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Now, Sarah’s Folly

July 7 2009 at 11:15 AM

Sarah Palin showed on Friday that in one respect at least, she is qualified to be president.

Caribou Barbie is one nutty puppy.

Usually we dont find that exquisite battiness in our leaders until theyve been battered by sordid scandals like Watergate (Nixon), gnawing problems like Vietnam (L.B.J.), or scary threats like biological terrorism (Cheney).

When Lyndon Johnson was president, some of his staff began to think of him as a sick man, as Bill Moyers told Arthur Schlesinger Jr. Moyers and his fellow Johnson aide Dick Goodwin even began reading up on mental illness Bill on manic depression and Dick on paranoia.

And so it was, Todd Purdum learned, as he traveled Alaska reporting on Palin for Vanity Fair, that the governors erratic and egoistic behavior has been a source of concern for people there.

Several told me, independently of one another, Purdum writes, that they had consulted the definition of narcissistic personality disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy and thought it fit her perfectly.

The White House can drive its inhabitants loopy. So at least Sarah Palin is ahead of the curve on that one.
As Alaskans settled in to enjoy holiday salmon bakes and the post-solstice thaw, their governor had a solipsistic meltdown so strange it made Sparky Sanford look like a model of stability.

On the shore of Lake Lucille, with wild fowl honking and the First Dude smiling, with Piper in the foreground and their Piper Cub in the background, the woman who took the Republican Party by storm only 10 months ago gave an incoherent, breathless and prickly stream of consciousness to a small group in her Wasilla yard. Gobsmacked Alaska politicians, Republican big shots, the national press, her brother, the D.C. lawyer who helped create her political action committee and yes, even Fox News, played catch-up.

What looked like a secret wedding turned out to be a public unraveling as the G.O.P. implosion continued: Sarah wanted everyone to know that shes not having fun and people are being mean to her and she doesnt 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 McCains running mate, and that dewy skin turns awfully thin.

Maybe theres another red Naughty Monkey high heel to drop theres often a hidden twist in Sarahs 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?

Even some conservative analysts admitted that the governors move seemed ga-ga before venturing the spin that Palin might be crazy like a fox, as Sarahs original cheerleader, Bill Kristol, put it.

Maybe, Kristol mused, she could use the 18 months she would have spent finishing her term to write her book and study up on the issues for 2012.

Why not? Palin/Sanford in 2012, with the slogan: Save time were already in Crazy Town.

Palins speech is classic casuistry.

After girlish burbling about how progressing our state and serving Alaska is the greatest honor that I could imagine, and raving about how much she loves her job, she abruptly announced that she was making the ultimate sacrifice: dumping the state on her lieutenant.

Why milk it, as she put it, when you can quit it? Only dead fish go with the flow, she said, while cold fish can blow out of town. Leaving Alaska in the lurch is best for Alaska. She can better effect change in government from outside government. She can fulfill her promise of efficiencies and effectiveness by deserting Juneau midway through her term and taking her tanning bed with her.

We need those who will respect our Constitution, said Palin, who swore on the Bible to uphold the Constitution. She said she cant fulfill that silly old oath of office in the usual way because shes not wired to operate under the same old politics as usual.

Naturally, she dragged the troops in, saying that her trip to see wounded soldiers overseas fortified her decision to give up because they dont give up.

She refuses to succumb to the politics of personal destruction. Its no fun unless shes the one aiming those poison darts, as she did when she accused Barack Obama of associating with terrorists who targeted their own country.

Sometimes, she explained, if youre the star, you have to call an audible and pass the ball and leave at halftime, so the team can win somehow without you.

The maverick must run free when greener pastures beckon. The musher must jump out of the dogsled when warmer climes call. As Palins spokeswoman, Meg Stapleton, says, The world is literally her oyster.
But just remember, beloved Alaska, its all about you.


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M Dowd is such a hack *

July 7 2009, 11:22 AM 


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she just needs a man

July 7 2009, 4:09 PM 

you can tell by her writing (and by her public appearances) she's just sexually frustrated and jealous of Palin

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So much hate.

July 7 2009, 11:40 AM 

Palin and the Politics of Familial Destruction

By John C. Wohlstetter

Governor Sarah Palin's stunning early resignation elicited predictable surprise and sympathy from most of her supporters, and equally predictable surprise and sheer glee from most of her detractors. The question uppermost in the minds of political types was when, if ever, she might run for President. That question, while intriguing, is secondary. Front and center is how much the politics of familial destruction -- at least, against conservative candidates -- will be energized.

The references to her family, plus the ceaseless legal harassment imposing six-figure financial cost and consuming time needed for governance, suggests a chilling reality: A sustained, vituperative smear campaign directed against a candidate and family can succeed. Palin, who hunts moose at 4 a.m., can surely take hits directed against her in the normal political arena. An attack directed against an activist adult partner who is a co-player -- think Hillary -- is also fair game, though Hillary played the "little woman" card when it suited her during the Clinton years. But Palin's children range in age from one to 18. Unwillingness to stand by and watch vulgar attacks directed against her teenage daughter by a famous late-night comedian and even worse, adults subjecting her children to ridicule aimed at her special needs infant, hardly shows weakness. Such attacks are a cancer growing on American politics.

Like all people, Sarah Palin has flaws. Hers are fair game for opponents and for media. Flaws of activist adult relatives -- those who campaign on issues and the like -- are also fair game. But teen children are never fair game. Attacking them forces candidates to weigh their professional goals against personal imperatives to protect their family from abuse. Their children are, in effect, being held hostage.

Has there ever been a campaign against children filled with such vitriol? Imagine if anyone had gone after Chelsea Clinton as a teen in the White House, for any reason whatsoever. Whoever did it would have faced a raw fury from Democrats (and even some Republicans) and the full fury of mainstream media. True, Chelsea did not give birth as a teen out of wedlock, but that would hardly have tipped the scales. She would have been defended as worthy of compassion and support. Indeed, campaigning for her mother in 2008, Chelsea, now nearly 30, was given a full pass.

A generation ago, impressionist David Frye, miming LBJ, had LBJ speak of "My two semi-beautiful daughters." Richard Nixon's daughters received occasional snarky remarks. Ronald Reagan's two children by Nancy received notice, too. And George W. Bush's twin daughters made the papers when they had a few beers.

But all of these instances involved adults. They were still unfair, as rarely did any of these children weigh into issues. But they were at least old enough to be able to handle attacks. And there was protective pressure all around not to go too far. Kennedy clan children have often been in the news, but not targeted constantly.

During the campaign both Barack Obama and Joe Biden, commendably, spoke out against targeting Palin's family. However, since the November election attacks on Palin's children have continued. True, Palin is a potential future presidential candidate, but never before has any candidate -- let alone, any candidate's family -- attracted such bile in the months immediately after a presidential election. Bob Beckel, Mondale-Ferraro campaign manager in 1984, conceded yesterday that Sarah Palin faces a media double standard, and added that had David Letterman attacked a Democratic politician's daughter, he'd have been taken off the air.

Palin would have done better to call upon those attacking her to end assaults on her family, and focus on her alone. She could have asked leading Democrats to follow the example set by candidates Obama and Biden, and publicly condemn attacks on her children. As to her financial burden she could have called upon the state government to fully reimburse her for the cost of defending against merit less ethics charges. Her hastily called, ill-timed, meandering announcement likely did not help her future political prospects. GOP political pro Ed Rollins's comment that press conferences should not raise questions, but answer them, is apt. But such reservations should not deep-six the family protection issue.

The wolves whose attacks helped bring Sarah Palin's resignation are no doubt enjoying the fruit of their labor immensely. No one else who cares for the integrity of the nation's political process should join them.

Source: American Spectator

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Re: So much hate.

July 7 2009, 2:24 PM 

Yes, much of this is true. But I can guarantee you this, no one would be talking about her with such disdain if she was qualified, competent, and educated about politics. The woman is so totally clueless that this entire episode was beyond comical. The fact that so many Republican faithful swoon over her, still to this day, speaks volumes about that parties own troubles and the lengths some diehards will go to support their candidate, no matter how unqualified they may be.

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utter nonsense

July 7 2009, 2:47 PM 

".. no one would be talking about her with such disdain if she was qualified, competent, and educated about politics."

That's absolute nonsense. The lefty blogger attack dogs would likely be even MORE virulent in their attacks if they viewed her as "qualified, competent, and educated about politics". They were afraid as her as it was because, despite her newness to the national stage and her down-home way of speaking, she managed to rouse a lot of conservatives with her enthusiasm and apparent love for country.

Besides, with all the gaffes coming from the White House this is no time to be challenging the competence, qualifications or political acumen (or knowledge of geopolitical history, it seems) of a former vp candidiate..

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Did you write that tongue-in-cheek?

July 7 2009, 2:51 PM 

Particularly the part about the "Republican faithful swoon(ing) over her (Palin)"?

Look at how the left and the MSM worship and adore the ONE. Newsweek editor Evan Thomas said Obama is "sort of God", NBC's Brian Williams bowed to him, and Chris Matthews gets tingles down his leg when O speaks. Spooky.

And what exactly were O's qualifications?

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You're full of $hit

July 7 2009, 5:16 PM 

The attacks started before anyone knew if she was qualified, or knowledgeable. They were - and are - based purely on who she is, not what she knows.

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Just ask John McCain if he will vote for her.

July 8 2009, 4:25 PM 

Did you see his late night interview? He knows more than you do about her. Listen to the man you wanted to be president. Please go find a real candidate to put your energy and efforts into.

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ha ha

July 8 2009, 4:36 PM 

the guy you dems said was too old and confused, who couldn't articulate his own policies, and who lost to a greenhorn like Obama, should be consulted as to the next election's Presidential candidate?

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Re: ha ha

July 8 2009, 5:05 PM 

Is this not the same guy who if you had your way would be the President. Now you want to just dismiss him. Wow you NeoCons have no loyalty. I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

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July 8 2009, 5:14 PM 

I'm a conservative but didn't want him for President. I didn't trust him then and don't trust him now.

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