I am absolutely flabbergasted by Sarah Palin's reaction to the Troopergate report released on Friday. I was expecting one of two things - 1) The continued assertion that this heavily Republican legislative council was completely bipartisan... against her, the Republican governor. Or 2) Take the "good" parts of the investigation - i.e. By Alaska constitution she can fire anyone she wants and ignore the rest.
What Palin has come out with is something akin to "Hey look, your shoelace is untied!" and running into the arms of the ever-hateful crowds where they will readily accept anything she says.
Or, more accurately, it reminds me of a story I saw on TV about Michael Jackson. He was doing a presentation at an awards show, and while he was on stage, he thanked the organization for giving him the award. To the embarrassment of the organization and to Michael - they were not giving him an award. Even more, such an award did not exist. Awkward!
This is what I feel about Palin right now. Embarrassed for her, that she seems to be so clueless as to think this will work (instead of completely backfiring on her, as the press has even more reason to cover the exact wording now.) But even more, embarrassed for myself and pretty much everyone I know, as Alaskans.
If I had known this would be her defense, I might not have spent the better part of a three-day weekend (refusing to call it "Columbus Day") reading the 263 page document.
Oh, all right. There were a few moments in which my eyes glassed over, and one occasion in which I fell asleep and couldn't find where I stopped. Never, EVER try and read such a long ducoment on a computer...
Palin even held a comical "press conference" for local Alaskan press (each organization was allowed one question with no follow up.) In it she says, "...I'm very, very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing ... any hint of any kind of unethical activity there."
That is actually the point I became dumbfounded, and stayed that way for a good couple of hours.
No "hint of any kind of unethical activity?"
I don't think she read the report.
If she had read the report, she would have found, listed as FINDING NUMBER ONE:
"For reasons explained in Section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute...."
I guess it makes sense if Palin does not view abuse of power as unethical behavior...
There are some points that I have mentioned before, that seem to be getting drug up again:
1. To the argument that Wooten was a bad Trooper - yes, absolutely! Several people in the report, including men in positions of power to do something about it, state that he shouldn't be a Trooper. That is way outside the point. What Palin (and her husband... and her chief of staff... and half the rest of her staff...) was trying to do, however, was Double Jeopardy.
There had already been actions taken against Wooten for the accusations, and he was punished. Whether that was "enough" or not is not the point (I, personally, don't think so.) But Monegan was in a position where, if he had done what the governor was wanting him to, would be unethical and illegal. As a longtime cop, he knows what Double Jeopardy is. He looked into it, saw there was nothing new to pursue, and told them so, repeatedly.
2. Monegan was not Wooten's boss until Palin made him so. He was previously with the Anchorage (city) Police - the Troopers are a state entity. He was not Wooten's boss when all the allegations were first made, when Wooten was investigated, or when he was punished. He was not Wooten's boss until much later, when Palin appointed him to be.
3. Palin was not afraid of Wooten, certainly not afraid of him harming the "first family." She reduced the security detail on her and her family to one full time and one part time guy. When initially asked if there were any security concerns about her family, she told them no. It wasn't until later she drug the whole thing up as Wooten being a "risk" to her. And even then, she still didn't get a bigger security detail. In fact, she began using the detail less, the further into her short administration. Including driving from Anchorage to Wasilla and back, one of the more likely places she would have seen Wooten. She even got into a car accident a few months back in this drive - no security detail.
4. The ridiculous consistent accusations about the moose "poaching" has just got to stop. Besides the fact that it's been investigated, Sarah's father took part in the "poaching." (And take a look in the report how Monegan had discussed that issue in the report - very gratifying to hear reason.) They did have a permit, and Wooten shouldn't have shot the moose, but ask about every Alaskan just what happens to "who catches exactly what" when the fish are running, and you'll see something similar to this case. Many, many four year olds catch their limit in fish. The permits are to manage the wildlife, and in this case, the wildlife was managed.
When Monegan, and others, told Todd and Sarah that if they wanted to pursue action against Wooten, they would have to pursue action against her father for this as well. He participated in the crime, after all. But they didn't want that - they stated they only wanted Wooten charged.
Uh... right. If only wishing made crime so. If someone robs a bank, can we choose to only charge the robber, not the get away driver? I mean, as long as we're able to choose...
Todd and Sarah show in that instance, and so many others, that they are not actually out for justice, but for personal vindication. If they are so concerned about these procedures, why not come out on the procdeures so this won't happen to others? Why are they continually badgering state staff to do something about one Trooper, when they are in a position to do so much more, for so many people?
An article from The Atlantic that had some pretty good points as well.