Palin’s move decidedly NOT kid-friendly
I have no idea why she quit. Maybe the investigations were about to shake loose something really ugly. Maybe she does believe it will be easier to pursue higher office unencumbered by the job of governor. Maybe she really is just tired of the scrutiny and stress, and is worried about her family.
I certainly find it plausible that she quit for personal and family reasons. But if she did, she made a really bad choice. It’s exactly the wrong lesson to teach her children. They may, may, get to see more of her now. But what have they learned? That when things get tough, you quit? That when you don’t like the way something is going, you can just pull out?
As a mother who struggles with kids who want to drop out of soccer camp after one day, or abandon mother-son piano camp because it’s boring (it was, and I was dying to quit too), it’s clear that kids learn enormously from our example. They watch our actions, more than listening to our words.
And this was not just an ordinary job. Or a tough volunteer PTA gig that suddenly seems overwhelming. She’d made a commitment to the citizens of Alaska. It would seem that there had to have been a middle-ground solution. If her family really was her concern, couldn’t she have started to curtail her national travel, talk to them about the challenge of the rest of the term, and how they could best get through it as a family? It would have been an invaluable lesson about the importance of public service.
I spent quite a bit of time and ink a few days ago suggesting that the media and political establishment were out of bounds in their treatment of Palin. (Pre-resignation) Rick Ungar made a compelling case that she needed to earn respect to get respect. I still believe she deserved and deserves better treatment than she’s been getting. After all, where would we be if we all decided the bad behavior of others freed us to behave the same way.
But I have to admit I’ve now lost considerable respect for Palin. Walking away hardly ever makes sense, and again, if she really is concerned about her family, she’s done exactly the wrong thing. And if her reasons for stepping down are different, then she’s damaged her credibility.