Monday, October 13, 2008

WaPo: Palin "Does Not Come Off Well" In Troopergate

As I read the WaPo editorial on Troopergate, I kept waiting for it to say that an abuse of power of this sort shouldn't just disqualify Palin from being Veep, but from holding any executive office now or ever again.

Instead, there's this mishmash of faint condemnation:
Meddlesome Sarah Palin does not come off well....Palin's decision to repudiate her earlier pledge to cooperate fully with the inquiry does not offer assurance about how she would conduct herself as vice president....Palin's refusal to cooperate...reflects poorly on her. So, too, does Ms. Palin's mischaracterization of the report....It's unfortunate that Ms. Palin does not understand -- or chooses not to acknowledge -- the seriousness of the mess she helped create.
The weird thing is, the WaPo is pretty clear on what she did:
[T]he report...shows her and her husband pursuing a personal vendetta against the trooper, Mike Wooten, despite repeated warnings that they were impermissibly intruding into internal -- and already concluded -- disciplinary issues.

The amount of attention that the newly elected governor, her husband and her subordinates -- her personnel director, attorney general and chief of staff, among others -- devoted to getting Mr. Wooten fired was extraordinary. Within a few weeks of Ms. Palin's inauguration, her newly installed public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan, was summoned to a meeting with the governor's husband, Todd Palin, at which the "First Gentleman" pressed Mr. Monegan to reexamine the already concluded disciplinary case against Mr. Wooten. The governor herself called Mr. Monegan, e-mailed him and met with him in person to discuss her unhappiness with Mr. Wooten's continuation on the force. Equally extraordinary was the Palins' persistence in the face of warnings that their intervention could run afoul of personnel rules and risked creating precisely the kind of public uproar that ensued.
That's right - she used every tool at her disposal as the Governor of Alaska to pursue a personal vendetta, continuing to lean on underlings to fire her ex-brother-in-law, no matter how many times they said they weren't going to because it was morally wrong, probably illegal, and could expose everybody involved to lawsuits.

And the WaPo thinks that this just "reflects poorly on her," as if other things that show her in a more favorable light could balance the slate. But they can't.

In our system of government, no one, not even the President of the United States, is supposed to be above the law. But this behavior is that of a medieval sovereign saying, "I am the law." This is the sort of behavior that should disqualify Sarah Palin from high office, in the mind of any person who believes in our Constitutional system of government.

But given that the WaPo has been dismissing similar behavior for the past seven years and nine months, I guess it's expecting a bit much to expect them to start taking it seriously now.

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