Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Lies, Lies and More Lies from Palin

It's a wonder she was supposedly worried about ethics investigations, given that she apparently has none. At least judging from this WSJ stenography of her lame excuses and fabrications for quitting:
"Attacks inside Alaska and largely invisible to the national media had paralyzed her administration," someone close to the governor told me.
Well, the Wall Street Journal qualifies as "national media" and John Fund, the author of this puff piece, was giving Palin's anonymous drones his undivided attention, so how about a "for instance"? I didn't think so....
This situation developed because Alaska's transparency laws allow anyone to file Freedom of Information Act requests. While normally useful, in the hands of political opponents FOIA requests can become a means to bog down a target in a bureaucratic quagmire, thanks to the need to comb through records and respond by a strict timetable. Similarly, ethics investigations are easily triggered and can drag on for months even if the initial complaint is flimsy. Since Ms. Palin returned to Alaska after the 2008 campaign, some 150 FOIA requests have been filed and her office has been targeted for investigation by everyone from the FBI to the Alaska legislature.
The author is conflating two entirely separate issues - FOIA and ethics investigations. Given Palin's run for Vice President, it's no small wonder that there were FOIA requests, and frankly 150 seems like a low number. Further, there would be no need for Palin to personally involve herself in any of those requests. But I guess there is a tie-in to Palin's ethics (or lack thereof) - she (or someone on her behalf) did involve herself in FOIA request in order to obstruct the release of information.

For ethics investigations, Palin should make a video of herself like GW's search of the oval office for WMD's. "Ethics? Not in the closet... not under the desk... nope, no ethics here." But there's another conflation going on. The FBI doesn't investigate "ethics violations", and doesn't initiate investigations based upon Alaska's "easily triggered" laws. It investigates federal crimes. Also, let's not forget that Palin herself built her career on challenging the corruption in Alaska's politics. What's sauce for the gander....

Oh, and let's not forget that Palin filed an ethics complaint against herself over Troopergate that cost the state $187,797 to investigate. That is well over half of the $296,000 the state has spent on all ethics investigations of her.
In the process, though, she accumulated $500,000 in legal fees in just the last nine months, and knew the bill would grow ever larger in the future.
How much of that has come out of her pocket? Any? I thought her legal defense fund was pulling in huge numbers.
Family considerations also played a role. Ms. Palin gave birth to a baby with Down's Syndrome in 2008, and also has a six-year old. Everyone in the family was weary of endless personal attacks, including mean-spirited suggestions on liberal blogs that all of her children should have been aborted and that she would run on a presidential platform promoting retardation.
Bad stenographer, bad editor. It's Down Syndrome.

It's not credible that Palin is withdrawing from politics due to the sudden realization that she has children. She had children when she entered politics. She had children when she ran for VP. Trig was born in April, 2008. She decided to run for VP in August, 2008. It's July, 2009. Give me a break.

As for the personal attacks, last time I saw Palin speaking out about them she was reveling in them, inflating them, claiming a (bad) joke about her adult daughter was about her young teen - a choice that inappropriately put her 14-year-old at the center of things - and all but accusing David Letterman of being a pedophile. Her supporters were rallying to her, declaring what meanies her critics are. So that doesn't ring true, either.

As for "mean-spirited suggestions on liberal blogs", the easiest thing to do if you find a blog where people say things you don't want to read is... not to read them. But that's giving the allegation more credibility than it deserves. A simple question: Which blogs? How about a "for instance"? I didn't think so....
Karl Rove acknowledges the unusual battering Ms. Palin has endured in recent months, but told Fox News that GOP leaders are still puzzled by her decision. "If she wanted to escape the ethics investigations and save the taxpayers money, she's now done that," he said. Unfortunately, he added, her decision "sent a signal that if you do this kind of thing to a sitting governor like her, you can drive her out of office."
Unusual how? Unusual in the sense that it wasn't orchestrated by Rove? If I were to compare the treatment of Palin to the treatment of the Clintons, or the treatment of her children to the treatment of Chelsea Clinton, it actually seems like Palin got off easy. If I compare her to the guy Rove allegedly accused of pedophilia, or the smear campaign Rove allegedly ran against McCain in 2004, again....
But Palin friends say such commentary misses the real point.... The real issue that should be asked is why a mean-spirited system has to treat people who run like that, instead of why someone may choose not to go through it."
The author of this piece had Karl Rove on the phone, and didn't ask that question? Go figure. He could also have asked Palin, herself.

In law, there's a practice disdained by experienced lawyers, that particularly on appeal can undermine you with a judge. The "kitchen sink" / "throw spaghetti at the wall" approach. When you're trying to make a compelling case, it's usually counter-productive to throw everything at the judge to see if something sticks. The strong arguments get lost among the weak.

But sometimes you only have weak arguments. Assuming you made the mistake of accepting a weak case and don't want to cut your losses, you then must try to pick the strongest of the weak bunch, make a desperate "spaghetti throw", or recognize that your case may be better made in the future when more facts or evidence are available. If this truly is the best Palin's camp can come up with, she should resist the temptation to have WSJ stenographers prattle about how unfair the world is. She should decide for herself why she quit, make that her story, and stick with it. I'm not expecting the truth, but any plausible reason would be better than a spaghetti throw.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe her resignation was the best thing for her state.


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