Sarah Palin: The Mother of All Moose Burgers
Sarah Palin is clearly not the stuff of Presidential politics. Observations by Leon Walker.
I sincerely hope Governor Sarah Palin makes a really good moose burger. If she is a great mom and a really good friend and daughter, that’s great too. If she is a wonderful wife… well, that’s fantastic. Building a great moose burger and all of the rest are not the stuff of Presidential politics.
In my attempts to maintain my focus on the actual Presidential campaign and in discussions with friends I am finding that Governor Palin is less of an issue than one might expect although she remains front and center in the national media. At this point in the campaign season there should be exclusive focus on the issues and on finding convincing, even creative ways, to bring the central voting blocks into the fold of either the Republican or Democratic candidate.
There are numerous issues that are of tremendous concern to the American public. People are really very concerned about the economy right now. They want further explanation and clear solutions. There does not seem to be substantial trust in the system of government that has admittedly brought us into this dilemma and there is a pervasive resentment of those on Wall Street who are viewed as greedy, ruthless, well connected fat cats.
When I said that Governor Palin is less of an issue than one might expect, it is because those I have encountered broadly acknowledge that she is nothing more than a distraction, even a public embarrassment for the Republican Party. Palin is a horrific example of the misguided judgment of John McCain for having selected her. Let me be clear. There are many Americans that believe that politicians on the whole are untrustworthy. In fact, untrustworthiness is probably a kind assessment of what many Americans actually think.
I believe that involuntarily Americans can still absorb what is being promised to us by a politician in the Party of our choosing when that politician appears at least marginally competent.
I have not watched any of the three major interviews that Governor Palin has participated in to date. No doubt there must have been some areas in which she performed adequately if not brilliantly. At least one might think so. Unfortunately, there has been no evidence of this reported in the media, even in the conservative media. In fact, the right-wing media has been forced to play defensive politics in an effort to offset the repeatedly damaging antics of Governor Palin. Why? Why is Palin failing to provide ammunition rather than causing the media to remain endlessly defensive? There can be no doubt that the media can target specific topics and individuals if they find them interesting or even salacious. Most Americans understand that many media outlets are partisan in their reporting. However, what I have observed as a distracting focus with regard to Governor Palin is troubling and curious on another level. Both Republican and Democratic political operatives as well as media pundits have expressed a wide variety of concern, remorse and confusion with regard to her selection and her performance in the public eye. Even her lack of availability to the public has been questioned and has become only a further problem.
Politically, she is nothing more than another McCain-Bush mouthpiece where traditional Republican values and policies are concerned. This seems widely understood and acknowledged. The small, although expected advantage is that Palin will be supported unwaveringly by the rigid right-wing Republican base. Initially Palin was quite exciting within that political realm. But now she is becoming something unfamiliar if not confusing and unpolished.
Palin is lacking in terms of a broad world view, access to stored knowledge, information and recall. There is a clear absence of the confidence and political savvy that is essential when attempting to convince the media and the masses of ability and capability.
This has got to be an Alaskan thing: political nearsightedness. Nobody wants to say it, but Alaska is beginning to look like the boondocks of the United States politically. Governor Palin screams that the same may be true culturally and intellectually. While this may be an unfair assertion, she is showcasing Alaskans in a dismal light. Certainly nobody wants to think that just anyone can rise to the position of Governor or the chief executive of a state when they are about as cultured as Tanya Harding.
No one could have imagined that a Governor of a state in this proud union might rise to that level of power when their personal experiences and vision of the world are so severely stunted. I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid and I know what I am seeing. This person may be kind and charming, even reasonably intelligent, but Palin has apparently been living in a veritable cave with regard her preparedness to operate at the level that she is being commanded to function. It is what it is. The truth of the matter is that Wasilla, Alaska, by comparison to many areas of the country is (figuratively speaking) the armpit of the nation, perhaps even the armpit of Alaska. This is the vision that she presents.
It may not be Governor Palin’s fault that she is a small town lady. It is most definitely her fault that she is so intellectually common. She has an obligation to command the respect of her peers, opponents, the media and the American people as Vice President of the United States. Governor Palin knows, like so many are now pointing out, that she is floundering. I wonder if she knows that muddling through her horrific pretense at this level has exposed her as a buffoon and a fraud? Yeah, it’s got to be Alaskan nearsightedness that allowed her to rise to power there. Without question, the massive damage that will ultimately be done is a public view of national political figures. National political figures are more suspect and now even laughable in a pathetic light. This is the real damage that Sarah Palin’s emergence has accomplished. Just when we thought our opinion of politicians could sink no lower, we were proved wrong.
There are many reasons why the McCain campaign is reeling as poll numbers turn against them. To some degree those on the right who seek to support and protect Governor Palin may well be finding themselves comforted by their sincere efforts to hold up one of their own as a victim of the media. Perhaps this focus and deeply rooted right-wing principles are clouding their vision with regard to the disaster that both the campaign as a whole and Governor Palin have become.
McCain and Palin are clinging to reform and maverick mantra. Even in the best of times that would be a hard sell for these two. But now, in this campaign they are up against some tough issues and an abysmal Republican record of the last eight years. In spite of that, the Republican campaign duo have barely made a coherent point between them in the past month or more. In case you have not noticed, Americans are demanding answers. Right now!
The excitement about Palin has dwindled and her presence dangles between being a national (and yes international) joke and a Republican Party nightmare. Forget the debate, there nothing to be salvaged at this juncture.
But hey… I bet she makes one heck of a moose burger.
L. A. Walker, © Leon A. Walker