(With profound apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
How do I thank thee for running, Sarah Palin? Let me count the ways.
I thank thee to the depth and breadth and height my Democratic, Obama-loving, unemployed soul can reach, still exhausted mightily from the interminable weeks of horrific suspense, waiting to find out if what we were witnessing was a monumental comedy or a catastrophic, world-ending horror-movie.
For letting Katie Couric peel back the layers early on and show that "There is no there there." For not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is or being able to name any Supreme Court cases. (For a second there, I really thought you might say: "Howzabout 'Stop In the Name of Love?'")
For winking during the debate as if twin 747s had flown into your eyes.
For not believing in evolution, for being as narrow-minded and mean-spirited as Scrooge on Christmas, for assuming that all American IQs were no higher than your shoe size, for thinking you could do a Houdini with shockingly expensive couturier fashions, for making the great Joe Biden, a distinguished, solid, national treasure, look and seem even more treasurable.
For honestly believing that real life in our great land had become just one big reality show and that overnight, without benefit of wisdom, knowledge, intellect, experience, ethics, conscience or the merest trace of substance, you wouldn't get voted off the island, could/would dance better than anyone else or be selected the next American Idol rather than the next American Midol.
Oh, how I thank you now for running, Sarah Palin. My mirth is bottomless!
I thank you for Ted Stevens, for thinking you could run the Senate, for defiantly refusing to show us your medical records, for thinking you could somehow look cool on SNL, for providing exquisite fodder for Keith, Rachel, Jon, Bill Maher, Richard Lewis and other mondo-brilliant minds everywhere who managed to spin your transparent mendacity and fomented hatred into gold, as we all watched and waited, breathless, astonished, that you, so unworthy and unfit, even came close. That you were ever even picked and taken half-seriously, you who wouldn't know NAFTA from NAMBLA, didn't know that Africa is a continent and not a country, allowed yourself to be pranked by a couple of impish and astute Canadian comedians, and probably thinks your next check-up is with Diet Dr. Pepper.
What a lesson it's been. America is great enough, free enough, to let someone like you run. But also smart enough to let you lose.
So, I thank thee for running, Sarah Palin, and for helping us last Tuesday to dodge the surreal, existential and yes, perhaps the greatest historical bullet of our lifetime. (As has, no doubt, our pre-natal paragon, Levi "Shootin' Shit" Johnston.)
Now, if only those poor Alaskan wolves could be so lucky.