July 4, 2009
Freedom Isn't Free - We Still Aren't Free of Sarah Palin
By Mary Lyon
Happy Independence Day, on the eve of which we've been reminded that we are FAR from declaring our national independence from the Sarah Palin addiction.
After watching her rambling, disjointed "W-T-F Moment" as she announced she's not only not running for reelection as Alaska's governor but she's bailing out now, I guess what I'm doing is marveling. It's just really impressive what human flypaper this woman is. After all, this actually pushed the Michael Jackson obsession off the top of the headline list, for Pete's sake.
Palin may still have some conservatives still singing Sarah-nades, from columnist Rich ("Sigh! She winked at ME!") Lowry to TV elder Pat Buchanan who clings to what seems uncomfortably like a dirty-old-man pipe-dream. But Charles Krauthammer evidently harbors few such fantasies, sniffing that she's "not a serious candidate for the presidency." No kidding, Chuck!
Sarah Palin makes me want to run screaming into the night. This newest jumbled speech of hers leaves me aghast that anybody finds her appealing - at least once you get beyond her looks. She's still physically fetching enough and cameras everywhere, from either side of the aisle, still adore her. I suspect some of her appeal may finally fade as she ages. By then, perhaps, her addled, disconnected statements won't be so excusable. It may not be post-partum depression as some McCain aides speculated in recently-released emails. It may be signs of the early onset of dementia. How else would you explain her insistence that anyone who hunkers down and stays on the job to try to get along and maybe work something out anyway is really a quitter and she won't go there - which, of course, is why she's resigning?
There are some political observers from Keith Olbermann onward who gleefully rub their hands together, hoping she'll stay on the front-lines forever. They, too, can't get enough - but not for the same reasons in Rich Lowry's dreams. They celebrate her as a national pet rock, her enduring popularity still inexplicable, her enduring image growing all the more ridiculous. They relish her sticking around as a target for hilarity figuring this pretty weirdo will make anyone running against her look even better. Well, okay - if you insist.
I don't look forward to that - AT ALL. I don't care if she does make any Democratic opponent look brighter merely by opening her mouth. I wish she'd shut up and go away. There's almost no one other than Dick Cheney and George W. Bush whom I'd rather hear less from, again. The embarrassment is very nearly crushing. I'm humiliated for other women politicians who have this trainwreck of a template to live down. That Palin remains one of the highest-profile of female pols is frankly an insult to what many of us have worked toward for years. Yes, ladies, women have finally proven that even the flakiest among them can crack the last glass ceiling. Yippee - I guess.
I cringe to think that Palin's announcement means that we will have her to kick around indefinitely. She's not going to do the decent thing at long last and go quietly, and gracefully, into private life. No such luck. There'll be the book, the inevitable speaking tour, the guaranteed 24/7 TV profiles and interviews and media sideshows. There'll be the perpetual campaign pitches that she's already threatened to give across the "lower 48" for any candidate who REALLY loves America and those admirable Republican Sanford/Craig/Ensign/Gingrich/Vitter values. I'm sure Fox News is already talking to her representatives about a "Huckabee for Good-Ol'-Gals" hour or some such nauseating nonsense.
Sarah, if you claim the family you wear the way some of your colleagues drape themselves in the flag is delighted that you're bailing out, why not go all the way? Show America you've really got guts and just quit, PERIOD. You'd be doing more effective public service to your country than the savviest community organizer you've ever publicly scorned. You'd even have the last laugh over David Letterman - denying him and others like him any further fresh material. Ironically, you've announced your babbling bailout on the eve of Independence Day. The people of Alaska may indeed finally be free of you. Unfortunately, the rest of us are about to become hostages.