While I have never visited Sarah Palin's hometown of Wasilla, having merely flown over it coming into Anchorage from Tokyo a couple of times, in a way I have. This is because Wasilla is like other dreary towns that I am familiar with where many people are broke or bored and seek out drugs to help ease the pain.
For that Sherry Johnston, Palin's presumed future sister-in-law and dealer in a powerful heroin-like drug called Oxycontin, should be understood if not necessarily excused. Palin herself, who was spared the embarrassment of Johnston being busted during the presidential campaign because state troopers held off apprehending her until after the election, deserves no such sympathy.
While the child expected any day as the result of the bump and grind between Palin'a daughter Bristol and Johnston's son Levi had no say in who his parents and grandparents would be, Grandmother Sarah was afforded a great opportunity to bring the positive aspects about small-town America to the national stage while educating us about their needs.
Instead, Palin yammered on endlessly with a studied superficiality about "real" Americans as opposed to uppity urban elites like a certain black couple from Chicago. Johnston and other Wasilla residents are indeed very real. They also are members of an enormous and growing underclass whoses problems Palin and her Republican Party don't have the time of day for.
To the extent the story of the delayed bust has gotten attention, the focus inevitably has been on, as one blogger opined, whether it was "to preserve any chance McCain/Palin had of winning Alaska and other Republican states? Or was it just to avoid embarrassment to McCain/Palin?"
It probably wasn't. But conspiracy tripping is a splendid opportunity to miss the larger story: Had the Republicans won the election, Bristol's son would have been in the unusual position of having one grandmother in the White House and the other in prison. Talk about a teaching moment!