The following is shamelessly lifted from Maryland's own Hilzoy, who posted it on 06Sep2008 at Washington Monthly.
Although Hilzoy's post applies to politicians, so much of it reminded me of the strategy of trolls and other on-line propagandists, as well as the futility of playing with them, of which I have been guilty of late. It's a bad habit, and I am now going to stop doing it.
"She said she "championed reform of earmark spending by Congress, and I told the Congress thanks but no thanks on that 'Bridge to Nowhere'", she said, ommiting (sic) mention that she'd campaigned for governor supporting the bridge."
I take it most readers of this blog will know that this is a flat-out lie.
When politicians lie -- and here I mean not just putting the best spin on things, but out and out lying -- they might as well walk up to each and every one of us and say: Hello! I have no respect for the value of your time! You might have other things to do -- work, playing with your kids, taking a long hike in the mountains, whatever -- but I don't care. I'm going to put you in a position where you're going to have to research everything I say, or else just give up on your civic duty. You don't get to assume that my words are, if not exactly true, at least somewhere in the general vicinity of the truth, and decide whether or not to vote for me. If you want to be an informed citizen, you'll have to become obsessive, like hilzoy.
They might as well add: I have no respect for democracy. In a democracy, citizens listen to what each side has to say and decide who to vote for. To work, it requires that what each side says bears some resemblance to the truth. If I cared about democracy, I'd respect those limits -- maybe stretching the truth every now and then, but generally maintaining some sort of relationship between what I say and reality. But guess what? I don't care about democracy! If winning requires that I make things up out of whole cloth and hope that I'm successful enough to frustrate the popular will, then that's what I'll do. Don't like it? Think democracy is a good system, one that we should cherish? That's just too bad.
But Palin has gone beyond this. She is not just telling lies; she's telling lies that have been exposed as lies, and that have gotten a lot of attention. Assuming she does not actually want to lose, she must assume that her audience either doesn't know that she's lying, or doesn't care. In either case, it's deeply cynical, and deeply insulting.
I just hope she isn't right.
I share Hilzoy's hope.
John McCain's lies deserve maximum airing as well, especially his claim that his proposed tax cut will help the middle class more than Obama's. I plan on getting to that diary one of these days, hopefully soon.
With things apparently heating up between the U.S. and Russia, we need to be on our guard everywhere, including in the Arctic region, where we are separated from Russia only by the Bering Strait. Our own state of Alaska sits astride that strait, due east of the Big Red Bear. Do we have the kind of leadership in Alaska we need to face down the supposedly reformed Commies, if the situation goes critical? If that red phone rings at 3am, do we have the right people in place to answer the call?
Sadly, the answer to that is, 'apparently not'. Governor Sarah Palin is hiding from the U.S. media. If she is too cowardly to face our lapdog corporate national media, how can we expect her to face Putin and his forces of world domination? For the safety of the nation, not only should she not be a heartbeat from the Presidency, she should be impeached by the legislature of Alaska for failure to show adequate courage in the face of the threat to Alaska, and our nation.
Please, Senator McCain, do the right thing, and find someone brave enough to take that position of being "one heartbeat from the Presidency", who won't whine about her treatment by our docile media puppies (what, is Gov. Palin afraid of being licked to death?).
You have proudly noted your past record of working with Democrats, and rightly so. Replacing Sarah Palin with the braver and tougher Hillary Clinton would demonstrate both bipartisanship and resolve, and serve as yet another supreme act of patriotism in your long career as a public servant. The applause Senator Clinton received during mention of her name at the Republican National Convention tell me that this would be a winner, and would bring us together as a nation.
Senator McCain, I ask this as a concerned American citizen. Be the patriot you have always been. Remember, Country First!
UPDATE: Hah, Gov. Palin has decided to let a media puppy dog lick her face after all! Charlie Gibson of ABC News gets to do the honors. Personally, I still think exchanging her for Senator Clinton would send a better message of bipartisanship and Country First!-ism.
UPDATE #2: More on the upcoming interview of Governor Sarah Palin by ABC's Charlie Gibson - this from Josh Marshall:
...it's pretty clear this farce is going to be close to unwatchable. Set aside that this comes just on the heels of McCain campaign manager Rick Davis saying Palin would not sit for any interviews "until the point in time when she'll be treated with respect and deference." The tell comes high up in the AP story by David Bauder. The second graf reads ...
Palin will sit down for multiple interviews with Gibson in Alaska over two days, most likely Thursday and Friday, said McCain adviser Mark Salter.
Political interviews are never done like this. Because it makes the questioning entirely at the discretion of the person being interviewed and their handlers. The interviewer has to be on their best behavior, at least until the last of the 'multiple interviews' because otherwise the subsequent sittings just won't happen. For a political journalist to agree to such terms amounts to a form of self-gelding. The only interviews that are done this way are lifestyle and celebrity interviews. And it's pretty clear that that is what this will be.
My guess is that ol' Charlie may stop wagging his tail and licking Gov. Palin's face long enough to ask whether a McCain-Palin Administration will cut his capital gains taxes. Once he gets the answer he wants, he'll resume tail-wagging and face-licking.
Fortunately for Sarah Palin, she's not a Democrat.