Attorney General Rudy Giuliani. Secretary of State Newt Gingrich. Secretary of Defense Mike Flynn. Secretary of Commerce Mike Huckabee. These are names that provoke fear and loathing, understandably. By contrast, everyone should be thrilled that Sarah Palin is being considered for the job of secretary of the interior.
Why? It’s simple.
Donald Trump is, based on early appearances, not going to represent a real break with America’s glorious past. The good news is that he’s not going to install a fascist government, a risk I always thought was overblown. The bad news is that he’s going to lead a conventional, radical right-wing government, along the lines of the Reagan administration and more or less compatible with contemporary GOP thinking, meaning retrograde social policies and economic steps that favor business and the wealthy
Whoever Trump names to be interior secretary — energy executive Forrest Lucas is another name that has been floated — the environment is going to be under immediate assault. But if you care about the environment — and as I always note, it’s just not one of my big priorities — Sarah Palin is your best friend.
Think back to the Reagan years, when James Watt was named secretary of the interior. As Alexander Cockburn wrote back then, this was a man who, similarly to Palin, was clinging to the very cliff edge of sanity. A millennialist Christian, he argued that protecting the environment was a waste of “God’s gift to mankind” and he preferred to destroy it since “I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns.”
Every time the Democrats called Watt to testify before congress, support for environmental protection would climb nationally by leaps and bounds among the terrified populace. Watt, who was also rather famously corrupt, was forced to resign when he attacked affirmative action on the grounds that he couldn’t even set up a government panel without finding “a black, a woman, a Jew, and a person in a wheelchair.”
Imagine what will happen under Sarah Palin? Sure, her policies will be awful but in terms of entertainment value, she’s pure gold. And unlike a bland front man like Lucas, she’s almost guaranteed to generate a backlash against Trump’s sure-to-be rape and pillage policies.
So stop worrying, enjoy your weekend, and always remember, it’s all about perspective.