Gov. Sarah Palin (pronounced “pay-len” for those that are still confused) used her speech yesterday as an attempt to show the media that it was attempting to judge her by the wrong set of accomplishments. By spending far more time hosting an “Obama roast” (without even having the decency to mention her opponent’s name), and throwing a patently deceptive spin on Obama’s platform, than discussing what she’s actually done during her “small town” political career, Palin used her speech to attempt to show the world that her ability to be vengeful, sarcastic and deceptive was her primary qualification for the job McCain hastily nominated her for.
After attempting to paint herself as the all-American mom whose recently disclosed family drama merely indicates that “our family has the same ups and downs as any other,” Palin wasted no time ripping into Obama with repugnant attacks – such as “we’ve all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers”, “what does he actually seek to accomplish after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet?”, and “in politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers” – choosing to slander “her opponent” by painting him as a celebrity cult leader, a wanna-be Moses and a charlatan rather than respectfully stating disagreement with his positions. Make no mistake, Palin’s attacks were terribly offensive and disrespectful – especially when talking about a Senator and candidate for President – but ultimately without substance. While barking quite loudly in her character attacks on Obama, Palin barely whimpered on the substance of her own achievements of national significance, proving that she’s no “maverick” when it comes to the age old Republican strategy of masking your weakness on the issues by trying to assassinate the character of your opponent.
She also proved she’s no “maverick” when it comes to employing the traditional Rovian strategy of telling blatant lies about the policy positions of your opponent to divert attention from your running mate’s flimsy policies. Palin either outright lied about or placed deceptive spins on every Obama policy she mentioned last night.
|Palin’s Spin||The Truth|
|Obama wants to “make government bigger and take more of your money”||Obama’s plan would increase after-tax income of low-to-middle income Americans by between 2.4% and 5.5%. McCain will actually take more of your money, as his tax plan will only yield a 1% - 2% increase for those tax brackets.|
|Obama will “reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world”||Obama will strengthen our alliances by abandoning Bush’s unilateralist and militaristic policies, thereby increasing our ability to develop meaningful intelligence that won’t have us searching for nonexistent WMDs. McCain, on the other hand, wants to continue Bush’s isolationist, aggressive, “shoot from the hip” foreign policy, which has actually created more enemies for us since 2001.|
|“America needs more energy, our opponent is against producing it”||Prior to accepting her nomination, Palin actually expressed agreement with Obama’s energy policy. Further, just because Obama’s against McCain/Palin’s long-term “DRILL, DRILL, DRILL” strategy of fueling our country by relying on depleting energy sources that actually cater to big oil, doesn’t mean he’s “against producing” energy. Obama’s policy relies on ending our reliance on depleting and foreign energy sources and switching to renewable, clean energy sources that make our environment safer for our children and will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.|
|“victory in Iraq is finally in sight, and he wants to forfeit”||Responsible withdrawal is not the same as forfeiting. McCain however, wants to snub his nose at the desire of a clear majority of Americans by saying he’s willing to commit to Iraq for “100 years if necessary” and refusing to meaningfully discuss any exit strategy, notwithstanding that Iraq is a diversionary war keeping us from committing the resources necessary for “victory” on the real frontline against Al-Qaeda – Afghanistan. Perhaps since Palin admits to not really having “focused on” Iraq, except to declare that we’re on a “mission from God”, she hasn’t quite grasped this.|
|“Terrorist states are seeking nuclear weapons without delay; he wants to meet them without preconditions.”||This is an outright lie. A Senator brave enough to express a desire for diplomacy in the midst of an Administration – fully supported by John McCain – who wants to bomb first and ask questions later is to be praised, not ridiculed. Also, the Bush Administration is now pursuing diplomacy against Iran and North Korea, proving that McCain is the only “maverick” who wants to bomb first and see if we were justified when the smoke clears.|
|“Al Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America, and he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights.”||Is this what Palin thinks of people who want to make sure our country doesn’t become an agent of terror by torturing people and stooping to the same level the terrorists have stooped to? Obama, unlike Bush and McCain, wants to honor our treaties, like the Geneva convention, rather that spit on them, and wants to make America a beacon to the world for human rights rather than a hypocrite who shouts rhetoric to China while waterboarding people on our soil. Those ideals don’t equate with “reading them their rights.” It’s McCain and Bush who want the U.S. running all over the world like Jack Bauer. America is better than that! Further, for McCain, who was a tortured POW, to even insinuate that he wants to continue Bush-style “intelligence gathering” from terrorists, makes McCain questionable, to say the least. That’s neither wisdom nor good judgment.|
|“Taxes are too high, and he wants to raise them.”||Actually, by introducing new tax breaks for lower and middle-income groups, such as expanding the earned income tax credit, giving those making less than $150,000 a $500 tax credit per person on the first $8,100 in income, giving those making under $75,000 a 50% federal match on the first $1,000 of savings, and exempting seniors making less than $50,000 from having to pay income tax, Obama’s policies will lower taxes for low-to-middle income Americans. Those earning more than $250K/year will see the tax increase Palin deceptively tried to pin on all income brackets under Obama’s plan.|
Palin’s speech may have shored up the Republican base, but it also provided further evidence that Republicans would rather employ character attacks and deception than admit that their fiscal, energy and foreign policies are actually hurting this country. And their deception isn’t limited to just slandering an opponent’s policy positions. It’s interesting to note that Palin mentioned her actual opponent – you know, Joe Biden, the one she’ll face in debates – only once. It seems that the McCain/Palin camp want to trick us into believing that this is still a race between a woman and a man. Sorry, that woman, the substantially more qualified and comparatively graceful Hillary Clinton, supports Barack Obama. Americans are smarter than that.
After seeing the light at the end of an eight-year tunnel, do the Republicans actually think that America wants a Vice President whose primarily demonstrated skill is the ability to “play the dozens,” use sarcasm and employ subterfuge? If that’s the “change” message that the Republicans seek to co-opt – if that’s the “character” that Republicans think is worthy of the Oval Office – then I say no thank you. That’s change we don’t need.
Here is Palin’s speech.