Thursday, September 04, 2008

P.S. that color does nothing for you

Palin’s speech was about exactly what I’d thought it would be: full of platitudes and conservative codewords, and short on any honest criticism of the Democrats, or ideas for a meaningful governance. She soon got to the part where she took snarky digs at Obama:

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities.

Yes, you are correct in that unlike Obama, you were actually paid, and paid quite well in comparison to your peers, to live up to your responsibilities as mayor of a town that was then about 5000 people. And you did, as you promised during the campaign, cut your mayoral salary. You cut it from $68K to $64K.


I bet that put you into a lower tax bracket and everything.

Ah, but then you also created a new position, City Administrator, reducing your workload but adding a whole new salary to the budget.

I would suggest the same kind of maverick reforming to my own boss where I work, if I weren’t afraid of being laughed at for not knowing how math works.

Back to Palin:

I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening. We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.

Oh, I think you’re being a little bit disingenuous there, Governor Palin. I think you and your "small-town" ilk know exactly what to think of candidate Obama. You think he’s not a Christian, and you think he’s going to take your guns away. But please, go right on insisting that what he said is an unfair characterization. I expect nothing less.

I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment.

From what I hear, you’re not assured of being a member of the permanent 2008 Republican presidential ticket either, but let’s let that go for now. Yes, I’d say that to become a member of the “permanent political establishment” in Washington, you’d need to have spent a good, oh, 24 – 26 years in the US Congress, or something like that.

I pledge to all Americans that I will carry myself in this spirit as vice president of the United States. This was the spirit that brought me to the governor's office, when I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau ... when I stood up to the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good ol' boys network.

Yes, you did stand up to them. You stood up to them and said “I’m so happy to see you! Won’t you take my chair?”

Sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power brokers. That's why true reform is so hard to achieve...

Yes, but fake reform, consisting mostly of false boasts and empty promises is obviously something at which you excel.

I came to office promising to control spending — by request if possible and by veto if necessary. Senator McCain also promises to use the power of veto in defense of the public interest — and as a chief executive, I can assure you it works.

Hear that? She’s a CHIEF EXECUTIVE. She’s got a BRIEFCASE and a DESK, too.

You know, you’d think that with Senator McCain on the top of the ticket, the Republicans wouldn’t harp on that tired old line about Senators not being ready to govern in the same way that a CHIEF EXECUTIVE, a.k.a. the governor of a state with a population smaller than Forth Worth, Texas, can. But apparently they somehow, inexplicably still think that it’s a valid point.

Our state budget is under control. We have a surplus. And I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending: nearly half a billion dollars in vetoes. I suspended the state fuel tax, and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress "thanks, but no thanks," for that Bridge to Nowhere.

Yeah, exactly how did you say “no thanks”? Because although you rejected the “earmark” part of the “earmark funds,” you kept the “funds” part! Yeah, you kept the cash, all 223 million of it, you just said you wouldn’t use it to build the bridge. And you also kept a different earmark of 38 million for the approach to the bridge, which is – get this – currently under construction! Yeah, you kept all the money, even though Alaska has a budget surplus, and in fact has so much money from oil revenues (thanks to the high price per barrel that we’re all forced to pay) that last year the Alaska Permanent Fund sent $1654.00 to each and every citizen of Alaska. Holy cripes, no wonder the residents overwhelmingly want to drill in ANWAR! I’d say fuck the polar bears too, if I knew the state of Alaska would be making my next mortgage payment.

And in spite of this prosperity, a rather unique condition in these United States for the past 8 years, Alaska receives 10 times more federal money via earmarks per capita than the average state. In fact, after hiring Wasilla’s first Washington lobbyist, Mayor Palin achieved for her little town of five thousand people a per capita earmark of $1000.00 in federal funds for each and every resident.

Yes, my federal tax dollars went to Wasilla, Alaska, to buy that bitch’s town a youth shelter, sewer repairs, a rail project and a “transportation hub," whatever the fuck that is. And why couldn’t the town pay for these projects themselves? Because they were too busy having their taxes raised to pay for a new 15 million dollar sports complex.

Hey, you can’t have hockey moms without a nice new taxpayer-financed place to play hockey, right?

Meanwhile, the neighborhood in which I live, in a city home to 4 million people, can’t pave the fucking roads, let alone build public transit systems, put enough cops on the street, or give poor kids a decent education. But I’m glad y’all are playing hockey in style.

And so, exactly how has Palin “championed reform” in Congress? By breaking the fucking bank?

Oh, but I tire of pointing out the stupefying hypocrisy of Palin casting herself as a “reformer.” Let’s look instead at the hypocrisy of their criticisms of Obama:

This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word "victory" except when he's talking about his own campaign.

Oh, he “can” do that, huh? Does that depend upon what the meaning of “can” is?

But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed ... when the roar of the crowd fades away ... when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot - what exactly is our opponent's plan?

The columns didn’t come from a studio lot. They came from the Alaska State House, bitch.

What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet?

Isn’t that funny? See, she’s making fun of Obama because he wants to make sure the planet stays hospitable for human life. I mean, who the hell does he think he is, anyway? Fucking elitist planet-hugger.

The answer is to make government bigger ... take more of your money ... give you more orders from Washington ... and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world.

Excuse me, Ms. Palin, but I think you have your speech clock set to 1980. The Clinton administration happened, remember?

America needs more energy ... our opponent is against producing it.

Well, he’s certainly against continuing to increase our reliance on the kind of energy that your friends produce. Oh, and also your husband, who works for an oil company as well. Look, if the past eight years has taught us nothing, haven’t we at least learned to keep the oil men out of the White House?

Victory in Iraq is finally in sight ... he wants to forfeit.

Oh, Sarah. Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. You know, I thought your decision not to teach your daughter about birth control was ill-advised, but clearly there are depths to your bad judgment that we have yet to plumb.

Terrorist states are seeking nuclear weapons without delay ... he wants to meet them without preconditions...

What preconditions? He wants to speak to Iran without first making sure we get 10% off our next set of negotiations? You know, if you stopped Palin mid-speech, and asked her to explain exactly what she meant by that last sentence, I guarantee you she would’ve drawn a blank. The Republicans have taken this small-town rube, who learned how to work the backwater money machine, and thrust her onto the highest platform they have. No wonder they’re keeping the press away from her. It’s like she’s learned how to speak conservative idiospeak phonetically, but she has no idea yet what she’s really saying.

Taxes are too high ... he wants to raise them. His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan, and let me be specific. 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. My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that's now opened for business — like millions of others who run small businesses. How are they going to be any better off if taxes go up? Or maybe you're trying to keep your job at a plant in Michigan or Ohio ... or create jobs with clean coal from Pennsylvania or West Virginia ... or keep a small farm in the family right here in Minnesota. How are you going to be better off if our opponent adds a massive tax burden to the American economy?

Well, she started out saying she was going to be “specific” about how Obama is going to raise taxes, but then, she really never got to the “specific” part, did she? That’s because Obama plans to raise taxes on business, not on individuals. See, when she’s talking about the “American people” who will have their tax burden increased, she’s talking about the people who own the two-thirds of American corporations who pay nothing every year in Federal income taxes.

Yes, she’s really that disingenuous. Where I’m from, we call it lying, but hey, I don’t want to be accused of sexism here.

Let’s listen to her sell McCain:

Our nominee doesn't run with the Washington herd. He's a man who's there to serve his country, and not just his party. A leader who's not looking for a fight, but is not afraid of one either. Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the current do-nothing Senate, not long ago summed up his feelings about our nominee. He said, quote, "I can't stand John McCain." Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps no accolade we hear this week is better proof that we've chosen the right man. Clearly what the Majority Leader was driving at is that he can't stand up to John McCain.

I don’t know, maybe what Reid was driving at was that he can’t stand a man who calls his wife a cunt. Or he can’t stand a guy who keeps talking about what a maverick he is, even though he’s been on his knees to BushCo for the last 8 years. Or maybe he meant that he can’t stand senators who author legislation restricting special interest groups, and then populate their senate and campaign offices with lobbyists. Or maybe he’s talking about how he can’t stand a military man who allows his supporters to use his status as a war hero as an excuse to avoid being subject to the same criticisms and examinations to which every candidate must subject themselves. Maybe he meant that by reminding the American public over and over again, as Palin does for the remainder of her speech, that McCain’s time as a resident of the Hanoi Hilton means that he is above reproach, even by that same American public, that McCain has become a mockery of what he might have become, that he has become a vain, hypocritical shadow of that POW, and a blowhard and a temperamental baby to boot.


Michael said...

I'm curious how th GOP sees to it that she never speaks off the cuff. God I want that moment though.

Anonymous said...

What do Republicans have against columns anyway? Some of my best friends are columns.

SkylersDad said...

The debates should prove interesting. I wonder how long she can stay on message and not have to actually think on her feet and answer a tough question?

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

Remember Pat Buchanan's 1992 Republican National Convention speech? She just handed Obama a gift.

How can anyone that politically callow be so smug?

P.S.- I know you hate the "C" word coming from a dude, but Spooney got it right.

Spooney said...

For the record, I never called The Hockey Mom a McCunt, I said that Hillary supporters that go with her just because she's a woman are McCunts.

Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

Damn fine article! I'd previously viewed her as a smalltown hick-simpleton, but maybe she's actually evil.

'Bubbles' said...

"It’s like she’s learned how to speak conservative idiospeak phonetically, but she has no idea yet what she’s really saying."

Sounds a lot like the last 8 years, too!

Nice post, Vikki. I'm worried. An unnamed relative of mine called me after the speech and told me he hasn't decided who to vote for now... even though he hated McCain before...oy. We discussed. And we will discuss again, and again, and again before he goes to the polls.

jcat said...

I think you knocked it out of the park. I loved reading it. So many excellent points. I must admit I'm getting that sinking feeling like 4 and 8 years ago. The one where all the right wing rednecks in the country start passing around the controlling end of the puppet strings. Hopefully the disgust factor with the current administration will prevail. Did you notice how McCain wouldn't even say W"s name last night and Cheney was sent off to Russia. Simply Unbelievable. Jcat

Frank Sirmarco said...

I was going to write about this, but figured you'd do the topic more justice than I could.

Well said.

Anonymous said...

i could read your rebuttals all day long... and wish that the powers-that-be would use them, and pay you for it.

we can dream, can't we?

Grant Miller said...

She will speak off the cuff - eventually - and it will be her downfall. And the GOP knows this. That's why she's not allowed to speak speak with reporters.

That line about "Community Organizer" really pisses me off. Because most the communities he helped organizing were church congregations on the southside. You know faith-based initiatives and shit. Heaven forbid GOP Christian leaders let that get out.