Apparently, Sarah Palin was concerned that she was losing her touch when it came to grabbing headlines by making comments that . . . oh, how shall I put this nicely? . . . ought to be held in minimal high regard.1 In order to remedy this doubtless serious problem, John McCain’s choice for “heartbeat away from the presidency” decided to inform us that “waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”
Baptism is, of course, the way in which people are admitted into particular Christian churches. It is a meaningful and beautiful ceremony for Christians, one that represents a major life moment for the baptized person and for his/ her loved ones. To compare this holy rite with a method by which information is extracted from terrorists–a method that might even constitute torture!–may very well strike Christians (and others who believe that joyful ceremonies ought not to be analogized with practices that are forbidden by the Geneva Conventions) as being rather incredibly offensive and ignorant. I imagine that Sarah Palin does not lose much sleep over this fact, but perhaps on the 12th of Never, the thought that she should take into account the religious and ethical sensibilities of Christians (a community of which she counts herself as a part) and others will enter her remarkably barren mindscape.
Yes, I am aware that Palin’s remarks stand her in good stead with certain folks on the starboard side, which is why she makes such remarks in the first place. Words–even poorly chosen words–are a substitute for accomplishments when it comes to Palin, who as we know, decided to unburden herself of the responsibility of serving her fellow Alaskans as their governor halfway into her first term. Being liberated from the demands of leadership, the lady needed a hobby, and found one. In general, that hobby may be described as “making John McCain’s first presidential choice look as disastrously bad as possible,” and Heaven knows that Palin pursues this particular activity with zest and gusto. But perhaps Palin might want to throw both her adoring and not-so-adoring fans a curveball or several and actually make some public statements that serve as evidence that there lies a working mass of gray matter in between her ears. That way, she may confuse critics into believing–if only for a few moments–that she is in fact intelligent. Writing for myself, I can safely state that after nearly six years of watching Sarah Palin at work, I would welcome the befuddlement.
1. Tip O’Neill reported that the unkindest comment John McCormack ever made of a colleague was “I hold him in minimal high regard.” What a lovely statement. I plan on using it often, and I am sure that fate and circumstance will give me plenty of occasions to do so.