Palin Fiddles While Alaska Burns
Former half-term governor Sarah Palin marches ever-onward toward becoming the Don Rickles of the conservative right. It’s a lofty goal with plenty of competition.
Alaskans will remember that even back when Palin was governor, she was never happier than when she was mocking and deriding the Republican establishment. In her home town of Wasilla, it was then Senate President Lyda Green. Later she graduated to throwing tomatoes at Governor Frank Murkowski. Several of those tomatoes were direct hits, resulting in her ascension to the Governor’s Mansion. She was also the presence behind the scenes of an attempted but failed Republican Party coup that would seek to oust Party Chair Randy Ruedrich, and with the help of Joe Miller and crew replace him with current Tea Party Senator Cathy Giessel. She then went on to support Miller’s run for the U.S. Senate against Frank’s daughter Lisa Murkowski.
That’s why it seemed to make no sense back in 2008 when Palin started licking the boots of John McCain. He was as good ol’ boy, and establishment Republican as it got. It didn’t make any sense, except for the fact that in 2008 McCain was Palin’s first-class ticket out of Alaska. Her supposed ideology evaporated like dew before the Midnight Sun. Opportunism trumps all, and the national spotlight was a great seducer.
She didn’t win the Vice Presidency of course, but McCain managed to be her golden ticket out of the state anyway. Unleashed on the rest of the nation, and unelectable to any political office because people have listened to her talk, Palin is now free. She may as well have the word “ROGUE” Bedazzled™ on her ass.
With no pressure to be credible or knowledgeable, or electable to get attention, she now has a huge lineup of “good ol’ boys” to smack around. They’re like ducks on a mechanical wheel at the county fair, and she’s got a 2nd Amendment-protected pellet gun. >Plink!<
At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Palin came out sipping, holding aloft a 7-Eleven Big Gulp, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg had tried unsuccessfully to ban in New York City. Some big bazillionaire city slicker telling Palin what she can and can’t do? Fill that thing with Diet Dr. Pepper and give her a microphone. All she needed was a green robe and a pointy crown. The Statue of Idiocy.
Barack Obama got hissed at too. But that’s like shooting fish in a barrel for Palin. He should have had a “background check” before becoming President she said, as irony meters without surge protectors exploded across the nation.
And then there was Karl Rove. Formerly revered as the “Architect” of the conservative movement in the Bush years, his devastatingly bad predictions about Election 2012, his organization’s heavy financial backing of unelectable candidates, and his utter disconnect from the state of the nation has made him a laughing stock among serious political commentators. And there’s nothing as fun in PalinWorld as piling on an injured foe from your own party. Rove is the weak chicken, and Palin is leading the cackling masses as they peck him to death on national TV.
“If these ‘experts’ who keep losing elections and keep getting rehired and getting millions — if they feel that strong about who gets to run in this party, then they should buck-up or stay in the truck. Buck up or run. The Architect(sss) can head on back to the great Lone Star State and put their name on some ballot –- though for their sakes, I hope they give themselves a discount on their consulting services.”
The acid tongue is alive and well and bolstered by the national spotlight. Back in the day, Meg Stapleton would have had a hand in scripting her poison-pen CPAC speech. But now she’s got a new posse, and her horizons are expanded. “The world,” as Stapleton herself noted, “is literally her oyster.” She’d better wear some hip waders when she leaves the house.
Rove, responding to the pummeling he and his candidates endured this last election cycle, has been trying a new strategy – backing candidates who are more palatable to the general public, and who therefore might stand a chance of… winning. And what kind of candidates are those? The moderate kind, not the fringe right-wing über-conservative Tea Party types. And after Palin’s CPAC jab, he shot back at the ex-half-governor stating that if he ever did “buck up and run,” he’d actually serve out his full term.
So, basically… “Quitter!”
For Palin to feel alive, she must be loved. She must be a champion. There must be dragons to slay. When she was here in Alaska, the corrupt oil-soaked good ol’ boys were her target, and nobody really minded that. It’s how she got elected, and how we got our current oil tax system in place. Nobody likes to talk about that, but Palin actually worked with Democrats to pass legislation that took Alaska from the brink of a financial crisis to a $16 billion savings account in five years. Not bad for half a term.
But now that she’s gone, the good ol’ boys (or should I say the “good oil boys”) are back. They’ve crept out of the woodwork and back into the halls of power. It’s the new and improved Corrupt Bastards Club. Gov. Frank Murkowski has been replaced by Gov. Sean Parnell. Pete Kott has been replaced by Cathy Giessel. Vic Kohring has been replaced by Click Bishop. And Mike Chenault has been replaced by… nope, it’s still Mike Chenault. But Palin doesn’t seem to care about any of that these days.
Her signature legislation, the oil tax system known as ACES that holds oil companies to a fair tax system, is being systematically dismantled by her very own Lt. Governor (Parnell), and the woman that she tried to install as the new Republican Party Chair (current Sen. Resources Chair Cathy Giessel). Her very own conservative Christian maverick ideologues, have become the very thing she despised. The oil companies will now get billions of dollars in exchange for nothing. Just because they’d like more money, and they don’t particularly care where it comes from. That $16billion savings account isn’t long for this world. Palin’s been turn-coated by her own minions while she wasn’t looking. Like their one-time leader, their self-interest trumps all.
Out in the big wide world, nobody really gives a moose’s rump about Alaska oil taxes. People don’t care about facts and figures, or “progressivity in the legacy fields” or “incentivizing new production.” BORE. INGGG. They care about consuming gallons of high-fructose corn syrup, and keeping the gays from ruining their heterosexual marriages. And for Palin, it’s much easier to keep straight than all that Bush-doctrine, blood libel, Supreme court stuff, and remembering the difference between North and. South Korea. Her index card days are long gone.
Our hometown Wasilla beauty queen is out there livin’ the dream. She showed up at an NBA game in Phoenix this past Friday night to root for her new home team, the Suns. Instead of sporting the team colors of purple and orange, she opted instead for “Homophobe Red,” proudly displaying the Chik-fil-A logo on her t-shirt – you know, just to remind everyone that they don’t support equal rights. She also decided it was a good idea to wear a 42-pound rhinestone weight belt around the waist of her size “I don’t eat any more” jeans.
When Palin stood on the banks of Lake Lucille in the summer of 2009, and explained in a hastily called press conference that she’d be stepping down as Alaska’s governor, she told us she’d be much more effective in helping Alaska from the Outside. “You don’t need a title,” she said, “to make a difference.” Whatever Sarah Palin there was who used to care about her home state is gone. Like someone who’s gotten bored with an annoying pet, she’s left us at the side of the road to the mercy of the elements, and the wild beasts. We knew it would happen, and now we find ourselves back in 2004, watching our state like an Exxon Valdez otter, drowning in a sea of oil.
(photos by the Associated Press)