June 6, 2011 Leave a comment
I really enjoyed reading Joshua Green’s profile of Sarah Palin’s political career in Alaska in the Atlantic recently. After nearly three years of self-inflicted intellectual embarrassment and absurdity it has actually become quite easy to forget that when she was very first nominated, Sarah Palin had a genuine (and deserved) reputation as a reformer. She really was a “maverick” that took on the Republican establishment in Alaska and did good things. Most notably, she worked with Democrats to raise state revenue by increasing taxes on oil companies. Shocking, isn’t it. I actually vaguely remember learning all this back in 2008. Yet, it now seems completely buried under the self-made caricature that is her current political persona. It was just really interesting to realize that the person we know know for enlightening us with stuff like this:
“We saw where Paul Revere hung out as a teenager, which was something new to learn. He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free and we were going to be armed.”
actually used to be an accomplished and sane politician back in the day (albeit one who was already showing plenty of warning signs). I might as well mention that this little Paul Revere incident quite aptly illustrates her incredibly flawed political character. Instead of simply admitting she was wrong, she’s doubled down to insist that she was right, thereby adding insult to injury (nicely explained at the earlier link). Anyway, for me at least, to be reminded of her actual accomplishments and skill as governor of Alaska, was just really interesting when you look at what’ s become of Sarah Palin now.