Saturday, October 11, 2008

Palin's Romper Room

Governor Palin and her cabinet.

Palin abused her power, but did not overstep her authority as governor in attempting to get her ex-brother-in-law state trooper fired by bringing pressure to bear on her Public Safety Commission, Walter Monegan, then ultimately terminating his employment instead.

Just enough meat on the bone for the liberals to feed, but not enough to be sated. And certainly not enough to force Palin to gracefully bow out of the race.

But appraises the gleaming evidentiary booty contained within the Troopergate report treasure trove: a depiction of a woefully inept, bungling and puerile Palin administration, conducting affairs, wielding power and badly behaving like an elementary schoolyard bully at recess giving "wedgies," "shark bites," and "purple-nurples":

But the [Troopergate] report still makes for good reading, if only because it convincingly answers a question nobody had even thought to ask: Is the Palin administration shockingly amateurish? Yes, it is. Disturbingly so.

The 263 pages of the report show a co-ordinated application of pressure on Monegan so transparent and ham-handed that it was almost certain to end in public embarrassment for the governor. The only surprise is that Troopergate is national news, not just a sorry piece of political gristle to be chewed on by Alaska politicos over steaks at Anchorage's Club Paris.

A harsh verdict? Consider the report's findings. Not only did people at almost every level of the Palin administration engage in repeated inappropriate contact with Walt Monegan and other high-ranking officials at the Department of Public Safety, but Monegan and his peers constantly warned these Palin disciples that the contact was inappropriate and probably unlawful. Still, the emails and calls continued — in at least one instance on recorded state trooper phone lines.

Most disturbingly, the report paints Todd Palin, aka the "First Dude," as a major player in the effort to get the state trooper, then Monegan fired. In fact, the report finds that Mr. Palin often held court with Monegan in Governor Palin's office on an adjacent conference room table, berating him with binders of documentary "proof" justifying the urgent need to hand the trooper his walking papers. When Monegan vacillated, then refused, Mr. Palin became enraged and began a protocol targeting Monegan, attempting to access his personnel files and pumping his Monegan's department for information.

I shudder to think what type of power-plays, vendettas and political beatdowns Palin would and could dish out from her new digs at One Observatory Circle (only a few miles from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue mind you).

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