Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Palin Might Be Even Worse Than We Fear

This New York Times Article on Palin lists a series of concerns.

We already know that she likes to fire government officials that she either doesn't like personally or who cross her or her friends in the course of doing their jobs.  But apparently she also hands out government jobs to unqualified friends from high school and such.  And, it turns out, she sends aids to try to intimidate public critics.  

If I could pick one figure out of American history that Palin reminds me of, it would be Huey Long.  This country has dodged real threats that a potential dictator could take over twice.  Once was when Aaron Burr was driven into exile after he killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel.  The other was when Huey Long was killed by an assassin in 1935.  

Of course, Long was a left wing populist with dictatorial tendencies and Palin is a right wing populist with dictatorial tendencies.  Also, Palin is at the beginning of her career whereas Long held power in Louisiana for many years.  But the similarity I see is the style of government.  Both Palin and Long present(ed) public images as fighters for the little guy against entrenched political interests.  But both see politics as a personal grudge match in which public authority is transformed into personal power.  These kinds of politicians are the biggest threats to Democracies.  

The more we hear about this Governor, the more frightened I am that she will ever get in a position of real power over anyone outside of Alaska.  Frankly, if I were an Alaskan, I would seriously question whether fat payoff checks she sends out were really worth it.  That John McCain would even consider, let alone actually appoint, Sarah Palin to be the Vice President of the United States is unforgivable.  It shows a shocking lack of concern for the country and a pathetic emphasis on what is convenient for his own personal ambitions.


USWest said...

She's Dick Cheney with ovaries, maybe even worse if that were possible!

Raised By Republicans said...

What's the difference between a Hockey Mom and Dick Cheney? Lipstick.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Er, Huey Long could deliver. He also stayed out of racial politics better than most Southern governors. And a populist. She's a musch smaller figure.

Raised By Republicans said...

From Alaskan's point of view she's "delivered" too. She's flooded them with other people's money - federal earmarks, increased oil money checks from oil taxes etc.

She also is a populist. There are two, very closely related, types of populists. Those on the right and those on the left. Both are obnoxious and bad and foster disastrous policies with little regard for the niceties of things like civil liberties or rule of law. That's what Long and Palin have in common.

Do I detect some admiration for Huey Long in your comment???

The Law Talking Guy said...

Yes, you do. Now I dislike Huey Long because he was an undemocratic heavy-handed populist. I would never vote for someone like that. Huey Long did not respect the rule of law.

But, you have to consider the other Southern governors at that time. And you have to take populist Big Man leaders in context. Unlike most, he wasn't a race-baiter, a jew-baiter, or an ideologue. And he made some good things happen for poor people in Louisiana, even black people. There was nothing small about Huey Long. More to the point, Huey Long had greatness about him; Palin has none. He wasn't a fascist. He was Huey Long.

I guess I like Huey Long the way I like Jesse James. And I dislike them for the same reasons. Jesse James was a criminal who deserved what he got. But he had style. He was larger than life. And to some he was a genuine folk-hero. Sarah Palin is nobody special.

The Law Talking Guy said...

It's the difference between Liberace and Pauly Shore.

Raised By Republicans said...

You crack me up!

Raised By Republicans said...

Your Huey Long/Jesse James comparison is fair in the context you make it. Your view reminds me of this Woody Guthrie lyric from the song "Pretty Boy Floyd."

Yes, as through this world I've wandered
I've seen lots of funny men;
Some will rob you with a six-gun,
And some with a fountain pen.

And as through your life you travel,
Yes, as through your life you roam,
You won't never see an outlaw
Drive a family from their home.