Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

The anti-politician

Jerry Stratton, May 8, 2012

In Simple, obvious, and unobstructive: minimize the value-minus of taxes, I wrote, about Governor Palin’s responsibility to her state, that “it isn’t her responsibility as Governor of Alaska to hope that the rest of America suffers.”

I was writing about oil prices; Palin had called for policies that would reduce the price of oil, and some were saying that “Sarah Palin prefers her state poor” because she didn’t want the rest of the country to suffer for her political benefit.

It was something that most politicians don’t understand. Turns out it isn’t the first time that Palin considered the needs of the nation over the needs of her own political future. In the emails Alaska released from her time as governor, she writes about the comparative need for an Alaskan bridge or a Minnesota bridge:

So ironic—I told Leo, Tibbles, etc just yesterday that we MUST come out with a strong position against AK’s perceived “Bridge to Nowhere” so we quit looking clueless and selfish across the nation and can clear up the perception that the Gravina project is the state’s priority. The $350m bridge is not our priority.

The nation needs to be spending $ on fixing what we have—Minnesota needs “bridge money” today more than we need a few Alaskans to perpetuate the notion that our Gravina earmark is more important than fixing aged infrastructure.

We would gain so much if we get that message out there—that the nation can pull, and work, together and make wise decisions on federal priorities… we should see that earmark redirected to Minnesota’s tragedy bc the Gravina bridge isn’t going to happen on our watch anyway.

“The Gravina bridge” was the infamous bridge to nowhere; it was a waste of money, according to her, but rather than have the money diverted to somewhere else in Alaska, she wanted it diverted to Minnesota.

That email is dated August 2, 2007. On August 1, Minnesota’s I-35W bridge had collapsed, killing 13 and injuring 145. I’m sure that Minnesotans would have appreciated the gesture, but (a) she didn’t publicize it, and (b) Minnesotans don’t have any say in who Alaska elects anyway.

A real politician would have realized that and just taken the money.

In response to Truly principled politicians don’t split the baby: Too often in politics, we pretend that the principled act is to cut the baby in half. Governor Sarah Palin refuses that compromise. Her ambitions for success were for the success of reform in Alaska. She did what she needed to do to ensure that those reforms survive.