Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nothing Political, Just Personal

In law, in business, in politics, in many professional callings, the adversaries in a particular case may act as if they are bitter personal enemies during the proceedings and then go out for coffee together. Business is business, separate from personal feelings. For Sarah Palin, politics is personal.

Sarah was involved in Wasilla (a town in Alaska, not a reindeer infection) city council politics in the 1990s. She became mayor of the town in 1996. During this time, she had help from local politicians. Being super ambitious, she made friends, jealousies and did not hesitate to “cut [former supporters] off at the knees” if they weren’t in her camp. The Gadfly Revelry & Research gang ( Grr), in their investigations, found that Barracuda Sarah got to be mayor of Wasilla via a dirty campaign against John Stein,who had held that office for the previous nine years. John had originally recruited Sarah four years before to run for city council. But, four years later, she moved beyond John’s schedule. It was time for Sarah to be mayor — just ask her. One of Sarah’s first acts was to rescind a 1994 directive that banned guns from City Hall and other such public buildings. How else to protect yourself against Council members? Sarah’s “unitary executive” riled a city council member, Nick Carney, another early supporter of Palin. He introduced an ordinance to ban guns from liquor stores, bars, playgrounds and government buildings. Carney, an obvious Communist, had to be opposed by any means possible. When the ordinance came before the city council, she arranged to have the chamber packed with loud gun lobby people brought in from the outside. Only one citizen of Wasilla was in the gallery. Carney’s proposal lost, and he earned a place on her enemies list. When Dick Deuser, ten years the city attorney, stopped Sarah from filling two vacant council seats without a council vote, it was clearly time for Deuser to find another line of work — maybe Constitutional law. Of city law, Sarah said, “it’s not rocket science.”

An examination of Sarah Palin’s relationship with Lynda Green, the president of the Alaska state senate, is worth many pages of personality analysis in finding out what Sarah is all about. Lynda is Republican and conservative both socially and fiscally, but they are no longer buddies. Lynda says that, as governor, Sarah looks down her nose at leaders of the legislature and refuses to consult with them. Any difference of opinion on policy (Sarah’s policy) becomes very personal, anger and all. Green, a 69 year old veteran politician, decided to stay neutral in the governor’s race in 2006, and Sarah took umbrage. Lynda considered it spoiled brat behavior. Sarah never learned to be a professional. She is neither well experienced nor well educated. Her interview with Katie Couric showed she would not even make a good talk show host. At one point Couric became exasperated at Palin’s repeated obfuscation and non-answers. She said “I’m just going to ask you one more time for specific examples of his [McCain’s] pushing for more regulation.” Sarah’s shameful response was “I’ll try to find you some and bring them to you.” Just imagine an interview on “Meet The Press” or “Face The Nation,” not to mention a confrontation with Dmetri Medvedev or his ventriloquist Vladimir Putin.

Another clue into Sarah’s nature is her belief in personal power and entitlement. As mayor of Wasilla, she was a champion of action, whether legal or not. She was quoted to the effect of “I’m the mayor and I can do anything I want until the courts tell me I can’t do it anymore.” When she got to be governor, she and her husband pressured the public safety commissioner to fire a state trooper who just happened to be her former brother-in-law who had gone through a difficult divorce with her sister. But, by now everyone has heard about troopergate. Add to that her billing the state for per diem travel while she was actually at home and the billing for her children on official trips to events that never invited said kids. During The recent debate, she opined she would like to stretch the limits of the office of the vice president beyond the dreams of Spiro Agnew and Dick Cheney. She really wants to be president of the US. In one Freudian Slip,
she actually talked of a “Palin-McCain presidency.”

Sarah has all these skeletons, and no redeeming features, except maybe her perkiness. She has no experience in foreign policy & no knowledge of economics outside of taxing the oil produced in Alaska; she doesn’t write her own speeches (like McCain doesn't “author” his own books); she holds extreme positions on social issues; and it’s a wonder why McCain chose her as a running mate. The reason for her selection is now plain and simple: McCain has a lifelong gambling addiction. In a front page NY Times article an investigative reporter caught McCain at Foxwoods, a favorite Indian casino in Connecticu. His favorite is the craps table; but the political scene offers plenty of supplemental gaming, witness the selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate. He only met her once or twice, and she hasn’t been fully vetted. Sarah has a bachelor of arts in journalism ( not accredited) from the University of Idaho after attending bits and pieces of five
colleges. That’s the extent of her education — no law degree, no masters, not even a course in dog sledding.

But McCain needed headlines, and he was willing to gamble. It turned sour after the Couric interview. So he doubled down, had his staff prepare her for a vice presidential interview with talking point cards and then suspended his campaign to address the economic melt down by suggesting that capital gains taxes be eliminated and no small businesses be taxed. Does he count General Motors as a small business? He would bet that the trickle down effect would take care of the more than 10 trillion dollar national debt and all the failing investment banking houses. The last person we need in the White House in a hostile world is a gambler. Oh, did I forget to mention that McCain has been a long time member and twice chair of the Indian Affairs Committee which says what Indian casinos can and cannot do. Corruption? Oh, we know a Senator would never do that.