The message arrived late Monday afternoon just as I was about to close the laptop—Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) joined the National Council for a New America. House Republican Whip Eric Cantor also said in the announcement more “local and national leaders” would be added. I pondered the fascination with Palin, especially in pomp media.
I coined the term ‘pomp media’ for self-congratulatory, puffed up media organizations whose brands are experiencing declining profits but whose control of messaging the populace is stronger than ever. Katie Couric is a great example—a newscaster who calmly listened to a vice-presidential candidate make an extremely stupid statement yet is too uninformed to question the candidate’s political gaffe. The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan wrote about Palin on Sunday. He said, “[G]iven this blog's coverage of governor [sic] Palin's various strange stories about Trig, and her continued refusal to provide any medical records to confirm her account…” What about those strange allegations describing Vice-President Joe Biden’s daughter’s recreational habits? Will Andrew ask him? I mean if children are fodder for political herds, can we be inclusive?
And then I happened across words of wisdom in a baseball blog.
There’s a great passage at The Baseball Daily Digest written by Kris Pollina: “When it comes to sports, I can live with steroids and drug use every day of the week and twice on Sunday, before I can stomach the pathetic rejection of integrity and character that manifests itself every time I have to listen to the latest journalist try to leverage another person’s misfortune into her own career coup d’etat.”
GOP insiders are still mixed about Palin. I’ve talked to all manner of Republicans—from diehard rightwing evangelicals to nuts and bolts constitutionalists and fiscal/security conservs, and to those you might call the original conservatives, members of the Republican Liberty Caucus. She’s a mixed bag for the GOP. Palin was there when we needed her for sure. Does anyone really believe Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) would have made the substantial showing he made without Palin in the last presidential election?
Because if such a soul is in the land, I’d like to sell you some carbon credits since I have lots of trees growing in my yard. Palin’s missteps with pomp media were genuinely troubling, but you can place responsibility for that at the feet of the McCain campaign. I even wondered if the governor was sabotaged from within.
Did the GOP really believe Palin would receive the same passes Biden and now President Barack Obama received and still do? Biden is the monarch of malarkey and our new president bowed to the Saudi king. Now I have actually witnessed conversations where Obama’s faithful come up with reasons for his bow—he slipped—he may have seen something on the floor. During his campaign, when Obama increased the number of American states substantially, pomp media yawned.
Cantor’s announcement about Palin was diplomatic and brief. He said Palin had come aboard the organization—the NCNA is conducting townhall-style meetings around the land—and he repeated the message the NCNA hopes to spread: “The launch of the National Council was just the first step in a growing effort to engage the American people in a candid discussion as we work to overcome our shared challenges with common-sense ideas, building a stronger nation along the way.”
Whether Palin manages to hang on beyond that first step remains to be seen, but fact is she has a brand and it’s probably the most recognizable among the conservative base at the moment. Palin is to media what ripe peaches are to honeybees and wasps, and maybe to the GOP as well.