July 04, 2009

Sarah Being Sarah

The news of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin?s resignation has media outlets clamoring for a saucy reason why. HuffPo offers a tabloid explanation via a link to CNN?s typically daft Rick Sanchez, while Politico wonders if repeated ethics inquiries are to blame for Palin?s departure.

The news comes on the heels of a devastating hit-piece from Vanity Fair that charted her unusual behavior from her nomination as John McCain?s VP candidate to her return to Alaska as Governor in the election?s aftermath.

The reaction on both sides is predictable. Palin?s admirers on the Right will classify the numerous ethics investigations aimed at her as superfluous and politically-motivated and suggest that the inequitable treatment she has received in the media?which can be traced all the way back to the beginning of the campaign?has unfairly distracted her from her job as Governor and that she is to be applauded for stepping down. Her detractors on the Left will claim that she is either abandoning her post to plan for a run in the 2012 Presidential election or leaving due to dropping approval ratings and lower oil revenues.

The truth about Palin?s political career is that rarely has her behavior, professionally or personally, followed any discernible line of logic. From suggesting that war with Russia may be prudent in the aftermath of the invasion of Georgia, to flying across the country with a full-term baby while leaking amniotic fluid so that it could be ?born in the 49th state,? Palin has colorfully and fatuously kept people searching for an understandable explanation to her erratic behavior.

But too often the absence of an explanation is a defining characteristic of the behavior of the politically and socially dense. A famous baseball adage that explains the ridiculous behavior of an lackadaisical player is to define the player as ?Manny being Manny,? in reference to Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez, known for his unconventional and stolid playing habits. At first people wondered whether Ramirez was a lazy player, or a selfish player, or simply untalented at basic aspects of the game. Eventually, when little could be reasoned from his behavior, it became sufficient to simply describe it as ?Manny being Manny.?

Sarah picks a fight with Letterman over a late-night joke and only grudgingly accepts an apology after several attempts by the talk-show host. Sarah conducts the business of her state with little-to-no knowledge of current events. Sarah watches a Saturday Night Live skit about herself with the volume turned off because ?it?s funnier that way.? Sarah preaches about small-town America while spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on outfits. Sarah resigns with no logical explanation without finishing one term as Governor.

Probably just Sarah being Sarah.

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