Mimsy Were the Borogoves

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

This wasteful political bloodsport

Jerry Stratton, July 3, 2009

“I think though much of it for the kids had to do with recently seeing their baby brother Trig mocked and ridiculed by some pretty mean-spirited adults.”

“The world needs more Trigs, not fewer.”

“That’s where our public resources should be. Not on this superficial, wasteful, political bloodsport.”

“We can all learn from our selfless, selfless troops. They’re bold and they don’t give up and they take a stand and they know that life is short so they choose not to waste time. They choose to be productive and to serve something greater than self and to build up their families and their states and our great country. These troops, in their important missions now, there is where truly the worthy causes are in this world and that’s where our public resources should be, our public priority. We have time and resources spent on that, not on this superficial, wasteful, political bloodsport.”

“I do not want to disappoint anyone with my decision; all I can ask is that you TRUST me with this decision—but it’s no more ‘politics as usual’.”

The symbolism of announcing this on Independence Day weekend isn’t being lost. And don’t just read the transcripts; you have to watch the video to get the sense that this really isn’t politics as usual. This is unlike any political resignation I’ve ever seen.

What does it mean politically? On the one hand, yes, there’s no technical difference between running full time after two years and ignoring your current job; and leaving your job after two years to run full time. But there is a perceptual difference and because she’s a Republican the media will continually point it out. This makes running for President a lot harder. Conventionally, she’s finished. (Update: There is, of course, a moral difference, but politicians and pundits appear oblivious to it.)

On the other hand, I’ve never been able to comfortably predict an election except when Clinton ran against what’s-his-name in 1996, and that was a no-brainer. McCain was scheduled to lose to Carter-like proportions when Governor Palin entered the ring. If he hadn’t pulled that stunt on the TARP bill, or if his staff had listened to Palin when she asked them to get in front of the press, she might actually have pulled him over the line.

If Fred Thompson’s campaign taught us anything, it is that running for president is a full-time job today. Resigning now is clearly the right thing to do if she’s going to run, all the more so because even though it’s the right thing to do it also reduces her chances.

In the end, I’m with R. A. Mansour:

We support her belief in limited government and true free market capitalism—not the crony capitalism that once festered in Alaska… Above all we respect her courage and integrity as a true reformer. It is irrelevant to us whether Sarah Palin runs for governor again, runs for president, or runs for any other elected office. If she were to say, “I’ve had enough. I’m going to retire and ride snowmachines in the winter and fish in the summer,” we would still support her.

If that happens, however, I will regret that we are driving out of politics the very people we need. This “superficial, wasteful political bloodsport” is not the post-partisan de-polarization we were promised.

  1. <- Dictator-friendly diplomacy
  2. Splitting the baby ->