Last night Sarah Palin did a little stand-up routine on the Tonight Show. And y'know what? She wasn't bad. The jokes were basically stupid, but her delivery really wasn't awful. It made us think: Give this woman a talk show.
At this point Palin is plenty comfortable in front of a camera, and certainly has a base of crazy fans who will follow her to the ends of the flat, flat Earth. The trouble is, up to this point her TV appearances have mostly been snide and political, she's burbling out empty talking points and clogging the whole civics process with her cheese-curd Ideas. This is a waste. A pesky waste. Despite her dumb politics, Palin has a certain TV-ready verve to her that could be well-harnessed by the soft touch, stiff chair confines of a daytime talk show. There she could spout forth about a whole wide variety of non-political topics — things like Weight and Sadness and Celebrity and America. Everything she said would still be annoying and, for the most part, categorically wrong, but it wouldn't really matter, because she'd just be a silly talk show host. Not some great governmental hope.
Look at Elisabeth Hasselbeck. If that woman ever shouldered her political bag of mysteries and actually made any headway toward Washington, most of us would pack it up and detonate those charges that were buried along various borders and stand and wave as we stood on the coasts and drifted away from America's chewy center. But we don't need to worry about that! Because Hasselbeck is stuck just mewling away on The View. By empowering her with her own Thoughtz-Lite platform, we've also neutralized her. She can do little harm, as long as the only time we really have to consider anything she says is when we're home sick. That is not so for Palin. The Thrilla from Wasilla is still somehow kicking around in the realm of Serious Business, talking politics on the highly respected Fox News and making little winks about a 2012 presidential bid. As long as she clings on to that particular locomotive, we still must quietly worry about her.
But if we give her Sarah, a broad-themed chatter about ruhl Amurrican stuff, then that's all done. Sarah Palin will have gone from vague political nuisance to just a talk show host. She'll be as credible as Leeza Gibbons. Oh sure you might worry that she'll become the Right's very own Oprah, who on her better days is probably more influential a figure than any current politician, but worry not. That's very unlikely to happen with Palin, she's just too polarized. The lefties will simply ignore her while the same righty Real Moms who have always done so (and never won't) will continue to embrace her. She'll be just as powerful/popular as she's ever been, without threatening to gain any actual ability to change the mechanics of the nation. As long as we admit to ourselves that, yes, Sarah Palin has some degree of sociological cachet, then we can stop worrying about it. Give her her platform so people can stop whining about how she's marginalized and discriminated against and then she'll be mostly out of the way! The Sarah Palin Problem solved. She just hosts a show and says crazy things in the afternoon these days. That's it.
And she'd probably go for it. It's been clear since we first watched her wonder-filled eyes swell to dinner plate size as she saw all those glorious cameras laid out before her that the woman just wants to be famous. She needs to know she's being heard and, for whatever reason, politics became the medium. All we have to do is shift her focus a little, get her off the news networks and into syndication. Then she'll be mostly out of our hair and she'll be happy in her own little stinky corner of personal fame and there will be peace. Yes, it could blow up in our faces, but maybe that's a gamble worth taking. If she's launching her own television program, she surely won't have time to throw her hat in the ring and further muck up the electoral process with her obfuscating and say-nothing campaigning. The woman's an empty vessel of down-home TV slickness, but obviously it works to some extent. She's vapid, but she's good. Chirping away about nonsense on camera is her true calling, and we shouldn't stand in the way of that.
Sarah Palin needs her own talk show. So she can feel she's somehow won and the rest of us can move on with our lives. It's unrealistic to think that she's ever going to just disappear completely. So let's make a compromise. Who's with me?