The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Blogging About Pathetic Perverts and Also Andrew Sullivan’s Sarah Palin Toe Fetish

Posted on | August 15, 2011 | 84 Comments

Sarah Palin thronged by admirers during her Friday visit to the Iowa State Fair.

HARTSELLE, Alabama
Does the headline seem a tad redundant? Never mind. My travels around Iowa and yesterday’s 700-mile trip with Ladd Ehlinger down here to Alabama have kept me offline so much that I haven’t had much time to keep up with headlines, e-mails and such. (I’m waaaaaay behind on thank-you notes to tip-jar hitters.) So now I’m doing some catch-up blogging, and the first thing I stumbled across was the POH Diaries post about a 56-year-old music teacher who “was caught nude performing sex acts on a childlike doll that police say he had cut holes into.”

Was it a boy doll or a girl doll? The newspaper story doesn’t say:

Officers were called to Allendale Elementary School on Prescott Way in Spring Hill amid reports of a white male with a duffle bag under a bridge on school property. . . .
According to Torroll, he suffers from an attention deficit disorder which he says affects his inability to resist certain sexual impulses, though none of which involve children. . . .
On the Web site DannyTorroll.com, the Web site for the Danny Torroll Skool of Music and Art, Torroll says he teaches “eight very gifted students” ranging in age from seven to 12-years-old.
He describes the school as “an anomaly in the upper education platform for serious students of all instruments,” according to the site.

Is he teaching flute lessons to these “very gifted students”? And if he has the “inability to resist” an impulse to have sex with a doll outside an elementary school, what other impulses does Danny Torroll find irresistible? Again, the article doesn’t tell us. But speaking of twisted freaks with irresistible impulses . . .

Why can’t Andrew Sullivan resist the impulse to mock Sarah Palin?

Really, Sully: Did you have to turn a photo caption of Sarah Palin’s toenails into a post? Is your sadistic compulsion to diminish and ridicule women so overwhelming that you lack the willpower to necessary to fight the urge? Do you lack even the basic self-awareness necessary to recognize that your persistent symptoms of Palin Derangement Syndrome reinforce harmful stereotypes of gay men as vicious weaklings with “mommy issues”? And if not, are you such a reckless misogynist as to disregard how your attacks on Governor Palin foster hostility to women in politics?

Expecting restraint and self-awareness from Andrew Sullivan is a doomed hope, of course, but it is interesting to see that Sully’s PDS has continued long past the point where any serious observer believes Palin will run for president in 2012.

This reality — that the clock has run out on any realistic prospect of a Palin 2012 campaign — is one I hesitate to mention, for fear of offending those of her supporters who continue to hold out hope that Palin will mount a last-minute blitz campaign for the White House. While I don’t doubt that Mama Grizzly could do that, I have seen no indication that she will do that, and have been puzzled by her refusal to say definitively that she won’t do that.

Consider this: With all the assets at his disposal, Texas Gov. Rick Perry spent more than two months building the campaign machinery necessary to officially launch his presidential campaign in mid-August. So if Palin were to begin such an effort tomorrow — and there is no tangible evidence she’s planning anything of the kind — the earliest she could jump into the 2012 race would be mid-October, by which time many of those grassroots volunteers who might have supported her will have already committed to other campaigns.

By continuing to keep alive a tiny glimmering hope of her 2012 candidacy, long after the point when the whole “testing the waters” time-frame has passed its sell-by date, Palin is setting up her True Believers for a bitter disillusionment whenever the time comes for her to officially admit that she’s not running.

And I say that with full knowledge that the governor’s most devoted admirers will excoriate me for saying it, as if speaking the blunt truth makes me “anti-Palin.” Yet I have long defended Palin and her family, and have nothing but sympathy for all that she has endured the past three years.

What really bothers me is this: Last week I met with Peter Singleton and Michelle McCormick of Iowa for Palin, who continue to believe that a Palin 2012 campaign is inevitable. They have both moved to Iowa (Singleton from California, McCormick from Texas) to volunteer full-time as grassroots organizers on Palin’s behalf. When I talked to them about it, though, I was shocked to discover that Singleton and McCormick have done this without having any communications with Palin or Palin’s inner circle of advisers.

That is to say, they have no reason — other than their own True Believer enthusiasm — for thinking that Palin actually will run for president, and yet have upended their lives to lead this grassroots organizing effort.

Singleton and McCormick were eager to convince me to attend the “Restoring America” Tea Party rally where Palin will speak Labor Day weekend in Waukee, Iowa. I told them I’d love to be there, if the tip-jar hitters decide to send me, but that’s the point, you see: I’m happy to provide coverage of the event, as a service to readers, but I’d be nuts to go to Iowa at my own expense in order to cover what would appear to be a gigantic publicity stunt by someone who merely pretends to be considering a presidential campaign.

And that’s exactly how it appears, whether Sarah Palin intends it to appear that way or not. As I say, I’m fully aware that I’ll be excoriated for being so blunt about this, but it strikes me as grossly unfair to people like Peter Singleton and Michelle McCormick for me to bite my tongue. While I was at the Iowa State Fair last week to cover speeches by Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann and DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, I accidentally bumped into the gigantic swarm of admirers following Sarah Palin around:

At the 9-second mark, you’ll hear me say, “Hey, Peter” — a greeting to Singleton, the gray-haired guy in sunglasses and an olive green golf shirt standing  about three-deep in the crowd to the left. When I checked the Twitter feed for Iowa for Palin, I noticed that they’d linked an ABC News story:

Palin said she hasn’t decided whether she would run for president, but suggested she was leaning toward a bid, adding: “When we’re ready to announce … you won’t be able to miss the announcement.”

And after sending out that link, Iowa for Palin then Tweeted: “Do you think any of the other candidates who have been confidently telling activists that Gov. Palin isn’t going to run will apologize to those activists for misleading them, once Gov. Palin gets in the race?” 

This scapegoats other Republican candidates, projecting onto them the responsibility for Palin’s own apparent indecision. But I noticed a telling omission: Nothing on Iowa for Palin’s Twitter feed or their blog indicated that Sarah Palin had even spoken to them during her Iowa visit, much less that she had given them any definite insight on her plans for 2012. Instead, Peter Singleton was following her around the state fairgrounds, three-deep in the scrum, no closer than I’d gotten merely by squeezing in to shoot a few pictures and a brief video clip.

If I am proven wrong — if Governor Palin does suddenly decide to jump into the 2012 campaign at the last minute — then I’ll apologize for having been mistaken. But I am not responsible for the fact that Palin doesn’t communicate with me, and in fact only communicates via Fox News, so that I have no more chance to ask her what she’s doing than does Peter Singleton, who appears to be completely in the dark.

Sarah Palin can tell Sean Hannity that she is “still considering” a 2012 campaign, and that’s OK: It’s just show business.

Hannity gets paid to ask her that question, and Palin gets paid to answer it, and News Corp. makes a profit from the ratings boost they get from their exclusive contract with the Make-Believe Presidential Candidate. And I’ve been in the news business too long to lay aside my cynical hunch that this is all there is to it.

My friend Dan Riehl seems to think otherwise — his post “Why Sarah Palin Needs To Run For President In 2012” was also re-Tweeted by Iowa for Palin — and it would be hard to conceive that I (or anyone else) could be more cynical about politics than Dan Riehl. Yet if there is any urge I find irresistible, it is my urge to avoid being a chump, a True Believer living on irrational hopes and dreams. Therefore, unless and until Palin officially declares her 2012 presidential candidacy, I’ll continue to scorn such talk as deluded True-Believer-ism, the naive babblings of chumps who’ve been bamboozled by a show-biz publicity stunt.

The only good thing about this is the knowledge that even the thinnest prospect of a 2012 Palin campaign must be haunting Sully’s nightmares.

Here’s wishing you unpleasant dreams, Andrew!

UPDATE: Well, I was wrong about something: Peter Singleton just called to tell me that, contrary to my impression, he and Michelle McCormick were invited to have lunch with Governor Palin, and then invited to accompany the governor on her walk around the fairgrounds.

My apologies for the mistake, which is entirely my fault. However, if I was wrong about that, could it also mean that I’m wrong about Palin’s plans for 2012? I don’t know. But if I am wrong . . .

Be afraid, Sully — be very afraid!

UPDATE II: When I began this post, I said I’d been “offline so much” that I’d missed a lot of things, among them this L.A Times story that would have cleared up my mistaken impression that Singleton was just randomly following Palin at the fair:

“Each campaign that I have ever run in these 20 years of elective office have been kind of unconventional, right, Todd? We’ve always been outspent, two-to-one, five-to-one, 10-to-one. Never won any polls heading into election night. But usually won the election. So it would be unconventional and very grass roots.”
Palin, who has a small, far-flung staff, some of whom are not experienced in national politics, added, “And I wouldn’t be out there looking for hires out of that political bubble that seemed to result in the same old ideas, the same old talking points, the things that Americans get so sick and tired of hearing and kind of suffering through. We want new energy, we want conviction and passion and candidness.” . . .
If she decided to run, Palin would not be starting from scratch here, where California attorney Peter Singleton, a supporter, has been living virtually full-time, criss-crossing the state meeting Iowans, building a database for Palin should she decide to run for president. He began his work without any coordination with SarahPAC, her political organization, but is now on Palin’s radar.
Singleton was invited to lunch with her in the fair’s VIP tent, and spent the rest of the afternoon at her side, a self-appointed bodyguard of sorts. He had met her last month in Pella, Iowa, at the premiere of filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon’s documentary about her, “The Undefeated.”
Palin also invited Craig Robinson, the founder of the website the Iowa Republican to lunch. Robinson said he had a five-minute chat with Palin.

I’m feeling like a mushroom here. IYKWIMAITYD.

UPDATE III: Dan Riehl rushes to join the Worldwide Universal Association of People Smarter Than Stacy McCain:

Whatever Palin is doing by way of preparation for a run is not what one is accustomed to seeing. Stacy is looking for the expected, not seeing it and concluding it’s too late for her. I’m looking at what I know and don’t know, while leaving a little room for what I don’t know I don’t know and concluding she’s running. Simple, isn’t it?

When I talked to Dan by phone a few minutes ago, he said, “Stacy don’t take it personally.” But when I am insulted — and to be purposefully excluded is to be insulted — it would compound my humiliation not to take notice of the insult.

Bear in mind that the people on Team Sarah have my phone number and e-mail address, and I know they read this blog. It wasn’t exactly a secret that I was in Iowa last week, and it was possible for them to let me know their itinerary. Instead, as always, they allow other news organizations — including liberal news organizations inimicable to their own interests — break exclusive news about their Iowa trip, while purposefully keeping me out of the loop. And when I dare take notice of these unsubtle backhands, I’m accused of being “too sensitive.”

When I want to make a fool out of myself, I don’t usually ask for help in doing so, and appreciate all this volunteer assistance from Team Sarah.


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Comments

  • Huey

    Some observations:

    1) Palin is unlike any political personality ever to exist. She doesn’t need the months of putting together a political organization others do. Between her own followers (Organized and otherwise) and Tea Party Groups (Organized and otherwise), she has hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of ready-made “boots on the ground” throughout the nation.

    2) When has Palin ever told us anything which has proven untrue about her intentions? She said , when she resigned, that she was going to keep fighting and bring that fight to the lower 48. She has done so. She said that she woul no longer give interviews to the LSM. She has not. Etc.

    Now she tells us that she will enter the race if there is no sufficiently conservative Republican alternative. The field is only NOW, with Perry’s entrance, fully shaped.

    3) She is aware that she is a polarizing figure. My God, how could she not? She knows that it will be difficult for her to win the general election – even against Obama/Carter. What she doesn’t know is whether Mitt or Rick can – or Michelle, for that matter – and, of them, whom will  jump to the front of the primary pack. So, she’s doing just what she said she would – watching, waiting, and making up her mind.

    4) Really. It’s not brain surgery. Palin is pretty much what she appears to be, what she says that she is. All you have to do is listen to what she tells us she’ds doing, because, that’s almost certainly what she IS doing.

  • Anonymous

    No more callers, please, we have a winner. RichardNC is the only commenter to pick up on what is actually happening within the declared GOP candidate field. which resembles a bunch of loose cannons.While they are merrily shooting themselves (Cain, Pawlenty, Gingrich, Paul, Johnson, Huntsman) in the feet and each other (Romney, Bachmann and now Perry) center mass, Sarah Palin is content to let them continue the shoot ‘em up until there is no one left standing. Then she gets in, without having to say anything nasty about any of them, and she won’t have a mark on her from them (although she’s taken three years of intense media fire the likes of which even Dubya never had to endure — but she’s still standing). By then, it will be too late for the GOP establishment to find another candidate of the month to try to take her out, and they will have no choice but to support her. If they oppose her, they will do so at their own peril, for she will have the TEA Party solidly behind her by then.And that’s why she’s been patiently waiting. If your opposition was a self-thinning herd, wouldn’t you want to wait until they had finished eliminating themselves and each other? If you were smart, you would. – JP

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    I thought the Daily Dish was on the Vanity Fair website.

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  • Anonymous

    Just for the record, Team Sarah is an offshoot of the Susan B. Anthony List, an independent organization not affiliated with Sarah Palin.  Gov. Palin’s inner circle has at times been referred to as “Team Palin” or “the Palin camp”  by those who are not within that circle.

  • http://twitter.com/JD777 JD777

    Hey Stacy, we still love you.  When it comes to Palin think asymmetric. 

  • http://twitter.com/JD777 JD777

    My suggestion: why don’t you call up the coordinators at work for Palin around the country? Their names are not secret. Many states have state coordinators, in many states there are county coordinators. There are coordinators for coalition groups like Vets4Palin, Jews4Sarah, Seniors4Palin etc. There are more than 100 websites, many full of information about her campaign. I’ll give you a hint, you won’t find out about it in the NY Times, WaPo or Pollutico.

  • http://twitter.com/JD777 JD777

     Rush Limbaugh today!:”She’s getting in and you know it!”

  • Anonymous

    Why do you hate Devo?

  • Anonymous

    Wrong again, and a twofer to boot. Palin isn’t Catholic, and one does not “run” for Pope.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think the Daily Beast gives him the exposure that the Atlantic did. I also think that the Atlantic was getting tired of his crazy, which was making their other bloggers look bad.

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t trying to show you anything. I was just joking around. Sand in the vagina? WTF is that and who’s the one with thin skin?

    Show me that you don’t have a slit between your legs and criticize Herman Cain on this website. How about a critique of Cain’s floundering campaign? Are you brave enough to do that on RS McCain’s site?

    Or better yet offer a mild critique of Palin while also adding a critique of your preferred candidate. Hell just mention your candidate of choice while you give Palin advice so we can contrast the advice in regards with your candidate.

    I never see anyone offer up the name of who they support when offering Palin advice. I’ve never figured that out. Be proud of who you support even if they are a scrub.

    I apologize for calling you sweetie. It will never happen again.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry I embarassed you Bob. It wasn’t my intention.

    Damn, this is one uptight group on this website.

    However, I don’t see how joking around with Paul is demonizing. It was a friendly jab at his whining and nothing more. Check the thickness of your own skin as well if this bothered you so much.

    Oh, by the way Paul’s reasonable argument was to tell Palin to hurry up and make up her mind. I tried to explain why I thought by waiting it was helping her as it caused the scrub candidates to implode and fade and the others to finally be vetted.

    You didn’t take the time to comment on that part of my response. Do you agree or disagree? You only took it upon yourself to scold me.

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  • Anonymous

    Apparently they didn’t teach that at spore school.

  • Anonymous

    We really loosen up when the topic is feminism or Tahrir Square.

  • http://twitter.com/area417 area417

    Frankly, I damned tired of Palin’s little fan show.

  • http://twitter.com/area417 area417

    Correction…fan DANCE

  • Anonymous

    Robert, you believe SP when she tells you about her vision for America! And you believe her when she lets you know her policies for America!
    Why then do you NOT BELIEVE HER when she says that SHE HERSELF does not know if she will run?
    What possible gain does she accrue by keeping you all on tenterhooks?!
    Well, let me tell you: The tenterhooks, the expectations, the longings are ALL YOURS! You want SP to behave like YOU would behave, and are disappointed when she does not!
    She doesn’t know, she really doesn’t: her servant’s heart has not yet received the instruction.
    Your speculation, expectation, disappontment (a la Hillyer and Pappas) has no effect or influence on her decision…Yet you attempt to abrogate her right to delay her decision because waiting doesn’t suit YOU!
    That decision that waits to be made is still and only between Sarah Palin and…my G0D!…her GoD!  

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Wombat, I say it’s all just wind in sails!

  • http://twitter.com/JD777 JD777

    Too Bad

  • Bert Spence

    I wasn’t suggesting that she could win without a campaign organization.  In my inarticulate, nowhere-near-the-writer-Stacy-McCain-is fashion, I was trying to imply that everything moves faster now than it used to.  It seems possible to me that a new-media-savvy non-candidate can go to “candidate” status almost overnight, particularly when she has spent the last three years inspiring devotion among Tea Party types, who are on the ground everywhere.

  • Anonymous

    Sarah is playing everybody…..I can’t believe anyone is still gullible enough to still send her money.

    The only race I see Sarah in this year is the race to fatten her bank account.  She may be in for a nasty surprise even if she does declare….I am in a solidly red state which was gaga over Palin in 2008, but republicans here in our city seem to have moved on. Nobody even talks about her anymore.  The buzz in the school pickup lines, at the gym, and at the pool is alllll about Perry and Bachmann: what good evangelical Christians they are…..they have what it takes….they have the drive to GET THINGS DONE.  I am also in the south, where most of us don’t have money to waste.  You can bet that if Republicans in the Bible belt are going to put their hard-earned dollars anywhere, it will be on a candidate who is doing everything they can to earn the voters’ trust by running an upfront, honest and TIMELY campaign…..not a game of smoke and mirrors.

    Tick, tick, tick, Sarah! 

  • Anonymous

    “”She has proven that she can transcend the “old media” way of doing things.””

     In Alaska where winning votes are counted in the hundreds.
    In the”Lower 48″ that she looks down on,we count higher.In fact,we use Electoral votes.No one has posted a strategy where by she can win enough of those.Actually,her “organization” may not even have pretended to do this.

  • Bristol

    Her daughter let the cat out of the bag and said her mom had already decided. The question then is why will she not come out and say so? You can analyze that one, but if she intended to run (and win) she would have stood up and said so. Bachmann has more balls than she does. :D

  • Anonymous

    hilarious that $carah’s shills still think $he’s running.
    oh $he’s running alright, running away with all her followers’
    kids’ lunch money

    GO $CARAH GO !?!

  • Anonymous

    More drama, more publicity, sure.

    But as far as more bucks?  She’ll have to account for every PAC penny she spends after she declares her candidacy.  That’s a restriction to her PAC that she doesn’t have now.

    I don’t think she’ll give up the freedom of not having an oversight agency review  her expenditures.

  • Anonymous

    I resent that.  Do you honestly think liberals are not smart enough to peruse the articles and blogging done at RedState, Townhall, BigGovernment, BigHollywood (Michael Moriarty cracks me up), American Spectator, Daily Caller, here…?  I’m not so tight-assed as to not want to read what the other side is saying.

    I have to admit, I’m finding an increasing number of special needs parents who blog their disappointment in her, an increasing number of fiscal conservatives who are put off by her and others’ views on social theocratic activism, and an increasing number of people who say they have always voted Republican who’ve said they have been appalled at her aggressive gunpowder rhetoric.

  • Anonymous

    At the rate she’s losing weight, she’s going to look like Gollum by the time 2016 rolls around.

    Palin in 2008  http://www.hyscience.com/sarah_palin_flag.jpg

    Palin in 2009  http://indiedesign.typepad.com/2009images/political_talk_2009/republicans/Sarah-Palin-2008.jpg

    Palin in 2010  http://www.blogcdn.com/www.politicsdaily.com/media/2010/09/sarah-palin-427jc0917101.jpg

    Palin in 2011  
    http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/08/12/t1larg.paliniowa.aug12.jpg

  • Anonymous

    LOVE her toes!  Girls just want to have fun.

  • Anonymous

    yeah, the dead skin’s real appealing, really attractive too 

  • Anonymous

    Sarah Palin (R-QUITTER) is an empty vessel.  There’s no there there. 

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