LIMBAUGH AIN'T EXACTLY NIJINSKY
I didn't see Chris Wallace's half-hour chat with Rush Limbaugh on Fox News yesterday and I don't exactly relish the prospect of watching it now -- but I do enjoy watching this clip, in which Limbaugh desperately tries to dance away from the Sarah Palin question. He's not much of a dancer; all he does, really, is squirm. It's not a pretty sight:
If you can't watch the clip, here's a transcript:
WALLACE: Sarah Palin. You say that you admire her backbone. Do you really think she's ready to be president?
LIMBAUGH: (Long pause.) Well, yes. (Extremely nervous pause, wary glance.) I do. (Long pause.) See, I am a... (Nervous half grin.) One thing I do not do is follow conventional wisdom. And the conventional wisdom on Sarah Palin is (parody voice)"She's not smart enough, she needs to bone up on the issues, she's a little unsophisticated, Alaska, where's that?, she doesn't have a pedigree." (Normal voice.) She's the only thing that provided any kind of spark for the Republican Party (said while Fox shows a clip of Palin kissing the cheek of a nerdy guy at a campaign rally). Now, this is not an endorsement, but I do have profound respect for Sarah Palin. Not many politicians have been through what she's through, been put through (long pause), uh, and still able to smile and be ebullient and upbeat. I mean, this woman (nervously scratches face near nose), I think, is pretty tough.
This relates to what I was talking about yesterday. The more cunning wingnut opinion-shapers know that a Palin candidacy in 2012 would be a disaster. They'd love to steer their minions gently away from this electoral suicide leap, but they don't dare reject Palin outright because (a) she's useful right now (and through next November) in turning out the base and (b) they realize they may have created a monster -- she's the most beloved living figure among their fan base. Limbaugh's bobbing and weaving here suggests that he gets all this but can't say what he really thinks because he's terrified of being put on the Unperson list by the new wave of right-wing cultural revolutionaries, who are even angrier and more purist than he is. The best he can do, then, is damn her with faint praise -- and he looks about as comfortable doing that as he would have if his OxyContin dealer had pulled out a badge.
Watch for more of this in the future.
(Video via TBogg.)