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Tilting at Windmills

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September 7, 2008
By: Hilzoy

Oops! She Did It Again

ABC's Political Punch reports on Sarah Palin's speech today:

"She said she "championed reform of earmark spending by Congress, and I told the Congress thanks but no thanks on that 'Bridge to Nowhere'", she said, ommiting (sic) mention that she'd campaigned for governor supporting the bridge."

I take it most readers of this blog will know that this is a flat-out lie.

When politicians lie -- and here I mean not just putting the best spin on things, but out and out lying -- they might as well walk up to each and every one of us and say: Hello! I have no respect for the value of your time! You might have other things to do -- work, playing with your kids, taking a long hike in the mountains, whatever -- but I don't care. I'm going to put you in a position where you're going to have to research everything I say, or else just give up on your civic duty. You don't get to assume that my words are, if not exactly true, at least somewhere in the general vicinity of the truth, and decide whether or not to vote for me. If you want to be an informed citizen, you'll have to become obsessive, like hilzoy.

They might as well add: I have no respect for democracy. In a democracy, citizens listen to what each side has to say and decide who to vote for. To work, it requires that what each side says bears some resemblance to the truth. If I cared about democracy, I'd respect those limits -- maybe stretching the truth every now and then, but generally maintaining some sort of relationship between what I say and reality. But guess what? I don't care about democracy! If winning requires that I make things up out of whole cloth and hope that I'm successful enough to frustrate the popular will, then that's what I'll do. Don't like it? Think democracy is a good system, one that we should cherish? That's just too bad.

But Palin has gone beyond this. She is not just telling lies; she's telling lies that have been exposed as lies, and that have gotten a lot of attention. Assuming she does not actually want to lose, she must assume that her audience either doesn't know that she's lying, or doesn't care. In either case, it's deeply cynical, and deeply insulting.

I just hope she isn't right.

Hilzoy 12:46 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (96)

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"But Palin has gone beyond this. She is not just telling lies; she's telling lies that have been exposed as lies"

What about Obama constantly saying that he's in favor of universal healthcare while having a healthcare plan that isn't universal?

Isn't that lie a bit more significant than Palin's?

Posted by: Petey on September 7, 2008 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Well, she did the same thing in her convention speech. So my quetion is: how much are the major outlets paying attention to this? I don't watch the evening news, so I don't have any sense of whether she is continuing to say this because she is not being called on it, or what.

Posted by: Cap and Gown on September 7, 2008 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

she must assume that her audience either doesn't know that she's lying, or doesn't care. In either case, it's deeply cynical, and deeply insulting.

Steve, after a decade of this I'm surprised you haven't considered the third option, which is the actual one. She actually doesn't think she's lying.

It's really as simple as that. Go to FreeRepublic or RedState and look at what they say about the Bridge story. They have simply decided that the claim Palin originally supported the bridge is an evil lie by the liberal media, because, ultimately, she opposed the bridge and that's all that matters SHUT UP.

Posted by: August J. Pollak on September 7, 2008 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

Apologies, on posting I realize I should address Hilzoy, not Steve.

Posted by: August J. Pollak on September 7, 2008 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

Since the Greens won't win, though, and since I'm a newspaper editor in my day job, for not just national politics, but a few state and local issues — if you live in Texas, Dallas in specific, I’ve started my own base-level “Intrade.” I plan weekly updates to start, with more frequent ones nearer election day, including covering issues beyond politics in the narrow sense, such as offering odds on oil prices.

[Sorry about deleting your comment! Too many anonymous trolls leaving too many unsigned posts on too many threads. -Mod]

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 7, 2008 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

"Steve, after a decade of this I'm surprised you haven't considered the third option, which is the actual one. She actually doesn't think she's lying."

I think she knows she's lying, and "the base" knows she's lying, but that doesn't matter. All that matters is the words oozing out of her mouth. Just saying it makes it so to the right wing. that's what's so frightening about them. Truth doesn't matter to them. That's why the right wing still is so supportive of the Iraq war and will site long discredited reasons for their support. They know its bogus, but saying it make sit so. How can you argue with people who have no concept of truth and illusion?

Posted by: Saint Zak on September 7, 2008 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

I'm afraid your latter hypothesis is correct - her viewers don't care. It has become all about flash, and the Republican base is desperate to be fired up about something. They probably know what she says isn't true, but they so want to believe the Republican cause is not burnt up on reentry to reality that they will accept her falsehoods; because she's charismatic, and their best hope. McCain was already tanking without her, and after that "brother, can you spare a clue" speech of his, they probably sense he has no chance unless he hitches his wagon to her star. John McCain has become Sarah Palin's whore, whether he realizes it or not (and knowing what a smug, self-centered walking smirk he is, I doubt he does).

Thing is, though, ponder for a moment on a Sarah Palin in charge of appointing judges to the Supreme Court. Sarah Palin in charge of the budget. Sarah Palin setting the course of American foreign policy, Sarah Palin Commander in Chief of America's forces. Somebody who will go on lying right in your face when both of you know she's lying is essentially daring you to stop her. If you don't, she knows all she needs to about where you stand. If you don't stop her now. you certainly won't be able to stop her then.


Posted by: Mark on September 7, 2008 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

She actually doesn't think she's lying.

Does the statement advance the interests of the Party? Does it promote the Party's leading role as the Vanguard of the Revolution?

Then it's true. It has revolutionary truth.

It soars, dialectically, above the old opposition of 'truth' and 'falsity', transcending the outmoded bourgeois notion of truth -- comporting with the facts.

All power to the Soviets of preachers and brokers!

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on September 7, 2008 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

She's not lying. Those who can make reality their own are the winners.

Posted by: anonymoujs on September 7, 2008 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

I think you are missing the point here.

It isn't the gall or gumption or bravado in repeating lies already proven as such, it's that.....this is all they have. Seriously.

It's been a week since they plucked her out of obscurity and thrust her into the limelight.

She knows nothing about anything and can only read from the script. She doesn't know enough to read from another script. Nor, do the writers know enough about her to even write a new one.

This is the only script they have.

This is, among many many many other things, is what the next 2 weeks of VP boot camp is about.

Posted by: cameron on September 7, 2008 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

"What about Obama constantly saying that he's in favor of universal healthcare while having a healthcare plan that isn't universal?"

The two aren't contradictory, and his plan is a step in the direction of universal healthcare. Put it this way - if Congress put a universal healthcare bill in front of Obama, he'd sign it into law without thinking twice. You're simply being an ass for trying to compare that with Palin lying about known facts.

Posted by: OhNoNotAgain on September 7, 2008 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

I think what I love most about our political culture is that it is perfectly acceptable to call someone a traitor or a terrorist or a baby-killer or "uppity," but what is completely beyond the pale is to call someone a liar. Even when they are lying to your face and everyone knows it.

Posted by: Jim on September 7, 2008 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

We don't seem to be able to grasp just how weak, and devious she is and the culture she is used to. She thinks this is all okay and she only has to get away with it for two months.

We forget how weak she is when we get into details. Even if she wasn't a liar she still has no business being the VP nominee.

But she is a sideshow. The real issue is McCain who has presented us with the truly horrifying possibility that she could be President. Over time virtually every "positive" attribute claimed for her will be revealed to be false.

The attack should be on McCain. He is the real empty suit and the real danger. Putting her in line for the presidency was the most irresponsible act I've ever seen in politics.

We must stop referring to him as honorable or heroic. Even if it was ever true it is certainly no longer true. Slate has a video tour of Wasilla. Check it out. The country needs to see the splendor that spawned this wacko.

Posted by: Howard Katz on September 7, 2008 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

What about Obama constantly saying that he's in favor of universal healthcare while having a healthcare plan that isn't universal?

Faulty logic, Petey. One can be in favor of something and work for it as an end goal while implementing initial steps toward that end.

Posted by: Blue Girl on September 7, 2008 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

Hilzoy, I have to say it. You're naive.

Posted by: bob5540 on September 7, 2008 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

Repeat a lie often enough, and people will believe it. No matter what.

Posted by: Callimaco on September 7, 2008 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

Has Palin even offered the excuse the McCain campaign has given for her -- that her earlier love of earmarks turned into disgust with the process? Since she's never spoken words to that effect, I assume that excuse is the invention of a spin-meister.

Posted by: Grumpy on September 7, 2008 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

The point is: Palin can lie and still convince people. She was chosen because she can connect with a certain type of voter. And there are quite a few of them. It doesn't matter if she's lying. They don't care. I mean, look at some Hillary supporters. They're going to vote for McCain/not vote because Hillary didn't clinch the nomination. I think the same applies here.

And of course, why should voters believe the liberal media, they're trying to slander an upstanding citizen and a fine mother with a beautiful family. If you let the liberal media get away with too much they could be slamming your family next!!!

Conservatives will eat this crap and ask for seconds. She's their Obama.

Posted by: Mick on September 7, 2008 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

Obama has finally started to ask the question I have longed to hear him ask:

"How stupid do they think you are?"

As he says it, "they" is the GOP, "you" is his presumably Democratic audience. I would like to see him use a variant of that:

"How stupid does she think they are?"

"She" being Palin, and "they" being the media, TV reporters in particular. Sure, the reporters will resent it, but how would they deal with it? By letting Palin CONTINUE to lie to THEM?


Posted by: Tony P. on September 7, 2008 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

Another thing -- You know what your problem is, Hilzoy? You cling ever so desperately to a "reality based community"!

Ha! It's 2004 ... again. (sigh)

Posted by: Callimaco on September 7, 2008 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

Semi-off-topic (though suggested by a comment above), but just thinking aloud:

Can we use the fact that McCain "broke under torture" against him? He admitted it in his acceptance speech and opened the door. My thinking is that it should be seen as part of a pattern. He broke under Bush's South Carolina torture in 2000, too. Ever since then, he's been consorting with the enemy. Far from being a "gutsy maverick", when the rubber meets the skin, he caves. And then, in 2008, he caves again when the Chritian right won't let him have his choice for VP. Can we trust someone who caves to protect us against the terrorists?

That's just a rough outline, but I think somebody could polish it into a talking point, and even add more examples of the pattern of caving.

Posted by: bob5540 on September 7, 2008 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

She doesn't care if the readers of this blog know she is lying. They were never going to vote for her anyway. She telling the hard core lizard brains what they want to hear. They won't believe it when the media says she's lying. It a win-win!!

Posted by: jimbo on September 7, 2008 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

Authoritarians don't care about truth, they care about power. Since we've rewarded a whole series of lying right wing authoritarians with power, they will continue to lie.

Theoretically, in a democracy liars will be exposed and lose credibility, meaning they will lose power as no one would vote for them. Thus the system is supposed to be self-correcting.

This no longer happens due to several systemic breakdowns:

1. The right has created a hugely successful propaganda infrastructure which can simply be commanded to repeat officially sanctioned lies, and this infrastructure has so permeated the rest of the media that right wing lies become an accepted part of conventional wisdom even among parts of the media that are supposedly not members of the right wing cabal.

(Thus we have the AP spinning out GOP talking points. More generally, we saw a whole media dedicated to marginalizing and ignoring antiwar opinion during the time leading up to the US invasion of Iraq.)

2. Many supporters of the political right have simply eliminated any pretense of being interested in truth, if said truth contradicts what they want to believe on any subject. The prevailing narrative then becomes a creation of and slave to the needs of the right wing tribe. Ideas that support the tribe must be deemed true, while ideas contradicting the ideology of the tribe will be ignored and suppressed.

(The "zombie lie" phenomenon is an embodiment of this. Repeating falsehoods long after their debunking is a favorite right wing tactic.)

3. Last of all a large subsection of the electorate is too distracted/uninformed/ignorant to recognize obvious falsehoods when they encounter them. Wingnuts like Palin have little risk of being punished as liars because large swaths of voters have no interest in or engagement with political realities except on the most superficial level, and thus won't vote them out of office even if the lies are constant and blatant.

(We've all heard of the "low information voter." Without them the GOP would have been out of power long ago.)

Posted by: jimBOB on September 7, 2008 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

they've turned truth into a pile of shit and will try and ride into the white house behind a slew of on the ground race baiting.

Obama/Biden need to adress the lies right now and call McCain Palin Liars to the world's face and clearly articulate why it is the continuum of Busch inc. A press conference or an entire segment on tomorrow's shows.

They need to establish reality quick before it's too late.

Posted by: grinning cat on September 7, 2008 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

"Faulty logic, Petey. One can be in favor of something and work for it as an end goal while implementing initial steps toward that end."

I don't think so. Obama continually claims that his plan actually is a universal healthcare plan, even while everyone agrees it is not.

"You're simply being an ass for trying to compare that with Palin lying about known facts."

I'm not comparing the two. I think Obama's behavior is considerably worse than Palin's.

Palin is lying about a pretty minor piece of her record. Obama is lying about a major element of his policy going forward.

Posted by: Petey on September 7, 2008 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

Can someone get the exact text of what if anything she said/wrote/communicated to Congress about the bridge, and when?

And also the exact text of Congress' action. I understand the earmark was withdrawn/changed before she took office.

Fight distortions with facts.

Posted by: david s on September 7, 2008 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

bob5540: "Hilzoy, I have to say it. You're naive."

Maybe so. To my mind, though, naive would be expecting something different. I don't.

I just don't think that means that I shouldn't point it out, and say what I think it means.

I also think we should never stop being outraged by this stuff, however old it gets. They only do it because it works.

Posted by: hilzoy on September 7, 2008 at 1:40 AM | PERMALINK

"The prevailing narrative then becomes a creation of and slave to the needs of the right wing tribe. Ideas that support the tribe must be deemed true, while ideas contradicting the ideology of the tribe will be ignored and suppressed."

Right! The messaged is amplified by Fox and friends. I'm for free speech and all. But, there must be some loophole that we have just not thought of that we could close so Fox cant lie 24 hours a day.

We do have a weapon though. YouTube!

There should be plenty of video of Palin supporting the Bridge To Nowhere. It just needs to be spliced together with the number of times on the campaign she continues to repeat the lie. By my count its at least 4 times.

McCain has repeated the lie too. Since Sarah is being sequestered, someone needs to present McCain with the evidence that she actually was for it and see if they keep it in her stump speech.

Posted by: John Henry on September 7, 2008 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

The lizard brains won't understand the charts and graphs but they will understand video.

Posted by: John Henry on September 7, 2008 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

It's like religion. Once you ardently subscribe to any religion, you start convincing yourself that that there must be a reason for many of the things that that you are supposed to believe as part of the package that comes with the religion, even though you know them to be ridiculous.

Obviously, the evangelicals are more prone to such behavior.

Posted by: gregor on September 7, 2008 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

I never tire of pointing out to rightwingers that they are punks who enjoy getting punk'd. It's just so insulting, though true.

Posted by: Jennifer on September 7, 2008 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Petey, that "trust fund scumbag" Yglesias ban you from CAP, or were you just bored and decided to come over to to annoy people?

BTW: Tell John and Rielle I said Hi. And give the Baby my love.


Posted by: Shine on September 7, 2008 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

Brilliant, Its already done.

So since McCain is not in hiding he needs to be asked 'Why is she saying she stopped it when she didnt'

Posted by: John Henry on September 7, 2008 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

Seems to me that while a large number of Dems are mired in details of Palin's background and character, she has become the new face in the election and as such is capturing both the attention of the media and a large segment of the American public.

I would submit that her message is focused on cleaning up Washington, a message of "change" that is supplanting Obama's promise of change, which I would also submit, was not helped by his choice of Biden, a long=term insider in Washington politics.

We now have a platform of change from each party, and I think the platform of cleaning out the old politics of Washington may resonate more effectively than Obama's message of change.

Posted by: pencarrow on September 7, 2008 at 2:28 AM | PERMALINK

The base + low information independents + racist swing voters & democrats > 50% or 270 electoral votes.

Posted by: zimmieq on September 7, 2008 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK

Hilzoy*** Palin hasn't been told yet that the audience has found out that these ARE lies so she keeps repeating them without knowing that we know she's lying. She's just not a WH caliber person. She thinks her audience doesn't pay attention to history much less the facts and assumes that more people will believe the lie than will ever find out she's lying (something she picked up from McCain).

Imagine if Barrack Obama was going around saying this or if the roles of their children were reversed, the press would be non stop about it till election was over. She thinks the bridge to nowhere didn't mean the bridge's money was to nowhere so she's double the liar...was for it before she realized it was not good politically so then she was against it but kept the money anyway...just like the campaign...will say anything just as long as they end up with the presidency (or the money). A complete phony, already lying and doing cover-ups claiming exec privilege. Repubs want to stick another one of those in the WH?? Just pathetic

Posted by: joey on September 7, 2008 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK

Politicians can get away with fibs like this because 98% of the population doesn't research in-depth. They basically look at the surface of the argument... he said/she said then make a snap judgment.

The evidence proving her statement to be an "exaggeration" (I know you call it a lie), is way too nuanced for the general public to understand. As far as they are concerned, the bottom line is that she didn't build the bridge.

Incidentally, this is why I don't think the “troopergate” thing will help Democrats much either. The public is basically going to home in on the fact that Wooten deserved to be fired.

I completely agree with you when you point out the contradictions in her speech. Just remember the right wing has been just as frustrated on issues like this in the past. It all balances out.

Posted by: rory on September 7, 2008 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

In the good old days, the whopper would be something to throw on the table immediately before the election, so that there is no time for a backlash. I wonder, has Internet access has opened a dust chute into the public mind, by overloading the ability to process worthless information? I guess maybe we're about to find out.

Posted by: Jassalasca Jape on September 7, 2008 at 2:50 AM | PERMALINK

btw...it's "National" health care ins plan not "universal" health care...It's certainly a step beyond privatized profiteering for millions in CEO compensation packages. It's not a "lie" when it's posted on the site for all to see and "freely" interpret as Petey does. Pal;in's is just an out and out lie and it's recorded on video. Rather than answer criticism, repubs always ignore it and say "Well Obama..." ...or attack the messenger. They just can't admit and say "ok, she's lying and I don't know why". Just like everything else including the disaster Bush has put us in...they don't invite him or Cheney to their convention and ignore our economy but will never admit that, "hey, we fucked up". They live in denial when the first step to dealing with any problem is admitting you have one...something they are incapable of doing therefore Palin becomes an expert in foreign policy. She does not represent change or reform of ANY kind...she's in the pockets of big oil and lobbyists and is just another tax the poor but never the wealthy, borrow and spend republican...same old same old.

Posted by: joey on September 7, 2008 at 2:58 AM | PERMALINK

No Rory***the bottom line is that she "couldn't" build the bridge but that she kept the bridge money anyway.
Troopergate...Wooten a bad guy and it's as insignificant as ...what...maybe...a blow job. Oh, that's right it was because he LIED about it just like Palin is LYING about firing Wooten's boss (a good guy) because he wouldn't be pressured into firing Wooten by a Gov. abusing the powers of her office.
"brought to you by Mom and Me home pregnancy test kit...sold at Wasilla Bait and Tackle"

Posted by: joey on September 7, 2008 at 3:09 AM | PERMALINK

One part of the problem is that the progressive punditry has actually managed to screw up the narrative on this issue, largely I think because we wanted to recycle a memorable line about her being "for it before she was against it." But that misses the real story here and doesn't point out the really fundamental lie in what Palin is saying here. The simple truth is that by the time she had any say in the matter, congress had already removed the Bridge to Nowhere as an earmark project in its appropriations bill. Somerby has been hammering on this for a week and its something that has been missed in numerous accounts of Palin's dishonesty. Before she was Governor, she was in favor of the bridge but by the time she became Governor, the was no bridge project for her to support. Congress had dropped it and essentially decided to just drop a random pile of cash on Alaska which, of course, she kept and decided to spend on even more worthless projects. It is, in other words, not just a soft lie of omission but rather a lie that posits the exact opposite of the truth. She didn't tell Congress no thanks, they told her and she just went went for some different earmarks instead.

Posted by: brent on September 7, 2008 at 3:14 AM | PERMALINK

Uh-oh... Referencing the Republican response to Obama's bringing up pork-barrel spending points out an obvious problem for Obama in pursuing this issue.

Note: Barack Obama has requested the equivalent of one million dollars in new pork barrel spending for every working day he’s been in the U.S Senate, while John McCain has never once asked for an earmark, and Governor Palin has vetoed hundreds of millions in government spending including killing the infamous “bridge to nowhere”. Just like so many other issues Barack Obama is all talk, has no record to back it up and isn’t ready to make change. — Tucker Bounds, spokesman McCain-Palin 2008

If the Obama reference is true, then this will be played up big-time by McCain and basically blunt the Dem attack on the Bridge-to-Nowhere issue.

Posted by: pencarrow on September 7, 2008 at 4:01 AM | PERMALINK

Oops... forgot to include the headline on the Obama pork-barrel story:

Guy who requested $740 million in earmarks on Palin: You can’t really be for change if you’re pro-earmark

which is a reference to the following speech excerpt by Obama...

“I know the governor of Alaska has been, you know, saying she is change. And that is great. She is a skillful politician. But when you been taking all these earmarks when it is convenient and then suddenly you are the champion anti-earmark person. That is not change, come on. I mean, words mean something. You can’t just make stuff up. You can’t just make stuff up. We have a choice to make and the choice is clear.”

Posted by: pencarrow on September 7, 2008 at 4:07 AM | PERMALINK

Yes but lying like that works for Fats Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

Posted by: Steve J. on September 7, 2008 at 4:11 AM | PERMALINK

Yes but lying like that works for Fats Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

Posted by: Steve J. on September 7, 2008 at 4:11 AM | PERMALINK

"If the Obama reference is true, then this will be played up big-time by McCain and basically blunt the Dem attack on the Bridge-to-Nowhere issue."

How so ? He isn't saying that earmarks are necessarily bad, he's saying that she's lying about them. See the difference ?

Posted by: OhNoNotAgain on September 7, 2008 at 4:56 AM | PERMALINK

"I don't think so. Obama continually claims that his plan actually is a universal healthcare plan, even while everyone agrees it is not."

Who is "everyone" ? It sure as hell doesn't include me. I think that if his plan makes sure that everyone can get some coverage if they want/need it, then it is effectively a universal health care plan. It may not be single-payer, but the most important part initially is getting everyone covered, especially those that don't currently have coverage and need it badly.

"I'm not comparing the two. I think Obama's behavior is considerably worse than Palin's."

Uh, you're not comparing them, so you follow that with a sentence comparing them ?

"Palin is lying about a pretty minor piece of her record. Obama is lying about a major element of his policy going forward."

Bullshit, through and through. Her record is as thin as they come, and so this is indeed a major portion of her record. And Obama is not lying about anything, so stop with the lying yourself.

Posted by: OhNoNotAgain on September 7, 2008 at 5:06 AM | PERMALINK

John McCain has never once asked for an earmark

The term earmark is nothing more than a red herring. The administration announced a couple days ago, for example, that it is giving a billion dollars "in humanitarian aid" to the Rep of Georgia. This follows Cheney's trip to the region where he met with oil companies. It's a safe bet that most of this money will be used for a pipeline, while enriching more lobbyists. But it won't be called an earmark, because the money is directed from the executive branch rather than the legislature. Does anyone truly believe McCain would challenge this expenditure.

The bottom line is that the earmark/pork barrel spending nonsense is not about wasteful spending, but rather executive vs legislative powers. And when you understand it this way, Palin's argument makes sense, though it certainly is marketed in a truly insincere manner.

If you look at McCain's history, the reason he doesn't propose earmarks is because he lobbies executive agencies like the FCC and DOD instead. Same results, same wasteful spending, but with an insincere aura of purity.

Posted by: Danp on September 7, 2008 at 6:21 AM | PERMALINK

Brilliant Hilzoy

Posted by: manney on September 7, 2008 at 6:34 AM | PERMALINK

Palin's lie is not minor. It is central to the "throw the bums out" narrative.

There is a major issue, front and center: would McCain/Palin actually do this? The answer is obvious to me: no. Those bums are their friends, colleagues and supporters.

Posted by: searp on September 7, 2008 at 6:34 AM | PERMALINK

Here's how it is:

God wants her to win (axiomatic).

To win she has to lie (evidential).

Therefore, God wants her to lie (deductive).

She lies (conclusive).

Posted by: Goldilocks on September 7, 2008 at 7:26 AM | PERMALINK

So Palin is trying to take Obama to task because he asked for almost 1 billion dollars in earmarks and she's only sought a measly 200 million dollars or so. Barely one fifth what Obama has requested. Of course Obama represents the interests of over 12 million people and Palin represents the interests of over 600,000. So, on a per capita basis there is no contest. Palin is the Queen of Pork. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig.

Posted by: majun on September 7, 2008 at 7:36 AM | PERMALINK

I'm beginning to think that the time has come for some old fashioned, grassroots, in-person dissent.

I think there needs to be Obama supporters at every McCain and/or Palin even there in person to point out the assorted lies AS THEY ARE TOLD.

The boldness that is on display requires a bold response.

Time to tell them TO THEIR FACES to STOP LYING! Each and every venue, each and every day. Same for the media - time to picket, boycott advertisers, and name names.

You can't shame the shameless. We are going to have to RIP the mikes out of their lying hands. We are going to have to make SO MUCH NOISE, that even the lowest of low information voters get the message - ENOUGH!

Posted by: Nashville_fan on September 7, 2008 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK

P.S. This includes bombarding the lie filled radio programs with calls and in person protests as well. We cannot afford to give these fools 15 FREE HOURS A WEEK to tell these LIES.

The only question is how am I going to get out of work for 2 months to coordinate this?

Hmmmmm . . .

Maybe we can do shifts or something.

I'm serious.

Posted by: Nashville_fan on September 7, 2008 at 7:59 AM | PERMALINK

Obama lied about universal healthcare?

Okay -- provide at least 2 links where reporters / bloggers -- and not some radical neo-nazi-Rep. bog -- is reporting about this. Dumb bitch-ass.

Is every attack against Palin going to be met with: "but Obama... "

There's just no winning with these lying scumbags. Their candidates are lying sacks of shit and they don't care because they represent "small town" values. Small brains I think they mean.

Palin is a pathological liar. She lied about

1) earmarks
2) about Troopergate
3) she even lied about selling the plane on Ebay which is ridiculous because nobody would have cared.
4) she lied about asking the librarian to censor books was "just a loyalty test".

If she's willing to lie about even 'little things' -- god knows what big things she'd cover up. And this is just after a week of her meeting the world. Fuck -- what a criminal.

Posted by: jonno on September 7, 2008 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

I think the Dems need to fight McCain-Palin for the low-information voter. But not with arguments that use numbers or terms like "earmarks." They need to fight back with something stark that upsets people in the gut.

I've seen the footage of wolves being hunted from the air. It is repulsive. Palin supported that and worked to fund it.

Run an ad that links the fur-wearing Palin with that footage. Use nothing but hard facts in the ad. Link the aerial slaughter of America's wildlife with Palin. Make the ad visual and visceral. Conclude with a bland statement on wildlands management. In the markets where you run this ad, even the low-info voter will never quite see Palin the same way again.

You've got to go for the gut.
You've got to use stark images.
That's how you get the attention of the low-info voter.

Posted by: koreyel on September 7, 2008 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

Folks here would be wise not to pay a minute of attention to Petey. Those of us who know him from Ezra Klein's blog and Yglesias' Atlantic page know that he's more of a concern troll/pest than anything else. He's called Yglesias a "trust-fund scumbag" and Ezra worse.

Posted by: Jake on September 7, 2008 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

There's never been a reasonable argument from trolls on this board because they are defending liars and thieves.

You don't argue away lies, deceit, and policy flip-flops by pointing out how the Democrats are worse -- that's just tacitly acknowledging the Reps are liars and trying to shift attention.

That's the entire Rep. campaign shift attention. Shift it AWAY from issues...
Shift it AWAY from Palin's blatant lies
Shift it AWAY from Bush

Shift it TOWARD empty doublespeak terms:

SERVICE (but not community service -- those stupid dicks with no responsibily... )
LOVE of COUNTRY (as long as you're Christian, pro-life and straight)
SMALL TOWN VALUES (which essentially means no gay marriage)

Two legs good, four legs bad.

Posted by: jonno on September 7, 2008 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

Bush and Cheney had set up precedence for this, and it has kept them in office for 8 years. So Palin is just another GW with a PMS. Whata scary thought.

Bush has said that politics is a contact sport. You better be ready.

Posted by: fencesitter on September 7, 2008 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

I would run a campaign ad depicting young teenage single mothers who are homeless, and link it to Palin for cutting the funding for them.

Start running it in Alaska, and move it everyweek closer to the battle states.

Posted by: fencesitter on September 7, 2008 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, I was heartened that ABC at least mentioned that she "ommited" the fact that she supported the bridge. If the media aren't just digesting her lies and regurgitating them without correcting them, that's a step in the right direction, anyway. And the only reason that happened is because every time she lied, there was someone on the other side to call her on it. That, sadly, will have to continue, pretty much constantly.

Posted by: sullijan on September 7, 2008 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Mick - It's time to get over the Hillary-HillarySupporter-Hate. Yes, some Hillary supporters will switch to McCain or not vote. It's their right.

However, some Romney supporters will vote Obama or not vote. Some Kucinich voters will vote Green or not vote. Some Paul voters will switch to Obama or not vote.

I work at the county Democratic offices here in Lawrence County, Indiana, one of the reddest parts of the first red state to go for Bush in 2000. About 80% of us supported Clinton while about 19.5% of us supported Obama. The talk was always "I really have no problem with either one." Everyone, I mean EVERYONE (even that .5% undecided) is enthused about and working for the election of Barack Obama.

Sure, because of sheer number of voters, there's going to be a larger total number of Hillary dead-enders or non-voters. I have not met one Democrat here (not only not one Dem woman voter) in an area where Republican women are ga-ga for Palin - who has considered McCain/Palin for one second.

The invisible (to me here) "switch" must be matched against the number of independents who solidified for Obama once they saw the snotty, cynical horror that is Palin and the Republican agenda of more of the same.

I know I've said it here before, but again, what kind of loving American mom hauls her Down Syndrome-afflicted infant into a noisy, lit-up, scary convention center in order to use the little guy as a political prop and pass him around like a bong in Burning Spear (thanks, Tom Hartmann)?

Posted by: colonpowwow on September 7, 2008 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

What about Obama constantly saying that he's in favor of universal healthcare while having a healthcare plan that isn't universal?

Isn't that lie a bit more significant than Palin's?

Since politics is the art of the possible and a proposal is simply the plan to implement the possible, you're (purposefully) confusing the two. So, the answer to your question is "no". And, Physician, cure thyself.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on September 7, 2008 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

It's not just deeply cynical and insulting, Hilzoy, it's a direct assertion that you do not matter. You, the lefty blogs, the truth -- Palin is asserting that none of this matters in American politics.

So what are you and Steve and Marshall (when he's not being the new Tim Russert) and Sullivan and the rest of the blogosphere going to do about this? Are you going to keep writing your whiny little blog posts about the injustice of it all, or are you going to figure out how to jam a crowbar up the ass of the mainstream media and force them to remember that the only protection they have for their corporate profit motive is the Constitution itself -- which is the first thing people the likes of Palin would dispense with?

I'm tired of bloggers pointing out the obvious. Do something about it. Break some windows. Risk your career. Whatever it takes.

Posted by: The Phantom on September 7, 2008 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

HOPING...yeah, that ought to do it...and while "I like Joe Biden" ...he doesn't seem to be much of an attack dog...and this debate is on my BIRTHDAY...give me a gift JOE...hit her HARD...she's a pit bull, remember!

Posted by: Dancer on September 7, 2008 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

There is a reason the conservative movement spent decades and billions of dollars constructing an alternative national media network so that it can control the content by which tens of millions of voters judge reality.

If you listen to FOX or Rush Limbaugh you will hear constant attacks against the "liberal mainstream media" and never once hear a disparaging word against Ronald Reagan. It's been going on for so long that bias is taken as a matter of course. We are seeing the sour fruits of that attack in this campaign where Republicans continue with the same lies day after day confident that their supporters have completely tuned out all but FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, and the Christian Broadcasting Network where these fabrications are treated as gospel truth.

Read "Echo Chamber: The Conservative Media Establishment" by two professors of media studies. Their conclusion is that millions of Americans live within an "information enclave" where solid reporting is treated as scurillous propaganda. As Scott McClellen finally concluded: I am not sure how we can have a democracy where there is so little regard for truth and honesty, where everything is spin and opinion, and the facts are made to fit the agenda. It is fascinating that the conservative movement began as an attack on all of the "politically correct" thinking of leftists professors who "deconstructed" reality so that the absolute truths of Western Civilization were said to be culturally contingent. Now it is conservatives who believe that truth is contingent on what political party you belong to.

I am sure that conservatives reading this will simply say that FOX is only doing what CNN, NBC and the rest do. It's completely false, but it's an all purpose dodge that is hard to beat.

Posted by: Ted Frier on September 7, 2008 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Palin is so obviously unfit for command -- not because of her experience, not because she is a woman, and not because comes from a small state or even that she holds conservatie views. She is unfit because she has never even thought seriously about the job or the issues she would address before McCain gave there the nod.

That shows you everything you need to know about the nature of the Conservative Movement that has cynically selected a "maverick" like McCain to continue its control of the country. The conservative movement is not "conservative" in the least. It is radical and revolutionary at its core. And like all revolutionary movements through history it's aim is destruction. The Republican Party waves a lot of flags and speaks of duty, honor, country and patriotism. But at some deep level they do not believe that America today believes any of those things. They believe that conservatives are patriotic and loyal to the American tribe, but they don't think the nation is. And that is their primary issue. That is the "change" Republicans cheered last week. They are not interested in the least in the mortgage crisis, or the environment, or whether invading Iraq is wise or insane. They care only that people think America is pure and good. When Republicans listen to Democrats talk about what is wrong in America, they do not hear about problems that must be solved but proof that liberals hate America.

Conservatives are not in the least interested in a government that works because it doesn't believe in government. That don't want good government. They want no government at all. That is why conservatives can campaign against the government even when they control it.

Neither are they interested in good governance -- the kind that requires balanced judgment, knowledge of the issues, an even temperament for leadership. Governance requires balancing interests and bringing the country together by making people see that there is more that unites us than divides us. Conservatives believe in unity too -- but it is the unity of conformity and obediance to orthodoxy. And the only real issue they believe in is erradicating a modern, secular American culture which conservatives consider to be corrupt. They would replace it (or "purify" it to use a horrifying but accurate word) with something more aligned to the particular folkways of the largely rural southern sub-culture.

We are simply talking two different languages here. Democrats are running to take the helm of the government of a nation is perilous times. Conservatives are running to continue a cultural revolution that would destroy the very institutions they seek to control.

Posted by: Ted Frier on September 7, 2008 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

First, it could very well be that she doesn't think she's lying.

Second, it wouldn't matter one iota to her supporters if she did lie about this because she's staunchly pro-life. Everything else can be forgiven if you are a true believer.

The media could show video footage of her snorting cocaine off the devil's butt and the social cons would giver her a pass on it.

This is just a continuation of identity politics. Character and honesty don't count.

Posted by: DK on September 7, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

It's obvious from your post, Hilzoy, that like many people you've never worked with a pathological liar. I don't mean a nutcase, but a person in a career position of good authority who simply lies when they feel they need to. It took me a few years to realize that people like this will not suffer for their (bizzare to us) behavior. They lie to make the story better, and get everyone around them invested in the story, so that even if it is uncovered, no one wants to nail them on it - and those are the rational people. There are a bunch of people who just don't care about what is true and what isn't.

What can be really entertaining is to watch two of these pathologicals get into a war of lies.

Posted by: winner on September 7, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

"But Palin has gone beyond this. She is not just telling lies; she's telling lies that have been exposed as lies, and that have gotten a lot of attention. Assuming she does not actually want to lose, she must assume that her audience either doesn't know that she's lying, or doesn't care."

Of course, it's also possible she just can't help herself.

Posted by: Brien on September 7, 2008 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Just a note on the [sic] in the quoted story. Grammatically, "mention" can be used as a noun as well as a verb, so the original sentence is worded correctly.

Posted by: Mac on September 7, 2008 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

I thought I signed my original comment about Jeeezzzusss telling her to lie, to bring the Jews to Jeeezzzussss...... (per the moderator note).

Maybe I was too snarky. Oh well, here it is again.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 7, 2008 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Hilzoy wrote: "Palin has gone beyond this. She is not just telling lies; she's telling lies that have been exposed as lies ..."

Palin hasn't "gone beyond" the standard practice of the Bush gang. Bush's entire campaign in 2000 was based on lies that had been exposed as lies. All of the principals of the Bush administration - Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell - and innumerable lesser officials have been spewing lies that had already been exposed as lies for the last eight years. Their lies about "Iraqi WMD" had been exposed as lies before the 2003 invasion. It didn't matter.

McCain and Palin know they can lie with impunity. Their lies will be page one headlines, and ant timid suggestions that their statements are "not entirely accurate" will be buried on page twenty.

The corporate-owned media is an integral part of the Rove-Palin campaign. They are not going to expose the real record of Palin's "executive experience" -- her record of mismanagement, negligence, incompetence, corruption, ideological extremism and vindictive abuse of power. It's up to the Democrats to tell America who Sarah Palin really is.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 7, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

I just spent all yesterday inventing a spoke to this wheel, only to stumble across a nearly completed cart.

Having started a blog entry pointing here, I figure it would be proper to throw my lil' spoke in the pile.

Graphictruth: Science, Ethics and Truth-Testing

One quirk of my blogging is that I illustrate with t-shirts and bumperstickers. Well, I happened to find one that is just breathtakingly apt to this discussion.

"Let's get back to the issues;" always the deflecting statement when Obama feels the heat.

I swear to Goddess, not only did the creator put that up in public, they categorized it as an "insulting bumpersticker."

The entire post is very long, but this excerpt speaks directly to your post:

I always preferred taking the negative, [in competitive speech] that is to say the conservative position. In debate, it's like having the home court advantage and winning the toss, all at once. All you have to do is defend the status quo and show that the affirmative fails to make a case as to why it would be worth the expense, trouble and difficulty to make a change to, say, a hydrogen economy or universal health care.

That, of course presupposes that the "status quo" is in fact defensible, or indeed that the present situation bears ANY resemblance to an historical Constitutional, individualist American Status Quo Ante. Moreover, it requires that the political presumption of that the current status quo is and what the actual state of things in the real world are in some agreement.

I'm just going to assert that it's obvious those things are not at all true, and then point to why that is a reasonable assertion to make. Remember, I've stated that the Conservitive side is the easy side. It is the "Meanwhile, back here in the real world side." It's the "And how is that workin' out for you side." If Obama is such a wild-eyed socialist radical promising an spiral into an orgy of taxing and spending leading inevitably to cannibalism, communism and widespread paedophillic marriage, we should far FAR more coherent arguments against the Change Obama represents than what we see.

There are other things that we should be seeing Conservatives arguing against coherently and with facts, from positions that cannot be overset with a feather of fact, if they were indeed actually foolishly liberal propositions. For one painfully obvious example, we should see far more intelligent arguments against climate change than we do, unless we admit that the only really conservative approach to climate change is prudence. You cannot be a conservative while arguing against a conservative approach to potentially unpredictable situations. If you will not accept at least that, I don't care what you call yourself - because whatever it is, you don't belong any where near the levers of power.

Or really, ANY levers.

Posted by: on September 7, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Oops. Previous post citing "graphictruth" should not have been anon. Since I cannot edit, I'll just claim responsibility - and make sure that this thingy remembers me.

Posted by: Bob King on September 7, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Flipping around the Sunday morning talking heads for just a few minutes I found that the topics are, in order, Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin, and Sarah Palin. The best thing for the media to do at this point is not expose her transparent lies but to simply stop talking about her.

Posted by: Steve S. on September 7, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

"What about Obama constantly saying that he's in favor of universal healthcare while having a healthcare plan that isn't universal?"


I want Heaven on Earth. But I have no plan that would actually achieve that. If I offer a plan that would make Earth a bit more Heaven-like, then I'd say I'm doing good. I'm not lying. I really do want Heaven on Earth. I just don't know how to achieve it. Or I think the plan for it won't fly, etc.

Posted by: Kyle McCullough on September 7, 2008 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Hilzoy, for your post. Like you, I'm angered by the way Republicans waste my time with their lies. They exploit Americans' apathy. This apathy allows Republicans to create their own reality in the minds of many voters.

By the end of today, millions of Americans will be able to tell you what mistake their football coach or baseball manager made. If they invested half as much critical thinking into politics, politicians would take notice and behave more honestly.

Posted by: Robert Lombardi on September 7, 2008 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Make up your minds... what is it, she sticks city with $20kk of debt or she takes earmarks????

State and local govs take ferderal earmarks as a way to pay for public projects like water, sewer and streets. The $20kk of debt was covered by the earmarks.

After all the earmarks are a means to recover the federal taxes paid by the town's citizens and businesses.

There are good earmarks and then there are bad earmarks.

Posted by: scruge on September 7, 2008 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

As Senator Obama said earlier today, Governor Palin is, if anything, even more tightly aligned with George Bush's policies than John McCain.

She is also a graphic depiction of why those policies do not work and why the Republican mantra is hollow.

Her daughter's pregnancy has nothing to do with her campaign, but it does point up the fact that so-called 'Abstinence Only' sex education programs do not work. The general concensus from research done is that eighty percent of teens who go through an AO plan will eventually become sexually active. In point of fact, AO plans may well make matters worse, since they encourage teens not to use valid methods of contraception like condoms. This is simply another plan for radical right wing believers to foist their 'morality' on what they view as an immoral world. The only problem is, their plans not only don't work, they make things worse and are not a valid method for reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in the US.

Her record as mayor was rife with the kind of actions that have characterized the Bush administration's tenure. She has fired people for no other reason than that she didn't feel that they agreed with her politically. She fired the Police Chief because he wanted to close the bars in Wasilla at 2:00 am, rather than five thirty. This would have discouraged the great amount of traffic from Anchorage, where bars closed at 2:00 am. Wasilla had suffered an elevated number of automobile accidents with alcohol as a contributing factor, as people from Anchorage headed to Wasilla to continue drinking. Palin opposed this change, showing little concern for people, but a great concern for the bar owner's bottom line.

It is no wonder that the McCain Campaign will not allow her to speak to reporters. The questions that they would have to ask would be quite embarrasing.

Posted by: Joe Lang on September 7, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

If we dissent at the Nuremburg, Jr. rallies we will be handcuffed, hauled off to jail, maced, tasered, and beaten, like the protesters, media, medics, and in some cases, people who just happened to be walking by were in St. Paul during the RNC. What happened at the RNC, coupled with the crowning of Palin as the newest American Idol and the viciousness displayed by GOP speakers and delegates, leaves me with a very creepy, foreboding feeling.

Posted by: urbanmeemaw on September 7, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

4 years ago, McCain was asked to be on the Democratic ticket and he said no. If he was another George Bush like they say he is, why would they do that? Why would they put another George Bush a heartbeat away from the Presidency if they thought he was really so bad. Obviously they didn't and they now say all this just to make him look bad but they really know it's not true.

Posted by: nick on September 7, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently the focus groups show them enough people are no longer affected by the lie debunking and they can get away with it.

The right is more a cult-like than anything. They do and think what they are told. If they or their leaders lie, that is good because they have been conditioned lIKE A CULT to believe they have been persucuted by the media and their "enemies" - that they and only they are on God's side -- this blunt lying is what the Moonies call "Heavenly Deception."

Posted by: cw on September 7, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

nick, pay attention, McCain is not who he was even 4 years ago. He has sold his soul to the theocratic and extremist right to get the nomination. Now he has named someone more vindictive and deceptive than Bush for VP so he could abide by his bases wishes instead of his own desire. He went on bended knee to Falwell and the loonies. He no longer has the opinions he had even 4 years ago. He proved to be a power hungry politico not the “maverick” he was selling himself to be.

It is also true that some liberals can be blind to the evil which today consumes the right’s leadership. Like when Clinton stopped investigations into the treason of the Reagan Bush years because he thought he could “work” with the republicans. Had he not, maybe the right wouldn’t live in such a false reality as they do today.

Try some critical thinking instead of taking your latest email as gospel, you might find it fun.

Posted by: cw on September 7, 2008 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

A question from a "non-native speaker":

"ommitting" clearly should have a letter omitted, but mac claims that

"omitting mention that..." is grammatical.

Is it? I mean, if "mention" is a noun here, should it have something like "a mention", "any mention"?

By the way, I fully support Palin's decision to fire a moron of a police chief who wanted to close bars at 2 am, rather than 5:30. If indeed the traffic of drunks coming from other towns (Anchorage? 40 miles? wow!) was a problem, it was also an opportunity to set a speed-trap and to confiscate cars, Guliani style. I wonder if these bars had any other attractions, like exotic dancing, that would warrant an hour-long late night drive from Anchorage.

I would go so far as to contribute to supportive TV ads "Palin's strike for freedom -- drink till dawn -- why not!?"

Posted by: piotrb on September 7, 2008 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

@Petey and comments about "universal healthcare" not being "universal."

Think about this for a second - the only REAL way to get Universal healthcare in America is to NATIONALIZE MAJOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS (Or INSURERS). That's it. There is no other private way in the world to do this.

Tell me how much money would be spent against any candidate coming out to say they were going to Nationalize billion dollar corporations in this country? That candidate would never, ever, f*ing ever, get elected.

Now, personally, I'd love to see someone like Obama take office and say "well, I was hoping to get it done this way, but it's just not going to work that way, so we're going to go ahead and nationalize the companies whose mandate for profits is in line in front of the mandate to care for sick people, and force them to put our citizens first."

Posted by: JonL on September 7, 2008 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

Since the blogs (and the foreign press) are the only ones brave enough to discuss why Palin is not fit to be the VP, please blog on!

Funny how with Bill Clinton it was okay to discuss details of his personal life - for years. Key is Palin's major hoax lying to her state about who was really pregnant and whose baby Trig is, taking that long flight to the small town where she had her own doctor who owed her, meanwhile Bristol is out of school for 7 months for "mono" -- it is crucial to her character that she did this and continues to lie about it. Will her religious right still want to vote for her when they are told all the facts? How stupid do we look as a nation to swallow all this without our journalists questioning it? And this is the tip of the Alaskan iceberg. Google "Palin liar"

Posted by: Chris on September 7, 2008 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

All religion, like a movie, requires suspension of disbelief for it to be effectinve. Those who are most in religion's thrall are the best at this suspension. So they have no problem with her obvious lying at all.

Posted by: nameless bob on September 7, 2008 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Lies that everybody knows are lies

There's actually a technical philosophical name for this. It's revealing that no one thought it necessary to formalize these distinctions until the term of the incumbent Preznit, but scholars have recently explicated the question of lies that everybody involved knows to be lies. The phenomenon is known by the technical term of, I shit you not, "bullshit".

Posted by: Glen Tomkins on September 7, 2008 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

Who was that Bush aide who was quoted as saying that the Bushies don't care about reality, they make up their own reality, and then they implement it, and the press will have to just be stuck studying it, and will never catch up?

Sounds like Palin will be right at home in the third Bush mis-administration.

Posted by: goatchowder on September 7, 2008 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

Well, low information voters will have a little more stimulus on various Palin-related issues than they got 4 years ago:

Cover of the National Enquirer: "Sarah Palin's Dark Secrets"

Cover of US magazine (widely circulated): "Babies Lies and Scandal."

The point here is not whether either of these fine upstanding publications is telling the truth -- I am skeptical about anything I would see in them, and find both quite inappropriate for political campaign season -- but that they are framing Governor Palin as a certain kind of character in the celebrity landscape (and not a very savory character, either). That means I'm also unimpressed by reports of thousands of subscription cancellations for "Us". Those for whom the Republican script and the tabloid framing cause severe cognitive dissonance may drop Us -- but in that case, they were already firm McCain voters.

It's the vaguely uncommitted who confront these headlines that are important, because they don't know what to think, and it's always attractive to be able to fit a public person into an established persona. If tabloids have this power, it is fairly disturbing, and no cause for celebration -- but I think that the tabloid response will play a significant role in framing Palin, and shaping what she can accomplish outside the base.

Posted by: PQuincy on September 7, 2008 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the ballsy attack on Palin:

"She wants to force American women to have and raise rapists children."

It's wild, attention getting, would shock the living crap out of the low-attention voters, and has the added benefit of being entirely true.

Posted by: Ecks on September 8, 2008 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

Ever since Watergate, rank and file Republican members have relished their roles as co-conspirators of dirty tricks and scandalous lies. Even if they know it's a lie, they will repeat it if they think it helps them, or if it at least angers "lefties". The Republican party is a criminal enterprise, and its adherents like to be little piddling outlaws.

Posted by: John on September 8, 2008 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

I don't really understand the surprise. Republicans don't support democracy? This isn't new. Republicans don't believe that this is a democracy, but rather argue vociferously that since the Constitution only mentions this country as being a Republic, that Democracy is unimportant. As such, why are you at all surprised that Republicans have no respect for democracy? Why do you think that Republicans continually misinform and lie to people, knowing full well that a democracy requires informed citizens? It's because Republicans have no respect for democracy at all. It's no insult to them, it's just the way they view things. It's about time to recognize this fact and quit being surprised when Republicans prove it over and over again.

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