Things that will suprise no one

>> Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hey, it looks like Sarah Palin is just making stuff up again:

Former Gov. Sarah Palin, who has had a rocky relationship with the state's capital city, says in her book there were some ugly threats made against her daughters while they were attending Juneau schools.

Those threats reportedly caused daughter Willow Palin to be removed from the Juneau School District.

Palin said it ended the "honeymoon" for her kids in their new role as children of the state's governor, though she admitted the honeymoon had already ended for her.

The alleged threats made against Palin's daughters are raising questions among officials who would likely have been made aware of them at the time, had they been made or had Palin taken them seriously. . . .

Palin provided no details about where the Internet site was, how seriously she took the threats, how she knew it was posted by students, or what steps she'd taken to ensure her family's safety.

Former Juneau School District Superintendent Peggy Cowan was superintendent during the period in question and said she never heard of such concerns. . . .

Juneau Police Chief Greg Browning similarly said his department has no record of ever being alerted to such threats.

His department's school resource officers are in Juneau schools daily, and would likely have been alerted to such threats, had they been made, he said.

The Alaska State Troopers provide a security detail for Palin, but trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said the first they heard about the allegation was from Palin's book.

"AST has no record of a report like that being made to our agency," Peters said. "Additionally, we have no way of determining if a report of that nature was made to another agency."
I figured someone would report on this sooner or later. Juneau is a small town in many ways, and of the many stories I've heard about Palin's kids -- especially the two older ones -- this one had never come up. And now I suppose we know why.

I've pretty much given up on trying to plumb the psychology of someone like Palin. But as far as this latest fable goes, it seems possible that she invented it to add greater (albeit fabricated) detail to the outrage she expressed over David Letterman's tasteless joke about her daughter being impregnated by A-Rod. More likely, I suspect, the story is one more aspect of Palin's deranged relationship to Alaska's capital. Describing Palin's relationship with Juneau as "rocky" would qualify as a major understatement. Her loathing for the city was palpable during the brief periods she actually spent in residence, and her absence from the capital city during legislative sessions (especially 2008) was the stuff of legend. Her book is almost completely uncomplimentary about Juneau, which she portrays as a swamp of political corruption and extramarital affairs. She congratulates herself for living in the governor's mansion for a few months (and for firing the chef), but about the only thing we learn about the people of Juneau is that she was happy to annoy her neighbors by installing a trampoline in the front yard. (As an aside, I'll note that I have acquaintances who live in that neighborhood, and no one recalls her putting a trampoline there. Nor would anyone have given a shit if she had.)

With that in mind, I'm not surprised that Palin would make up stories about her imperiled kids to justify her decision to leave Juneau and take a state per diem for living in Wasilla. Palin ranks among those Alaskans -- most of whom live in the Anchorage region -- who would prefer to remove the capital entirely from Southeast Alaska, where it's been since the Russian purchase in 1867. (Juneau has been the capital since 1906.) Over the past decade, the loss of government jobs in Juneau has been a source of growing concern; the past several administrations have relocated significant positions (including commissioners' offices) to the Anchorage area, producing a phenomenon known as "capital creep." Several formal efforts to move the capital -- most recently a ballot referendum in 2002 -- have failed, but the informal process continues to be a problem. As everyone knows, the departure of government entirely from Juneau would absolutely wreck the region, hacking away a quarter of its economy at the very least. And Sarah Palin was the sort of person who seemed to believe that outcome would be completely acceptable.

So is Sarah Palin the sort of person who would make up stories about threats of gang rape to provide literary cover for her personal and political aversion to her state's capital city? I dunno. Her fabrications usually have such a random quality to them, it's hard to imagine she's operating with much of a method. Like a Zen koan, Palin's lies can only be understood by relinquishing the quest for understanding.


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