The second-hottest item on the New York Times website over the last 12 hours has been a blog post by Dick Cavett called "The Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla." Who knew Dick Cavett had a New York Times blog? Can the liberal loathing of Sarah Palin actually make Dick Cavett -- who hasn't hosted a TV show since 1982 or made a cultural mark since a cameo in "Beetlejuice" in 1988 -- relevant again? Cavett certainly pushed all the right intellectual-superiority buttons:
I feel a little sorry for John. He aimed low and missed.
What will ambitious politicos learn from this? That frayed syntax, bungled grammar and run-on sentences that ramble on long after thought has given out completely are a candidate’s valuable traits?
And how much more of all that lies in our future if God points her to those open-a-crack doors she refers to? The ones she resolves to splinter and bulldoze her way through upon glimpsing the opportunities, revealed from on high.
Cavett thought Palin backers were as buffoonish as the governor herself:
Has there been a poll to see if the Sarah-ites are numbered among that baffling 26 percent of our population who, despite everything, still maintain that President George has done a heckuva job?
A woman in one of Palin’s crowds praised her for being “a mom like me … who thinks the way I do” and added, for ill measure, “That’s what I want in the White House.” Fine, but in what capacity?
Do this lady’s like-minded folk wonder how, say, Jefferson, Lincoln, the Roosevelts, et al (add your own favorites) managed so well without being soccer moms? Without being whizzes in the kitchen, whipping up moose soufflés? Without executing and wounding wolves from the air and without promoting that sad, threadbare hoax — sexual abstinence — as the answer to the sizzling loins of the young?
(In passing, has anyone observed that hunting animals with high-powered guns could only be defined as sport if both sides were equally armed?)
I’d love to hear what you think has caused such an alarming number of our fellow Americans to fall into the Sarah Swoon.
Could the willingness to crown one who seems to have no first language have anything to do with the oft-lamented fact that we seem to be alone among nations in having made the word “intellectual” an insult? (And yet…and yet…we did elect Obama. Surely not despite his brains.)
Sorry about all of the foregoing, as if you didn’t get enough of the lady every day in every medium but smoke signals.
I do not wish her ill. But I also don’t wish us ill. I hope she continues to find happiness in Alaska.
Some advice to Palin backers: whatever you do, don't make light of Cavett's depression. According to his blog, he may want to kill you:
I was able to say to them, I know that everyone here knows that feeling when people say to you, “Hey, shape up! Stop thinking only about your troubles. What’s to be depressed about? Go swimming or play tennis and you’ll feel a lot better. Pull up your socks!” And how you, hearing this, would like nothing more than to remove one of those socks and choke them to death with it.
Cavett even dares to call Clarence Thomas the "papoose" of Justice Scalia.