So, like a month ago, David Letterman told some jokes. Some not-that-great jokes! And one or two of them were directed at Sarah Palin and her family. And so, in keeping with the prophesy, she let slip the dogs of aerial wolf-hunty outrage, and then everyone, everywhere was warblogging about it.
Me, I said, "Lo, but this is some stupid nonsense. Sarah Palin, really, like Alex Pareene once said, you got to let the stuff slide, sometimes." It doesn't make mean jokes okay. It doesn't make wrong stuff right. It's just that sometimes, you have to appear to be above it all, untouched by the vulgar vagaries of late-night comedians and their captive audiences of claques.
But the Sarah Palin fans, they could not be assuaged! And in many millions of emails, they asked me if I would "let the stuff slide" if it were directed at my kid. Many of them, budding late night comedians themselves, fell all over to come up with their own vulgar jibes, and I enjoyed them all. And the answer, my friends, is that I don't know what I'd do if I were insulted in the same way by David Letterman. But I do know that the nation is not potentially counting on me to remain calm and level-headed in the case of crisis.
If I flip out, and choke some fool in the middle of the street, guess what? The Republic will survive. But Sarah Palin -- who wants to be president maybe? -- will face madmen and cryptofascists and evil mullahs if she's elected. And in addition to these madmen and cryptofascists and evil mullahs, she will also, as president, have to contend with people who aren't on K Street.
So, my advice to Sarah Palin would be to do as the old ad copy said: Never let them see you sweat. Don't get involved in a land war with David Letterman. Let other people go crazyface on your behalf.
Yet, this past week, some blogger no one had ever heard of did a photoshop putting the face of a talk show host no one had ever heard of on the body of Trig Palin. And now, all of these people that you had heretofore never heard of are famous, because Sarah Palin wouldn't let the stuff slide. Even dumber, she said that the Photoshopping was a "desecration," which means she believes Trig had been "divested of her sacred character." Now I think Trig Palin is an awesome kid, but COME ON. That's a really pretentious thing for a parent to say.
Anyway, shortly after Sarah Palin went WARBONKERS on a blogger you never heard of, the entire internet responded in an even more vapid and juvenile fashion, and now there are stupid Photoshops everywhere, thanks to Sarah Palin, because that is what happens when you feed the beast with your stupid anger, instead of calmly letting some stuff slide and depriving the beast of oxygen.
Yes, Sarah Palin has not learned and will probably never learn the important, presidential art of sometimes letting some stuff slide. And every other leader of the GOP knows this. And that is why when David Gregory or some such teevee talking-face asks any random GOP figure about whether or not Sarah Palin is a presidential contender or the "future of the Republican Party," they all -- EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM -- say something like, "Uhhh...yeah? Sarah Palin? Boy, yeah. She's just...great...we have so many great Republicans...uhhhh, yeah. Whole bunch of 'em. Say? Have you heard about Haley Barbour?"
Not Afraid To be Oversharey: Man, I'm not sure how I feel about Ross Douthat writing an article entitled "The Way We Love Now." But hey, Mickey Kaus has been blogging for ten years, now. And somebody out there said, "Hey, let's make an incomprehensible sequel to Transformers, with Egyptology, and robot boobs." I guess we're living in a brave new era of terrifying possibilities.
My Ongoing Series On Demystifying The Political Press: I want to just point out, in Ceci Connolly's defense, that the Washington Post has never made it a requirement that their reporters be smart enough to know the difference between the substance of an issue and the politics of an issue. Evidently, I mean.
Straw Men Form Civil Liberties Group, Provide Obama With Political Cover: Via Spencer Ackerman, inquiring minds want to know: Who are these civil liberties groups who are said to have "encouraged" the Obama administration to enact a "prolonged detention system...through executive order."