Sarah Palin and Quitting

Written by Henry L. Chambers, Jr. on July 8th, 2009

Regardless of what one thinks of Gov. Sarah Palin, she quit.  Quitting itself is not necessarily problematic if one has a good reason to do so.  It is unclear she has a good reason.  At least three legitimate reasons exist to quit a public office before one’s term has ended.  First, if one’s actions or health appear to make it impossible for the official to do the job the official was elected to do, quitting is legitimate.  Second, if something arises that fundamentally changes the basic agreement an official had with the voters who elected her, quitting is legitimate.  For example, if the official changes parties, quitting is legitimate.  Third, if the electorate appears to want the official to resign, quitting is legitimate.   The official arguably need not resign under any of these circumstances, but quitting under such circumstances is acceptable.

However, if the official quits to pursue some other task, the official ought to explain precisely why she is final.jpgquitting and ought to be able to move directly to that post-office task that precipitated the resignation.  Spending more time with family in the wake of a scandal, starting a new job at a think tank or going to rehab are all reasonable landing places for officials who quit.  The problem with Gov. Palin is that she simply appears to not want to do the job she was elected to do.  In her press conference, she appeared to say simply that she had better things to do than be governor of Alaska.   Palin’s attempt to tie her decision to quit to her decision to decline to run for a second term and thereby become a lame duck of choice was weak.  Being a lame duck hardly means that one cannot run a state effectively.  Virginia governors can only serve one term.  Of course, it would be nonsensical to suggest that the governor of Virginia could reasonably resign the day after being sworn in if he decides he has something better to do.

It would be interesting to talk to Gov. Palin’s son Track and ask him if, as Palin suggested, he really agreed that his mother should quit.  Let’s hope that Track Palin does not try to follow her lead.  If Track believes that he can resign from the Army and go home as soon as he decides that he will not re-enlist, he will be in for a rude awakening.


2 Comments

Comment by Benito
2009-07-08 16:49:25

When she accepted the VP nomination, she knew she needed to bring her professional game up to another level, she never did. She knew that her family would get attacked as did Hilary and Chelsea before her (by even her twin maverick brother McCain in 1998), let face it she knew her family affairs would come out. But now she plays the victim card again, a card she played after those comical first extended interviews that we all enjoyed and SNL immortalized. But for the icing on the cake, she quits, because she does not want to be a lame duck governor, because the lawsuits keep coming, because it was the media’s fault, because seeing Russia from her house finally got to her, because its not fair that Alaskan’s paid her salary while she was running for the VP position, take your pick. So what does she tells us? Dear Mr. President, when things get tough, quit. Dear military men and women, if you are not having fun, quit. Dear son or daughter, if things are not going your way, quit. Sure, I agree when she first was introduced and gave a descent speech, sure the polls went up, but after the extended interviews, they went where they ended, down. She showed her true character, I real hope the book deal, Radio/ TV shows and the lecture circuits make up for what her party has lost by her actions. She may go down in history as the quitter that twittered.

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Comment by Paul
2009-07-13 12:58:06

Can anyone real tell me that you were impressed by her exit speech? You can’t real believe that she is the only person that can win in 2012. You know, if she can’t take a joke, don’t get in the game, its politics, they all get kicked around. Let me paint you a picture, in my opinion, for the last eight years where the mantra was no regulation and no oversight and spread to all federal agencies and the justice department was filled by unqualified religious types and the dullard (ex-drunk) religious president started two wars of choice with extreme tax dollar spending, is anyone surprised with our current economic situation because of those choices. Sure “W” sucker the religious right to vote for him and that’s why he placed unqualified people in positions of responsibility and they failed (almost a “plan to fail”), do you forget Katrina, where the Director of FEMA Michael D. Brown, was relieved of his duties because of incompetence? Or can you forget disgraced White House correspondent James Guckert, AKA Jeff Gannon, the male escort, why was a male escort getting into the Whitehouse, hmmm? I know it was Barney Frank’s fault, he controls the county and republicans had their hands tied (even though 7 of the last 8 years they had the majority and the presidency to do something (fact or fiction?), but not the will to act). Oh, by the way I read that God blog, very funny, it reminds me of those TV evangelists who claim the talk to God and want so and so foreign country leader to be killed or such and such a us state to be punished by God for a court ruling that intelligent design is just another word for religion. We had enough of religious dullards in our government. If you believe that the USA has strayed from God then go out to your communities and preach to your neighbors, the sick, the shut ins, the poor and invite them to take part in your church, build a community. But I know that’s hard work we want a government official to do that for us, well they tried that and look where it left us, in the gutter, but our country does not quit and we will rise again. Do you remember how Ronald Reagan got us out of a recession? By spending and we will do the same. But she is just another “W” in heels and she is stringing the religious right along, she will sell you her books, her radio/TV shows and speaking engagements. Lastly, I do not want you to believe what I believe, so please keep writing, feel free, I am starting to enjoy this.

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