Politics as Unusual

The resignation speech Governor Palin gave earlier today is easily the weirdest I’ve ever seen. Especially striking was her insistence that she’s forthrightly stated the reasons behind her action, whereas actually every political observer I’ve read is utterly baffled as to what she is thinking. Mickey Kaus at least has ten theories, whereas I’m still paralyzed by her basketball analogy.

Let me go back to a comfortable analogy for me, and that’s sports — basketball. And I use it because you are naive if you don’t see a full court press from the national level picking away right now. A good point guard, here’s what she does. She drives through a full court press protecting the ball, keeping her head up because she needs to keep her eye on the basket, and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can win, and that is what I’m doing. Keeping our eye on the ball. That represents sound priorities. Remember they include energy independence and smaller government, and national security and freedom. And I know when it’s time to pass the ball for victory. And I’ve given my reasons now, very candidly and truthfully.

This is actually how I felt watching Jason Williams play point guard for the Sacramento Kings. On a certain level he was talented, but most of his choices made no sense, and he seemed to be improvising all the time. Middle of the second quarter, up by 8 points, 19 seconds on the shot clock? Fire up a contested three pointer in transition!

It is tempting to deconstruct the whole analogy, but I’m going to resist. I encourage Matt Taibbi to pick up the slack. This will all make sense if some kind of scandal breaks. If not, I can’t imagine why Gov. Palin would give that speech rather than just forthrightly state whatever it is that she’s planning. Hmmm.