Sarah Palin, for very obvious reasons, has made a lot of enemies in Alaska… enemies in both parties. She has taken on corruption bigtime and “left a trail of bodies all over Alaska” in her crusade against wasteful spending.
It now looks like the “Troopergate” thing is turning into a modern day “Whitewater” in which a prosecutor starts out looking for one thing, doesn’t find anything, then digs and digs and digs, turning over ever rock possible, and all the while starts flinging mud to do as much damage as possible… because it’s not really about a crime, it’s about politics.
It is now well established that Monegan, the state police chief, was fired because of insubordination and fights over budget disagreements. More specifically, Palin claims that the last straw was an “unauthorized” trip Monegan planned to take to DC in order to lobby Congress for funding after Palin refused to provide the funding from the state coffers.
So, here are the newest twists…
First, according to ABC, it turns out that Palin’s office did approve the trip, which meant that Monegan could use state funds to pay for his travel expenses.
The McCain/Palin camp responded with…
…a statement from Randy Ruaro, another aide to Palin…. According to Ruaro, Monegan asked for — and received — approval for the travel without telling Palin’s staff his reason for going. “As a matter of routine, the travel was approved by Mike Nizich … weeks before the actual purpose was made clear by former Commissioner Monegan,” Ruaro wrote.
And now for the second twist…. According CBS,
Monegan told ABC that the travel authorization was explicitly to pursue funding for the anti-sexual-violence program, though the document does not state that as a reason for the trip.
McCain-Palin responded with this in that same article;
McCain spokesman Taylor Griffin said Friday that the travel authorization was for a routine trip, and that state commissioners regularly travel to meet members of Alaska’s congressional delegation.
“He was not authorized to lobby Congress,” Griffin said.
Ok, so we have to keep one thing in mind… we are talking about an issue that involves Presidential politics, so we remember that these people are playing on the most hardcore playing field ever.
Presidential elections and the success of the candidates mean power and money for tens of thousands of people across the country. This is not a game, but deadly serious and we have to look at these things with a ver different kind of eye, because in this arena, very little can actually be taken at face value.
So, we have to take a step back from our initial reaction, which is probably something like “OMG, She’s against an anti-sexual violence program?!?!” and think about the dynamics logically… thru another prism.
We have to do what the media refuses to do… peel back the tabloid drama, filter out the partisanship and the spin and look at the who, what, and why.
So let’s start with some questions…
1. What are the reasons that Palin was chosen as McCain’s Vice Presidential Nominee?
Palin was chosen because she is a maverick like McCain, has a record of anti-pork and corruption, is fantastically well versed in Energy policy, instantaneously solidified the conservative base, and also because she is a woman.
2. What is the biggest threat that Palin, as McCain’s VP nominee, poses to the Democratic Party and to Barack Obama?
Of all the attributes Palin has, the biggest direct threat to Obama and the Democratic Party is her gender.
Now, please DO NOT mistake what I am saying. I am in no way saying that McCain picked her beause of her gender.
The similarity in status as a maverick, the intense energy resume and the solidification of the party base were the primary reasons. The religious conservatives love Palin… period. The domestic energy issue rounds out McCain’s international and foreign policy resume, solidifying the fiscal conservative as well as the national security base in the Republican Party. These people weren’t going to vote for Obama, but they may not have ALL voted for McCain but for Palin.
No, the direct threat to Obama is her gender because she has the potential to take votes away from Obama and give them to McCain in large numbers given the VERY unhappy female Democratic base due to the contentious primary season and the passing over of Clinton as VP candidate.
This is worse than people not vote for Obama and going third candidates, which many disatisfied female Democrats had planned on doing until Palin arrived on the scene. The reason is that a Democrat that votes for a third candidate is a -1 net loss for Obama, while a Democrat that votes for McCain is a -2 net loss for Obama because it is one less vote for Obama and one more vote for McCain. This means that for every person that votes for a third party, Obama only needs to replace them with one more voter, but for everyone that votes for McCain, Obama must now replace them with 2 voters… a much bigger problem. Twice as big, really.
3. What are the traditonal “women’s issues?”
The “traditional” women’s issues are children, choice, abuse and education. When politicians focus on women… these are the things they focus on. Well, and healthcare too, but no one seems to be talking about healthcare too much at the moment.
4. How do you stop women from flocking to Palin?
The Democratic Party and the Obama has been in a scramble to figure this out, and have thrown the proverbial kitchen sink at her in the process.
The left has screamed about how she wants to overturn Roe v Wade and teach creationism in schools but these attacks have not worked, so they continue to scream about these things and have moved on to several other attacks in tandum.
They have slanderously lied about her cutting funding for everything from special needs kids to pregnant teenage moms, both of which hit Sarah suspiciously close to home because she has a pregnant teenage daughter and a son with Downs syndrome. These accusations turned out to be not only untrue, but it turns out that she increased funding to these programs by as much as 300%.
Then came the horrendous personal attacks which devolved into everything from calling her white trash pornstar look-a-like, to articles talking about masturbatory fantasy involving a Palin, a threesome and the Constitution. One journalist even sunk so low as to as the question about whether Palin played the “retard card.”
And none of it has worked. Actually, the attacks have seemed to backfire.
5. How does this latest “Troopergate” twist fit into the puzzle?
Ok, so keeping in mind all of the above, we now look at troopergate.
Troopergate’s only implication for Palin was that she was possibly not as squeaky clean on the anti-corruption/clean government issue as she claimed, not an issue that addresses the crisis Obama is facing with the women’s vote… until now.
6. Why should you be skeptical?
You should be skeptical of all the “Troopergate” information for several reasons, but mostly… it’s a political hit job.
We must keep in mind that Monegan was not really fired. He was offered a transfer to a non-cabinet position in another department because of the difficulty in working with him, but decided not to take the transfer and instead opted to leave government employ.
It is also obvious that this man has severe personal issues with Palin. Perhaps he resents a woman being in power and telling him no. He certainly seemed to have a problem with his now ex-wife, who had to have a restraining order issued because he broke into her house, beat her and threatened to kill her. I am not talking about the trooper here, who was an abusive husband as well, I am talking about the Chief himself.
It is also important to note that the apparent basis upon which we find out that the trip was about lobbying for an anti-sexual violence program is the word of Mr. Monegan himself. The reason for the trip is not enumerated on the written authorization for travel, and Palin’s assistant noted that he did not make it clear what the trip was for when it was approved.
We must also take into account the topic that they are giving for travel… could ANYTHING possibly be more damaging to her appeal to women than her being against a program to fight sexual violence?
Much like the cutting funding to pregnant teens and to special needs kids, this just seems too damn perfect in a very specific way…
And we are supposed to just accept the word of a wife beating top cop that has an obvious grudge against Palin and has teamed up with a Democrat for a “prosecutor” that this very special and specific reason was the purpose of the trip that he got fired for? Really?
If this was really the reason for the trip, it is also interesting to note that, while I did notice the price tag for the program mentioned (in excess of $50 million dollars if I remember correctly), the details of the program are non-existant. What exactly was this program? What was it spending money on? What provisions already existed? Were existing provisions already sufficient? Was this really a pork project?
7. What the hell does this have to do with Palin firing Monegan for not firing her ex-brother in law?
The answer? NOTHING.
This is all political theater meant to get an emotional reaction out of you so that you vote out of anger and fear instead of with your heart and your head.
As my new friend Caro says… “Old Liberals have a moral center, it seems the new Progessives do not.”
As most of us know by now, Sarah Palin is “embroiled” in a seemingly ridiculous and partisan “controversy” in Alaska surrounding the firing of the State Police Chief. Palin is accused of firing him because he refused to fire her sister’s ex-husband.
We now know that there is much more to the story, gross insubordination on the part of the Chief who tried to go behind the Governors back for extra funding Palin refused, and that the ex-brother-in-law has been accused of drinking in his patrol car, tasering his 11 year old son and threatening to kill Palin’s father. (click here)
Now, via Townhall, we find out that the police chief has been cited in his divorce papers for spousal abuse.
Moldovan sought a restraining order against him in 1994 after he threatened to kill her, waved a gun at her and knocked her shoulder out of socket, according to court papers. The court papers say: “he pulled out his gun and waved it at me outside my home and yelled he would kill me if I stopped him.”
Moldovan told the SF Chronicle that Monegan “would show up unannounced and break into my apartment and do threatening things. I was forced to get a restraining order because I was really fearful he was going to harm me.” She said he also threatened to throw her body into a cold, Alaskan river.
My verdict… If all this is true…. Good riddance to both of them.
John McCain raised $47 million in the month of August, the most he has raised so far… and $10M+ of it since he announced the VP pick only days ago.
With the announcement of at least 1 major Clinton backer switching to McCain (HERE) and his prediction that you will see many more making the same move, as well as the groundswell of support for Palin among the “PUMA” voters, the Republican record breaking fundraising month is a sure sign that McCain is picking up speed.
The Hurricane Gustav interefered with the Republican Convention, but it has afforded time to get a few little tidbits out into the news, trooper and baby “gates”, that would normally garner much more attention than they are because of the storm.
The storm has also afforded McCain another opportunity to look Presidential, and another opportunity for Obama to look not so Presidential. (HERE)
We will see how things work out at the end of the week.