The Reasoned Review

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Sarah Palin: Political Scientist

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Apropos Ms. Palin’s recent entry into political commentary, I think it’s important to remember this lengthy article in October’s Vanity Fair, written by none other than Ms. Palin’s once (but not future) son-in-law, the man who impregnated her daughter, Mr. Levi Johnson.

The public saw Levi only once, following the bizarre announcement that Ms. Palin’s 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, was pregnant during the 2008 election. He made a single appearance at the Republican National Convention, which the article suggests he was basically forced to do, and nobody really heard from him again. Until now.

Palin comes across in Mr. Johnson’s article as a careerist par-none, a person for whom the next step in the executive (here, political) ladder is their sole driving force, who would be willing to sacrifice anything and tell any lie to get ahead, for whom even her children and (soon-to-be) grandchildren are little more than political pawns. It seems likely that Mr. Johnson has some ax to grind with Ms. Palin, as the bulk of the article states how she never had time for her children or family – but he levels some charges which, if true, would be fantastically outrageous.

You may remember, for instance, the short-lived speculation that Ms. Palin’s most recent son, Trig, was actually her daughter’s. This turned out not to be true, but a similar scheme almost went into play. As Levi explains:

“You’ve got to listen to what my mom just said.” Sarah told me she had a great idea: we would keep it a secret—nobody would know that Bristol was pregnant. She told me that once Bristol had the baby she and Todd would adopt him. That way, she said, Bristol and I didn’t have to worry about anything.

Sarah kept mentioning this plan. She was nagging—she wouldn’t give up. She would say, “So, are you gonna let me adopt him?” We both kept telling her we were definitely not going to let her adopt the baby. I think Sarah wanted to make Bristol look good.

Truly absurd.

And let’s not forget why Ms. Palin quit her governorship of Alaska, despite having two more years to serve. In her resignation speech, she mumbled something about dead fish not swimming with the stream, or something like that – but Levi gives us another take:

[After the election], Sarah was sad for a while. She walked around the house pouting. I had assumed she was going to go back to her job as governor, but a week or two after she got back she started talking about how nice it would be to quit and write a book or do a show and make “triple the money.” It was, to her, “not as hard.” She would blatantly say, “I want to just take this money and quit being governor.”

Oh. Yeah, I guess that makes more sense.

The article is worth reading in full, but any of the coverage on Ms. Palin should give some idea of her intellectual rigor. This is a woman who, in 2008 was unable to explain the Bush Doctrine, someone who didn’t know what the Federal Reserve did, who had only a vague grasp of the dynamics of the Cold War, who could not explain why there was a North and South Korea, why we’re best friends with “communist” China, or even what the phrase “checks and balances” means.

When pressed on these issues, Ms. Palin, of course, points to her faux-blue collar background – the whole “I didn’t get to go to a fancy college” line, but we’re talking about a basic grasp of high school history here. Nevertheless, I’m sure Fox News will find her commentary most valuable.

A grim, misanthropic version of myself hopes she wins the Presidency in 2010. She would be no more than we deserve, and, much more than the Bush scion, would lay bare the decadence of our political culture. Already her popularity and soon-to-be status as a bona-fide political “journalist” betrays the wide and bottomless pit in which we now carry our discourse.


Written by pavanvan

January 12, 2010 at 7:54 pm

One Response

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  1. “Nevertheless, I’m sure Fox News will find her commentary most valuable.”

    Absolutely hilarious. Hope you’re doing well, Pavan. 🙂


    January 16, 2010 at 4:24 am

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