Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Sarah Palin Files, Pt. 1

God, I have so much work to do. So I'm going to first warm up by picking some of the low-hanging fruit.

Let's debunk the myth that Sarah Palin has always opposed the infamous "bridge to nowhere." This is the lie (really, let's call it what it is) she told as she was introduced as John McCain's VP.

Let's look at what John McCain hates - the facts.

On October 22, 2006, in response to a question about whether she supported said bridge Gubernatorial candidate Palin told the Anchorage Daily News,

Yes. I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now--while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.

As The New Republic Reports,

By that point, the project was endangered for reasons that had nothing to do with Palin—the bridge had become a national laughingstock, Congress had stripped away the offending earmark, shifting the money back to the state's general fund, and future federal support seemed unlikely. True, after Palin was sworn into office that fall, her first budget didn't allocate any money for the bridge. But when the Daily News asked on December 16, 2006, if she now opposed the project, Palin demurred and said she was just trying to figure out where the bridge fit on the state's list of transportation priorities, given the lack of support from Congress.

Emphasis mine. So, the facts show that twice before taking office, Palin was given the opportunity to announce her opposition to the Bridge to Nowhere. The results?

1. Yes, I'm absolutely for it.
2. Still for it - just trying to figure out how to fund it.

Unless I have suddenly lost my ability to comprehend English, I'd say that neither time constitutes "opposition."

The New Republic piece linked to above puts Palin's next statement on the bridge project at September 19, 2007, when she took the first step in what could be described as being against the bridge - directing state funds away from it and to other projects. Great, but here was her statement at the time:

"Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport, but the $398 million bridge is not the answer,” said Governor Palin. “Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it’s clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island,” Governor Palin added. “Much of the public’s attitude toward Alaska bridges is based on inaccurate portrayals of the projects here. But we need to focus on what we can do, rather than fight over what has happened.”

Palin, in her speech, stated, "I told Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks' on the bridge to nowhere."

Huh? I'm sorry, but I don't see any way to reconcile her account yesterday of her position, with her statement in September. Quite to the contrary, those pesky facts show that there was nothing from Congress for Palin to say "no thanks" to.

I will again quote The New Republic article, mainly because I can't put it any better:

Maybe I've missed something, but it sure looks like she was fine with the bridge in principle, never had a problem with the earmarks, bristled at all the mockery, and only gave up on the project when it was clear that federal support wasn't forthcoming.

Here are my two main thoughts, for whatever they're worth.

1. As a liar, she's a perfect match for John McCain. As has been widely reported, John McCain had only met Palin once and spoken with her on the phone on another occasion before picking her as his VP. He must have seen how reality-challenged she was and recognized a kindred spirit.

2. One can only assume she knew her prior statements. Why on earth would she come out and say that she has been opposed to the Bridge to Nowhere? This, to me, shows that Palin is just not ready for prime time. Maybe you can say something blatantly false and get away with it in a town of less than 8500 people, but this is the proverbial "big leagues." Does she not realize this?

I'll end on a comedic video created by The Jed Report (you decide what John McCain was looking at over and over):

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