I have been donating to Sarah Palin's PAC for months now in the hope that my incremental donation would motivate her to enter the race. Not only did she not enter the race, but she basically stole $7.00 from me. Part of me wants my $7.00 back, but a bigger part of me is shattered by her bowing out of the race and the potential after-shocks of her decision.
Sarah Palin broke my heart when she announced that she wasn't running for the Republican nomination. I have spent years cultivating Palin jokes and columns geared for her hypothetical presidential run. I wrote a satirical column about Webster's Dictionary following Palin's lead and dropping the letter G from the alphabet. I wrote a dystopian take on Palin changing Wyoming's name to Wyomin'. Once Palin won the presidency she would substitute the Star Spangled Banner with the Star Spangled Cackle -- Dick Cheney's cackle, of course. His chortle would replace "Pop Goes the Weasel" as the song ice cream trucks play. She would eliminate the hocus pocus-filled internet and adopt smoke signals and folksy charm as suitable communication methods. Facebook would be illegal -- instead Boy Scout patches and friendship bracelets would replace digital footprints. But I can't finish that column because she isn't running and I used so much of my time creating Palin jokes that I have nothing remotely funny to say about Perry or Romney.
The most heartbreaking side effect of Palin's political departure is the Tina Fey effect. Palin breathed new life into Fey and into my seventh-favorite television show, 30 Rock. The Palin impression funneled viewers to the critically acclaimed comedy. And this year's delayed season premiere seemed to align perfectly with Fey impersonating Palin on SNL to drive ratings to 30 Rock. But now we have no Palin, no Fey SNL appearances, and some potential ratings problems for 30 Rock. Palin is getting her revenge: she has rendered pages and pages of my jokes useless, and she may be kick-starting a sitcom's downfall. Unless Tracy Morgan can nail a Herman Cain impression we may be in trouble - and he very well may be able to: he already has Cain's anti-gay rhetoric down pat.
In all seriousness, I will miss Palin, her malapropisms, the fact that she thought Herman Cain's name was Herb, the way she stared at the camera as if it were made of jelly-beans, the way she delivered a mundane line as if she were reciting Ovid, and the way she made me feel substantially smarter than I actually am. The only hope we have for a sitcom mocking the Republican Party is for Rick Perry to take the dimwit flame from Palin and further abate its shine and along with it any lingering Republican Party sparkle.