Monday, September 22, 2008

Sarah Palin's Obstruction of Justice.

Mercifully, people finally seem to be coming to the understanding that the Sarah Palin phenomena consists mostly of empty calories. While the Christian Right is determined to back her solely on the merits of her "socially conservative" views, and her "anointed-by-God" status, the rest of America is starting to have second thoughts about her capability to play a role in the federal government. Even in pre-scripted performances with Sean Hannity, and "Town Hall"-style meetings with meticulous pre-screening by GOP agents, Palin looks woefully under-prepared to assume any important office, let alone the vice presidency. Important members within the Republican party are finally admitting she is a liability for the McCain campaign.

Keeping Sarah Palin protected from the "liberal media" will likely be just one among many problems that the presumptive VP presents the GOP. They are going to have to (somehow) prepare her for the debates if she is to avoid embarrassing herself , her supporters, and her party... let alone provide further ammunition for her opponents in their quest to impugn McCain's political and personal judgment. But there is an even bigger threat on the horizon then a debate with Joe Biden. Palin (and by extension the National Republican Party) has to watch out for the Alaskan legislature. It doesn't appear that the bipartisan coalition that has been bound-and-determined to investigate Palin's possible abuse-of-power wants to back off.

I'm not going to get into the intricacies of "Troopergate" in this post. Any reader who is unfamiliar with this scandal has had plenty of opportunities to inform himself already. If you don't know what is at stake in this case, then it's likely that you really don't want to know. However, you should be aware that the investigation into possible malfeasance in the dismissal of popular Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan is taken very seriously in the Great White North. In fact that's probably why Palin herself directed her Attorney General (Talis Coberg) to initiate a separate in-house investigation to look into the allegations. Unfortunately for Palin, Colberg himself knew she was lying... indeed he was personally involved in the controversy.

Before Palin accepted McCain's offer to join his ticket, she expressed a willingness to cooperate with the Alaskan Congressional investigation (it must be pointed out here that the Alaskan legislature is controlled by Republicans). But predictably, when it became a possible black mark for the McCain campaign, she began to take every possible step to delay the release of that inquiry's conclusions. First she suggested that the state Personnel Board had jurisdiction over ethics issues. She called for another review of the findings. Then the legislators decided to expedite the investigation and set an October 10th completion date for the study. At last in a state of complete desperation, Palin (and/or the McCain campaign) ordered all of her administration (along with her husband Todd) to disobey subpoenas. Such an action is a criminal violation.

Perhaps Sarah Palin thinks she can pull the wool over the eyes of observers in the Lower 48, and convince everyone that she did nothing wrong. She's obviously proven herself completely capable of fooling a large proportion of the Republican base. But from all available evidence, she is not going to be able to do that in Alaska. The residents of that state are fiercely independent, and don't seem to follow the conventional party divide. In fact it is Alaskan Republicans that are driving the Palin investigation. It occurs to me to suggest that maybe we could learn something from their example. Do we really want someone else this close to the Oval Office who enforces loyalty by imposing a gag rule on his/her employees? Do we want another executive that refuses to cooperate with criminal investigations? Do we need four more years of that?

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