Thursday, July 9, 2009

Palin's resignation, explained

An article in the Wall Street Journal today goes a long way to explaining Sarah Palin's resignation in terms that not only make sense, but actually agree with why she said she did it. She was being harassed by so many Freedom of Information Act requests and trivial ethics investigations (according to one article I read, she had been acquitted on all 15 of them so far) that she didn't have time to do her job. Resigning was therefore the best thing for Alaska, even though she knew it would hurt her politically.

I can't prove this is correct, of course, but it fits both with the facts and with what she said in her resignation speech; and, by Ockham's Razor, it seems like the best explanation until someone can prove something different. Even otherwise supportive conservatives have been critical of her decision to step down, and Rich Lowry goes so far as to say that her stated reason -- it was for the good of Alaska -- is absurd. Mr. Lowry should be ashamed of himself, not for being critical of her decision, but for giving no credence to her own reason. Granted, that reason may not have been apparent, but you would expect at least the benefit of the doubt from someone who claims to support the conservative movement. It seems that Palin has divided America into two categories: those who think she is the best thing since peanut butter, and those who can't stand her. (I fall into the former category.) No one has a moderate view.

Palin's biggest failing seems to have been that her speech was awful. I didn't see it, but I believe those who say it was. One wonders why she didn't make her reasons more explicit, but I'm sure people would have found things to criticize even then -- why shouldn't she fight? Why back down from the challenge? But if we believe her, it wasn't about backing down or fighting; it was about doing what was best for Alaska. I suspect she will have more to say about it in the future, and this gives me hope that she isn't resigning for completely personal reasons (which would suggest retirement from politics in general).

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