Sunday, September 14, 2008

The McCain/Palin honeymoon is over

There were two highly disturbing portraits of Sarah Palin out today, one in the NY Times and one in the Washington Post.
Both reveal someone who is vindictive and prone to cronyism. Neither are good qualities to have in a national leader.
From the NYT:
an examination of her swift rise and record as mayor of Wasilla and then governor finds that her visceral style and penchant for attacking critics — she sometimes calls local opponents “haters” — contrasts with her carefully crafted public image.
Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance, according to a review of public records and interviews with 60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials.

The NYT story provides example after example of Palin's "governing style" by which she avoids interacting with most other government officials who relies on a small coterie of close advisors, led by her husband Todd, when making key budget decisions. Todd, it should be noted, was for seven years a card-carrying member of a radical, right-wing, America-hating secessionist group in Alaska.

The WaPo story gives us more details about Palin's actual responsibilities when she was mayor of tiny Wasilla.

The universe of the mayor of Wasilla is sharply circumscribed even by the standards of small towns, which limited Palin's exposure to issues such as health care, social services, the environment and education.
Firefighting and schools, two of the main elements of local governance, are handled by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the regional government for a huge swath of central Alaska. The state has jurisdiction over social services and environmental regulations such as stormwater management for building projects.
With so many government services in the state subsidized by oil revenue, and with no need to provide for local schools, Wasilla has also made do with a very low property tax rate -- cut altogether by Palin's successor -- sparing it from the tax battles that localities elsewhere must deal with. Instead, the city collects a 2 percent sales tax, the bulk of which is paid by people who live outside town and shop at its big-box stores.
The mayor oversees a police department created three years before Palin took office; the public works department; the parks and recreation department; a planning office; a library; and a small history museum. Council meetings are in the low-ceilinged basement of the town hall, a former school, and often the only residents who show up to testify are two gadflies. When Palin was mayor, the population was just 5,500.

And despite the sparcity of responsibilities facing the mayoral position for Wasilla, Palin insisted on hiring a city administrator once she took office to handle all the "day-to-day" chores of the city.
Knowing this, it becomes all the more appalling that she had the gall to stand up at the RNC and belittle Barack Obama's work as a community organizer in Chicago before serving two terms in the Illinois State Senate.

I know of course that all the brainwashed wingnuts will try and dismiss these stories as partisan attacks by the "liberal media", but I know full well that these highly respected establishment papers would have had no problem writing positive puff pieces about Palin if there had been anything positive to puff about. But what they found instead was that nearly her whole story was mostly smoke and blue mirrors.
And as the electorate finally starts to wipe the smoke out of their eyes, they are going to see the McCain/Palin ticket for what it is - a dishonest charade.

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