Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Saradise Lost - Book 5 - Chapter 20 - More Thoughts on Toast

Jane Hamsher's outstanding essay (reprinted below this one) on Sarah Palin's current predicament is one of Hamsher's best recent articles, probably her best on Palin, and is well worth a full read.

Hamsher observed:
Sarah Palin’s political career is probably toast, due in large part to the fact that the GOP doesn’t want her messing up their plans for the next Presidential election like she did the 2010 Senate races. And the person who will regret her retreat from the political landscape more than anyone will be Barack Obama, who dreams nightly of a race against Palin in 2012. Gone will be the bright shiny object distraction of “look over there, it’s Sarah Palin!” from the broken promises of the Democratic establishment.
Today the New York Times suggests Palin is hiding inside her new media box:
By managing her image almost exclusively through Twitter, Facebook, a reality television show and appearances on Fox News, Ms. Palin has managed to become both ubiquitous and insulated, and to emerge as one of the most formidable Republicans considering a presidential run next year.

But on Monday, she and her aides were facing questions about whether the strategy that had served her so well since she resigned as Alaska’s governor 18 months ago was the right one to counter the criticism that she had helped encourage a potentially dangerous strain of antigovernment sentiment.

Her brief bursts of communication on the Internet — encouraging supporters with phrases like “Don’t retreat, reload!” — have kept her band of devotees behind her.
Hamsher made similar, perhaps more trenchant points on this:
Everyone makes mistakes. But anyone waiting for Sarah Palin to acknowledge she might have made one here is going to have some time on their hands. Following the Tucson shooting, Palin’s aide disingenuously claimed that the crosshairs were meant to represent a “surveyor’s symbol,” nothing more “We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights. It was simply cross-hairs like you’d see on maps,” she told Tammy Bruce.

Come on. I think we all know what the word “reload” means. Palin herself has referred to the map targets as “bulls eye[s].” She’s keenly aware of what she said and what she meant when she said it, and has been scrubbing her internet presence of such references ever since the shooting.

Instead of taking responsibility an exercising leadership, however, she’s pushing aides into the media to tell whoppers to paint herself as the supreme victim. The “obscene” and “appalling” part of the shooting, apparently, is that Sarah Palin — a national political figure who ran for the Vice Presidency in 2008 — should be asked to address the fact that she literally painted Gabby Giffords in the crosshairs last year.

If Palin didn’t recognize the volatility of the situation at the time, Giffords certainly did. As she told MSNBC:

Community leaders, figures in our community need to say “look, we can’t stand for this.” …[W]e’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list…the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. And when people do that, they’ve gotta realize there’s consequences to that action.

I won’t speculate on the role Palin played in motivating the actions of Jared Loughner — nobody can know that for sure, probably not even him. But the irresponsible nature of Palin’s actions speak for themselves, and don’t need the affirmation of outside events to qualify as alarming and foolhardy. You want to act recklessly? Fine, drive a race car. Put out oil fires. Climb the Himalayas. You do not have the maturity or the judgment to be President of the United States.

Further, Palin’s retreat into self-pity and victimization in the wake of the shooting demonstrates that she is utterly devoid of self-reflection, completely unable to acknowledge her failure to gauge the dangers inherent in the situation at the time, or learn from her mistakes.

She acts like a sneaky teenager.

She lies.

She pushes others out there to take the hits for her, incapable of even acknowledging her role as a political leader who consciously exerts influence over how her followers should interpret and respond to events.

Yesterday evening, recently defeated U.S. Congressman Alan Grayson, himself the target of numerous physical threats in 2009 and 2010, was on the Ed Show:

Book Five of Saradise Lost was intended to encompass:
The [Palin] book tour, and the time between now and when Palin announces her exploratory campaign for the 2012 presidential race.
Palin is probably now in a deeper state of denial than she has been since she was informed in late June 2009 that her legal trust fund was undoubtedly illegal. That was probably when she chose to quit. But, at the time, she continued to have a higher goal.

Currently, her brand may be permanently tarnished, as Hamsher writes - "if it's not, it should be."

I agree, and sense that when Palin emerges from behind the skirts of her kids, Rebecca Mansour, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, to speak to the public directly (she has to), it simply will not be enough.

The Anchorage Daily News has played a particularly egregious role in the rise, support, commercial promoton and further enabling of Palin. They had an opportunity to redeem themselves somewhat in their first opportunity to address or assess Palin's role in the rising climate of hatred, bigotry and fear in our country. Yesterday, in an editors' editorial on Tucson, they failed so utterly, I cried reading their cowardly, mealy-mouthed words.


Anonymous said...

I don't click on anything Palin at ADN. If they write anything intelligent, you'll let us know. I quit clicking after she resigned. She is not a governor any more. She doesn't deserve the press.

Anonymous said...

The comments of someone on a previous post here had it right, in that Sarah could have improved her position now if she had done the right thing. She should not have posted a trite condolence message, which was not even written grammatically correct. She should have first announced that she was deleting the map and all gun related references from her FaceBook page and the SarahPAC website as she realized they could be taken the wrong way and that she would no longer use any gun related references in her speeches, tweets, etc. She then should have issued a heartfelt condolence letter to the victims. If Sarah is taking advice, it is certainly not from professionals with damage control experience. Having SourMan make her stupid excuse was a major fail, particularly since Sarah had used "bulleyes" in her tweet.

Sarah is very self-centered, but not self-aware and underestimates the intelligence of others perhaps because she surrounds herself with undereducated people or those who just go along for money). Who knows?

Sarah seems to think God wants her to be president and she is trying hard to make it happen through fear. Should that happen, God would lose a lot of followers as many would consider it as prove positive that there is no God.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate you so much Phil.
This series of yours is rewarding for me to read.

But I got sign off for a while. I got painful ghosts. My family has painful ghosts.

It is that damn number 9.
The 9th month of the year.
The 9th floor of a building.
The 9th row in the garden.
That damn number 9.
A 9 year old little girl, shot dead.

We lost our 9 yr old son to a drunk driver, 18 years ago.
Life gets weird sometimes. The number 9 sometimes puts me in a weird mood. Like the horrible year after we lost our son. I swear my little family created abuses against each other. We were hurt, we were mad, we were horribly sad, we were mean. It was the worst moments of our lives.

I often wonder how we survived.
I just gotta turn off for a while. Things just well up inside me with the coverage of what occured in AZ. I do hope the parents of C. Green find a safe spot in thier heads.

Quyana Phil, for all you do.

Philip Munger said...


I lost my younger brother to a drunk driver. Gene was 23. He had just visited me in Cordova. I paid for his plane ticket to Alaska as his graduation present from college. He was killed after he returned down below. For years, I blamed myself, thinking "if I'd timed his trip differently," and such.

We move on.