Michelle Bachman - Cute, but unapproachable, Michelle Bachman is the eager mini-me to Palin's Dr. Evil. She shadows Palin in almost every way, from the sphyxlink character of her prenuptial flirt with the Party faithful to her stylish waves. But she remains elusively beyond their grasp, eager as they are for a savior with Palin's charm but without her silliness and trailor-trash circus of horrors. Michelle is dipping her toe in Iowa's foamy waters, hoping to be drawn into the maelstrom of latter-day Republican orthodoxy. But, as if on cue, Sarah launched her bus tour at the exact same time. Sigh.
"Could Someone Put a Freakin Bell on Her or Something?"