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The Real Tragedy of Sarah Palin

This piece is cross-posted at The Huffington Post – HERE.

From the moment Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech electrified the Republican convention, she was seen as an unbending, hard-charging, red-meat ideologue—to which soon was added “thin-skinned” and “vindictive.” But a look at what Palin did while in office in Alaska—the only record she has—shows a very different politician: one who worked with Democrats to tame Big Oil and solve the great problem at the heart of the state’s politics. That Sarah Palin might have set the nation on a different course. What went wrong?

This is the intriguing premise set forth by Joshua Green from The Atlantic, and prefaces a four page article with information gathered during a week-long stay in Alaska. The article titled The Tragedy of Sarah Palin was fascinating, and made some valid points, but it reminded me of another story:

Three blindfolded men were led one at a time into a room containing an elephant. Each was asked to determine what was in the room without removing his blindfold. The first man touched the elephant’s trunk, and concluded a snake was in the room. The second felt its leg and determined it was a tree. The third man found the tail and said the object was a rope. All three were stunned when they removed their blindfolds to find that the object was indeed an elephant. With The Tragedy of Sarah Palin, it’s as though Joshua Green went to Alaska with a blindfold, felt the leg, the trunk, and the tail and decided that the object was a tree from which hung a rope and a snake.

 

His query “What went wrong?” is a false question.

But let’s start with what he got right. Green rightly notes that her home state is conspicuously devoid of Sarahphernalia – T-shirts, coffee mugs, and other items which Outsiders might expect to find sporting Palin’s visage and populating the shelves of gift shops in the state’s capital. I remember during the 2008 election cycle when even the local version of Whole Foods had racks of “Our Mama Beats Your Obama” shirts, and “Coldest State, Hottest Governor” slogans were everywhere. Green did find a roll of Sarah Palin toilet paper in Juneau, though. He’s right – we are very much over her.

One cause of the 49th state’s newly icy relationship with our ex-governor that cannot be overestimated is simply this – she quit. Quitters don’t make it far in the frontier, and Alaskans lose respect quickly for those that flee when the going gets tough. Surviving discomfort and hardship and risk is a badge of honor here. It’s practically the price of admission. We are the home of the bootstraps by which we tell everyone to pull themselves up. Alaskans don’t like a whiner, and we don’t like a quitter. Case closed.

That said, there’s no doubt that Palin won the day in the Pre-Quitting era. Her high approval ratings, image as a reformer, and willingness to challenge her own party did much to boost the nation’s initial impression of her. Her record in Alaska seemed to show her challenging authority, cleaning up corruption, implementing legislation with the help of Democrats, and getting our fair share of taxes from the oil companies that extract Alaska’s socialist state-owned oil from the ground. Not bad, right? Then, the story goes, she hit the big time and it all changed. Suddenly our hometown girl started hurling accusations of pallin’ around with terrorists, dissing community organizers, using divisive attack-dog language against Barack Obama. Like Napoleon, she put the laurel wreath upon her own head and crowned herself Miss Tea Party USA.

So, what went wrong? Here’s why it’s a false question.

The narrative above presumes one important thing – that Sarah Palin changed. She changed from a measured, reasonable bi-partisan reformer who did her state a lot of good, to a shrieking hatemonger of right wing rhetoric and partisan hackery. At first glance, it seems true on its face and we wonder how she went from one thing, to something quite different. It’s a mystery.

In science, there is a principle called Occam’s Razor which posits that all other things being equal, the simpler answer is usually the correct one. So, is there a simpler answer to Green’s question than that some inexplicable change happened – some tragic occurance – that turned Sarah Palin from her Alaska self into the very different national figure of today? Yes, there is.

Scratch the surface and look at the person underneath the public image, and another landscape reveals itself – one that is actually quite consistent. Sarah Palin was not a reformer at her core, who found a way to fulfill this abiding need, and self-actualization through a career in politics. She was not a person whose core values of bringing people together in a spirit of harmony for the greater good led her to extend her hand across the aisle to embrace Democrats. She was not an energy expert who used her unique, comprehensive knowledge and skill to earn her state back the money that had been robbed from us by Big Oil. She is not a hard core ideologue who will fall on her sword for her beliefs no matter the personal cost. Nor is she a hateful partisan hack who revels in stirring the pot and watching the carnage simply for its own sake.

But there is one thing that she is, that explains all of this and allows these seemingly incongruous traits to coexist in the same narrative, without the contradictions that seem so irreconcilable on their face. Ready?

Sarah Palin is an opportunist. It’s the simplest answer.

Palin the Reformer

When Palin first seriously set foot in the arena of state-wide politics, Alaskans were reeling from the flagrant corruption and carnal relationship between Big Oil and the governor’s office. Her gubernatorial predecessor, Frank Murkowski was so committed to oil, he may as well have been pouring the stuff on his cornflakes in the morning. A group of Republican legislators on the take who proudly dubbed themselves “The Corrupt Bastards Club” were investigated and charged by the FBI for selling political favors to the oil companies in the halls of the capitol. Those legislators went to trial and jail, one after the other. People in Alaska were sporting “Thanks FBI” and “Anyone but Frank” bumper stickers.

Sarah Palin and Frank Murkowski

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.

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.” And although Mr. Kohring states categorically that he had no particular person in mind when he helped draft the legislation, it seemed clear to many at the time that Palin served as an inspiration for the bill. it was quite clear to whom he was referring. He added that with the increased highly technical nature of the industry, it further underscores the need to have experienced and knowledgeable appointees on the Commission. When she quit that job, her “dramatic public gesture” as Green called it, was a golden opportunity to leave a commission upon which she was unqualified to serve, didn’t enjoy, and to do so as the principled reformer who “took a stand.” It was a win-win for Palin, and allowed her to create an image of exactly what Alaskans so desperately wanted. It worked for her.

Palin the Bipartisan

Green goes on to point out how Palin “worked with Democrats” to get new tougher oil legislation passed. There was no question that the PPT (Petroleum Profits Tax) favored by Murkowski did much to further line the pockets of the oil companies at the expense of the state and its people. Palin was elected as a reformer and (to her credit) picked an oil and gas team that was smart and savvy and had good ideas. Her dedication to them and unwavering support for their opinions had as much to do with her lack of knowledge on the subject, as her faith in them, but it worked. When it came time to make a proposal, she went to Republicans in the legislature first. But trying to be both a reformer and a Republican in the state of Alaska is a tricky business. After trying to tiptoe through that minefield, she quickly realized that Republicans (the ones deepest in the pockets of Big Oil) were going to give her nothing – not the way to further a political career or look successful to those on the national scene who were already taking more than a passing glimpse at Palin.

So, Palin went to the only people left who could salvage her reformer image, and allow her to get something done – the Democrats. Dems were willing to work with Palin, and fully realized that they held the cards. For Palin the choice became clear – either become an ineffectual governor for whom “reform” was a nice thought only, or step up to the plate and salvage her image. The price to pay for Palin was that Dems insisted on making the bill tougher on oil, and better for the state. Palin, the opportunist, had little choice. Ultimately, the new better tougher Democratic bill passed and Palin won the day. It certainly wasn’t because Palin went to Juneau and embraced legislators on both sides of the aisle out of an abiding desire for peace, harmony and reconciliation. It was because the Democrats wanted the legislation and got their own bill through by giving the self-serving opportunist and opportunity. They saved the image of a Republican governor because to them, good policy was more important than who got credit and as a result, they saved her butt.

It’s no exaggeration to say that ACES has made the state one of the fiscally strongest in the union. Flush with cash, Alaska produced large capital budgets that blunted the effects of the recession. Moody’s just upped the state’s bond rating to AAA for the first time. While other states reel under staggering deficits, budget cuts, and protests, Alaska has built up a $12 billion surplus, most of it attributable to Palin’s tax.

“Palin’s tax” as Green calls it, was the Democrats’ tax, and it has worked quite well. Since Palin left, Governor Sean Parnell (her former Lt. Governor who won reelection this past cycle) has changed course. ACES, which saves the state billions of dollars a year has come under incessant attack from him and the Republicans in the legislature who now have an oily ally in the governor’s office. Sarah Palin has been virtually silent on the matter of ACES, and dead quiet on the role her former Lt. Governor has played in systematically trying to undermine his former boss’ achievement. It no longer serves her purposes. The Democrats, on the other hand, have been vigorously defending it and the interest of the people of the state of Alaska, just like they did in 2007. If Alaskans want more of what Palin took credit for doing, all they need to do is elect a progressive who serves a full term.

Palin the VP Nominee

When John McCain plucked Sarah Palin from obscurity, it wasn’t because he needed a moderate, sensible running mate who could stick it to corporate power and snuggle up to Democrats. He needed someone to capitalize on the female vote, and someone who could speak the language of the evangelical Christian right. He needed someone to shore up the conservative base. For Palin, this was the opportunity of opportunities, and she was happy to dust off social conservative issues, chuck a few hapless souls under the bus, and throw some red meat into a campaign that was anything but exciting, if that’s what it took. Those wedge issues weren’t the things adding to her popularity as Alaska’s governor, but suddenly they were critical to her success on the VP trail. There was nothing she could do about her woeful inadequacy in political knowledge, or grasp of history, or global affairs, and subsequently fell flat on her face in those arenas. But, boy could she put on a show and took that opportunity with both hands. Principles? Core values? Integrity? Whatever. Opportunity won the day.

Palin the Quitter

After the election, Palin found herself in an awkward spot. When she stepped on the national stage, nobody knew much about what she’d been doing in Alaska, but when she came back to Alaska we sure knew what she’d been up to on the national stage. The things that gave her the opportunity to obtain a measure of success in Alaska were thrown under the bus along with the Democrats who had handed her a victory with ACES. Key players in that legislation suddenly became haters conspiring with Barack Obama to keep her down. And the things that were better off unsaid in Alaska had been shrieked to the four corners of the country and couldn’t be taken back. Suddenly her opportunistic nature became apparent to Alaskans, and it was a whole new ballgame on her home turf. She couldn’t just step back to her former role, and as she did when on the AOGCC, she “quit in frustration.” But this time, Alaskans weren’t buying it.

Her claim that ethics complaints against her were all baseless and yet bankrupting the state simply wasn’t true. Her own actions cost the state more money than anyone else. And a couple of those ethics complaints stuck like the very legality of her legal defense fund. After Palin’s antics as governor, the Alaska legislature was forced to address a couple modern day “No More Sarah Palin” bills and court cases: Should the state pay for the governor’s children’s travel and lodgings at events? Should we pay the governor a per diem allowance when she is living in her own home? Should the governor be allowed to conduct state business from a personal Yahoo account the content of which is not subject to public scrutiny?

The truth is that Palin already had a book deal in the works that she knew could potentially make millions. A book tour and six-figure speaking engagements around the world presented a much more attractive opportunity than slogging it out in a state that didn’t want her, in a job she hated and was ill-prepared to do well. Opportunity demanded that she shake the glacial dust off those red Naughty Monkey pumps and move on to greener pastures.

Palin the Petty

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.

Off all those quoted in the article, my favorite was former governor and Palin’s Democratic opponent in 2006, Tony Knowles.

“She’s what I call ‘alley-cat smart,’” Tony Knowles, the former Democratic governor, told me. “It’s not about ideology. She knows how to pick her way down the political route that she feels will be the most beneficial to what she wants to do.”

Yes, Tony Knowles and Occam’s Razor – the simplest answer is right.

So, what is the real tragedy of Sarah Palin? The tragedy is that we, the public, allow ourselves to be snowed. We see a pretty package, and someone holding a sign with a meaningless soundbite and we’re sold. Apathy, laziness, blind trust that someone so utterly unsuited for office would never have been selected, and a deep human wish for a hero to make it all better, blind us to reality.

Comments

comments

Comments
137 Responses to “The Real Tragedy of Sarah Palin”
  1. JUST A THOUGHT says:

    EXCELLENT ARTICLE!

    THIS ARTICLE NEEDS TO BE ON EVERY POLITICAL WEBSITE.

    THIS ARTICLE NEEDS TO BE IN EVERY MAJOR NEWSPAPER ACROSS

    THE USA.

    AKM, PLEASE KEEP THIS ARTICLE CIRCULATING THROUGHOUT ALL
    FORMS OF MEDIA.

    THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING THE TRUTH!!

  2. kiksadi50 says:

    p.s. I was referring to statements in green’s article. I don’t think Knowles was an effective Gov. Oh horrors, I criticized the sainted savior Tony Knowles!

  3. kiksadi50 says:

    Many misleading and just not true statements and assumptions in this article. the only real tragedy is the damage that palin has done to Alaska, to the way we now conduct political discourse in this country, and the way the media has done such a lousy job of writing the real stories and have concentrated on the reality tv version of people like palin.
    I’m a life long independent who voted for Obamma, but I agree with the descriptor of journalism today (HA!) for the most part as lame, richard engle being one exception.I think shannon moore is smug, not a very good writer or journalist, and in her interviews with MSNBC, she doesn’t sound like she knows what she is talking about but is as sarcastic as sara palin.

    • benlomond2 says:

      so which statements are misleading or not true ? The cost of Sarah’s ethics complaints ? The single most expensive ethics complaint ? That she worked with Dem’s rather than Repubs to get ACES passed ? Her cleaning up corruption ? Please provide specfics as to which statements, and why..
      As for concentrating on Reality TV.. If that’s what she presents to the media as her avenue of communication to the world, then that’s how she’s presented a la Sarah’s Alaska reality show. If she wants to be considered in a different manner, then let her make the rounds of shows such as Meet the Press, and give REAL interviews with reporters, with questions that haven’t been turned in ahead of time.

      • kiksadi50 says:

        There are so many assumptions in your reaction to my post that I hardly know where to begin. Why do you assume that I am defending Palin? Why are you assuming that the ‘misleading reports’ I refer to are incorrect criticisms of palin? I criticize the mainstream media (how dare I?) & you automatically assume that I am the ‘enemy’. I think journalist and the all media entities are doing a poor job.They aren’t writing about real news.Most of them concentrate on the wives of new jersey side of politics that plays to the lowest common denominator (the people who read USA Today & think they are informed).Concentrating & obsessing on palin’s unethical behavior while Gov.is small potatoes & a waste of energy. We have an important re-election to pull off coming up. Besides, do you really think anyone cares if palin used state stationary to raise $ or lied about the Bridge to Nowhere? They really don’t.I’ve lived in Ak. since 1972. Everyone knew stevens, murkowski & young were crooks. people looked the other way because they liked the pork they brought in.Look at the lack of ethics in politics nationally.The media should be relentlessly hammering home ginrich’s history.trump should have been exposed, not ridiculed with cheap shots about his hair. palin is a fly on my windshield until she’s a POTUS candidate.if the press does their job, & doesn’t just focus on her hair & weird speech patterns, then they will be doing journalism and telling a legitimate story.Ann Coulter (the old sara palin)lies,plagerizes,& lies some more while banking millions. I just don’t care. Someday Coulter’s over bleached hair will fall out, she’ll be 60 and still wearing cocktail dresses on the Today show at 7am.The same thing will happen to palin if we don’t take her seriously.

        • benlomond2 says:

          I asked you which statements in this article were misleading or not true. “Many misleading and just not true statements and assumptions in this article” As you have failed to offer up any examples, but have gone off on a different tangent from the subject in question, I’ll just assume this is troll rant.

          • kiksadi50 says:

            Resorting to name calling because you didn’t understand my pt. is pretty childish. my pt. was, YOU made many assumptions regarding what I meant when I said misleading or not true statements.Are you friends with the author? you certainly are defensive.Again, palin isn’t even in office, why do we continue to obsess on her, who cares?until she runs for office she’s just another wacko right wing fundamentalist sounding off on Fox news.I just don’t think that she’s that important. she’s got a lot of co. Journalists (again, I use the word lightly) writing about all of palin’s unethical behaviors now, are 2 yrs. to late. where were they in 2008 when palin’s lies needed to be publicly outed for all the world to hear? ‘Troll’…I’m a long liner, not a troller.you sound like charlie sheen.grow up.

  4. Smokey Mountain Blue says:

    Six more days until I get my book!

  5. OMG says:

    I must begin by saying that I support President Obama and think he’s done amazing things in his short time in office (especially given the steaming pile he inherited). I want him to win reelection to finish the job he’s set out to do.

    That said, take a look at Huntsman (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2071003,00.html) who is in many respects a conservative version of Obama: thoughtful, knowledgeable, intellectual and smacks of integrity. Then take a look at Palin, with her fraudulent record as a half-term governor, sniping and whining and lying…Palin who currently leads in some polls for the GOP nomination.

    To be honest, while I fear that the battle for the presidency would be more difficult for Obama against Huntsman…shouldn’t that be the way it is? Should people in the US strive to promote people who deserve promotion instead of pushing forward dingbats in their Naughty Monkeys?

    • Mo says:

      Just remember, it’s immoral to vote Republican, no matter who’s running. The GOP team is degenerate and depraved.

      • OMG says:

        I tend to agree but would sure like the republican party to put sanity on their platform. I simply hate the embarrassment of Sarah Palin. Can you imagine what the world thinks about the US when a total religious zealot, lying, ignorant opportunistic fraud is touted as presidential? I would much rather have both candidates be held to a level of quality rather than the freak show that the GOP is putting forward. It was bad enough to have had two terms of “W”.

        • Mo says:

          I think the GOP should go the way of the Federalists and Whigs and simply implode into a smoldering pile of ashes. There’s no way they are ever going to field a candidate who isn’t a puppet for corporate interests.

        • beaglemom says:

          Actually the Republican Party has never really cared about doing what’s best for the American people. That being said, Eisenhower was president when the interstate highway system was built and Nixon was president when many of the environmental laws went into effect (of course there was a Democratic Congress).

          Today what few responsible, what-used-to-be-mainstream Republicans are very old and very silent about how their political party has degenerated. Their silence is shameful; the party should never have embraced the fake “family values” positions but, for too long, the Republican Party leadership has been willing to do anything, literally anything, to win elections.

          Their money is as severely tainted as their culture of expedience. I keep writing to our US Rep. to remind him 1) that he and his party own the “teabaggers” and all of the far right rhetoric including Sarah Palin’s crosswires, and 2) he was elected to represent all of the people, not just the far right. He writes back that he wants to balance the budget – no thought of that for eight years under George Bush!

      • kiksadi50 says:

        That is just plain idiotic. Some of Alaska’s best Gov. have been Repub.,like Jay Hammond, who is primarily responsible for the perm. fund check you gladly cash every fall (if you are Alaskan). Global statements and labeling are a form of bigotry and prejudice. Not all is a phrase that oppresses others. As an independent, I would vote for a Repub.in 2012 if there were a viable candidate with a sound plan to shore up the economy/employment, & provide affordable health care. There are competent Repub.They aren’t all hiding devil’s tails under their clothes. We only hurt our country when we dismiss another’s ideas based on race, color, creed or political affiliation. I have no idea what political party Einstein belonged to, I’m just glad he was born. Plus he had a great sense of humour about himself.

        • Mo says:

          Hammond was 40 years ago.

          The GOP has deteriorated badly since, and is now going down thanks to its leaden load of teabaggers and corporate propagandists pandering to the lowest, most ignorant and bigoted sector of our population. Imagining a “viable candidate” in today’s GOP is imagining that one can put a diamond on a turd.

          • kiksadi50 says:

            again,very closed minded, bigoted, and prejudicial of you.my mother,a tireless advocate for civil & human rights,while raising 9 kids as a single parent & teaching school full time in the inner city of cleveland,taught us that it was irresponsible to vote along party lines without educating yourself on all the candidates.she was a very bright, very well read individual, who knew the record of every member of the congress, was familiar with bills & legis. that was discussed & voted on, & who admired Repub.like W.F.Buckley, even though she rarely agreed with him.My mother was a critical thinker and a great woman.

          • kiksadi50 says:

            Wally hickel was a mod.repub. and he actually created legis.to help the Native Alaskan people and & fund social services for the disenfranchised children & adults in Ak.,which is more than I can say about Knowles who was endorsed by AFN,ANB,ANS, Sea Alaska etc.,& consequently did zippity doo dah for Native communities once he was Gov.He did however spend millions on a bike path & a performing arts center,both of which went over budget.But I guess Hickel doesn’t count because Hickel’s political yrs.are ancient history.So much for Abe Lincoln’s antiquated work towards ending slavery.Many Native groups distrust the Dem. party after the way Knowles failed to follow through on his promises to them.The AFN came out in support of Joe Miller during the last election.Are you suggesting that there are no good republicans in the AFN? Dem.politicians in Ak.,the party of the people, should be ashamed of the way they have continued to ignore Native issues in this state.And please don’t name the handful of politicians in this state who are Nat. Ak.We should have had a Nativ.Ak.Gov. yrs. ago, regardless of party affiliation.

  6. Irishgirl says:

    Oh, this was good. 🙂

    On his Tuesday MSNBC “Hardball” program, Matthews took another swipe at former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. In a discussion about the prospects of Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann’s shot at the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, Matthews was warned by one of his guests not to count out Palin, to which he immediately downplayed her viability.

    “I think Sarah Palin proved herself to be — I think she’s proven herself to be profoundly stupid,” Matthews said to applause on-location in Los Angeles. “Her inability to answers the questions of Katie Couric, her inability of even now to explain if she ever reads anything.”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/17/chris-matthews-strikes-again-sarah-palin-profoundly-stupid/#ixzz1MhC9M3iU

    • OMG says:

      Wow and the Daily Caller really didn’t try to rebut his claims.

    • Millie says:

      I agree w/Matthews about Palin, but turned on MSNBC and they are talking about the strong possibilites of Palin running. She came in second to Mitt Romney in a recent poll (they change daily – 20/18%). Are the press the ones pushing this crap – AGAIN?

      She’s fund raising again for her PAC (letters to 400,000) but didn’t tell the people supporting her that the funds cannot be used to run for President.

  7. Irishgirl says:

    If you google Sarah Palin for news, AKM’s post over at HuffPo comes up on the first page!

  8. VernD says:

    I posted this earlier and wanted to say it as a new post as well.

    @Ndjinn,
    I have felt the same way for a long time. Can’t stand her, but at the same time really feel for her. She clearly has some sort of disturbance and she is heading for a very unpleasant fall.
    It’s like watching a young child through a window, as it plays with a sharp knife and an electrical outlet in a wading pool. Perhaps we could help the child but sadly, Scarah is another story.

    VernD

    ROCK ON AKM!!!

  9. scout says:

    Whoot, AKM!!

    “Blind Allegiance” May 24th

    “no place to run to baby, no place to hide”….

  10. meena says:

    I guess now Josh can “patiently­­” explain the “tragedy” of Sarah Palin to a writer who actually lives in Alaska and endured the governorsh­­ip of Saint Palin

  11. ibwilliamsi says:

    I kept trying to get to the site yesterday to read this article, and I kept getting a 404 error message. I’m glad that I persisted – you’re spot on, as always!

  12. OMG says:

    Alert: Without Huckabee, Palin leads the GOP field:

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/05/palin-still-a-threat.html

    Most progressives rub their hands in delight at the prospect of Palin being trounced by Obama but just remember, anything can happen to sour the nation. Angry voters always vote for change. If Palin is the opposition when the country is in that kind of mood then we would be looking at her in the WH.

    • bubbles says:

      contrast what Barack Obama had to say to a group of graduates when he surprised them yesterday at their commencement ceremony with anything The Screech has said anytime, anywhere.
      we cannot sleep on her. we cannot back down and wander away thinking oh well Obama is a cinch to win. if we do that we lose. we lose the future for our children and their children. we cannot let this woman or any other asinine contender for the White House, the Senate or the House succeed.

      please if you haven’t seen this video, take a look and gird up your loins.

      • OMG says:

        You are so right…we must not sit back and assume that Palin’s not going anywhere. As long as she is present in political discussions she is a danger to the country.

  13. OMG says:

    AKM…I just saw your article on Huffpo:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/akmuckraker/sarah-palin-tragedy_b_863093.html

    Everyone hop over for a read!

  14. OMG says:

    I think that the real tragedy of Sarah Palin is that she was thrust into the spotlight where she brought political discourse to an all time low in the US.

  15. Bigtoe says:

    Joshua Green asks, AKM answers; correctly. You hit all the right buttons on this one. Hope the MSM finally gets it.

  16. Mo says:

    A little refresher, in pics:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/gallery/2011/may/08/sarah-palin-10-best-clangers#/?picture=374287952&index=0

    “Before Sarah Palin was understood to be the most catastrophically stupid politician of our age, she looked, for about 30 seconds, a good thing.”

  17. Elsie says:

    Hey, AKM, that has to be one of your best commentaries EVER. Thank you for the heart, time and effort you put into writing it. It’s a keeper.

  18. beaglemom says:

    From all that I have read (oodoodles!) since Sarah Palin was named as McCain’s running mate in 2008 (and one of my first sources was Mudflats), I have concluded that Sarah Palin was not even qualified to be mayor of Wasilla. She probably shouldn’t have been on the City Council.

  19. Lee323 says:

    Josh Green wrote his article for the Atlantic magazine after spending a week in Alaska, eh? One whole week??….as in, “there are seven whole days in a week” week?….as in, “the world was created in a week” week?….Tsk. Tsk. No wonder Green’s article sounds eerily similar to the Garden of Eden mythology……complete with a tree, a snake and a rope to hang himself after being deceived by a wily little temptress dressed in pachyderm’s clothing.

    Pretty embarrassing stuff, Josh. Any gardener worth his salt knows that the tree of knowledge doesn’t bear fruit in seven short days. (Heck, one has to remove the blindfold to even start the germination process.)

    Great rebuttal, AKM. Writing without a blindfold made all the difference (not to mention living in Alaska for a couple of decades). 😉

  20. GreatGranny2C says:

    Finally got in – terrirfic piece!

  21. Kalena says:

    AKM, If you still post at the Huffington (I know a lot of contributors have left and I understand why but..)
    I would encourage you to cross post this there. It’s a shame your site went down when it was linked by The Daily Dish and, imo, this is a very important piece at a time when some in the msm are trying to revive/reinvent her.

  22. Ben in SF says:

    Wow, you had me at the elephant. You have not lost your touch!

  23. bubbles says:

    i couldn’t get in. i cried. i pouted. i sulked. i said bad words. i complained and still could not get in. so i went to sleep. woke up this morning and EUREKA!
    this was one of your best AKM and worth waiting for. thank you.
    Sarah said a few months ago that if no one else stood up to the challenge of facing off against the President then she would.
    bring it.

  24. aussiegal77 says:

    I find the narrative of “What went wrong?” intriguing. It’s as if the all power Washington insiders club all of a sudden didn’t know what just happened. Oh please.

    John McCain deliberately selected an unvetted individual who turned out to be unilaterally unqualified for public office. Given Palin was such a disaster on the national stage, the question become not “What went wrong?” but “What ELSE went wrong??!!”

    • aussiegal77 says:

      …..I loved the elephant analogy by the way! I’ve always felt that the more bits and pieces I know of Palin…..the more I step back and let them settle into a full picture of her……the more my eyes widen in true horror at just how utterly unqualified this woman is to be anywhere near the WH. It’s the slow yet steady realisation that a monumental mistake was made by the powers that be to unleash on the nation.

      • aussiegal77 says:

        ……and maybe that’s why the powers that be are trying really hard to show that THEY are just as surprised as WE are.

        Reality check – WE are not surprised. WE did our homework in 2008 and therefore did NOT vote for the McCain/Palin ticket. The powers that be continued to praise, herald, encourage the Pit Bull they let loose on the rest of us all thru out 2009 and 2010. But I think after the “blood libel” video – these same people have REALLY realised just how much of a plague Sarah Palin truly is.

        Dear Washington Insiders, Republican King Makers and Conservative Mainstream Pundits – you bought, you broke it, now we’re all paying for it.

        • Mo says:

          “Dear Washington Insiders, Republican King Makers and Conservative Mainstream Pundits – you bought, you broke it, now we’re all paying for it.”

          Damn straight, aussiegal!

  25. zyggy says:

    You are an incredible writer AKM, your article rawked. I still blame McCain for unleashing her to the rest of us.

  26. aussiegal77 says:

    Sullivan just linked to this on The Dish – so it WILL be widely read!

    Well done AKM! As usual – when it comes to Sarah Palin, ask the Alaskans! They know her the best.

    • aussiegal77 says:

      “…….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?”

      Palin summed up in 3 lines. If she wasn’t all of these things – she’d be Barack Obama.

  27. Zyxomma says:

    So glad to finally get here and read this. I followed a link in SP 2.0, then couldn’t get back last night. Beautifully written; hope it goes viral.

  28. tallimat says:

    Ick.
    Palin is just icky.
    Public policy, public office… not something Palin should look too.
    She will run for POTUS. Which will mean more embarassment for repubs and giggles from dems.

  29. Alaska Pi says:

    AKM-
    Excellent!
    Mr Green, and so many others, have failed to put whatzername’s election fully in the context of the anger and shame surrounding the CBC and the Murkowski administration.
    There is no tragedy of SP herself. Tragedy implies a coming to know, however fleeting, of what went wrong. You are correct in every way that the tragedy is in a disgusted, upset group of voters getting caught up in feel-good, sounds-good load of horsepunky and forgetting to look beyond the surface.
    Thank you yet again for grounding whatzername’s game in reality instead of high flown rhetoric.
    She did NOT change… pure and simple.Period.

  30. Ndjinn says:

    I don’t even remember her running, I guess I was busy. I remember her quiting, I volunteered at the governors picnic in Anchorage and on her exit to the black SUV amid the Troopers, secret service, us and some other folks she grabed my hand, made eye contact and thanked me for being there. It was weird. I have a gift in doing what I do and that’s telling about people. After all is said and done and all the actions we have all seen, what I saw was hollow and sad. I dislike her actions and think she is dangerous but after looking in her eyes as she headed to Fairbanks to quit, I really just feel sorry for her.

    • VernD says:

      @Ndjinn,
      I have felt the same way for a long time. Can’t stand her, but at the same time really feel for her. She clearly has some sort of disturbance and she is heading for a very unpleasant fall.
      It’s like watching a young child through a window, as it plays with a sharp knife and an electrical outlet in a wading pool. Perhaps we could help the child but sadly, Scarah is another story.

      VernD

      • Man, you guys are way more evolved than I am. Haven’t been able to get to the “father forgive her for she knows not what she does” plateau yet. Mostly because I think she knows very well what she does. But, God bless you for your generous natures. I am just simply sick of her.

  31. Cassie Jeep says:

    Excellent piece, even if it took until today to read it!

    Final note to those of us “hoping for a hero”…….if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

  32. omomma says:

    This is first rate, the very best analysis of your ex-gov. ever. Brief, to the point, very clear.

  33. BeeJay says:

    Wonderful, Jeanne, just the antidote the nation needed to that unfortunate fluff piece. Too bad Joshua Green’s editors at the Atlantic are such poor fact checkers – that used to be a magazine with a good reputation but his piece just comes off as being very sloppy, a throwaway to the right wing base.

    • Millie says:

      I hope this gets national attention, AKM. It is needed because some of the media is talking Palin for national office….

      Amazing!!

  34. jimzmum says:

    Excellent response. Thank you.

  35. aeroentropy says:

    AKM, I think you knocked this one right out of the park, as they say. It was worth the wait to read it this morning. Pesky server plug-ins! If I were conspiracy-minded, I’d wonder about that one!

    • beth says:

      [‘Creative reading’ this morning… I read: “AKM, I think you mocked this one right out of the park, as they say.” My mis-reading the word worked too and also, then. You bet’cha. beth.]

  36. mike from iowa says:

    Our Nation needs real people to work together to find real solutions to real problems. We don’t really need more sloganeering from mindless zombies who have no real understanding of the real problems that face real Americans every real day of their lives. Life under rethuglican rule really did hurt real people because we were really getting ^#%@*^& by an elephant. That really hurt. Sarah is a joke,she is the butt of jokes and she is also the punchline of the joke.Thanks to AKM she is really a joke.

  37. Kay O'Keefe says:

    Excellent piece — you have pulled back the curtain.

  38. OMG says:

    AKM: That was the best rebuttal to Green’s piece yet. I’ve linked it on Political Junkie.

  39. dowl says:

    AKM, thanks for what you do and all that you do for ‘flatters and others. Truth-telling empowers those who choose not to allow safe haven to the lying liars who lie. We do not willingly support arrogant ignorance and conscientious stupidity. and the mudflats space reaffirms and encourages truth-seeking for the sake of our country’s moral well-being. Grifting for gold in the name of God WITH guns because of greed and fear is truly appalling.

    Wonderfully expressed response to Slate’s Green take on Ms. Todd Palin’s delusions.

  40. Califpat says:

    AKM, a wonderful article! I became impressed with your brilliant writing back in 2008, when Johnny Boy brought SP out on the stage as the VP. I was like many people with , (smack ourselves on the head) who is this woman that McCain introduced as his VP.? AKM, you were the one to bring us who inquired, up to speed. And you have kept us informed in the most factual and the most humorous way about Palin. She never fooled you with her charisma and you saw through her dog and pony show that was full of lies and deceit. Most of the Mudflatters, like me, followed your perception of her and we were introduced to a woman who was never about Alaska or our country. Thank you for being the barer of truth. You have made a difference and let this Mudflats community and the country know the true character of this opportunistic person. I thank you for the revelation and I know you have been attacked by her ilk. You are my hero!! I rarely post now, but I read the Mudflats everyday!! Thanks for all you do! Oh, and when I could not log onto Mudflats today/tonight, I was having Mudflats withdrawals. Again, thanks for everything!!

  41. Pinwheel says:

    privilege of fishing rights on the Copper RIver. And then leave the fish in the trap. These are not Alaskans. These are the people who make the rest of us look like idiots. It’s up to us. nem

  42. Jane says:

    I am not from Alaska, but I can say that the night I heard her speak at the RNC I said – there is something wrong with this picture; that is a person with a very cold heart… And she has played out to be exactly what I thought and proved my thoughts to be correct. And the pictures of the family on stage and the manner in which she held Trig – just didn’t come across as authentic. All staged and has been ever since…

  43. renee99503 says:

    Standing on a chair giving AKM a standing ovation! One of your best my dear. You are a truly gifted writer speaking truth to power!

  44. North of the Range says:

    Late to the party, but when I couldn’t get through, and couldn’t get through, I knew there had to be something that either was starting to go viral or that had triggered a DOS event from the SP camp, or maybe both! Wow, was this worth the wait! This piece is a beautifully arc’d ball, flying gracefully out of the park, to the cheers of the crowd.

    Yes! Yes! Yes! You’ve got it, exactly.

    Thank you!

  45. beth says:

    Excellent article, as usual, AKM. Thanks! beth.

    Some more to back up the truth of what our own AKM so perfectly writes, is from NPRs All Things Considered: “Years Ago, Sarah Palin Was Recruited As A Moderate”. (link below)

    Opportunistic, indeed! Heck the NPR bit even starts out with:
    ~~~~~
    Whether Sarah Palin will enter the 2012 presidential race is the political junkie’s favorite guessing game — and Palin hasn’t said much to end the speculation.

    But how Palin entered politics in the first place may surprise you. It turns out, Palin was recruited into politics to help the cause of bigger government. [/snip]
    ~~~~~
    You can read the piece or listen to the 4 min 22 sec audio at the link: http://www.themudflats.net/2011/05/03/palin-pulls-a-palin-again/#comment-262889 b.

  46. Nate j says:

    The Green article was trying too hard…if Sarah Palin wasn’t Sarah Palin, she might have made a good VP. Wha.? She guided that trainwreck and didn’t have the leadership ability or people skills to make a positive contribution to the country.

  47. Pinwheel says:

    Haven’t finished the whole, but I do hold her responsible for what happened to US Rep Gifford. More later.n

    • bubbles says:

      me too Pinwheel. La Strega Prima had best stay in Alaska (inside her compound on Dead Lake Lucille or in an Alaskan jail) and out of Arizona or any other State in the Union. that would be best for her and for the world.

  48. Moles says:

    I read Green’s article and could only conclude he’d just emerged from a long anaesthetic. This rebuttal by AKM should be made compulsory reading.

  49. tessa says:

    Superb article & counter to Green’s article (actually couldn’t bring myself to read his whole piece – too depressing) This is so great though, points out a lot of things I didn’t know – thank you so much!

  50. Andrew Roberts says:

    The definition given of Occam’s Razor sounded a bit off to me. Here’s Wikipedia:

    “The principle is often inaccurately summarized as ‘the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one.’ This summary is misleading, however, since the principle is actually focused on shifting the burden of proof in discussions. That is, the razor is a principle that suggests we should tend towards simpler theories (see justifications section below) until we can trade some simplicity for increased explanatory power. Contrary to the popular summary, the simplest available theory is sometimes a less accurate explanation.”

  51. flex gunship palin says:

    to test someone give them money and power, then you will find out who they truely are .

  52. Pete says:

    I was very disturbed after reading Joshua Green’s original article in the Atlantic. This very well written and insightful response to his article has inspired me to purchase a copy of Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin. That’s a first for me, so congrats! I would never purchase anything by Sarah Palin, but your voice is definitely one that deserves to be heard. I guess that’s the real tragedy here, Palin is being paid for her voice filled with hatred and that type of voice doesn’t even deserve a platform!

  53. GoI3ig says:

    I for one was never snowed. I saw through her rather thin veneer from day one. I used to call her “soundbite Sarah” since she had the same canned answer no matter what the question.

    I watched the debate she had with Andrew Halcro, and couldn’t figure out how such a dim wit garnered a seat on the stage. But alas, the Alaskan electorate isn’t the most savvy bunch. She danced her way in to office, and I will never forgive Johnny Mac for unleashing her on the world.

    We can only hope that she follows the non dancing cherub Bristol to Arizona, and becomes their poster child.

  54. Moose Pucky says:

    False “image as a reformer”. Dammit.

  55. Congratulations on having your article picked up by Andrew Sullivan’s “The Dish,” arguably the most widely read news/analysis blog in the country. But one other point Green made, or perhaps implied, also rings true. What Palin did accomplish – for a given definition of “accomplished” in her brief tenure as Governor was done by raising taxes and working with Democrats. She regards both strategies as anathema now. She has disavowed what gave her what “success” she had.

    • Pinwheel says:

      We are too small, too disorganized, too independent. Now we go to get ‘our’ fish. Don’t get in my way!!.

      It appears critical we keep at least the deal in the AK Senate, but “clean house”!!!! Dumpelstiltskeins has destroyed representative government in the State of Alaska. Or he will, given the reapportionment plan, make sure his man Treadwell certifies. We are in for some battles for which the SOA hasn’t yet prepared themselves.

  56. Sourdough Mullet says:

    Wow. Finally, the entire sordid history of Palin has been digested down into one perfect package (insert upchucking joke here…)
    This piece brings back so many memories, and I just want to say that for anyone suggesting that these events and the history behind them is somehow slanted, they are not. I remember clearly the 2008 Alaska Legislative session; I watched it on Gavel-to-Gavel, glued to my television as the Democrats worked feverishly against all odds to pull off the ACES legislation in what seemed like the last minute of the session. They did indeed know that they were handing over credit for the legislation to Palin and certain Republicans, but they did what was right for the State of Alaska and let the credit lie (undeservedly) with those that did not deserve it. State residents owe a debt of gratitude to Hollis French, Beth Kertulla, Les Gara, et al for their TRUE public service to the residents of Alaska on that count.
    As a long-time Valley resident, I’ve been familiar with the dirty deeds of Ms. Palin for way too many years, & can vouch for her “wolf-in-sheeps-clothing” persona, something that you summed up quite well. I hope this piece goes VIRAL!

  57. seattlefan says:

    Took me a long time today to access your site. It was well worth the wait. THANK YOU for this rebuttal to Green’s take on Palin. As always, your writing is outstanding and the message is beautifully made with class and perspective from one who actually knows her and her reckless and opportunistic ways. I hope this makes it back to the Atlantic as a rebuttal. That would be a good thing.

  58. scarlet/oregon says:

    Waited a long time to get into your Mudflats and it was well worth it to read such an outstanding ‘correction’ to Green’s article.

  59. Molly says:

    Excellent write-up, AKM.

    Sarah is always just about Sarah; everyone else– under the bus!

  60. Forty Watt says:

    Outstanding!

  61. Mrs Gunka says:

    Worthy of publication in every newspaper in the country! Thank you!

  62. Paddlefoot says:

    Yes, false question indeed. Truly an excellent read and cutting to the core. Thanks for all you do AKM, looking forward to your book.

  63. maelewis says:

    When Lawrence O’Donnell aired the story about Donald Trump’s decision not to run for president, my husband had an unusual reaction. He blamed the media for hyping the guy and treating him as if he was a serious candidate. And, he blamed the public which suddenly fell in love with Trump without questioning where he stood on the issues. The attraction seemed to be the latent racism behind the request for the release of the long form of Obama’s birth certificate. Suddenly, the birth certificate was produced, and shortly after that, Trump was the butt of jokes at the White House Correspondents Dinner. He couldn’t take the joke, and his ratings dropped like a rock. The public loved him one day, and tomorrow they will fall for another snake oil salesman.

    That must have been the attraction behind Sarah Palin as Vice Presidential mean girl attack dog. As AKM described her so well, she sure puts on a show. Unfortunately for Palin, she didn’t have anything else going for her. It only took two network interviews to see just how uneducated and unqualified she was. Sarah continues to be her own worst enemy. Last year, she embarked on a non-stop publicity tour, appearing on Fox, selling her book, giving six-figure speeches, she was on a roll, putting on the show of a life-time.

    What happened? I think that Sarah’s fall began with her thin-skinned defense of using cross hair images on an electoral map, following the Arizona shooting in January. To make matters worse, she didn’t follow Roger Ailes’ advice to “lie low” and issued a video using that phrase, “blood libel.” In addition to surveyors symbols, she had another phrase to defend. She can’t help herself; she has to respond to the smallest criticism. Since she left office, she has done nothing to learn or inform herself, to mature and learn to take things in stride. Fame and fortune has had the opposite effect, turning her into a diva-celebrity. Once, she put on a great show. Now, it’s the same act and the same speech, and it is finally getting tired. I can only hope so.

  64. AKPetMom says:

    A perfectly astute profile of who and what Sarah Palin is. 25% of the Republican Party, the Base, will never be swayed in their opinion of her until the knife is in their back, until the tire tracks of the bus are run up their legs. These people find her strength in what the majority sees as her weakness. The more truths about Palin that see the light of day, the more sane minded Independents and the other 75% of the Republican Party will not choose to back this woman who engages in a shapeshifting of her “basic policy”, a “revisionist revisiting” of her slight political resume.

    I believe that America is on the whole too intelligent to be snowed by this charlatan. She can bleed her base dry monetarily, but one day they will find themselves sorely used and abused by Palin. There is no other possible outcome. She won’t miraculously become a competent and serious contender overnight.

    Thanks AKM for laying it all out.

  65. ks sunflower says:

    Okay, now my comment has been deleted. So here goes a resubmission – even though it may not be exactly the same, it should be close enough. Watch – the original post may pop up.

    It took hours for your site to load, but it was well worth the wait.

    AKM, you are brilliant. Your analysis is spot-on, and your talent to communicate is top-notch.

    I say this not to flatter you, but to simply state the truth. Thank you for all that you do to expose corruption and incompetence.

  66. Thank you for this rebuttal to the Atlantic piece. When I read Green’s article I wanted to scream, but what about… and there’s this…. and how about….. it was a regular sputtering spasm for a bit. Hope this gets a wide audience. Glad to see you’re back and insightful as ever after your tough winter.

    Perfect analogy of the blind men and the elephant.

  67. ks sunflower says:

    It took me hours to get your site to load, but it was well worth the wait.

    AKM, you are brilliant. Your analysis is spot-on, and your talent to communicate is top-rate.

    I say this not to flatter you, but to simply state the truth. Thank you for all that you do to expose corruption and incompetence.

    • ks sunflower says:

      I see my comment is under moderation. Sigh – probably because I may a typo on my email. That is corrected now and is the reason I am sending this little comment.

  68. laingirl says:

    AKM, I read another response to Green’s article (I forget where), and I have to say your’s is about 200% better. Thank you for your great writing. It was worth the two hours I spent trying to connect with this site.

  69. Elizabeth says:

    I have long loved the elephant story. I learned a slightly different version, but the point is the same. I love the way you used it: a tree with a rope and a snake. The underlying point is why we all need to share our “truth”. Together we will discover the elephant.

  70. sueinak says:

    WELL SAID!!!

  71. fawnskin mudpuppy says:

    MARVELOUS, MZ AKM.
    i just get all giggly when you climb on that white horse.
    perhaps, it’s an elephant this time…but you knew all the parts presented to you represented the whole pachyderm.

  72. justafarmer says:

    excellent, AKM!

    **standing ovation**

  73. Pete says:

    Wow that was beautiful! I feel this is a fact that has always been right in our faces, it just took somebody to put it in the right words and get it out there, a job that you did more than excellently on! Nice work!

  74. Sharon_Too_Also says:

    THIS is the article that belongs in the MSM. Beautifully analyzed and written, AKM.

  75. Kalena says:

    Andrew Sullivan has linked to this article. 🙂

  76. Judi says:

    Great article…oh yes I do hope wish they would run this one in the Atlantic as well….

    Great work!!!!!

  77. teal says:

    nicely done!

    …maybe he’ll write a follow-up exploring a wider view of the QuitterQUEEN

  78. 1smartcanerican says:

    Nicely put AKM. There sure is a lot of spinning on the demise of Sarah Palin these days. Too bad most writers don’t bother to really dig to find the true SP. You know, the one who lies, who can speak only in word salad mode, etc.

    Thanks for your great appraisal of her warped personality.

  79. Beezer says:

    Self laureled Miss Tea Party USA and most opportunist… i-n-d-e-e-d, you nailed it AKM! Can’t wait for “Blind Allegiance” on the 24th. I plan on buying at store (versus at Amazon) I want people to see the cover as I walk around with a cheshire grin. Have great day AKM you deserve it!

  80. Oh no says:

    You are simply brilliant. I love your analysis. Thanks for the hard work of continuing to expose the truth…

  81. TruthRocks says:

    Well-written, brilliantly insightful article. Thank you!

    SP always reminds me of the saying, “The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.” Though I’d never heard of her, I could the sense the dichotomy right away: bright exterior persona, dark interior hidden below. Thanks to the capabilities of internet research, this was affirmed for me within 24 hours of her stepping on to the national stage.

    Her followers are enamoured with the FANTASY of who they so desperately want her to be. Your last sentence wraps it up perfectly.

  82. physicsmom says:

    Excellent, AKM. If only The Atlantic would pick this up as well. Your elephant analogy is a good one and applies to any number of Palin’s seeming mysteries. Thank you.

  83. libby says:

    Amen.

    Nice work, AKM!

  84. Irishgirl says:

    Take that Joshua Green. 🙂
    I hope he responds to your excellent post.

  85. Mo says:

    The latest from Gin and Tacos, re why would anyone in their right mind want to apply for the job of President:

    http://www.ginandtacos.com/2011/05/16/seduction/

    “Sarah Palin is a right-wing brand name par excellence, with $50,000+ speaking fees and million dollar advances on ghostwritten books. She appears before crowds of sycophants who adore her, which is probably as ego-rewarding as political power.

    “In short, many of these people are vacillating about 2012 not only because Obama will be difficult to beat but also because there are so many private sector temptations. For Republicans in particular, with the conservatives’ strong network of targeted media outlets, non-profits, and interest groups, the temptation is getting darn near overwhelming. Unless an individual has an ego that can only be satisfied by the presidency, choosing between a couple million dollars per year hosting a TV show or “writing” “books” and serving as president is no choice at all.

    So – does $arah “Bullseye” Palin have an ego that can only be satisfied by the presidency? I think the “opportunist” label is more accurate. The question she’s right now no doubt calculating the answer to is whether she can keep bringing in the cash if she doesn’t run in 2012, or if she _must_ run to keep the cash incoming. Campaigning is work, after all, and we all know she doesn’t like that; ditto the humiliation of being exposed as an idiot in interviews and debates.

    • physicsmom says:

      Interesting take. If that is the political calculus on the Republican side, that commerce is more lucrative than governance, then I say “go for it.” Leave the governing to the altruists and the true public servants and not the CEO’s who think that everything must be run for a profit and schools should compete for students like Taco Bell and McDonalds for customers.

  86. Charlie says:

    Great rebuttal to Green’s article. Thanks.

  87. leenie17 says:

    Anyone who doubts that Sarah Palin of 2008-today is the same Sarah Palin of years past just needs to look at her history as Mayor of Wasilla. Incompetent, vindictive, petty, greedy, selfish…all the same qualities that merely became magnified in the 2008 campaign were all present from the very beginning.

    Thanks, AKM, for putting it all in a neat little historical package.

    • Cinquifoil says:

      AKM – thanks. You blondie are a welcomed Alaskan. I know Sarah Heath due to my association with the Carney’s of wasilla.

      I agreed with Doogan when he outted you. AKM

    • Lilybart says:

      That story of how she spread rumors that Stein might be (gasp) Jewish, AND living in sin, when she knew it was false, is really all you need to know about her. This was a race for mayor of a small town for Pete’s sake!

      • Dagian says:

        Joe Stein ran for mayor of Sitka in 2010. Did he win? (No, I’m not an Alaskan. I’m punting this question to the other denizens of the Flats.)

  88. Kalena says:

    All I can say is WOW! Hope this article gets widely read. You have addressed my concerns about Green’s article and painted the portrait of Sarah Palin extraordinarily.

    • Elizabeth says:

      It took hours to get in. All I can say is “WOW”. AKM, you really outdid yourself. Fantastic!

    • daisydem says:

      Kalena …that was the first thing I thought of as I neared the end of this well-written, succinct yet comprehensive post: Wow. So I ditto your remarks.

    • MicMac says:

      For any of us who have actually vetted Palin, there was only one response to Green’s article – that Palin never was the political figure she appeared to be, that her accomplishments were nil, that others did all the heavy lifting for her, and she just signed documents – a smoke and mirrors puppet. I, for one, believe that her “outing” of Ruederich on the Oil & Gas Board was at the behest of the Dem AG, that she willingly complied to get back at Murkowski, she was so bitter at being passed over for Senator by his daughter. It’s also possible that the AG had something on Sarah, as well – at first she appeared to be complicit with Rudy in his dealings with Evergreen, et al. Perhaps they threatened to take her down with him, who knows? I believe that Palin was an absolute tool for the Dems while in office. She had already burned her bridges with the Republicans, as mentioned, and had no where else to go but into Democratic arms to maintain power – and continue her revenge on Murkowski. Her trajectory since quitting has also shown her to be no Republican. She hates them and the GOP powers that be, behind the scenes, hate her. If Reince Priebus has anything to say about it, Palin will never get the GOP nomination.

      • Latitude 58 N says:

        I’ve always contended she was picked precisely because she WASN’T knowledgeable, and the Murkowski ilk mistakenly thought they could manipulate her for their own aims. Didn’t quite work out the way anyone expected, but Sarah was never an expert at anything except justifying her actions and promoting herself. And blaming anyone else on the planet when things didn’t go her way.

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  1. […] more of the article at The Mudflats, including the May 16 article “The Real Tragedy of Sarah Palin“. The article fills in gaps made by Joshua Green from The Atlantic magazine in his article […]

  2. […] analysis of Sarah Palin and her suitability for the Presidency, please see AKMuckraker’s post The Real Tragedy of Sarah Palin at The […]

  3. Savoir faire says:

    […] answer to Joshua Green’s Atlantic piece on how Sarah changed. She didn’t really, Jeanne explains. This entry was posted in The way she is. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a […]



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