David B.




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July 9, 2009

Palin’s Greatest Achievement: Her Own Political Suicide (Thank You)


Behold the peace, the comfort, the calm that has settled on the planet Earth since this Independence Day past.


In a world of uncertainty, of capriciousness, of outright insanity, one thing is now certain: Sarah Palin will never, ever, ever be president of the United States.


It’s as if the entire globe and all its people are breathing a single massive collective sigh of relief. The dark clouds have lifted, the sun is shining brightly and the Wasilla Gorilla is now completely, utterly spent as a viable candidate for national office.


It was a near miss, though – nearer than any sane person would prefer. Flat-earthers, mouth-breathers, dim bulbs and televangical wackos had found, they thought, their moose-hunting messiah in the form of the loud-mouthed, empty-headed Palin, the Edith Bunker of American politics. Given America’s latent protofascist predilections, cultural vacuity and unswerving preference for image above substance, she just might have pulled it off – if, say, Barack Obama had been suddenly abducted by aliens, or voting rights restricted to 700 Club members. It could have happened.


But no more: Palinmania is part of the ugly past. And we are free.


Conservative commentators, never noted for their firm grasp upon reality, have tried to argue otherwise. Quitting her governorship is part of some brilliant secret strategy, they say – another one of those mavericky things Sarah does to confuse and confound her enemies as she outmaneuvers them. Quitting is a principled stand which places the best interest of Alaskans at heart. Quitting reflects Sarah’s acceptance of her destined rendezvous with bigger, greater, more world-changing things than a mere governorship.


Sorry, no. Reality demands to intervene. Politicians wishing to make blockbuster announcements favoring them don’t pick a Friday afternoon news dump prior to a holiday weekend – and in the midst of Dead Michael Mania, no less – to take their place before the cameras. Such timing is perfect, however, for abrupt resignations by cowards on their way to prison. Or, for that matter, for Cut ‘n’ Run Sarah, America’s Quitter In Chief.


Bailing on the governorship is only the latest in a long line of abrupt Palin exits: Four colleges, the Alaska Oil and Gas Board, and untold other positions in the private sector. Historically, these have tended to be upward failures of the George W. Bush variety. Cloaked behind a welter of rhetorical bluster, moral rectitude, winks and You Betchas, the Northern Narcissist managed to wriggle wormlike into positions of progressively increasing power and material reward. And so it may be this time: Palin, ever attentive to her own self interest, doubtless has a laundry list of lucrative nexts firmly in hand – well-paid lecture-circuit appearances, a TV or radio show, or other similar venue wherein she might stuff her pockets while reveling in attention like a pig rolling in filth.


Certainly, Palin will survive – but Palinism will not, and true to form, Sarah Palin couldn’t begin to care. Today’s core principles and beliefs are tomorrow’s toilet paper, and selling out her state in favor of serving her own short-term self interest, whatever it may be at this juncture – a lucrative contract, or avoiding a lengthy jail term – is second nature to our northern narcissist. Palin knew that quitting now positioned her as the perfect perpetual punch line, earning her the distrust of legions of the political independents and centrists she would have to rely on in any campaign for the presidency. In her personal calculus, this simply didn’t matter, meaning by implication that a later campaign didn’t matter either.


The political Palin kicked her own bucket, for reasons thus far known only to her. For the remainder of the Earth’s population who quake at the prospect of her over-manicured fingers anywhere near a certain big red button, the reasons for Palin’s political suicide don’t matter, so long as said suicide is permanent and irrevocable. Palin herself has done as much as humanly possible to ensure that it is so. In so doing, she has performed a public service exponentially more valuable than anything she ever accomplished in office.


© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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