"I have to ask: America, is this a bluff? It's okay if it is. It's fine. I'll be relieved.

You know how, when you really want a puppy, you begin by asking for a wildebeest? Your mother gets nervous as you bring home book after book on Wildebeest Care and Feeding and Heather Has Two Wildebeests and Are You There God, It's Me, Wildebeest. You build a miniature wildebeest habitat in the backyard. You make powerpoint presentation after powerpoint presentation insisting that this is what the family needs. "How about a puppy?" your parents plead. "Sure!" you say.

Or when you want a car, you start by saying you're going to tattoo Richard Nixon's face over every exposed inch of your body? Or when you want to explain that you're living with your boyfriend outside of wedlock, you start by saying that you're moving to Appalachia with an itinerant flute player.

America, is this your way of saying you'd like to elect Mitt Romney?" - Alexandra Petri, Washington Post, on the Palin farce.

Alas, it is not a bluff.

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