Yesterday Palin linked the 9/11 terrorist attacks to… Iraq. Even George W. Bush seems to have a better grasp on the whole situation. As Anne E. Kornblut writes for the Washington Post: “[A] view once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself.”
It’s also not good to be so “confused” (or “politically cunning”) with regards to a political issue (The Bridge To Nowhere) that your opponents — Obama and Biden — are able to find just cause to call you a liar. As I’m sure most of you have seen, one of the newest Obama-Biden ads straight up calls Palin out. The word “liar” is not meant to ever come out in a political race — so, where’s the backlash, one might ask?
Rebecca Sinderbrand, of CNN, has quite a bit to say about these accusations of deliberate falsehood and the possible impacts of the words “lie” and “liar” being introduced into the campaign — but nowhere in the article does anyone come to Palin’s defense. There’s talk of the dangers of calling someone a liar when the public hasn’t completely made up its mind about you, there’s talk of how susceptible Palin may be to such an attack being that she is really little more than a media sensation at the moment (unless you are from Alaska and actually knew her name before she became McCain’s VP choice), but nothing is made to clarify or defend Palin’s alleged lie. (There is however a nice cheap shot at the end of the article. Oh, I love politics.)
And, for the record, putting lipstick on animals was not invented by Palin — I’m pretty sure the cosmetic companies have that dishonor. She can’t take the whole ‘you can put lipstick on a pig’ thing personally just because she compared herself, and all ‘hockey moms,’ to pit bulls with lipstick. Obama was directly singling out McCain as the pig who was masquerading about in lipstick, not Palin. (Tell me if you hear Palin’s name mentioned once during Obama’s ‘lipstick attack.’) It was a stupid thing for Obama to say, especially since everyone who had any access to a television or the internet during the GOP Convention knew that Palin’s lipstick joke would be one of her defining soundbytes — but poor judgment doesn’t equal sexism. Hell, I bet a few people could argue that Obama made a smart move. (Remember, this is politics, not math class. What political strategists think of as “smart” is often… baffling.)
This is politics. If it doesn’t get dirty, we all get bored (and this new autumn television line up is not going to do it for me). No one — from the average interested American to the sickly political junkie — in their right minds wants a clean political race. The American Political Arena is not known for its intellectualism, it’s known for short video clips, soundbytes taken out of context, sloganeering, candidate theme songs (“Born in the USA, I was… born in the USA”), and downright nastiness. And the internet has made all of this so much more fun.
With this in mind, Palin needs to stop making this so easy (there were a million other phrases that she could have been branded with by her adversaries, and early on it’s “liar”). She’s going to go from ‘Belle of the Ball’ to ‘Ball and Chain’ real quick… and McCain’s smiles seem forced enough as they are. You could never call McCain or Lieberman liars. They are honorable, decent, passionate public servants who have undoubtedly annoyed vast swathes of the American voting public in their political careers — but no one would call either of them liars. (I only bring up Lieberman because he was thought to be at the very top of McCain’s VP shortlist.)
The fact that Palin’s at best confused ramblings about The Bridge To Nowhere and her relationship to the project have allowed the Democrats to actually bring out the worst weapon in the Political Game is only more proof of my original though — Palin is a time bomb that is going to blow up in McCain’s face, and the fuse is lit.
As for the 9/11-Iraq claims… I don’t even know where to start. That was the Big Lie (along with the now classic Weapons of Mass Destruction line) that was proposed by the Bush Administration as justification for the Iraq War, and I can’t think of a single good reason why Palin would throw her support behind a claim that Bush himself has even rejected, that the vast majority of the American people have seen to be a falsehood — and after being called a liar? Who told her it was a good idea to support the Big Lie when she was being called a liar in campaign ads? How is she allowed on the Straight Talk Express?