Now, Sarah’s Folly
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: July 4, 2009
Maureen Dowd likes to go on little riffs where she puts in as many puns on a theme as she can. Today she has two different trends going based on Sarah Palin's surprise resignation.
Caribou Barbie is one nutty puppy.As is clear from the example above, in this column she is combining references to mental illness with examples from the animal kingdom. She is clearly trying to pack in as many of each as possible, so let's keep score. With the addition of 'caribou' that gives the critters a 2-1 lead.
Usually we don’t find that exquisite battiness in our leaders until they’ve been battered by sordid scandals like Watergate (Nixon), gnawing problems like Vietnam (L.B.J.), or scary threats like biological terrorism (Cheney).'Battiness' could go either way, so we will give each side a point there. And while 'gnawing' is often done by mad dogs, it doesn't rise to the level of a full reference.
The White House can drive its inhabitants loopy.That's a slam-dunk for the crazy category. but then we have another tough call.
As Alaskans settled in to enjoy holiday salmon bakes and the post-solstice thaw, their governor had a solipsistic meltdown so strange it made Sparky Sanford look like a model of stability.Since 'salmon' isn't used as a metaphor, we are going to disqualify that, but we do give full credit for 'meltdown.'
On the shore of Lake Lucille, with wild fowl honking and the First Dude smiling, with Piper in the foreground and their Piper Cub in the background, the woman who took the Republican Party by storm only 10 months ago gave an incoherent, breathless and prickly stream of consciousness to a small group in her Wasilla yard. Gobsmacked Alaska politicians, Republican big shots, the national press, her brother, the D.C. lawyer who helped create her political action committee and yes, even Fox News, played catch-up.Here we give the fauna a 'fowl' shot with 'incoherent' scoring on the rebound. No points for 'Cub' since that is an aviation reference and not an avian one. We would love to give 'Fox News' a point, but without an accompanying 'crazy as' it falls short.
She can hunt wolves from the air and field-dress a moose, but she fears being a lame duck? Some brickbats over her ethics and diva turns as John McCain’s running mate, and that dewy skin turns awfully thin.Then the wildife goes on a hat trick tear with a bonus point coming from 'brickbat'. The crazy side gets a mercy score with 'diva.'
Maybe there’s another red Naughty Monkey high heel to drop — there’s often a hidden twist in Sarah’s country-music melodramas. Or is this a reckless high-speed escape from small-pond Alaska, where her popularity is dropping, to the big time Below?The primate-named footwear call-out scores as does the 'reckless' remark, but 'small-pond' goes in the basket as well.
Even some conservative analysts admitted that the governor’s move seemed ga-ga before venturing the spin that Palin might be “crazy like a fox,” as Sarah’s original cheerleader, Bill Kristol, put it.We finally get our 'crazy as a fox' call-out as a quote from the equally unhinged Kristol Meth. Under normal circumstances the use of 'cheerleader' would be worth mentioning as the second sports metaphor of the column, but the other trends are having a barnburner of match.
Why not? Palin/Sanford in 2012, with the slogan: “Save time — we’re already in Crazy Town.”
'Crazy Town' is also a Betty Boop short with this IMDB description:
Betty Boop and Bimbo take a wild streetcar ride to Crazy Town, where birds swim, fish fly, and everthing else reverses normal behavior.The birds and fishes reference is too oblique to count so this one scores only on 'Crazy'. While that is stretch for a Movies With Maureen moment, the next paragraph is a clear Crossword Clue. That also doubles as an Alliteration Alert.
Palin’s speech is classic casuistry..The NYT handy pop-up dictionary defines it as "Specious or excessively subtle reasoning intended to rationalize or mislead" so we will give it to the unhinged side of the column.
Why “milk it,” as she put it, when you can quit it? “Only dead fish go with the flow,” she said, while cold fish can blow out of town.In another instant replay situation, 'milk' doesn't cut the mustard and 'fish' only scores once.
Sometimes, she explained, if you’re the star, you have to “call an audible and pass the ball” and leave at halftime, “so the team can win” somehow without you.To round out the column, we get another misplaced sports metaphor, but then Maureen finishes strong.
The musher must jump out of the dogsled when warmer climes call. As Palin’s spokeswoman, Meg Stapleton, says, “The world is literally her oyster.”And the final score is:
But the real winners are the voters of Alaska who no longer have to deal with this batshit crazy squirrelly nutjob. Now if only the rest of the country could say the same.