GQ Magazine: Barack Obama - Leader of the Year, Sarah Palin - Dangerous, Poisonous

November 19th, 2009 9:55 PM

GQ Magazine is telling a tale of two leaders. On the one side you have Barack Obama, champion of the left, leader of the mainstream media; GQ's Leader of the Year. On the other side you have Sarah Palin, pariah of the right, dangerous and poisonous to the American way according to an interview in the very same publication.

Think I'm kidding? I couldn't make this garbage up.

I'm not sure what accomplishments helped the Conde Naste publication come up with these dubious distinctions. Perhaps it is the tripling of the nation's deficit in 10 short months, bungling the swine flu vaccine, overseeing an economy with record double digit unemployment or pitting one American against the other with unpopular proposals such as socializing health care that made them annoint President Obama. Whatever it is, none of that is apparently as terrible as Sarah Palin who the author describes as showing back up on the scene despite having been "driven her back into her hole" after last year's election.

Sarah Palin is like the mole in that addictively frustrating, ultimately futile carnival game whack-a-mole. Just when we think we've driven her back into her hole, out pops the side-swept updo and rimless Kazuo Kawasaki eyeglasses from another burrow. Katie Couric plays her the fool; she discovers Twitter. The hard right champions her as the frontrunner for 2012; she leaves office. Lawsuits threaten to sack her; she comes up with death panels.

This is just the warm up. The real Palin Derangement syndrome starts in an interview the magazine conducted with with "Sarah Palin Going Rogue, An American Nightmare" authors Betsy Reed and Richard Kim from The Nation.

 GQ: Sarah Palin isn't in government anymore. Why does she continue to hold such fascination for all of us?

Betsy Reed: Sarah Palin is a microcosm of a certain part of America. She's very good at pressing all the hot buttons—aggrieved Christianity, patriotism, certain people's fears and anxieties. It's important to look at what those hot buttons are, that way you can start to understand the movement that she represents.

Richard Kim: The essays try to explain her appeal and contextualize her in a larger political movement—one that is very dangerous, and that we're very opposed to.

GQ: I'd rather just ignore her, maybe then she'll go away.

RK: I don't think you can ignore her. How do you ignore someone who routinely finishes at the top of Republican Party polls for the 2012 nomination? How do you ignore someone who manages in a month to actually shift opinion against the public option by creating this whole death panel hysteria? How do you ignore someone who has a book that is number one on the Amazon bestseller list, with 1.5 million copies in print, before it's even out?

BR: Sarah Palin is a double-edged phenomenon from progressives' standpoint. She may be catastrophic to her party, but she also has such a poisonous effect on the whole political culture. Just because they're not going to win elections doesn't mean they're not going to impact the ability of Obama to govern.

That is the crux of it really. Sarah Palin, that microcosm of a "certain part of America" is impacting the ability of Barak Obama to implement his agenda. Her and others like her have come out of their holes to stop Mr. unstoppable.This makes them mad. Won't they just go away?

Let's just ignore the fact that none of this explains why a fillibuster proof Democratic majority in Congress and a Democrat President can't pass their agenda. But that's fine; we'll let them have their dementia. This is just another in a long list of excuses from the nation's professional excuse makers.

But wait, what would Palin Derangement Syndrome be without lumping her in with Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck? 

Has the Republican party sown the seeds of its own demise with Palin?

BR: They're freaked out, as well they should be. They have a real problem on their hands. They thought they were going to be able to groom and manage her.

RK: What's lacking with her is a strategy for how this will actually turn into a winning electoral platform for them. Whatever you want to say about Reagan, at least he had [a winning platform], and it actually worked for an electoral coalition for a while. I put her more with Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. I look at what they're doing, and it doesn't seem that there's anything more to it than simply torpedoing democracy, rather than trying to exert control and influence of it through democratic means.

Don't you love it when the smart guys on the left tell conservatives what is wrong with their party?

And look at their logic. Here we have an article in this month's GQ with the authors nashing their teeth over Barack Obama's inability to govern, all because of Sarah Palin. Yet next month the magazine is telling us that Barack Obama is GQ's Leader of the Year! That about sums it up in a nutshell. 

At the end of the day you would be better off getting a labotomy than trying to make sense of this twisted logic. For me it's just another day, another breakdown. We shouldn't expect anything less because it can't really get much lower.

Terry Trippany is the Watcher at Watcher of Weasels. The image accompanying this article was presented in Politico (hat tip Gateway Pundit) Update: I meant deficit as opposed to debt in the top paragraph; correction applied. Heritage projects a tripling of the national debt by 2019. Follow the Watcher's Council on Twitter.