Saturday, October 04, 2008

Jonathan Rabin in the London Review of Books this week published the best darn thing I've ever read about Sarah Palin and her very dubious, very swift rise to power in the Republican Party. Among other things it includes an account of Palin's reign of terror as mayor of Wasilla and an explanation of how skyrocketing oil prices swelled the Alaska government's tax coffers, thus allowing her buy popularity by sending $2000 checks to every state citizen. Below is a nice snippet that nails perfectly her (very annoying yet populist) rhetorical style:
What is most striking about her is that she seems perfectly untroubled by either curiosity or the usual processes of thought. When answering questions, both Obama and Joe Biden have an unfortunate tendency to think on their feet and thereby tie themselves in knots: Palin never thinks. Instead, she relies on a limited stock of facts, bright generalities and pokerwork maxims, all as familiar and well-worn as old pennies. Given any question, she reaches into her bag for the readymade sentence that sounds most nearly proximate to an answer, and, rather than speaking it, recites it, in the upsy-downsy voice of a middle-schooler pronouncing the letters of a word in a spelling bee. She then fixes her lips in a terminal smile.

For the whole article go here: