Good job, Josh - you beat the Urban Dictionary on such an obvious addition to their catalog of victim definitions.
Watching how the Palin shrines handle the downward course of the flood of GOP 2012 presidential contest candidates leaving the race or screwing up is as interesting as watching the Mississippi floods. The Palin shrines, particularly, the Sea of Pee, spare no efforts to cut any potential GOP rival off from a lifeline, a place in their boat leaving the floodwaters, or even a 911 call. Instead, they're out there, throwing dirt onto her rivals, going so far as to stuff Donald Trump's body into a levy.
The Donald - voted off Palin Island. How's Newt doing?
Ouch! Palin's only reference to Fukushima in weeks.
How's the Sea of Pee treating Palin's preferred VP mate?
And the front runner - the Mittster?
And how did the Sea of Pea used their paucity of insider info to slime Palin's co-worker - the Huckster?
II. Jesse Griffin spotted a goofy riff at the Sea of Pee that broke my irony meter:
This was found over at Mordor, just today:III. Jeanne Devon has written the best counter to Joshua Green's article in the Atlantic, The Tragedy of Sarah Palin. Devon's response, titled The Real Tragedy of Sarah Palin probably is the most fair assessment recently of Alaskans' ambivalence toward Palin up to her selection as John McCain's running mate:
Gallup finds from its April/May data that Governor Palin “is near the top of Republicans’ nomination preferences, and has a higher Positive Intensity Score than any other well-known candidate. Palin thus must be considered one of the GOP leaders at this point.”
Okay well we have seen this kind of cognitive dissonance before. It is in the Sea O'Pee Mission Statement to pretend that Sarah Palin is a viable candidate, and then to make excuses for the fact that she has not done ANYTHING to seriously prepare to run a campaign, or to give any indication as to whether she even wants to start one or not.
But then they followed that paragraph, with THIS paragraph:
I’ll go ahead and predict that Michele Bachmann will not run for the presidency and that she’s only trying to scam people for money. Otherwise, she would have jumped in already as there was no good reason for her to delay an announcement considering how she’s polling in the race.
Did you just....
Um, don't you people think that...uh...
Yes but what abo....
Isn't that a little hypocr...
Devon gets into the gulf between what Palin did in the job that gained her the most creds and how she spun it:
It was a horrible, humiliating time for Alaskans – particularly the Republican ones whose representatives were ending up behind bars. So what might Alaskans have been craving in a politician at that time? What characteristic above all others would elicit cheers and flowers and adulation? What would a politician need to be to assure a stratospheric rise to the top? A reformer.Sarah Palin seemed to be just such a person. Out with the “good ol’ boys network” and in with the gal from Wasilla ready to sweep the state clean. “Take a Stand” her signs read.
She had used her position on the AOGCC (Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission) to point out the corruption of her fellow member who also happened to be the chair of the Republican Party. Then, because of rules which meant she couldn’t bring the scandal enough into the limelight, she “quit in frustration.” We wanted that to be true so badly that the virtually unknown Sarah Palin won her Republican gubernatorial primary leaving the incumbent with a staggeringly paltry 19% of the vote.This statement is intriguing, as I remember talking to Vic Kohring about that bill at the time. He still was in Palin's camp, so if it is clear to Jeanne why Kohring directed this legislation against Palin's shortcomings, it must be part of Frank Bailey's revelations.
But the reality was that Palin was no energy expert. Her knowledge at the time of the oil and gas industry was so deficient that the legislature later passed a bill that was dubbed at the time the “No More Sarah Palin Bill.” When Republican Representative Vic Kohring stated about the legislation that “It’s critical all members of the Commission have a fundamental understanding of the industry they regulate, and this legislation helps accomplish that,” it was quite clear to whom he was referring.
The strongest part of Devon's criticism of Green's Atlantic article is her unique view on what many have seen as Palin's bottom line:
IV. So? Is Palin "on"?
Green recognizes some of Palin’s biggest hurdles in politics – obsession with personal grievances, preoccupation with her own image, and an unending focus on petty issues. Throw incompetence and lack of qualification into the mix, and the portrait is fleshed out even more.
Palin seems to have been driven by a will to advance herself and by a virulent animus against anyone who tried to impede her. But this didn’t prevent her from being an uncommonly effective governor, while she lasted. On the big issues, at least, she chose her enemies well, and left the state in better shape than most people, herself included, seem to realize or want to credit her for. It’s odd that someone so preoccupied with her image hasn’t gotten this across better. And it raises the question of what she could have achieved.
This is Green’s thought experiment. But the real question he’s asking is – What could Palin have achieved if she had a different personality, if she were not a political opportunist and had actual integrity, if she were qualified, if she knew her stuff, if she were an effective leader, if she knew how to manage people, if she were intellectually curious, if she didn’t quit?
The question Green asks is really what Sarah Palin might have achieved if she hadn’t been Sarah Palin. And it’s why “What went wrong?” is a false question.
“What went wrong” was Palin being who she is – consistently and predictably opportunistic. There are times when opportunity comes from doing the right thing, but there are times when opportunity comes from doing the wrong thing. It doesn’t mean that Palin changed, it just means she was true to what drives her always – her own self-interest.