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Republicans Should Reexamine the Public Good of Private Citizens
Weekly Standard ^ | July 7. 2009 | Jim Prevor

Posted on 07/07/2009 6:37:26 AM PDT by Al B.

“I would think, if you want to run for president — and I'm not sure that's got anything to do with what she's doing — that the forum of a governorship would be a better forum than just being a private citizen" -- Senator Chuck Grassley
In that phrase, “just being a private citizen,” Senator Grassley encapsulates both why Sarah Palin is so phenomenally appealing to the Republican base and how divorced the national Republican apparatus is from the core values of party members.

Is it necessary to say that the good senator, now 28 years in Washington, D.C., has it precisely reversed? That Republicans believe that the bosses are the private citizens, that the people who work in D.C. and the state capitals are employees who the private citizens have hired to manage their affairs for a period of time.

Such aggrandizement of governmental office is unbecoming a conservative. A slew of people have given up their positions in mid-term to take offices offered by President Obama. Nobody batted an eye. Yet the same USA Today in which Sen. Grassley was quoted above also quotes Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski as saying that Palin’s actions mean she has "decided to abandon the state and her constituents"--a critique Senator Murkowski never expressed toward Hillary Clinton when she resigned mid-term as a senator from New York to serve as Secretary of State.

One could say that Senator Murkowski has sour grapes because Sarah Palin defeated her father in a Republican primary. Yet she never would have said it if Governor Palin had resigned to be Secretary of State. That would have “made sense” as she would have continued to serve the people.

In fact if there were a Republican administration in Washington and Sarah Palin resigned to take the most minor cabinet office, it would make sense to the D.C. power brokers, as she would be moving from the fringes of American politics out in distant Alaska to the center.

But the base of the Republican party does not believe that one can only serve the public good by being a government employee.

When Ronald Reagan explained that “government can’t solve the problem, government is the problem,” he was not expressing some kind of “the state, my enemy” philosophy, he was just explaining that the solutions to our problems will not come, cannot come, from the government; it is only the imagination and industry of the citizenry that can build our future.

When Sarah Palin leaves behind the administrative tasks of government to fight for what she believes in as a private citizen, she can only be seen to be “abandoning” her state and constituents if one believes that only government employees can serve the common good.

This is a crucial “learning moment” for the D.C. Republicans. The core constituency of the party does not think of themselves as selfish brutes working in the private sector without regard for their country. This massive base thinks that by paying the taxes and doing the work, starting the businesses and rearing the children, caring for their parents and fighting the wars, they are doing the crucial stuff that sustains our country, protects our freedom and builds our prosperity.

Will this decision make it more likely that Sarah Palin will become president? The answer, of course, depends on two things we can’t know right now:

First, we will never know what Sarah Palin would have done with the governorship of Alaska. It seems reasonable enough to think that she had become so high profile that the Democrats, and some Republicans, would have done anything to block her from achieving success. So by passing the baton to a man who is ideologically in sync with her, but who also won’t face the opposition she would have since he is unlikely to be a national star, she is doing a service for the people of Alaska.

Second, we don’t know what she will do in the private sector. Will she write a thoughtful book? Become a syndicated columnist whose ideas make her a “must read” for everyone? Will she found an important new think tank? An important journal? Spearhead an effort to help the unemployed? Decide to launch a business? Or maybe she will start a new political party?

Inconceivable as it must be to many in Washington, D.C., there are still corners of this Republic in which people don’t think that issuing orders and spending other people’s money is a dream job. Maybe Sarah Palin thinks she can change the world without becoming president. Maybe she is deeply and authentically conservative and isn’t certain that aiming to change the world is such a good idea.

Perhaps she is mentally healthy enough to think she is not indispensable in the halls of government. She wants to raise her children and thinks she can do so while also making a contribution to the public arena by working in the private sector. If one day there will be another call to serve in public office, she will think about it then.

This is a thought process shocking only to those who are pathological in pursuit of power or who have simply divorced themselves from the great stream of American life which, mostly … and thankfully … happens far away from Washington, D.C.

If her resignation gives the Republican establishment pause to think about their attitude toward those who are “just being a private citizen,” then Sarah Palin may have already begun a revolution in politics of enormous proportions.

TOPICS: Politics/Elections; US: Alaska
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To: CitizenUSA

The argument that being Governor for 4 years would be better than 2 years, in terms of executive experience, has nothing to do with the question of whether her resigning is good for Alaska or not. It is a simply question of experience.

I don’t particularly like the argument that she should quit because it harms Alaska for her to stay. That means we can get rid of any governor we want simply by filing ethics complaints, and then forcing them out for “the good of the state”.

If frivolous ethics complaints hurt the state, the legislature should change the law so it’s not so easy to file ethics complaints and drive up costs to the state.

But that has nothing to do with the question of executive experience.

21 posted on 07/07/2009 9:36:55 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: kevkrom

This could well be good for the Lt Governor, and for Alaska.

But serving out the term would mean another year of executive experience. Motives or outcomes are immaterial to the years of experience.

22 posted on 07/07/2009 9:38:23 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: CharlesWayneCT
Bah, time in office means nothing. Accomplishments matter more than time, and she's pretty much accomplished everything set out to do already. The biggie left is the gas pipeline, and just to spite her personally and deny her the accomplishment, the feds would do everything possible to slow it up.

Besides, if she builds the ground support, fundraises, and gets conservatives elected in 2010, "executive experience" isn't going to matter one whit anyway.

23 posted on 07/07/2009 9:48:11 AM PDT by kevkrom
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To: Al B.
I’ve got a lib sister so I can identify. Can’t stop loving her, can’t lock her in a padded room or anything, so we just pray for her...LOL. She’s deaf to any rational discussion of politics.

What puzzles me about our lib sister, is she has a good heart.

Since Sarah is a "rock star", she will get a lot of exposure. Hopefully as times get tougher, more and more people will see through the crap of the MSM. Time will tell...

24 posted on 07/07/2009 1:07:31 PM PDT by HalfFull (What this country needs are more unemployed politicians...)
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To: CitizenUSA

Don’t bother explaining to brain-dead FReepers why Palin is stepping down. Seriously, these people clearly haven’t heard Palin’s speech where she succinctly outlined her reasons. They hit and run every Palin thread with the BS about her “quitting” and that she needs more experience. Never mind that the woman already has 17 years of elective and appointed experience in office already, and that the remaining 1.5 years would have been engulfed in more taxpayer wasted dollars of bogus ethics charges and smears against her family. She did the right thing here, she doesn’t care what people think, just like she quoted from her Mom’s refrigerator magnet.

25 posted on 07/07/2009 6:57:57 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist ("President Obama, your agenda is not new, it's not change, and it's not hope" - Rush Limbaugh 02/28)
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