Just 288 Shopping Days Until the War On the War On Xmas!

Since the public career of Sarah Palin was recently reburied for about the tenth time, when she lost her Fox News contract and thus her major platform, two news items involving St. Joan of the Tundra jumped out at me this morning.

The first is that Palin’s getting a supersized allotment of speaking time at the CPAC conference, according to National Review‘s Katrina Trinko, second only to keynoter Ted Cruz, for the simple reason that she sells tickets.

And the second, from an AP story by Hillel Italie, is that Palin has a deal with a major publisher to write a Christmas book to be released in November. This being Palin, it’s not so much as Christmas book as a book about the insanely imaginary yet intensely useful War on Christmas:

“Amidst the fragility of this politically correct era, it is imperative that we stand up for our beliefs before the element of faith in a glorious and traditional holiday like Christmas is marginalized and ignored,” Palin said in a statement released through her publisher. “This will be a fun, festive, thought provoking book, which will encourage all to see what is possible when we unite in defense of our faith and ignore the politically correct Scrooges who would rather take Christ out of Christmas.”

Yeah, as always, attacking Jews, Muslims and non-religious folk seems like a fine way to celebrate the Nativity. I do have to say this is sort of the bottom-of-the-barrel of culture-war topics, thrilling only those who are so shallow and self-regarding as to think themselves martyrs for having to suffer the indignity of realizing other people do not share their particular version of their particular faith (as I always note every Xmas, that particular feast was widely frowned upon and in some cases outlawed for centuries in many of the Reformed traditions that played so big a role in the formation of this country). Italie thinks the early announcement of this book is a bad sign for Palin, like a has-been signer announcing a Xmas album as a last resort.

I dunno. Every time I hear her pronounced politically or culturally dead because she doesn’t have this or that institutional perch (whether it’s an elected office or a network contract), I remind myself that Palin’s most politically importance utterance (the infamous “death panel” post that introduced a particularly lethal virus into the national debate over health care reform) was made via her Facebook page. A big nasty CPAC speech followed by a cheesy book politically exploiting Christmas might be enough to keep her in the loop, if not necessarily to justify further Tina Fey impersonations. She just turned 49, so it’s not like she’s ready for assisted living. So get used to the fact that just when you’ve forgotten about her, she’ll pop up again, not as some putative president of the United States, but at least as someone with a divine or demonic mission to make us all crazy at least one more time.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.