Sunday 5 July 2009

Palin's Saturday suicide

Sarah Palin’s rambling, James-Joyce-like resignation speech was bad enough – it essentially destroyed her career. But her Independence Day message really drove the final nail in her coffin.

"How sad that Washington and the media will never understand; it’s about country. And though it's honorable for countless others to leave their positions for a higher calling and without finishing a term, of course we know by now, for some reason a different standard applies for the decisions I make. But every American understands what it takes to make a decision because it’s right for all, including your family."

The media won’t leave me alone. Sorry, babe, but if you can’t stand the heat in your current position, then you have no hope of handling the media scrutiny a President gets, doing press conferences with the White House press corps every week or so. If you can’t handle reporters, you can’t be President. And nobody ever became a political superstar by declaring war on the press.

Palin actually doubled down on this bet by sending out her lawyer to threaten legal attacks against reporters:

“To the extent several websites, most notably liberal Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore, are now claiming as "fact" that Governor Palin resigned because she is "under federal investigation" for embezzlement or other criminal wrongdoing, we will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation. This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law. The Alaska Constitution protects the right of free speech, while simultaneously holding those "responsible for the abuse of that right." Alaska Constitution Art. I, Sec. 5. These falsehoods abuse the right to free speech; continuing to publish these falsehoods of criminal activity is reckless, done without any regard for the truth, and is actionable.”

If her bonehead lawyer knew anything about media law, he would know that as a public figure, the only way Palin can win damages for defamation is by proving that folks like the Times and the Post knowingly launched dishonest attacks against her – that’s the Supreme Court talking, which trumps Alaska state law. The Times and the Post know infinitely more about researching and disseminating the truth than Palin ever will. And there is no need to lie, to make Palin look bad – all they need to do is report what she says and does without any embellishment.

Public life is too hard on my family. Sorry, but it’s part of the job. And if you were that concerned about your family, you shouldn’t have shamelessly abused and exploited both Trig and Bristol for your own personal political purposes – you stuck them out there in the spotlight, so you can’t have it both ways. If your family can’t handle it, you can’t be President.

I can serve the people best by being out of office. This is a pretty simple one: if you openly admit the people are better off when you have no political power...then we’re going to take you at your word, and you can’t be dogcatcher, let alone President. That is particularly true for a governor who has accomplished virtually nothing positive.

It’s honourable for countless others to quit in the middle of their terms. WTF? The only people who give up political power in the middle of their terms are people who are (a) about to get indicted, (b) can’t take the heat, or (c) are just plain nuts. Any one of those three reasons disqualifies her from higher office. Again, you can’t be President.

And....Washington will never understand me....Say whaaaaat?

As for the Senate: being a Senator means that you need to be credible on policy – that you can sit on the Judiciary Committee and pick a Supreme Court Justice, or sit on the Foreign Relations Committee and help the President craft foreign policy, or write America’s health care plan. Palin has no credibility whatsoever. So, no White House, no Senate either.

As Jon Stewart so ably pointed out, Michael Jackson’s death was a godsend for another crazy governor, Mark Sanford, because it steered the media’s attention away from his erratic behaviour, but Sanford stupidly kept yapping and attracted the spotlight back in his direction. Palin did the same thing – she compounded her original error with her inability to STFU, her pathological need to hog the spotlight and have the last word.

My dream scenario: Palin and Sanford had an affair....I can dream, can’t I?

Do we really want to hand presidential power to a woman who has such an extraordinary talent for destroying everyone and everything within her reach? Look at what she has done to Alaska, the Republican party...even McCain. Every time Palin commits another act of lunacy, she makes McCain look like a dangerously clueless loon, for creating the Palin Phenomenon and setting her on the path toward the White House like a fucking Nazgul flying toward Bag End.

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