You guys. You know I had just completed a big writing thing, didn’t you. You knew I’d finished it Saturday afternoon and was looking to wind down, chill out. It was great that you decided to get me something, but Sarah Palin? Resigning? You shouldn’t have.

No, really, you shouldn’t have. We were really still picking over the carcass of Mark Sanford, South Carolina governor, who, given a free pass on his indiscretions by the death of Michael Jackson, went out to confess more dalliances, and remark that he was ‘working hard to fall back in love with his wife.’ We had John Ensign, the naughty Nevadan, and the dismal failure of the second round anti-tax ‘tea parties’. There was a lot of stuff on the rack.

But I don’t seriously see how it will be possible to top the Palin resignation. At short notice, in front of the lake outside the Wasilla family home, the divine Sarah announced, to an accompaniment of hacking geese, that she was resigning from the governorship of Alaska, to work outside of conventional politics, that she ‘didn’t do politics as usual’ and didn’t want to be a lame-duck governor.

There was more much more. Manic, giggly, repetitive, Palin quoted Hamlet, President ‘Abe’ Lincoln, went into a three-minute analogy about basketball and politics (“it’s a passing game”) and a fridge magnet at her parent’s place to the effect of “never apologise, never explain”. Rambling wasn’t in it; it was a three-day hike in circles through the Hindu Kush, a new acme in the freestyle press conference genre, ending with the literal/parody quote from General MacArthur that “we are not retreating — just advancing in a different direction”. Put it together with back-to-back Mark Sanfords and there’s nearly an hour’s viewing pleasure.

Palin’s presser, short notice on the eve of the 4th July holiday, had one immediate reaction — thousands of bloggers groaning at the weekend BBQ and beer slipping away. To date the incident has logged more interpretation than the gnostic gospel of St Thomas. Usually such an announcement indicates a scandal, about to break on Monday — any other reason for announcing on July 3 is just bizarre. But this is Palinworld we’re talking about, where the bizzarro is normal.

Early reaction from the right was that Palin’s resignation is an indication that she was running for President, and a shrewd strategy — “a brilliant way to keep people guessing about you, perhaps?” the National Review’s’ corner blog opined. This optimism began to fade when it began to dawn on everyone what a boneheaded move it was, even for a 2012 election run — leaving the governorship half-way through her first term, in a state with the population of a mid-sized American city, and only a two-term mayorality behind that. If she was running for 2012, she would need to get out of Alaska by about this time next year — you can’t run from Alaska, it takes all day to get to Iowa — but the natural thing would have been to segue from governship to candidate in a single week, in ’10.

Another, rapidly discarded theory was that she was planning for a 2010 Senate run, which would put her up against the Alaska Republican machine that had only reluctantly ceded to her in 2006. But that would suggest a strategy of gradual and studied approach, learning on the job and making a play in 2016, not Palin’s style at all.

By day’s end the only person willing to stick with the “shrewd move” idea was the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, who had discovered Palin in the first place (during a conservative sea cruise to Alaska, form a queue).

So talk switched back to scandal, of which there is no shortage. Palin has scandals going back years. As mayor of Wasilla, her greatest anti-triumph was to build a sports complex without legally acquiring the land it is on. The municipality’s debt has ballooned to $25m and the case continues — it may yet bankrupt the place. As governor, there was the “Troopergate” scandal, concerning the sacking of her ex-brother-in-law, charging the state for the travel of her 151 children to New York to be insulted by David Letterman, etc, and double-dipping on second-residence allowances. The VP campaign generated brouhahas about the Palins doing a Wasilla Hillbilly act and looting clothing stores on the Republicans’ dime.

Now an entirely new one is coming over the hill, with reports that corruption charges may be laid, alleging that the Palins’ Wasilla home — a pretty imposing residence as your correspondent can attest, from the “patent Palin tour” Wasilla cab drivers were offering during last year’s media frenzy — was built using free labour and materials from the same company, SBS, which built the Wasilla sports complex, after winning a tender.

Federal investigators have subpoened SBS’s financial records, which means the whole thing is out of the Alaska ballpark, and can’t be controlled by Palin and her allies.

Round and round it goes. The third theory is that Palin is tired of the endless scrutiny from the media, not least the ridicule which tends to accompany everything she does. The recent 10,000-word profile in Vanity Fair — which gave an insight into the deep loathing and contempt Palin attracted within the McCain campaign in the last two months — wouldn’t have helped. Though there wasn’t much new, the story pinpointed McCain chief-of-staff Steve Schmidt as the campaign’s Palin-hater-in-chief.

Follow-up material was plentiful, with an especially funny email exchange in which Palin tried to convince Schmidt to put out a statement refuting charges that her husband Todd was a member of the crazy secessionist Alaska Independence Party, as “he only ticked that box on his voter registration by accident”. “He was a member for seven years”, Schmidt noted drily.

Palin’s global group of secret boyfriends — Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair, Oz charter members — have damned The Left for destroying Palin, and while it would be nice to claim that scalp, ‘taint so. Palin has far more to fear from the Republicans and she knows it.

The primaries would be no VP style free-pass. The same core-party operatives who destroyed John McCain in 2000 with rumours that his adopted Bangladeshi child was a half-black bastard would have swift-boated Palin on behalf of Mitt Romney. Does her career cause her to neglect her Downs-syndrome child? Is she responsible for her teen daughter’s pregnancy? And much much more. With daughter Bristol’s babyfather Levi Johnston announcing plans for a tell-all book, the wholesome mommy image would take a battering. “Sarah’s got a lot of spunk” one pundit noted, but sadly she’s not the only Palin gal with a supply of that material, am I right Bolter, ay ay? All grist for the mill. Romney wants both the base and northern moderate republicans, and his team would carve Palin up for breakfast.

Of course if this is a patent Palin special, a sudden flight of genius, against all advice (advice? Palin?) then it will be bestest thing ever — a product of Palin’s delusional belief in her own public image and her conviction that the rules don’t apply to her. Increasingly exasperated conservatives have been writing political public mash-notes to her, with helpful suggestions, most of which amount to a strangled cry of “read a book!”.

Palin’s proud know-nothingness may have thrilled the guns-n-god crowd, but intelligent conservatives knew that she lost far more votes than she gained — indeed, lost whole states like Indiana, otherwise trending Republican. The chutzpah of her press conference, with its claim that to serve a full term without the intent of re-election is to be a “lame duck”, is a perfect reversal of the position that service and ambition should hold in any honest notion of politics. The continued claim that Alaska — a federal-funded basket case — is some sort of beacon of small government is another lie that wouldn’t survive a primary winnowing.

The narcissistic bubble that Palin inhabits — such that she would see July 4 as a natural day to make it all about her — is, like Mark Sanford’s crazy Argentinian adventures, or the self-indulgent tea parties — the effect of a political movement in such disarray that its proponents can only sustain themselves with illusion and diversion. Most of the Republican big-beasts — Huckabee, Rove — have washed their hands of her, though she may well prove useful as a sort of party cheerleader, which is what she seems to aspire to.

Just about her last publicity appearance was an interview in Runner’s World, which featured her in full jogging gear, and sheer pantihose, looking like an extra in a Devo film clip, in which she challenged Obama to a running race. In like spirit her remnant supporters go into the standard deeply confused political er-tics of the right, one praising her “balls of steel”, another urging her to be “Big Daddy to Obama’s soft mama”(!?!).

Ah man, gosh darn it, you betcha she’ll be back, golly gee willikers let’s hope so. God knows what we’re going to do for fun for the rest of the year. Anyway that was my weekend. Whadjuwdo?