I've generally avoided politics in this blog, because my family embraces a wide spectrum of strongly-held views, from my dad's devotion to Rush Limbaugh to my son's work as a field organizer for Barack Obama. Political discussions in this family never change anyone's mind, and inevitably end with all sides 1) agreeing to disagree and 2) baffled by how we wound up in the same family with such hopelessly unenlightened/unrealistic/gullible/cynical people.
That said, I gasped aloud when I walked into my credit union branch yesterday afternoon and saw the headline announcing Sarah Palin's resignation on a TV screen. Regardless of one's political affiliation, this is a true "What the hell?" moment.
Two and a half years, and she's done? Not running for reelection, so doesn't see the point of serving out her term? What about all the people who voted her in for a four-year term in 2006? If I were an Alaska voter, I'd be enraged.
Governor Palin said she didn't see the point of serving as a lame duck. I'd argue that lame ducks, especially at the state and local level, are ideally positioned to push their agendas through, because they don't have to worry about hedging their bets or burning their bridges. The commonwealth of Virginia doesn't let Governors run for reelection to consecutive terms, for this very reason. Tim Kaine's term is going to be up at the end of this year; is he just wasting his time, going into the office for the next five months?
Like her or not -- and I admit that I don't -- you can't deny that Sarah Palin has been one of the most unusual, most polarizing political figures in modern American history. Yesterday's announcement multiplies that by a factor of ten.