Of Game-Change, Cinderella, and the Supremes
The HBO documentary, “Game Change,” regarding the weird inclusion of Sarah Palin into the GOP presidential campaign of 2008, is as the title suggests, about the attempt of the McCain team to rearrange the dynamics of a failing election enterprise.
McCain, his wife and the Palin family all said they would not watch the program, and that’s the most unbelievable aspect of all the hoopla surrounding the film. Of course they watched, even if they had to hide in order to avoid detection. Sarah’s sucker-eyes for media attention (also revealed in the doc) surely were all over it with rapt fascination.
In doing so, she must have been surprised and mystified that, rather than a hatchet-job, everything in the narration was recognizable and portrayed fairly, whether or not she liked what she saw. Her family certainly was treated with sympathy, from her relation to all of them to the poignant little prayer session with her daughter just before the debate with Joe Biden.
McCain too was shown as a sensitive guy who, despite his growing reservations about her choice for the ticket, gave her every break he could in his mind and behavior, and refused to blame her for one of the greatest
since the Civil War.
The real problem is that those most responsible, and thus guiltiest, for that train wreck are those who were judged by critics and the viewing public as wise counselors to John and Sarah and somehow victims of the charade. Oh, no: they dreamed up that “game-change” and virtually foisted it on the aspirant from Arizona. Their attempts to put a good face on Sarah’s rogue-ish comportment were the best they could do with hindsight, regardless that film fans all love Woody Harrelson and the gravitas he brought to this role.
Much as I dislike Palin, the mistake was not hers. She was thrown as a brand into the burning, and in no way could have master-minded her way into a role that others deserved vastly more: Kay Bailey Hutchinson didn’t hear of the choice till the day all the world was notified, and must have wondered that if the Party needed a woman with McCain, what the hell was she–chopped liver?.
I wonder how many viewers did not secretly have sympathy for Palin in that regard, imagining as we often do with story-principals, how we would fare in such a situation where we were called on to perform that for which we were unsuited. Palin was not only a Cinderella but one whose religious beliefs came into play, and it’s best to read the book itself, which came out in 2010.
Palin’s faith includes the nutty little notion that God was laying his hands on her life as one chosen to rescue this nation from all those anecdotal sins drummed into loyal viewers of Fox News. Like their program fare, her mind is anything but “fair and balanced,” and the team’s worry that she was falling off the rails was well-placed. She can function well enough in a corner of the universe, like Wasilla, but she was woefully out of place on the grand stage where we choose the leader of the free world.
But everything going on in the U.S. these days, given the bizarre leanings of too many citizens, including those who supposedly hold college degrees, is driven by attempts on the part of desperate masterminds and their minions to “change the game,” and to besmirch truth, decency, and ethics by the most egregious means, in the process.
One need only look to the present Supreme Court and its “deliberations,” if so they may be called, into the health care plan approved by Congress. It is blatantly political, and the esteemed Supremes–after their Bush-Gore outrage and the more recent nonsense that made “individuals” of corporations–are up to more mischief, this time over the well-being of Americans most at risk by our health system.
Only Justice Kennedy stands in the way of this, and he can be like a drunk on a barstool: you never know which way he’s going to fall. If the law is nullified, the conservatives on the Court once again will have handed the GOP an election-season tool against Obama.
How in the world the prez stands up to the forces arrayed against him, I don’t know. From the nut-case pretenders who lined up to savage him in the guise of “debates”; to being saddled with all the blame stored up by his predecessor; to a major news network whose support of the GOP is not even thinly-veiled, he has somehow survived and, for now, is ahead of Romney in the polls.
And it’s only the beginning of April–meaning seven more months of opportunity for liars, nay-sayers, twits, ninnies, ne-er-do-wells and sonsofbitches to seize on any and every happenstance to mess with the minds of an unthinking public. Call them puppet-masters and puppets.
By all standards, one would think the devil would win this presidential campaign, yet more and more of the populace are seeing through things and coming to their senses.
And that’s gotta be hard on Sarah’s theology. What stands to happen is that all these pranks get their comeuppance in November, knocking wind out of the Tea Party sails and at least restoring a losing GOP as a more sensible arm of American politics.