A reader writes:
I certainly understand your impulse to draw Sarah, the bull in the GOP china shop, into your ring so you can wave the red flag in front of her and perhaps pierce her with a few banderillas. But really, what is the upside for her in telling the truth?
She has constructed a perfect dynamic for herself with the media: she says whatever she wants, scripts herself into her own fantastical world where she is the heroine, and then, after thorough coverage on every network, is rightly called on it.
That just feeds the fire of her "victimization" and is more red meat for her witless followers. The very serious Republican pols and pundits may groan, but were she to rally enough of a following and show herself to be a viable candidate, would they not fall in line? It's always a win-win for Sarah.
She has taken to heart the most egregious of the Bush era theories: "when we act we create our own reality."
You have as much chance of bringing her to account as you do Sauron or Darth Vader. Fictional characters are beyond the reach of your "reality-based" critique.
This is true. But the alternative is actually to acquiesce in this circus of faux journalism, faux politics and faux news. Direct accountability matters. It seems to me that one of the advantages of the web is that it gives anyone the chance to swim against this tide a little, without all the usual groupthink and economic pressures to maintain magical thinking. Getting in her face and demanding answers seems to me the point of the Fourth Estate.
I also believe this kind of acquiescence to fantasy, especially when it is directly connected to a political movement is extremely dangerous. It is part of what enabled Bush and Cheney to maintain the fiction that they were acting legally and within constitutional norms as they did what they did in the last eight years. The creation of reality has to be challenged somewhere. And if a blog cannot do it, who can?
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