Publius, Lincoln, And Palin
June 12, 2011 2 Comments
One of the rules of publicity so well-known that even I know it is that it cannot be bad. The detractors of Sarah Palin would do well to keep this in mind in light of Friday’s spectacular and historic release, to much fanfare, of The Electronic Epistles Of Governor Palin, 2006-2009.
These Letters, as far as I can tell from the reaction to and fascination surrounding them, are being greeted as if they are among the most seminal and essential historical American civil documents in our young nation’s history, and as such I can only assume they are destined to take their place alongside the writings of Publius now known as “the Federalist Papers”, the writings of Abraham Lincoln on the back of an envelope that we now call “the Gettysburg Address”, the Lincoln-Douglass debates, and similarly-solemn, almost-religious documents.
Or if not, then I can only surmise the media and the left are making an awfully big, not to mention bizarre, miscalculation.
Seriously. Treating Sarah Palin’s emails as if they merit countless man-hours of “study”, interpretation, and debate. For a group of people dedicated to the proposition that Sarah Palin is an intellectual lightweight and historical error unworthy of any role in American public life, the left sure seems determined to keep her in the spotlight and elevate her stature. What can they be thinking?
Presumably there is a vague, but no-less-emotional-for-it, hope that the letters will contain some nail-in-the-coffin proof of the sort of wrongdoing, misdeeds, hi-jinks, corruption, gossip, Facebook flirting, pillowfight schedules…(oh sorry where was I?)…that would end, once and for all, this strange political career that the left seems so determined both to slay and to keep alive. If so, the notion of Governor Palin of Alaska using her Alaska Governorship to engage in the type of serious, substantial corruption evidence of which the left/media are obviously hoping against hope to find – this is quite at odds with the image they so carefully painted of her, as the lightweight governor of a podunk, nothing state. I always thought Alaska was tiny and backwater and that being its governor meant nothing! The stakes being so presumptively small, what can there even be in these emails, then? Kickbacks to the Juneau PTA? Sled-dog-race fixing that goes all the way to the top? Fishery graft? I almost think anything along these lines one can imagine them finding, even actual corruption, would only serve to elevate Palin’s stature. (You mean she was capable of that?)
This brings to mind the now-classic SNL skit with Phil Hartman as President Reagan, in which he is shown as grudgingly adhering to his jolly, avuncular, and absent-minded ’80s stereotype to the press/public, but as an intellectually-deft master strategist to his staff behind the scenes.
Either Governor Palin is the same way, or there is nothing of substance to be found in these emails – beyond of course the predictable misspellings and lower-class-signifying language usage that the left will predictably titter over – and this is a wasteful (and strategically dumb!) fishing expedition on the part of the left.
Oddly, this isn’t even the first time I’ve mentioned Palin and Reagan in the same breath. Call me insane if you will – and you will – but to me the parallels just keep stacking up. It was about ten years ago that Reagan: In His Own Hand was released, an amazing collection of handwritten essays on a wide variety of subjects he had prepared in the ’70s as opinion pieces for radio recitation. If Palin has a publicity machine with an ounce of sense, they will get out in front of this email release and turn it into the next bestseller in this tradition, Palin: At The Keyboard – with annotations and context provided by the great and historic figure Sarah Palin herself. She owes it to history! And we will have our own inquisitive and energetic Fourth Estate to thank.
GREAT MINDS/NEWTON-LEIBNIZ UPDATE: Prof. Quincy Adams Wagstaff in comments points out neo-neocon independently making the same point, AND using the same clip.