Naming the ‘countless others’

NAMING THE ‘COUNTLESS OTHERS’…. Over the weekend, in a Facebook message, Sarah Palin defended her resignation as a routine development. “[T]hough it’s honorable for countless others to leave their positions for a higher calling and without finishing a term,” the governor wrote in an awkwardly-written sentence, “of course we know by now, for some reason a different standard applies for the decisions I make.”

I suggested Palin should actually name some of these “countless examples.” Today, she did, so I suppose it’s only fair to follow up. (via David Weigel)

Palin responded Monday by saying there’s a double standard. She brought up the fact Murkowski left the Legislature when her father, then-governor Frank Murkowski, appointed her to the U.S. Senate seat he gave up to become governor.

“The double standard that’s applied here is a bit perplexing. … Didn’t Lisa Murkowski leave office to go take her dad’s seat? (Govs.) Huntsman left, Napolitano just left … ,” Palin said, referring to governors who took positions in President Obama’s administration.

Look, no one has said that it’s unprecedented for an officeholder to give up his or her post for a different job. Lisa Murkowski left the state legislature to join the Senate. Huntsman became the U.S. ambassador to China. Napolitano became the Secretary of Homeland Security. There’s nothing unusual about any of this. It’s happened in U.S. politics for centuries.

But in order for there to be a “double standard,” political observers would have to compare two similar developments in different ways. Giving up a governorship to join a president’s cabinet is not the same as giving up a governorship because one has a desire to “effect positive change outside government” and has decided “one term is enough.”

There’s nothing to be “perplexed” about.