Sarah Palin has “fairy tale” written all over her. From her humble beginnings to her humble middlings, to her swift Cinderella rise to fame as Alaska’s first female governor. And now to the surreal celestial realm of national celebrity, riding around in her pumpkin coach with her glass stilleto-heeled slippers trying to be the second-most important person in the land! I had almost convinced myself that this was the Palin metaphor, except for the one glaring problem. Cinderella was nice. Cinderella was humble, and sweet. She loved the little creatures. She sang like an angel. Cinderella was not a diva, or a pitbull, or a hockey mom. Not even close. And she didn’t shoot the little creatures for fun.
The quest for the perfect Palin metaphor fell stagnant, until coffee the other day with a couple friends. We were talking about how Barack Obama truly represents the American dream, but Palin is nothing but a fairy tale. Quest for metaphor woke up again. “There has GOT to be a perfect metaphor for Sarah Palin,” I kept thinking. What are her features…She’s beautiful, she’s seductive, she’s not what she appears to be, she sucks people in, she has an agenda that people don’t realize, she has no qualms about throwing people under the bus if it suits her, she’s manipulative, she has a lust for power, she is the center of her world……lights flashing, buzzers buzzing, whirring machine noises……..DING! A small index card is ejected from the metaphor machine.
“Sarah Palin, Queen of Narnia”. Remember the White Witch? Well…everyone else called her the White Witch, but she called herself the Queen. Now close your eyes, and imagine… After struggling through the world of Alaska political corruption, we suddenly find ourselves out in the fresh air, standing by a lamp post, in a strange new place. We see a sleigh silently moving across the snow. Everything is glittering, and we can see our breath. It’s been snowing for a long, long time. The sleigh is pulled by six pure white caribou, (or polar bears…take your pick). There is the silver tinkling of little bells as the sleigh approaches, and we see sitting there, wrapped in the furs, and clad in something fabulous from Nieman Marcus, is the White Witch. Stunningly beautiful, icy cold, smiling.
She sizes us up. She smiles, a radiant glossy, tattooed lip-liner smile. She winks. We feel warm and reassured. She scoots over and pats the white furs on the seat, and we climb in. We’re special, she tells us. She’s here to serve us, to help us, to get ‘er done. She knows what we want. Even though she’s wearing a $3000 polar bear fur jacket and $400 designer snow boots, under all that, she’s really just like us. Are we cold?, she asks. We are offered hot cocoa. “Thank you”, we say, “That cocoa is just like a breath of fresh air!” ” The last guy that asked us into a sleigh, kind of beat us around a little bit”, we confide. “He told us we could trust him, but he was a bad bad man.”
The White Witch bites her lip a little, in sympathy, smooths our hair, and tells us the bad man is gone forever…she saw to that. He’ll never come back. She even sold his sleigh on Ebay so we wouldn’t have to think about him any more. We smile, and start to feel a little sleepy.
You seem so cold, she purrs. Is there anything I can do for you? “How about some Turkish Delight?” we timidly suggest…hardly daring to hope. Her eyes twinkle…”I’ve got something even better.” A beautiful tin box appears out of the snow. She reaches down and gently takes up the box. She sets it in our lap, with a look that tells us it’s something special. We coax the top off the box and peer inside….It can’t be! It’s a check for $1200! “That will keep you warm this winter, won’t it?” she smiles. “Thank you!” we say. “My family of four will be so grateful!”
“Family of four? Well, gosh, why didn’t you say so?” Three more $1200 checks suddenly materialize in the box. We are speechless. We kiss her cold white manicured hand. She pats our head, and puts her hand back in the wolf fur muff. “I killed it myself,” she confesses with a smile and a coy downward glance. “Now, off you go!” We climb reluctantly out of the sleigh. “I ask only one thing. Do you see up there between those two mountains? Right past the big strip mall? That’s where I live. The castle with the float plane out front, and the windows that look just like the ones in the sports complex next door. And there’s my church over there. And there is where I work. All I ask is that you never ever come there, do you understand? Do not ask any questions, do not use the freedom of information act, and do not question what I do in any of those places, am I making myself clear?” Suddenly, her eyes flash. We’re not sure we like it. It makes us feel a little uncomfortable.
She tucks the four checks in our breast pocket and pats them. She kisses our forehead. We feel all warm and gooey inside. “OK,” we hear ourselves saying. We won’t do any of those things….Bye!” We wave wistfully, ” Will I see you again?” She turns around and winks as the sleigh moves silently on. As we give one last look, and as the hot cocoa starts to wear off, we make out something on the back of the sleigh. It’s….it’s people, but they are all grey and frozen like stone and stacked up in a little pile like cord wood. Like someone used a magic staff of evil to rob them of life and soul… Who are they? If we didn’t know better we’d guess it was our Commissioner of Public Safety, a State Trooper, and 3 or 4 members of the Narnian Legislature! Is it? Should we tell someone? ….Nah….that’s crazy. It couldn’t be. She’s so wonderful! And besides, we need to run to the bank.