UPDATE 5: “I Love Alaska So Much I Quit”

palinI don’t know how most Alaskans reacted to Sarah Palin’s resignation but if I lived up there I’d breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Of course, my reaction might not be typical because I suspect I’m one of the “media” she begged to not bother the children of her successor. Fine. As long as he doesn’t drag them out like political stage props every day the way Sarah has done for the past year, I’ll join the entire press corps in leaving them alone. Children are always off-limits unless the politician shoves them front and center.

I’ll also continue to “not make stuff up.”

Not in my 40 years of being in journalism have I made anything up or even re-staged a photo: Not the “Alaskan’s Speak” article I wrote last year, not any of the campaign stories I produced where people inside the McCain campaign talked about how she was driving everyone batty, not about what people inside the intelligence community told me about how much Bush knew about 9/11 in advance. Hey, it wasn’t me who said “I told Congress ‘no, thanks’” about the bridge to nowhere only after gleefully grabbing the money until I was thrust onto a national stage and being caught with my hand grasping a check from Washington became politically untenable.

It took me a few days to write this because I’ve had trouble trying to figure out just what she said on Sunday. I reran the tape four or five times and what she said still didn’t make any sense. I ever played the whole thing backwards, hoping to find some hidden message the way Beatles fans did from time to time.

Nope. No matter how many times I read and listened to Palin’s “I love Alaska so much I quit” speech, there was no there, there – as Dorothy Parker once said of Philadelphia,

Fortunately, I flipped on Conan last night and William Shatner enlightened me. Turns out Palin’s speech was meant to be poetry and it makes much more sense with Shatner’s reading:

And with that, Sarah exited stage right.

Next On Our Stage …
It’s too much to hope that Palin will go quietly into that good night.

But even if she does, the crazy right always has someone just as nutty waiting in the wings to take her place. This week it’s Ben Stein.

The one-time game show quiz master and Jimmy Kimmel straight man, bit player in Ferris Beuhler’s Day Off and New York Times business columnist scribbled a nasty piece about Pres. Obama in The American Spectator that is so riddled with fact errors – which increasingly seems like a habit with the Times – and bitter, bile churning hate that it makes me wonder who won Ben Stein’s loony pill.

His piece is so bad that Reuters blogger Felix Salmon writes it is “the kind of thing which should automatically disqualify Stein from writing for the New York Times.”

Among Stein’s salvos at Obama includes “his total zero of an academic record as a student and teacher, his complete lack of scholarship when he was being touted as a scholar.”

Whoops. Fact error, and a big one. The president was the magna cum laude editor of the Harvard Law Review. Even Liberty University’s law school’s law review requires some academic achievement, if it publishes one.

Then, Stein comes close to accusing Obama of not being a citizen but steps back from the brink, writing that he is just “not being a fan of this country (who is) way, way too cozy with the terrorist leaders in the Middle East (that goes) way beyond naïveté, all the way into active destruction of our interests and our allies and our future.”

This is pure political and hatred based on no substantiation whatsoever. Sort of like the “birthers.” Which Middle East terrorist leaders is Obama cozying up to these days? Stein doesn’t say or even speculate. Nor does he hint at which American interest – or that “of our allies and our future” – the president is naively shredding.

Hits Keep Coming
Sarah, Ben, the birthers, C Street, Sgt. Crowley, the Florida cop who tasered an 80-something woman because she wouldn’t sign a parking ticket. The hits just keep on coming from the lunatic right that now passes as the Republican Party.

charley-james.jpgSadly for the country, compadres of this group run amok in the nation, blocking health care reform, trying to stop card check, fighting financial industry regulation and taking stimulus money for their state in one hand while slamming it with the other. The GOP once was the Grand Old Party; now, sadly, the initials stand for Goofy Old Poops.

Charley James

The Progressive Curmudgeon

Published by the LA Progressive on July 28, 2009
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About Charley James

If you are born in Milwaukee, chances are you're born a Democrat. So, I gravitated naturally to liberal politics as an activist and a journalist. I've been writing since I was eight and, after working in newsrooms for far too long, I have devoted much of the past decade as an independent investigtative jouralist. For much of the past year, I've been writing about homelessness - America's immorality play.

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