Yesterday, while in a deep and ethereal reverie about "Game Change: The Movie," which was based on "Game Change: The Book," which was based on "Game Change: The Catchphrase," Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen surmised that Sarah Palin had personally ruined politics forever. By his reckoning, the emergence of Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry -- really, all of the candidates in the GOP race not named "Mitt Romney" -- was evidence of the fact that the GOP had decided to embrace Palinesque qualities in their candidates.
And on further review, Cohen told his readers that he was quite sure that the Democrats would one day follow suit and embrace such candidates as well, because everyone knows that politicians who defame government and ridicule compromise typically ascend to stratospheric heights in the Democratic Party.
Well, if my counterargument wasn't enough, let's turn to the Daily Caller, where Ann Coulter argues that Palin's legacy in this regard is wholly owned by the GOP. (Countering Cohen with Coulter just feels right to me, you know?)
Coulter, having observed that Palin has been one of the loudest voices to promote both a "brokered convention" and herself as the solution to that deadlock, jumped to what she saw as a problem in the GOP:
Coulter said that might be a weakness in the Republican Party as a whole — that certain individuals become celebrities and are allowed to profit off that status and yet still interfere in GOP politics, which Democrats have been able to avoid.
"And just a more corporate problem is I think our party and particularly our movement, the conservative movement, does have more of a problem with con men and charlatans than the Democratic Party," she said. "I mean, the incentives seem to be set up to allow people — as long as you have a band of a few million fanatical followers, you can make money. The Democrats have managed to figure out how not to do that."
Coulter's solution? Another one of those pledge thingies. Hers would preclude Republican presidential candidates from seeking to "profit off of political stardom." "I want them to sign a pledge," said Coulter, "saying, 'If I lose the nomination I pledge I will not take a gig with Fox News or write a book.'"
I'm not entirely sure how this would work -- the pre-primary season candidate memoir seems to be a perennial fixture of the presidential cycle, and occasionally, they are very profitable. I'd also point out that while Mike Huckabee definitely parlayed his presidential candidacy into a lucrative television career, it seems to me that he has managed to do this in a fairly humble and tasteful way.
Besides, in politics, one needn't achieve "stardom" to end up some sort of well-compensated embarrassment. Just look at Evan Bayh!
READ THE WHOLE THING:
Coulter on Palin, brokered convention: GOP has ‘a problem with con men and charlatans’ [The Daily Caller]
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