Even as pundits begin to think about her as a possible presidential candidates once again thanks to the small size of the 2012 Republican field, we learn today that Sarah Palin has quietly been planning a gambit that could be timed to coincide or directly precede a plunge into candidacy.
RealClearPolitics’ Scott Conroy has the clean scoop on this development: conservative filmmaker Stephen Bannon (best known for his Tea Party documentary, Generation Zero) has produced and directed a feature-length movie designed to resurrect Palin’s vengeful magic with grassroots Republicans, entitled The Undefeated, which will premiere in Iowa next month. Here’s part of Conroy’s take on the film, which he’s seen in rough-cut form:
Rife with religious metaphor and unmistakable allusions to Palin as a Joan of Arc-like figure, “The Undefeated” echoes Palin’s “Going Rogue” in its tidy division of the world between the heroes who are on her side and the villains who seek to thwart her at every turn.
To convey Bannon’s view of the pathology behind Palin-hatred, the film begins with a fast-paced sequence of clips showing some of the prominent celebrities who have used sexist, derogatory and generally vicious language to describe her.
Rosie O’Donnell, Matt Damon, Bill Maher, David Letterman, and Howard Stern all have brief cameos before comedian Louis C.K. goes off on a particularly ugly anti-Palin riff.
“I hate her more than anybody,” C.K. says at the end of his tirade, the rest of which is unfit to print here.
Bannon intends to release two versions of the film. An unrated edition will contain some obscene anti-Palin language and imagery, while the other is targeted to a general audience and will seek a PG-13 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America.
Gee, wonder which version will be shown to key Iowa activists who are on the fence about a 2012 candidate?
Whether or not the movie represents a hidden plan by Palin to run for president, or simply a failsafe measure to improve her standing if she later decides to run, it’s pretty clear its objective is to rekindle the sense of common victimization that made the former Alaska governor a conservative folk hero in the first place–a St. Joan of the Tundra who risked martyrdom to defend the “common-sense conservativism” of the hard-core Right against the sneering contempt of elites within and beyond both parties. It’s an approach that actually makes her poor recent poll standings something of a virtue: another sign of Establishment underestimation of the power of her message and the people she represents. Here’s Conroy again:
The film’s coda is introduced with an on-screen caption that reads, “From here, I can see November.” It is here that Mark Levin alludes to Ronald Reagan as a Palin-like insurgent who was also once distrusted by the GOP establishment.
Palin is then shown firing up a rally that occurred just last month on the steps of the state capitol in Wisconsin. “What we need is for you to stand up, GOP, and fight,” Palin, in vintage campaign form, shouts to the crowd. “Maybe I should ask some of the Badger women’s hockey team — those champions — maybe I should ask them if we should be suggesting to GOP leaders they need to learn how to fight like a girl!”
Following an extended in-your-face riff by Andrew Breitbart in which he repeatedly denounces as “eunuchs” the male Republican leaders who decline to defend Palin, the film ends with one last scene from the April rally in Madison: “Mr. President, game on!” Palin shouts before a martial drumbeat ushers in a closing quotation by Thomas Paine, which also appeared in “Going Rogue.” The implication is neither subtle nor easy to dismiss.
Wow. What a nightmare for Michele Bachmann.