The Final Nail in Palin’s Coffin

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05palin.jpgI was so drunk on Friday night when someone told me that Sarah Palin had resigned as Governor of Alaska that I skipped right past insisting that it was a joke but still couldn't quite believe it.  In retrospect, however, being completely wasted (and at a bachelor party no less) seems entirely appropriate, since only someone totally out of their gourd could possibly make sense of this move by everyone's favorite moose-hunting rogue-going lady governor.  I got home around 2 am and starting puttering around with my computer, even though I could barely see straight, because I just had to see it for myself.

The clip of her speech was everything I hoped it would be and more. Instantly destined for a spot in the internet comedy Hall of Fame, it really has everything you want from a public political media meltdown. There was the incredibly odd setting of a podium on a lawn somewhere (was that Russia over her shoulder?), and an oddly small number of people taking it in live, some reports claimed that the press conference was so hastily put together that some local reporters didn't have time (or didn't realize the import of the content) to show up.  Her herky-jerky cadence and loud mouth-breathing probably killed any chance of her getting a gig on television, her ridiculously far-fetched point guard analogy also ended any last hopes of ending up on ESPN.  She changed voices constantly, switching from "I" to "we," making her convoluted thought process even harder to parse.  She even had little Piper standing right there in case David Letterman wants to make a joke about it during his monologue.

But we all get her point: she can't do enough to help Alaskans as Governor because of the media's "full court press" and she's gonna be more helpful once she's no longer in office.  There are many theories floating around about why she's made this decision, but the ones that keep coming up are: she's running for President, she's pregnant, she's lost her mind, some sort of ethics charge is coming down the pipeline (no pun intended), it's no longer fun, she's not getting enough attention and is looking to move to the national stage.  I've got little interest in either dismissing or giving the ol' Toder seal of approval to one of these theories, but I do think that this is the end of Palin.  Sure, her base will love this move and wingnut radio central will be abuzz with various unfairness claims when people suggest that this is the end, but what I understand even less than why she did this is how it makes one a legitimate politician, someone worthy of the vote of the average hard working American living in Real America.

She's a quitter and a coward. The former is obvious, no matter what pro-Palin reason someone could generate, like it's wrong to have a leadership job while applying for another one, the stain of quitting will never be washed out.  How can she ever stand up in front of people and tout her mental and emotional fortitude again?  How can she ever answer claims that she wouldn't abandon her post?  She can't, and it's fantastic.  On some level, even her base has to know this.  And as for blaming the media and all the pressure they exert, well, it'll be hard to keep up the claim, since once she's on the keynote speaker circuit she'll be part of that problem.

But the larger lesson here is that Palin doesn't think that politics are all that good for helping people, being in office isn't the best way to get done the things that the people need to get done, politics are less effective than the "other direction" that she is now "advancing in."  Why someone who feels this way would ever want to be in politics again, and at a larger level, is completely nuts.  As soon as she said that she can "effect positive change outside government," I thought immediately of her speech at the RNC last year, her coming out party as it were.  The line that I thought of was this, "I guess a small town mayor is kinda like a community organizer, except you have actual responsibilities."  Well, Sarah, those actual responsibilities are all gone now, and, in the hope and estimation of this proud citizen of Fake America, may they be gone for good.

Yesterday, our country celebrated its Independence Day, and I watched fireworks from the roof of my building in Brooklyn.  Maybe Palin hoped that this news would be somewhat dampened by the holiday weekend, certainly many people on the East Coast were stuck in holiday traffic when she started her press conference at four in the afternoon.  Or maybe she wanted to set us all up for the "free from her now" angle.  Either way, I couldn't help but think that in a certain way, those fireworks were for all the people who knew that she shouldn't have been on the national stage at all, that she was and is a totally uninformed loon who was as unqualified as she was dangerous.  Standing on the roof, a friend of mine said, "I'm always so cynical about the idea of fireworks, but then I'm watching them and I'm all ooohs and aaahs."  So true.


  • 1

    You are right on target here, Mr. Toder. I think this is a brilliant piece that should oughtta be published everywhere newspapers are still being pressed out. "Real America" needs a dose of reality.

  • 2

    Not to worry, she's got the "Department of Law" on her side (click m'name).

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