Monday was the one-year anniversary of the day that Sarah Palin cut and ran from her job as Alaska’s governor — or if you’re congenitally insane, the day “the lower 48 needed her and she heeded the call.” You might recall that during her resignation speech she declared that “nothing’s more important to me than our beloved Alaska.”
She promised to “take a stand” and to effect “positive change outside government at this moment in time, on another scale, and actually make a difference for our priorities – and so we will, for Alaskans” and to “taking my fight for what’s right – for Alaska – in a new direction.”
And rest assured, Alaskans. Sarah Palin wasn’t going away, she would “always be standing by, ready to assist. We have a good, positive agenda for Alaska.” So after one year, perhaps it’s time to ask what Palin has actually done for Alaska in the meantime. The Mudflats has the answer: Not a damn thing.
The last great wild salmon run on the continent in Bristol Bay is threatened by the looming specter of a huge copper and gold mine at its headwaters. The potential for environmental disaster from the Pebble Mine is epic, and would arguably affect the nation’s seafood supply more than the current Gulf tragedy.
Domestic violence, sexual assault, alcohol and drug abuse, incest, and the desperate and tragic migration of Native Alaskans from village life into big cities all continue to plague our state. Our high school drop out rate is astronomical. Each of these issues and so many more could benefit from a powerful national voice speaking up for those who can’t.
Palin, instead, has used her time, her energy and her star power to – write a book about herself and tour the nation. She’s become a contributor on Fox News to repeat talking points about (irony alert) what an ineffectual leader the President has become. She has continued to chant the mantra “drill baby, drill” even as the southeast faces an environmental holocaust. She’s Facebook blasted a journalist who rented the house next door that she refused to buy.
In a painful demonstration of philosophical inconsistency, she’s endorsed candidates from former campaign supporter Fairbanks attorney Joe Miller, to exporter of American jobs Carly Fiorinna, to establishment candidate John McCain to “anti-Marxist utopia” Tea Party candidate Clint Didier. She slammed two students at their own college while raking in six figures for speaking there. She’s courted conventions of bowlers, loggers and liquor wholesalers, built a giant “fortress of solitude” next to her house, written on her hand, almost got away with another year of shirking her property taxes, spent $14,000 de-icing the wings of private jets using her PAC money, and has somehow managed to pull in an estimated $20 million by putting English-like words in random order and speaking them aloud.
She’s even demonstrated xenophobia and religious intolerance in 140 characters or less, by telling New Yorkers what should and should not be built near the World Trade Center site. Mayor Michael Bloomberg told her to mind her own business.
Speaking of her own business, that brings us back to the question – what has she done to help the state of Alaska?
Not much. It’s been a busy year.