Archive for December, 2010

Sarah? Sarah? Sarah Who?

Author: Barrett Rainey

Slowly … ever so slowly … a deep and angry feeling is bubbling to the top of my consciousness. Each day, a bit more angst is being felt in nooks and crannies of my being. Now, this minute, it’s come to a boil and I’ve got to let it out.

I’ve had enough of Sarah Palin!!! Enough! More than enough! Far, far more than enough! The woman has become an ever-present icon for all things irrelevant. The Britney Spears of American politics.

Book tours, television travelogues, dance contests, butt of jokes, fashion magazine covers, editorial cartoons, bumper stickers, bus signs, interviews ad nauseam and on and on. And more nauseam!

Granted, she’s a nice looking, personable, middle-aged woman with a quirky appeal. If your I.Q. is near 80. She doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. She’s content to wander into embarrassment after embarrassment with repeated pronouncements that prove the point. In spades! Facts are mixed with issue ignorance which get mixed with political dogma.

The constant media frenzy over whether she’ll run for president is flattering for her but makes the questioners look like idiots. Who cares? Unless, of course, you’re one of those who really will. Run for president, that is.

Her “cut-and-run” performance as Alaska’s governor two years into her four year term is an ever-present Achilles’s heel to political pros who might otherwise take her seriously and join the team. But, to me, how she got to the governor’s office in the first place is even more telling.

In 2002, Sen. Frank Murkowski became Alaska’s governor. He immediately appointed his daughter, Lisa, to his senate seat which rankled the state’s Republican party from top to bottom by the obvious nepotism. Over the next three years, he managed to keep his party leaders angry with a series of bad moves and spent millions on one unnecessary thing after another. Like buying a state jet for his personal use.

When he announced for re-election in 2006, his own Republican party went looking for somebody … anybody … to take him on in his own primary. Loyal Republicans wouldn’t do that so they settled on what they thought was a state party “comer” who was then mayor of tiny Wasilla, Alaska. They put together party money and support that would have normally gone to the incumbent governor … Murkowski … and trotted out their novice. Then a third GOP candidate came out of the bush.

She got about 51% of the vote and Murkowski about 30% including Lisa and his large family. The other guy disappeared back into the bush and hasn’t been heard from.

In other words, she was “invented” by a political party to take out their own guy who had displeased them. Repeatedly. She was a political “creation,” not an experienced political pro.

EDIT NOTE: Idaho Republicans did the same thing in 1966 when they found a virtually unknown guy to take on Gov. Robert Smylie in his own primary. The guy was pleasant enough but politically … well … inarticulate and inexperienced are the kindest words I can use. Same result as Alaska. Republicans ate their own.

Back to Palin … the accidental governor. For reasons known only to himself, John McCain plucked her from obscurity to be his vice presidential mate in 2008. She not only didn’t help; she appeared to have contributed to his campaign’s demise.

Aside from an unmentioned couple of years on the Wasilla city council, that’s the sum and substance of political experience of today’s media darling. That’s the education, training and shallow background of a person who about 28% of the American public wants to see in the White House making national and international decisions on wars, our devastated economy, foreign relations and the country’s future. An accident of politics who walked off the job she was elected to do so she could make millions of dollars based on a career that never was.

All she really has going for her is celebrity in a world that has gone celebrity mad. These empty-headed camera images are thrown at us daily in all media. There is often no human value to their lives or mere existence, no reason to be perpetuated, no reason to be remembered for anything but a cosmetic smile or some outrageous act. Or word.

While being a good communicator of dubious facts, Palin lacks depth of knowledge, has a blase’ attitude with information she should have known before opening her mouth, an ignorance of the complexities of today’s intertwined world economies and a simplistic outlook that all of today’s troubles can be eliminated if we return to some vision of yesterday she has in her head.

My bet? She won’t make the run. Her walkout on the people of Alaska would be an ever-present reminder that her goals are tied to her own economic enrichment and not to some sincere attempt to make the world a better place.

My world will be better when the rest of it tires of her and returns her to the anonymity she has earned.