Yeah, yeah -- I know. Picking on Sarah Palin is low-hanging fruit; it's been done to death, right?
The problem is, it's never more than maybe 36 hours before Palin says or does something shockingly stupid that just plain makes for good copy. I'm not talking about the usual Palin brand of dumb -- I'm talking about something that ups the ante and honestly cries out to be circulated far and wide, just because it's entertaining. At this point I look at the Palin Traveling Circus (read: book tour) the way I look at the Sex Pistols' 1978 tour through the Southern U.S.: It's a train wreck that you just can't turn your head away from no matter how hard you try -- only the Palin tour lasts longer and, if such a thing were possible, is filled with more outraged rednecks.
Today's highlight comes courtesy of a Canadian comedian who approached Palin at her stop at a Borders in Columbus, Ohio -- scene of these now-famous interviews with astonishingly uninformed Palin fanatics -- disguised as a Canadian conservative supporter. Mary Walsh is the host of This Hour Has 22 Minutes, basically Canada's answer to The Daily Show. Walsh approached Palin at the signing and asked her if she had "any words of encouragement for Canadian conservatives who have worked so hard to try to diminish the kind of socialized medicine we have up there."
Despite the fact that her handlers tried desperately to keep Palin from answering what they no doubt knew was a loaded question -- since they, unlike her, have at least the IQ of a Saint Bernard -- Palin as usual just wouldn't be told what to do. Her answer: "Keep the faith, because common sense conservatism can be plugged in there in Canada too. In fact, Canada needs to reform its health care system and let the private sector take over some of what the government has absorbed."
Now I'm not going to make too much of the fact that Palin was tricked by a Canadian comedian for the second time. (Remember "Nicolas Sarkozy?") It's easy to fall victim to a good joke. But the level of both laugh-out-loud arrogance and abject stupidity that it takes for someone in her position to heap criticism on and suggest the reform of another country's health care system -- it's just fucking mind-boggling. Obviously, her handlers knew that this was exactly the way she was going to answer, which is why they tried in vain to shut her the hell up. Mary Walsh said later that, in fact, questions of any kind were forbidden at the Palin book signing she attended, which isn't surprising since what this proves is that, as usual, Palin has a very specific set of talking points that she parrots without ever deviating from her script no matter the question she's asked; her answer to Walsh's question pretty much proves it when you compare it to an interview she gave Rush Limbaugh earlier this month in which she said those same magic buzzwords, "common sense conservatism," over and over and over again.
Needless to say, Canadians aren't likely to take the advice of any outsider as to the quality and effectiveness of their health care system, let alone somebody as patently ridiculous as Sarah Palin. Even the staunchest Canadian conservatives would be reticent to attempt to privatize a system that, according to a recent study, 90% of Canadians support and 82% believe is better than the American system.
But, you know, that's not gonna stop Palin from offering her sage advice to our neighbors to the north. As you're probably well aware, she's all about "going rogue."
Still, you Canadians had better watch out. You've just been warned. If Sarah Palin ever becomes, God-freaking-forbid, President Palin -- we're invading your ass and forcing you to do things the right way, the American way. Oh, we won't use our military to subdue you -- we'll just put our health care system in place and let that kill you off.