This brilliant Web site, called Interview Sarah Palin, produces randomized responses to various typical interview questions about the economy, foreign policy, the separation between church and state, etc., etc.
Here's an example of the kind of question and response the site generates:
Q: How will you fix the economy?The Web site's creator(s) explains that its "...answers are computer generated based on probabilities calculated from Sarah Palin's actual speech," producing results that are "surprising [sic] close to her actual answers."
Our economy and putting it back on the table. I think if you really think that I have understood the world is and how important it is in this nation at this time. People are getting sick and tired of that self-dealing and kind of grab it all or capture it all and pretend like they have all the time, I'll tell you, I still can't answer that I am the executive of. And there in Russia Diplomacy is about reform of government and these regulatory agencies back on the right reasons and serving for the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain's running mate, that we work with our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia.
As proof of this similarity in outcome, the site provides an example of a typical real-life Palin interview response, taken from her recent hilarious (and frightening) interview with CBS's Katie Couric (for whom I have begun to have tremendous respect, based upon the panache and professionalism with which she interviewed this truly absurd human being who wants to be second in line to the White House):
COURIC: Why isn't it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? Allow them to spend more and put more money into the economy? Instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?Wow. No wonder arch-conservative publications like The National Review have called for Palin to step aside.
PALIN: That's why I say, I like ever American I'm speaking with were ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the tax payers looking to bailout. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy - Helping the - Oh, it's got to be about job creation too. Shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americas. And trade we've got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive scary thing. But 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We've got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.
It really is quite shocking. Not only the extent to which Palin's responses tend to bear no discernible traces of a relation to the question posed; also that she clearly is reciting -- with varying degrees of success/accuracy -- talking points, words, phrases, etc. that she had been taught to memorize in intensive coaching sessions conducted by Bush's/Cheney's handlers. (I have heard that it is literally Bush's and Cheney's handlers that conduct these coaching sessions.)
What's scary is that she's not even cogitating. There is very little indication that Palin even bothers to try to comprehend the question itself. She's relying on muscle memory; certain words or phrases trigger one kind of response or another, much like the simple computer programs that I used to write back in the 1980's, using the BASIC programming language on my family's Apple IIc. The programs I would write would usually be a prank of one kind or another, tricking my credulous friends and family (in an era in which computer illiteracy was still the norm) into thinking they had wiped out all of the computer's memory, or something. Just simple stuff like: if keystroke x, then y; if keystroke v, then w; if keystroke z, then x; etc., etc.
Another way of saying this is that the level of intellectual competence that Palin demonstrates in her interviews is equivalent, roughly, to that of a Tickle-Me Elmo. (Remember those?) And, come to think of it, in a similar vocal register.
I guess that's the genius of the Interview Sarah Palin Web site. It spotlights the extent to which Sarah Palin is like a rusty old Apple IIc personal computer. This fits in unsurprisingly with the overall fact of Palin's existence: she's not a candidate; she's not even a human being. She's a cluster of images, projections, psychological associations, emotional triggers and mental short-cuts. She's a brand, like Pepsi. But without the cola. The (il)logic of the McCain/Palin ticket is that it is selling a bizarre kind of nostalgia for a time that never was and, in any case, could never again be.
My God Would We Be Fucked, were this ridiculous Palin gambit to actually work. It looks less and less likely that it will work, with each passing day. But it's still scary as hell. If McCain were to win, I believe that entire generations of Americans under the age of -- say -- 45 -- an already-disillusioned and cynical group of voters of which I am a part and which for the most part lacks a voice, lacks money and lacks representation -- will truly lose all faith in the idea of functioning, representative democracy in the United States of America. My god, that would be depressing.....
A McCain/Palin win would represent the ultimate betrayal of my future, at the hands of a myopic, ideologically tone-deaf and frivolous Baby Boom generation.
(Sorry to leave you on such a sour note....)