Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a fresh take on Gov. Palin stepping down: a must read if you find Palin interesting or frustrating

From Greg Beato in Reason-- who labels her a "real maverick at last" and gets off a ton of good and creative lines...

When Sarah Palin aborted her gubernatorial career in its final trimester, pundits and political insiders reacted with shock, bafflement, scorn, and dismay....

To [the establishment], walking away from a prime gig like Palin’s was virtually incomprehensible, signaling either imminent scandal or incipient dementia. To the rest of America, Palin’s move made perfect sense, firmly cementing her status as perhaps the one politician who truly feels our ennui. First she cheerfully admitted that she had no idea what the vice president actually does all day. (Just like me!) Then she stared blankly when asked to reveal her thoughts on the Bush Doctrine. (The what?) Then, after earning even higher Nielsen ratings in her first big prime-time showcase than the American Idol finale, only to return to Alaska and the dull reality of mulling over potential appointees to the Board of Barbers and Hair Dressers, she bailed. Sorry, politics, she’s just not that into you.

Palin has always positioned herself as a Drudge-like figure—an unorthodox interloper, devoid of the proper pedigree and old-boy connections, but nonetheless ready to shake things up. Until now, however, this pose was about as convincing as a veggie burger. The self-proclaimed hockey mom who supposedly entered the world of politics via the PTA was a career politician who’d won her first election at the age of 28...The self-proclaimed antidote to entrenched career politicians had spent 13 of the last 16 years as an elected official and the other three as a director of a nonprofit organization whose function was raising money to elect Republican women in Alaska.

That so many people found such obvious facts so easy to overlook shows just how great a demand there is for the kind of magical populist Palin claimed to be. On July 3, she took a giant leap toward making her actions match her rhetoric. She really is a maverick now, exploring territory few of her fellow politicians are likely to follow....

Beato then points to the impact of "non-journalist" Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, "non-music-industry" CEO Shawn “Napster” Fanning, and finally, Al Gore as ex-VP vs. VP:

If a wooden patrician like Gore can achieve such fruitful productivity by becoming a private-sector man of the people, imagine the potential accomplishments of a Wasilla beauty queen with a 10-megaton wink....

How Palin will ultimately capitalize on her populist appeal is a matter of great speculation, but one thing is clear: Whether she plans to run for president or star in a documentary about the pressing need to save the oil industry, Palin’s abrupt departure was a stroke of genius, the most sensible move she could have made. Spending 18 more months governing a state with fewer residents than Columbus, Ohio, was the political equivalent of releasing a straight-to-DVD movie. Now she can devote her full attention to all the things that enthrall her fans...


At October 21, 2009 at 6:55 PM , Blogger Mike said...

Sorry, but Palin is an idiot and a fool, and I'm tired of conservatives trotting out Palins and Huckabees and thinking I will have anything to do with them. She's not crazy like a fox. She's just crazy.

At October 21, 2009 at 9:26 PM , Blogger Janet P said...

That's too bad, Mike.

I think Sarah Palin is amazingly brilliant and refreshing.

Excellent post, Eric.

I do know what you mean, though... I get so very tired of liberals heralding Obama as our Savior and thinking there is some kind of snowball's chance that I am going to get on my knees and worship.

At October 21, 2009 at 9:28 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

I'm not sure why you'd say *that* about her-- even if she wouldn't be an ideal or even a good VP or President.

As I blogged on quite a bit during the campaign, she was about as ready to be VP as Obama was ready to be POTUS.

Palin and Huckabee are quite different too. To note, only social conservatives are interested in Huckabee.

At October 22, 2009 at 12:41 AM , Blogger Mike said...

Eric, you are a bright guy. It disappoints me that you would give any credence of the idea that Palin has any chance of leading conservatives out of the wilderness. I grant you she's a woman. I grant you she was a governor who led a state smaller than the city I live in. I grant you she read a speech at the convention. I grant you she can serve up red meat to conservatives in sound bytes. She is a demagogue that is so awkward, that it is painful to watch. The reason she flubs it with the media is that she is not a person that can have a serious conversation about any issue. So while certain conservatives go gaga over her latest twitter posts, I will pass, and wait for a serious conservative to come along. By the way, if you like Palin, there is this great demagogue down in Texas named Ricky Perry that you might like as well. If I come across as caustic it is because I am not happy about the death of conservatism.

At October 22, 2009 at 8:27 AM , Blogger Janet P said...

#1 Palin had a few awkward answers during early MSM interviews which unfortunately provided material for an ugly smear campaign. You evidently jumped on board with that.
There is no specific basis to label her "fool/idiot" and so it is difficult to take you seriously.

#2 I have a much harder time respecting crony politicians who talk out of both sides of their face to keep getting elected and retain their positions of power. This post is suggesting that her actions reveal she is not one of these.

#3 I would agree that Palin is a polarizing figure and for that reason may not be the one to "lead us out of the wilderness".
Hmmm... sounds as if you are the one looking for some type of Messiah.
Maybe that is the reason why you are so disappointed/upset with Eric about this post.

At October 22, 2009 at 8:45 AM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

Any credence? I guess so. I didn't give it much credence, comparing her to Obama!

To be fair to her and to you, I haven't studied her. I was busy running my own campaign last time, so I'm mostly relying on what supporters and opponents have said about her.

Anyway, I thought Beato's (libertarian, by the way) take was fresh, provocative, and worth posting.

To your last lament, I agree. I don't see anyone leading conservatives out of the wilderness. They might exist, but they're on the horizon at best.


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