Thoughts had been entertained about attending the soon-to-be-ex Gov's picnic today, but really, I have more important things to do -- continuing my own personal war on bird vetch, for one thing. The bad date is finally over. Perhaps we will choose more wisely next time?
But will the statewide and national fixation on an empty power suit finally wane? Can I again read some of my fave Outside sites, i.e. Salon, the Times, etc. and NOT encounter a Palin headline? Open a random entertainment magazine at the doctors office and not find a story there? Will the media finally stop feeding this idiocy by turning away unless it is a story worth covering? Will progressive bloggers finally stop patting themselves on the back and writing about progressive blogs?
These are questions I can not answer. But today's Squarebanks' event marks the end of her brief tenure as Gov. Which brings to mind my alternative header, which was "Don't Let the Door Hit You in the Ass..."
Many things about the Palinista Era chap my ass:
- The first woman elected governor of the state of Alaska not only quit, she did a pretty crappy job. Why couldn't Fran Ulmer have made it there first?
- The much publicized hiring freeze that wasn't. Talk to any of your state employee friends about this one.
- Her profound disinterest in doing the job she was elected to do once elected. Legislators in Juneau wearing "Where's Sarah" buttons being the most obvious sign.
- At times, I found myself wanting to defend her, because once again, the ways in which female politicians are criticized are different than the way male politicians are. Can we finally retire the S&M, dominatrix cartoons?
- As much as I think she did a crap job, I am annoyed by the ways in which class-based stereotypes were used by others who were critical of her administration. And I am ashamed to have used them myself.
- The whole freaking world now pays attention to Alaskan politics and our podunkery is laid out for all the world to see. Ignored, of course, is the fact that we are not all Wasillans and our podunkery is in many cases only skin deep. There are a lot of liberal, libertarianish, tree-hugging (and even bunny-hugging) peeps out here. Many of us are edumacated.
- I can't go anywhere Outside without someone asking me about Her. Such questions have replaced igloo and polar bear questions for sheer annoyance.
- She has paid more attention to Rural Alaska since announcing her resignation than she did when she was still governor. I'm sure all her photo ops in the Bush will be recycled one day for campaign (and possibly evangelical missionary propaganda) materials. It doesn't mean she has gained a freaking clue.
- This year-plus freak show has obscured all the real issues in the state: the costs of generating electricity in rural areas, the cost of fuel oil to heat homes, the truly dismal king salmon season in places, progress on the freaking gas line -- which contrary to a Camille Paglia bizarro piece in Salon -- is not an accomplishment yet so much as a work in progress, the continuing failure to diversify our economy, the rejection of federal stimulus funds, our leadership (in a bad way) in the areas of alcoholism and sexual assault, etc.