Readers of these irregular musings know I have a low degree of tolerance for many who call themselves “politicians.” But I reserve the lowest rung on that ladder for those who masquerade as someone important while enjoying the trappings and enrichment of phony celebrity.

That’s why I place Sarah Palin at the intolerant level in the first instance and beneath the lowest rung in the second. Her incessant pursuit of personal-promotion-for-dollars confirms both ratings.

Her latest shameful exhibitionism is the photo op trip to Haiti. She’s not the first “celebrity” to do it and she won’t be the last. While some, like Sean Penn, have poured large amounts of personal wealth and time into trying to help, Palin’s only contribution has been an increase in landing fees collected at the local airport because of all the world media flights occasioned by her self-promotion.

From my perspective, there was clearly no other reason for the visit. She took nothing with her but a contingent of media and left nothing behind except questions by the locals of “Who was that woman?”

What sets off my personal anger at her conduct is there was open to her a 100% legitimate way to be an invaluable resource to the several million people still suffering a year after the earthquake’s devastation. The opportunity was hers to take and it would have won plaudits from all who are sincerely interested in the plight of those who suffer. Even me. It was, as they say, “a no-brainer.”

Shortly after the quake a year ago, this country pledged relief aid of some $1,650,000,000, the largest offering of help from any nation. Just imagine what such a sum, added to promises from most of the major countries in the world, would have done to minimize suffering for several million people and to get reconstruction started.

So what has been America’s dollar contribution paid to date, nearly a year after the promise was made? Nothing! Zero! Zip! Nada! Not a buck! Along with hundreds of other bills awaiting congressional approval, the party that has benefitted most from Ms. Palin’s endless media presence has blocked the Haiti relief pledge from being converted into the much-needed cash. The bill will die when the current session of Congress ends next month.

Had Sarah-baby really wanted to make a difference in the tragedy in Haiti, all she had to do … with or without the ever-present cameras … was to use her GOP prominence before her trip to put public pressure on her own party to pull the Haiti relief bill out of the large stack of stranded legislation and place it for immediate passage. And payment.

That’s it. One more “news” conference … even if only on Faux News. One more grasp at the moving spotlight … yet another invasion of our living rooms. Except this time, she’d have a perfectly valid and, some would say, real humanitarian opportunity to actually do someone else … besides herself … some good. A lot of good!

Boehner and McConnell would have duked it out to be the first to call up the bill for certain passage and Democrats would have been willing participants to finally get some positive media.

That’s all there was to it for her to capture worldwide attention and to give herself some legitimacy for being on television again. One news conference. One phone call. Then hop the chartered jet, make her publicity visit and claim some personal credit for improving the lives of several million Haitians. Barak Obama couldn’t do it. Bill Clinton couldn’t do it. She could.

Because she didn’t make the slightest move in that direction, she is either getting political advice from Tiger Wood’s personal agent or is surrounded by the least talented political minds since John McCain had the brainstorm to choose “what’s-her-name, you know, the new governor of Alaska” as a running mate in 2008.

There is some value to celebrity. There are some legitimate reasons for its use. This was one of them. And it was in the lap of someone who could use some public presence with “meat” on it. But, as in so much of her over-publicized life, “she doesn’t know what she doesn’t know.” And she apparently won’t listen to those around her who “should know what she should know.”

In a few years, she will be a footnote in Republican party history. Now, she’s just a publicity-hungry, personally-greedy, self-serving creature of the media. There is no there … there.

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