Sarah Palin “Freeing” Herself From Public Office!

3 07 2009

UPDATE 6:43 pm ET on CNN – David Gergen just said and I quote his exact three words, that it was bizarre, bewildering and nonsense.

See her remarks here or as officially “punctuated” here — and get them on video too, so you can hear that peculiar steely-happy delivery and the self-justification that makes her the Center of Every Universe — wow, see what you miss when you’re paying attention to your own family instead of the celebrities’ families?!?

I couldn’t resist revisiting Fiddle-dee-dee, from the week Sarah Palin first sashayed into our national power of story:

She was healthy, headstrong, unrefined, a minimally educated young woman with a very sharp tongue, getting by with her natural resources — breathtaking beauty and carefully cultivated feminine wiles. Scarlett produced several beautiful children not because she had any real choice or felt called to “actual” mothering as her own life purpose, but because it was inevitable in her society. Lucky for her and her ruthless pursuit of money and power and control out in the business world among men, then, that in that old-fashioned life, she had ample family and social resources at her disposal through which she could avoid bearing many “actual responsibilities” of active motherhood herself.

Living large the unexamined life, as it wreaks havoc on everyone else’s life.
Fiddle-dee-dee. She was the still most popular girl in three counties.

Scarlett was fictional but that doesn’t mean her story is a lie. . . . It’s Power of Story and we already know Palin’s story by heart.

So instead of Sanford, SHE steps down to save her children yet under similar suspicions of self over service? Maybe she’s smarter than he is, after all? Shrewder anyway, tough as nails and less morally conflicted — Scarlett to his Ashley Wilkes.

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38 responses

3 07 2009
COD

There must be one hell of a scandal getting ready to break from Alaska. This is gonna be fun….

3 07 2009
JJ

You think? I was figuring carefree book tour and high-priced speeches for some family millions and more trips to Neiman-Marcus, without all that pesky governance responsibility that’s not much fun when the economy’s down. . .

3 07 2009
JJ

I can’t wrap my brain around her brain, just can’t. The baby Trig (who’s now over a year old and pretty big) was right there for the whole rambling speech taking a bottle, with the smallest daughter Piper. These little kids in yet another command performance are outside next to the political podium, with their mom all dressed for business and talking about her professional future and the future of the state and nation and world. So even as she’s using them as the reason she can’t be governor, she continues to use them in being governor, just as she always has. Clueless or cynical, you decide.

(And yeah, he’s bottle-feeding. If he HAD to have a bottle right then, why did he have to be outside for it instead of in the house? At least she didn’t feed him the other way in the middle of her announcement.)

3 07 2009
Nance Confer

No, federal indictments are being mentioned — http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/3/749722/-Brad-Blog:-Federal-Indictments-for-Palin-in-Embezzlement-Scandal-May-Be-on-the-Way — nothing fun or carefree.

But that doesn’t sound nearly as noble as quitting to save Alaska money.

Nance

3 07 2009
JJ

Whoa.
I remember that sports complex.
Anne Kilkenny’s letter.

We had a bigtime university Athletic Director go down for similar use of government contracting labor and materials on his own home; DH actually worked the story himself, probably why I remember:

“Goin played a major role in shaping the future of the Florida State program during his previous nine years as associate AD. He resigned after an ethics investigation resulting from hiring a contractor to replace his home’s roof who was also doing a multi-million dollar construction project for the University.”

4 07 2009
JJ

“Only dead fish go with the flow.”

I was listening to her whole speech again, and that sentence jumped out at me.
Important difference between her and the people who don’t get her, maybe?
She thinks flow is a BAD thing!

COD and Dale were just expressing the opposite view (me too) —

“Flow, as defined by Dale McGowan, is when we’re completely in the moment, so intensely focused on the activity at hand that we lose track of time. It’s one of the most deeply satisfying and meaningful states we can enter.”

4 07 2009
JJ

Paul Begala’s take on her peculiar language and the level of thought it betrays:
Sarah Palin Turns Pro:

The text, as posted on Gov. Palin’s official website (here), uses 2,549 words and 18 exclamation points. Lincoln freed the slaves with 719 words and nary an exclamation; Mr. Jefferson declared our independence in 1,322 words and, again, no exclamation points. Nixon resigned the presidency in 1,796 words — still no exclamation points. Gov. Palin capitalized words at random – whole words, like “TO,” “HELP,” and “AND,” and the first letter of “Troops.”

Gov. Palin’s official announcement that she is resigning as chief executive of the great state of Alaska had all the depth and gravitas of a 13-year-old’s review of the Jonas Brothers’ album on Facebook. She even quoted her parents’ refrigerator magnet. . .

4 07 2009
JJ

Jay Rosen’s attributed line:

“No politician in our time has lived her political life at a wider variance from verifiable fact than Palin. That is why rage surrounds her.”

Then while following links, I came across a gem from 2001, Michael Kinsley pre-Palin yet explaining where Palin might have gotten the thought-crippling verb-mangled vernacular she offers as leadership and service:
Is Disappearing What TV News Doing to Our Verbs

4 07 2009
JJ

Current behind-the-scenes perspective on the resignation from Geoffrey Dunn, working on a book about Palin:
The Real Story:

All of the recent public donnybrooks have taken their toll: First the article by Mark Purdum in Vanity Fair and then the even nastier revelations of emails leaked by the McCain campaign which showed her to be an utter liar regarding her husband Todd’s membership in the Alaska Independent Party.

Even the seemingly innocuous interview in Runner’s World, with its bizarre, braggadocio boast of her having more endurance than Obama, revealed her penchant for duplicity at every turn: the assertion that an injury she had sustained while jogging in Arizona had been kept top-secret, a contention thoroughly disputed by the inimitable Mudflats.

One of my favorite lies spewed by Palin today in yet another poorly scripted speech was that she campaigned for governor “four years ago…,” when she, in fact, ran for governor three years ago and held her position for little more than two-and-half years. It’s the little lies she always tells, the twists of truth, the distortions. Four years sounds like nearly a full term; three feels incomplete. So why not just call it four?

4 07 2009
NanceConfer

“If I have learned one thing: LIFE is about choices!” — Sarah Palin, 7-3-09

I’m just glad to hear she supports choice!

Nance

4 07 2009
JJ

I’m pro-life choices, too!

4 07 2009
NanceConfer

But your link to the piece on disappearing verbs? It hurt my head. 🙂

Nance

4 07 2009
JJ

But hurting my head still loving its newspeak word being all-American — gerundiciple!

4 07 2009
JJ

Excerpt from the Daily Beast’s Max Blumenthal:

. . .: an alleged scandal centered around a building contractor, Spenard Building Supplies, with close ties to Palin and her husband, Todd.

Many political observers in Alaska are fixated on rumors that federal investigators have been seizing paperwork from SBS in recent months, searching for evidence that Palin and her husband Todd steered lucrative contracts to the well-connected company in exchange for gifts like the construction of their home on pristine Lake Lucille in 2002. The home was built just two months before Palin began campaigning for governor, a job which would have provided her enhanced power to grant building contracts in the wide-open state.

SBS has close ties to the Palins. The company has not only sponsored Todd Palin’s snowmobile team, according to the Village Voice’s Wayne Barrett, it hired Sarah Palin to do a statewide television commercial in 2004.

Though Todd Palin told Fox News he built his Lake Lucille home with the help of a few “buddies,” according to Barrett’s report, public records revealed that SBS supplied the materials for the house. While serving as mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin blocked an initiative that would have required the public filing of building permits—thus momentarily preventing the revelation of such suspicious information.

Just months before Palin left city hall to campaign for governor, she awarded a contract to SBS to help build the $13 million Wasilla Sports Complex. The most expensive building project in Wasilla history, the complex cost the city an additional $1.3 million in legal fees and threw it into severe long-term debt. For SBS, however, the bloated and bungled project was a cash cow. . .

5 07 2009
JJ

Since her kids are supposedly her reason for quitting her “title” and going home to be with them, I was thinking more about that.

Piper and Trig (again, sigh) being lined up outside for this political show is what reminds me that the Palins don’t recognize any boundaries between public and private, thus felt entitled to benefit privately from public resources.

Not just for her as elected official and him as her consort, but as if the whole extended family were literally royalty, the House of Windsor. She presents The House of Palin for public adoration lavished on their private family life, for their royal kids and everybody’s travel and wardrobes and home improvements and profitable appearances and endorsement deals, AND the opposite, full public commitment to whatever private causes they take up pro or con, not just special ed and abstinence but loosing the State’s dogs of war against her ex-brother-in-law or her almost son-in-law, for private sins against her.

Remember she treats her kids as part of her “title” as she calls the governorship, as little princes and princesses therefore “entitled” to public adulation and public coffers from birth BY birth simply because of who their mother is, in both public and private, and not by doing anything to earn it. It’s a classic aristocratic, unAmerican mindset and directly opposite to what she claims to represent.

And apart from that, what educational effect is it having on her kids? What are they learning and if any of it’s harmful or limiting, whose fault is that, David Letterman’s or Barack Obama’s — or maybe it’s their own parents and family from whom they learn, schooled or not, public or private, for better or for worse? Thinking Parents tend to believe that, don’t we?

Just like mommy slide show

Back in April 2008 when Trig was born, the aristocratic’s attitude was the same. Public or private — no problem, no matter, no difference, no boundaries.

Palin said she won’t take maternity leave but will go with Trig to doctor’s visits, physical therapy, whatever he needs. She’s breast feeding and plans to bring Trig to work with her, just as she did with Piper.

“It just feels like he fits perfectly,” Palin said. “He is supposed to be here with us.”

From Piper’s RNC maternal hair-slicking of Baby Brother to this weekend’s political shocker not just holding him and grooming him but (not breast-) feeding him while mom gives yet another nationally televised speech about how important mothering them herself is to her, it looks like eight-year-old Piper is the Little Mother Princess in public and private, now that Bristol graduated from that title to reality teen mother in her own right. Last night Fox News was replaying a 2008 profile of Palin at home, showing Piper in the kitchen with her, age seven. She self-consciously and self-servingly prompts Piper to say what she’s learned from watching mommy work in world-changing politics –what does she want to be when she grows up? “A babysitter,” Piper says flatly.

Or at best, maybe her youngest daughter is learning to picture herself as a very privileged business leader where the fix is in for her success . . .she doesn’t seem to have much else in her experience base to aspire to.

5 07 2009
Nance Confer

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-palin5-2009jul05,0,7018263.story

And now this story quotes an FBI spokesman saying there is no indictment pending.

But she heard a “higher calling.”

God spoke to her? Kids? POTUS? RNC chair?

Beginning to care less and less. . . 🙂

Nance

5 07 2009
JJ

Since when does the FBI officially deny rumors of an investigation??

“There is absolutely no truth to those rumors that we’re investigating her or getting ready to indict her,” Special Agent Eric Gonzalez said in a phone interview Saturday. “It’s just not true.” He added that there was “no wiggle room” in his comments for any kind of inquiry.

5 07 2009
JJ

What else Sarah Palin seems to have learned from her own minimal education, and now to be teaching her kids by example — that the world is a win-or-lose game, so be the winner at all costs:

What is the hardest lesson of win-lose competition? Losing? — so a child learns through misery, to do anything necessary to inflict that misery on the other guy instead?? COD and his commenters had wise words about kids and sports winning-losing, but today I have some new words of my own too.

Train for everything with the goal of making other people into losers isn’t my idea of family values to teach kids, much less my idea of world-class education to serve our national security interests, with the future of the entire human race and our planet as the ultimate grand prize at stake.

Remember the Matthew Broderick movie, “War Games” — brilliant whiz kid trains himself for the highest possible level of gaming competition, matches minds with the very best human scientists and then dramatically beats the most advanced top-secret national defense computer in the world, by teaching it (and himself) the most important human lesson of all: the only way to win is not to play the game.

The win-or-lose game.

5 07 2009
JJ

Caribou Barbie is One Nutty Puppy:

Sarah wanted everyone to know that she’s not having fun and people are being mean to her and she doesn’t feel like finishing her first term as governor. She can hunt wolves from the air and field-dress a moose, but she fears being a lame duck? Some brickbats over her ethics and diva turns as John McCain’s running mate, and that dewy skin turns awfully thin.

Maybe there’s another red Naughty Monkey high heel to drop — there’s often a hidden twist in Sarah’s country-music melodramas.

Or is this a reckless high-speed escape from small-pond Alaska, where her popularity is dropping, to the big time Below?

5 07 2009
JJ

Sarah’s Straight Talk:

“Life is about choices!” declared the nation’s most anti-choice politician.

People, what is going on with governors in this country? Are we doomed to see them go bonkers one by one, state by state?

5 07 2009
JJ

Following along with my royal family-aristocratic theme of the day, I remembered this from before the election:
Cinderella Meets Toyko Rose in GOP Fairy Tale

. . .Then there is a white man of enormous privilege and family connections, an American favorite son who like English princes was groomed within his own class to lead and sent off to war as an officer, returning to hero status and a series of castle-intrigue dalliances resulting in marriage to a beautiful but child-like blonde heiress with dependency problems who wants to love all the little children, casting herself as a saintly and self-sacrificing Mother Teresa except with jewelry and designer clothes and bodyguards and private jets and too many homes to keep track of, a bottomless fortune and various public titles (bestowed by family status, not her own hard work and merit) supporting her ethereal Diana-ness.

We may be white like they are, but few of us can relate to their wealth, gambling, junketing, womanizing, broken families, $300,000 convention outfits, drinking and drugs.

So the American admiralty candidate (did you ever notice the word admiral has “admir-e” right in it? — sounds classist to me) with the heiress wife and all the status and connections a president could possibly want or need, decides to start a class war. (And why not, war is his thing! It’s how he sees the world, who he is, not just what he does.)

So he makes a war strategy. He needs not just a Cinderella but a sort of Cinderella puppet president to prop up as popular with the working class, crossed with a Tokyo Rose to spew demoralizing propaganda.

He picks the most polarizing, divisive commoner his courtiers and knights and generals can unearth — after searching the kingdom so far and wide that they can see Russia! — before their glass slipper fits one woman who grew up believing she’s destined for greatness by god, born a princess but kidnapped by Alaskan wolves if not set forth in a rush basket in a reverse Moses story, a princess-in-the-rough perfect for this politically arranged marriage, um, concubine-soulmate role.

Maybe we need to coin the phrase “reverse classism” then, because that’s how exactly how Palin was packaged and sold, and of course why she was chosen in the first place. . .

5 07 2009
JJ

It was ten months ago to this day. That night, she swaggered onstage in front of the friendliest crowd ever, warmed up by Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee, and blasted the media for daring to want to know who she was, what she’d done and what she stood for.

Well, now we know. And it turns out that ten months ago, she was full of it.

So, Sarah Palin, you owe the media an apology. And ten months later, permit me to say:

I told you so.

5 07 2009
JJ

RJ Eskow: Is Sarah Palin the First Post-Modern Politician?

“PoMo,” as some call it.. . .was born of the sense that there are no underlying principles or conventions we can trust. It involves identifying, naming, and ultimately shattering the rules under which we’ve all been operating. . .

Palin’s vision of politics is so profoundly radical that even performing the duties of office becomes unimportant. The job you sought is no longer the point. It’s all about the performance. It’s politics as Conceptual Art.

Of all the Postmodernist movements, Palin most closely resembles the punk-rockers of the 1970’s, especially the ones who insisted that having musical skill reflected an outmoded attachment to obsolete forms. Emotion was enough, and the dominant emotion was fury. A quick glance through Media Matters will illustrate the many forms of fury that are now bubbling on the Right.

6 07 2009
Crimson Wife

If Piper Palin is anything like my almost 7-year-old and the way I was at age 8 with my youngest brother, then nobody’s forcing her to play mommy to baby Trig. She probably thinks of her brother as a living doll, poor kid!

6 07 2009
JJ

From last fall, a WaPo columnist (who happens to be black) relating his own family story to hers:

I don’t particularly admire heads of the executive branch who try to skirt legitimate legislative inquiries into their official conduct. And I don’t think much of executives who allow their subordinates to dishonor subpoenas for sworn testimony. I can’t relate to that kind of conduct.

I am the spouse of someone who managed a government enterprise that had more than 70,000 employees. To the best of my recollection, I visited her office only two or three times. I was there for the first and last days on the job, and maybe one or two in between during her three-year tenure.

So I have a tough time identifying with Todd Palin, who hangs out in his wife’s office, meddling in Alaska government business and using his “first gentleman” status to settle personal beefs. Some may think that’s cute. I think he’s riding on his wife’s coattails. . .

7 07 2009
writestuff444

It is perplexing drama, I wrote my thoughts on it at writestuff, but I guess I would add, that in hindsight, I think she is more vulnerable than she will admit to.
I remember times in my life, when I, in my eagerness to prove something or to excel..have taken on more than I can chew..I do it quite frequently, actually! 🙂

And there were those times when I was younger, when I just wanted to go home, when it got tough to follow through and finish.. I was so tempted..and if truth be told,there was a time, when I was 28, when I did just that. I quit a job, that I could have done, but it was just too hard to me to handle with 3 small kids, and other stuff going on in my life. I know now, looking back, that I was afraid and bored, and tired and so I quit.

That’s where I can identify with her..that sometimes we all just want to quit. But quitting means, you give up something..and so if she plans on reaping big rewards, it will be because she’s able to convince her friends of her reasons for quitting, and I would suggest that perhaps she try the truth..

7 07 2009
JJ

Betty, you have such a good heart. {{hug}}

My problem with her from the start has been that she strikes me as someone whose internal “truth” isn’t real, in any sense most thoughtful people could recognize or understand. It’s almost as if she’s Joan of Arc hearing god in her head (and sometimes it’s more like Son of Sam.)

I can believe and identify with some of the things she says, but then I can’t make those things seem as true in HER life as they are in mine! It’s really incomprehensible to me, and not because of a class difference as CW keeps accusing me of. My family on both sides is from the rural South and — TRUTH! — I had cousins who were literally extras in the movie Deliverance! 😉

7 07 2009
boremetotears

Betty: “I think she is more vulnerable than she will admit to.”

I’ve never really thought about her that way, but that’s such an interesting observation.

When we were looking for a puppy, it was suggested that we “shake a can of pennies” to see how each puppy reacts (to loud, unexpected noises) before deciding to take one home. If one freaked, we were to keep looking – no matter how adorable it was – as the easily startled ones are likely to become aggressive and unpredictable…. mavericky, if you will 😉

Wha? What do you mean you don’t like my analogy??? LOL 😀

7 07 2009
boremetotears

oooh, wordpress has changed its emoticons!

🙂
😀
😛
😦
:O

7 07 2009
JJ

And nobody I know will make better use of this new graphic, um, language than you will, Lynn!
😀

7 07 2009
JJ

Although it’s disconcerting for me that the wink — which I use a lot — looks so piratey all of a sudden . . .changes the whole power of story imo . . .maybe if I think of it as representing His Noodliness? 😉

7 07 2009
JJ

Link to Betty’s post and comments:

Sarah Palin: Disgraced Politician or National Treasure?

7 07 2009
boremetotears

“Although it’s disconcerting for me that the wink — which I use a lot — looks so piratey all of a sudden.”

Funny, I thought the same thing! WordPress seems a little emoticon-challenged, offending my nitpicky sensibilities. For instance, it *also* bugs me that they’re still sized large enough to throw off the line spacing. It’s why I have them turned off at my blog [pirate-wink].

8 07 2009
JJ

Sarah’s Secret Diary:

It’s the same old double standard. I am not one of those who would whine and cuss. It’s just not how I’m wired!!! But the minute I start to whine and cuss, the mainstream media totally misunderstands my verbiage and the combination of things that brought me to this place of knowing. And I know that I know that I know those crappy bloggers will put out more confliction stories.

I keep explaining what impacted me, but everyone seems more confused and ironic than ever. What is it about average, hard-working Americans like me that Americans can’t understand?

8 07 2009
boremetotears

Sarah:

I know that I know that I know those crappy bloggers will put out more confliction stories.

[Sigh] If only I knew what a “confliction story” is; I’d go put one out on my crappy blog.

8 07 2009
JJ

I was thinking of it as an accidental(ly brilliant) mash-up of conflating, fiction and infliction, to get conflict power of story. 😀 —

8 07 2009
JJ

Kathleen Parker (conservative columnist):
“Let’s face it, she just doesn’t really want to govern and she’s doing what’s best for her,” said a Republican campaign strategist who has worked with Palin.

9 07 2009
Nance Confer

Parker may be right. That that’s all there is to it. And there are now more ethics charges. Also.

My hope is Palin becomes one of those annoying fringe people like Coulter. Hateful and stupid and making money hand over fist but not really all that influential.

Nance

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