The wild orgy of 9/11 porn that we've just endured -- with, to my awareness, nary a peep of "lamestream media" outrage about Congress's obscene indifference to the medical bills of the first responders (really, does even this get left to Jon Stewart?) -- marks the end of our having or wanting to hear about that horrific day again for a long, long time. Similarly, the extended wallow we're just diving into around the release of Joe McGinniss's brutal takedown, The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin, should at last burn people out on this morals-free harridan.
Just as Dan Quayle's introduction to the nation was immediately marred by the focus on his avoidance of Vietnam, Palin's was accompanied by widespread speculation about whether she was actually the mother of the child she claimed to have recently birthed, or whether the whole thing was a stunt designed to hide the fact that her daughter Bristol was an unwed 18-year-old mom. The point of that whole bizarre kerfuffle was that this woman whom most people had never heard of days earlier instantly gave off such a viscerally negative vibe that a large portion of the population was willing to believe her capable of such a grotesquely brazen deception. How laughable it is from this vantage point to imagine this "Snowbilly Grifter" -- as Wonkette so sublimely dubbed her -- being embarrassed enough by such a trivial transgression to go to the trouble of hiding it. (And, of course, the delightful proof that the child was, in fact, Sarah's was that Bristol was already expecting her own Tripp before Trig was born. So there, Andrew Sullivan.)
Always more a trashy reality star than a serious politician, her entire platform was Nixonian umbrage, but the Sarah Palin Show had something for everyone. The dismayingly expanding lunatic "fringe" identified with her braying rage, while the rest of us were simultaneously fascinated and repelled by her relentlessly deceitful jabbering. Even in politics, it was rare to find someone with such a compulsive contempt for the truth. But the act is stale. We're sick of it. And now we have new shows, starring new loons.
It's Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry who are being photographed fellating Iowa corn dogs now. Not only is Bachmann at least Palin's equal when it comes to proud ignorance, but she replaces those unappealing qualities of personal avarice and political indolence with the mesmerizing spectacle of outright batshit insanity. And that effeminate husband out there "curing" the hated gays promises much better entertainment than yet another teenage pregnancy and more rumors about drugs.
Meanwhile, Perry has anger plus a serious resume. While Palin quit being governor of a large but minor state after less than three years, he's run a large and major one for more than ten. Perry gives us Reagan and Bush combined, but with their efforts to hide behind avuncularity and goofiness abandoned. Really, why bother to pretend you're a nice guy when the audience is out there cheering for death? His viciousness is amped to naked bloodthirstiness. This man's not shooting animals from the air for some asinine notion of sport. Rick Perry enjoys executing humans, and he not only doesn't mind if you know it, he wants you to know it. If you're anything like him, he's definitely your guy. Giddily overseeing the killings of hundreds of humans -- guilty or not, who cares? -- he's even shameless enough to have claimed, in connection with his controversial efforts to mandate cervical cancer vaccinations, that "at the end of the day I am always going to err on the side of life."
So we don't need Sarah Palin anymore. After three years of overexposure to her tawdry toxicity, we know her too well, and our remaining schadenfreudal needs will more than be met by the cornucopia of damning nuggets Joe McGinniss has unearthed. He'll be gleefully sharing them all over the place over the next couple of weeks -- with Piers Morgan, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher and lots more -- just as the question of whether or not she's going to run for president is finally going to have to be answered. The only surprise she could still have in her would be to say yes.
Not that she's about to disappear. For the next year she'll be blithering away about the campaign with all the other Fox fools. She'll be there "analyzing" Election Night results along with O'Reilly, Van Susteren, Hannity, and, one hopes, that consummate doofus Doocy. But that will kind of be that. We're bored with stupid and lazy now, and we're moving on to stupid and crazy.