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Bill Roper's Journal
All that Palin Jazz 
8th-Sep-2008 01:03 pm
Since I see from my friends list that you're still interested in talking about Sarah Palin, here's an article which tries to sort out what's true and false about the Governor. If you've got a factual rebuttal to any of the points that he makes, I'm sure he'd be delighted to hear from you, as he seems to be interested in getting the story straight.

(It looks like his personal blog, linked from the article, has gone under from the load. But you can comment on the article directly if you have useful information.)
8th-Sep-2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
Yes, she did finally turn down the money for the bridge.

The link doesn't say that she turned down the money -- it says that she diverted it elsewhere after the Bridge To Nowhere became politically radioactive.
8th-Sep-2008 06:36 pm (UTC)
The money was spent on other projects in Alaska after it was appropriated by Congress with the earmarking removed. That's what's normally known as a block grant rather than an earmark, if I recall the terminology correctly. Generally, it's viewed as better policy to send Federal money back to the states and allow them to determine how to spend it rather than directing it can only be spent on a specific project.

But, as I said, you can leave this information as a comment to the article that I linked to and have a reasonable chance of having it incorporated into the article.
8th-Sep-2008 06:49 pm (UTC) - The next questions, of course
are "How much does it matter WHO the VP is?" "Does anybody think there will be any advice/information flow/ policy influence from Palin to McCain and therefore influence on national policy EXCEPT if he dies in office?"

The focus should resume on McCain. If they can keep Cheney alive this long, I'll bet Palin is a no-account anyway.
8th-Sep-2008 06:55 pm (UTC)
David Friedman has pointed out that the frequently cited "task that is from God" quote from Palin about the Iraq war is a blatant case of context-dropping.

She's the new kid in town, so she's the target of all kinds of rumors and smears. Not that I think she's any better than the rest, but there's plenty of legitimate grounds to attack her on, and rumor-mongering and deceptive quoting just shows laziness.
8th-Sep-2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
It was an interesting and fun article to read. I was surprised by a lot of the rumours and unsurprised as to the truth of the matter. Many of them fit the "and why would I care?" category (for example, that she was pregnant when she got married - as someone once said, "First babies can come any time, after that they take about 9 months.")

However, it doesn't do anything to allay my major misgivings about her. I wish it had. I was firmly in the 'undecided' camp and was hoping that the respective VP choices would make my decision easier.
8th-Sep-2008 09:37 pm (UTC)

My impression, based on what I've seen so far, is that she's a bright woman. Although she's socially conservative, there's no evidence thus far that she's pushed such an agenda as governor, which suits me just fine. I'm more interested in her reform credentials, which look pretty good, in my opinion.

If you asked me "Is she prepared to be President of the U.S. right now?", I'd have to answer no. But I'd also have to answer no for Obama -- once again, in my opinion, before someone feels obligated to explain to me about Obama's credentials.

(I'm beginning to wonder, to be absolutely honest, whether anyone is qualified to be President of the U.S. To some extent, the totality of the job is absolutely impossible. But that is why you have advisors. On balance, I think I prefer the advisors that McCain is likely to select to those that Obama is likely to select.)

If Palin did become Vice-President, I think she would actually be ready to take over for McCain in a year or so. And in the sad event that she had to take over sooner, she'd have those same advisors that McCain had selected to help him.

I believe that Congress will be heavily Democratic in 2009-2010. An Obama presidency is, in my opinion (which you'd think I wouldn't have to say, because this is my blog, but hey!), likely to produce far more mischief than a McCain presidency would, especially if McCain follows through on the reform agenda that he's running on and pulls out the veto pen that Bush never did when it would have done some good.

Edited at 2008-09-08 09:54 pm (UTC)
8th-Sep-2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
Another view of Palin, from somebody who has known her since back when she was mayor.

8th-Sep-2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
Yep, I already read it.

Did you read this one?
8th-Sep-2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
Both articles very interesting. While a Democrat myself, I have been appalled at the mudslinging and rumormongering against Palin. Isn't it enough to decide to vote or not vote for her based on what her actual beliefs are? Like we do with most male candidates?

Thank you for the link.
8th-Sep-2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
Glad to be of service!

I'll note that there's certainly been mudslinging and rumormongering about Obama, but -- for the most part! -- the respectable conservative websites have been more interested in debunking such rumors than in trying to spread them. I think that's intelligent on their part, because putting out a lot of false information -- aside from being morally wrong! -- is a politically stupid thing to do. In the long run, people remember that this story and that story were false, so when you've got something substantive to say, people wonder if that's just another one of those false stories.

(I occasionally rant about such two-fers. It's politically stupid! And it's morally wrong! What possessed you to think it would be a good idea to do this stupid thing? But I digress... :) )

(Second digression: this many months into the campaign and Obama's name isn't in the LJ spellchecker? Sheesh!)

With the smears about Palin, we're getting a much better class of people spreading them around. When Andrew Sullivan, the Atlantic's pet blogger, is obsessing about getting proof that Trig is Sarah Palin's son, well, something's not quite right here.
8th-Sep-2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
The National Enquirer has an allegation that Sarah Palin had an affair with her husband's former business partner as its cover story this week.
9th-Sep-2008 03:55 am (UTC)
Yes, it does.

If you had read the article that I linked with any care, you'd have seen that particular rumor was discussed there.

Edited at 2008-09-09 03:55 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
9th-Sep-2008 03:36 pm (UTC)
Good point about people having been fired over political disputes before not making that acceptable behaviour for someone seeking high political office.

It's especially disturbing in light of the Bush Administration's mess in the Justice Department--firing Federal Prosecutors over their refusal to prosecute Democrats regardless of the lack of evidence of wrongdoing.
9th-Sep-2008 06:23 am (UTC)
It appears that people attribute their beliefs to the candidate of the party they support, and opposite beliefs to the candidate of he opposite party.

By and large, people aren't agreeing on what Palin's policies are and disagreeing on whether they are right or wrong. With a few exceptions, such as abortion, both Democrats and Republicans tend to agree on what the right policies are. Republicans attribute the right policies to Palin, and Democrats attribute the wrong policies to her. Given time, I could supply two dozen examples. Here are two.

Palin cut special needs funding by 62 percent.
She's actually increasing special needs funding by 175 percent.

Sarah Palin thinks the Pledge of Allegiance was written by the Founding Fathers.
The question was not specifically about the Pledge of Allegiance, it was about the phrase “Under God.” When she answered her question, this is what she was talking about. The founding fathers supported the idea that our nation was a country blessed by God.

So Republicans who read both sides tend the think the Republican explanations are accurate and the Democratic claims are smears. Democrats who read both sides tend to think the Democratic claims are accurate and the Republican defenses are lies.
9th-Sep-2008 03:47 pm (UTC)
The recent brouhaha about the phrase "under God" was specifically about its inclusion in the 1950s in the Oledge of Allegiance. In the absence of obvious context putting it somewhere else, the question is thus about the Pledge of Allegiance. (Maybe there was context putting it somewhere else, does anybody know?)

If what she meant was the founding fathers put "under God" somewhere else (I'm not coming up with where that might be?), and that meant she thought it belonged in the pledge also, she should have said so.

She would certainly not be unique or even unusual among evangelical fundamentalists if she were ignorant of fairly basic facts about American history.
9th-Sep-2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
Now Newsweek is refuting the smears....


9th-Sep-2008 01:30 pm (UTC)
Setting aside the celebrity-journalism tabloid-scandalmongering crap, the underlying problem with Palin is that the image being presented (maverick reformer) simply does not withstand scrutiny.

The "I was for the Bridge To Nowhere before I was against it" flip-flop has been pretty well covered, so I turn to a new report of per diem allowance abuse:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, charging a "per diem" allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business.

If I did that, I'd be damned lucky if all I got was fired. Apparently, the rules are looser for the governor of Alaska... but taking advantage of such latititude doth not a "reformer" make.

Edited at 2008-09-09 01:31 pm (UTC)
9th-Sep-2008 04:59 pm (UTC)
And here's a discussion of that particular charge with some additional context.
9th-Sep-2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
I admit that I am not entirely receptive to the Republican spin on Palin's beliefs and policies--as far as I'm concerned it's a matter of public record that she asked about banning books, for instance, and I don't care if she said later that it was just rhetorical and she wouldn't have actually done anything.

It's a matter of public record that she opposes any sex ed that is not abstinence only, (she said so in a survey in 2006 during her gubernatorial campaign, as referenced in a link, but not acknowledged, in the very post you linked to) which does not work, and I don't care if it turns out her daughter may have actually gotten some scraps of decent sex ed. I don't think abstinence only is a bad policy based on the results with *one* pair of teenagers but on the basis of results with teenagers in general. And sure, later she backed and filled, claiming that discussing condoms is not explicit (has she ever thought about how you demonstrate how to put one on?) but, frankly, I've been lied to by Republicans before--I think the first point of view is the true one and the second is a typical attempt to get credit for having things both ways. Not to mention that contraception is about a whole lot of things in addition to condoms, most of which work better.

It's a matter of public record that she wants to ban abortion, no exceptions except if a doctor swears that the mother is going to *die* and that's a policy that will vastly increase the suffering of women. I don't care that the person pushing it has woman parts, it's still an anti-woman policy.

I listened as she ridiculed Obama's work as a community organizer, saying her job as mayor of a tiny town was "like being a community organizer except you have to make decisions." In fact, being a community organizer is a bit like being the mayor of a tiny town (and Jefferson City, where I sit as I type this, is about the same size, so I'm being realistic), except that a community organizer has to listen to people instead of silencing them, lead people instead of dictating to them, bring people together instead of driving them apart.

There's no law against any of this, of course, as the Republicans will be quick to point out, and the divider strategy is very popular among certain parties. But I'd really like a uniter this time, and I don't see Palin playing that role. And given that his first executive decision was picking Palin, I don't see McCain playing that role either.

None of that is based on rumor; none of that is based on anti-Republicanism (beyond the natural occurrence of the chickens coming home to roost)--it's based on what I know of her policies and past actions from mainstream media.
9th-Sep-2008 04:57 pm (UTC)
I know that Obama has disavowed or expanded on answers that he's given in response to questionaires. (I think he's on occasion said "My staff filled that out.") Does that mean that I'm justified in assuming he's lying to me? I've certainly been lied to by Democrats before -- heck, I've been lied to specifically by Obama when he was campaigning against NAFTA and other free-trade agreements during the primary season in Ohio and Pennsylvania, statements that he now refers to as overheated campaign rhetoric. (This makes his economic advisor, Austin Goolsbee, feel much better, as he was telling the Canadian government at the time Obama was campaigning that Obama really didn't mean it.)

I understand that you disagree with Palin's position on abortion -- I would expect nothing else. Since I am neither pro-life nor pro-choice by the popular definition of those terms, I never expect to find a candidate that I actually agree with. I also do not believe that abortion is in imminent danger of being outlawed in this country, nor do I believe that it is the only medical procedure in the country that should not be subject to any form of government regulation. (That's not an attempt to set up straw man statements about your views; that's a simple statement of a couple of things that I believe.)

As far as being a divider, I find Obama's statements about how some "they" are going to tell you that he has a "funny name" to be pretty divisive too.

There certainly aren't any perfect candidates. There never will be.

All I can try to do is to make my best guess on what they're likely to do in office and base my vote on that. And I'm sure that's what you do as well.
9th-Sep-2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
The linked article says she's not anti-Semitic. That's good. However, from what I've been hearing and reading, she wants to teach Christianity in the schools, calling it "creationism" or "intelligent design." To me, that is a question she needs to answer for.
9th-Sep-2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
See this previous post of mine on the subject.
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