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Daily Howler: We won't take it, the GOP said. Dems and libs constantly do
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WHY YOUR PARTY LOSES! We won’t take it, the GOP said. Dems and libs constantly do: // link // print // previous // next //

PALIN DOES IT AGAIN: As a politician, Sarah Palin is profoundly talented, disturbingly so. But uh-oh–she clearly enjoys telling lies! Last night, in her speech, she did it again! Why is she able to do this:

PALIN (9/3/08): We suspended the state fuel tax and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress, "Thanks, but no thanks," on that Bridge to Nowhere.


If our state wanted to build a bridge, we were going to build it ourselves.


That entire passage is a bald-faced deception–a deception which makes Palin a hero. Why did people applaud those statements? Let’s start with a guess: They didn’t know Palin was lying. (In her next breath, she repeated her grossly misleading tale about that jump in state revenues. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 9/2/08.)

Palin wasn’t “slightly exaggerating,” as the hapless New York Times said. She wasn’t “for the bridge before she was against it,” as liberals now enjoy saying. (More on this weak formulation below, in our major post.) In reality, Palin “told Congress” nothing at all about that ballyhooed Bridge to Nowhere. Her statement is deliberately, laughably false. If we’re speaking English today, there’s word for her conduct: She’s lying.

Palin is profoundly talented–and she likes to lie. But why is she able to do that?

In reality, the Congress told her: The depth of Palin’s repeated deception is truly a thing to behold. (Not that you’d know it from reading the press corps–or from listening to Democrats.) In fact, Palin never “told Congress” anything about this famous project; Congress killed the earmark, removing itself from the picture, thirteen months before she took office (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 9/1/08). But the state of Alaska was still considering building the bridge with its own money; Palin only killed this idea in September 2007, in her tenth month in office. Here’s the way she explained her decision, in a much-quoted press release. Note the size of the blatant deception she dumped on the public last night:

PALIN (9/21/07): Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport, but the $398 million bridge is not the answer. 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. 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.

Why was Palin dumping the project? Because “it’s clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on” it, she said. Quite transparently, Palin wasn’t “telling the Congress” anything. Indeed, it was very much the opposite. The Congress was telling her!

Palin lied again last night, making herself a hero again. This is the third time she’s told this tale. Why is she able to do it?

WHY YOUR PARTY LOSES: Inanity is their way of life–and no, they really can’t stop themselves. In this morning’s New York Times early edition, what photograph sat atop page one? A photograph of John McCain shaking hands with Levi Johnson.

Who on earth is Levi Johnson? Atop page one of the Washington Post, a giant photo filled the page. This was the photograph’s caption:

WASHINGTON POST PHOTO CAPTION (9/4/08): As he arrives in Minnesota for the Republican National Convention, Sen. John McCain is greeted by his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and her husband, Todd, right, along with other members of both candidates’ families. To McCain’s right are the Palins’ daughter Bristol and her fiance, Levi Johnson.

No other “members of both candidates’ families” were pictured. Only Levi and Bristol.

Yes, these are the two newspapers’ early editions; they couldn’t use photographs of Palin giving her actual speech. But of all the things they could have pictured, each newspaper chose to picture the young unmarrieds. Let’s say it again: Inanity is their way of life. And no, they really can’t stop.

Press corps inanity to the side, has the media greeted Palin’s selection with sexism and elite condescension? Yes, there has been some of each–and there has been some exaggeration of same by major Republican honchos. But in all the events of the past few days, the major difference between the two parties has been made abundantly clear. It’s captured in this Politico piece by John Harris (for the record, the headline is grossly deceptive). If you want to know why your party loses, consider the highlighted passage:

HARRIS (9/4/08): As the controversy over her qualifications and McCain’s vetting process overwhelmed events here, hypocritical rhetoric was flowing at full tide on all sides of the debate.

Many conservatives, who spent a generation ridiculing the politics of victimhood and group identity, are now zealously invoking both in the Twin Cities. A common GOP talking point here is that Palin’s gender and experiences as a mother should be counted as an asset among her qualifications. At the news conference, former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift condemned “an outrageous smear campaign” against Palin, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said, “The Republican Party will not stand by while Gov. Palin is subjected to sexist attacks.”

Let’s repeat what Fiorina said: “The Republican Party will not stand by while Gov. Palin is subjected to sexist attacks.” Remove the limiting term there–“sexist.” Thus adjusted, Fiorina’s statement explains our electoral politics over the past twenty years.

The Republican Party will not stand by while its candidates get attacked. The Democratic Party, and its major affiliates, have done just that. For years.

Consider again the most remarkable instance of this repulsive conduct.

In August 1999, Gennifer Flowers–a public crackpot–was invited on two different cable “news” programs to discuss, at remarkable length, the various murders the Clintons committed. (You read that correctly: their murders. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 9/26/03.) On August 2, she appeared for half an hour on Hardball; because her performance was so bizarre, she was then invited to do a full hour on Hannity & Colmes. On the latter program, Flowers extended her brief; she not only discussed the Clintons’ murders, she took the chance to let the world know that Hillary Clinton was a big giant lesbo. After giving Flowers a full hour, Fox reran a half hour of “highlights” two nights later.

At the time, Bill Clinton was president of the United States; Hillary Clinton was your nation’s first lady. But so what? As best we can tell from Nexis archives, here’s what did and didn’t happen after those two programs aired:

  • The Democratic Party didn’t say a word about this astounding misconduct.
  • No name-brand, liberal columnist said a word about it. (Examples: E.J. Dionne; Al Hunt; Mark Shields; Frank Rich.)
  • No name-brand “liberal journal” ever mentioned what had happened.
  • No “media reporter” discussed what occurred.
  • In the Washington Post, Howard Kurtz mentioned Flowers’ Hardball appearance. But he didn’t report what she’d said.

Now! Go back and reread Fiorina’s statement, and consider the conduct of the past several days. If you still don’t understand why your party loses, then let’s face it–you never will.

By the way, what else transpired as these Dem/liberal elements kept their traps shut in August 1999? On Fox, a gang of male pundits went on the air and mocked the way Hillary Clinton looked back in the 1970s. (They had a photograph, and it looked very funny. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/6/08.) And of course, all across the political landscape, the RNC and the MSM kept inventing new, bogus tales about the vile Candidate Gore. The Democratic Party never said boo about those matters either. Neither did those liberal journals. Nor those liberal columnists.

How does your political world work? Here’s how:

Sally Quinn and Maureen Dowd played the fool about Palin–and the Republican Party fought back hard. They’ve played the fool about Big Dems for years–and the Democratic Party said nothing.

Yep! There was some sexism in the coverage of Palin–and the Republican Party fought back hard, exaggerating as it did. But then, during this same campaign, a major Democratic woman was gender-trashed from December 2006 on. Eighteen months later, Howard Dean explained why he didn’t speak up. I don’t watch that much cable, he said.

As recently as last evening, some of our fools continued to say that they feel “insulted” by Palin’s selection. If they had an ounce of sense, they’d instead feel insulted by Dean.

Why your party loses: Having sent the analysts out of the room, I want to show you the consummate dumbness of your leading journalists. And then, I want to show you the way leading liberals still misunderstand our dilemma.

Start with Joe Klein’s vastly-overpraised post about the McCain campaign’s war on the press. In this opening passage, Klein correctly defends Campbell Brown’s recent interview with Tucker Bounds. But then, he bungles its content:

KLEIN: [T]hings have gotten much worse in recent days: there was McCain's rude, bizarre interview with Time Magazine last week. Yesterday, McCain refused to an interview with Larry King, for God's sake, because Campbell Brown had been caught in the commission of journalism on CNN the night before, asking McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds what decisions Sarah Palin had made as commander-in-chief of the Alaska national guard. (There was an answer that the unprepared Bounds didn't have: she had deployed them to fight fires.)

Sorry, that isn’t quite right. Bounds had made this ludicrous claim: “[Palin has] been the commander of the National Guard of the Alaska National Guard that's been deployed overseas. That's foreign policy experience.” In response, Brown said that all decisions about foreign deployments are actually made by the Pentagon. Deploying the Guard to fight forest fires wouldn’t support the claim Bounds made. Klein had underplayed the size of the McCain’s camp’s inanity.

But this has been the shape of your world in the past many years–in the years when people like Klein have been your journalistic guardians. People like Klein will never hear the sheer absurdity of the statements made on behalf of people like Palin. Even when they try to complain, they will never see the depth of the ways the public gets deceived by this gang that’s now out pimping Palin. They’ve repeated too many of these lies–and they’ve tolerated too many others. And sure enough, it happened again, as Klein finished his very short post:

KLEIN: There is a tendency in the media to kick ourselves, cringe and withdraw, when we are criticized. But I hope my colleagues stand strong in this case: it is important for the public to know that Palin raised taxes as governor, supported the Bridge to Nowhere before she opposed it, pursued pork-barrel projects as mayor, tried to ban books at the local library and thinks the war in Iraq is "a task from God." The attempts by the McCain campaign to bully us into not reporting such things are not only stupidly aggressive, but unprofessional in the extreme.

Palin “supported the Bridge to Nowhere before she opposed it?” That’s snarky, which makes pseudo-liberals feel smart. But it utterly fails to capture the problem with what Palin has now said three times on this topic. Indeed: Under Klein’s inept formulation, Palin’s self-glorying claim could even be accurate! Who knows? Under Klein’s formulation, maybe she really did “tell Congress thanks but no thanks” once she finally saw the light!

In truth, Palin did nothing of the kind; she’s lying about her heroic conduct. But Klein was unable to make himself see this. But then again, what else is new?

Twice in four paragraphs, Klein understated the size of the problem–but liberals linked to his post, with high praise! Why do we liberals maintain such low standards? Why do we accept such crumbs? Why don’t we insist on something much better? We may try to answer tomorrow–but, in truth, the answer ain’t pretty. The liberal world is comprised of born losers. The GOP leadership isn’t.