Palin In Purdah

So, the McCain campaign has decided to make Sarah Palin off limits. Can't talk to her. Can't talk about her. Can't let any audience infer anything about her. You must uphold her honor at all times, or the McCain campaign will rush to her defense and attack and punish you. What does this sound like? It sounds like Islam! It also sounds like something much closer to home called "bullshit".

Dick Cheney's wettest dream is about secrecy. Remember that hazmat suit in his car? That undisclosed location? Cheney is so secretive most of the time that even his creature Bush doesn't know what he was doing or where he is doing it. Secrecy is the fetish of a tyrant, and Cheney has proved tyrannical -- whatever he has gotten away with isn't nearly as much as he hoped to get away with, and now they are doing it again.

People in the public eye get reviewed. Amazon sellers. Novelists. Restaurateurs. Actors and directors. Congresspersons. And sometimes the reviews are bad. I have two favorite bad reviews that I've gotten. One was written -- the reviewer said that one of my early novels, which was fairly harmless as far as I could tell, "epitomized everything that is wrong with modern literature." Not too long ago I was on a call-in show, and a guy called in and said that he had read my novel twice and found it to have "no redeeming features." He read it twice? What sort of masochist was this guy? The thing is, I have gotten used to bad reviews over the years, and I understand it's part of the deal. When I was in graduate school, another student had a sign above her desk. It read, "No one asked you to write that novel."

And gosh, Sarah, running for vice president is voluntary, too. You plan to work for us. We need to give you fifty-seven days of job interviews. We need to know why your husband is a member of a secessionist party. We need to know why you tried to fire that librarian. We need to know why you gave yourself a per diem for living in your own house. We need to know if you knew the cruelty involved in shooting wolves from the air before you offered that $150 bounty for dead monogamous wolf fathers and mothers (we hear you're a cat person, but I think shooting canidae lupi is going too far, even for a cat person). We need to know why you shade the truth on that bridge to nowhere. We need to know your views and plans. Every question we might ask isn't accusatory. Many of them are informational.

But the girl can't take it, that's obvious. She didn't like being challenged as mayor or as governor, and she's made up her mind that she isn't going be challenged as a candidate, that every thing anyone says about her will be termed "sexism" and will be a reason for her to retire into that veil of privacy that the McCain campaign says she requires. Now THAT'S sexism. But more important, it's contempt for the voters, contempt for the citizens, and a prelude to ever more tyranny.