I don't think Sarah Palin really wanted until I was away from Flying M Blog Control Central to make her rambling, semi-coherent resignation speech, but it sure felt that way when I saw her.
The speech is worth watching (or at least reading), if you haven't caught it, so you can see her talking so fast her thoughts (such as they are) can't quite keep up with her mouth. And while I have seen plenty of people say "If I can't play my way, I'm going to take my ball and go home!" never before have I seen anyone make the case quite so forcefully that it's the noble and just approach, and that people who stay and finish the game by the rules are actually the ones taking some kind of illicit short cut.
There are, of course, as many possible reasons for this act as there are brands of craziness. The one she seemed to be playing up are the attacks on her family, including, as far as I can tell, entirely imaginary attacks on son Trig. Of course, most attacks on her family have been self-inflicted, like Letterman's gag about unwed teen mother Bristol that Palin turned into an attack on her younger daughter. And Palin's determination to use her family in her campaign, including Bristol's baby's father, who had a shotgun at his back that was almost literal.
I have a couple of theories of my own. One is that, with all the negative press we've seen about Palin recently, in Vanity Fair and elsewhere, we've only seen the tip of some Titanic-sinking iceberg that's closing in. Maybe Palin is one of the women with whom Mark Sanford crossed the line, while not crossing the ultimately line, as he so inelegantly phrased it. At some Republican Governor's conference, maybe they didn't hike the Appalachian Trail, but they took a stroll through the Cumberland Gap. Or maybe some of her misdeeds in Alaska are coming her way in the form of criminal indictments. We'll just have to wait and see.
The other is that she genuinely believes in her far-right views: Government doesn't work and the only noble cause is making money. In that case, her resignation is perfectly in keeping with her beliefs. She wasn't rich, but with the notoriety she's gained from the McCain campaign and since, she will have no trouble making a bundle on the lecture circuit.
Still, the true reason is anyone's guess--the only certain thing is that her stated reason is nonsense. If it's impossible for any elected official to effect real change as a lame duck, then why hasn't every president resigned halfway through his last term?
The real issue here is that the mainstream media, so thoroughly cowed by the 30-year dedicated right wing effort to paint it as the "liberal" media, has decided that every Republican politician should be treated like a serious person until the point that they utterly explode on camera, like Mark Sanford. So you have the spectacle of someone like an Alan Keyes spouting nonsense, or a Sarah Palin, or McCain "suspending his campaign" to save the economy," and no one in the mainstream press points a finger and says "Look at what this fool is doing."
The public people who got Palin the most right during the campaign were Tina Fey and Bill Maher, who called her a "retarded flight attendant." (Congratulations to those of you who caught the reference in the headline of this blog--your pop culture knowledge is without compare!).
But there are those in the press and in the Republican ranks who insist that what she's doing is setting the groundwork for a presidential run, by abandoning her commitment to her state to serve out at least one full term as governor. If enough of them shout it loud enough, maybe they can make it be true. I'd like to think the voters aren't so easily flummoxed. Then again, some of them did vote for George W. Bush.