Friday, 11 February 2011
Sarah Palin, still not acting her age
Today is Sarah Palin's 47th birthday. We often refer to her as a vindictive 15-year-old high school girl with petty grievances and scores to settle. I believe it's more serious than that. She IS a very vindictive woman and never misses an opportunity to have a dig at people she feels deserve one. Her past and present attacks and actions range from very damaging to very silly and childish. But let's not forget the damage she inflicted on many when she was in power.
When she held office in Alaska, she actually had power and misused it regularly to exact revenge on her foes or in some cases, to dispose of former allies who were no longer useful to her. Here's a far from a comprehensive list of her old victims:
John Stein - Helped launch Sarah's political career, helping her to get elected for Wasilla's City Council in 1992. In 1996 she ran for mayor against Stein. Her campaign began circulating the word that she would be "Wasilla's first Christian mayor", implying that Stein was Jewish. He's a Lutheran. They also started another vicious whisper campaign, spreading the word that Stein and his wife - who had chosen to keep her own last name when they were married - were not legally wed. "We actually had to produce our marriage certificate," recalled Stein, whose wife died of breast cancer in 2005 without ever reconciling with Palin.
John Bitney - Mr. Bitney was a key aide in Sarah Palin's 2006 gubernatorial campaign. She had known him since high school. When she took office, she gave Mr. Bitney a job as her legislative director, and a few months later stood beside him at a news conference and praised his work. Seven weeks later she fired Mr. Bitney for what her spokeswoman described as "poor job performance." What really happened? Governor Palin got a call from another old friend, Scott Richter, informing her that his wife, Debbie Richter, and Mr. Bitney were having an affair. Scott and Sarah's husband Todd are great friends. In her book "Going Rogue," Sarah Palin gave this description of Bitney: "He turned out to be a BlackBerry games addict who couldn't seem to keep his lunch off his tie."
Walt Monegan - The Commissioner of Public Safety was fired when he refused to dismiss her former brother-in-law, Mike Wooten, from his state trooper job. The whole fiasco became what's known as Troopergate.
Lyda Green - Palin was a guest on the right-wing Bob and Mark Show. Bob Lester, the conservative shock jock who hosts the show repeatedly called State Senator Lyda Green a “cancer” and a “bitch”. How did Sarah Palin react to all this? She laughed along and said she would be “honored” to have Lester with her when she gives her State of the State address. Sarah Palin said quite recently that if she announces her candidacy for president in 2012, she will do it on Bob and Mark's show.
Mike Wooten - Sarah and Todd Palin pursued a long drawn-out vendetta against her former brother-in-law, the aforementioned state trooper, which culminated in Troopergate. Todd Palin was heavily involved in the efforts to have Wooten fired.
Mary Ellen Emmons - Wasilla's former city librarian, who was fired, reinstated following public outcry and finally resigned. The start of Ms Emmons misfortune started after Sarah inquired on the procedures to have books removed from the library. Ms Emmons wouldn't entertain the idea of removing any books.
Irl Stambaugh - Sarah fired the popular Police Chief of Wasilla stating that she did not feel he fully supported her efforts to govern the city. Apparently he "intimidated" her.
Andree McLeod - Between 2002 and 2005, Sarah was a great fan of Andree, a republican political watchdog. Some snippets of e-mails Sarah sent to Andree during that period: "That was a great letter to the ed. this week Andree. I haven't had time to call but wanted to tell you it was, again, insightful & educational & good writing."; "Ugh! I know you must get so frustrated because you’re all about accountability! Thanks for working to instill public trust in all this Andree!"; " I'm proud to know you!!!". There were many more, all very friendly. In 2008 Andree requested copies of e-mails from the Governor's private e-mail accounts used for state communications to clarify some ethics issues. Sarah Palin reacted: "This is the same Andree McLeod that follows us around at public events and camps herself out in our waiting area and hounds us for a job..." referring to Andree as the "falafel lady." Andree continues to challenge the ethical lapses of those in power in Alaska. Her attempts to keep the quitter governor in check were not motivated by personal grudges, but by her embarassement and dismay about the state of politics in Alaska.
Sarah Palin assumed the role of attack dog in McCain's campaign, the lipstick wearing pit bull. Her attacks on then Sen. Obama are well documented.
After her run for VP, Sarah Palin attacked or mocked bloggers, Katie Couric, Tina Fey, campaign aides, Andrea Friedman, Rahm Emanuel, Dave Letterman, Levi Johnston and many others. She also encouraged a backlash against the citizens of Alaska who had the temerity to question her unethical practices.
Since quitting the office of governor to become a celebrity talking head, Sarah Palin has expanded the list of "enemies" considerably. Joe McGinniss, Michele and Barack Obama, Kate Gosselin, a teacher in Homer, a man with a camera at the airport in Valdez, she had some choice words for most of them, just to mention a few examples. Without naming any particular foes, Sarah Palin has the "lamestream media" as the source of her most profound resentment and doesn't spare this large group whenever she encounters a keyboard or a microphone.
I gave more detailed examples of her actions against her perceived enemies when she actually held office and had more power to damage them. That's part of her record as a politician.
We don't know for sure if Sarah Palin will pursue a future political career, but we have noticed that not only her behaviour has not changed, but her need to react to criticism and constantly attack or ridicule people she considers her enemies has become urgent and uncontrollable.
Sarah Palin's immature rantings make her look and sound like a caricature of a mean spirited 15-year-old hig school girl, vaguely understandable in a person aged 15, but coming from a 47-year-old woman with political aspirations, they make her look and sound utterly ridiculous.
I came to the conclusion that Sarah Palin poses a lesser risk to all when she behaves like a difficult adolescent. When she does act her age and uses a certain rhetoric in her public speech, her victims face a much greater risk. Ask Gabby Giffords...
Previous posts on Palingates about Sarah Palin's victims.
Tina Dupuy's "Sarah Palin's Enemies List"