The Freedom to Lie
Governor Palin at the Vice Presidential debate avoided topics she felt uncomfortable with or she didn’t feel the need to address. After all what does the truth have to do with politics?
In the V.P. Presidential debate held last week in St Louis, MO the true cause for our disaster economy, endless unjust war and our country’s overall lack of resemblance to the U.S.A of lore was on display for the entire world to see. And yet no one seemed to notice.
One of the most obvious cases of obstruction of justice masquerading as democracy in action took place there in front of millions.
The cause of which I speak, which has lead to this a failure in democracy, was the complacency of the media or in this case mediator Gwen Ifill to do her job & expose the VP candidate Sarah Palin as the truly dangerous fundamentalist pig in sheep’s clothing that she is along with her anything but Maverick running mate John McCain.
The brazenness with which she avoided topics she didn’t feel necessary to respond to even when asked a direct question even though she is seeking the 2nd highest ranking position in the most powerful nation on the planet was typical at best, criminal at worst .
Even more disappointing was the failure of the Ms. Ifill who was admittedly handcuffed by the standard the media are held to, to ask tougher follow up questions & insist she not ignore the topic at hand once presented with a specific subject. While she did attempt to reign in Palin’s assault on the hearts & minds of ordinary Americans once or twice, it proved to be too little too late as the true believers watching at home were probably already mesmerized by her lack of candor & loose approach with the facts.
Sen. Biden several times alluded to the record of McCain not being in confluence with the “Maverick” image of the past & also of McCain being in nearly full support with the disastrous policies of Bush Jr. not just in 2001 but also still remains so today and Gov. Palin refused to respond to those queries. Instead she talked about whatever she damn well pleased even at one point going so far as to say she would not respond and that she wanted to talk straight to the American people.
How does ducking questions about your running mate’s obvious sullied & spurious past amount to straight talk ?
Biden to his credit did attempt to refute any misleading statements Palin made about Obama including the one where she said Obama voted 94 times against tax breaks for Americans which was revealed on air to be untrue.
The problem does not rest alone on this stewardess posing as a VP candidate. The fact is that there is zero expectation that the moderator in this case, the media in every other is not only expected but required to make sure the candidates are allowed to frame the debate in any way they see fit and respond only to the questions they feel safe to answer. It was obvious that while Biden did attempt to go back to previously covered subjects, Palin would often veer off into territory which had nothing to do with the subject at hand. These were obviously from her pre-arranged notes probably presented to her backstage by Karl Rove himself.
In a true democracy the media would be the representative for the people who would defend against politicians who aren’t fit to answer tough questions about their records or policies. This failure of the media to insist upon straight answers from those in power is the reason we have a failed democracy. The politicians do not represent the interests of the people because we do not insist upon it.
For instance, McCain does in fact have a long history of supporting deregulation, as Senator Biden attempted to point out several times, which has played a large part in our present financial crisis. This should have been made more apparent during the debate. McCain also has a long history of siding with Bush on key issues including tax breaks for the wealthiest 1% and support for the war. Don’t the Americans who don’t pay much attention throughout the year deserve to at least know these things now prior to an election when it is most important ?
What would these debates look like if someone with balls, who did not fear for losing their job, and who has a history of challenging politicians in interviews were given that job ?? Say someone like Bill Maher. Would our democracy improve if politicians were not allowed to wiggle out of tough questions? If they were exposed for who they were then only politicians like Obama would be allowed to lead & we would be living in an entirely different America.
The only journalists who were ever allowed into the room with President Bush are those who had already acquiesced to the system & had proven themselves more than willing to go along.
What if Bush had to face someone’s tough questions at any time in the last 8 years & was not allowed to pick & choose who would interview him ?? Might disaster have been averted ?
The entire American mindset would have changed dramatically had truly honest journalists whose jobs were guaranteed been allowed access to President Bush week after week. Every lie would have been further exposed until it could not have been ignored. As it were the only interview I saw one on one was done by the late Tim Russert who apparently was quite cozy with the power structure in Washington. Being grilled by Tim Russert is like being grilled by your little sister.
Imagine if we the American people insisted that positions of political power should also carry a level of transparency on level with some of our celebrities ? What if they were followed into restrooms with cameras or were given no barrier between themselves & the people ? What if no stone were left unturned ? What kind of politicians would we be left with ? Maybe more politicians like Obama ?
The brazenness of Palin, to decide which questions she’d like to answer and which she’d prefer not to answer should be an indicator of the contempt she has for the truth & is not something the American people should ever tolerate.
Why after Palin pronounced her love of all things American several times during her speech were there no questions regarding attending a secessionist meeting of the group her husband (the separatist wackjob) belongs to.
Why not question her shady political past regarding her botched job as mayor where she mismanaged her city’s finances to the tune of $1.6 million. Or have her admit she did not sell the Alaska Government plane on eBay as she had previously stated but instead sold it at a $600,000 loss to a former campaign supporter who is now seeking $10,000 in restitution ??
Or her Bridge to Nowhere debacle which she did fully support in her campaign to nowhere & only backed out when the feds said no dice although she did still keep the money. When Charles Gibson confronted her in a televised interview about her having lied in the first place she refused to answer that question as well spewing some mumbo jumbo that didn’t reveal any way or another what her true answer was. She lied about Bridge to Nowhere. It’s as simple as that. Yet Charles Gibson could not continue to question her about that bcuz it would’ve been “rude” by American standards.
And why after accusing Obama of wanting to raise taxes (which is misleading bcuz he only wants to bring about fairness by raising them on those who make $250,000 or higher) was it not brought up that Palin ended up paying for her mismanagement of funds thingy as mayor with a 25 percent increase in the city sales tax. Instead Palin is allowed to present herself as the enemy of tax increases.
Further evidence was presented in Matt Taibbi’s excellent piece in Rolling Stone about Palin’s checkered past:
“ In addition to being ensconced in a messy ethics investigation over her firing of the chief of the Alaska state troopers (dismissed after refusing to sack her sister’s ex-husband), Palin also reportedly fired a key campaign aide for having an affair with a friend’s wife. More ominously, as mayor of Wasilla, Palin tried to fire the town librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, after Emmons resisted pressure to censor books Palin found objectionable.
“Then there’s the God stuff: Palin belongs to a church whose pastor, Ed Kalnins, believes that all criticisms of George Bush “come from hell,” and wondered aloud if people who voted for John Kerry could be saved. Kalnins, looming as the answer to Obama’s Jeremiah Wright, claims that Alaska is going to be a “refuge state” for Christians in the last days, last days which he sometimes speaks of in the present tense. Palin herself has been captured on video mouthing the inevitable born-again idiocies, such as the idea that a recent oil pipeline deal was “God’s will.” She also described the Iraq War as a “task that is from God” and part of a heavenly “plan.” She supports teaching creationism and “abstinence only” in public schools, opposes abortion even for victims of rape, denies the science behind global warming and attends a church that seeks to convert Jews and cure homosexuals.”
In this short time she has lied to the media repeatedly & we are expected to put up with it because this is America
& Gosh Darnit that is what we do ?!
The fact is that the average American is not intelligent enough to discern which things are true about a candidate and their record and which are not. If a spoiled millionaire party boy son of oil wealth who didn’t have the courage to serve in the military claims to have suddenly found God & that he is in fact a “War President” they will believe him. If he then says the only response to one of the greatest tragedies in American history is to attack the wrong country & secure their oil reserves, they will believe him. And if WMD’s he assured us were there are never found then that’s ok too because we are spreading democracy though war & their children are going to love us for it.
If McCain claims to be a friend to the common people though he owns 9 homes & 13 cars and at the same time paints Obama as elite though he grew up poor and owns but one home & one car, they will believe him. If he also claims to be a “Maverick” despite having supported almost every failed policy of the previous 8 years which has obviously had disastrous consequences, then Americans will believe him.
They want to believe him of course. They have to believe him. The only other option is voting for a black man.
And the America of today may not be ready for that even if the alternative is a pig in lipstick.