Smearing the Smearers? Palin's lies...
After Sarah Palin's far from brilliant performance when "grilled" (poached, more like) by Granddad Gibson (or as one Conservative pundit put it: "leftwing assclown Charlie Gibson" - subtlety isn't these people's strong suit) I went to check the blogosphere for reactions, using Google's in-house Blog Search tool. These reactions didn't beat about the bush (no pun intended): many of Palin's answers impressed almost no one. On the Con side a few, few and far between, perceived a leftwing plot in action with the Bush doctrine question being the point of ambush. Well, my 13 year old daughter, cruelly subjected by me to too much American network news, knows roughly what the Bush doctrine is, but Sarah was left with a mouth full of (admittedly almost perfect) teeth for a tangible moment. Later she showed she knew how NATO works (no kudos) but appeared to fail to understand that that grand organisation in the service of one of the noblest post-WW II concepts isn't about to plunge head over heels into conflict (and potential nuclear Armageddon) with Mother Russia over Georgia.
But that's not the object of my post. Rather than read post after post tearing into Palin's poor first interview, I stumbled on another post with a far more intriguing title: The Categorical Lies of Sarah Palin, Categorically Arranged and I warmly recommend anyone to read it and make up their own minds. The author(s?) categorises Palin's own alleged lies and distortions (her PaLIEtics, so to speak. Am I coining a phrase yet?) in three categories: the Wasilla years, the Governor years and the current era: the running mate weeks. For most people, independently verifying these allegations is practically impossible and so it's possible that much of what is being asserted could be dismissed as one long counter-smear. Certainly the writer lays in hard: here's a little taster:
Retracing the story of Sarah Palin’s career is like traveling through a carnival funhouse of smoke and mirrors. No sooner do you think you’ve finally rounded the corner on Palin’s gallery of clever distortions, dirty tricks and lies, than you’re confronted with another, then another and another, until you realize you’ve traveled an entire catacomb of lies, smoke and mirrors.
But not so fast: there are at least two assertions that can indeed be verified easily by just about anyone. And they are entirely correct. Here they are:
LIE: Palin’s words on Obama: “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.”
TRUTH: You’d not have to listen to many Obama speeches to know this is patently false. Payroll taxes will decrease for 95% of Americans (an inverse arrangement to the Bush-McCain plan) netting an after-tax increase of income by 5% (averaging approx. $2,000 annally) by 2012 for Americans earning under $250,000 annually. This is according to the Tax Policy Center, a think-tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute. Income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes will be raised for the wealthiest, including individuals and business making over $250,000 annually. Obama will provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum wage workers, with higher credits for larger families. Again, Obama’s plan benefits 95% of Americans, unlike the Bush-McCain plan, which gives disproportianate favor to the wealthiest Americans, which comprise approx. 5% of the population.
LIE: (and a particularly vile lie, at that, which Margaret Talex of the McClatchy Report called ‘a deliberately misleading accusation’ and ‘a deliberate low blow’ —>). A recent McCain-Palin ad claims that Obama supported legislation to provide sex education to kindergartners.
TRUTH: The legislation for sex education for grades K-12 already existed in Illinois regarding STD and pregnancy prevention. Obama voted to allow local school boards to teach ‘age-appropriate’ sex education, geared toward educating children ages K-12 on how to recognize inappropriate behaviors, as a measure to protect them from sexual predators. One need not dig too deeply into the headlines to see that pedophilia is a sad reality in our society. It is ridiculous and patently sick to insinuate that Obama approved laws to teach young children about the birds and the bees. As one blogger noted, the McCain ad’s claim that Obama approves sex-ed for tots will nonetheless be effective, as the media continue to repeat the McCain-Palin smear, without bothering to dispute it with the outrage it should be disputed. It’s a lose-lose proposition for politicians like Obama, as it takes a lot more words to defend against such outrageous lies than it takes to wage them. The defense is never as powerful as the accusation, and can never quite be disproved in the court of the media. That’s the beauty of a smear campaign. Of course, McCain, Palin, Rove and Co. already know this.
But make up your own minds. Read it. Here. And if it's all just a smear she'll be able to refute it, right? Right...