|Wailin' Palin Quits Again
||[Jul. 9th, 2009|10:45 am]
|||||Reality bites at last!||]|
|||||Pink Floyd, "In My Head"||]|
Ed Brayton has this post discussing reactions and analyses of Sarah "Bible Spice" Palin's sudden and disorganized resignation as Governor of Alaska. (Her resignation speech is here. It's so badly written, so incoherent, and so transparently infantile and dishonest that I found it physically painful to read.)
In the comments section, I found this well-written and brilliant analysis by a commenter named "ice9," which I reprint here in full with his/her permission, with only minor edits: (emphasis added)
I take at face value the Feds' denials of an investigation. Obviously we can dismiss Palin's own explanations, both because she's a liar and because she made no coherent explanation. But I have a different sense.
Palin is not just a lame duck. The people of Alaska, including the Republican base, are annoyed at her. The wingnuts there of course love her still, and the rapture-ready Christianists are proud, but everybody else is disgusted. She abandoned the state to campaign, which is symbolic. But she also stepped 'above' her office in a variety of ways: she capitalized on various moronic lower 48 preconceptions about Alaska; she straightened up her house for the national media. she washed her hands of the complex and demeaning Stevens trials. Meanwhile the legislature, including moderate Republicans, are furious at her failure to participate in legitimate processes. Begitch took the senate seat, which stung the Republican organization and exacerbated the split between the practical and the wingnut factions.
And Palin went under the national political microscope, with humiliating and revealing results. She pimped out her kids, warts and all; she used her authority to cover up the little nasties that her family had accumulated; she looked like a dope, and in comparison made Alaska look like a bunch of spoiled rich quarrelsome dopes. She and the McCain folks ironed out Alaska's interesting differences with other states, and she spun various half-truths about how the state operates. In essence she buttered over a bunch of issues, putting them off or ignoring them. It's the standard tradeoff for a sitting governor who runs for national office: if you win, you bring a bunch of goodies to the state; if you lose, you've been derelict for no profit at all, and the bill comes due. Palin can't pay, and won't pay that bill. She won't go back to work. This is because she never really worked at governing, of course, but also because she deeply believes that she is above such work with its compromises. She feels herself to be annointed, and the annointed don't handle the basic tools of government.
I think she quit because she knew that the remaining part of her term would be nothing but hard work and trouble. I think she knew her national political aspirations -- already badly weakened by her unsuitability and her previous performances -- would be further eroded by any attempt to govern. All by itself, this calculation is abundant cause to reject her as a leader.
She knew that the Dems and moderate Republicans in Alaska were going to take every chance to hang her up for more scorn, which of course would resonate nationally because of her popularity and her consistency as a figure of fun on the left. She knew that she would be maneuvered into compromises by parties to Alaska's government exploiting her sensitivity to national attention. She knew that those base causes under national base scrutiny require grand, broad gestures and that as governor she would have few or no chances to make those gestures or, worse, she would be forced by exigencies of real government to compromise them. She calculated that the value of 'experience' as governor was less than the crap that was going to stick to her in the process, and calculated that the flash from her quitting would subside more quickly.
This calculation, we can see, is a neat synopsis of everything that is wrong with the current bizarre incarnation of the Republican party. They have contempt for the actual messy skill of governing. (Think Sanford, who just wanders off, vs. Schwarzenegger, who seems to be involved and energetic despite the risks. Think Pawlenty, who has scotched the economy in Minnesota for years just to put up a 'no tax' gesture that is visible in South Carolina.) It means much more in the current political calculus to speak, make appearances, and yak on Far Right Radio and TV than it does to serve, to solve problems, to govern. Worse, perhaps worst of all: it reinforces the perception I have that the current and future style of governance by conservatives bears no relationship to any legitimate governmental process at all. They give little or no thought to how actual government will go other than to rule by zinger and by fiat. And cooperation is right out. Any cooperation with 'them' is a stain. Enemies -- liberals, of course, but moderates too -- must be ignored, or attacked. Incompetence of the Bush stamp is a shrugging offense.
No government is the result, but it's no surprise that 'no government' is preferable to these people. What sort of nation (or state?) can be ruled that way? Only one 'at war', 'under threat' 'in fear' -- or, perhaps, a nation governed in fact by the Cheneys and Roves that stand behind.
I hope that this new style -- 'above governing' -- is not the fashion of the future, does not become the standard practice. I hope we can agree as a nation that public service requires actual service: gradual, bipartisan, grinding, gradual, and results-oriented. I hope that we can cut through the sexy simple solutions to the Palin Puzzle, such as the theory that she's sidestepping some kind of investigation or yielding to extortion (though if proved those would be their own kind of fun, but inconclusive). I think we need to pin her down on the simple fact of responsibility ducked.
And here's another comment from one of Ed's readers:
Last Line EPIC Fail: It was NOT McArthur [who] said "we're not retreating, just advancing in another direction" - it was Marine Gen. Oliver P Smith.
A perfect ending for Sarah Stupid
And here's a post by Andrew Sullivan, linking to his previous reporting of Sarah Palin's numerous lies.
And just in case there were still any doubts about how laughably thin-skinned and
cowardly intestinally challenged Palin and her supporters are, here's a letter from Palin's lawyer, released the day after her resignation speech, threatening to sue anyone who dares to talk about possible investigations of criminal conduct on Palin's part. It's perfectly okay for Palin to accuse Obama of "palling around with terrorists," but mentioning that Palin might someday be charged with a crime is actionable. Got it?
These people aren't just hypocritical and irresponsible; they're downright infantile, possibly to the point of making Michael Jackson look mature, needle-tracks and all. (Hey, at least MJ was actually still working when he died.) And speaking of infantile, check out peaceful_fox's notes on those delightful "Tea Parties" showing the world what "Real America" is all about.
UPDATE: Joan Walsh of Salon has an article about Bible Spice's latest lies about those pesky ethics complaints that alllegedly cost Alaska millions of dollars. Hint: they cost less than $300K, and they weren't orchestrated by Democrats.
When I first heard about the Tea Parties (last week sometime) I thought it was a bunch of geeky Libertarians and Fiscal Conservatives (remember them? It was before the days of wack-a-loons taking over the party) talking about the budget problem. Fair enough. I was a bit naïve. I had no idea it was a real hate fest. I admit that I was pretty shocked about the amount of hate these people have.
I can only hope that they get more and more comfortable about spewing their hate in public. Not because I want them to succeed, but because it will turn off the center right so much when they see what's going on, or it *should*. I have Republican friends who are absolutely disgusted by this and they don't have any love for Obama.
What I do wish is that moderates in the party would speak out about this instead of just sitting and watching it all happen or pretending it didn't happen. I don't see people like Lieberman or McCain speaking out against this shit. If you have, please let me know. I'd love to see a voice of sanity on the right.
I'll talk about Palin later – I didn't keep up with reading and watching last week due to the heat wave. I was too miserable. Now that it is cooler I am getting caught up on my reading.
Oh, I just caught Glenn Beck's show for the first time ever this week. He is the most unhinged person I've seen in a very long time.
Hope you're feeling better soon. Watching Glenn Beck probably won't help there.
Yeah, well, in Palin's case, her supporters pretty much invite the sexist attitudes when they blither about how she "energizes the base" and gives them "starbursts" and they're supporting her because they "just love her." And Paln herself invites it when she calls herself a put-bull with lipstick and runs on her "Alaska hockey mom darn tootin'" credentials. Hillary got a lot of sexist crap too, but it wasn't because her own supporters blithered in public about how she gave them tingly starbursts.
And let's face it: her supporters have been using the "sexist mistreatment" complaint to drum up sympathy and divert attention away from the real and substantive criticisms.
Hillary definitely got sexist crap,too. Sexism is alive and well in America, and the recent election season just magnified it.
As for saying she and her supporters "invite it," I wonder if you replaced sexist with racist and imagined she (and her supporters) were people of color if you would see just how offensive that is.
Well, there'd be a point to such criticism, if the people of color were either reinforcing negative stereotypes by their own behavior, and/or avoiding questions of real incompetence and wrongdoing by complaining of "racism." Sarah Palin and her supporters have done both. And while they have some validity, the complaints of "sexism" are, like Palin herself, INTENDED as a "game-changer," just another tactic to divert everyone's attention away from the substantive issues on which Republicans have been foundering since 2001.
While it's possible that "complaints" of sexism on behalf of Palin and her supports may be intended to be "game changers" (one can't really know without reading their minds, I suppose, short of admission of such), that's not what the NPR OpEd addresses. It points out the blatant sexism demonstrated by the media regarding not only Palin but pretty much women in general, and women in politics specifically. It's an important observation, in my opinion, and one that can't be dismissed because one dislikes Palin and her supporters.
We don't have to read anyone's minds: Rove & Co. were perfectly willing to say, up front, that they planned to call Palin's critics "sexist" whenever they opened their mouths, whatever the critics actually said. Reich-wing commentators were saying, from day one, things like "Liberals will have a hard time attacking our girl without sounding condescending and sexist."
The complaints of sexism can't be dismissed; but with Palin, they can be put rather low on the priority scale, because there are plenty of real and substantive complaints more deserving of our attention, like the fact that she's an uneducable moron, a liar, a coward, and a promoter of a very evil version of Christianity. Those are the complaints that are really sinking her, not the sexist stuff; and she deserves to be sunk by them.
PS: One more thing about commenting on public figures' dress and hair: it does happen to men, not just women, and a man's looks do have an effect on his public fortunes. I think one of the reasons women get it worse, is that men at that social level all dress pretty much the same (but when, for example, Paul Simon wore a bowtie, the media did make fun of it, along with his wierd-looking ears); while women are given a much greater variety of clothing styles to wear in public, and thus more opportunities to incur notice and ridicule.
2009-07-13 11:37 am (UTC)
Re: Palin - thanks but no thanks
2009-07-13 12:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Palin - thanks but no thanks
"People are so tired of the partisan stuff -- even my own son is not a Republican."
Right -- her laughable partisan performance has people running away from the GOP, so she'll run after them, and make the embarrassment less partisan. Okay then.
Thanks for passing that on. When you first looked at it, was there an ad for SarahPAC right beside the article?
I didn't notice the ad for SarahPAC, but when I looked there were ads for people who are in debt!