Small Town Valuables: Sarah Palin’s Sister-in-Law Arrested for Burglary — As Tabloid Show Prepares Segment on Family

225px-palin1Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is having a particularly difficult time going national with her small town and family values theme without the cooperation of her family. During the campaign, Palin had to address the teenage pregnancy of her daughter Bristol. The campaign promptly announced that the teen father, Levi Johnston, would marry Bristol. (After the campaign, it was announced that the marriage was off). Then Britstol’s mother-in-law, Sherry Johnston, was arrested as a drug dealer. Now, Todd Palin’s half-sister, Diana Palin, 35, has been arrested for burglary while Levi Johnston has accepted an invitation to participate in a tell-all, tabloid show (The Tyra Banks Show).

I tend to be less interested in the family problems of celebrities and rarely post such stories unless they have legal or policy implications. However, Palin represents a damaging trend in American politics that portrays her family and small town as somehow morally superior or more patriotic than the rest of the country. Just as Gary Hart could not object to people following his private life when he invited the scrutiny, Palin cannot both use her family and town as a model and then condemn the media attention that follows such a campaign.

The ongoing episodes of Palin Peyton Place should focus attention on the need for politicians to move away from the moralistic and divisive politics that characterized the Palin “small town values and family values” campaign. Had Palin not used her family and her town as a critical part of her campaign, such matters would be dismissed as matter for tabloid interest alone.

Diana Palin was arrested in Sarah Palin’s hometown of Wasilla allegedly breaking into a house in a robbery attempt. Police say that the house had already been burgled twice that week and Diana went straight to a bedroom cabinet where cash was stowed. She was surprised by the owner, Theodore Turcott, with a handgun who emerged from the bathroom.

To make things worse, Diana brought her 4-year-old daughter on the job and the four-year-old came into the house during the attempted burglary in a scene much like the one recently in Washington state.

While such family felons is not good for any politician, Palin has emphasized family and small town values to distinguish her from politicians from major cities. She also emphasized her own family as such a model. Obviously, she can hardly be blamed for the actions of family members, but the entire thrust of the campaign insulted many people who felt that the Palin campaign was suggesting that liberal and big city families were somehow morally wanting.

In the meantime, Sarah Palin’s representative released a blistering statement on Levi Johnston’s
tell-all segment
on Tyra Banks where he reportedly discussed issues like his sex life with Bristol and what he views as her hostile or strange behavior. The Palin family stated:

“Bristol did not even know Levi was going on the show. We’re disappointed that Levi and his family, in a quest for fame, attention, and fortune, are engaging in flat-out lies, gross exaggeration, and even distortion of their relationship. Bristol’s focus will remain on raising Tripp, completing her education, and advocating abstinence. . . . It is unfortunate that Levi finds it more appealing to exploit his previous relationship with Bristol than to contribute to the well being of the child. . . . Bristol realizes now that she made a mistake in her relationship and is the one taking responsibility for their actions.”

I have no intention in watching the show and frankly agreed with Sarah Palin that Levi is a creep for doing such a show. However, for those of us who object to the incorporation of religion into politics by Palin and others, this is really a case of the chickens coming home to roost. The problem with using your family as a national model — if not political props — is that the image rises or falls on the family. More importantly, the suggestion that small towns like Wasilla are morally superior or more patriotic was a classic divide-and-conquer political ploy that has now backfired mightily for the Palin camp. From witchhunters to oxycotin dealers, Wasilla has not proven a particularly great model for such national exposure as the superior way of life.

In the meantime, Palin was dumped as the speaker for a major dinner in Washington in an open tiff with Republican leaders, here.

For the latest on the story, click here.

19 thoughts on “Small Town Valuables: Sarah Palin’s Sister-in-Law Arrested for Burglary — As Tabloid Show Prepares Segment on Family”

  1. I understand shit happens, but it USUALLY excludes you from a presidential run! This is just non stop torrential…her platform IS Conservative Christian VALUES. Her first boy was arrested for tampering with school bus brakes, that´s how he started his glorious military stint!

    Sarah Palin-Tonya Harding 2012!

  2. rafflaw:

    “have to admit that the Palin Family is sure to be a hit on reality TV…”


    I even have the name for the show reserved: “Pallin’ With The Pallins.”

  3. Mespo,
    Well said. I have to admit that the Palin Family is sure to be a hit on reality TV with their idiotic antics. I can’t wait until the next episode.

  4. Messpo727272,

    Would that make them all little Eichmans’? If so, Then I will take your socially conservative comments, as true.

    I am for the Red, White and Blue. But W is not Redneck. Heck, he did bankrupt 2 oil companies before Tom Hicks gave him a seat on the Texas Ranger Baseball and then the rest is history. He ain’t even Texan. He is from Out East somewhere. It was only after Daddy, found that Texas could save him 245k on his Maine Estate Taxes that he decided to call Texas home.

    But then again, its not the first home for deadbeats, we now have, R. Allen Stafford. But then again, the founders of Texas were originally running from some creditor.

    Do tell.

  5. LIsa Graas:

    “This is textbook yellow journalism.”


    If one practices yellow journalism against rednecks who are trying to don the purple by wrapping themselves in the red, white and blue, in a pathetic effort to grab all the green and thus leave us all blue, do we now have black-hearted Republicans in Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition?

  6. Is Textbook journalism like Yellow snow?

    I amuse myself, even if you are not.

  7. I have it on good authority that John McCain dragged a ten dollar bill through a trailer park to find Cousin Sarah and her crowd. (My apologies to trailer parks, their inhabitants, and Jim Carville- who coined the phrase)

  8. Well did not Perot say that you keep you Crazy Aunt in the Attic? Oh My, I am going to have to decide whether to vote for Palin for President again. She is the utmost respectable politician that we have had in decades. She is the Korner Stone of social values, political morals, Governor, Politican and I bet she was sorry that Ted Stevens was convicted by people in her own party.

    She is the enigma of all as a male can strive to be. I expect when she hears strap on, she thinks of her guns first.

    I am sorry if I offended anyone. She is not anyone I want t be president. OMG.

  9. What is truly frightening, though, is the fact that despite all the antics, there are probably millions of Americans who would support Sarah Palin if she is still on the national stage in four years. Political extremists can rationalize anything in pursuit of their political goals.

  10. “There are strange things done in the midnight sun
    By the men who moil for gold;
    The Arctic trails have their secret tales
    That would make your blood run cold;
    The Northern Lights have seen queer sights”

    Robert Service, the Cremation of Sam McGee

  11. The ludicrous antics of Gov. Palin and her clan transparently betrays brazen political positioning for a much more amusing and remunerative office of public trust than the Oval Orifice. Clearly these degenerate grasping bumpkins intend to ensconce the former Governor, and who knows what other nutty Wasilla hooligan, into one or both of the two Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas bench vacancies.

    The attempt to demonstrate personal and political standards consistent with the depravity of Luzerne County, PA politicians is intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer. Nice try, Governor, but you’re not ready for the big leagues. NE Pennsylvania has been at this for three centuries and isn’t ready to admit amateurs and diletantes to practice a highly prized regional professional art.

  12. Small town moral values out in the open for all to see. Sarah Palin is the biggest political joke since Alan Keyes. I agree with rcampbell that the best thing for the country is for Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh be the face of the Republican party for the next four years. What fun we will have. It will be like a Springer show.

  13. Prof,

    I generally think anyone going on that type of show is a creep, but in Levi’s defense, he is owed some payback for being paraded in front of the campaign cameras like a pony. More accurately, like a coyote looking to chew his own leg off to get out of a trap. Sliming Sarah? Eh, I just can’t get that worked up about the injustice. Sliming Bristol? Yeah, it’s bad form, but how else can the boy strike back at the potential Mother-In-Law from Hell?

  14. Oh, please let the GOP nominate her in 2012. Please, let hers and Rush Limbaugh’s be their most public faces for the next four years, please, please!!

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