September 09, 2008

The Left's Rhetorical Suicide Bombers

Sarah Palin fired the librarian who didn't want to let her ban books.

Sarah Palin was once part of an Alaskan separatist political party.

Sarah Palin cut funding for special needs students in schools.

Sarah Palin faked a pregnancy to cover up for her oldest daughter.

Sarah Palin is a racist who openly utters ethnic slurs against Eskimos.

Sarah Palin endangered her son's military unit by announcing his deployment to Iraq.

When Governor Sarah Palin burst onto the national stage as John McCain's Vice Presidential pick, it set the journalistic and political pundits classes that considered her a dark horse candidate back on their heels in shocked surprise. The immediate, visceral delight among conservatives, moderates, and even a surprising number of Democrats to Palin's selection and unique biography triggered an immediate shift in media coverage.

Palin's coming out also triggered panic on the political left as they saw the "buzz" of the Democratic National Convention vanish into the ether, and the backlash against "Caribou Barbie" on the left was vicious and immediate as slur after slur were slung at her and her family the overwhelming majority of them false.

Palin never fired the Wasilla librarian or wanted to ban books, and the list of books  she is accused of wanting to ban was a list of books copied from a university Web site, and included books published after Palin became mayor.

Palin first registered as a Republican in 1982 and has always been a Republican; the Alaskan Independence Party official who first claimed Palin was a member quickly admitted her mistake the next day.

Instead of cutting spending for special needs programs as claimed in a Washington Post article, Palin actually increased funding by more than $3 million.

Sarah Palin did not fake her pregnancy with her youngest son Trig to cover up her daughter's teen pregnancy. Sarah and Bristol had concurrent pregnancies for a month, and Bristol is still carrying her child with Levi Johnston.

Sarah Palin is far from being a racist who slurs Eskimos; her husband's family and her children are part Yup'ik Eskimo.

While the venom and volume of the slurs begin launched against Sarah Palin are notable, they are unsurprising in today's politics. Barack Obama and John McCain have both had rumors and slurs directed against them during the campaign, some of them quite fierce.

What separates the smears against Sarah Palin from the directed at Obama and McCain is the apparent willingness of some of those creating and propagating the smears to put their names on the line in order to impeach Palin's reputation as a form of rhetorical suicide bombers.

Foremost among them is Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic. Sullivan is openly a Barack Obama supporter, and has been a key conduit of taking obscure smears into the public spotlight. Sullivan has attacked Palin as a Christian extremist, and went so far as to link and repost portions of a sermon from Palin's minister that were doctored to make him sound like Barack Obama's racist conspiracy theorist former pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

Sullivan helped push the slur that Palin engaged in an extramarital affair with her husband's former business partner without any credible shred of evidence supporting such a claim, and was also among the first to actively promote the conspiracy theory that Sarah Palin faked her pregnancy, claiming that her youngest son, Trig, was actually her daughter Bristol's child. Even after it was revealed that Bristol Palin was pregnant concurrently with her mother, Sullivan still pushed for Sarah Palin to release her medical records. In continuing to foist up on improbable smear after another against Sarah Palin no matter how obtuse or unhinged the attack was, Sullivan went a long way to destroying his reputation. He has also tarnished the reputation of The Atlantic in the process.

Paul Kane of the Washington Post infamously and daftly misrepresented a spending bill where Palin exercised her line item veto, and claimed that as governor, Palin "reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent." The reality is that Palin increased funding for Covenant House by $3.9 million, a three-fold increase. Despite widespread criticism and a debunking by, Kane and the Post have refused to correct the false representation of Palin's record.

Jon Soltz, a former U.S. Army Captain, Iraq War veteran, and chairman of, is claiming that gov. Palin violated operational security by revealing that her eldest son, Track, would be deploying to Iraq. Soltz repeated the smear on another prominent political web site, the Huffington Post.

But the claim Gov. Palin violated operational security is demonstrably false, which Soltz, as a former soldier, should have know before posting his claims. CNN's Anderson Cooper dismantled Soltz's transparently partisan attack, pointing out that the Pentagon announced Track Palin's unit was deploying to Iraq back in May, and that the unit itself had announced a public deployment ceremony a month before Palin was announced as John McCain's running mate. Two separate field-grade officers contacted have confirmed that Palin in no way violated operational security.

Some news agencies have released far more about Track Palin's deployment and his unit, including claiming to know to which province his unit would be deploying in Iraq. Without the benefit of any evidence at all, Soltz claims that the McCain-Palin campaign must be behind this disclosure. Though it damages his credibility and tarnishes the veteran's group he chairs, Jon Soltz has put his credibility and that of on the line in hopes of undermining a proud soldier's mother for releasing already public information.

Despite these smears directed at Gov. Palin--and some that are worse--Palin and John McCain have surged in the polls. In months to come, those who have sacrificed their reputations in hopes of tarnishing Palin's name may wonder if the sacrifice was worth it.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at September 9, 2008 02:22 PM

Great post. However, I believe Gov. Palin did ultimately fire the librarian, just not over "book banning". Also, I think you mean that she increased spending "to", not "by" $3.9M.
I'll try to look these up.

Posted by: fat tony at September 9, 2008 02:36 PM

Thanks for checking behind me , fat tony, but both of those details are correct.

The librarian resigned of her own accord, and Palin increased spending to the already existing budget (of just over a million, as I recall) by raising it by an additional $3.9 million.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at September 9, 2008 02:56 PM

Oh, it seems they are now turning at least some attention back to McCain:

Via The Radio Equalizer, here's how Air America klaxon and avid Obama supporter Randi Rhodes describes the years of torture John McCain endured at the hands of Vietnamese communists because he wouldn't accept release before others who had been incarcerated longer:

"Of course he (McCain) became very friendly with the Vietnamese. They called him the Prince. He was well treated actually."

Posted by: Sara at September 9, 2008 03:52 PM

Wasn't the librarian the girlfriend of the police commissioner that was lying to the City Council and fired because of it?

Posted by: Sara at September 9, 2008 03:54 PM

The left is simply ticked off that McCain not only chose a woman for VP but a woman with more executive experience and more cojones than Obama.

Posted by: Zhombre at September 9, 2008 04:05 PM

On three occasions, I have witnessed an event which was later reported by the national media. One was an interview of a F4 crew who had just returned from an Operation Linebacker sortie. The second, an interview I reluctantly gave a British anchor named Jon Snow. The third was an assassination attempt on a foreign head of state which I witnessed.

None of the media reports were accurate. I read the Wall Street journal and watch college football on ABC. There ends my exposure to the news media. They just make stuff up.

Posted by: arch at September 9, 2008 04:11 PM

The smears aren't working. 52% of Independents now support McCain-Palin as do a majority of white women. The left must find (or manufacture) something or McCain wins.

Posted by: arch at September 9, 2008 04:15 PM

CY: Factcheck indicates that the librarian was fired, rehired, and later resigned. The Kilkenny letter spins the incident one way, but I am unclear what really happened.

As to the funding, I got this from :

"It is true that lawmakers allocated 5 million to Covenant House Alaska and that Mrs. Palin cut that allocation to 3.9 million dollars. However, what is misleading about the Post headline is that the allocation of 3.9 million is three times more than Covenant House Alaska received from government grants in 2007. According to records on the Covenant House Alaska website, the organization received just over 1.3 million dollars from grants in 2007 and nearly 1.2 million in 2006. Even with the reductions, Governor Palin signed a budget which provided three times more funds than the organization received in 2007."

Assuming we are talking per annum figures, I take that to mean funding tripled to $3.9M, not rose by $3.9M.

It gets better, though. That site also has a letter from Covenant House, the recipient of the money, that says that what really occurred is a phase-in of funding. They are scheduled to increase to $5M in the succeeding year, putting the last nail into this smear job.

I guess the next charge will be that Gov. Palin diverted state funds to a rightwing Christianist sect (Covenant House). That's the only way to salvage this goofball claim.

Posted by: fat tony at September 9, 2008 04:53 PM

Also, I want to reiterate what a great job you do, not just on this post, but in general. Always fascinating reading.

Posted by: fat tony at September 9, 2008 04:57 PM

Obama gets personal .. now it's gonna get ugly.

"You can put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig."

Everybody take a deep breath while Obama destroys himself.

Posted by: Neo at September 9, 2008 06:00 PM

Oh, neo, that's beautiful. Women are running from the Dems in droves and Obama's response is "lipstick on a pig?"

God, it reminds me of "Mission Impossible": "This candidate will self-destruct in 5 minutes."

Posted by: Donna at September 9, 2008 06:54 PM

Barry said aabout 2 hours ago,in an obvious reference to Gov. Palin: "You can take the lipstick off a pig, but it's still a pig".

I'm sure with that kind of classy remark, he'll drop another 10-20 pts. in the polls.

Damn, grab the popcorn boys & girls; this is gonna be FUN!!

Posted by: Jack Coonan at September 9, 2008 07:11 PM

I am a liberal Democrat.

I don't know who these dumbasses are, but I wish they would quit calling themselves Democrats. They are ruining the name.

BTW - They are "progressives" not liberals.

Posted by: myiq2xu at September 9, 2008 07:12 PM

Love, just love, the headline!

Note to self: Steal variation soon.

Posted by: vanderleun at September 9, 2008 08:14 PM

The newest smear is the one about Palin charging her per diem when she was lodging at home. It's debunked over at Volokh. Apparently it was all kosher because her home was 2 hours away from her job site, and she wasn't charging lodging.

Anyway, Neo 6:00, I gotta agree with Obama on this one. I hate lipstick. Would never ask out a girl who wore it, but I'll still vote Palin-McCain.

Posted by: AYY at September 9, 2008 11:38 PM

Jack Coonan,
I just received 2 lbs. each of 5 varieties of gourmet popcorn, a gallon of "screw-teh-food-Nazis" 90+% saturated fat coconut oil (like you used to get in theatres), and a gallon of buttery topping from I'm lovin' it. I sent out an alert on Feb 07, 2008 on the family website I maintain that if "You want a woman president, forget Hillary! Here's my pick: ". There are several liberal Democrat women in my family including two older sisters. None of them will talk to me right now. Go figure! As I own the family website, all the Palin smears get debunked quickly, and the Obama/Biden lies, deceptions, and slanders get the kleig lights. I can picture their grinding teeth, angry face, and sneering words: "It rears its ugly head again." When they talk about me in the third person when I'm in the room, I know they taste defeat. Hell, they used to put lipstick on me when I was a baby boy, and this is the best get-back ever on so many levels. I'll be hitting them with lipstick jokes till Thanksgiving, then they best let go Obama at the dinner table, over the suckling pig I'll be serving. rofl

Posted by: twolaneflash at September 10, 2008 09:56 AM

Lib/Dem, if you want to differentiate the Progs from the Lib you have your work cut out for you. I know there are decent people in the Democratic Party but they need to speak up and not be mau-maued into silence. This state of affairs is only remediable by you. If you fail in this the Dems will split which I would like. But not as much as a reform of the Dems that leaves these nutcases out in the cold where they belong.

Posted by: megapotamus at September 10, 2008 12:09 PM