Sarah Palin rode into Minneapolis (in an American SUV, I suppose) and charged through the Republican National Convention with a whole train load of excess baggage ...and dubious "facts."
(Credit where credit is due: some pieces of this post are from Associated Press: September 3, 2008 11:48 PM EST. They will be noted with different color/text)
I read the speech: how enlightening! How Invigorating! How nauseatingly hyperbolic and riddled with errors!
We all knew that Sarah Palin was going to do a James Dobson: "Focus on Her Family." She talked about her hometown as if it were Hometown U.S.A. And that running it was a lot like being Vice President of the United States. And about all of the momentous decisions she's had to make while she's been governor of the largest state in the Union (albeit the smallest population)
Of course, the small town Republicans she's talking about REALLY DO BITTERLY CLING TO THEIR RELIGION AND GUNS, in Scranton, anyway. And she shot a "liberal" dig at San Francisco. We ought to charge her for all the tourist revenue we lose from Scranton.
"I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening.
We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco."
Translation: Reporters and commentators aren't really people. This would be true if she singled out Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin, but the media is very sensitive about being portrayed as inhuman. Anderson Cooper looks very human to me (and to a lot of other admirers)
"But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion - I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people."
"Americans expect...with the right people."
Hmmm. But WASHINGTON expects you to. If you don't mingle with the right crowd of senators, congressmen and (dare we say it?) lobbyists, you might as well as stay in Alaska and shoot more moose.
Tell that to George W. Bush who thinks that everyone agrees with him, but they poll differently because of the devil.
"But we are expected to govern with integrity, good will, clear convictions, and ... a servant's heart."
"Integrity." "Good will." "Clear convictions." "Servant's heart." Bullshit. Stood up to "special interests" "lobbyists" "Good-ol' boys network." Right. When you're shooting moose with the good ol' boys, you're really standing up to them!
"This was the spirit that brought me to the governor's office, when I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau ... when I stood up to the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good-ol' boys network."
"I told the Congress "thanks, but no thanks," for that Bridge to Nowhere."
THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."
"And despite fierce opposition from oil company lobbyists, who kind of liked things the way they were, we broke their monopoly on power and resources."
That's because she wanted ALL the oil companies to come in on the deal!
Oh, what a good girl! Good Girl! Just what George, I mean John, wanted her to say. She already sounds like she espouses "cowboy diplomacy."
"With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus, and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers."
But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed ... when the roar of the crowd fades away ... when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot - what exactly is our opponent's plan?I thought the Greek columns were rather cool and sedate myself. And things were staged better than what the Republicans could have come up with. Those columns were obviously reminiscent of Washington - specifically the Lincoln Memorial. Note to Palin: remember to read up on who Lincoln was.
"...it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform _ not even in the state senate."Uh, I'd talk to Mr. Obama about that.
THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.
THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama's plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain's plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.
"The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars."
John McCain carries Palin's errors and ill-used logic to promote her capabilities:
MCCAIN: "She's the commander of the Alaska National Guard. ... She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities," he said on ABC.THE FACTS: While governors are in charge of their state guard units, that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military service.
And finally, Sarah Palin's big money quote:
If John McCain has promoted change for the last twenty years, he's quite a bad promoter, Mrs. Mooseburger, I mean, Governor Palin.
In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.
Just a thought.