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« Reason

Palin Comparison

By Tyler S. Clark (Contact)


Published September 8, 2008

This week, we saw the Republicans throw a big party in St. Paul, declare the federal government broken and in need of change, repeat the litany of debunked fear-laden fallacies of the opposing party, and declare themselves the only option to fix the system they've broken. What's wrong with this picture?

Last week in this space, I called the introduction of newcomer Sarah Palin to the race "welcome," in that McCain had "injected a wild card into the race for the home stretch." Now that we know more and know better, the GOP's ticket is as troubling and dangerous as any they've put forward in recent memory. American politics, as political observers well know, are about more than the personalities leading the ticket. The most important forces in any election are those that are mobilized by the issues represented by the candidates. While the gun-toting, Bible-thumping, chest-pumping, flag-waving masses had been put into some kind of hibernation since January by John McCain, it took mere days for Sarah Palin's big-hair, beauty-queen, hockey-mom, mega-family persona to bring them roaring back to life.

Republicans always seem to know what's at stake and have the discipline to band together at the critical moment. Democrats seem to have these pesky principles that keep them bickering at each other and forming individual mobs that pledge not to give in unless they get assurances for this or that demand. The infuriating thing is that there's apparently no accountability for made-up crap.

  • Palin was ready to accept the Bridge to Nowhere—along with plenty of other earmarks—until Congress killed it. If she really wanted to avoid wasteful spending, she could have returned the money.
  • Palin lied that Obama hasn't authored "a single major law or even a reform" in either Senate body (state or national) in which he has served. Ethics reforms are just one area where he has authored major legislation. Obama has also worked with Republican senators to track down and secure nuclear and conventional weapons around the world, to create public transparency in federal grants and contracts, and to implement corrective processes in the Department of Homeland Security after the widespread use of no-bid contracts in post-Katrina efforts.
  • Fred Thompson called Obama's proposed economic plan "one of the largest tax increases in American history." The nonpartisan Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center describes it as follows:
    "The Obama plan would reduce taxes for low- and moderate-income families, but raise them significantly for high-bracket taxpayers. ... By 2012, middle-income taxpayers would see their after-tax income rise by about 5 percent, or nearly $2,200 annually. Those in the top 1 percent would face a $19,000 average tax increase — a 1.5 percent reduction in after-tax income."
    The largest tax increase in history was in 1942 and was 5.2 percent of the economy. Obama's would be about 0.1 percent in its first year, or one-fiftieth as large.

There's plenty more fun to be had at FactCheck.org, run by the nonpartisan Annenberg Public Policy Center. You, too, can sort through the spin and find the facts beneath the hyperbole of your target politician. Here's a clue: the one who spends more time making up stuff about their opponents rather than tweaking their own records are usually the ones to watch out for.

---

Have a topic you'd like to read about? Or just want to give your feedback? E-mail me at reason -at- tylersclark.com 


Comments

1lucy(123 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for linking FactCheck.org. It's a clear and nonbiased source of political information. I found it particularly helpful in dispelling all of the misinformation surrounding Barack Obama's "guns and religion" statement.

As for Sarah Palin, if we really pay attention, she speaks for herself. We're not looking for a WWF referee. Her below-the-belt tactics point to a less-than-intellectually-developed approach to political dialogue. I hope the American public is smarter than that.

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2ytownoptimist(86 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Oh you did not just go there Tyler. You know this is going to start a hubbaloo of responses now. ;)

Don't forget to add the link to an article on Bloomberg.com about her average college grades.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pi...
"Interviews with classmates paint a similar picture of Palin as an anonymous, though motivated and hard-working, student who spent time at four other colleges before earning her degree from the school in Moscow, Idaho. She later told a campus publication that one of her best semesters was spent learning about broadcasting at a student-run Idaho television studio." Hmm, I guess Idaho University is kinda' like Columbia and Harvard . . . (feel free to add Palin's snarky sarcasm here)

She also belongs to a church that believes in gay "conversion". Yes, we know she doesn't believe in science or genetic wiring unless it suits her. I'm noticing a very "do as I say not as I do" attitude from her. I hate the hypocrisy of everything the Republicans are doing these days. We know that if any part of her life was replicated in a Democrat - Rove, O'Reilly & Limbaugh, etc. - would find some way to blame the liberal media, Hollywood & the loose morals of liberals on it.

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3tylersclark(182 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

@ytownoptimist Last week, you said I should have put Palin in the title, so this week I'm obliging. If they want to bring it on, let it come :-)

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4tylersclark(182 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

@lucy I've always been a big admirer of Annenberg and FactCheck.org. A great service to our democracy.

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5Woody(452 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Obama's Fact Check:

1.) Selma Got Me Born - NOT EXACTLY, your parents felt safe enough to have you in 1961 - Selma had no effect on your birth, as Selma was in 1965. (Google' Obama Selma ' for his full March 4, 2007 speech and articles about its various untruths.)

2.) Father Was A Goat Herder - NOT EXACTLY, he was a privileged, well educated youth, who went on to work with the Kenyan Government.

3.) Father Was A Proud Freedom Fighter - NOT EXACTLY, he was part of one of the most corrupt and violent governments Kenya has ever had.

4.) My Family Has Strong Ties To African Freedom - NOT EXACTLY, your cousin, Raila Odinga has created mass violence in attempting to overturn a legitimate election in 2007, in Ken ya . It is the first widespread violence in decades. The current government is pro-American but Odinga wants to overthrow it and establish Muslim Sharia law. Your half-brother, Abongo Obama, is Odinga's follower. You interrupted your New Hampshire campaigning to speak to Odinga on the phone. Check out the following link for verification of that....and for more.

Obama's cousin Odinga in Kenya ran for president and tried to get Sharia Muslim law in place there. When Odinga lost the elections, his followers have burned Christians' homes and then burned men, women and children alive in a Christian church where they took shelter.. Obama SUPPORTED his cousin before the election process here started. Google Obama and Odinga and see what you get. No one wants to know the truth.

5.) My Grandmother Has Always Been A Christian - NOT EXACTLY, she does her daily Salat prayers at 5am according to her own interviews. Not to mention, Christianity wouldn't allow her to have been one o f 14 wives to 1 man.

6.) My Name is African Swahili - NOT EXACTLY, your name is Arabic and
Baraka' (from which Barack came) means 'blessed' in that language. Hussein
Is also Arabic and so is Obama.

Barack Hussein Obama is not half black. If elected, he would be the first Arab-American President, not the first black President. Barack Hussein Obama is 50% Caucasian from his mother's side and 43.75% Arabic and 6.25% African Negro from his father's side. While Barack Hussein Obama's father was from Kenya , his father's family was mainly Arabs.. Barack Hussein Obama's father was only 12.5% African Negro and 87.5% Arab (his father's birth certificate even states he's Arab, not African Negro). From....and for more....go to...http://www.arcadeathome.com/newsboy

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6Woody(452 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

7.) I Never Practiced Islam - NOT EXACTLY, you practiced it daily at school, where you were registered as a Muslim and kept that faith for 31 years, until your wife made you change, so you could run for office. 4-3-08 Article 'Obama was 'quite religious in Islam'' http://www.wndcom/index.php?fa=PAGE.v...

8.) My School In Indonesia Was Christian - NOT EXACTLY, you were registered as Muslim there and got in trouble in Koranic Studies for making faces (check your own book). February 28, 2008. Kristoff from the New York Times a year ago: Mr. Obama
Recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (it will give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as 'one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.' This is just one example of what Pamela is talking about when she says 'Obama's narrative is being altered, enhanced and manipulated to whitewash troubling facts.'

9.) I Was Fluent In Indonesian - NOT EXACTLY, not one teacher says you could speak the language.

10.) Because I Lived In Indonesia , I Have More Foreign Experience – NOT EXACTLY, you were there from the ages of 6 to 10, and couldn't even speak the language. What did you learn, how to study the Koran and watch cartoons?

11.) I Am Stronger On Foreign Affairs - NOT EXACTLY, except for Africa (surprise) and the Middle East (bigger surprise), you have never been anywhere else on the planet and thus have NO experience with our closest allies.

12.) I Blame My Early Drug Use On Ethnic Confusion - NOT EXACTLY, you were quite content in high school to be Barry Obama, no mention of Kenya and no mention of struggle to identify - your classmates said you were just fine.

13.)An Ebony Article Moved Me To Run For Office - NOT EXACTLY, Ebony has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn't, and never did, exist.

14.) A Life Magazine Article Changed My Out look On Life - NOT EXACTLY, Life has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn't, and never did, exist.

15.) I Won't Run On A National Ticket In '08 - NOT EXACTLY, here you are, despite saying, live on TV, that you would not have enough experience by then, and you are all about having experience first.

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7epicfail(217 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Tyler,

Great post and in case no one knows, woody is just copying and pasting his craziness from yet another "BEWARE BARACK" chain letter circulating out there.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/...

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8George412(161 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

If anyone's interested, here is the website from which Woody copied and pasted (i.e. plagiarized): http://www.webcommentary.com/asp/Show...

The site's author, Michael Ashbury, has written many anti-Obama manifestos, and in none of them does he include any proof of his "facts." He has also written books titled Who is the Real John Kerry? and An Interview with God. In other words, Ashbury can be ruled out as anything resembling a credible, unbiased source.

Tyler made a solid recommendation for non-partisan fact-checking: FactCheck.org

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9George412(161 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

epicfail, you beat me to it!

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10epicfail(217 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

At least we caught it. If no one refutes it, it's as good as true.

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11Woody(452 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

So I copied and pasted. Much like Tyler did in his post.

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12apollo(1227 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Copy and paste is no crime. Copy and pasting absolute crap and lies is quite another Woody.

Those claims by your right wing liar have been proven to be complete rubbish.

But, we've come to expect this type of campaigning by Republicans since they can't run on their (Bush) record.

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13KidsOnFire(8 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

The McCain campaign or most likely a dirty tricks surrogate subcontractor are using the same old Rovian tactics.

I reside in the Mahoning Valley and last night I received a call from a call center wanting to poll me about the presidential race. I was excited because I have never before been polled for a presidential race.

I thought it was a legitimate poll after many questions both demographic and issue/candidate oriented were asked and answered. I indicated on several questions that I would strongly support/vote for Obama. Subsequently an avalanche of push-poll questions were unleashed one after the other aimed at satinizing Barack Obama.

I asked the person questioning me if he had analogous set of questions aimed at John McCain supporters/voters.

He said, "no."

I then informed him that this was a push-poll and he was unaware at first of what a push-poll is and what it intends.... I explained the best I could and he almost apologized saying he wasn't informed about much of anything by his leadership.

Push polling isn't about reform or change...it's the same-old...same-old Rove Republican palindrome smear and fear tactics. The same tactics Bush/Rove used against McCain in the 2000 primary race...now McCain has deployed those same Rove people...how sad and desperate.

Maverick? ...not at all. Desperado is the reformed brand now for John McCain.

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14KidsOnFire(8 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, belated edit above should read: "satanizing" not satinizing.

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15George412(161 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Woody, the point is that Tyler's [documented] source is non-partisan and reliable; yours couldn't be more biased and incorrect.

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16Cbarzak(110 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

KidsOnFire, most likely you received a call from the Mahoning Valley's own Infocision. Yes, Infocision, the call center in Austintown and also now located in Downtown Youngstown. They do regular call polls, too, but it is a right-wing fundamentalist Christian owned company that compels many of its workers to do push polls for Republican initiatives. Back in the late 90s, my best friend worked there, and was told to leave her phone which she was calling for Easter Seals, I believe, and to go into another room and train to make calls about Bill Clinton. The script about Clinton were utter lies that have still never proven out. Stuff about how he is a mafia member and has people killed, etc, etc, yadda, yadda, insert Rush Limbaugh puke scripts here. She said she couldn't do it because it was libel, and none of it was proven. They said she could do it or quit. She quit. I imagine they're still at it.

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17KidsOnFire(8 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Thanks Cbarzak, and sorry about your friend and her unethical employer experience.

Below is from www.pamshouseblend.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From a debate in October 2007, John McCain's caught in a huge flip flop. So what changed between then and now, or is his judgment on these matters so flimsy and reckless that it calls into question his fitness to be Commander in Chief?

"I have had a strong and a long relationship on national security, I've been involved in every national crisis that this nation has faced since Beirut, I understand the issues, I understand and appreciate the enormity of the challenge we face from radical Islamic extremism," the Senator declared. "I am prepared. I am prepared. I need no on-the-job training. I wasn't a mayor for a short period of time. I wasn't a governor for a short period of time."

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18lucy(123 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Kidsonfire, Great link.

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19Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

I would encourage the Vindicator to balance these routine pro-Democratic Party advertisements with columns with alternative viewpoints.

By the way, how is Youngstown doing under decades of Democratic Party rule? How are you comparing to cities other than Gary or Detroit? Doesn't Youngstown finally deserve CHANGE from the neglect of the Dems?

I'm tired of character attacks like, "Palin lied" or the stereotypes of McCain supporters. They're both false and amateurish.

I entirely agree with the Governor that Senator Obama's contributions in the portion of the only term he's had as a Federal Senator are modest at best. I wish he used courage as a State Senator and did not vote "present" greater than 130 times. His response to the surge in Iraq and the Russian invasion of our ally revealed frightening and dangerous bad judgement. His associations with those who both hate America and preach rascism and incite others to do so represent deplorable judgment. His judgment appears to be as lacking as his experience. It finds me wondering how such a candidate could make it this far. Is our electoral process that broken?

What's more, the reason I don't support Senator Obama is not because I am "bitter" or I "cling to my bible and gun" but rather because world history has demonstrated the failure of socialism and use of class warfare to divide citzens results ultimately in poor outcomes for the nation.

By contast, Governor Palin is the only candidate with executive experience applying for an executive position. Senator McCain is the only candidate with military experience applying for the Commander-in-Chief of the military. Both have demonstrated independence and courage, and are a refreshing alternative.

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20lucy(123 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Regarding Obama, the bitterness and religion and guns, here is the exact quote, copied and pasted from factcheck.org:

"Obama (April 6): You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

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21tylersclark(182 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

@nonsocialist A character attack is saying that Palin hates America or is a poor mother or some rubbish like that. If she said something demonstrably untrue, that deserves to be called out during the election. Both she and McCain have taken whatever remained of the straight talk express straight into the ditch from the convention on, and that's a fact.

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22Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Let's review the alleged accomplishments of Senator Obama:

Regarding the ethics bill, many critics--including Hillary Clinton--criticized it as weak. In it, lobbyists may buy politicians meals if they are eating standing up but not if they're sitting down.It didn't ban privately funded travel for congressmen or authorize an independent investigation office.

Regarding the Lugar-Obama Bill that was passed on a voice vote on December 11, 2006. It was so routine, there was no recorded vote. The media didn't consider it important or controversial. Neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post reported its Senate passage. It was not the subject of a story on the CBS, ABC or NBC evening news--not when it passed, not when it was signed, not ever. No story about it appeared in Roll Call or The Hill, the daily newspapers that cover the minutiae of Congress. It drew only one mention in Congressional Quarterly--and that story didn't mention Obama, just Lugar. The Bush administration supported it. It created a new State Department office to support the Bush administration's "Proliferation Security Initiative" aimed at interdicting weapons of mass destruction and conventional weaponry.

Are you going to call me a liar also since I also don't believe that these are not major laws or reforms? Maybe the lie is calling these "major laws or reforms".

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23tylersclark(182 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

@clarkkent Can we skip the pure ad hominem insult and try for at least some fact, stat, or opinion ( besides that yours truly is an idiot)? Yeah, I threw in some colorful charicature to keep things lively, but there's more than that. If you want to dismiss it as empty rhetoric, you'll have to counter with something more substantive.

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