Finding the nobility in quitting

FINDING THE NOBILITY IN QUITTING…. Thomas Van Flein, the letter-writing attorney for Sarah Palin, appeared on MSNBC this afternoon to talk a bit about his client. He was asked whether the soon-to-be-ex governor is “upset” that nearly everyone who heard Palin’s speech on Friday thought it was “rambling.”

“Well, I don’t think she’s upset. What I think is, she sees it as the standard criticism that she receives…. She’s actually very articulate. I didn’t find her speech rambling at all. She laid out exactly the reasons she had for stepping down and it was really a form of self-sacrifice.”

Fascinating. Palin’s decision to quit after two and a half years on the job is a matter of “self-sacrifice.” It’s almost as if Van Flein would have us believe that Palin didn’t want to quit, but she felt compelled to do it anyway. It is, after all, about “country.” Or “state.” Or something; it’s hard to keep track.

As for the notion that Palin “laid out exactly the reasons she had for stepping down,” it’d be great of Van Flein to elaborate on this a little. Because, at this point, no one, anywhere, seems to have the foggiest idea what the outgoing governor is thinking — and she’s not doing interviews.

The best I can surmise, based on her ridiculous speech and follow-up on Facebook, is that Palin thinks she should resign because she’s facing “a full-court press from the national level”; she doesn’t think she’ll be able to govern for the next year and a half; she doesn’t want to take the “quitter’s way out”; and she has a desire to “effect positive change outside government.”

Is this what passes for “exact” reasons in Palin World? For that matter, is this what passes for “very articulate” in Palin World?

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Steve Benen

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.