Mencken Was Right

Charlotte Allen’s Startling Insight: Lots Of Voters Are Idiots, So Sarah Palin 2016

Hush Hush, Sweet CharlotteCharlotte Allen, the Independent Women’s Forum writer who’s mostly known for a notorious 2008 column about how silly women just couldn’t help voting for Barry Obama because women are just such dumbbunnies, has “a suggestion for cutting short the GOP angst” in the wake of Obama’s reelection: The Republicans should just go ahead and give Sarah Palin the 2016 nomination right now. She’s so certain of the self-evident wisdom of this recommendation that she immediately follows it with “You think I’m joking? Think again.”

OK! We find your ideas intriguing! Tell us more! Also, do you have a newsletter?

First off, Allen needs to disabuse you silly fools of the “conventional wisdom” that Palin somehow hurt John McCain in 2008. That is simply not the case, she says, because science:

A national exit poll conducted by CNN asked voters whether Palin was a factor in their voting. Of those who said yes, 56% voted for McCain versus 43% for Barack Obama.

Myth BUSTED! Besides, look how badly Mitt Romney, the GOP’s so-called ” serious” candidate, did in 2012 — he actually garnered fewer votes than McCain in 2008, which somehow proves something about the legitimacy of a Palin run in 2016. And here is what it proves:

Gabriel Malor, writing for the New York Daily News’ blog, pinpointed another reason: By focusing his campaign mostly on serious economic and political issues such as the national debt and tax incentives, Romney failed to take into account the fact that large segments of the electorate neither know nor care much about serious economic and political issues.

OK, got that? Potential GOP voters were turned off by the serious intellectual heft of Mitt Romney’s serious focus on serious economic and political issues. Because god knows, the 2012 election was all about a sober discussion of the details of policy. So if those egghead “big ideas” don’t attract voters, what lesson should the GOP learn from the 2012 results?

What they — a group sometimes euphemistically called “uninformed voters” — do know and care about are the tugs on their emotions, fears, revulsions and heart strings provided by hours and hours of uninterrupted television watching.

Good heavens, Ms. Allen! That is indeed an insight: A huge chunk of the electorate is made up of mouth-breathing morons. We need to find someone who will appeal to their basest emotions. How about Sarah Palin?

Allen also neatly dismisses Obama’s victory, which couldn’t possibly have anything to do with his political positions, because, as she has established, most of us are morons who vote solely based on emotion. Stands to reason, because Barack Obama is simply such an emotional fellow:

The Democrats understood how to reach that constituency. When a barrage of Obama campaign TV ads told them that the GOP wanted to take away their contraceptives or that Bain Capital killed someone’s wife, they took notice. When Obama strolled the hurricane-stricken beaches of New Jersey in his bomber jacket, they were snowed.

Of course — because nobody in the GOP was actually calling women sluts for thinking that insurance should cover contraception; that’s just nuts! Do go on.

Palin can more than keep up with the Democrats in appealing to voters’ emotions. Hardly anyone could be more blue collar than Palin, out on the fishing boat with her hunky blue-collar husband, Todd. Palin is “View”-ready, she’s “Ellen”-ready, she’s Kelly-and-Michael-ready

And no one will notice that she is not, and has never been, “putting-two-consecutive-thoughts-into-a-coherent-sentence”-ready, so she’s golden!

Still, Allen acknowledges that Sarah Palin may just face a couple of trivial obstacles, but it is manifestly evident that only Bad People (elitists, mostly) could find fault with her:

Sure, there is going to be never-ending nastiness from the left, but she’s already lived through that once. Katie Couric? A has-been. Tina Fey? Her shtick was already wearing thin in 2008.

OK, Evil Rad-Fem Smarty/Bossypants Stalking Horses deployed. Who else must be dismissed, Charlotte?

There are also the snooty East Coast Republican intellectual types, such as Peggy Noonan, who look down their noses at a woman who doesn’t shop at Neiman Marcus and didn’t attend an Ivy League university. But Peggy made a fool of herself calling the election for Romney on Nov. 5. Who’s going to care what she and her ilk have to say next time?

If conservatives are going to start ignoring everyone who made fools of themselves calling the election for Romney, then Fox News is in big trouble! But never mind, she’s on a roll:

Some Republicans will say Palin has too much baggage from 2008, and we need to look for a new Sarah Palin. But I don’t see what’s wrong with the one we’ve got. Ever since the 1990s, Republicans have been looking for the next Ronald Reagan. Reagan is now revered in bipartisan circles, but during his presidency he was, like Palin, ridiculed by liberals. They cited “Bedtime for Bonzo” and sneered at his no-name college degree.

Sarah Palin is the new Ronald Reagan: charming and affable and unwilling to back down if she’s right. I can’t see what’s wrong with that.

Golly! Sarah Palin is the new Ronald Reagan? That certainly is the sort of bold insight that has never been heard before, except for all those times that Sarah Palin literally called herself the new Ronald Reagan every five minutes. But that is one of those snobby details that only college-edumacated elitists would point out.

The really scary thing about Charlotte Allen’s column is not that she thinks Sarah Palin is ready for a huge comeback, it’s that she has so nakedly identified the reason for it. We are tempted to call Allen some sort of newfangled Diana Moon Glampers here, but we’re already worried enough that we’ll be sent to a re-education camp after these folks take over. No sense further condemning ourselves through gratuitous Vonnegut allusions.


About the author

Doktor Zoom Is the pseudonym of Marty Kelley, who lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his nym from a fan of Silver-Age comics after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom
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  1. skoalrebel

    Sarah is the new Ronnie? [spit!] Does that mean that Ronnie is still alive but has turned into a woman with Alzheimer's?

    1. Troglodeity

      It's actually quite accurate. Like today's Reagan, she is a worm-riddled corpse – politically speaking – lacking any ability for sentient thought.

    1. Gayer_Than_Thou

      Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is, was and always will be the brightest star ever to burn in the heavens.

      Wait, I'm getting myself confused: are we talking about actual reality, or something else?

    2. dancesw_cougars

      No it was this line that pissed me off: "Tina Fey? Her shtick was already wearing thin in 2008."

      Tina Fey's Sarah Palin shtick NEVER gets old. NEVER, Goddamnit!

    1. skoalrebel

      If she asked, I'd be happy to join her ticket. [spit!] We'd make a fine pair of common-sense conservatives with a deep appreciation for the Constitution.

  2. snowpointsecret

    Sarah Palin is the new Ronald Reagan: charming and affable and unwilling to back down if she’s right. I can’t see what’s wrong with that.

    Aww, how cute, comparing her to Ronald Reagan. You got one thing wrong though, they were both actually unable to back down when they were wrong. With your logic, Europe would now be a single country and Talkeetna would be part of Russia.

    1. boskolives

      I got a clear picture in my mind of her blowing Republican voters for $50.00 per Hummer full. Or maybe she was giving hummers for $50.0 per Republican campaign bus full. I get confused a lot these days. Same as it always was, I guess.

  3. vulpes82

    “You think I’m joking? Think again.” Bold statement, assuming anyone is capable of higher cognitive thought after reading such a ludicrous, derision-worthy statement.

    1. Callyson

      “You think I’m joking? Think again” should pretty much be the tagline for any conservative columnist these days.

  4. Botlrokit

    Romney failed to [understand] that large segments of the electorate neither know nor care much about serious economic and political issues.

    No, he was all over that shit. His electorate was Bible-believing Fox News watchers.

  5. Allmighty_Manos

    "You think I'm joking? Think again."

    If you have to insert this line into your column, then yes you are joking. It's like starting a sentence "I'm not racist, but..". It lays your cards on table before the game even starts.

  6. Callyson

    snooty East Coast Republican intellectual type…who look down their noses at a woman who doesn’t shop at Neiman Marcus

    Remind me, how many thousands of dollars did Sarah Palin spend on clothes in the 2008 campaign?

    1. Lizzietish81


      But she gave it all away to charity, whom I'm sure were thrilled to get her kid's used underwear.

        1. Lizzietish81

          I think I read that she did, which was so useful, I mean the Salvation Army was short on short skirts and leather jackets….not to mentioned used underwear and baby clothes.

        1. Gayer_Than_Thou

          Yes, it's probably valuable to remember that the old Ronald Reagan wasn't actually much of a Ronald Reagan in reality. Absence makes the heart grow dumber, as they say.

          1. NellCote71

            I must have the Reagan senile disease. I cannot recall one Democrat who supports him, posthumously. With votes.

    1. Lizzietish81

      It latched on to her while she was staring at Putin's giant head coming over the horizon, but has been sucked in by her vacuous nature so it hasn't been able to spread to another host.

  7. MacRaith

    The writers for Wonkette and the Daily Show really, really want this to happen. It would make their jobs so much easier.

    1. One_who_wanders

      I was thinking that she was put up to this by a cabal of late night show comedians after Romney turned out not to be funny enough.

  8. BadKitty904

    Oh, please, *please*, PLEASE, *GOD*, let Palin be the GOP's '16 candidate!!! I promise I'll never ask for anything ever again. (mostly)

    1. snowpointsecret

      Palin/Rubio '16

      aka We have a latino AND a woman and we'll still badly lose both demographics!

      1. Gayer_Than_Thou

        If she runs, her choice of VP becomes extra important because in the highly-unlikely-alternate-universe-bizarro world in which she could actually win we know that she'll only actually serve about 18 months of her term.

  9. Shypixel

    Palin is a hag, GOP voters are neanderthals, people are dumb, the nation is doomed….

    Wonkette, are you even trying any more?

    1. kingofmeh

      kind of missed the point, i think. this post seems to be not an attack on sarah palin, but an attack on someone who still thinks that sarah palin is relevant. it's as if someone suggested dan quayle should run in 2016, because he has vice presidential experience. herr doktor is not mocking the subject of the article, but the writer.

  10. Mumbletypeg

    Nice try, Charlotte. Next you'll be calling our Snowbilly "one of life's great mysteries" or worse, float your candidate choice's misbegotten quality assessment as the "Palin Mystique." Leave the hag to manage her overinflated ego, undernourished frame and her trainwreck of family cargo please~

    1. BadKitty904

      Anyone who could describe Sarah as charming and affable has never met anyone who is charming and affable.

      1. LetUsBray

        Given that we're talking a about a third- or fourth- or fifth-tier wingnut talking head, I'll take that bet.

    1. CommieDad

      Sorry to burst your bubble. If (1) Nobama was impeached for being a blah, and (2) Biden was impeached for having a friend who is blah, then (3) Boener… oh never mind. Good idea.

  11. DCBloom

    Yes, excellent idea. Palin 2016. I think we should all go out and change our party affiliation just so we can make it happen in the primaries

  12. Doktor Zoom

    There is a pretty good social science paper to be written on the notion that Tina Fey single-underhandedly destroyed Sarah Palin through lies and slander, as if her parody were invented out of whole cloth, instead of connecting with an audience that already found Palin absurd.

    1. vulpes82

      Or that the original Tina Fey parody wasn't actually just a verbatim recitation of the transcript of that Couric interview with a few funny faces thrown in.

  13. JustPixelz

    The important question is: How does this affect Sarah Palin™?

    What's the difference between a pit bull and Sarah Palin™? One is feral beast fueled by irrational aggression. The other is a dog.

  14. smellypossum

    A 2016 Palin/Nugent 2016 ticket would be some SWEET entertainment!

    And so much more fun that Smirky McMittens was this time 'round.

  15. Come here a minute

    Shorter Charlotte Allen: Sarah Palin would be a great presidential candidate because bomber jacket.

  16. Tommmcatt_Again

    Clearly, our only choice as Wonketeers is to raise as much money as possible to make this nomination a reality. The gods of comedy demand no less.

  17. JustPixelz

    Oh Repubicans…

    Don't go changing to try and please me
    I need to know that you will always be
    The same old someone that I knew
    I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
    I love you just the way you are

  18. Abernathy

    Allen sounds so confident about this plan. It's almost as though Sarah Palin had something augmented since 2008 that would appeal to a certain segment of voters. It must be her charm and affability.

    1. vulpes82

      But SNL's The Californians taught me that all Southern Californians are obsessed with describing their routes around town in minute detail with one another. Are you saying SNL steered me wrong?

    2. NeonVincent

      In her case, they let any fool write for the Weekly Standard, as long as they toe the party line. As for her writing for the L.A. Times, they'll let any fool write for them as long as it gets enough page views. Yesterday, this exercise in wingnut wankery got so many, it was listed as "trending" on the paper's website. Sure, if fails as journalism, but I'm sure it made the business office happy!

  19. weejee

    Lou Sarah / Steve King 2016

    It's a lock. The other sillies should save their monies and stay home. Serious contributors will get the bumper sticker:


  20. Yellerdawg

    Finally, someone on the right starts making sense. The way I read this is; "If you're picking from a field full of stupid, choose the standout."

    1. BadKitty904

      Why, you make it sound like it's the GOP's *policies* that are archaic, unrealistic, and vicious…or something…

  21. freakishlywrong

    I don't know. How can it get loonier than the crowd they had up there THIS primary season? I know, I know, it can X 10.

  22. VodkaGoGo

    Palin is “View”-ready, she’s “Ellen”-ready, she’s Kelly-and-Michael-ready

    Hmmm, who watches those shows, women you say? Well, I'm sure they'll be receptive to Palins message, I mean she does have a vagina and it's not like the women's vote was comically lopsided in favor of Obama, twice.

  23. Joshua Norton

    But Peggy made a fool of herself calling the election for Romney on Nov. 5. Who’s going to care what she and her ilk have to say next time?

    Goodness me. Charlotte Allen appears to be a charter member of the Algonquin Bitch Table.

  24. docterry6973

    Wake up Sarah. It's time for your close-up.

    And why not? Who better to speak for today's new, improved, more likable GOP?

  25. Oblios_Cap

    The Church of God the Utterly Indifferent would use all of its influence to help the Palin Camp.

    If we gave a shit.

  26. MissTaken

    Hardly anyone could be more blue collar than Palin, out on the fishing boat with her hunky blue-collar husband, Todd.

    Don't forget, not only is Todd 'hunky' he's also pro-secessionist!

  27. Mahousu

    Sarah Palin is the new Ronald Reagan: […] unwilling to back down if she’s right.

    Help me out here – when was that, exactly?

  28. christianmuslin

    The newly elected judge from San Diego would make the ideal running mate? Maybe they would have a chance to carry California, not!

  29. LibertyLover

    What a Christmas Gift Ms. Allen's column is! So full of flights of fantasy and whimsy! A real roller-coaster ride of fun ideas – A first rate effort! We favorably look forward to more satire from Ms. Allen! Ms Allen is certainly the next Andy Borowitz – such cleverness in writing is rarely seen on the right side of the political spectrum.

  30. CommieDad

    Love the argument.

    1) Republican (voters) are stupid.

    2) Mitt was to smah.

    3) Palin is not smart.

    4) Palin has a vagina.

    5) … ?

    6) Profit!

  31. Defeatably_Joe

    Palin is “View”-ready, she’s “Ellen”-ready, she’s Kelly-and-Michael-ready

    As much as I mourn for democracy when those shows are being held up as equivalent -nay, superior to a candidate who meets with actual journalists to discuss issues (admittedly this may be partly the fault also of Mitt Romney, who had an apparent allergy to the same); I would fucking love to watch Palin go on Ellen. Something tells me it wouldn't quite be the, uhh, softball interview that Ms Allen seems to be anticipating.

    For some reason. Can't quite place my finger on why I suspect they might not get along.

    1. shelwood46

      And I'm assuming in her version of The View, only Elisabeth is allowed to talk? Because if that's not the case, there may be some problems on that show, too.

  32. Sparky

    If Granny Word Salad is on the 2016 ticket, we could put Dennis Kucinich on and still win popular and electoral vote majority.

    In other words: Bring. It. On.

  33. Smithboy

    Sarah Palin/Pam Geller…

    Women for War! Hate those brown skinned Muslims? So do they! Vote for Palin-Geller and they'll tun the middle east into the vast wasteland east. A middle east where Israel can build what they want, where they want, because God said so.

    This message paid for by…well the Supreme Court says we don't have to tell you. God bless America.

  34. An_Outhouse

    The real crime is that this bitch gets paid by the LAT to puke up this pile of intellectually vacant vomit, and Doktor Zoom doesn't.

  35. SorosBot

    "Reagan is now revered in bipartisan circles"

    No he isn't. We liberals still hate that horrible fuckhead who ruined this country.

  36. Jus_Wonderin

    What person in their right mind thinks Sarah Palin is fit to even run for President, much less win and even much more less…lead.

  37. Tommy1733

    This woman is giving women generally a bad name. I encourage all vagina owners to consider expelling her from your little club.

  38. pinstripebindi

    Funny, I don't remember Reagan quitting halfway through his first term as governor to start cashing in wingnut welfare checks. Also his voice didn't make me want to throw myself under the nearest speeding train.

  39. mustangsavvy

    Palin 2016. This is perfect – with her as an opponent, Bamz would be able to run for a THIRD TERM, against the Constitution and STILL win. In a Three-peat Electoral College landslide.

    Charlotte Allen needs to be committed for thinking a Palin run is 1) possible and 2) a good idea. Sarah Palin is the most toxic politician this side of Rasputin. A Palin candidacy would probably turn Texas BLUE….! LOL

    So in other words – BRING IT.

  40. thejazzmonger

    Absolutely! This should happen. Sarah Palin will be a "hot" commodity on the campaign trail. Plus, she is more masculine than Bobby Jindal.

  41. decentcitizen

    Outsized political ambition does not constitute an electoral strategy – but hey, why stop there. Have Newt run again as well…

  42. lulzmonger

    Look out libtards! Here comes PUMA PALIN PATRIOT POWER!!!

    Needs more laying on the couch all day eating Taco Bell.

    Hate to ruin Charlotte's panty-punching party, but I'm pretty sure Tundra Grifter knows damn well her "Sexy Librarian" appeal is long gone, even if she's still in denial as to just how deeply most Americans hate the sight of her. Also too as well, being a national celebrity who's been pulling buku money doing SarahPAC, TeeVee & public-speaking spots & pimping her kids merch, Governor HalfTerm doesn't strike me as yearrning for a pay cut that comes with an extremely high-stress job where you're on call 24/7.

    1. lulzmonger

      WHOA. When the fuck did I get to 100p?!

      The hair sprouting in funny places & the cracking voice suddenly make sense now.

  43. ShinigamiDad

    Vote Surreal Party in 2016! The Chair/Hologram ticket will sweep all before it! (Nice use of Rarity, btw :)

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