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The Chronicles of Narcissism: The Lie-in’, the Bitch, and the Wardrobe

23 November 2009

Oh, Sarah Palin.  I just absolutely adore you. </sarcasm>

In fairness, to some degree, I do adore Sarah Palin.  She gives me material for thought and conversation.  She lassoes people into large collectives which are easily recognizable at a distance, making it easier for me to avoid them altogether.  She provides me with an easy example to help define ‘irony’ and ‘hypocrisy’ to children and, in some cases, adults.  Overall, she is kinda great.

Sarah Palin

But it isn’t what’s great about her that has me indoors on a Friday night writing a 20 paragraph blog.  It’s what I find disturbing about her that has me here.  What do I find so dangerous about a soccer mom?  Her political ideology and her followers.

John McCain plucked her out of relative obscurity to serve his own selfish purpose.  When the Senator was running for President and Hillary finally exited stage left, he realized he might win some of her former supporters by finding another charming lady to put on his arm– er, ticket.  Palin was as unknown to John McCain as she was to you and I prior to campaign season.  It was a risk, but he had to take it.  Fast forward two years and the regret for having brought her on to the world stage is as plain in his television appearances as is the nose on his face.  Who wouldn’t regret working with someone they rarely got along with?  Someone who pushed the blame for every misstep solely on your shoulders.  I’d regret it to.

John McCain isn’t the only one finding that decision regrettable.  The vast majority of Americans do too.  Even with the knowledge that 72% of Americans would not support her as a Presidential candidate – I am cautious.  I’m cautious because of the blind devotion she has from many people.  First, when she was introduced to the world and now after the release of her book.  Despite the fact that Sarah Palin continues to campaign for policies and ideologies that seem to have stepped straight out of the 19th century; She still has the complete, unwavering, support of millions.

Mrs. Palin doesn’t believe global climate change is man-made.  During an interview with the far-right Newsmax publication she stated, “A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.”  Despite the mountains of scientific data and evidence, she continues to speak out against actions and legislation that would move our nation toward domestic clean and renewable energy.  In July of this year she published an op-ed in The Washington Post entitled “The ‘Cap and Tax’ Dead End.”  In it she suggests that our new energy policy should include building oil rigs and drilling in the American National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR), building more coal-burning plants to utilize the mountains of coal we have stored domestically (which is the most pollutant fuel on the planet), and the construction of nuclear power plants in each state (despite the abhorrent risks associated with nuclear energy.)  She then asks, “Do we want to control our energy supply and its environmental impact? Or, do we want to outsource it to China, Russia and Saudi Arabia? Make no mistake: President Obama’s plan will result in the latter.”  I find this to be an incredibly irresponsible statement.  The entire purpose behind the Cap-and-Trade plan is to promote the construction of renewable energy sources in America, to create jobs that can not be outsourced; utilizing hydroelectric, wind, and solar energy.  I’m not sure how Mrs. Palin came to the conclusion that building clean energy solutions domestically would result in the outsourcing of jobs.  Perhaps it has something to do with, under Cap-and-Trade, Alaska not being given the opportunity to increase its profit margin twelve-fold.

Sarah Palin is anti-choice.  She has made many statements in the past regarding her desire for a constitutional amendment that would outlaw all abortions, save pregnancy resulting from incest or in cases in which the mother’s life is in danger.  She has been quoted as saying, “We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents.” Which, to me, says that she doesn’t understand the issue of abortion all-that-well.  If she is proud of her daughters choice, perhaps she should also be grateful that her daughter had a choice at all.  Under a McCain/Palin administration, she wouldn’t have.

Sarah Palin and stem Cells make the cover of The Economist

Sarah would like to see another constitutional amendment banning stem cell research.  Research that has literally led to the regeneration of limbs, the curing of debilitating diseases within animals, and could potentially cure diseases such as cancer and HIV/AIDS.

Perhaps to better understand Sarah Palin we should look at the historical record of her leadership and decision making abilities.

She was mayor of Wasilla, AK from 1996 to 2002.  In that time she managed destroy the small town financially with the construction of a 15 million dollar sports arena.  The price tag was a big deal for a city that had an annual budget of only $3.9 million in 1996 (increased to $5.8 million in 2002). Although the city subsidy has gone down from the initial $600k per year to about $125k per year, the sports complex still does not break even.  In addition, the complex was built on someone else’s land without regard for their rights as a land owner.  This led to a long and costly lawsuit which was, in turn, paid for by the residents of Wasilla.  In the end she raised sales tax and broke laws in order to bankrupt a city of less than 10,000 people for a sports complex that was entirely unnecessary– but, as those close to her at the time are quick to remind us, the complex was supposed to be Mrs. Palin’s legacy.  Ironically, it seems to be a legacy of incompetence.

Also, when Mrs. Palin was mayor of Wasilla, she upheld local legislation requiring rape victims to pay for the law enforcement procedures necessary for solving the crime.  In other words, rape victims had to pay for a rape kit before law enforcement would work on the victim’s behalf.  A rape examination can cost anywhere between $300 and $1,200.  If a victim could not afford the procedure, no criminal investigation began.  Maria Comella, a McCain/Palin advisor, said that this requirement is a “misrepresentation of her [Palin’s] commitment to supporting victims and bringing violent criminals to justice.”  Yet, in her six years of being mayor, she made no effort to repeal the legislation.  Her town could spend 15 million on a sports arena but not $300 on rape kits.

Palin is also admittedly anti-equal rights.  She has stated time and again that she does not support same-sex marriage or even “couple’s rights” for same-sex partners.  In 2006, while running for governor, she said she would support a ballot initiative that denied benefits to same-sex couples, but her first veto as governor shot down such a bill.  Palin said she vetoed it because the Alaska Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional, not because she supports gay-marriage or same-sex couple’s rights.  I find it noteworthy that, even after her state found her beliefs to be unconstitutional, she continues to fight against equality.

Palin has been confronted with 19 separate ethics complaints by her former constituents.  These accusations range from her using her power as governor to have a dis-liked family member dismissed from his job to, the most recent allegation, her abuse of ‘per diem’ payments from state revenue.  Though she has been cleared of 14 of these 19 charges (by groups that could be arguably biased), 5 charges still remain.

Photo of Sarah Palin and friends proudly wearing their kills.

Mrs. Palin is no friend to wildlife.  As governor she openly endorsed a program that rewarded the slaughter of wolves with a $150 bounty.  This policy is compounded by the fact that she sued, using state revenue, the Department of the Interior over the listing of Polar Bears and the Beluga whale on the endangered species list.  Again, despite all evidence, she insists that she knows more about the welfare of bears and whales than the experts who have devoted their lives to the study.  Also, Palin supports aerial hunting (the video in this link has some disturbing footage) and spent $400,000 of state money to print and disseminate propaganda supporting it.

The proposed location for MRs. Palin's "bridge to no where"

Let’s not forget the infamous “bridge to nowhere,” or it’s more proper name, the “Gravina Island Bridge.”  The bridge was intended to replace the ferry system being used to connect the mainland to the small island village of Ketchikan which boasts the second largest airport in south-east Alaska and approximately 50 residents.  In addition to the bridge, a road needed to be built.  In Palin’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign, she claimed that  a bridge was essential to the prosperity of Ketchikan and even wore a shirt that read “Nowhere Alaska 99901” – referencing “the bridge to nowhere” and the zip code for the village.  This pro-bridge attitude made a hasty departure during the 2008 Presidential campaign, much to the dismay of the people of Alaska who had spent two years working with her on getting the bridge built.  The estimated cost of the bridge was 398 million dollars.  However, in the two years following, she failed to receive full funding from the federal government and fell 329 million short.  The funding her state did receive from the federal government was never returned after the plans were canceled.  In short, “Thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere.” should have been followed by “but thanks for all the free money.”  Also, I doubt it was coincidence that the “road to nowhere” was all but present during the national conversation.  The road to which I refer is an 8-mile long stretch of pavement that sits isolated in the forest.  Traffic has no access to the road as it was intended for use with the bridge; Since the bridge was never built, the road sits as useless asphalt…  a 25 million dollar reminder of frivolous spending.  When Palin was asked why the road was built even after it was decided the bridge would not be, she said that otherwise the money would have had to be returned.

Lastly, and perhaps most irresponsibly, is the release of her book Going Rogue. In the book she takes liberty with the facts and cleverly reinvents them as needed.  A few of my favorite out-and-out lies in her book are as follows:  First, the by-line.  Sarah Palin did not write Going Rogue, a ghost writer by the name of Lynn Vincent did.  Second, she claims she was left with $50,000 in legal fees regarding her Vice-Presidential vetting despite the fact that she was not vetted and McCain campaign advisors stating that it is simply “untrue.”  Third, Palin asserts that her effort to award a license for a natural gas transmission line was turning a “pipe dream” into a pipeline. Although she claimed otherwise in her speech at the GOP convention in 2008, there is no pipeline. It remains a pipe dream.  Also, Palin complains that McCain advisors were adamant about keeping her “on the script.”  McCain advisor Steve Schmidt says they were regularly tasked with keeping Palin from lying or misleading the public during the campaign as she had with the campaign staffers.  Finally, my favorite out-right lie in her book – by far – is when she criticizes President Obama for bailing out the private sector.  She seems to have conveniently forgotten that former President George W. Bush’s signature is at the bottom of those bailouts and she has also neglected to mention that at the time Bush signed it, she supported it.  …and that is just the beginning.  She also didn’t know if Africa was a country or continent, she didn’t understand the difference between Great Brittain and England, she once stated that “God put dinosaurs here 4,000 years ago so we can fuel our pickup trucks,” and she regularly attempted to usurp the spotlight from John McCain;  All of this comes directly from McCain campaign staffers.  Moreover, there is not one single sentence in the entire book in which she takes responsibility for her actions.  Every problem she faced, every blundered opportunity is attributed to the incompetence of someone else.

Palin's book cover

However, the largest and most worrisome aspect of Palin’s political history is that she resigned as governor citing no particular reason as to why.  She simply quit.

It seems clear that Sarah Palin isn’t fit to hold office and yet she has the blind devotion of millions.  Visit her Facebook Page for examples of the undeserved devotion.  In addition to Palin’s many lies (there are no laws regarding accuracy within social networking, allowing Palin to invent and maintain fiction such as “death panels”) you’ll find many comments left by supporters.  Comments like:

Pistol Mangino “I’d buy the book even if I couldn’t read, I just would like to drive the Main Stream Media Crazy. Sarah what do we do now to stop this madness on health car. God Bless we love the book. Reload and lets keep these people running.”

Mike Terwilliger “I heard your radio interviews with Hannity and Levin. They were great. You are the most honest politician America has. That’s why the liberal bias reporters want to smear, discredit and demean you. They are not journalist but are Obama mouthpieces.”

Clinton D. Rencher “Sarah, Our voices have not been heard loud enough!! We must band together and rid this Country of a virus that has snuck into this Country’s political system and is making this Country sick with it’s disease.”

Those are a few comments on her page.  It seems clear that her followers are as unfamiliar with fact as Palin is.

…but I digress.  Though at times her cult of followers gives me pause, I remember that she is generally considered to be a joke on the political stage.  Roughly 80% of the GOP openly discredits Palin.  The majority Americans see her for what she is, unfit to lead.  If numbers are your thing, maybe this will set your mind at ease:  Sarah Palin’s Facebook page has 1,057,544 fans at the time that I write this article.  President Obama’s Facebook page has 6,935,188 fans.  If these numbers are any indication, if Sarah Palin runs for President in 2012 and manages to come out of the primaries, Obama will mop the floor with her.

Do your part in ensuring a Palin-free Presidency in 2012.  Write the members of your party of choice and urge them not to support any would-be candidate with such little understanding of the world.  Also, tell your friends and family who may be reading her book to not simply accept her words (or rather Vincent’s words) as fact.  There are plenty of sources who’s sole purpose is to check facts.  Additionally, you can join groups on Facebook (or this one) meant to take away the pedestal on which some have placed her.

Below are a few select video clips of Sarah Palin proving how uneducated she is:

Yes, that’s right — we need to get tougher on Iraq to stop Iran.

An angry crowd of people begins shouting after Palin quits signing books abruptly — much like she quit her job as governor.

Sarah asks “What does a VP do?”

More evidence that she didn’t know much about the job she was campaigning for.


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