We don’t subscribe to the notion recently floated by Rick Moran in “Did Sarah Palin just ‘Pwn’ the media with divorce rumors?” The theory holds that the Gryphen-Zaki meltdown over the weekend was the result of an elaborate Rovian-style setup brilliantly planned and executed by Sarah Palin:

It’s too pat, the pieces fit too nicely together (an “explanation” for why she resigned) not to raise alarms with real journalists. So I think there is at least the possibility, that either someone in the Palin camp with an ax to grind with the media – or, less likely, Palin herself – whispered a few words to a birdie they were sure would get the word to people who would publish it.

We have even seen some of Gryphen’s fellow travellers advance the same idea. But you have to remember that these are the same people who claim that Sarah Palin is the stupidest woman to come along since Lot’s wife, and she is supported by a cast of characters of such incompetence that they can’t even manage to book her solidly for speaking events. How then, can she be so dang dumb and yet manage to outfox the best liberal minds in Alaska, the Gryphenistas never bother to explain. Go figure…

It’s not that we refuse to believe the former governor is capable of some adept political “strategery”– we’ve seen that demonstrated more than once in her political career. In this case, however, we believe that the anti-Palin hate bloggers roasted their own rear ends without any assistance from the Sarahcuda. It has more to do with a different kind of political animal entirely. For want of a better term, we call it the Wyle E. Coyote Effect.

Wyle E. Coyote was an icon of the cartoon generation before the stuff of Saturday morning television became so much more sophisticated than the easily understood characters that helped Warner Brothers domnate the genre for nearly five decades before toons lost all their appeal to our generation. The old WB catoons were basically morality plays hand-painted on celluloid with a memorable cast of characters, the most hapless of which was Wyle E.

The cunning coyote was driven by his own greed for a roadrunner appetizer and his hatred for the speedy little bird. Motivated in such a manner, poor Wyle E. was doomed to crash and burn from great altitude, get crushed under gigantic boulders and do himself in hundreds of other ways. And it was the number of ways the Warner Brothers creative people could dream up to foil Canis Latranis Hapless that kept us watching the critter’s cartoons. The roadrunner wasn’t Wyle E’s only nemesis – just the most familiar one. There was also the ever-vigilant sheepdog who pounded the poor brush wolf relentlessly for Wyle E.’s attempts to gorge on lamb chops. He occasionally even challenged Bugs Bunny, the brightest star in Warner’s Tooniverse, with less than satisfactory results for the poor ol’ howler.

Wyle E. Coyote was aided and abetted in his nefarious schemes by what appeared to be his lone worldly possession — an ACME catalog. In its pages he found all sorts of devices which he believed would give him the edge over his intended victims, but — alas — these marvelous machines more often than not failed him at the most inopportune moments, usually “wyle” he was suspended in the air thousands of feet above  that familiar canyon in which he was doomed to repeatedly crash and burn. The Brothers Warner never explained to us where Wyle E. got the cash to buy all of those ACME contraptions, nor did they bother to try to provide an explanation for exactly how he managed to survive so many crashes and burnings, but we could have cared less. We were just kids, and it was just a cartoon, after all. The expression Warner’s artists painted on the face of the character to show that he realized he had jumped the shark and was in for a 2,000 foot free fall was alone worth the price of admission, which admittedly was just a dime back then.

That’s right, — back in the day you could spend the whole of a Saturday morning watching a spellbinding serial, a Roy Rogers or Lone Ranger western, a really scary sci-fi or monster movie and a half-dozen or so cartoons for the princely sum of two nickels to rub together. Our parents loved that they could plant us in the movie theater and have half a day free from having to deal with our shenanigans. But they hated it when they had to park the car, march into the dark movie house and yank us out of our seats because we inevitably got so wrapped up in the experience that we forgot to watch the clock and meet them outside at the appointed hour.

Perhaps Mom and Dad would have gone a little easier on us had they realized that what was going on inside that theater was more than just mindless escapism. Kids all over were getting an education of sorts, and the cartoon was the unlikely teacher. We learned that Wyle E. Coyote had no one to blame for the unfortunate ends of his devious means but himself. And the lesson we kids took away from those toons had something to do with personal responsibility, although we couldn’t explain it as such at the time.  Lacking an adult’s vocabulary to explain the thoughts in our young minds, we nevertheless came to understand that a lust for exercising power over others in such a hateful manner as pursued by this particular critter could lead to no good end.

Fast forward to the 21st century, and we can find all sorts of modern metaphors for the Palin attackers and the former governor, but none as fitting as the Wyle E. Coyote cartoons of yesteryear. To the Palin supporter, Sarah The Runner is the speedy bird, and Wyle E. represents the anti-Palin hate blogger. The significance of the fact that coyotes and wolves are canis cousins we will not delve into here, but there’s no denying that it helps the metaphor succeed. ACME is the federal government as run by the Democrat Party, and it is probably owned by a holding company under the control of George Soros. Barack Obama is the figurehead CEO, but Rahm Emanuel is the Chief Operating Officer and also responsible for strategy. The catalog is the state-run media, and the products found between its covers are the shiny objects — the less than reliable media stories — with which the keyboard coyotes hope to destroy speedy Sarah. That the twisted strategic anti-Palin plotting is doomed to fail is a given, but it doesn’t make each new  episode any less compelling to watch. It occurs to us that Acme as the feds provides an explanation of how Wyle E. can afford all of those shiny objects. The bill gets sent to the taxpayers!

Just like up on the screen, every time the pursuer appears to have his quarry cornered, he does himself in because of the flaws in his character. These flaws are defects he refuses to acknowledge.  In one memorable episode, Wyle E. even had the audacity to present himself as a genius. It said so right there on his business card. While you ponder what a cartoon coyote would be doing with a business card, we will admit that it was hard for us to hate the coyote the same way he hated the roadrunner. After all, Bill Clinton was fond of saying that doing the same thing over and over while expecting the results to change was a definition of insanity. So there’s the coyote’s cop out — the crazy in him made him do it. Besides, who can hate a character nutty enough to strap on a pair of rocket-powered genuine ACME roller skates and light the candle? Ya gotta love that.

Also writing for Pajamas Media, Eric Florack looks for support for Moran’s contention in “Liberal Bloggers Crash and Burn on Bogus Palin Divorce Rumor” — a title which helped us develop The Wyle E. Coyote Effect metaphor. On the insanity point we find some agreement:

It’s really enough to cause one to wonder a little about the sanity of Palin’s opposition. If Palin really is the idiot they keep making her out to be, why is it they feel they must make stuff up to generate attacks on her?

And let’s face it, the record of success of such attacks isn’t very good. Foul rumors gets quelled with lead-pipe certainty every single time. You would think that eventually they’d stop trying after so many failures. If she’s so much the idiot, what does it say about her attackers when they come away bloodied and broken after each attack attempt? Do you suppose it’s possible they’re desperate now and are tossing anything and everything at the wall hoping that something will eventually stick?

Hate will make people do strange and desperate things, and trust me, a fair amount of Palin’s attackers hate her.

See what we mean? How could we have been led to any other possible metaphor for the hate bloggers and their “Todd And Sarah Are Splitsville” fiasco? And if we’re a bit off our rockers to develop a cartoon metaphor to explain that such acts of vile hatred are doomed to fail, how insane does it make the crazy coyotes up in Alaska? Sadly, it’s much easier to believe that these vile cartoonish characters are completely out of their minds than to accept what a radio character from the heyday of the Warner toons was known to posit — “Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men?” — and some awfully sick women as well.

– JP