A Working Theory of 2013-Era Sarah Palin
BY Juli Weiner
Theory: like everyone else paying attention to the 2008 presidential election and its aftermath, the lesson Sarah Palin took away from the experience was that the current Republican party was a confused, often self-defeating entity with an electoral strategy as shopworn as many of its social policies. “For the G.O.P. to have nominated me,” Palin might have thought five years ago, “there has to be some very unstable Balkanization within the party. Do I really want to be a part of that?”
Smash cut to November 2008. John McCain and his misbegotten ticket loses the White House, and Sarah Palin, the party’s newest star, is shipped off back to Alaska. While it appears that in the interim, she has outwardly funneled her energies in an exclusively self-promotional way (that terrible reality show, that other terrible reality show with the dancing, the poorly reviewed book, the insane “tour,” etc.) what if . . . what appears to be cynicism-tinged avarice is actually black-ops subterfuge?
Consider: “Sarah Palin” is a Mr. Met–like mascot wielded by the Democratic National Committee—working in conjunction with the G.O.P.-disillusioned ex-politician Sarah Palin—in order to increase excitement (and therefore fundraising) for various otherwise-low-profile Democratic candidates.
The evidence: Politico reports that this last fiscal quarter, Alaska Democratic senator Mark Begich “raised nearly $1 million . . . his strongest quarter so far.” What’s changed since quarter one? Oh, just the rumored entry of one Sarah Palin into the race! Corroborating evidence: the Democratic National Committee, though not usually known for its political savvy, would have to have realized that Begich vs. Sarah Palin makes for a far more attention-grabbing race than Begich vs. Alaska’s Lieutenant Governor, Some Guy. Palin—Groucho Marx–like—feels unwilling to join any party so desperate to have her co-lead it, and is happy to aid and abet the competition.
Conclusion: liberals, don’t feel outrage toward Palin. Feel indebted.