Monday, July 6, 2009

Sweet Sarah, Artiste

Over the past several days, I've heard all sorts of theories about Sarah Palin's strange and abrupt departure from the Alaska state house. Most of them make some level of sense. It's quite possible that Palin thinks her resignation will allow her to run for president, and win. I tend to doubt she would be right, if that is her intention, but, as a reason for quitting, it makes sense. Maybe she's in some sort of legal trouble, and she's cut a deal with the feds; resign and the investigation goes away. Maybe she wants to move on to Fox, or challenge Rush as the talking head for the Repugs. Maybe, maybe , maybe.

Well here's my totally illogical theory: Governance as performance art. Every time I turn around, I hear of some politician who claims to love governance, but hate campaigning. Makes sense. After all who would want to spend all of their time begging for money, glad handing strangers, and making the same stump speech over and over again. Politics is the means, to the end of power. And, by the way, that's not a criticism. Power, ambition, those are two things that are at the root of government. We like to think that great leaders are at heart, humble, and altruistic. Humble never, altruistic, who knows.

Palin strikes me as one of those people who loves politics, but hates governance. The woman barely shows up in Juneau, and let's be honest, she's not the brightest bulb in the world. Running a state is probably pretty overwhelming for such a limited intelligence. She does, however, have a real talent for moving people. She can work up a crowd as well as anyone out there. Of course, from my point of view, she's more Mussolini than Lincoln, but that's a whole other story. I think she loves the adulation of the crowd, and the best way to be loved by the masses, is to get out of Alaska and get on the stump speech circuit. My guess is that she's going to be working up conservative crowds about abortion, gun ownership, and Obama, and making a good living at it.

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