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Christopher Buckley is Psychic! At Least About Sarah Palin

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The day after I hit the ''send'' button on my Los Angeles Times book review of Christopher Buckley's latest novel of political satire, John McCain put Sarah Palin on his ticket.

How was I to know? How did Buckley?

The main character in ``Supreme Courtship'' is Pepper Cartwright, a hottie in judicial robes, a glasses-wearing, gun-slinging TV judge -- a Maxim magazine version of Judge Judy. A sullen president who hates his job and just wants to go home to bowl sees her one night on TV, and nominates her to the Supreme Court.

Pepper doesn't know squat about Constitutional law, but she's sassy and spunky and down home [from Texas, like Alaska another big state with oil], and that's all it takes to win the Senate's votes.

Remember, it's satire I'm still talking here. I think.

Pepper Cartwright's fictional confirmation hearing is worth noting as we approach the Joe Biden-Sarah Palin debate.

In Buckley's book, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee is a character unmistakably Biden. In Cartwright's confirmation hearing, he gets completely blindsided and steamrollered and flummoxed by her folksiness. She doesn't address case law and precedent but she does talk about her granddaddy and the back-to-school sale at Wal-Mart and throws out Texanisms like ''It's your rodeo.'' She gets confirmed.

I talked to Buckley a couple of weeks ago on my radio program on KPCC here in LA, and he was stupefied by the parallels -- ``I hereby announce my resignation from satire.'' His Pepper Cartwright is ''exactly like Sarah Palin,'' he said, except Cartwright knows more.

Including what she doesn't know. She is alarmed by her own nomination and its implications for the country - aware, as Buckley says, that she is ''the least qualified'' candidate ever nominated for the job.

I guess that's what makes it fiction.