The summer of 2009 will be marked by two major events: the incredible and unsufferable rise in temperature overall, and the successive deaths of major names in pop culture one after the other, dropping like flies. From Farrah Fawcett to Michael Jackson, from Bill Mays to Ed McMahon, it is easy to say that the end of the first decade of the third millenium is pretty much about wiping the slate clean. In this spirit of cleansing and renewal, Sarah Palin is also helping the matters at hand by doing the undoable, once again pushing further the limits of what’s on her to-do list. Sarah Palin stepped down from her position of Governor of Alaska, for reasons that still remain unknown and will entertain the political mysteries of the New Continent for about as long as the debate surrounding her real, diagnosed IQ did.

buh-bye, sarah

buh-bye, sarah

In short, this means Sarah Palin is leaving her political position to pursue other aspirations that she would perhaps consider herself more qualified for. It means that we will not have to fear Sarah Palin until at least 2012, when things start feeling sour and bitter again. More importantly, it means that Sarah Palin will be nowhere near a position in which she will have to make decisions for the local or national majority. By deciding to step down from her governor seat, Sarah Palin decided to make the world a better, safer place – at least for the time being. We all know that the moose-hunter who got her diplomacy degree from the back of a Starbucks cup has more to offer than her square-rimmed glasses let us believe, and that she is not going to leave the comfortable red cushions of the GOP anytime soon. Despite the terrible punches and blows she received post-election from McCain’s camp, Sarah Palin is a trooper who was nicknamed after a Heart song. She does not give up that easily. I would have respect for it if I wasn’t so deeply concerned for the consequences.

Now the question on everyone’s lips revolves around the reasons why. Why would Sarah Palin abandon the State for which she’s done so much? Backing up the Bridge To Nowhere, letting down the Bridge To Nowhere, legalize moose-hunting, forcing sexually abused girls to pay for their own rape kit, being the first strip of land Vladimir Putin encounters when he raises his head over American airspace; the state of Alaska owes Palin, especially for helping to put the state on the map, and not be that crazy cousin no one ever comes to visit but still sends a Christmas card to because he has a lot of oil. Alaska has a lot to offer: from being the state with the highest rape statistics to being the last one in density of population, Alaska is full of contradictions, paradoxes, mysteries, conspiracies, and absolutely inintelligible concepts. Much like Sarah Palin herself, who claimed her resignation is due to being a “victim” (again) of a “violent political blood sport”.

Violent. Political. Blood Sport. Contrary to all blood sports that are not violent, or or to violent political sports that are not bloody, Sarah Palin is hammering the oxymoron nail in order to once again instill sympathy in various consistituencies, by playing her favorite card – the political damsel in distress, completely bemused by the horrid and mysogynistic ways of mainstream media, thrown out to the world by a predominantly male political party, and still confused as to what her role was in all this masquerade the 2008 election was. Sarah Palin believes she has been instrumentalized then abandoned on the side of the highway, and, well, there has been a little of that, but there has also been a lot of manipulaton on her part. From banking on the terrible condition of baby Trig in order to reach out to the broken hearts of all hockey moms nationwide, moving on to gag daughter Bristol after a oh-so-rare outburst of sincerity in the press, Palin may know the media way more than she first told us she did. Either she is one of the smartest women to have walked the rotten planks of conservative politics, or she has recently captured a leprechaun and tied it to her radiator to exploit his pot of gold. Either way, there is more to Palin’s story than we think.

Joe Biden, however, is nonplussed by the situation. To the Senate veteran, Sarah Palin’s decision has nothing to do with giving in on what an alleged conspiratorial liberal world has pressured her to do – he believes her own family and personal issues were the trigger of the resignation. “Those who’ve been deeply involved in politics know at the end of the day that it is really and truly a personal deal,” Biden said, “and personal family decisions have a real impact on people’s decisions.” It is unclear whether this is a real personal motive or a willingness to see a clear coast in the race towards the next presidential election, or even that of lurking over a Senate seat. Sarah Palin, once the shining star of the Republican Party, the beacon of hope for neo-conservatives, and an appealing role model to all the Elizabeth Hasselbeck of this world, is perceived as being a quitter, but not of the pathetic, loser kind. Baraccuda is not just denouncing the “superficial” aspect of politics by stepping down, she is also creating a controversy regarding the fact she is indeed abandoning her state, for which she’s fought throughout most of the year 2008 so it gets the proper recognition it deserved.  Using one of her run-on metaphors she’s become quickly accustomed to, she compared herself to a basketball point guard who according to her “knows when to step down so her team can win”.

Prophecy? Fortune telling? Conspiracy theory? We will never know, but as much as we all rejoice at the idea of seeing a Palin-less nation, it is easy to place bets on her big come-back – within the next few years, months, or even weeks. Sarah Palin has mastered the game of theater politics, and I am not sure she is that ready to leave center stage yet.