A portrait in jealousy

Maureen Dowd considers Sarah Palin’s resignation with all the intelligence and political astuteness we have learned to expect from her, colored by the emotional temperance of a head cheerleader forced to confront the reality of a new and prettier transfer student:

Caribou Barbie is one nutty puppy…. 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.

It’s entirely possible that Palin resigned for reasons that are narcissistic, ambitious, greedy, or insane. But we simply don’t know. The fact that she was smart enough not to offer an explanation when none short of imminent death from cancer would be considered sympathetic indicates that lunacy is the least plausible reason.

What I find most interesting is that two of the leading contenders for the GOP nomination appear, at least for the moment, to have taken themselves out of the running. If one considers this from the economic perspective of 2010 being 1931, it suggests that the prospect of being forced to deal with the challenges ahead is a daunting one. Unfortunately, these are the circumstances in which the human predators of the world tend to see their opportunities; to paraphrase Rahm Emmanuel, one never wants to waste a crisis.

I don’t pretend to know why Palin resigned. Not being a supporter, I can’t even say I particularly care. But I do know that it’s far too soon to dig her political grave, as many in both the Republican and the Democratic parties are now attempting. As both Ronald Reagan, Hillary Clinton and even Newt Gingrich have demonstrated, it’s always dangerous to assume a politician is finished. As a class, they’re very much like zombies; never count one out entirely until you’ve actually seen it dismembered and burned.