THE BLOG
08/06/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Only Dead Fish

Only dead fish, Sarah Palin
declared, go with the flow,
but when, like Sarah, you are failin'
to make sense, you should go.
Being crazy like a fox
cannot always solve --
unlike salmon cured to lox,
or monkeys that evolve
into the human species -- all
the problems in Alaska.
The lady is a tramp: don't trawl
her with a net and ask her
for answers adding to pollution.
Avoid all brainy storming,
for it won't lead to evolution,
and may cause global warming
if you should swallow hook and sinker
the ideas that she spouts,
for each one's bound to be a stinker,
like fish that die in droughts.

Inspired by Maureen Dowd's Op-Ed in the NYT, July 5, 2009 ("Now, Sarah's Folly"):

As Alaskans settled in to enjoy holiday salmon bakes and the post-solstice thaw, their governor had a solipsistic meltdown so strange it made Sparky Sanford look like a model of stability. On the shore of Lake Lucille, with wild fowl honking and the First Dude smiling, with Piper in the foreground and their Piper Cub in the background, the woman who took the Republican Party by storm only 10 months ago gave an incoherent, breathless and prickly stream of consciousness to a small group in her Wasilla yard. Gobsmacked Alaska politicians, Republican big shots, the national press, her brother, the D.C. lawyer who helped create her political action committee and, yes, even Fox News, played catch-up. What looked like a secret wedding turned out to be a public unraveling as the G.O.P. implosion continued: Sarah wanted everyone to know that she's not having fun and people are being mean to her and she doesn't feel like finishing her first term as governor. She can hunt wolves from the air and field-dress a moose, but she fears being a lame duck? Some brickbats over her ethics and diva turns as John McCain's running mate, and that dewy skin turns awfully thin....

Palin's speech is classic casuistry. After girlish burbling about how "progressing our state" and serving Alaska "is the greatest honor that I could imagine," and raving about how much she loves her job, she abruptly announced that she was making the ultimate sacrifice: dumping the state on her lieutenant. Why "milk it," as she put it, when you can quit it? "Only dead fish go with the flow," she said, while cold fish can blow out of town. Leaving Alaska in the lurch is best for Alaska. She can better "effect change" in government from outside government. She can fulfill her promise of "efficiencies and effectiveness" by deserting Juneau midway through her term -- and taking her tanning bed with her. "We need those who will respect our Constitution," said Palin, who swore on the Bible to uphold the Constitution. She said she can't fulfill that silly old oath of office in the usual way because she's not "wired to operate under the same old politics as usual." Naturally, she dragged the troops in, saying that her trip to see wounded soldiers overseas "fortified" her decision to give up because "they don't give up." She refuses to succumb to the "politics of personal destruction." It's no fun unless she's the one aiming those poison darts, as she did when she accused Barack Obama of associating "with terrorists who targeted their own country." Sometimes, she explained, if you're the star, you have to "call an audible and pass the ball" and leave at halftime, "so the team can win" somehow without you. The maverick must run free when greener pastures beckon. The musher must jump out of the dogsled when warmer climes call. As Palin's spokeswoman, Meg Stapleton, says, "The world is literally her oyster." But just remember, beloved Alaska, it's all about you.

© 2009 Gershon Hepner 7/5/09