“A half truth is a whole lie.”
— Yiddish Proverb
I like the Sarah Palin we all got to know. I liked the "form" and the "message" but have always questioned the substance. It was always unsettling that she didn’t know what she didn’t know . . . and didn’t seem to care about the holes in the act.
Initially it was easier to blame the McCain incompetents and epic GOP dysfunction that to admit that although Gov. Palin had potential, she was ill prepared for the big time at the time she was anointed.
Now, in the wake of her disjointed resignation as governor of Alaska, it must be acknowledged she lacks sound judgment. Palin reminds me of the Noel Coward line, “I love criticism just so long as it's unqualified praise.”
In the wake of the point/counterpoint, Palin spoke to cameras (in waders from the bank of an Alaskan river), "It's out of the box and unconventional. That's what we are as Alaskans and certainly how I am as a public servant." Sorry, but public servants serve the public . . . they don’t quit.
Notwithstanding the stroke and the spin offered by her personal lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, the incontrovertible truth is, she quit.
Van Flein says Sarah “is not a quitter.” Yeah, she is. REALLY. To resign with a third of her term remaining is by definition quitting. Bill Clinton couldn’t parse the word “is” and Sarah Palin doesn’t get to redefine the word “quit.” Fair is fair. . . you “betcha.”
Her spinmeisters say the governor needed a break after being "on duty now for 2 1/2 years solid." Hey, no one forced her to do what she did. She chose to run for office, the people of Alaska chose to elect her governor, and it's only fair to assume that in return for their vote of confidence, she would honor her commitment (and her oath) and serve out her term.
Palin rambled on about how once she decided not to seek re-election her lame-duck status would make her somehow hollow.
She said lame ducks take junkets and squander state resources on personal travel blah-blah-blah . . .Lame ducks are not REQUIRED to take junkets and travel.Lame ducks are not REQUIRED to stack arms and do nothing.Many lame ducks work harder in their sunset days to try to shore up a legacy "something."
Palin’s rationale for her resignation was disingenuous, duplicitous, and a bucket of moose droppings. Even solid Sarah supporters were heard to utter “Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrox.”
All those things we loved about Palin, her brass, non conformity, directness, and candor were undermined and tarnished by her dishonest, timid resignation.
However, it’s not all bad: Palin remains a formidable spokesperson for conservative principles. She is a political rock star in a party clinging to life support and struggling with terminal dysfunction. She can make big bank of herself, and become a GOP fundraising rainmaker. She can probably score a TV talk gig and solidify her base supporters, and hopefully even fill the knowledge vacuum which remains her tragic flaw.Worse case scenario — she becomes a fixture on the talk circuit preaching to the choirs. She can become the queen of “form” but seems damned to remain a vagrant to substance.
Her lawyer says, "There is no bombshell. There is no shoe to drop. There are no investigations of any type that I'm aware of — no IRS audit, no federal investigation, no state investigation," Van Flein told CNN. "There is no legal reason in terms of a legal problem that compelled the governor to resign."
Then she should have completed her term and fulfilled her promise to the people who voted for her.
That lawyerly stroke that she "already accomplished her major goals," including winning legislative approval for a massive natural gas pipeline is smoke. If or when a politician succeeds in accomplishing an articulated goal, the next step is to establish the next realistic and attainable goal and set about doing that.
One of those ubiquitous “anonymous” authors once observed, “A lie may take care of the present, but has no future.”
Sarah has a future and it includes significant financial opportunities, but her future as an elected public official is probably history.
John Updike once said, “It is not difficult to deceive the first time, for the deceived possesses no antibodies; unvaccinated by suspicion, she overlooks lateness, accepts absurd excuses, permits the flimsiest patching to repair great rents in the quotidian.” For some reason, that quote makes me think of Palin.
Arguably, Palin didn’t maliciously deceive. Her lack of antibodies (which should have developed in the wake of a political life) may or may not contribute to dissembling. However, those “flimsiest patching to repair great rents” don’t last. And they haven’t.
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