LET’S DEFINE ‘COOPERATE’…. If all you read was the headline, you might think there’s been an encouraging breakthrough on Sarah Palin’s ongoing “Troopergate” scandal. CNN reported, “Palin ‘ready to cooperate’ in firing probe, lawyer says.”

Sounds great, right? Palin, after initially vowing her full cooperation with an independent investigation launched by the Alaskan legislature, has since decided to stonewall and obstruct the process. If the governor is now “ready to cooperate,” that’s a rather dramatic and unexpected change of heart.

Except, the headline isn’t helpful. Palin isn’t “ready to cooperate” with the Troopergate probe; she’s “ready to cooperate” with a different Troopergate probe.

Less than a week after balking at the Alaska Legislature’s investigation into her alleged abuse of power, Gov. Sarah Palin on Monday indicated she will cooperate with a separate probe run by people she can fire.

An attorney for the GOP vice presidential nominee met with an investigator for the state Personnel Board to discuss sharing documents and schedule witness interviews, McCain spokeswoman Meg Stapleton said.

So, Palin vowed to cooperate with the legislature’s investigation. Then she decided she wanted to be the vice president, broke her word, and decided to stonewall. As an alternative, though, Palin is perfectly content to cooperate with a parallel investigation from the state personnel board — every member of which just happens to serve at the will of the governor.

Palin refuses to cooperate with the actual probe, and her husband and aides have decided to blow off legislative subpoenas, but anything the state personnel board asks for, her lawyer said, the state personnel board will get.

“Ready to cooperate”? That’s not quite how I would have put it.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.