And across the land emotions ranged from wailing and gnashing of teeth, to the gleeful satisfaction that the endless attacks had succeeded.
The Anchoress has an uber-roundup here that covers the various reactions.
I have little to say to her DailyKos, Andy Sullivan type critics, but to my conservative friends, look at this way. By leaving now, she frees up the administration from the endless cost and wasted time created by the frivolous ethics complaints. The person who will replace her now has that formerly wasted time and resources to accomplish more for Alaska and with his name on it, which puts him in a much better position for the next election. Sure, she could have just decided not to run for a second term, but that would not stop the attacks. In fact, they probably would have intensified due to speculation that she was aiming for a Senate run in 2010 or for President in 2012. It takes some lack of pride to do what will be seen as cowardly by so many, because one believes it is the best thing for Alaska and the country.
It's unrealistic to think she could have changed the ethics law that was being used against her so inappropriately. If she tried to support changing it, when she had previously supported the law, the charge would be that she has something to hide. If she offered the reasonable and truthful explanation that it was being abused for partisan means, she would be criticized for constantly whining about the attacks and biased coverage from the media. She can now campaign for others as she sees fit, unencumbered by that mess. It wouldn't do her much good to win the presidency if Congress is even more in the hands of the Democrats, even if she decides to run later than 2012. She also now has time to burnish her image without that also piling up ridiculous ethics complaints and burdening her administration even more.
Unorthodox? yep! Shocking? yep! End of the world!!? nah!
Of course all the above goes splat if some legitimate scandal comes out. But if it does, she's already shown she has more balls than ethics deficient Democrats and Governor Mark Sanford, who can't seem to get away from a microphone and think about his family, the GOP, or his administration.
Hopefully this is not health related. If it is, her hyper-partisan critics should feel a great deal of shame for the glee they have right now. Don't worry I wont hold my breath expecting them to have any.
So to my conservative friends, take a deep breath, enjoy the holiday with family and friends and let’s wait to see what happens next.