Ask Matt Labash: An apology to Sarah Palin, and nature vs. nurture
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Do you read what others (who are more informed than you are) write on the Caller website? Palin is running, so you and your lefty friends’ attacks on her designed to abort her candidacy have failed…and failed miserably. I expect an apology from you to the great Sarah Palin. Not that she will care. – Brandon Lachner
I’m not a lefty, nor do I have any friends. Unless you count my imaginary one, Mr. Beasley. But fair enough about an apology. I know I once groused in this space about the cloyingness of open letters, going so far as to write an open letter to open-letter writers, telling them to stop. So I regard the following as a closed letter. You’re forbidden from reading it. This is between me and Sarah. Okay, here goes:
I hope you can find it in your heart — a heart as expansive as Denali, the great one, soaring under the midnight sun, whose ice-fogged frigid beauty splits the Cheechakos from the Sourdoughs, as your wordy speechwriter once put it in your gubernatorial farewell address — to forgive me. And I hope that despite Brandon’s worries, you care that I’m asking to be forgiven. I have sinned by ever doubting you. And your fitness for our nation’s highest office. And your command of the English language. And the way you inspire loyalty in the people closest to you.
When I disparaged you before, I didn’t take into account what you mean to the people of Alaska, where despite your approval rating being around 36 percent, many would follow you to Scottsdale, Arizona, where you might be moving away from them. Nor did I consider what you mean to this country. So that it makes sense that you would tour it by riding across it in a bus. Probably in the front of the bus. Just like Rosa Parks. Because you’re kind of like a white Rosa Parks. Except you’ve taken it so far beyond what Ms. Parks ever dreamed of. Because she just rode the bus. But you own the bus. Or at least lease it. So that riffraff like Rosa won’t try to hog all the seats/attention.
She just wanted to liberate her race, because let’s face it, she was selfish. But you are liberating all races. Standing up for the right of Americans of all colors — red, brown, black, albino, whatever color John Boehner is — to take completely pointless, yet symbolic bus tours. So that as the Treasurer of SarahPAC told the lamestream media, you can “see how this nation was built, and get fired up about that.” Likewise, you similarly said that you have “fire in my belly.” Well I’m fired up about your fire. You can color me a Pyromaniac4Palin. I’m ready to set some crap on fire for you. Like maybe a cross in Jonathan Strong’s front yard. The flippin’ Judas.
But it makes sense that you’re going on a historical tour. Since you’re sorta like tomorrow’s history, today. Which is kind of like the present, but in a futuristic way, while at the same time, being yesterday’s news. And you have a lot in common with our forefathers. They fought against tyranny, constructed an ingenious system of government, and built the framework that for two and a half centuries has sustained our great nation. In that same tradition, you Tweet a lot. You’re kind of like our generation’s Thomas Jefferson, without all the hoity-toity elitism and dignity and stuff.
So I look forward to seeing you turn up in historical hotspots, like maybe colonial Williamsburg, which, as students of history like you know, is the place where you can take really cool tourist photos of Todd’s face in the stockade. That would be a hoot. Or maybe you could visit the historic Medieval Times in Baltimore, where Francis Scott Key famously composed “The Star Spangled Banner” while jousting for a tankard of mead. Wherever you go, I won’t be there physically. Gas is four bucks a gallon, and there’s no time, besides. I’ll be too busy fashioning my Palin hair-doll shrine which I hope to exhibit at your nominating convention. (I bought a lock of it from Brandon — he’s a collector.) But as Third Day so eloquently sang in your reality show theme song, I will, in spirit, “follow you there.” In fact, as your old patron once said of Osama bin Laden, I would follow you to the gates of hell, which is where I suspect your campaign is headed, if you ever formally launch one in between publicity tours. So here’s hoping all’s forgiven.
Do you have to work at being an “asshole,” or does it come natural? – Charles Curran
I’m not going to lie, there’s some natural talent there. But I work at it, too. (See previous page.) The important thing is to not rest on your “asshole” laurels. There’s a lot of stiff competition out there. For instance, check the comments section of this column whenever I even mention the “P” word (Palin). And then for about three weeks running since it takes a while for their anger to subside. You’re liable to spot them easily. They’re the ones who leave vitriolic profanity-laced comments questioning your manhood (which they tend to do anonymously, being the sad cat ladies that they are). They’re usually the strong “spellerz of the bunch, 2.” Or they’re the “ones” who use “inappropriate” quotation “marks” excessively. We all have a “little” a-hole in us. Who “knows”? You “might” even “see” one in yourself if you look “hard” enough.
Matt Labash is a senior writer with the Weekly Standard magazine. His book, “Fly Fishing With Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys,” is now available in paperback from Simon and Schuster. Have a question for Matt Labash? Submit it here.