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June 9, 2011 / Political Fluency

Calling All Ishmaels

Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! and since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear! — Captain Ahab

This is unbelievable.

When does this end?

The Washington Post is recruiting 100 citizens to help the paper read through 24,000 emails taken from Sarah Palin’s tenure as governor of Alaska.  Meanwhile the New York Times is happy to have anyone “helping” out. It further diminishes the already weak reputation of both new organizations by asking regular people to perform the tasks they are already staffed to perform. There is no reason to rush the reading of these emails to dig for a story. There really isn’t much reason to read any of these emails quite frankly.

It’s not so much the relentless attacking of Sarah Palin that diminishes them as it is the obsession with her. She is not running for President and if she did she would very likely not get the Republican nomination mainly because she has no chance of winning the general election unless our nation’s economy double-dips further than in 2009 and it becomes like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 2012. Which is actually more likely than Palin becoming President and what the two papers should be focusing their resources on.

This recalls one of Aaron Sorkin’s 3 Huffington Post columns ranting about Sarah Palin’s TLC show that had only 2.8 million viewers that were probably all her fans. But his column was posted in the midst of the Hollywood Awards Season when Sorkin was approaching the pinnacle of his career with a financial and critically-acclaimed hit The Social Network. Why was Sarah Palin on this man’s radar screen at the time?

The woman was a popular, plainspoken governor. She was picked by John McCain in an election where he had to pick someone exciting like her because 2008 was handicapped to a 55-45 Democrat win from mid-2007 onward. She suffered from a lot of bad press and an electoral defeat mostly at the hands of an imploding economy (McCain/Palin was ahead 2.1 points in the RealClear Politics Average well after a Convention bounce on the eve of the September 15th collapse of Lehmann Brothers. And the latest political gaffe was Barack Obama talking about lipstick on a pig. Liberals were panicking at the time.)

She had the opportunity to redeem herself with a record as governor of Alaska and to possibly campaign for reelection or another position while at the same time studying hardcore policy.

Instead she decided to become a celebrity author and television star – in the same industry Aaron Sorkin is in.

There’s no reason to make a big deal of Sarah Palin politically anymore.


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