So this morning I’m reading that our long national West Hollywood nightmare is over. Apparently the Orange Grove Avenue homeowners who, under the guise of Halloween decorations and the protection of the First Amendment, costumed a mannequin to represent Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin that they then hung by the neck from their roof, have finally caved in to pressure from neighbors and elected officials and cut her down.

Was it a tasteless display lacking in all propriety? Absolutely.

Did I think it needed to be taken down? Well, I’m certainly not sorry to see it gone as it stood — er, hung — but had the people responsible been a little less angry and a little more creative, not only would Palin still be aloft, but she would never ever ever have garnered the overblown exposure and outcry.

It would have been a simple compromise really — especially since part of the installation includes another mannequin representing John McCain emerging out of a fake-flame engulfed chimney above her. Just remove the noose and fashion the rope as strings dangling from a crosspiece in McCain’s hands down to Palin’s arms. And voila: a political statement of puppet and puppetmaster, with none of the deplorable implications of violence and death. I guarantee you no one but the neighbors and passers-by would have known about it. FTW.