Friday, July 3, 2009

Sarah Sings A Sad Song Of Leaving


Moose Lady says she's leaving to have more time to shoot guns.
Note UFO in background. (Photo: From CNN, via TPM Media)

Sarah Palin -- last seen babbling to Katie Couric like an idiot on national television; having her ass kicked as the Absurd Nihilist Party's vice-presidential candidate of John McCain; then using a bad choice of joke by David Letterman as an excuse to look like a grandstanding, tiny-minded idiot, again -- is resigning as Governor of Alaska before the end of July.

A Palin 'loyalist' said to a reporter in Wasilla, AK, after the announcement, "She can be more of a help to Alaska from the outside now."

So what happened exactly? ... this clearly happened so quickly that Palin hasn't even had a chance to come up with a coherent cover story for her resignation. Some context is probably helpful here, however.

Remember that based on the public record, Palin is a wildly unethical public official, guilty at a minimum of numerous instances of abusing her authority as governor. And a lot of very damaging information has come out about her in the last few days -- though mainly embarrassing information about her character rather than new evidence of bad acts. I would not be surprised if this latest round of revelations shook something else loose that we haven't heard about yet.

(Josh Marshall, TPM)


For Little Sarah, America's godless rabble needs to be dominated.
(Photo: Carlos Barria - Reuters / via the News & Record)

When people throw the observation at you, "All politics is local", it's true -- but possibly not quite as that phrase seems on the surface. It isn't just that issues have to be perceived in a local context; it also means that national politics is just the local variety, writ large.

I grew up in a small town; there was a Mayor, and a City Council, and a local School Board, and a smattering of People With Opinions. However, none of them really mattered. The real Powers That Be were the large local landowners (most of whom had been in the area for generations), along with the President of the local bank; the owner of the local newspaper; longtime residents who owned local businesses -- people like that. All male, all generally voting Republican, all with property and roots.

They met at least once every week for lunch at a private club above the local bank at the intersection of the town's two main streets, and often enough on Fridays or Saturdays for the classic poker (and the occasional Blue Movie) night, with dinner and an unlicensed full bar. Anyone not a member who was asked to "drop by and play a few hands" might have thought they'd become Made Guys, but they were utterly wrong.

The Members wanted to take their measure, see if they could be 'useful' -- and then have them up the Club again, later, but this time to ask them to do something for the Members which would apparently put the Club in the guest's debt. And, the flattered Guest is thinking: I can use these wired-in guys to get somewhere; they think they're using me, but it's the other way around -- like people who accept the 'suggestions' of wired-in guys always do.

If we had been in Europe, the invitation would have come from the Earl Of Bottomfeed, the Graf von Hohendingen, or the Marquis du Fromage to come to the local Schloss or country estate for dinner, brandy and cigars. They might have a use for the Guest... but wanted to look them over first; make sure they're the "right sort".

When they get down to where the cheese binds, they might make a suggestion to someone in County civil service about who should be awarded a public works contract, and what the civil servant might expect in return -- not a bribe; just a friendly sharing of views. Or, asking them whether they'd ever thought about running for political office ("We all think you seem like a good guy"). And, donations for a campaign could certainly be found among the Members, and their friends...

Flattery and manipulation would be thick, in whatever measures it takes. And you don't want to flatly refuse people like that. Because the unspoken other side of the coin is that they can hurt you, as easily as help you ("...Well, we all have to live in this town; 'go along to get along', isn't that the old saying?").

When I was in High School, my father was asked by The Guys to run for office -- not for real, but strictly as a spoiler, to siphon off just enough votes from a candidate who didn't quite see things their way. The tactic worked; after that, my father believed he had a Marker with the local powers that be... even though he had a devil of a time cashing it in. And that's how politics works -- locally, or otherwise.


Little Sarah, using bloodsports as a 'Teaching Moment'
with a child who watched her shoot the moose. As an adult,
they'll spend 30% of their disposable income on therapy.

Sarah Palin ran for Governor, not because she was the most qualified, or had better ideas to benefit the people of Alaska; or because Jesus appeared to her in a vision when she was babbling in tongues. She ran because she was ambitious, and when she got an invitation to the Alaskan equivalent of That Club Over The Bank, I don't think they cared whether she believed extra-Human voices told her that she would become Governor. The Members only cared how badly she wanted it.

Palin, as so many before her, was probably thinking They think they're using me; but boy, I'm gonna use these guys -- god's gonna use 'em; yes, sir , boy... But The Members just smiled; by the end of a long conversation with her, if she looked like a fish that could run, they would know how deeply to set the hook.

Palin is a moderately corrupt, small-town politician, with the level of consciousness of a character out of Sinclair's Babbit. She doesn't seem to understand that it is an abuse of the power of her office to use it in exacting personal vengeance; or, that using her sudden elevation to Vice-Presidential candidate as an opportunity to buy six figures' worth of new clothing on the RNC's dime is a huge red flag regarding how she operates. Palin doesn't appear to know where her boundaries are, or to care when she crosses them.

Had McCain become President, I have absolutely no doubt: A situation would have occurred (for 'health reasons', or a result of something more serious) where Little Sarah, plain and tall, would have become the first Female, Evangelical, President of the United States. If you believe in god -- any god -- get down on your knees daily and thank them that she was sent back to Juneau last year.


Little Sarah, in her true form, appears on Rush's mandatory
radio show to announce she and a friend are running in 2012
(Photo: The irrepressible dvdbeaver.com, somewhat altered)

As Josh Marshall notes, the whole Affaire le resignation seemed hastily thrown together -- Palin spokespersons seem to be telling two different tales: One, Palin is "Out of politics for good", and Two, she wants to focus on a 2012 Presidential run. Even her own comments about her reasons for resigning seem, uh, weird. And not just garden-variety weird, but Monty Pythonesque weird.


Sarah enlists the help of Danish Irregular Forces to counter
threats to Alaska by godless Russians. (Photo: AP / TPM)

"Only dead fish go with the flow," she noted. "it may be tempting ... to just keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand: 'Sit down and shut up', but that's the worthless, easy path; that's a quitter's way out." So -- Quitters stay in the office they to which they were elected... and Winners quit (Watch Palin's um, 'interesting' statement here).

Now, she may be considering an attempt to become the Presidential candidate of the Limbaugh-Christianist-Feed-Me-Seymour party. It's also possible that a scandal, with the odor of a salmon left in the backseat of a locked car on a hot day, is about to break -- and that she's timed her exit to avoid being filmed making a perp walk out of the Alaskan State House. We'll see.