July 6, 2009

So Much for the Pitbull in Lipstick

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Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announced her resignation on Saturday, in what can only be described honestly as a painful and disjointed press conference, full of tortured basketball analogies and, as is her wont, stupefyingly suspect logic.

A day later, Mrs. Palin went so far as to have her lawyer threaten legal action against anyone spreading rumors of possible legal trouble for the governor, and the most conservative elements of the GOP were left to try and justify her abrupt abdication in terms that were pretty clearly hollow even to their authors. Their efforts were rendered even more hypocritical for anyone who recalled a scornful statement the governor directed at then-candidate Barack Obama when she was John McCain's running mate during the 2008 presidential election:
I guess a small town mayor is SORT of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.

Of course, no one on the political right mentioned the much greater responsibilities Mrs. Palin is abandoning as she quits the executive mansion in Juneau, and we were treated instead to desperate declarations that her resignation is a brilliant political move. The lot of them looked ridiculous, frankly, in their apparent inability to accept that the country's appetite for taking willful ignorance, pettiness, arrogance, stupidity and corruption at face value pretty much exhausted itself - at least for now - with the presidency of George W. Bush.

In her resignation, Mrs. Palin widely employed the surreal, empty reasoning that has become her trademark, and essentially made the claim that by abandoning her post as Alaska's chief executive, she was somehow not only doing the right thing for her state, but helping the Republican Party. Perhaps that might be true in some fashion - so long as one ignores the fact the she is walking away from her responsibilities - if Sarah Palin were truly the political rock star she clearly envisions herself to be. Given the stunning dearth of qualification and intelligence she has displayed to date, however, it is probably much more fair to view it as an appalling dereliction of duty and an effort to set herself up for a presidential run that is deeply cynical, grandly delusional, or both.

It will be interesting to see whether Governor Palin's career travels the trajectory she seems to envision for it, or whether it will continue to die a slow death while continuing to choke the life from the GOP's aspirations of national resurgence. Whatever happens, though, two things are certain: Sarah Palin is the gift that keeps on giving to the Democratic Party; and whichever direction things move, she will be woefully incompetent and unprepared.

If you think the above evaluation is in any way spiteful, please take a moment to review some of Sarah Palin's greatest hits in the video below, and reflect on the fact that there are people in this country who honestly believe she would make a great President of the United States.

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