Lame answer to lame duck matter

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has been taking some well-earned broadsides over her idiotic decision to quit her office.

She said she didn’t want to become a “lame duck.”

OK. The 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution confers lame-duck status on presidents the moment they’re re-elected to a second term. Did she consider President Bush a mere “lame duck” when voters re-elected him in 2004? I think not.

Palin’s excuse was that she didn’t want to fall into the trap that grabs lame ducks. She could have said she’d just stay on do her job. But no-o-o-o. She branded herself a quitter.

Many of us in the Lower 48 are still trying to figure out what went through her mind when she decided to give up on this office, causing all the chatter among political junkies. She might not yet know herself. Perhaps she’ll make it up as she goes along.

I am reminded, however, of another approach to this lame duck matter. A one-time lawman back in Oregon was appointed in 1982 to a sheriff’s position after the incumbent got himself into an ethical bind. The sheriff quit, forcing the county commissioners to appoint the new top man to serve out the remainder of the former sheriff’s term. The new guy, Bill Brooks, then announced immediately he would run for election in Clackamas County, Ore. His reason? “If I don’t, then I become a lame duck and people will try to bulldoze things past me,” he told me, “and I don’t bulldoze worth a (bleep).”

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