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The “gal” who’d be VP

The Sarah I have in mind is quite different from the “glamorous nymph” that Bob Dylan sings about as I write. She is a xenophobic paysanne with a plain accent; a powerful and until recently inchoate nobody who has a tendency to fix her lips in a terminal smile whenever she reaches into her bag of the readymade sentences that sound most nearly proximate to the answers, and, rather than speaking them, stumbles through them, in the upsy-downsy voice of a middle-schooler pronouncing the letters of each word in a spelling bee.

Like a Filipino gamecock, Alaska’s female Robin Hood is striking a profound chord in the hearts of the “dittoheads,” as Rush Limbaugh’s faithful sheep describe themselves.

The “gal” is portrayed by the Other Side as a paragon of domestic good sense and decency in a world rendered ever more incomprehensible by the dark arts of the élites. She belongs to no élite. With a degree in journalism from the University of Idaho, less ivy than sagebrush league, the “gal” fell short from majoring in chiropractic science. Today, she stands for killing and drilling no matter what the cost.

That she has positioned herself for national consumption as the enemy of the effete and over-sophisticated, the demi-goddess from Alaska is untainted by the stain of the urban. An adroit fundamentalist, she is determined to do reflexive damage to both America and the world, as if the Bush years were not enough in tearing our flesh and numbing our spirit. Another four years of the same stench will send the corpse to the morgue for good.

Even so, the “gal” likes to trumpet her narrow theology, with its stress on Calvinist predestination and the imminence of the Rapture (the Iraq war is a “task that is from God”), while reminding us that she is a true American, as American as apple pie. She does all this in the middle of the various family troubles she must face, including her pregnant teenage daughter. Proven hypocrisy aside, though, the “gal” is a mean bully, thirsty for cold-blooded revenge.

Once upon a time, the “gal” may have been thought of as the hen that will lay the golden egg so that the Republican Party can enjoy it at breakfast, but now the hen will likely produce inferior goose-liver pâté. The question is: What will happen to the dim-witted student, flustered by more teaching than her poor head could bear, the morning after November 4?

Will she go back to Alaska and try to regain her poise for another round of shabby politics or will she go back to school to get that degree in chiropractic science she had shelved long ago? My guess is that she will vanish into the wilderness of Alaska like a white goose where she can recite the same confident platitudes that served her so well to become successful up there.

“You must forgive my unworthiness,” Bob Dylan bellows in a rusty voice; a voice that forces me to go back to the other “Sara.” Done.

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