Sunday, October 12, 2008

Is Trooper Gate Good for Palin?

Friday evening Ed Cone posted about Palin-Troopergate. Ed only cited several other opinions of the subject, without adding his own, but as of this morning there are 79-and-counting comments from many of the usual suspects telling what they think. More interestingly, Roch Smith evokes the Wray fray, and I think he means to insinuate that Palin played the Mitch role. There is some superficial similarity in that the terminee in both cases resigned under pressure rather than being actually fired, but other than that I don't see much similarity.

I started to write a post on this subject yesterday, evoking Mike Dukakis's response to Bernard Shaw's rape question in the 1988 Presidential debate. Conservative pundits have observed that this was a significant gaffe that labeled Dukakis as a timid intellectual unwilling to react strongly rather than a passionate take-charge leader who could handle difficult situations. It's not a huge leap to equate this let-the-law-take its-course approach to seeing the War On Terrorism as a law enforcement problem ratter than a military one. I believe this is the basic error people on the left make in dealing with today's world issues.

Consider Palin's case. A state trooper made a threat toward her family, including a threat to kill her father. She attempted to have the trooper fired, which resulted in one of her cabinet members resigning. This morning Scott Ott, who usually writes satire at Scrappleface.com, has a serious critique of troopergate here. Ott makes a lot of sense. He writes, "Republicans should embrace it as a way of telling the story of why government must be reformed. It is the perfect picture of how government bureaucracies shield the incompetent and immoral among them, and waste taxpayer dollars trying to nail concerned citizens who cry 'foul'." Read the whole thing.

Whether entirely appropriate or not, at worst Palin made an error of action over inaction. I think that is a good thing. I was reminded of Harry Truman's response to the bad review his daughter Margaret received from a Washington Post music critic. Truman sent a threatening letter defending his daughter. Stephen Green tells the story and observes "Truman's aides told him the letter was a mistake; it could only damage his image. "Wait till the mail comes in," Truman said. "I'll make you a bet that 80 percent of it is on my side of the argument." It was"

Is Troopergate good for Palin? History will tell. Personally I prefer errors of action over errors of inaction.

5 comments:

Billy The Blogging Poet said...

"Republicans should embrace it as a way of telling the story of why government must be reformed. It is the perfect picture of how government bureaucracies shield the incompetent and immoral among them, and waste taxpayer dollars trying to nail concerned citizens who cry 'foul'."

Republicans, Democrats and Independents should embrace it. Sadly, Republican leaders and the McCain Campaign sent their law dogs to Alaska in an attempt to bury the bones leaving the world to believe Palin has something to hide.

Roch101 said...

The similarity, Mr. Brains, is that both Palin and Johnson offered as their ultimate defense that they acted within their legal authority.

The comparison was made to point out the hypocrisy - that many of those defending Palin are eager to point out that she had the authority to do what she did, but those same people did not accept that explanation of Mitch Johnson's actions.

Preston said...

Thanks for clarifying.

libhom said...

Repeating false allegations against an Alaska State Trooper who was wrongfully fired because of Sarah Palin is taking dirty politics in a disturbing direction. The state trooper is not running for public office. Unfair and inaccurate attacks against him demean the accuser and the political process.

Preston said...

Libhom, what false allegation? ""Wooten denied saying anything like that. But a trooper investigation concluded he did, . . ."