Independent's Eye by Joe Gandelman
This just in! If you're willing to spend more money than you currently drop on Netflix, you can now get the Sarah Palin Channel online, which promises to "discuss the great issues of the day and work towards solutions."
Wait, solutions? How can THAT be the Sarah Palin Channel?
To some conservatives, Palin tells it like it is and is irresistible. To many other Americans, she's a lightweight and a turnoff. Since being on John McCain's losing 2008 Presidential ticket she hasn't lifted a finger to add to her existing constituency, and most of her policy ideas fit in -- or barely fill -- a 140-character Tweet.
The New York Times' Republican pundit David Brooks recently noted Palin's role as queen of political polemics. On the PBS News Hour, he pointed to the Tea Party-influenced House of Representative's success in disemboweling the House leadership's conservative proposal for a bill to cope with illegal immigrant children and said:
"This is about Palin-ization of parts of the GOP. This is not about passing legislation, not about...we're in a party. We should pay attention to our leaders. We should craft some compromise. We should compromise with the other side. This is about making a statement that will sound good on Fox. And so they want to make a statement that will sound good on TV or will sound good at a town meeting, but it's not actually about governing."
Palin is the embodiment of the GOP's talk radio allied wing that has virtually consumed the party, and a living, breathing manifestation of the damaged political legacy of Arizona Sen. John McCain. McCain's putting her on the ticket was a political mistake that unleashed upon his party someone who has helped purge the party of its already dwindling contingent of moderates and conservatives willing to reach across the aisle -- the very kinds of GOPers the 2000 incarnation of McCain respected.
Satirist Andy Borowitz couldn't resist, writing: "Sarah Palin's online video service starring herself had a hugely successful launch on Monday, as millions of Americans paid $9.95 for the rare opportunity of hearing the former Alaska Governor speak."
Those who don't think much of Palin (centrists, moderates, many independents, and many women voters) could come up with some suggested shows for the channel. Here are a few that immediately come to mind:
- The Biggest Loser: See which Republican politico can lose the biggest chunk of the growing Latino vote. The competition is already fierce to see who can wipe out gains made by George W. Bush in 2000 in winning over Hispanic voters. Contestants will compete to see who can most insult, disdain, and stereotype Latinos. The 223 House Republicans voting for the conservative border bill have already placed themselves in top in the competition. The likely Presidential candidate in the lead: Texas. Sen. Ted Cruz.
- The Blame Game: Who can most blame Barack Obama for things such as losing China to the Communists, the heartbreak of psoriasis, and the single sock that vanished in the dryer?
- American Ideologue: Early auditions will feature bloggers, comments section trolls, and talk show fanatics. Who can be declared the purest member of the far right and hit all the right notes so loved by the political choir?
- RINO Hunter: Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint don pith helmets as they stalk and eliminate those dangerous RINOS that lurk on the East Coast, in country clubs, at lunches with Democrats, and on Wall Street.
- Arrested Development: An exploration of the constructive ideas of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh.
- America's Got Polarization: Who can make the most over- the-top, patently false assertions about Barack Obama, Democrats and anyone perceived as "going moderate"? Winner gets a $10 million talk radio show contract, a private jet, and a seven hour lunch with Limbaugh.
- Conservative Looney Tunes: Re-runs of the 2012 Republican Presidential primary debates, plus live coverage of the 2016 Republican Presidential primary debates.
Palin is creating the channel in partnership with the online company Tapp, run by former NBC/Universal Television chairman Jeff Gaspin and former CNN U.S. President Joe Klein. Will it make money? You betcha. Will it offer serious, thoughtful solutions? I betcha not.
Copyright 2014 Joe Gandelman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Joe Gandelman is a veteran journalist who wrote for newspapers overseas and in the United States. He has appeared on cable news show political panels and is Editor-in-Chief of The Moderate Voice, an Internet hub for independents, centrists and moderates. He also writes for The Week's online edition. CNN's John Avlon named him as one of the top 25 Centrists Columnists and Commentators. He can be reached at [email protected] and can be booked to speak at www.mavenproductions.com. Follow him on Twitter: www.twitter.com/joegandelman