Blood Libel: Hello, America. This is the “Other Sarah” speaking.
Yesterday, Americans and the media got their first glimpse of the real Sarah Palin; the McCain staff dubbed “Other Sarah”. The person behind the heavily imaged, cracking veneer of a hockey mom from Wasilla. The one who can’t hide for very long in the spot light. Yesterday, when Sarah Palin came out of hiding to issue a video from her bunker after her shock and awe campaign of violent rhetoric tied her in many Americans’ minds to the culture of violence that fed the tragedy of the Arizona massacres, Americans were stunned by her doubling down on via the term “blood libel”, the inference being that she was somehow the victim in this scenario.
Many in the media speculated that Sarah Palin didn’t understand the term and its references. Yet this time they weren’t so forgiving of her seeming faux pas because you see, she spent six minutes of the eight minute video wallowing in self pity which was just crazy given the circumstances. And now they’re beginning to understand just why the McCain campaign put Sarah Palin under lock and key in 2008.
While most Americans came away from 2008 thinking Sarah Palin a nice but perhaps under-qualified person, perhaps someone with a limited worldview who needed to “study up”, others knew the truth. Brave people in Wasilla tried to warn Americans. Alaskan bloggers who had seen the real Sarah spoke out. McCain campaign workers came forward to warn Americans that Sarah Palin was not well mentally or emotionally. But the vigilantly preserved myth of Sarah Palin prevailed. They say people tell you who they are, but you just weren’t listening. Certainly this is true in the case of Sarah Palin.
She is, after all, gifted with a natural charm and sex appeal that blinds our TV-ready culture and certainly the Reagan-starved, starry eyed Republican Party base to her history. Even during the failed 2008 bid, Palin began constructing her future political and media career on the ashes of John McCain’s political career when she “went rogue.” After their loss, she continued the McCain campaign’s strategy (the one she complained about and blamed for their loss) of unilateral communication with the press, thereby keeping her carefully crafted image under lock and key.
Launching herself as the Next Big Thing in Politics and Celebritydom, Palin hid out on Fox News, on Facebook and Twitter; places from which she launched outrageous and inaccurate political grenades into each policy her “enemy” sought to enact. And when she did rear her head for the carefully orchestrated photo-op with no questions allowed, she was smiling, confident and surrounded by her family. She was downright wholesome and peppy, if not completely inspiring intellectually. It was only with a closer look that one noticed the tightly pursed lips, the stubbornly jutted chin, the flared nostrils of rage and the shrill voice hovering dangerously near the surface when anyone dared to question her.
So when the world heard Palin’s battle cry yesterday, they were stunned. But those who know her weren’t. While the media and the public struggle to make sense of “blood libel”, they fall into the waiting traps of their own expectations of their Sarah. The person on that video from yesterday is, of course, unrecognizable to them because she is the Other Sarah. The extremist, paranoid, secretive and mentally unfit Sarah Palin.
This is the Sarah who demanded resignations from city employees right after being sworn in as mayor of Wasilla, her 600 votes being interpreted as a coronation. This is the Sarah Palin described by high school colleague Cheryl Welch — who was not only more popular than Palin, but academically superior and the actual star basketball player — as a “rabid little thing” who would scratch and claw and turn red in the face if she lost. This is the Sarah Palin who hunted down her ex-brother-in-law and foisted the full force of her gubernatorial power upon him. This is the Sarah Palin who fired a trooper whom wouldn’t fire the brother-in-law and whom also criticized her for driving her baby around without a car seat. This is the Sarah Palin who minutes before being taped for her now infamous Katie Couric interview, with “glassy, dead” eyes, began frantically wiping her make up off and shrieking that she didn’t like it. This is the Sarah Palin who throws canned goods at her husband and shrieks, “You’re fucking lucky to have me.” And now we come to the meat of the problem; when cornered, when attacked, when she loses something or is criticized, the Other Sarah comes out.
This Sarah cannot be contained and that’s why the McCain campaign kept her under wraps. It wasn’t because she was “stupid” as so many posited. It was because she was “frightening, dangerous, mentally limited.”
They knew this, but only a few have come forward. Those that did said that they and other staffers had had a come to Jesus moment, and decided that if McCain won, they would have to force him to limit her powers or get her to step down. Not because she was incompetent (though clearly she was), but because the idea of her as Vice President was “unfathomable” and “frightening.”
Think about what this means. The current Republican Party has touted Sarah Palin as their best and brightest, fit to run for President of this country. So cynical and so starved for their hit of Reagan charisma are they that they would run this person whom they know is dangerous to America.
And she will run. Yes, I know, everyone is saying her career is over but it’s not. She will run for President. The odds of her winning the nomination are slim right now, but she won’t admit that and there’s nothing anyone can say to convince her of that reality. Because what too many still don’t get is that Sarah Palin believes she was mantled for the most important job on earth. She believes that she is God’s chosen one. She believes in her mission to turn America into a theocracy.
Had anyone in the Republican Party bothered to do due diligence or perhaps bothered to care, they would have known that Palin had ties to the paranoid, anti-Semitic, militia oriented Bircher Movement of the 1990’s, in addition to her AIP ties, long before they ran her. One wonders why no one ever bothered to consider what these ties said about Palin’s character. Had they vetted her, they would have known that she believes in an extremist version of Christianity wherein Alaska and Arizona are the “portals” for End Times and that she is the leader to take us there (“follow me there” being her reality TV show theme song). Palin embraces the far right, “hard Dominionist” version of charismatic extremist Christianity, where the goal is to rule the world by force, unlike “soft” Dominoinsts such as Rick Warren whom many Domionists deem a “socialist” for his belief in social justice. Perhaps the media hasn’t faced the fact that these ties add up to something more menacing than mere Alaskan quirkiness.
For Republicans to pretend shock over Palin’s “blood libel” missile of hate is simply disingenuous. Sarah Palin and the far right Dominionists (this far right Christian movement, often deemed a cult, was declared heretical by the Assemblies of God in 1949) believe that Sarah Palin is being crucified because she’s a Christian. Every time the media even suggests calling Palin to account for something, Palin and the cult who follow her scream bloody murder. Or blood libel.
Because Sarah Palin believes she is qualified to be President, ordained to be President. She believes she is Esther come to save America and the President is the usurper devil. This isn’t simply something she sells to her base. She believes it. And that should tell you all you need to know about Sarah Palin’s mental stability and the unfettered rage and violence simmering just before eruption of her followers. If you believed that your “hero” was Jesus come to save America from a usurper Marxist terrorist, you too would become slightly unhinged when you heard your Jesus attacked. The hard Dominionists of C. Peter Wagner and Rick Joyner (an adviser to Palin) flavor believe that “we” are hindering their “anointed” apostles and prophets and that means spiritual warfare must be enacted against us so that they can take control “from Satan.” In other words, Sarah Palin is their anointed and they need her to win. These are not just words thrown carelessly around by a bitter, seemingly disenfranchised electorate. Every “attack” (aka, attempt to hold her accountable) on Palin is an attack on the core values of her cult. It’s tantamount to an attack on Jesus Christ himself and it cannot stand.
Yesterday Americans got their first peek at the Other Sarah. Perhaps some were stunned by her self-absorption and breathed a sigh of relief that McCain lost while others were simply confused and assumed she couldn’t possibly have known what blood libel meant. Sarah Palin is an extremist Christian Dominionist. She knows full well what blood libel means. It’s only the rest of us who need to catch up.
Like all narcissists, the signs are all there with Palin but the siren call of the mythical image is so compelling that the truth is overlooked. If Americans knew what the Republican Party knows and what Alaskans know, they would be terrified. But like all good narcissistic sociopaths (a label pinned on Palin by Republican colleagues in Alaska), Palin cons the uninformed and the innocent with doe eyed tales of her victimhood that quite simply make the stories from her real victims seem implausible.
Even now, the press is sure she didn’t know what blood libel meant. This is how it goes with Sarah. The truth tries to speak but protective instincts of the well-intentioned but uninformed kick in and a willfully blinded press becomes complicit in selling a treacherous lie to Americans. And just like any bully, what Sarah does best is turn her victim’s cries into martyrdom for herself by co-opting the pain she inflicts on others.
This is the real Sarah Palin, the “Other Sarah”, and she is not going to go away just because a few more people outed her. If you believe that, you misunderestimate her.