Monday 13 April 2009

Palin, the creature that wouldn't die

As we know, the campaign for 2012 has already begun. Believe it or not, candidates are already tramping through Iowa , networking among national politicians and figuring out how to raise money. I started putting together a few notes on the most likely candidates, and wound up with perhaps half a page each on Romney, Huckabee etc. I saved Palin for last.

Then I dove into the World Of Palin. Oh. My. God.

Even throwing out all the unsubstantiated internet fodder – reports of her affair with a business partner, passing off her grandson as her son, etc – the rock-solid information, substantiated by real sources, ran on for seven pages.

The short version:

Palin is positive that she is ready to be commander in chief, despite repeatedly betraying a dangerous level of ignorance on national and world affairs. Her one exposure to real economics came in one of the five cow colleges she attended, where she got a D and gave up. She is ignorant of the world of money, as she betrayed with her answer on the Freddie Mac question.

As an executive she is so weak that even the post of mayor of the tiny town of Wasilla , which her predecessors had handled themselves, so overtaxed her that she had to hire a city manager. That, and her tactics, almost led to a recall by the voters.

Even the Republican leader of the Alaska Senate said she was unready for the governor’s job, let alone the presidency. The governor’s job is a breeze for a competent executive, since most of the state is owned and run by Washington, and all the governor needs to do is dole out the federal pork and oil money. But even with those advantages and with her habit of stealing pension money and jacking up taxes on consumers, she couldn’t get control of the budget. She went through police chiefs one after the other, finally settling on a guy who had to be fired immediately because he was a sexual predator – sloppy vetting. She wrecked a series of local and state projects, wasting millions. Alaskans are angry because she is so busy showing off on the national stage that she is ignoring local issues like schools and energy problems.

She violated per diem laws, tax laws, small business laws, privacy laws, ethics laws; she has obstructed justice, and may have perjured herself. She used tax money for personal and political purposes. Her behaviour has already been condemned by a legislative investigation and by a sitting judge.

She brought an unprecedented level of nastiness to local and national politics. She betrayed the Wasilla politician who helped her get her start. She used Ted Stevens as political patron and then threw him under the bus. She lobbied for earmarks and pork and then claimed to oppose them, blindsiding her voters; she also screwed over her constituents on sales taxes and on the bridge to nowhere. She screwed over McCain, defying him publicly on issues, badmouthing him behind his back, and blaming his campaign for the 2008 loss. She repeatedly terrorized and fired employees suspected of insufficient loyalty, and sacked people who dared to question her opinions. She and her husband repeatedly abused her power to terrorize family enemies and political opponents. She tried to fire a librarian just because she wouldn’t go along with her book-banning crusade. She was slapped down for trying to illegally pack the City Council with her supporters. She fought ideas that weren't generated by her or her loyalists. She was caught on tape laughing hysterically as the Alaskan Senate President, a cancer survivor, was called a cancer and a bitch. Her diva-like behaviour, micromanagement and harassment led to incredible personnel turnover. She publicly humiliated her own daughter to save her own reputation, used her office to persecute her own brother-in-law, and ran a political smear campaign against her own mother-in-law.

Her support among moderates and independents, the people who pick all the presidents, is toxically low, because she is a right-wing extremist. She campaigned and raised money for Pat Buchanan. She belongs to an extremist church which wants to cure homosexuality, and sat patiently as her preacher said Jews deserve to die because they are unbelievers. She wants a Constitutional amendment overturning Roe and opposes abortion even in cases of rape. She opposes sex ed, stem cell research, equal treatment for same-sex couples; ironically she cut funding for a program to help teen mothers! She wants creationism taught in our schools and tried to fire an opponent of book-banning. She’s to the right of Bush on the environment (she even sued Bush regarding environmental protection), and her energy policy is to the right of Exxon; she thinks global warming is a hoax. Her bombs-away foreign policy is a neocon’s dream. She favors regressive taxes which hurt the middle class, and opposes fixing the health care system. She supports a violent Alaskan secession party that hates America .

Her only real political skill is to look right at the camera and say something completely dishonest or hypocritical, without blinking. For example, her implication that she was mayor when Obama was a community organizer was hogwash: Obama was an organizer before he even went to law school, while Palin was busy flunking out of her third or fourth cow college. Already other GOP leaders are getting sick of the Sarah Palin show, and she is getting into more scraps with the media.

So, since the election, has Palin rehabilitated herself?

There is a neat scene in Citizen Kane with Kane’s friend, played by Joseph Cotten. Earlier in the movie, Kane had been caught cheating on his wife, and newspaper headlines announced his affair with a “singer”, with the word in quotation marks, implying that she was no singer at all. This ended Kane’s political career. Kane, dumped by his wife, married the “singer”, and then tried to save face by producing a gigantic opera, with his new wife “singing” the lead, even though she really stunk. It was a disaster. Finally a reporter asks Cotten why Kane put his wife in a position in which she was obviously going to be humiliated publicly. Cotten said that Kane wanted to take the quote marks off the word ”singer”, to rehabilitate his wife’s reputation, and by extension his own.
And this is why Palin is running.
Palin’s campaign as a “candidate” in the 2008 election was such a catastrophe, that there is no way she can leave the stage for good, and be a punch line for the next 40 years. So she must run again in 2012, to take the quotation marks off the word “candidate”. Even though she is doomed to be humiliated again, just as Kane’s wife was.
After making herself a laughingstock during the campaign, and exposing herself as dangerously clueless on policy, one would think she would try to burnish her credentials as a competent executive. Well, she didn’t really get it done. Palin, with a billion-dollar deficit, has been calling for big government projects she can’t afford. She thought she would enhance her cred by grandstanding and rejecting part of the federal stimulus money, right after SEEKING the money; this backfired so badly that Alaska’s Republicans AND Democrats condemned the move and insisted she was hurting Alaska to help herself politically. They were particularly incensed at her rejection of the money for the schools.
Meanwhile thousands of people in rural Alaska face freezing or starving to death. Some were surviving on nuts, berrries and squirrels like prehistoric man. Palin and her government couldn’t even figure out how to declare a state of emergency. Even with all the federal pork and oil subsidies, they will need even more help from the federal government. Just think, she wants to be president and bring all this joy to the whole country. Can’t wait!
Also the corruption in the House of Palin never seems to stop. Palin, hard on the heels of getting caught violating state ethics laws, has been nailed again, this time for not paying taxes on the per diem money she illegally misappropriated; dead silence from the Republicans who were screaming about Geithner not long ago. Undeterred, she is also charging the state of Alaska per diem for her trips to do interviews on Fox News, as though that is part of her official business. Two of Palin’s aides are now facing new ethics charges, for doing political business on the taxpayer’s dime. Her husband was busted for contempt. And this is just the stuff we’ve caught her doing, so far.
Also, even her base, the family-values Republicans, has been watching the Palin family saga in horror. We already know Sarah values her career more than her family, from back last summer when she publicly humiliated her daughter Bristol with the revelation about the pregnancy, just to save Sarah’s reputation; also it is likely that she forced Bristol to go through the farce of pretending to be engaged to Levi the Redneck, just to send the right political signal during the election. Now, when Bristol flipped off millions of Sarah’s evangelical fans by admitting that the abstinence strategy for teenagers is stupid, and then evangelicals responded by attacking Bristol, Sarah refused to defend her own daughter. She’s too terrified of losing the rightwing base.
All this stuff happened in just a few months! Right when she’s trying to rehabilitate her reputation! This, on top of all the other Palin crimes and follies from before!
Palin is now screeching that the media is out to get her, and avoiding big public events, even friendly ones. Even Republicans ridiculed her for running away from her commitment to go to the conference of the National Governors Association. Likewise she bailed on the Conservative PAC conference.

And now her rightwing attack dogs are covering her back. Because Levi Johnston had the nerve to say something less than complimentary about the Palins, the rightwing loons started telling the internet that he committed incest with his sister. This girl who never done nuthin to nobody is now a national laughingstock, chewed up and spit out by the Palins for political gain.

Palin -- our next commander in chief?


Imaginista said...

This is a keeper. Whenever I need to remind myself what Conservatism has become, I shall re-read this post.

HelloDollyLlama said...

Spread the word -- it will take quite a few stakes in the heart to stop her dead.

Of course there is something to be said for the strategy of giving her enough oxygen to survive until the 2012 general election, at which time Obama will crush her with a 15-point victory.

Imaginista said...

I hear you - we can only hope and pray she's the nominee. What fun that would be. Alas, I do not believe there is a realistic chance she'll survive that long.

HelloDollyLlama said...

I have a theory. Iowa's Republican party includes a lot of evangelicals, so perhaps in the Iowa caucuses in 2012, Palin and Huckleberry split the evangelical vote, and allow Romney to win the caucus by monopolizing the fiscal-conservative Tea-Party vote.

Obama could beat Romney, because Romney has flipflopped on just about every major issue there is. But beating Palin would be much simpler.