Sunday, January 11, 2009

Palin 2012... Pretty Please? - UPDATED

This week saw the debut of a 9½ minute video tease of wingnut John Ziegler's "documentary" on Sarah Palin called Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected. Normally, I wouldn't spend much time on something like this because as his interviews display, Ziegler is a fucking nutjob who can't answer questions without sneering, guffawing and having an accusatory paranoid tone, answering questions with questions and comparisons of who he considers adversaries, while calling his interviewers "jokes" and telling them to go fuck themselves.

Although his documentary has yet to be released, I'm venturing to guess that this is Ziegler's attempt to be Sarah Palin's Leni Riefenstahl. In all fairness I am including the full YouTube video released by Ziegler and even though it may be hard to sit through, you really should watch to get the whole gist.

According to Ziegler, he interviewed Palin for approximately 50 minutes, which means about 20% of it is in his YouTube release. It's no surprise that Ziegler is trying to show Palin in the best possible light, and inferring that all of her faux pas were a misinterpretation by the evil liberal media and that she is always taken out of context. He even calls it "character assassination." And yet what I find so fascinating is that even though this was probably the best person to interview Palin, the statement from the Palin camp after the YouTube release was the following:

Governor Palin Says to Media, "There You Go Again"
January 8, 2009, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin today expressed dismay at continuing efforts in the media to take her comments out of context to create adversarial situations.
Ironically, the latest media eruption concerning the governor came out of an interview she gave to a filmmaker who is creating a documentary on distortions by the national press.
Gov. Palin gave the interview Monday as one of many voices contributing to the film "Media Malpractice...How Obama Got Elected," concerning the performance of the media last fall. The filmmaker posted excerpts from the interview on, which then led to misleading reports in the press.
Particularly troubling was a post on titled, "Palin: Media Goes Easy on Kennedy." The headline inflames the governor's quote in the transcript, in which she answered a question about media treatment of the prospect that Caroline Kennedy would be appointed to the U.S. Senate: "It's going to be interesting to see how that plays out and I think that as we watch that we will perhaps be able to prove that there is a class issue here also that was such a factor in the scrutiny of my candidacy versus, say, the scrutiny of what her candidacy may be."

“I was not commenting at all on Caroline Kennedy as a prospective U.S. senator, but rather on the seemingly arbitrary ways in which news organizations determine the level and kind of scrutiny given to those who aspire to public office,” Gov. Palin said today. “In fact, I consider Ms. Kennedy qualified and experienced, and she could serve New York well.” ...
Read the rest of the press release here.

The Governor claims media bias in her Caroline Kennedy answer (5:50 mark) but if she wants to accuse someone of spinning, it was her own documentarian that put her answer into context with the question, "Did media 'class bias' cause a Sarah Palin/Caroline Kennedy double standard?" No one put these words in her mouth: "I think that as we watch that we will perhaps be able to prove that there is a class issue here also..." which infers that the evil liberal media will go/has gone easy on Kennedy as opposed to how they treated Palin.

She doesn't mention the fact that being next in line for the Presidency as the running mate of a 72 year old cancer survivor is perhaps a little different and maybe deserves more scrutiny than being appointed one of one hundred Senators, or that perhaps there was more interest in finding out who Sarah Palin was than Caroline Kennedy since it is Kennedy who's been in the public eye her entire life. But I guess that's that "context" thing. Maybe the context we're all missing will be in Ziegler's unreleased footage which he rabidly uses as a defense against critics of his own edited YouTube video.

But ultimately, this new interview and insight into Sarah Palin makes it look like she just can't bring herself to accept any responsibility for her campaign performance. Charlie Gibson played "gotcha journalism" when Palin didn't know what the Bush Doctrine was. Her initially botched Couric interview is Couric's fault because Palin couldn't answer a simple question about what she reads to keep updated on news. Her subsequent Couric interviews that proved she was much better orating a snarky speech off a teleprompter than she was thinking on her feet were the fault of the McCain campaign for insisting she continue to do one of the few interviews she was allowed to do when not sequestered from the media. She attacks the media for using "bloggers" as a source for news items, but uses said bloggers herself when claiming that Barack Obama makes it a habit of "palling around with terrorists", that he started his political career in the living room of William Ayers and casting doubts about Obama's American citizenship and religion. According to Palin, the obvious media bias against her is because she was on the Republican Party ticket (except for Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck and Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham... ad infinitum) and it would have been the exact opposite had she run as the Democratic VP choice. Although, how you choose to run in complete opposition to your own ideology is another story.


There is a tone in Democratic circles that Sarah Palin would be dangerous for her opposition if she were to run in 2012. Unhinged pundits see her and think she's the cat's meow and had it not been for Palin, McCain wouldn't have gotten the bump he did after the Republican convention, but they refuse to admit that had it not been for Palin's divisive hate speech, McCain wouldn't have nose dived* the way he did after the convention bump.

But I say Sarah Palin in 2012? Bring it on. The conventional wisdom with the few remaining rational members of the Republican Party are that they have to rebrand and re-evaluate their message. They have to become a party of inclusion as the times have changed and their base becomes smaller because let's face it, whitey ain't gonna be the majority for much longer. But if the hard right wing conservatives prop up Palin for a 2012 run, and for some strange reason the Palin 2012 talk won't go away, it will only serve to further fracture a hobbled Republican party and render them irrelevant.

No matter who the face of the 2012 GOP candidate is, the fact is that 45% of the population will vote for them. They could have put up a pet rock against Barack Obama in November and they still would have gotten 40% of the vote. But there are a few voters out there who actually care about the issues, and reaching them is the pivotal point in any election cycle. Politicians like Tim Pawlenty understand this. Politicians like Sarah Palin do not.

Judging by Palin's answers in this little video snippet provided by a conservative ally, I have to say that it doesn't strike me as if she learned anything from her '08 run and is in denial about her shortcomings. If this continues, she'll think that she doesn't need to learn anything or try new tactics - why try to learn something if you think you're always right and think you've always been wronged? She may have pulled something over on small town Wasillans with her rambling, incoherent sentences as long as there's a wink attached to the end of them, but if it didn't work for the nation in '08, I seriously doubt it'll be a hit in 2012.

* McCain's "fundamentals of the economy are still strong" gaffe didn't help, but Palin wasn't 100% free of culpability either.

UPDATE (1/12/09 1:40pm): From Geoffrey Dunn:
While much has been made of the Kennedy and Couric comments, there was a troubling remark, largely overlooked, that Palin made about Barack Obama that was a flat-out, blatant lie--a typically Palinesque twisting of the truth intending, once again, to turn her into a victim and to make Obama & Co., along with the media, appear to be hypocrites.

Here is Palin's latest Big Lie:

"When I heard Barack Obama state in one of his interviews on national television that his wife was off limits, meaning, family's off limits-- you know, 'Attack me, I'm the public official, come after me, I can handle it and we'll duke it out if need be, but family's off limits'-- I naively believed, OK, they respected that in him and his demand for that to be adhered, naively believing that must apply to all of us, right? But it didn't apply."

While Obama did say that he found attacks on his wife "unacceptable," he also very boldly and emphatically stated that Palin's family was also off limits when asked a question about Bristol Palin's pregnancy:

"I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people's families are off limits, and people's children are especially off limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Governor Palin's performance as governor, or her potential performance as a VP. And so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories."
He wasn't protecting simply his own family with that assertion, he was also protecting Palin's. And Palin lacks the basic grace, integrity and human decency to acknowledge Obama's gesture. And then she twists the truth to make Obama seem selfish and the media unfair.

And what about her claim that Obama's wishes were "respected" about his own family? The right-wing press went after Michelle Obama relentlessly and so, too, did the McCain campaign. None other than Cindy McCain went after Michelle for comments she made about finally being proud of her country:

"I don't know why she said what she said. Everyone has their own experience. I don't know why she said what she said, all I know is that I have always been proud of my country."

That seemed a little off-base coming from someone born with a silver-spoon in her mouth and who not only served as her husband's connection to the Keating Five Scandal, but then later stole drugs from her own nonprofit organization to sustain her drug habit. But make that charge she did.

And the right continued to attack her through the campaign--from Michelle Malkin to Ann Coulter. Anyone who claims otherwise is wallowing in duplicity.

So here again, Palin utterly distorts reality, fails to acknowledge Obama's gesture, doesn't acknowledge what her running mate's wife said about Michelle Obama, and turns herself, yet again, into a political victim. Where is Ann Coulter calling Palin on her self-victimization? The silence is deafening.

No comments: