Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sarah Palin's tour de force speech

I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to and reading about Sarah Palin's endorsement of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and particularly that one wonderfully complex, but utterly nonsensical, sentence that provided its apotheosis (starting at about 3:25 in this video).
Here is that sentence, in all its glory:
"And he, who would negotiate deals, kind of with the skills of a community organizer maybe organizing a neighbourhood tea, well, he deciding that, 'No, America would apologize', and, as part of the deal, as the enemy sends a message to the rest of the world that they capture and we kowtow and we apologize, and then, we bend over and say, 'Thank you, enemy'...'
There were several other moments in the speech of almost equal distinction and literary splendor. It was a political speech almost certainly destined to take its place in the Pantheon of American Political Rhetoric alongside Donald Rumsfeld's "known unknowns" speech, and has been described as performance art, as a filibuster, even as slam poetry. I have no idea what she was trying to say, but in a way it doesn't even matter. It is a stream of consciousness tour de force that carries with it its own justification and (probably) its own peculiar internal logic.
Mr. Trump seemed pleased with it, though. Maybe he is more attuned to Ms. Palin's idiosyncratic mode of expression than us mere mortals. It is kind of difficult to understand why he would want the endorsement of a polarizing politician best known for losing rather than winning, and for the antics of her progeny. But The Donald's approach to politics does not follow the usual rules or conventions.
In many ways, they deserve each other.

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