And just like that — phffffttt — she was gone. Sarah Palin, the phantasmagoric shooting star of far-right-wing wackiness, has formally bowed out of the 2012 presidential race.
Apparently, her decision was God-sent. We can assume this, because, in her 2008 vice presidential run, Palin explained her decision-making process to us on a Fox-TV show: "I'm like, 'OK, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere' — this is what I always pray — I'm like, 'don't let me miss the open door, show me where the open door is, even if it's just cracked up a little bit, maybe I'll plow right on through that, maybe prematurely plow through it, but don't let me miss an open door.'"
Eons from now, archeologists will unearth this truly awesome and breathless sentence, and say: "Huh?" But, for us political observers today, that burst of Palinese simply translates to this: God showed Sarah the door.
In breaking the news of her departure from the political stage, the Fox-made millionaire trotted out her family again, declaring that she decided not to run out of respect for them.
Uh-huh... and out of respect for polls showing that only 21-percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of her. Also — get this — three-fourths of Republican primary voters said they did not want her in the GOP presidential race!
But let's give her credit. Yes, she's shown herself to be an incoherent, frighteningly unqualified, and far-out political figure, but without her, the door would not have opened for Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and other incoherent, frighteningly unqualified, and far-out Republican contenders.
Palin would probably give credit to God for opening the door for Bachmann, Perry & Company — but I don't think God hates America that much. So take a bow, Sarah — you earned this one.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.