A former Palin aide is making waves in the Christian political community after releasing a tell-all memoire of his experiences with the ex-governor. Frank Bailey figured prominently in the scandal over the firing of Palin’s ex-brother-in-law — allegedly in retribution for divorcing Palin’s sister. He was an aide from 2005 – 2009, when Palin left the governor’s mansion.
The Christian Post reports that the book paints an unflattering portrait of Governor Palin and her transformation from a “fresh faced” candidate to a manipulator and outright liar:
He turned his career with Palin into an idol and began to do things such as bashing candidates with made-up blog names and manipulating online polls in Palin’s favor… According to Bailey, Palin was aware of what he was doing and even sent him the polls so that he could rig them. Palin also did things that were illegal and dishonest, he claimed.
Aside from his admitted fraudulent political activity, Bailey admits to sins closer to home:
However, as Palin began to garner media attention, he began neglecting his wife and children to devote himself to her political career. “I shed all of my family commitment and everything to basically put to this one person I basically put on a pedestal,” he said.
In itself, this sort of expose is nothing new. Palin’s political opponents have been certain of her questionable character all along, and the Republican Party is quick to distance itself from anyone with the stink of spiritual corruption. All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.
What is interesting — ironically — is the moral in the story of Christians’ reaction to Bailey’s confession:
Becky Dean Boyer wrote, “What a fine Christian example he’s setting, using the framework of faith and the church to hurt a sister in Christ … if he is indeed ‘in Christ.’”
What a fine Christian example, indeed! Here is the crux of the issue for many believers. Who is the True Christian™? Which participant in this morality play is touched by the invisible hand of God’s perfect plan? Is it Palin, who directed Bailey to rig polls and foment controversy where perhaps none existed? Or is it Bailey, who had the courage to stand up and admit his sins — for his thirty pieces?
While this is certainly a political debate, it is also religious. To a non-Christian observer, there is another option: Both people are corrupt and unworthy of our trust. There is no greater plan involved with Palin’s meteoric rise in popularity — save the plan of Republican strategists looking for a “wholesome woman” to appeal to Christian female voters.
To many Christians, however, this is a cosmic struggle. God has a plan, and America is the lynchpin. The Republican Party is the vehicle. More importantly — much more importantly — any “indiscretions” along the way are justifiable if they further the effort of God’s chosen party. If God has chosen Palin, then Palin’s “sins” are not only forgivable, but understandable, since the hand of Satan is working through the vile Democrats. If Palin fails, Bailey will be reinterpreted as the hand of the invisible, bringing balance to the force, as it were.
In either case, there will be no questioning of ethics on a grand scale. No re-evaluation of the party’s goals. After all, one does not question the will of God. Like the church, the Party is inviolate. Whatever becomes of Palin and her former partner in crime, the assault on God’s enemies will continue, and the latest scapegoat will fall by the wayside, another victim of “True Christianity,” judged not by the morality of its leaders, but by how much power they wield.