Sarah Palin’s Governing Philosophy Emerges In “Going Rogue”
Based upon an Op-Ed in the Appeal-Democrat, it's suggested that, far from a political neophyte, Sarah Palin possesses a critical instinct for a governing style consistent with limited, cost-effective governing – and that she's resistant to being drawn in to the type of conventional wisdom that often moves politicians to the Left post-election.
You can't help but notice that just about everyone who is part of the political establishment detests Sarah Palin. And you can't help but notice that Palin couldn't care less.
Early in the second chapter of "Going Rogue," a chapter titled "Kitchen-Table Politics," you learn everything you need to know to understand why. This is the way Palin has been wired for a very long time. During her two terms on the Wasilla City Council, followed by two terms as the city's mayor, she consistently demonstrated a refreshing immunity to the insider mentality that tends to afflict people who serve in government at any level.
Palin is said to have resisted the type of influence peddling to which many politicians succumb, even when it meant going against her early political mentors. While the governing mentality first demonstrated itself in Wasilla, it's claimed it stayed with her right to the Governor's office in Juneau.
In one of the first tests of her independence, Palin opposed a proposal touted by Carney, her political patron, to force residents to pay for neighborhood trash pickup rather than hauling their garbage to the dump themselves, as most did, and as Palin says she still does. Why was this so important to Carney? Because he owned the local garbage truck company.
The portrait of Palin that emerges is not someone who is anti-government, but someone who is focused on making government provide critical services and programs, while trimming out the fat.
During her terms on the council, she consistently opposed heavy-handed community planning initiatives and burdensome taxes. But she was not anti-government, as she explains: As a council member, I focused on what I believed to be the key functions of government: infrastructure development, fiscal responsibility and simply being on the side of the people.
Several of the controversies that ensnared her early on are said to be the result of that mentality, as opposed to Palin being someone who didn't know what she was about, or enjoyed making enemies just for spite. Fans of Sarah Palin are likely to find the op-ed a refreshing read for its take on the former Governor.
The chief of police flat-out refused to even look for budget savings, beginning a chilly relationship that ultimately resulted in Palin firing him and — get this — being sued by him for sex discrimination. (It took three years, but Palin was vindicated — another harbinger of things to come.)
Among Palin-haters, one of the most popular canards is that she is an airhead, and clearly not capable of dealing with the intricacies of government. As this chapter demonstrates, nothing could be further from the truth.
Palin not only has a keen grasp of the details of governing and budgeting, she also understands the political difficulties inherent in making government responsive. Many of her antagonists at the national level scoffed at the notion that her experience in Wasilla was of any value. Quite the contrary, local government is where a public official's decisions have the most direct impact on the electorate. It's where you really have to understand the ins and outs of what you're doing.
No voting for bills without reading them first.