What happens when one challenges the status quo? What happens when one upsets the apple cart? What happens when one deals a blow to the good old boys and politics as usual?
The politicians get angry. They have an axe to grind. They scheme of ways to get even, bring down the crusader, and reinstate the status quo.
The public, though, is pleased.
The job approval ratings of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin hover in the vicinity of 80%, and it’s been that way for two years. They respect that she ousted the head of Alaska’s Republican Party who used his time on the job as an oil commissioner to run the state GOP. They respect that she divested herself of some of the perks that the prior good-old-boy governor had accumulated. They respect that a natural gas pipeline project that had sat idle for 30 years is now on the front burner. They respect that the Alaskan government is more transparent, including putting the state checkbook online. Transparency has heightened the need to be more prudent with expenses, so Sarah Palin has vetoed $500 million of wasteful spending, and she has dramatically chopped the number and amount of Federal earmarks that Alaska is seeking.
Those spending cuts anger state legislators. The legislature approves the spending just to have Palin veto it. Every earmark that Palin rejects creates more enemies, and those enemies are powerful special interests, or at least, special interests who used to enjoy power and who would like to reassert their power vis-a-vis the current Alaskan governor.
The Alaskan public remains delighted with the strides that Palin has made, and wishes other politicians had acted in much the same way a long time ago.
Meanwhile, the conniving politicians who want revenge hope that they have found a turning point that will allow them to stop the roll-back of their political power in its tracks in the person of Walter Monegan, a former administrator responsible for Alaska’s safety forces. Walter Monegan was offered a choice of assuming another position within the administration or being terminated. He chose termination, and then made an issue of it, alleging that Palin was misusing her power. When that allegation was made, the heads of the spurned politicians turned. Instead of allowing Palin to continue on the path of shaking up Juneau, they could charge her with misusing power. Perhaps this was the first way to check Palin’s immense popularity, if they could redefine her as a powermonger rather than reformer. The state legislature decided to launch an investigation. Clearly, they have a motive for finding fault with Palin.
Meanwhile, the public, I’m sure, is laughing off the redefinition of Palin as a powermonger instead of reformer. Their former governors were powermongers. Their former governors made no attempts at reform. The public was able to tell the difference between Palin and her predecessors. After the “trooper-gate scandal” first went public, Palin’s approval ratings dropped to . . . 76%!!!! How many governors in America enjoy approval ratings of 76%?
Did Palin abuse her power by dismissing Monegan? Was the termination the result of Palin’s frustration that she couldn’t get Monegan to fire her ex-brother-in-law? I think not, and here’s why: 1) Monegan says that he wasn’t asked to fire anybody, that he’s just trying to read between the lines. 2) Monegan was offered another position within the administration. 3) Most importantly, Monegan’s replacement has not fired the ex-brother-in-law. If it was all about getting the ex-brother-in-law fired, wouldn’t dismissing Monegan be all about putting someone else in that position to take care of that one little detail? If the ex-brother-in-law was fired after getting Monegan out of the way, then one might conclude that it was indeed personal.
Now that Palin has become the VP nominee, the MSM has piled on, and the “trooper-gate” is becoming larger than life. Politicians with an axe to grind now have the MSM and the Obama campaign in their corner. The McCain camp stated today that the fix is in, and that the state legislature’s investigation has become a political machine determined to make a ruling against Palin. I think the only reason the vengeful state legislature hasn’t already ruled against Palin is that they are timing the announcement according to the needs of the Obama campaign in order to inflict maximum damage on Palin, weakening her as much as they can in order to begin their push to reinstate politics-as-usual.
If American voters, though, follow the lead of the Alaskan public instead of jilted Alaskan politicians, they’ll recognize this episode as the bogus witch-hunt that it is and see that Palin truly does stand on the side of the people, which is why the Alaskan people stand on the side of Palin.