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Why Democrats Will Be Sad To See The Back Of Sarah Palin

Opinions on Sarah Palin could hardly be more divided. Is she the GOP’s savior, or the embodiment of its failures? Did she help McCain or hurt him? Are her aspirations toward the presidency or not? And will her departure from the national stage, if that’s what this even is, benefit the Democrats or otherwise?

My immediate reaction to her resignation was one of joy. To many of us Democrats, Palin's blatant anti-intellectualism demonstrates all that is wrong with politics in this country. We have taken such great pains to realize the classless society that we now react negatively to intelligence, gravitating instead to folksy charm: Bush vs Gore was probably the first time this substantially damaged the country, if you accept that the Reagan presidency didn't. Luckily this time around the stakes were too high, and we voted for someone with a brain.

Politics is by definition a popularity contest, but Palin's treatment of that contest seemed to suggest she was stuck in High School. The winking, the rambling speeches that seemed more at home in Legally Blonde 2, the total lack of actual knowledge, the breathtakingly ignorant answers to questions about what she reads to keep abreast of world events - all of these compounded our view of her as a fool - albeit a fool who could be one heartbeat away from the presidency. At any moment, we expected her to tell Joe Biden to 'talk to the hand', or to shrug her shoulders in an answer to a question on Iran and say 'what-ever...'

Her self-confidence despite her neophyte status was infuriating, especially considering it was so ill-placed. Her perpetual bleating about the left-wing media's unfairness to her was contemptuous, and her continuing ethics violations just closed the deal.

So, as I say, a joyous occasion - or is it?

Palin may have the intellectual capacity of a woodlouse, but she appealed to some pretty strong demographics within the GOP, especially the George W. Bush base. With the religious right and a strong female constituency she might well have had a chance to run at the 2012 presidency as the GOP candidate. Since the rest of the country can't stand her, she'd have been beaten handily and Obama's policies would have time to work.

Instead, we'll likely have a more dangerous candidate to consider - either Huckabee or Romney right now, since I'm guessing Mark Sanford is out of the running and Bobby Jindal looked so bad on camera back in February.

Essentially ANY candidate is going to be stronger than Sarah Palin, so perhaps I should temper the joy at watching her go gently into that good night. A Palin nomination for 2012 guaranteed a Democratic victory; but if Obama doesn't have the economy under control by then, a Romney challenger might make it a serious election.

Now to settle back and wait to find out what REALLY made her quit... whatever it is, I'm sure it'll be fun.

Posted by Jon Rice at July 5, 2009 12:34 PM
Comments
Comment #284012

Jon,

Clean and simple. You hit a home run with this piece. The one we love to hate…we hate to see go…what does that say about US? Palin is as intellectually incurious as it is possible to be, and the intellectually curious will miss her?

Posted by: Marysdude at July 5, 2009 5:18 PM
Comment #284022

Adios, don’t let the door hit that pretty lil’ derriere.

I’d love to believe we’ve seen the last of her, but sans an impending scandal, that’s doubtful.

Posted by: gergle at July 6, 2009 12:07 AM
Comment #284039

Wow, a democrat admitting that Obama may not be a lock in 2012, who would have thunk it?

Certainly not the same reaction I got when suggesting the same back in February…

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 10:27 AM
Comment #284081

A sports announcer would shout…’a wild swing, and a miss’! Nice try though rhinehold.

Posted by: Marysdude at July 6, 2009 8:14 PM
Comment #284138

I just got back from 5 days intentionally devoid of any politics and I come back to find out The Savior Sarah Palin finally crumbled beneath the weight of her overinflated mystique? Wow. I have to say that I almost regret her leaving the sphere of political potential, if only because I will miss the most under qualified, horrifically blatant pity-vote grab the world of politics has ever seen being touted as the GOP savior, let alone next president. It is simply amusing how Republicans fawn over her all the while she personifies most of what is wrong with our country. I could go on and on about her complete lack of qualifications, lack of intelligence, blatant criminality while in office (a charge I am not afraid to lay on any crooked politician), and how her existence as a potential GOP front runner provided no end of entertainment, but I won’t.

All I’ll say is that I’m going to send a bill to the GOP for all the popcorn I’ll be eating while watching the epic tragic comedy that it is unfold over the next few years.

Posted by: Michael Falino at July 7, 2009 5:11 PM
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