Posted by: shannynmoore | September 5, 2008

Burning Bridges to “Nowhere”

I don’t know a person I have so much in common with as I do Sarah Palin. I, like Sarah, grew up in small town Alaska. My parents were both public school teachers. I am the oldest of three sisters. We went to church on Sundays and again on Wednesday nights. I grew up commercial fishing. I hunted moose and bear with my father. My family owned snowmachines. I did the pageant thing; won Miss Congeniality as well. I don’t know any person that has as similar background to my own. When I started covering Govenor Sarah Palin on my local progressive radio show, I was fascinated how someone I had so many similar roots with could be so fundamentally different when it came to politics. We were raised by the same wolves, and now she wants to shoot them out of planes.

When Sarah Palin defeated Tony Knowles for the Alaska Governorship, I was willing to give her a shot. Alaska first, I thought. She ran on the promises of replacing the brand new oil friendly and corrupted net profits tax with a fairer and more manageable tax on gross oil revenues; of restoring the longevity bonus to Older Alaskans; of state revenue sharing to cities, and selling former Governor Frank Murkowski’s unpopular state jet. Sarah Palin promised to run Alaska’s government with openness and transparency. This after four years of a corrupted, closed, secretive, unpopular and arrogant business-as-usual Murkowski Administration. Most legislation Palin signed into law was hard fought against many in her own party. Legislation she is most proud of was passed due to the bipartisan efforts of the Democrats. Sarah Palin got plenty of “atta girls” from the Left, but she traded them for the ire of the Right who labeled her a “Liberal Socialist.”

Some ask if Governor Palin is qualified to be Vice-President. She can learn anything. She is smart, and she’s an Alaskan woman. I have no qualms whether she could do the job, but how she would do it. Her patterns are similar to George W. Bush; her fundamentalist beliefs; her policy decisions; how she treats her opposition; her ability to keep secrets; her risky behaviors and fiercely loyal insiders some call Palinistas. I have no doubt that Sarah Palin can unite the Republican Party much like Ronald Reagan did. However, the Republican Party’s unification is not at stake, the country is. Sarah Palin will unite the party, Obama will unite the nation.

The snark, drivel, innuendo, and salacious rumors surrounding Palin are just that. This is the story of an Alaskan woman who could rule the world. The National Enquirer is crawling all over Wasilla looking for dirt that sells. Money for stories. It gives a new perspective on what John and Elizabeth Edwards went through. Because his dirt, the recommitment to “The War on Poverty” is lost; the soldiers lined up to fight the battle disbanded.

People in Alaska are forgiving. We are forgiving because we need forgiveness. I am really grateful for the second, third and more chances afforded to me. People didn’t talk about this stuff during the governor’s race because it wasn’t relevant. Our kids go to school together. We shop in the same grocery stores. Go to the same churches. Attend the same movies, concerts, and hockey games. In Alaska, there’s not a lot of room to burn bridges, even if you think they may lead to “Nowhere”.



  1. Do you really live in Homer? That was my port of call back in the early eighties. I got a sense of resourceful people.

    So do you think she had an affair while married to Todd?

  2. Why do you have to make your posts so damn thought provoking? I’m sure by now the McCain team has explained to Governor Gump what the VeePee does everyday but I would much prefer a candidate with more experience with government at the national level.

    Sure she may have people skills and familiarity with energy issues, but so did George Bush and we are all too well aware how that skill set played out. It takes so much more than that to be a heartbeat away from the nookoolur button.

    It’s heartwarming to see how protective Alaskans are of each other, goes with the frontier spirit you talked about in the interview, but more important it’s encouraging to see a fellow citizen speak out and stand up for something much, much more important, namely a government of, by and for we the people.

    Michael more just made the point on Larry King that Republicans, by being against the government, are actually against “we the people”. There’s another name for government haters. It rhymes with fascists.

    Thanks for speaking up.

  3. Palin strikes me like she must have been one of the mean girls in high school that I wouldn’t have been allowed to speak to, even if I’d wanted to. But unlike most of us, the ruthless manipulation and abject cruelty has continued into the present.
    I hear what you’re saying about tight knit community. I still run into Tony Knowles all the time [on a mountainside just the other day] and I marvel about how that wouldn’t happen anyplace else, and I feel a sense of responsibility to show some civility when I accidentally find myself standing next to someone whose viewpoint I abhor.
    I went out to Kincaid Park to go running a couple summers ago, unaware that the Republicans were having their picnic that day. That was the one where the Palinistas attacked the Murkowski supporters and were smacking them with the campaign sign posts. All these humungous SUVs with ribbon magnets in the parking lot, and people running around on a sunny summer afternoon in suits and gowns. Out on the trail I ran into an architect I worked for twenty years ago [just as much of a left-winger as I am] and I said, yeah, Tom, we should get the hell out of here before someone sees us and thinks we’re with that group.
    I think Americans as a whole get it, and will elect Obama this time, but I’ve been wrong with similar predictions before. Obama seems like about everything one could reasonably expect in a candidate. I would look forward to hearing a speech by him, something I haven’t been able to say since Clinton. Someone like Obama comes along rarely.
    And I’m as Alaskan as any of y’all, but I don’t think I owe any special allegiance because we’re involved in some sort of a struggle here. Most of us have it pretty good.

  4. Can anyone confirm or deny the racist/sexist statements referenced in this article?“racist-sexist-vindictive-and-mean”/

    Is it also true she refers to the real native Alaskans with epithets?

  5. Ms. Moore,

    I listened to your recent interview with Amy Goodman and we intrigued enough to find your blog.

    I too hail from a small town, smaller than Wasilla- my HS graduating class was comprised of 128 students- and have some sense of the notion that, under such conditions, one shouldn’t burn bridges.

    The secrets of a small town aren’t buried, they’re hidden in a spot only locals know. The price of entry into that spot of hidden secrets is the exposure of your own secrets.

    Unless, that is, one opts to move beyond that small town. I feel sorry for Mrs. Palin- the meat grinder of national politics is no place for a small town person. To survive she will need to lose that persona, a process that appears to me, albeit from a distant vantage point, to be happening quickly.

    You express the view that Mrs. Palin is qualified to be VP. I don’t disagree (with the exception of our current VP, that position has been more ceremonious than real).

    Is she, in your view, qualified to be President? Sen. McCain didn’t look that healthy at the RNC and Mrs. Palin’s allusion to Truman may prove prescient.

    My fear is that, like (in my opinion) Reagan and Bush the Younger, she could easily become a tool for those better informed.

    Despite an Ivy League education (Cornell) and years of living abroad (Singapore) it took me a long time to lose my provincial worldview (is that a Carlinesque oxymoron like jumbo-shrimp?).

    Could she learn enough, fast enough, to know when she’s getting bad info? Could her worldview expand enough to see that the Iraqis of Anbar and the Sufis of Iran, to cite two of many, are as possessive of their culture as Wasillans are of theirs?

    Just food for thought.

    By the way, I thought your interview went well, fwiw.


  6. Good writing, thank you.
    –I’m always wondering, what does it take for people to lie. Loss of the next paycheck, threats to a way of life?
    –The big Rove machine has found your beautiful country. Is there any hope for truth?

  7. Wow. Great perspective, Shannyn. And, I might add, nice picture, too.

    Sarah is many things. A change agent. A disruptor. A real shit-disturber. It’s wonderful that both democrats and republicans hate her guts. It reminds me why I’m a card-carrying member of the ACLU.

    Besides being the over-ambitious lightening rod for the pro-life crowd, she really has street cred when it comes to standing up to Big Oil and to our own hide-bound nearly-dead “R” leadership here at home.

    She’s a winner, IMHO. Although she’s not running for President, it’s clear to me that it is she, not McCain, that is forcing everyone to re-write the playbook. It’s refreshing.

    Keep up the great work, Shannyn.

  8. Dear Shannyn,

    Your loyal and faithful listeners MISS YOU so much!!!

    I still turn on KUDO every day at 3:00 p.m. and it’s like holding your breath in ‘worry-mode’ until CC’s voice comes on. I guess a lot of us are freaked out hoping that CC doesn’t up and disappear like you did. :o(

    It’s so incredibly sad when I think back of the awesome days of Aaron and his intreped producer, and Shannyn and the =smack= of the Lipsmackers that started the show that so many of us LOVED.

    Nothing against Randi Rhodes, but I know that every single listener out there (and there are far more than any bogus radio poll ever reported) would give anything to have you back again.

    If you drop in again and if you see this, can you please let us know if you’ll eventually (please, please, PLEASE) be back on the airwaves?????

    Your listeners miss you more than you will ever know!!

    If there was anything that we could do – letters, petitions, ANYTHING, we would DO IT.

    Let us know. Ok?

    Thank you Shannyn 😦

    Come back soon.

  9. I have lived in many small towns across the US and thus knew many of the local politicians. I can’t honestly say I know one single person that I would recommend to go to Washington. The reason that is true is because I knew these people personally which on one hand might seem like a good thing, but in reality personal bias, political bias just plain gets in the way. It is just plain easier to support a virtual stranger that each voter can put on a pedestal in their mind, choosing to believe what they want, and mostly ignoring the warts. All politicians will surround themselves with those that think like them and support the same values and replace all those prior that had allegiance to the prior elected official. Sad, but true. Bush is no different than all the others and neither will Obama or McCain be different.

    I have done a considerable amount of data checking regarding the life and times of Barack Obama prior to this run. He became a community organizer at the age of 24, answering an ad without any prior experience. During those 3 years his accomplishments were what? What really was his job requirements? At this point, the average Barack supporter just knows he was proud to be a community organizer but they haven’t a clue what that means. When he was the editor of the Law Review it has been reported that he never wrote any articles. When he worked for 10 years as a lawyer he spent a good deal of that time writing his books and thus did not apparently contribute to that law firm in any meaningful way having only been in court 10 times during those 10 years. My point is that the only people that know for sure what he did or didn’t do are those that worked beside him and frankly we don’t hear much from any of them which I find rather telling. So as a resume builder he could easily pad it by listing his actual employment, but leaving out the not so flattering lack of accomplishments. People do it all the time when they apply for jobs. They list that they belonged to certain big name organizations, or they ran for an office, but with some close scrutiny there is frequently not much there to talk about.

    It is much easier to look at Palin’s resume and check the facts because her accomplishments or failures are out there to review as is not the case for Barack prior to becoming an elected official. It would seem that once Obama became an elected official the facts about those years would be easy to investigate, but if the diggers, meaning the media, do not want to dig and present the failures as well the voters will never know the truth as they will with Sarah Palin’s record. If the media tries to dig into Barack’s past they are immediately branded a racist or some crazy conservative loon. That is because the liberal media isn’t the one doing the digging and so it is left up to the conservatives to do that work which often makes them look like they are on a witch hunt.

    From my perspective Palin has been treated like dirt from the liberal media as if the job she currently holds is akin to a meter maid. Regardless of party, I am appalled as a woman and have come to the realization that this country may be ready for a black president, but most definitely a woman candidate carries a much heavier burden and we have not broken the glass ceiling. I have absolutely no problem with careful scrutiny of Palin’s record so voters can be informed, but until the liberal media begins to do their job with democratic candidates(Edwards, as an example)this political campaign cycle is looking like a sham.

  10. 1 and white, female and grew up in a small town in Alaska as well. But unlike you, I don’t subscribe to ignorant racist thought as you write about in your “Bitter Proud” comment. Perhaps you who are obviously the angry right could call yourself the bitter proud?

    Remember the “He who lives in glass houses” motto?

    My skin color may be white. I may have grown up in a small town and be female, but I don’t plan on allowing your thinking about people who are not like you and me – black, hispanic, gay, disabled, weird, mentally ill or whatever you want to choose, I don’t plan on letting people like you elect someone who obviously discriminates against anyone who is not like you.

    Last – if you who seem to think of yourself as Christian, wants to call yourself that, think before you write angry bigoted things about others, whatever their political leanings. It’s plain un-Christian.


  11. at kristin: i’d vote for a community organizer over an entrenched republican politician any day of the week. community organizers are the backbone of the country. it is their work, usually outside of the government system that makes neighborhoods safe and lays the groundwork for all future improvements, even if politicans sail in and try to take credit for it later. i don’t see a win for palin [or kristin] by belittling or mocking community organizers. you both ought to know better! in the case of palin, she probably DOES know better but decided to say what she was told to say. she wasn’t going around talking shit about volunteerism and activism before she was on mc cain’s ticket, eh. either way [if she believes that crap or is acting as a mouthpiece], not a respectful or respectable position, not deserving of support, not leadership quality.

  12. Not from Alaska, but the people here in fly over country just like Sarah & McCain has always been liked. So as it is now the election is theirs to lose.
    Sen. Obama has chaired the senate sub-committee on Nato since Jan., 2007. Now the force fighting in Afghanistan is under Nato command, not U.S. military. Sen. Obama campaigned for all 2007 for the office of president, claiming that the U.S. didn’t finish fight in Afghanistan. Not one committee oversight hearing on Nato in Afghanistan. Now if you are running 24/7/365 to win a party caucus in Iowa why not resign the chairmanship sub-committee?
    His is a clear case of me first, country not even given consideration.
    Mccain/Palin is my choice.

  13. Is the person posting here by the name of Jane intoxicated?

    She’s rambling on, and yet none of her gibberish makes a lick o’ sense.

    Me thinks she has not done her homework on governor Palin.

    “Jane” has a lot, and I do mean a LOT, to learn!

    By the way, one can tell by Jane’s jibber that she does not know Shannyn Moore one iota.

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