What Is 'The Tragedy of Sarah Palin'?

And of course Barack Obama condescended to working people when he said they were clinging to guns and religion. Even Obama knows that, which is why he doesn't say such things anymore. Moreover, if Obama’s opposition to the surge and plan to vacate Iraq while the place was in a state of near civil war, thereby snuffing out a nascent democracy and guaranteeing an age of mass slaughter in Iraq while humiliating America for a generation or more to come -- if this was not a proposed “forfeit,” then what other label would Green like to place on it?  Surrender? Unilateral declaration of defeat? Kinetic military withdrawal?

Green tsk-tsks -- more in sorrow than in anger, you understand -- that in her convention speech, “You can practically hear her shift registers, the state figure morphing into a national one, the old Palin becoming the new.” Well, yes. She couldn’t very well build her candidacy for the vice presidency on Alaska pipeline issues, could she? A national candidate must discuss national issues. Such as Iraq, for instance.

The piece tells us, finally, very little about Sarah Palin, and a great deal about the wishes and aspirations of Joshua Green and his like. The most hilarious part of his profile comes near the end, when he imagines his fantasy Palin taking on those nasty Wall Streeters and attacking the deficit with huge tax hikes. Green believes something called “true Palinism” means not “hewing to any ideological extreme,” (i.e. raising taxes), “setting a pragmatic course,” (i.e. raising taxes) and “applying a rigorous practicality” (i.e. raising taxes).

Green further notes that “Republicans sometimes must confront powerful business interests” (i.e. by raising taxes on business), that “to govern effectively, you have to cooperate with the other side” (this can only mean Republicans agreeing with Democrats to raise taxes--not Democratic presidents signing off on Republican budget cuts) and that, finally, “you sometimes must raise taxes.” Green could have saved us some time by dropping all of the coded references and cutting to the chase.

Since even Barack Obama turned out not to have the stomach to take on Wall Street and raise taxes, it would appear that to Green, “true Palinism” means a politics considerably to the left of Obama’s. Maybe Green is so unhappy that the country has steered insufficiently leftward in the last two and a half years that he is now imagining even Sarah Palin agrees with him. It would be cruel to ask him, “How’s that hope-y change-y thing working out for ya?”

Update: Palin: 'I do have the fire in the belly' to run for president.