Politics ain’t beanbag, and never was. But the changes already sweeping over America these past few months feel like Demolition Derby meets The Twilight Zone. America is morphing into an economy run on bailouts, handouts and government-without-limits-or-borders. The Fourth Estate has re-zoned itself as a domain of blatant bias populated by anonymous sources (as “people familiar with the discussion said“). At the United Nations headquarters in New York, where Saudi Arabia is sponsoring a conference this week on “World Religions,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is now demanding — (I’ll translate this for you) — that whatever resources America might have left after the current exercise in self-evisceration should be turned over to the uses of other governments, especially those which have already so grossly mismanaged their own countries as to beggar their own populations.
In this landscape, from which John McCain seems to have vanished without leaving even a vapor trail (apart from a booking on Jay Leno), Sarah Palin has been left trying to fend off smears that inevitably return to such stuff as that $150,000 campaign wardrobe. No doubt this topic is terribly important, and I look forward to the day when the World Bank, in its global database, will include seasonal wardrobe expenditures by every prominent politician on the planet, including the poverty-fighters at the UN.
But from reading the current coverage of change, game-change, climate change, wardrobe change, and all the other changes now coming, I infer that if Sarah Palin wants to get ahead in today’s political climate, she’s a woman in serious need of goal change. To fill the big shoes of national office these days, one needs to think big, walk big, and above all, spend big. Forget that old-fangled business about success breeding success. To succeed these days, what it mainly takes is being too big to fail.
So my advice to Palin is, get in step with the changing times. She should put in an order this weekend for $15 million worth of clothes — no, make that $15 billion, or maybe $150 billion. Hire some of the big unions to organize the orders and haul them around. Then she should find a couple of foreign tycoons to fly her in a private jet to the UN in New York, where they’d surely give her a stage if she offers to pledge the entire oil and gas income of Alaska, in perpetuity, for carbon-neutral development programs administered out of Geneva, Beijing, Pyongyang and Nairobi. Then, by executive order, she should raise taxes on all Alaskan citizens greedy enough to be earning any taxable income at all, while signing orders for free universal healthcare, daycare, college tuition, and low-interest small business loans — to be forgiven for any business that fails, or repaid at triple the prevailing interest rate for any business that has the audacity to succeed. (It’s OK, celebrities keep saying they like being taxed, and in this climate, any business that makes money would be an instant celebrity.)
With credentials thus reinforced not only as an agent of change, but change that is Too Big to Fail, she could then head to Washington, flanked by her new staff of UN, academic, media and eco-advisers, to huddle with the U.S. Treasury over a bailout which, at least for those Americans still able to afford socks, would knock-yer-socks-off. Then she could pick up a couple of awards at Washington and New York banquets, plus maybe a Nobel for subordinating the entire state of Alaska to the global cause of “economic justice.” After that, could anyone seriously question her credentials to run this country?
OK, I know … it’s not Palin’s style. But looking at today’s political landscape, exactly what is it in this scenario that qualifies as over-the-top crazy?