What can be said about Sarah Palin and her inglorious exit from the political stage? Almost everyone on both sides of the political aisle is expressing puzzlement over her decision to resign the Alaska governorship a mere two years into her first term, and a full three and a half years before the 2012 presidential elections. Abandoning your state at the height of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression isn't exactly a sign of steadfast leadership. Indeed, among serious commentators, only Bill Kristol (if you can call him a serious commentator) is kind enough to consider the move an audacious gambit of improbable success.
Palin's speech and the reasons she is giving for her resignation bear that trademark, curious Sarah Palin combination of disingenuous and puzzling. In typical GOP fashion, Palin hypocritically blasts Barack Obama for the economic stimulus package:
I’ve taken the slings and arrows with that unpopular move because to veto [the economic stimulus funds] was the right thing to do because I know being right is better than being popular. — and it was an unpopular stand to take. Some of those dollars would harm Alaska and they harm America. I resisted those dollars because of the obscene national debt that we’re forcing our children to pay because of today’s big government spending. It is immoral and it doesn’t even make economic sense.It's really rich for Palin to blast Obama's stimulus package as "immoral" when its merely a response to the severe economic crisis that eight years of GOP laissez-faire regulatory policies left for the President when he entered office. Let us not forget that the GOP was all too happy to double the national debt during the course of George W. Bush's presidency when there was no justifiable, pressing economic crisis to ameliorate. During the Bush years we saddled our children with debt for the sake of obscene tax breaks for the top 1%. Our current deficit spending regime is, at least, predicated upon preventing a terrible economic crisis from metamorphosing into a worldwide economic collapse. And thus far the President seems to be meeting with some success. Only six months ago economists were warning of the very real potential of a worldwide depression and 40% unemployment rates. Now few economists see much worse than a long, protracted and painful recession. Yes it's gloomy, but it's no longer "stock your basement with water and canned goods" gloomy.
Also curiously hypocritical is Palin's insistence that personal criticisms directed against her and her family have driven her from politics. This might be a genuine issue if she had proven herself to be an honorable straight shooter who never sinks to the murky depths of disingenuous personal attack. But her record during the McCain presidential campaign proves that she's just the opposite sort of campaigner:
Someone who dishonestly exploits the flimsiest of associations to attack her political opponents for "paling around with terrorists" has no business complaining about the way she is described by her political opponents. Palin gleefully adopted the role of attack dog during the last presidential campaign, going so far as to publicly criticize John McCain's handlers for not harping on Obama's ties to the reverend Jermiah Wright (who was himself a victim of a dishonest GOP smear machine as well as a cowardly and dishonest press establishment, IMHO). To complain that she herself is being unfairly treated is, again, the height of hypocrisy.
But maybe there's more to this resignation than meets the eye? Could it be that there are other motives behind Palin's abandonment of her gubernatorial duties? According to the site a11news.com (via Stinque), Palin is being investigated by the FBI for embezzling funds during her tenure as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.
The embezzlement scandal involves the massive, $12.5 million sports complex that Sarah Palin pushed through during her last term as Mayor in Wasilla. Federal investigators believe the price of the sports complex was inflated to provide free building materials and labor for the Palin home being constructed nearby.
The sports complex’s contractors and architect have strong links and ties to Palin. Spenard Building Supplies was one - they are the largest building supply company in Alaska - and they also supplied labor & materials for the Palin’s home being built at the same time on nearby Lake Lucille.
Spenard Building Supplies was also the supplier and contractor for ex-Senator Ted Stevens cabin. This one building supply company was in bed with Palin, Stevens, the Wasilla sports complex, and is also a major financial contributor to Palin.
If there is merit to the case, then Palin's peculiar train-wreck of a political career has surely come to a sad, pathetic end.