Monday, July 6, 2009

Palin: Crazy or Foxlike?

Everyone is shocked by the decision of Sarah Palin to resign as Governor of Alaska. The general consensus seems to be that she is crazy.

There's no doubt that the conventional wisdom is that you need a power base to run for president, and now Palin is throwing away her political power base, the governorship of the state of Alaska.

All this is empty speculation. It assumes that Gov. Palin wants to run for president. It assumes that the governorship is an asset. It assumes that the conventional way of rising through politics is the best way for Palin to rise.

And let us forget the canard that she is a quitter and that she has left the State of Alaska in the lurch. The State of Alaska can do just fine without Palin as governor. Or anyone else as governor.

I'd rather make the following points:

  • People tend to overemphasize the importance of the presidency. More important is setting the agenda for national politics. Democrats have been good at this over the past era. Whatever conservatives and Republicans may have wanted, the agenda is usually about the Democratic agenda, increasing the welfare state and government power generally. The big thing for conservatives is not getting a charismatic president. It is changing the agenda.
  • People tend to talk and write as if they owned their favorite politicians. We don't. Politicians all the time drop out of the limelight and life goes on.
  • Politics isn't the only thing. It isn't even the most important thing. The most important thing is raising up our families and getting the children off the nest. If anything, over the last century, politics has been the No. 1 thing making the important things harder for people.
  • It may not take a political genius to follow Obama. The recklessness and the blindness of the Obamites is going to provoke a huge backlash. Strictly speaking, Obama has been straight with the American people. He said he would transform healthcare and energy policy and that is what he is doing. But the American people weren't really thinking what that transformation would mean to them. Most people are happy with their health care and opposed to artificial increases in energy prices.
Whatever Sarah Palin plans to do, family-wise, politics-wise, all we can do is wish her well. Anything else is just self-indulgence.

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