Weisberg, Jacob, Newsweek
Byline: Jacob Weisberg
Is her babble scary, or just funny?
As far as I can tell, Sarah Palin has four core beliefs:
1. Things go better with God.
2. Yay, Alaska!
3. Let's drill that sucker.
4. Curse you, political establishment.
Palinisms occur when Palin expresses one of these views in her idiosyncratically involuted syntax ("It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia"); when she expresses two or more of them in combination ("God's will has to be done, in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that"); or when she says anything at all in her imitable my sentence went on the Tilt-A-Whirl and got nauseous way ("And I think more of a concern has been not within the campaign, the mistakes that were made, not being able to react to the circumstances that those mistakes created in a real positive and professional and helpful way for John McCain").
But the best Palinisms of all result when the huntress encounters something she wasn't hunting for--that is, when Palin comes into contact with most anything to do with domestic, foreign, or economic policy. It is this situation that generates those priceless let me tap-dance and also sing for you a little song while you think of a different question moments. One such was the juncture in her mind-boggling 2008 interview when Katie Couric asked Palin to name a Supreme Court decision she disagreed with, other than Roe v. Wade. Surrounded by hostile forces, out of cartridges for her Remington, she bravely held her ground and kept pulling the trigger, to no effect:
Palin: Well, let's see. There's--of course in the great history of America there have been rulings that there's never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others. But, um.
Couric: Can you think of any?
Palin: Well, I would think of any again that could best be dealt with on a more local level maybe I would take issue with.
Tina Fey's caricature of Palin as an unprepared high-school student trying to bluff her way through an oral exam by mugging and flirting hit its mark not merely because of the genius of the mimicry, but because of its fundamentally accurate diagnosis of Palin as bulls--t artist. …