Let’s ignore for a moment whether Sarah Palin’s speech at the republican convention was well-written (it was written by a former speechwriter for Dubya) or well delivered. What bothered me about it was two things. First, other than talking about her family and attacking Obama, she didn’t really say anything. No issues, no idea of what kind of politician she is (other than a pit bull with lipstick).
Secondly, she doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp of reality. Quite a few of her statements were complete fabrications.
Probably the biggest one I noticed was that she claimed that Obama had “authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform – not even in the state senate.” Say what? First of all, Obama has only written one memoir (it’s McCain who has written two). But more importantly, Obama authored 152 bills in the Senate, including several “major” ones.
Obama wrote the Lugar-Obama bill on nonproliferation (is protecting us from WMD not “major”?). As for reforms, he helped write “the strongest ethics legislation to emerge from Congress“. He also wrote a major accountability bill (co-sponsored by McCain) that resulted in the USAspending.gov site that tracks all goverment spending.
I suspect that this line was meant to draw attention away from the fact that not only has McCain hardly written any substantial legislation in years, he hasn’t even shown up to vote.
She also repeated the claim that she said “Thanks, but no thanks” to the federal government over pork funding for the “bridge to nowhere”, even though she campaigned for it until it became a political liability. Even after that she kept the money, but she has the audacity to claim that she turned down the money, saying that Alaska would pay for it. Palin’s claims to be against pork spending are shattered when you consider that as Governor she requested more pork per capita than any other state. Even as a mayor, she was into pork.
A new lie from last night is that suddenly she is the best friend of families with special-needs children. Then why did she slash school funding for special-needs kids by 62% as governor?
Some of her lies are not even worth responding to. She claimed that Obama is “against producing energy”. Give me a break. She also trotted out the tired old claims that Obama wants to raise taxes and spend more, when most economists say that McCain’s plans will cost more than Obama’s, and Obama will cut taxes for 95% of the population, and only raise them on the wealthy (mostly to counteract Bush’s disastrous tax cuts for the rich, which McCain opposed).
But the big question is whether the mainstream media will do its job and report on these lies, misstatements, and exaggerations. So far, the only thing I’ve seen from them is a blog entry from CBS News. The AP has done a little fact-checking, and found that “in some cases” she “stretched the truth”. You can also find a much more detailed list from the Obama campaign.