Look, I know Sarah Palin is just being told what to say by the McCain people. She has demonstrated herself to be just as detached and incurious as the current occupant of the White House, in that she obviously doesn’t read news of any kind, and she didn’t know anything about foreign policy, or that there even was such a thing, until about six weeks ago, when she was tapped for vice president out of the blue.
So, how was she to know that all of these accusations she’s now throwing out on the campaign trail have been debunked already? I mean, golly; Sean Hannity just handed her a sheet of paper with a buncha stuff on it, and told her to read it, and well, she did, you betcha! How can it be her fault? She’s just a "hockey mom," with a "Joe Six-Pack" husband and five really swell kids. (one is a little more swelled than others, dontcha know, but gee whiz, we don’t need to be talkin’ ’bout that, you betcha!)
(Okay, that’s enough of trying to imitate Palin; I don’t know how Tina Fey does it without giving herself a hernia.)
Now, I know the conventional wisdom lately has been to praise Caribou Barbie as a great politician, who can attract great crowds and is making a huge difference to the McCain campaign, but frankly, she has almost as many skeletons in her closet as John McCain, especially given her limited time in the political arena, and the Hannity-fed rocks she’s "throwin’" are probably not the wisest thing to be tossing, when you live in such a breakable house.
Here are a few examples;
- In the most obvious example, known as "Troopergate," Palin is
being investigated by Republicans in a Republican-led legislature for
abusing her office. She allegedly ordered the head of the State Police
to fire her ex-brother-in-law, after a very nasty divorce with her sister, and fired the head of the State Police when he refused to do so.
- She likes to brag about reducing taxes as governor, but there are
almost no taxes to reduce. More than 85% of the state’s coffers are
filled by oil revenues and — are you ready for this? — a windfall
profits tax on oil companies operating in the state.
- According to a new story in the Wall Street Journal, she apparently forgot to pay federal income taxes on $25,000 in reimbursements she received for travel involving her family.
- Though she was all about transparency and openness during her
campaign for governor, and though she went into office and immediately
posted the state’s checkbook online, her 20 months as Alaskan governor
has been marked by secretive, and quite possibly illegal behavior, such
as conducting public business via a personal e-mail account, and then
trying to skirt Alaska Freedom of Information laws to keep the
correspondence secret. Her personally-appointed Attorney General has
ruled that personal communications on state-provided cell phones and
Blackberries can be kept secret, as well.
- As Mayor of the town of Wasilla, she brags of cutting taxes
during her time there. What she tends to not discuss was her
"borrow-and-spend" regimen as Mayor, in which she cut revenues and
proceeded to spend money the town didn’t have on improvements. Thus, a
balanced budget when she took office became a $20 million town debt
when she left.
- The biggest project Palin took on as Mayor of Wasilla was to
build a town hockey rink. Only, work on the rink was started before the
town has clear title to the land, a little move that led to litigation
and delays, and a cost of $1.3 million extra.
- Caribou Barbie has closer ties to the Alaskan Secessionist
movement than the McCain people want you to believe. Her husband, the
infamous Todd, has been registered with the Alaskan Independence Party
since the 1980s, and just six months ago or so, Governor Sarah Palin videotaped a welcome speech for the Alaskan Independence Party’s convention.
- As Caribou Barbie discusses Barack Obama’s "pastor problem," she ignores one of her own. Actually, several of her own. Pastor Mike Rose, in a July 8, 2007 sermon, said, Those that die without Christ have a horrible, horrible surprise.” David Pepper, in a November 25, 2007 sermon, said, “The
purpose for the United States is… to glorify God. This nation is a
Christian nation.” And Palin and her entire family were in the pews on
August 17 of this year, less than two weeks before becoming McCain’s
running mate, when the founder of Jews for Jesus, David Brickner,
claimed that the strife Israel faces, and the constant upheavel in the
Middle East, is due to Jews and Muslims not accepting Christ. Imagine
if someone at Obama’s church had said the following, with Obama confirmed to have been in attendance:
What we see in Israel, the conflict that is spilled out throughout the
Middle East, really which is all about Jerusalem, is an ongoing
reflection of the fact that there is judgment. There is judgment that
is going on in the land, and that’s the other part of this Jerusalem
Dilemma. When Jesus was standing in that temple, He spoke that that
judgment was coming, that there’s a reality to the judgment of
unbelief. He said "I long to gather you, but…" what? "You were
unwilling." God never forces His way on human beings. And so because
Jerusalem was unwilling to receive His grace, judgment was coming. He
says, "Look, your house has left you desolate!"… Judgment is very
real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the
television. It’s very real."
There you have it.
Here, you have a woman who, if McCain pulls off a miracle upset, will
be a heartbeat away from the presidency, behind a man who is in his
70s, and not in the greatest of health. Yet, she is intellectually
incurious, detached, secretive and unabashedly far right wing.
Haven’t we just had that for the last eight years? Do we need another one?
Now, can we drop this nonsense, and get back to issues people care about?