Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thoughts On Sarah

Much is being made on political web sites and in the main stream media about which voters Governor Sarah Palin can and cannot deliver come November. Dissatisfied Hillary supporters? Republican Women? Feminists? Some conservatives and many liberal pundits don't like the choice, calling it a desperate pander to lure unhappy and hurt Hillary voters. Possibly, but I don't think so. But even if that is true, the unintended consequences have begun to far outweigh any other targeted gains.

The theme this election year appears to be change. And why not. The GW Bush years have been arduous to say the least, angering both conservatives (No Child Left Behind, immigration and complacency on Congressional spending) and liberals for reasons too numerous to mention here. The constant drone from the left (Bush Lied People Died, Bush Is a Nazi, Selected Not Elected) would be enough to make even the sternest parent say, "OK, OK ... yes you can go to the prom."

But the McCain camp seems to have figured out when it comes to most Americans, in particular its disaffected and defecting base, its never been about "Change You Can Believe In". That works just fine for the New Age Democrats who always seem to measure success in the immeasurable: how one feels, or simply intent. While conservatives restrict faith to their God, The New Age Democrats extend it to their policies. 

On the other hand, intent to most conservatives and Republitarians, like myself, is meaningless. Results and only results matter. I can remember well as a child my Mother and my Father encouraging me to try of course, but there would be no congratulations without results. And why should there be. It breeds half hearted attempts and builds a false sense of self.

No, the McCain camp has figured out, most voters in America prefer results over slogans and it is giving them just that. Enter Sarah Palin, a 44 year old mother of 5, rifleman, hockey coach, and corruption buster. In just 20 months as Governor she has shaken Alaska politics to its core. As a Republican she challenged the Republican establishment first cleaning up corruption in the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, followed quickly by taking on the entrenched Republican Governor in a primary, winning there and then going on to sweep through the general election.

In 20 short months she has passed major ethics legislation, taxed oil companies who she said had bribed legislators to keep taxes low and then turned the money over to the citizens of Alaska, and finally put in motion a $40 billion natural gas pipeline to, in her words, "help lead America to energy independence". Now that's change you can believe in and count on. She has done more in changing and cleaning up the landscape of politics in the country's largest, and likely one of the dirtiest, states in the nation than most politicians do in a lifetime.

So what the McCain camp knows now, even if they didn't before, is that Sarah Palin, while she may bring in new women, she most assuredly has charged up the base and woke the sleeping giant that helped put George Bush in office, and even Democrats know that at the very least that means they now have a fight on their hands and what we have learned is, Sarah Palin has never shied from a fight.

A victory for Republicans in November seemed unlikely earlier this year, perhaps earlier last week and Sarah Palin certainly does not equal victory. But as she shook Alaska to its core, she has shaken the Conservative base out of its slumber, and it took a gun totin', hockey coaching, corruption busting, mother of 5 to do it.