I'm going to go out on a limb and say that, assuming she isn't trying to get out in front of a big scandal, Sarah Palin's surprise resignation (which surprised everyone else in the country while I was happily out at the movies) shores up what I wrote this morning, during what turned out to be the last pre-announcement hours of her tenure, about Palin being devoid of real political beliefs and goals and fueled by resentment and a lust for celebrity. The idea that she's stepping down to prepare for a presidential run is just too stupid for words: if she'd served her full term, she would have been freed up a little more than a year from now, and she'd have been in a position to spend every minute between now and then using her office as a forum and as a means for showing how well she could get things done. That's the kind of problem that real politicians yearn for, but for someone like Palin, who was in the habit of using her office to give jobs to her friends, scam free stuff, and terrorize anyone she was cheesed at, it must have looked too much like work. Throw in the way that national press scrutiny must have been cramping her style in the cronying-scamming-terrorizing departments, and it must have begun to seem as if every minute she had to spend on the job was nothing more to her than time that she could be cleaning up on the lecture circuit or appearing on TV. When she declared that staying in office and doing her job while others said mean things about her would be "the worthless, easy path; that's a quitter's way out," what she seemed to really mean was that it was the path of a loser. Losers do shit work and shrug off insults; that's never been the movie that she's starring in inside her head.
In the speech itself, which was designed to make Mark Sanford look like one of the master orators of our time and a rock of emotional stability, she assured listeners that if she finished our her term she wouldn't get a damn thing done and took credit for not putting the people of Alaska through that, then awarded herself points for toughness for closing up shop, while inviting her fans to feel sorry for her for everything she's gone through from all the haters. The fact that some of them are taking her up on that just proves once again that, sometimes, the goofiest crushes are the hardest ones to just shake off. (Imagine if she were from Argentina.) When the smoke has cleared, the most important thing to remember will be the fact that John McCain, who claimed to care so much about this country and its fate, tried to put this fruitcake within a heartbeat of the presidency. Jesus Christ on a crutch.