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Noted Republican deep thinker Sarah Palin came out of Alaskan hibernation this week and announced that she'll get the Covid vaccine "over my dead body".
Irony, which somehow survived things like Henry Kissinger being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, finally had enough and died.
In ways Palin undoubtedly did not understand, she did make an excellent point.
But. Well. Never mind.
She was roundly cheered for this remark, made at a crazed right wing conference put on by something called "Turning Point USA’s Americafest", whose young leader thinks the federal government’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, “should be in prison.” However, compared to Fox News host Jesse Watters, who suggested the audience take a "killshot" at Fauci, this was one of the milder statements made over the 4 days conference....a frenetic and completely unmasked and unhinged Fascism-Fest that was equal parts terrifying and hilarious...depending on how many fucks you have left to give.
Also on hand was noted constitutional scholar Kyle Rittenhouse, presumably unarmed but you never know. No word if his Mom drove him or if somebody thought to send a car this time. He was introduced as a "hero to millions" and walked onstage to rapturous applause, and delighted the crowd with tales of God ("I believe he's been with my every day since August 25th"....no word on where he was before this....) and his trial prep, during which he "decompressed" with his lawyers by playing video games like "Call of Duty".
Donald Trump Jr, the son who was never given his Dad’s cell phone number, had nothing else pressing going on so he showed up……apparently for no other reason than to lead the crowd in a "Let's Go Brandon" chant, the Republican answer to Country Joe's Woodstock "fish cheer". No word if Junior needed a tele-prompter for this or not.
Entertainment came from country "stars" Brantley Gilbert and Dustin Lynch. Also Lee Greenwood, the guy who flies in to all of these things to sing "God Bless the U.S.A." and then immediately Ubers back to the airport.
The Republican Congressional Beatles were also front and center, Reps. Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and Jim Jordan, eager as always to not just carry dear leader's kool-aid, but to dump it all over themselves like some sort of monstrous bucket challenge. Greene, a sort of poor woman's Palin with a larger vocabulary but slightly less shame, called out the diversity in the crowd by mentioning "yellow people", to which an activist tweeted "Referring to Asian Americans as 'yellow people' definitely isn't something a white supremacy cult would do."
Tucker Carlson hovered over the conference, slumming it with Kornacki khakis and minus his usual bow tie, and when it was his turn to speak he railed against "elitism" by suggesting his followers "take a sauna every day and sit alone in a hot wood room and just try and listen".....which might have suggested that he didn't really understand his audience but, as I said, irony was already dead. He also called President Biden a "narcissistic creep"...but I'm not sure if this came before or after he suggested a group sauna. Folks on Twitter watching in real-time suggested that Carlson might have been high, and I'm in no position to challenge that assessment. Attendees were quick to point out that the auditorium smelled like a Dead show, so who knows?
Palin's come-to-science moment came hard of the heels of Donald Trump himself, her intellectual doppelganger, announcing to his legion of un-masked and un-vaxxed followers that he recently received the Covid booster. For this, he was roundly booed...which seemed to confuse him mightily...although I'm not sure that would take much. But whatever. He's used to wall-to-wall devotion and lock-step obedience, but even blithely suggesting that his people don't have the right to kill themselves and others in the name of freedom and owning the libs was a bridge too far.
With Trump as he made this MAGA faux-pas was the disgraced and perennially rapey former Fox News titan Bill O'Reilly, presumably out on work-release or parole or something. The two men are on some type of speaking tour that's playing to arenas with suddenly closed-off balconies to handle the "huge" crowds, and the boos hurt Trump's feelings. O'Reilly said he had to console Trump afterwards...reminding him that "you told the truth...it's good that people see another side of you".
For whatever reason both of these moments, Palin’s and Trump’s, are intertwined in my head, and I can't separate them. These two titans of American intellect, gifts that keep on giving to headline writers from sea to shining sea....one willing to die to own the libs, the other preferring that you die instead.
In a bit…