“I’m not a quitter,” insisted the bearded priest-turned talk-radio host in his famous stentorian basso. “But people who know me, know that, besides faith and family, nothing is more imporant to me than our beloved Alaska. My particular mission was speaking, writing, and teaching—not so much in the sacraments, but outside of them, in conjunction with them. So what I’m going to be doing in the future is pretty much the same thing.”
Wait, wait, wait. Did Corapi really say that? Or was it that other crowd pleaser with the furry animal totem? The black grizzly, the mama sheep dog — who can tell anymore, particularly now that Sarah Palin’s apparently quit her controversial bus tour in order to return to Alaska and, as Alex Pareene hypothesized, “to go eat salmon, or something”? As he writes in Salon:
But Scott Conroy at RealClearPolitics wondered what happened to the tour that was supposed to be heading through the Midwest and Southwest at some point in this rapidly ending month. It seems like Sarah Palin just went home to Alaska, to eat salmon or something.
As Palin enjoys her sojourn to the 49th state, she has not reconnected with key early-state figures like Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and she may have jeopardized whatever political momentum she gained from her recent reemergence in the 2012 discussion. Her political action committee’s website still greets visitors with a stale banner, announcing the nationwide bus tour beginning “[t]his Sunday, May 29th.”
Just give it another month, and she’ll come up with some other scheme to briefly convince everyone that she’s running for president again. She feeds on the attention! (And the PAC donations.) That documentary about how she used to not be so awful before she got famous is going to show in Iowa soon. That’ll definitely mean something.
Pareene also notes that fans on Palin’s internet site, Conservatives4Palin, “are split between growing anger and stubborn self-delusion:
PEC111 seems to be grasping that he or she’s been had:
To me the big deal in Scott Conroy’s article is the bus tour. I figure it would have already started by now. With the fishing season getting started and with her trip to the Sudan, it appears to almost have been cancelled. At least if it was going to be in June. Of course she is known for the unpredictable but there is no way this tour is going West Coast, MidWest and South Carolina all this month. I for the first time am having true concerns that she has decided not to run. Don’t blast me too hard.
That said maybe she wanted the tour to better coincide with the movie release.
TheTotalConservative is frustrated with rumors that Palin will endorse Rick Perry and sit 2012 out:
I hate even seeing these rumors. If she skips 2012 and endorses Perry it will be tragic and a let down to everyone that is rooting for her. Dick Perry is Not Good Enough.
I agree. No Dick Perry.
RuthieAbramson is tragic: “But if she’s not running, she would have said so long ago, right? She certainly wouldn’t let us all hang on and on like this.
Really, this is no less remarkable than the Arab Spring. In his Vanity Fair profile, “Sarah Palin: The Sound and the Fury,” Michael Joseph Gross notes that Palin’s website — to be abbreviated henceforth as “C4P” — has traditionally tolerated dissent as much as Qadaffi or anyone in the Assad family. Site founder Rebecca Mansour also served as the chief moderator, or rather, enforcer. “She used to police C4P message boards for dissenters from the party line,” Gross writes. “And, under the name RAM (her initials, shortened from her earlier, more descriptive handle, RAM Hammer), rip them mercilessly“:
“Now you are banned for life, you sick son of a bitch.” In one comment string, a woman named Sandra wrote, “I wish Sarah would tell us more about what is involved with caring for Trig. I understand there are many professionals involved in his education and training. If we knew more about this there would be more support for organizations that are involved.” Mansour shot back, “Sandra, what are you implying?,” and the comment string went dead. The nastiness on C4P exists alongside an idealization of the former governor, as displayed in the closing lines of “Who is Sarah Palin?,” an 8,000-word posting by Mansour: “C4P has your back, Governor. And when you finally ride out from the north with your banner lifted high, we’ll rally.”
Have Mansour and her successors fled their posts, gone the way of SAVAK and the Tontons Macoutes? Or are they starting to entertain doubts of their own?
Corapi’s site may face its own popular uprising yet. A friend of mine e-mailed me a scouting report. Scrolling through the comments to yesterday’s broadcast, he found the predictable encomiums: “”Father, you are a saint…you will always be ‘Father’ to me…you’re like Padre Pio…carry the cross of Jesus…you are my savior…we need you…appeal to the pope…don’t give up…”
But in the midst of them all, he saw a comment that, as he put it, “hit the nail right on the head.” It was short, and to the point:
“You are so ____ing crazy.”
Yesterday, in his Patheos column, Deacon Greg Kandra coins the expression “ten-percent solution” to describe Corapi’s decision — short-sighted, to his mind — to regard the sacramental aspects of his ministry as by far the less important part. It’s such a nifty phrase I would transfer it to a different context, one that applies equally to Palin. If you’re a demagogue, making a brisk living exploiting the credulity of the masses, sooner or later you’ll be expected to produce more mojo than you ever really had. When that time comes, don’t lose heart — just duck and roll, and tighten your belt a little, knowing that 10% of your following will stick by you till the mothership arrives.
Or as Langston Hughes might have put it:
What happens to a cult let down?
Does it dry up, like a salmon in the sun?
Or does it kid itself still more
That she’ll run?
Does it pout and hold its breath
Or spaz out and swear to beat
The media to death?
Maybe it contracts,
Refusing to think.
Or does it just shrink?