Sarah Palin Declares Her Independence

palin.flag.01Sarah Palin is not done causing headaches for the leadership of the Republican Party.

In fact, my guess is that she is going to cause them far more pain in the near future than they or the media could ever have imagined.

At this point, politicians and the press are trying to decipher Palin’s motivation for her stunning announcement yesterday that she is resigning as governor of Alaska.

The standard analysis is that she is resigning in order to concentrate her efforts on securing he Republican nomination for president in 2012.  As Bill Kristol told Fox News after Palin’s speech: “We just saw the opening statement of the 2012 campaign.”

Others — including NBC’s Andrea Mitchell — think Palin is stepping away from politics for good.

And some claim that Palin resigned because of sort-to-be-announced scandals, including an alleged federal criminal investigation in connection with the rebuilding of Palin’s home.

I think they’ve all missed the forest for the trees.

Sarah Palin isn’t done with politics.

But she might well be done with the Republican Party.

Rather than relying on alleged experts (who are not in Palin’s close circle) or taking the supposed word of unnamed sources, I suggest that the best indication of why Palin resigned – and what she plans to do – comes from Palin herself.

In her speech, she specifically states that she is not stepping away from politics.  On the contrary, she repeatedly emphasized that she going to continue to work to “effect positive change,” although it would be from “outside government at this moment in time.” She was, she said, following in the never-give-up tradition of General Douglas MacArthur.  “We’re not retreating,” she said, “we are advancing in another direction.’” (As the New York Times points out, Palin got the author of the quote wrong; it was not said by MacArthur, but by Maj. Gen. Oliver Prince Smith.)

She also was clear about the kind of “positive change” she planned to effect: she was going to continue to fight against “the heavy hand of federal government [intruding] into our communities with an all-knowing attitude,“ fight against “the obscene national debt that we’re forcing our children to pay because of today’s big government spending,” and “protect states’ rights, as mandated in the 10th Amendment.”

As she did during the 2008 campaign, Palin cast herself as the champion of the people: those “hardworking, average Americans fighting for what’s right” and those people “who still believe in free enterprise and smaller government and strong national security for our country and support for our troops and energy independence and for those who will protect freedom and equality and life.”

In other words, Palin sounded much same as she did during the presidential campaign – and she certainly didn’t sound like a person getting out of politics.

But there was a difference from her speeches during the presidential campaign.

And the difference involves the political party that she supports.

In her resignation speech, Palin said: “I’ll work hard for and I’ll campaign for those who are proud to be American and who are inspired by our ideals and they won’t deride them. I will support others who seek to serve in or out of office, and I don’t care what party they’re in or no party at all, inside Alaska or outside of Alaska.”

Repeatedly referring to her course of action as “unconventional,” “a new direction” and “no more politics as usual”  — and comparing her actions to those of William H. Seward, (Lincoln’s Secretary of State who negotiated the purchase of Alaska  — ”Seward’s Folly”), who took the “the uncomfortable, unconventional but right path to secure Alaska, so that Alaska could help secure the United States,” Palin dropped clue after clue that, like Seward, she too was going to take an “uncomfortable, unconventional but right path” to “help secure the United States.”

I think Sarah Palin told us what she is planning to do.

Yes, she is running for President.

But not necessarily as a Republican.

Sarah Palin has declared herself the leader of a movement, not merely a political party.

It was not a coincidence that Palin gave her speech on the weekend of Independence Day.

She has just declared her independence from the Republican Party.

Michael D. Fox

Michael received a B.A. degree in philosophy and literature, magna cum laude, from Queens College, and a J.D. with honors from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he was an editor of the Wisconsin Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. He also received an M.F.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. Following law school, Michael served as law clerk to the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, then as an appellate attorney with the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C., and as a national staff counsel for the United Steelworkers Union. He has successfully briefed and argued numerous cases before the federal and state appellate courts. He has also taught communications, speech, acting, and dramatic literature at the University of California, Irvine, Long Beach City College, and the Laguna College of Art and Design. Among his publications are books and articles on topics ranging from economics, real estate and labor relations to Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett, and contemporary drama. As a theatre director, Michael has staged more than 50 plays. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Moving Target Theatre, which produces socially conscious plays in cooperation with activist organizations and presents them directly in the community. He is also a member of the Executive Board of the Democratic Party of California, president of The Duck Club Democrats, and has received an AFL-CIO Award for Meritorious Service for Commitment to Human Rights. Michael is married and has one son, one dog, two cats and five guitars. 

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  8 comments for “Sarah Palin Declares Her Independence

  1. July 4, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Excellent post Michael!

    Would this make Sarah Palin the new Ross Perot?

  2. July 4, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Thanks, Chris.

    I think Sarah Palin is a far more politically important figure than Ross Perot.

    On the order of Strom Thurmond in 1948 or George Wallace in 1968, and potentially even bigger.

  3. jose s.
    July 4, 2009 at 10:17 am

    yes i agree too that this was a great post but palin is no ross perot. perot is a smart cookie palin is a dunce and as we all now know she’s also a quitter. not a good quality in a possible president. she’s been whining since the election that she’s been treated badly by the press and bloggers and she just doesnt have the backbone for this type of work. and speaking of whining, the post last week about the orange juice that was taken down by you guys really should of been left up as usual anything that generates comments is a good thing god knows you need them on this blog as they are pretty scarce. the post was a big whinefest and you guys should have realized that before you posted it not after. learn to take your lumps guys.

  4. July 4, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Jose,

    The post has been up since it was published. I had posted an advertising link on the top of the main page for the day after the post flipped to the second page of the site.

    I took the ad down a day later, because that was about all the attention I thought Art and his rag deserved.

    The post is still available for comment here:

    http://www.theliberaloc.com/2009/06/25/what-is-it-about-blogs/

    Sorry you thought it went away. Feel free to comment as you feel the need.

  5. kenlaysnotdead
    July 4, 2009 at 11:08 am

    It’s increasingly looking like there may be a scandal brewing.

    She has long been being investigated over the “Hockey Rink” scandal, in which it was uncovered that her husband Todd, who claimed to Fox News to have “built their house with a few buddies” was actually built by a large powerful contractor (who the governor had done commercials for) in exchange for the rink contract.

    Instead of Argentina, she went to the bank.

  6. Bladerunner
    July 5, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Mr. Fox:

    I never liked quitters in sports and like ‘em even less in politics. Her resume was thin to begin with and now she’s shredded what’s left of that with her no mas routine.

    I suspect you are correct that she intends to run for President but her administrationus interruptus will blow up in her face. I doubt she’ll leave the GOP–the presidential field is too weak to walk away from an electoral system that is stacked against a third party candidacy. She wants to win, which neither Strom Thurmond, George Wallace nor, for that matter, Ross Perot, did.

  7. July 5, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Bladerunner:

    Thanks for your comment.

    I am sure too that Sarah Palin wants to win. I am almost as sure that she will not get the Republican nomination for president (you’ve read what the Republican establishment thinks of her) — at least not unless she first creates and leads an independent movement that takes over the Republican Party.

    Palin began her political career as an “independent outsider” successfully challenging well established Republicans in Alaska. My guess is that she will now take that approach nationwide, creating an independent movement, with herself at the helm, that will declare itself free of either major party.

    And while I agree with you that any third party victory is highly unlikely, I believe that Sarah Palin is convinced that she has been given a sacred task and is on a mission from God, with whom all things are possible.

  8. July 5, 2009 at 9:28 am

    From the AP (July 5) “Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin didn’t wait long to give some hint of what her political life might look like after she leaves office at the end of the month.

    After staying out of the public eye for most of Saturday, a day after abruptly announcing she would soon give up her job as governor, Palin indicated on a social networking site that she would take on a larger, national role, citing a “higher calling” to unite the country along conservative lines.

    “I am now looking ahead and how we can advance this country together with our values of less government intervention, greater energy independence, stronger national security, and much-needed fiscal restraint,” the former Republican vice presidential candidate wrote in a posting on her Facebook page.”

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