(New York-NY) For my loyal readers, all five, you're used to my point of view clothed in the satire of news parody. Not exactly "The Onion", but at times I like to think they come to the level of a scallion, perhaps a leek. But something happened this weekend that simply forced me to come out from behind the parody. An event so seismic that I'm convinced like Jennifer Lopez's red carpet Grammy "the dress" Sarah Palin's resignation speech will be known to posterity (Yeah, I know I'm making a big assumption that soon to be ex-Governor Palin will have a legacy.) simply as "the speech".
There are those who may call me out immediately for using the noun "speech." I could call it "those series of words strung together in search of a theme", but that's just too long to type, and I have the beginnings of arthritis. Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, let me say that politically I am neither a Democrat nor Republican. I don't believe in absolutes. At best, they leave you with enough egg on your face so that the promotional sized Lipitor won't reduce your cholesterol. At worst, absolutes can be a prelude to book burnings and goose-stepping. The only absolute I advocate comes in a bottle and is missing the "e". So liberal, conservative, Republican, Democrat, I'm not trying to offend, much.
My fundamental issue with soon to be Ex-Governor Sarah Palin is her perceived (I stress "perceived" because I do not know what she is actually like. Todd, you talking?) cliché female persona, somewhere in temperament between Marion Cunningham and Sue Ann Nevins, and her rambling resignation speech with a nod to a female point guard who fishes, didn't help, neither did her attempt at the lioness protecting her cub reference to the media picking on Trig, her son. You see cliché women babble. Actual women speak. I am not holding her to task for speaking about her family or her metaphors. Just don't babble about them.
I also have an issue with how see came into the National spotlight. It was a man who picked her from the Wasilla tundra, John McCain. With John McCain, the example of Prince Charming can't be used. Let's call him King Charming. Yes, I know what you're saying: "Hillary Clinton, did you get the last name?" Fair enough. Let's not forget that Hillary Clinton has successfully disengaged from Bill Clinton. I also don't think that Secretary Clinton would mount a "whining tour" if she felt that a late night talk show host smeared her underage daughter with a joke. I don't know what she would do. But I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be much since she's actually busy doing her job not resigning.
Okay, let's tally up. Sarah Palin babbles, whines, hurls accusations when someone insults her family and had a man bring her to prominence. Is that the role model the Republicans want to get behind? (Judging from the reactions to "the speech", the answer is "as soon as we understand it, we'll let you know.") More to the point, is that the role model for young women and men, re-enforcing a cliché? We won't even get into leadership. Is an example of leadership leaving? Ah, forgot that one in the tally. Things don't go your way, leave.
To me, and it's only my opinion, a role model, a leader, should be an individual who is not a cliché. Barack Obama is the first President of African American lineage, sure. But that is only part of, a tile, of the richly textured mosaic that makes him a rich character. Okay, yeah, his answers at press conferences are so lengthy social security may run out for Helen Thomas before the end of one. Hillary Clinton is a wife and mother, but that is only part of what makes her, if nothing else, worthy of discussion. Except for those pants suits. Hills, please. I won't forget you Republicans. Ronald Reagan was an actor. But does anyone honestly think that alone would have generated so much discussion and scholarship on his two terms?
Honestly, I wish Sarah Palin all the best. Go for that book deal. Get that show on Fox, but Lifetime might be better. But please, please leave the politics to, at least, two-dimensional characters.