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Friday, July 3, 2009

Good Bye Sarah Palin And Don't Let the Door Hit You In The Ass

Jim is on vacation in the Florida Panhandle, he's pretty sure Sarah Palin pulled this stunt because he's out of town
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As an Alaskan I have no special insight into why Governor Palin abruptly resigned.

I could guess, but frankly I don't care.

As an Alaskan I'm perfectly happy to see her go, and the sooner the better. Alaska needs a governor whose mind and focus is on Alaska, not on some personal agenda. I'm sick of listening to her campaign, I'm sick of hearing about her Goddamned kids, I'm sick of hearing about who she's mad at this week or who offended her or what damned out of state hate rally she's headed off to this time.

The woman that leaves office at the end of this month is not the woman I voted for two years ago, that Sarah Palin promised to put Alaska and her duty to Alaskans first. And the Sarah Palin we elected did, for her first year in office anyway.

When John McCain selected her as his running mate, I was one of the very few non-conservative Alaskan bloggers who stuck up for her, and I took some serious heat for it too - I've still got the megabytes of hate mail. Despite having no intention of voting for another Goddamn Republican, ever, I urged people not to buy into the liberal hype, to judge Palin on her merits and her record here in Alaska. Unfortunately, for me anyway, Palin managed to prove every single one of her detractors correct in short order. Instead of sticking to the slightly right of center position she had established as Alaskan Governor, she jumped with both feet into shallow end of the batshit crazy conservative gene pool - leaving people like me looking the idiot.

Yes, yes, fool me once and so on. Well, she did fool me once - but once only.

It became obvious almost instantly that during the 2008 Presidential election, Palin represented the absolute worst of the Republican Party's neoconservatives, those blindly religious bigoted jingoist nationalists who rallied crowds of small minded and frightened people by pandering to hate and fear and xenophobia. It became obvious to me that Sarah Palin embodies absolutely everything I despise about the pinch-faced theocratic hypocritical bastards who have taken over the GOP.

After I wrote those favorable articles about her, Stonekettle Station regular Eric said that what he disliked about Palin the most was that she was small. Small in her vision, small in education, small in her hate, small in her fear (I'm paraphrasing here). I came to agree with that assessment and came to see how truly terrifying Palin's smallness was. If she had been elected to national office, she would have brought that smallness to a national level. It's one thing when that small minded fear and that small minded hatred and that small minded thirst for vengeance and lust for power is limited to the tiny stage of Wasilla or the limited governorship of a remote and sparsely populated state, it's another thing entirely when that small fear and hate and vengeful scorned beauty queen mentality is backed up with the power of the Executive - and if the last eight years have taught us anything at all, it has certainly taught us that.

When she returned to Alaska after the election I hoped Sarah Palin would return to the centrist we had elected. I hoped that she would again be content on the small stage of Alaska, and would remember her duty and remember why we had elected her in the first place and who paid her salary. I hoped that she would be humbled by her experience.

But, of course, that was impossible for somebody like Sarah Palin.

Suddenly she was somebody, famous for being famous. Famous for being the little beauty queen from the sticks who came this close to the brass ring. Six months after the election and nobody remembers John McCain, but they all remember Sarah Palin. Suddenly people would pay to hear her speak, even though she never said anything new, even though she kept telling the same jokes and spewing the same hysteria about the newly elected President. Her running mate had the class and grace to concede the race, Palin never did - and in fact turned on her erstwhile friend and the man who had brought her into the race in the first place, and while she was at it she turned on her former friends and mentors here in Alaska, brushing them aside just exactly as any spoiled self centered beauty queen does when she has a new boyfriend.

Two decades of military service teaches you a few things about people. For example, you never truly know somebody until you see them in combat. It is then, when the stresses are past redline, that you see their true colors, their true leadership ability, and whether or not they truly understand honor, courage, and duty. Palin came to office speaking of honor, of duty, of ethics and morality and taking the high road, of building bridges and representing all people. From the day she stepped onto the national stage however, she spent nearly every moment burning those bridges, choosing sides, slinging mud, spewing hatred and playing to small fears. She has spent her time since the election demonstrating to Alaskans that her ambitions are more important than we are and that she saw her duty elsewhere - whether or not she believed that is irrelevant, actions speak louder than words and leadership is about the image you project, and both her actions and her words and the image she projected left Alaskans like me less than impressed with her commitment to our state.

Yes, for others, both Alaskan and otherwise, Sarah Palin still walks on water. Those people are certainly entitled to their opinions. And now Palin is free to bask unfettered in their adulation. I wish her luck, maybe those people will buy her book.

More than anything, I hope that our new Governor remembers that his duty is to Alaska, first and foremost, and most especially to all Alaskans - those who voted for him and those who didn't.
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Updated:

And Sarah Palin fades quietly into the Alaskan sunset.... um, not so much. Guess I should be glad she hasn't threatened to sue me...yet.

16 comments:

  1. Jim, I've been waiting to hear your take, since you're closest on the ground, so to speak. You verbalized what I was unable to in my brief (incredulous) post. This lack of commitment to her job shows that she is incapable of bigger things. And there probably isn't a bigger job than President.

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  2. And I'm obviously living a boring life, because my blog hasn't even generated one tiny little piece of hate mail.

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  3. Parnell is good people - he was a school friend of Bryan's - it remains to be seen whether he can step up and be a decent governor.

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  4. For me, this has nothing to do with her being a Republican, Democrat, woman, man, Christian, atheist, Buddhist, whatever. It has to do with the oath she took and her apparent complete disregard for it in the past several months.

    For me, the bottom line is this - she quit. She was elected by the citizens of Alaska to do a job, and she has quit on them. Unless her reason involves family - and I mean that her continuing on as governor puts one or more of her children at serious risk, or she is too ill, mentally or physically, to do the job, then all she is is a quitter and a disgrace.

    This is especially if it turns out she's quitting to concentrate on running for President.

    Command is not easy. Leadership is not easy. Command and leadership (as Jim of all people is aware) involves commitment to the mission and commitment to those you lead; those you command. It's about placing the good of the mission and the good of those you lead above yourself. You don't abandon either just because you want to do something different. Or for personal gain. Or because it's hard. Or because people don't like you/are picking on you.

    If it turns out she has a legitimate reason as noted above for resigning with well over a year left as being governor, then I'm fine with that. If, however, she's doing this to lay the groundwork to run for President, then she will have unequivocally demonstrated that she has no understanding of duty, of honor, of commitment, of leadership. And that makes her unfit to be President of this country.

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  5. I'm not qualified to comment on Palin but I thank the gods every day that our small-minded parochial politicians up here cannot do as much damage as your ones can. Although the damage that they do manage is quite enough for me...

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  6. I never heard of Palin prior to last summer, so I've no opinion of her other than what I saw in the campaign.

    Jim, could you point to your posts on her? I would be interested in reading them or at least give me dates?

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  7. I'm still betting we'll find out she's been seeing an Argentine boy-toy. Making up for her previous lack of travel!

    It will also be revealed that said boy-toy thought he was dating Tina Fey the whole time.

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  8. NTSC, start here.

    And here's a bit on her family issues that I wrote after the election.

    Palin is a common topic here, if you type "Sarah Palin" into the blog search box on the upper left side, you'll get most of what I think about her and can track how my opinion has changed over the last two years.

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  9. Like I said at Neurondoc's blog, I'm guessing Palin quit because she had no choice; something was about to hit or something is going to hit. We'll see.

    At ND's, I alluded to Joan Walsh's take. It can be found here. The paragraph I referred to there is this one:

    Update II: According to Think Progress, the spectacularly wrong Palin supporter Bill Kristol phoned into Fox News to say: “If I had to guess, we just saw the opening statement of the 2012 campaign.” Meanwhile, on MSNBC Andrea Mitchell says she's hearing from GOP sources Palin is out of politics "for good." Who do you believe?

    I'm inclined to believe the GOP sources. Palin just doesn't seem like she's the kind of crazy who just snaps and signs out; I think she's crazy, yeah, just not that kind of crazy. And she has been under a good bit of scrutiny lately from Alaska's legal and ethical wings, not to mention the ever-present media attention (including a recent hit piece in Vanity Fair that, if nothing else, suggests that some seams are starting to leak. Perhaps Palin was starting to worry about who would talk next?)

    Anyway, we'll see. With my usual accuracy rate for predictions, I'm probably wrong.

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  10. I'm with the waiting for the other shoe to drop contingent.

    I'm thinking Palin, or for that matter a member of her family, has been caught in a situation serious enough, that when it becomes public (and you know it will) it will not only compromise themselves, but would eventually force her resignation.

    Somehow I didn't feel the bit of sympathy when she whined during her press conference that she and her husband had over $500,000 in legal bills since she crashed into the public eye last year. Boo hoo.

    WendyB_09

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  11. Well, like I said in the post, I could guess - I think that reference to her family's "four yeses, and one Hell Yes!" is fairly significant - but I'm not going to.

    Frankly, if she's not my governor or other elected official and I'm not paying her salary I don't give a fuck what she does.

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  12. I'm in the "Who Cares?" contingent, I think, provided she really is stepping out of public life for good.

    If she never darkens the public doorstep again, I'll be more than happy to forget she ever existed (since my opinion of her as a public servant closely resembles Eric's). If she tries to run for president in 2012, then I think I may have to hold my nose and register as a Republican so that I can caucus for someone else.

    A truer example of the Dunning-Kruger effect is hard to find.

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  13. Yeah, if this is a bid for the 2012 election, it's the dummest EVAR move. Why? One commercial, show her press conference resigning and have the subtitle, "When the going got tough, Sarah quit."

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  14. Good write Jim...like to see that published on the front of the ADN

    She did get rid of Frank for us..!

    Recent quote from one of her supporters..Walter Hickel

    "I don't give a damn what she does"

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  15. I guess we should be somewhat grateful. For at least one news cycle, Michael Jackson was NOT the lead story.

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  16. I'm thinking that the GOP wise up and said, "boy, does she come with a lot of baggage."

    So, they sent a hatchetman (person...) and said, "No future with us. Force the issue and we'll bury you."

    So she picked up her toys and left.

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