So now Sarah Palin goes away. From Alaska, anyway. In a bizarre move from a bizarre politician (Is there any other kind?), the governor of Alaska and former Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States announced her resignation from the governorship. Her reasons were about as ambiguous as most of her answers to interviewers’ questions, but her main complaint about being governor of Alaska and America’s favorite ignorant bimbo seems to be that the media have been criticizing her a heck of a lot. That and the very big dough she’ll soon be making with her deal to have some guy write her book and put her name on it and possibly become the latest TV talking head. Do most people think she’s bailing on the people of Alaska and grabbing the brass ring before it’s snatched away? You betcha!
While it is pretty common these days for governors to resign from office before their time is up, that usually means a sex scandal or very grand larceny on the part of said governor. No such luck for reporters this time around. Aside from the novelty aspect of her ascendency into the national spotlight, Sarah Palin never was all that interesting or imaginative. Never mind that she’s as uninformed as your average office blowhard, but if she was at least a little bit witty or a little bit smart she’d have been a true political star instead of the tired joke that she was in danger of becoming. So give her credit for reading the handwriting on the wall and cashing in before the joke gets really old and no one gives a rat’s ass about Sarah Palin anymore.
Also, her much-maligned blathering about greater opportunities to affect political change outside the constraints of the Alaska governorship is actually true. Can anyone name a single one of Alaska’s previous governors in its 50 years as the 50th state? There were 8 of them, all as anonymous as she would have been if not for John McCain. The only problem with the notion of Sarah Palin affecting political change is that she is Sarah Palin. Everyone who likes her already does and those who thinks she’s an idiot aren’t likely to be persuaded otherwise, and the latter group is in the vast majority.
This resurgence of Ms. Palin’s popularity has brought joy to two segments of society- Democats and comedians. Her quitting the job she was elected to do in order to run for president in 2012 as a Republican has the Democrats convinced that Obama will be a 2 term president and the nation’s comedians hopeful that she will fill the comic void left by Bush The Younger, a one-man wrecking crew of the English language and the dignity of the presidency. Possibly the only ones really upset about Sarah Palin being unleashed on the Lower 48 is her own political party, the Republicans. So much for rebuilding with some reasonable people.
And the Republicans really can’t do a damned thing about the fact that Ms. Palin automatically becomes their party’s biggest star. They’ve got nothing left after 8 years of Shotgun Dick Cheney running the country and their party into the ground. When all you’ve got to offer as the brains of your outfit is Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich, you’re really in deep doodoo. Anyone else ever meet another soul named Rush or Newt? Or two people with larger gaps in their knowledge to ego ratios? The word chasm come to mind. Such is the disarray of their party that an even dimmer bulb will now be calling the shots.
They just might have to ditch that “Party of Ideas” slogan, and quick. Lots of people have ideas. The Nazis had a whole bunch of them, and that didn’t work out so well for anyone, did it? So did Shotgun Dick Cheney, if war for war’s sake, making rich people a whole lot richer at the expense of everybody else, reviving the Spanish Inquisition and gutting the Bill of Rights pass for ideas. Now they’ll be forced to reckon with Sarah Palin’s “ideas.” What are they? Outside of quitting the job she was elected to do in order to rake in millions and millions of dollars, she has none.
Then again, ignoring one’s responsibilities in order to scoop up all the cash one possibly can is the exact quality that has characterized the Republican party since they purged all the smart and earnest people in their ranks, so maybe this is a match made in heaven after all. They can go all “rugged individualist” and “I got mine” in their campaigns, emphasizing their personal success stories as the personification of The American Dream. Of course that means having to downplay the fact that so much of their dough is blood money and funds stolen from the working classes with a stroke of Bush The Younger’s pen, but clever lying has always been the Republicans’ long suit. How else could they have gotten a guy who deserted his military post during the Vietnam War elected president twice?
So, Alaska’s loss is the nation’s gain, one more squeaky wheel to put up with, and making about as much sense. Oh, she’ll affect change all right, in her own bank account, adding more zeroes with every incomprehensible interview and proclamation. Which makes her a natural for today’s Republicans, those celebrators of getting and staying rich by any means necessary. Looks like Sarah Palin’s going to be quite the formidable fixture of public life in a private sector sort of way, where the money’s a hell of a lot better. And what about Alaska? There’s fewer people there than live in your average small city inhabiting an area the size of France and not really huge fans of government in the first place. Odds are they might not even notice she’s gone. Someday when the novelty wears off again, we’ll be as lucky.