Jim is on vacation in the Florida Panhandle, he's pretty sure Sarah Palin pulled this stunt because he's out of town
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.
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.
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