It's getting harder and harder to keep up with the inimitable Governor of Alaska these days, as she's Twittering and issuing statements on her official State of Alaska web site, (paid for at taxpayers' expense, of course, including a series of posts about hockey games!). She's also blogging (yes, she's a blogger now, too) on both her Facebook page and her SarahPAC web site, the latter of which is being funded by contributors across the country as Ms. Palin continues to maneuver herself, haphazardly as it may be, into a run for the presidency in 2012.
And through it all she continues to delve in a disturbing duplicity, spewing lies and half-truths as she takes potshots at President Barack Obama, the man she accused of "palling around with terrorists" on the campaign trail last year. As the great Italian-American philosopher Yogi Berra once remarked, "It's deja vu all over again."
Take Palin's most recent pandering to "save face" vis a vis Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, approved overwhelmingly by the Alaska Legislature, a small portion of which she vetoed last week. This in and of itself reflected some serious backpedaling on behalf of Palin, from her initial position opposing the plan carte blanche (she called it "an unsustainable, debt-ridden package of funds" and likened it to "a bribe"), then later declaring that she would only accept about "half" the stimulus, which in turn got revised down to approximately "one third," then down to the teensy-weensy less-than-three-percent rejection of State Energy Program funding.
Palin's argument against the funding was that it "required more 'big brother' government involvement [i.e. federally mandated building codes] than most Alaskans want", a contention refuted by Alaskans on all sides of the political aisle.
"This issue has been researched thoroughly by legislative staff and we couldn't find one string attached to those funds," said Anchorage Republican Rep. Charisse Millett.
In other words, Palin's contention is a lie. And it's a lie not based on the best interests of Alaskans, but on her own political future.
Another Alaska Republican, Anchorage Rep. Mike Hawker, said Palin is wrong about the building codes: "We've researched this thoroughly, and the governor's folks now have received a letter from the (U.S. Department of Energy) basically saying that you don't have to come up with all these building codes."
And from yet another Alaska Republican, Anchorage Senator Lesil McGuire: "When we researched the facts on it, the strings that were discussed were not there."
Palin then taunted the State legislature by noting "lawmakers can always exercise checks and balances by overriding my veto"--knowing that it would take a supermajority of 75 percent in Alaska to override her decision. Time will tell whether Alaska's elected representatives will stand up to Palin on this critical issue. Several lawmakers I spoke to said they are "considering it."
Not to be outdone with her lies regarding the energy stimulus, Palin issued a rather bizarre press release on her SarahPAC web site in which she declared:
We are now witnessing actions that will lead to a monumental shift away from free market capitalism and the strong work ethic that built this great country. 'Change' in this administration has meant rapid movement toward massive government growth, huge tax burdens on future generations, and an unprecedented reliance upon foreign countries.
Today, we learned that Obama's decisions continue to impact Alaskans; while we as taxpayers now own General Motors, Obama closes another dealership - this time in Soldotna, as more of Alaskans' hard-earned money and jobs are lost to big government.
That's right, Palin had the absolute gall to blame Obama for the crisis in the auto industry, one that developed under George Bush and which Obama has been forced to salvage, and she specifically blamed him for the closing a GM dealership on the Kenai Peninsula, not far from Anchorage.
In fact, General Motors, on the verge of bankruptcy, decided to shut down the dealership in Soldotna, not Obama. And it further underscores that it was the private sector's mismanagement, and the Bush Administration's lapsed oversight of the economy, that brought about the closure of the GM dealership in Soldotna.
The owners of the dealership, the Hutchings Family (longtime Republican Party faithful in Alaska), have jumped on the anti-Obama bandwagon. Shawn Hutchings, who obtained his ownership of the GM franchise the good-ol' American way-- by being born into it --had this to say to the right-wing "Texas for Sarah Palin" blog spot:
Dealerships do not cost the manufacturer money, so why would the administration make it a qualification to get loans from the government? Why is the government involved in dictating who will and who will not be in business. Shouldn't the free market be governing society?
Uh, Shawn, if the free market were governing society, GM would have crashed and burned long ago. And there would be no roads, bridges and other infrastructure in Alaska to support the auto industry. Indeed, Shawn, the federal government has long subsidized your family business.
You have to love all the libertarian/right-wing/secessionist whack jobs in Alaska who are always taking pot shots at the federal government. Let's get real here folks: Alaska is the most federally subsidized state in the union. In fact, it's one big giant subsidy, full of earmarks and special spending programs, all emanating out of Washington D.C. And pushed for by the likes of Sarah Palin, who, when mayor of itsy-bitsy Wasilla, hired the same lobbyist as Ted Stevens, and roped in millions for a town of about 5,000 residents.
They like to talk the talk up there, but walk the walk? Come now.
Which is why when rivers flooded up there this spring as a result of the snow melt, wiping out several rural communities (hello, global warming anyone?), Sarah Palin was sticking her hand out to Barack Obama for federal relief funds.
And therein is Palin's biggest lie: That Alaska should get a free pass when it comes to federal spending; she wants the money, but not the responsibility. She wants to promulgate the illusion of Alaskan 'self-sufficiency' and 'rugged invidualism' when it is anything but.
Then there's the matter of Palin calling upon Obama "to take a firm stand against North Korea and defend the states and territories of the United States of America and American allies on the Korean peninsula. "
That's right, "states and territories." Thank you for the details governor. But one must ask why you never asked the previous administration to take a similar stand, especially in light of Bush and Cheney allowing the North Koreans to continue with nuclear weapon development. What do you think of the Bush Doctrine now, Governor Palin?
Oh, that's right, she didn't know what the Bush Doctrine was.
Worse yet, what Palin was really itching for in her statement about North Korea was federal funding of the missile defense system at Fort Greely. Located where? In Alaska, of course. Palin says funding must be fully restored "to guarantee our protective measures remain the best in the world." That's right, more federal money to the Last Frontier.
With Sarah Palin, hypocrisy truly knows no bounds. Perhaps she can see North Korea from out her kitchen window as well.
Award-winning investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker Geoffrey Dunn is at work on a book about Sarah Palin and her role in American politics, to be published by Macmillan/St. Martin's in 2010.