You Know It's Bad When Sarah Palin Makes More Sense Than AnyoneOn what is rapidly turning into a day of major annoyances, it doesn't help that Sarah Palin seems to be making more sense than her fellow Republicans or that a guy who performed an exorcism on his college girlfriend might be her competition for the Republican nomination in 2012. Actually, what am I saying? Those might be amazing things in four years. And since the pundits can't stop talking about what went wrong, neither can Spencer Ackerman and I. Nor, actually, can we stop talking about chickens, cowsuits and my car. We like alliteration.MEGAN: You know when your day begins with finding out that there's another car parked where you left yours that the world has decided today will be nothing more than a series of crappy hours. SPENCER: So, to tweak what the Hebrews ask every year, that's why this day is crappier than other days? I was once on a date in Manhattan and I parked my mom's car in front of a theater rehearsal or some shit, leading me to take the lucky lady for an hours-long trip to the impound lot off the west side highway MEGAN: Well, the potential loss of the second most expensive thing I own — besides my condo — is only made worse by the fact that, in my trunk, hopefully, still rests my cherry red, knee-high leather boots. I will be actually more pissed about losing those than anything. SPENCER: You mean the RNC didn't pay for them? MEGAN: Damn, now I know what I have to do when I get back to D.C. I knew I should've done that before I left. SPENCER: Save your receipts. Did you see Palin told Matt Lauer she never set foot in a Neiman Marcus? That's got to be disprovable, no? MEGAN: Well, with all the reimbursements claimed by junior staff, that's probably technically accurate. What I was amazed about was that she's the first person I've read who has a combination of legitimate criticisms of her own campaign (failed to reach out to Latino voters), of the system itself (public financing wasn't enough money) and of the fact that it just wasn't a Republican year. No finger-pointing about towel-wearing, or being mishandled by aides or McCain's suspension or whatever, just a shrug, an honest assessment of the 3 things that really did hurt them and, one assumes, a tiny shrug. Compare that to the other histrionics on the right this week and I'm struggling to say why she shouldn't beat some of those people out in a race to be the new face of the party. SPENCER: It's not that I don't want to be generous, but this does leave out something that the CNN exit polls found: a fair number of people who were sympathetic to McCain were turned off because of... Sarah Palin. There are deep structural reasons why the GOP coalition cracked this year, but there are also pivot points, and she's one of them. That's not to say that Tim Pawlenty or Bobby Jindal or Newt Gingrich would do a better job with this in 2012, since that all depends on four years' worth of unknowables, but she was a significant problem for them. And what I didn't get from Palin, or from McCain on the Tonight Show, or from Mark Salter in the Daily Beast is why the McCain campaign didn't, say, target southwestern Hispanics more. MEGAN: The Tonight Show interview went on for so long, and still managed to cover so little ground, I was amazed. Also, I think McCain needs to stop saying that he's "proud" of Palin because it's creepy. That said, I think the problem with their Latino outreach was two-fold. First, they ran some pretty shitty Spanish language commercials trying to BS Latinos about Obama's record on immigration, which, of course, brought attention to their own. Second, they ran a base campaign, rather than trying to pull people into the base, which meant that the Rovian outreach to the Latino community was left by the wayside — probably why it's a crap idea to get a bunch of coastal Republicans to run your campaign. Third, in running the base-only campaign, they ended up having to run away from their own position on immigration, which meant the singular issue on which McCain had the ability to hold or even grow Bush's margins in the Latino community from 2004, he had to repudiate utterly in favor of supporting the No Amnesty Great Wall Of Southern Futility. SPENCER: Right, and that's exactly the reality Palin's explanations paper over: running a base campaign in a non-GOP year is insanity. And that papers over a further reality, which is why they ran a base campaign, and the answer there is because the GOP is high on its own supply, and that's that they really believe that they're, in Sarah Palin's words, the "pro-America" faction of America. Sarah Palin wouldn't even be giving these explanations if McCain hadn't run a base campaign, because she wouldn't have been on the ticket. And there's your answer to why she's worse for the GOP in 2012: all she can offer is an intensification of the same formula of motivating GOP voters for the next election, and there aren't enough of them anymore to win. Which is why I say no one should get in the way of the GOP nominating Sarah Palin in four years. MEGAN: Well, there have never been enough base voters in either party to win on base voters alone, which is partly why the Democrats this year were so enthusiastic about young voters because, as Peggy Noonan pointed out last week, the Democrats' margins among young voters could literally mean the loss of an entire generation for the GOP if the Dems can turn them out in 2010 and 2012 (they say if you vote for a party 3 times in a row from the get-go, you identify with that party for life). That said, I think a perfectly acceptable alternative to Democrats to Sarah Palin is Exorcizer-In Chief Bobby Jindal. That shit is cowsuit crazy! And you thought evangelical voters were tied in knots this time (let alone stupid and cowsuit crazy). SPENCER: To paraphrase Shogun Assassin (h/t GZA's Liquid Swords LP), your slang technique... is... magnificent. Where does cowsuit crazy come from? I'm stealing it. An ex of mine recently said that she's been "busy as a chicken" lately, which is also a brilliant thing to say. MEGAN: I prefer "running around like a chicken with its head cut off" to describe that state of affairs, but mostly because I like the violent imagery. SPENCER: Don't dodge the cowsuit-crazy-etymology question? This is what people read this feature to learn. MEGAN: I believe it originated here. SPENCER: But on Jindal: Yglesias had a good post yesterday about how the budgetary stars aren't aligning in Louisiana for Jindal to accumulate the kind of record — even a thin one! — of achievements necessary to being a first-tier presidential candidate. Maybe the GOP field will really be that weak in 2011 and he'll have a good shot. But even if the world fucks Obama up, Jindal or whomever will still have to unseat a president, and that's tougher than an open race is. MEGAN: Though Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas did it in 1992. Although can you imagine the optics of an Indian man running for President against a black incumbent? This is the same country (and the same party) that didn't make McCain the 2000 nominee because his child of Bangledeshi origin was his "black baby." SPENCER: I know — best South Carolina primary of all time! MEGAN: Anyway, so, you wanna discuss how GWB has become such a lame duck that even other heads of state are like, whaddaya mean Obama isn't coming? SPENCER: And was Bill Clinton's record really as thin as Jindal's (is likely to be)? MEGAN: No, I don't think his record was that thin — though Jindal was a Congressman first — it was more the "small rural state" thing. In fact, I believe Ross Perot used the fact that there were more chickens than people in Arkansas at the time as a reason not to vote for him. So what's there more of in Louisiana than people? SPENCER: Well not really but since you asked I guess we should. Podesta said that Obama is going to send emissaries to the G-20 but is holding to the one-president-at-a-time statement from the Friday press conference. Watch for whomever he sends to be leading contenders for cabinet or subcabinet positions. Also, I hear Obama is about to sign an executive order officially renaming the conference the G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G-20 Conference, and you have to stress the last syllable of "twenty." MEGAN: I mean, this 10 week lame duck shit is probably as inexplicable to people in Parliamentary democracies as the idea that the legislative and executive branches are separate. SPENCER: Speaking of inexplicable, good luck dealing with a Queens impound lot!