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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Sunday, April 17, 2011

An extensive but incomplete compendium of lies and obfuscations polluting the air of my state due to the dissembling nature of an Alaskan charlatan

or, Sarah Palin was here

by folkbum

I didn't watch the video linked from here--if I want to watch bad TV, there are 500-some channels on the satellite--so I understand that some gratuitous ad-libbed shots at unions and community organizers also escaped the funnel. But I'm sticking to the as-prepared speech, and since PolitiFact won't help a brother out and ID Palin's lies, I will.

She starts with puffery. "You look good," she says. Even her empty rhetoric is superficial! But now I'm being mean. Let's try it again.
Madison, these are the frontlines in the battle for the future of our country. This is where the line has been drawn in the sand. And I am proud to stand with you today in solidarity.
It takes a lot of nerve, first of all, for someone allied with those who have admitted that they are out to weaken and divide their enemies to claim to be all about solidarity. But it gets worse!
A pension is a promise that must be kept. Now, your Governor Scott Walker understands this. He understands that states must be solvent in order to keep their promises. And that’s what he’s trying to do. He’s not trying to hurt union members. Hey, folks, he’s trying to save your jobs and your pensions! But unfortunately some of your union bosses don’t understand this, and they don’t care if union members have to be laid off.
Problems abound:
  • Wisconsin is solvent. Indeed, steps taken by this governor--to turn away federal investment, to cut taxes on those already paying historically low rates, to suck spendable income out of the economy through steep wage cuts or layoffs--have weakened Wisconsin, not strengthened it.
  • Wisconsin's pensions are solvent. They are fully funded and among the best-run in the country. Where other states have raided pension funds or stolen payments to balance their books, Wisconsin has not. To suggest that any of the actions this governor has taken were to protect pensions is simply a lie.
  • The "union bosses" offered concessions. WEAC and AFSCME bosses, among the biggest of the unions and bosses, acceded to every financial demand, knowing what kind of an impact it would have on their employees. Palin lies to say the unions don't understand what it means to make concessions.
You saw these violent rent-a-mobs trash your capital.
There were no "rented" anything. The Madison TAA and tens of thousands of other real people from here--not out-of-state agitators like Palin or Andrew "Go To Hell" Breitbart--have spent more than 60 days in peaceful and respectful protest. There was no trashing of the capitol (note the professional author misspelled it) and, in fact, the protestors who slept there organized clean-up crews to mitigate what challenge their presence presented to the (union) workers who keep the capitol clean day-in and day-out. Every "tea party" or other organized pro-Walker event in the period has been funded (Palin, unlike, say, Bradley Whitford or Jesse Jackson or Michael Moore, was paid) and promoted by non-Wisconsin entities. That's the real rent-a-goon squad.
Madison, you held your ground. Your governor did the right thing. And you won. Your beautiful state won. And you know what – people still have their jobs because of it!
Technically not a lie, because many public employees do have jobs still. But local governments and school districts are going to be laying off thousands of people in the next few months. That's income lost from our economy, which will ripple through housing, retail, entertainment, where jobs will also be lost.

After which, Palin transitions to Campaign 2012 mode, aiming not at the union thugs of occupied Madison, but at DC and Barack Obama. Doesn't mean there's still not issues. Consider the way she plays the victim:
The Tea Party Movement wouldn’t exist without Barack Obama. You see, Candidate Obama didn’t have a record while he was in office; but President Obama certainly has a record, and that’s why we’re here. And hey, media, it’s not inciting violence and it’s not hateful rhetoric to call someone out on their record, so that’s what we’re going to do.
A, Obama did have a record before 2009, and B, nice to see Palin finally acknowledge that a lot of what she used to do is inciteful. She goes on:
Candidate Obama promised to be fiscally responsible. He promised to cut the deficit; but President Obama tripled it! Candidate Obama promised that fiscal responsibility; but President Obama flushed a trillion dollars down the drain on a useless “stimulus” package and then he bragged about the jobs he “created” in congressional districts that don’t even exist! That’s right; on this, White House, you lie. The only thing that trillion-dollar travesty stimulated was a debt-crisis and a Tea Party!
  • Obama did not triple the deficit. The FY 2009 deficit--the last under Bush--was $1.4 trillion. FY 2010 deficit, Obama's first, was $1.35 trillion.
  • The stimulus was not a trillion dollars, and it was also not a failure. Every reputable economist--even conservative ones!--acknowledge that it kept the economy from sinking too far.
  • Obama didn't "brag" about jobs in fake Congressional districts; grant recipients in states flubbed the paperwork, which was corrected by federal staff.
  • The bulk of the debt crisis was created by unpaid-for tax cuts, unfunded wars, and a giant giveaway to big pharma known as Medicare Part D.
Then there's a painful stretch of speech peppered with phrases like "duck blind" and "cockamamie harebrained ideas." Then she has the gall, after praising Wisconsin's Republicans for ignoring the two-plus months of constant public pressure, to say this:
President Obama, you do not have our consent. You didn’t have it in November. And you certainly don’t have it now. You willfully ignored the will of the American people.
And what is Scott Walker doing? His ratings are lower than Obama's, his rebuke in the last election was stinging, his minions are being recalled left and right--well, just right--and his union-busting proposals are less popular than Paul Ryan's Medicare-busting plans.

And then Palin lists her lies in single lines, which makes it easy:
You ignored it when you rammed through Obamacare. [NOTE: After dozens of Congressional votes and nearly a year of public debate. Scott Walker wanted five days to bust the unions.]

You ignored it when you drove up the debt to $14.5 trillion. [NOTE: see above about tax cuts, wars, etc.]

You ignored it when you misrepresented your deficit spending. [NOTE: Wha?]

You ignored it when you proposed massive tax increases on the middle class and our job creators. [Obama lowered taxes on every American. He proposed raising taxes on incomes over $250,000, which is not middle class by any definition. And what does Palin think of Walker's willingness to slash pay of people earning 1/5 of that?]

You ignored is when you went to bat for government-funded abortions and yet you threw our brave men and women in uniform under the bus, Mr. Commander in Chief. [NOTE: None of Planned Parenthood's abortion services are paid for with tax dollars. Period.]

You ignored it when you got us into a third war for fuzzy and inconsistent reasons, a third war that we cannot afford. [NOTE: Where was Palin for wars #1 and #2?]

You ignore it when you apologize for America while you bow and kowtow to our enemies, and you snub our allies like Israel. [NOTE: So 2009. Ugh.]

And you ignore when you manipulate the U.S. oil supply. You cut off oil development here and then you hypocritically praise foreign countries for their drilling. [NOTE: Must be why the US oil industry keeps posting record profits.]

And when hardworking families are hit with $4 and $5 a gallon gas and your skyrocketing energy and food prices as you set out to fundamentally transform America, you ignore our concerns and you tell us we just better get used to it. [NOTE: Much of the rise in gas prices is due to speculation on the commodities market. Obama has refused to open the strategic petroleum reserve, but that's because there's no gas shortage--just a run-up in prices fueled by traders at places like Goldman Sachs.]
Palin ends with an explicit invocation of 2012. Which I will enjoy, because Republican overreach is certain to change Madison, and the House in DC. And maybe by then Palin will know what real Real America looks like: #WIUnion.

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