Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Wrong Palin

by Lawrence Albright

In the wake of Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin's rather disastrous (for her) television interviews, conservatives are beside themselves -- some, like Kathleen Parker, writing in the National Review Online, have suggested Palin herself step aside because she's "out of her league...." and.....wait for it...."If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself."

What a great line! I wish I had thought of it. I didn't though, which is certainly one of what I am sure are many reasons why Ms. Parker is a syndicated columnist and I am not.

This is pure speculation on my part, and I have no proof whatsoever, but could it be that Senator McCain picked the wrong Palin? Because, given Governor Palin's media performance post-GOP convention, I think when someone suggested to McCain the name "Palin," they were thinking of Michael Palin of Monty Python fame.

Of course, they would have to quickly forget it, because Michael Palin is British and therefore ineligible for the presidency. Governor Sarah Palin is eligible for the office, but is something like a right-wing, female version of Billy Carter -- absent the gas station in Plains and the terrible beer. (Think about this: President Carter didn't get to pick his brother; Senator McCain picked Governor Palin for his running mate!).

I agree with Bill Maher who commented that reporter Charlie Gibson spent more time with Governor Palin than did Senator McCain before she was selected for the VP post.

Personally, and hypothetically putting aside the Constitutional dilemma that it would have posed, I think Michael Palin would have made a great VP contender. For any number of reasons.

He's 65 years old, younger than Senator McCain, and he could easily capture the vote of all of us who got turned on to Monty Python when PBS started airing the program in the 1970's.

He's traveled the world.

He's intentionally funny.

He knows a thing or two about Spam and that is very useful in the Internet age.

He was prescient when he participated in writing a sketch about a pet store, where the shop owner had nailed a dead parrot to its perch in an effort to deceive his customers. Is there any better analogy for Republican electoral strategy and economic policy than a dead parrot on a perch?

I have no idea what Mr. Palin's personal politics are, but I could support him. In fact, let's not stop with him -- all the surviving members of Monty Python troupe should have governmental posts. Imagine the fun that Leno, Letterman, Stewart, Maher, and the rest could have with a member of the cabinet named Idle.

My bottom line is this: I want to be able to watch episodes of "30 Rock" and think of Tina Fey as portraying "Liz Lemon" and not "Sarah Palin." Is that too much to ask?