Bad Dream Girls

Sarah Palin and Carrie Prejean remind us that in America, dumb and dumber equals rich and richer.

By Mary Beth Crain

It’s a sad but unavoidable fact of publishing that names sell books—no matter whose names they are. It doesn’t matter if you drool drivel. In fact, the dumber you are, the better chance you have of making millions in a society that will pay to watch anybody make an ass of themselves—or will uphold asininity to the death as long as it’s couched in the guise of Christian virtue.

So, if you’re a loud-mouthed, empty-headed, mean-spirited babe with nothing to say but a whole lot of far right Christians clamoring to hear it, you’re guaranteed a book deal, and a big fat one to boot. Seven-figure advance, nation-wide book tour, your smug mug on every news and talk show for weeks on end—even if your book gets the worst reviews on the planet, it’ll still sell out of its first huge printing, which is enough to make any publisher as happy as a fly in a cow pie patch.

Take the two most recent cases in point: Sarah Palin and Carrie Prejean.

Until September of 2008, Sarah’s name was a household word only in Alaska, that strange, gruff hinterland located somewhere between Seattle and Siberia. Then came John McCain and we know the rest. Suddenly the provincial little governor with the flashy pearly whites, anti-liberal rhetoric and hot ass became an overnight sensation. She was trotted out everywhere as the new “rock star” of the GOP, her hapless “First Dude” husband standing a respectful few paces behind her like the Prince Consort, her obedient children gathered round her with weary, trance-like smiles, one of them always saddled with her Downs syndrome infant son. It was an image guaranteed to drive every Christian conservative wild with joy. At last! Somebody just like them!

You betcha. It took, what, about 36 hours for the twit to hit the fan? The first whoops was daughter Bristol’s illegitimate pregnancy. Boy, did the McCain troops do some fancy dancing around that one. Sarah, the champion of pre-marital virtue and teen celibacy, assured everybody that Bristol and the other guilty party, Levi Johnston, were definitely wedlock bound. John McCain held the hands of the blushing sinners and told America that God blessed their union. Fraud and hypocrisy got a good old Christian makeover.

Then came another revelation, far more embarrassing and insidious. Sarah Palin didn’t have a brain. She made an ass of herself with Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson, displaying her lack of intelligence with such brash conceit that her ratings took a dive whenever she opened her mouth. She wanted liberal books banned from libraries. Allegations of corruption in her administration came pouring out of the woodwork. She couldn’t name any magazines or newspapers she read. She’d never heard of the Bush Doctrine. She didn’t know that Africa was a continent. Over at the McCain HQ, they were running out of Excedrin.

As the days and weeks passed and the public woke up to the fact that if McCain were elected, the most clueless woman in politics would be one heartbeat from the presidency, you could hear the collective gasp of horror all the way to Russia. The “new woman” of the GOP became the target of not only the evil liberal media but the McCain camp as well. She was blamed for the senator’s defeat, and retreated to Alaskaville, to lick her wounds and defend herself with bitter roguishness.

But never underestimate the unintelligence of America. Today, a year later, Sarah’s so hot you need oven mitts to touch her. She’s making millions on her number one bestseller, “Going Rogue.” She’s booked for speaking engagements years in advance. She actually goes to China to lecture world leaders on the economy! Can all this be for real?

The most recent polls are a reflection of this country’s ambivalent intelligence quotient. Apparently, 70 % of Americans love Sarah Palin—but only 28% think she’s qualified to be our president. And 2% are undecided—undecided? That’s like not being able to make up your mind about whether or not to put sugar or cyanide in your coffee!

So, even though Ms. Palin is today’s most dangerous demagogue in a skirt, and even though “Going Rogue” has been lambasted for its petty vindictiveness, lies and distortions—who cares? There are lines around the block at her book signings. Worshippers melt into puddles in the bright light of her good ol’ girl smile. She’s probably already signed her next book deal, for so many seven figures she could bail out the recession single-handed. And her only qualifications for stardom are ignorance, hypocrisy, self-delusion and a skewed version of Christianity that would make Jesus head for the Imodium.

But wait—there’s more! Following in those noble footsteps is Public Enemy No. 2: Carrie Prejean. The former Miss California, self-avowed Christian and sworn enemy of same sex marriage, has been linked in kinship with her Christian rogue idol. Like Sarah, Carrie opened her mouth and idiocy spewed out. Like Sarah, she subsequently found herself the star of the mad dog conservative speaking circuit, where she was suddenly making hundreds of thousands as the new martyr for Jesus, complaining about how she was being “Palinized” for upholding simple, honest Christian values.

“Because I said I was a Christian, all of a sudden people are just trying to undermine me and discredit me and make me look like a fool,” she whined to Christianity Today--exactly as Palin has defined herself as the whipping girl of the liberal media, steadfastly refusing to recognize the fact that the media was merely the objective recorder of her own stupidity. And in her interview with Matt Lauer, Prejean pontificated,

I knew at that moment after I had answered the question [about same sex marriage] that I was not going to win, because I had spoken from my heart, from my beliefs, and for my God.

In the weeks that followed her infamous declaration at the Miss U.S.A. Pageant, Carrie credited “her” God with all sorts of wondrous workings. At a recent GOP Value Voter’s Summit, she humbly observed, “God chose me for that moment because he knew that not only would I be the one to stand up for him and for the truth, but because he knew I was strong enough to get through all the junk that I’ve been through.” When asked how she felt about losing the Miss U.S.A. title, she replied, “It wasn’t what God wanted for me that night.” When asked how she handled the stress in her life, she said that her pastor, Miles McPherson, had been her rod and staff. “’Carrie, don't pay attention to the drama’ he told me. ‘Don't get into the drama. God has a plan for you, he chose you for this. This is your time to figure out what God has in store for you.’”

Could what God had in store for her be an update of the Book of Revelations, one of which was the revelation of the lurid sex tape she made and sent to her boyfriend? In which she masturbated and committed all sorts of other lewd acts?

Oh yes, squeaky clean Miss California, for whom the tiara wasn’t good enough—where’s my halo?—was recently exposed in all her immoral hypocrisy—right on the heels of the publication of her memoir, “Still Standing: The Untold Story of My Fight Against Gossip, Hate and Political Attacks.” How inconvenient!

Well…not really. The Christian Right merely spun this embarrassment into one more liberal plot to undermine their darling, who had her excuses all ready. I said I was a Christian. I never said I was perfect. I made that tape when I was 17. I was young and didn’t know any better. It was the biggest mistake of my life. But God forgives us for our mistakes.

But then it was revealed that Little Miss Christian A) was 20, not 17, when she made the tape and had asked her boyfriend to lie about that fact, and B) had made not one but eight pornographic videos. As Chelsea Lately gleefully observed, “Oh, God, I made the biggest mistake of my life. Eight times!”

That was a little harder to spin, but Carrie gave it a whirl anyway. “I wasn’t having sex on the tapes,” she insisted, pointing out the fact that they were, um, solo performances. Kind of like Bill Clinton making the delicate distinction between oral sex and “real” sex with Monica Lewinsky?

Where, oh where, does it end?

Apparently not here. As long as there are die-hard Christian rightists, there will always be a home for the Carries and Sarahs of the world. Sean Hannity, who proudly wrote the foreword to “Still Standing,” was still standing by his blonde bombshell cutie in a sympathetic interview in which he gave her all the leeway in the world to wriggle out of her jaw-dropping faux pas.

For every intelligent, thinking person who sees Prejean for what she really is, there’s a halfwit defending her for just “being human.” The “Human Events: Headquarters of the Conservative Underground” website has applauded Prejean’s book for “making a point important to the future of the conservative movement: that while they demand tolerance in others, the gay activist community is anything but tolerant of those who don’t share their views or support their political agenda.”

Which is, of course, bullshit deluxe. What the gay activist community, and other critics of Prejean, are intolerant of is wolves in sheep’s clothing, i.e. hypocrites, bigots and nincompoops parading as high-minded Christians. And the most insufferable thing of all is that the Prejeans and the Palins and all their bleating flock haven’t the faintest idea of what true Christianity is.

Both Sarah and Carrie have bragged ad nauseum about their happy Christian upbringings and “strong Christian family values.” Oh, yes, let’s talk about their lovely families. Bristol Palin, one unhappy camper saddled with a baby out of wedlock, and her sleazy ex, Levi J., who could give his almost-mother-in-law a run for her money in the brainless department. In fact, it’s only Levi’s innate stupidity that’s saved Sarah’s ass; while all the dirt he’s dished out about her is probably true, his own shameless bid for fame, which has included posing nude for Playgirl, hasn’t exactly done wonders for his credibility.

As for Carrie, her redneck bro, motor cross racer Billy Arnone, is one shining example of Christian virtue, all right. This certified bonehead has actually gone public to declare that despite her eight porno tapes and 30 nude photos, his sister is “still a Christian, very much,” and that “If the tapes were put in front of me, I’d probably watch them.” WHAAAAT? Did Carrie Prejean’s brother just say he’d like to watch his sister playing with herself? And what’s next for this fine, upstanding Christian family? A tape of Billy jerking off to the tape of Carrie jerking off?

But then, maybe I’m missing the point. Didn’t Jesus say, “Love thy neighbor as thyself?” Maybe all Carrie, and Billy, are doing is loving themselves as Jesus wants them to. And if they go on to bang the whole world, why, isn’t that just spreading the love? As for Sarah, no one can deny that she loves herself, totally and completely. In fact, according to many reviews, “Going Rogue” is one big testament to self-love, in the form of a 432-page act of revenge against anyone who’s ever criticized her.

A word of caution to the rogues for Christianity: the next time you get on that high and mighty Christian horn, you might want to ask yourselves, WWJS? You don’t have to go farther than your trusty bible to find out.

“Judge not lest you be judged. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye and not the log that is in your own? And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”

If that’s “your” God, girls, isn’t it time you stopped preaching and started listening?


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Senior editor Mary Beth Crain's last piece for SoMA was

Why Is a Spiritual Advisor Like a Lay's Potato Chip?


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