Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Learning more about Palin

leave a comment »

We clearly need to know much more about the person who may become president of the US. For example, Republican state Rep. Mike Hawker said last week, “[Palin’s] administration had the appearance of paying absolutely no attention to any of the rest of the unglamorous side of government, whether it be dealing with human services, public services, highways, all the routine aspects.”

So it’s not just liberals and progressives who have doubts about her capacity for the job—it includes Republicans. Even John McCain apparently doesn’t think she’s capable of facing a press conference and is keeping her hidden until an interview with Charles Gibson. (John McCain himself is unwilling to face a press conference, in fact. The Republican candidates are wimps.) About Charles Gibson, read this post, which includes:

It just so happens that only one network journalist got an exclusive sit-down interview with John McCain during the Republican convention, and that too was ABC’s John Gibson. McCain appeared to enjoy the discussion — he claimed that Palin opposed earmarks, Palin’s physical proximity to Russia amounts to foreign-policy experience, Obama believes Iran is a “tiny problem,” and one of Palin’s “primary responsibilities” as governor is “national security.” All of these claims are demonstrably false, but Gibson didn’t challenge McCain on any of them.

It’s not too big a surprise, then, that Gibson will be rewarded for his deference.

It’s also interesting that Gibson will travel to Alaska for the interview(s). It reminded me of then-Gov. George W. Bush’s demand to Tim Russert that he’d appear on “Meet the Press,” but only if Russert traveled to Texas for the interview.

And we do know that Palin lies—frequently. For example, read this post, which includes:

The McCain campaign … prefers to repeat bogus claims, even after they’ve been proven false. The McCain gang is willing to gamble that voters either won’t hear the truth or that the truth simply doesn’t matter anymore.

Take McCain’s new TV ad, unveiled this morning. Whether this is an actual ad that will be aired or just another video press release intended for media consumption is unclear. Either way, the ad, characterizing John McCain and Sarah Palin as two peas in a pod, claims, “The original mavericks. He fights pork barrel spending; she stopped the Bridge to Nowhere.”

To support its claim about Palin having “stopped” the Bridge to Nowhere, the ad cites an article from December in the Anchorage Daily News. When one actually looks at the article, one sees that the Daily News piece doesn’t support the claim.

In our reality, Palin supported the bridge project, and campaigned on a pledge to build it. The bridge was scrapped, not by Palin, but when an embarrassed Congress stopped the project. Even then, Palin took the money and spent it on other Alaskan transportation projects. Unless the McCain campaign is prepared to change the meaning of the word “stopped,” the ad’s claim is obviously not true.

But stepping back, it’s not just the ad. McCain and Palin have repeated the same claim, over and over again, in a variety of settings, after it was exposed as a lie.

As Hilzoy explained over the weekend, after Palin once again claimed to have rejected the Bridge to Nowhere, “She is not just telling lies; she’s telling lies that have been exposed as lies, and that have gotten a lot of attention. Assuming she does not actually want to lose, she must assume that her audience either doesn’t know that she’s lying, or doesn’t care. In either case, it’s deeply cynical, and deeply insulting. I just hope she isn’t right.”

The LA Times has a good article, too. It begins:

Three years ago, when a Democratic state legislator tried to get bipartisan support for investigating charges of unethical conduct by a senior Republican official, only one member of the GOP answered the call: Sarah Palin.

Palin pursued the allegations — as well as ethics charges against another top GOP official — so vigorously that both had to leave office.

The public acclaim that followed helped propel her into the governor’s office a year later with promises of reform and a more open, accountable government that would stand up to entrenched interests, including the big oil companies.

Yet a strange thing happened on the ethics issue once Palin became governor: She appeared to lose interest in completing the task of legislating comprehensive reform, some who supported the cleanup say.

The ethics bill she offered was so incomplete that its supporters had to undertake a significant rewrite. Moreover, when it came to building support for the bill, politicians in both parties say the new governor was often unaccountably absent from the fray.

And the seeming paradox of the ethics reform fight — the combination of bold, even courageous readiness to take on a tough issue, coupled with a tendency to drift away from the nitty-gritty follow-through — appears to be a recurrent theme of her record. Some lawmakers were so perplexed by her absence from a recent debate over sending oil rebate checks to Alaskans, for example, that they sported buttons at the state Capitol reading “Where’s Sarah?”

… Her administration has not been marked by the transparency she promised: She invoked executive privilege in refusing to disclose information about one ethics case, and last week she moved to hobble a legislative inquiry into her role in the firing of a state public safety official.

Several legislators also say the governor’s office is not a place for open debate: Palin does not tolerate much dissent, they say, sometimes cutting off relations with those deemed unhelpful or critical.

And she shows only marginal interest in crafting policy proposals and getting them passed, these critics say.

“Her ethics proposal had to be beefed up substantially with very basic additions,” said state Rep. Les Gara, an Anchorage Democrat who tried to get the governor’s attention on ethics and other issues.

It lacked such long-needed provisions as language making legislators subject to prosecution for bribery if they exchanged votes for campaign contributions. To Gara and to some others, including Republicans who have often supported the governor, their experience on the ethics bill has proven disconcertingly similar to their experience with Palin on other issues.

“When it comes to the real work of crafting policy, she’s often not there,” Gara said. He acknowledged her broad accomplishments, but added: “I don’t know if she’s disinterested in details or not comfortable with them, but the bottom line is: She is not truly a hands-on governor.”

During the recent debate over how much of the state’s annual oil royalties to rebate to the state’s citizens in the form of individual checks — a highly sensitive issue in Alaska — Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature said Palin took little part in the final stages of the discussion. …

Continue reading.

Note that there are no smears in this post—just uncomfortable facts about Palin’s suitability for VP.

Written by Leisureguy

8 September 2008 at 10:20 am

Posted in GOP

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.