Sunday, August 31, 2008

Let The Demonization Of Sarah Palin Begin

It should come as no surprise that the Dems are launching some countering criticism to the picking of Sarah Palin to be McCain's running mate. All is fair in love, war, and politics, and it's almost completely certain that the governor has stepped into a hornet's nest by accepting this invitation.

The most obvious criticism is the lack of experience at the international level. That's fair, that's factual. But Obama doesn't have any, either. And yet, in spite of this little well-known tidbit, this isn't stopping some Democrats from throwing stones in the front yards of some pricey and pretentious glass houses.

But when a campaign makes a decision to do this, they must keep something in mind. If a candidate's campaign wishes to render some valid criticism, it really does help if they have their facts straight. If they want free-thinking individuals to give much credence to their arguments, it helps to be honest and forthright with that criticism, free from exaggerations and embellishments. Otherwise, the campaign risks looking desperate and deceitful; and when this happens campaigns are lost.

One of the first things these anxiety ridden hacks are starting to put forth (until more half-truths can be manufactured) is prominently featured in this early piece by the Washington Post.

For the past several years, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, has been embroiled in a bitter family feud that has drawn in the state police, the attorney general, the governor's office and the state legislature.

A bipartisan state legislative panel has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether Palin improperly brought the family fight into the governor's office. The investigation is focusing on whether she and her aides pressured and ultimately fired the public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan, for not removing Palin's ex-brother-in-law from the state police force.

Before we go any further, I have to ask where's the crime? In most states, the governor picks the department heads. They are hired and, if need be, fired by the same governor. Unless there is a union for state police commissioners, they can be fired at any time, for any reason. Can they not? Here, we have the suggestion that one former such official in this classification was let go simply because he did not terminate someone related to the Governor. This lends to the suggestion a case of sour-grapes that is rooted in nothing more than a family issue.

But just the same, I think we ought to be fair about it.

I did some checking, and Obama's camp might be interested to know some things before they buy into the subtle and not-so-subtle accusations. The national and international media would do well to take notes on this, too.

After learning about this article from the Anchorage Daily-News (HT: Advance Indiana), all signs are pointing to the fact that this man has established a pattern of misbehavior, which would be unacceptable in any private sector job.

Troopers eventually investigated 13 issues and found four in which Wooten violated policy or broke the law or both:

• Wooten used a Taser on his stepson.

• He illegally shot a moose.

• He drank beer in his patrol car on one occasion.

• He told others his father-in-law would "eat a f'ing lead bullet" if he helped his daughter get an attorney for the divorce.

Beyond the investigation sparked by the family, trooper commanders saw cause to discipline or give written instructions to correct Wooten seven times since he joined the force, according to Grimes' letter to Wooten.

Those incidents included: a reprimand in January 2004 for negligent damage to a state vehicle; a January 2005 instruction after being accused of speeding, unsafe lane changes, following too closely and not using turn signals in his state vehicle; a June 2005 instruction regarding personal cell phone calls; an October 2005 suspension from work after getting a speeding ticket; and a November 2005 memo "to clarify duty hours, tardiness and personal business during duty time."

From the info gathered here, we can see something that is obviously lacking in the character and behaviors of someone, who has been entrusted with the safety and security of the state of Alaska's citizens. And as you may guess, there is a union behind this.

"Mike is not without a blemish," the union's Cyr said. But some of the problems noted by Grimes were small matters, he said. Many troopers were told to reimburse the state for personal cell phone calls, he said. Wooten had to miss work for court during the divorce, he said.

The union president, Rob Cox, is a 17-year trooper veteran who worked alongside Wooten in the Valley. Cox said he never thought of him as a rogue cop.

I bet you have never heard that excuse before, have you?

I highly suggest reading all of the ADN and WaPo articles, before rendering judgment on this case. And if there are any hacks for the Obama campaign reading this post, you may want to say to yourself, nice try, and then think twice before parading this one out in the talking points wars.

Just a suggestion.


Greg said...

Palin is going to turn out to be a brilliant pick for so many reasons. One reason is that all of the possible angles for attack on her leave the other side open for an uppercut.

You mention experience. It's the word BHO almost used to attack Clarence Thomas. He caught himself then, but now they can't help themselves.

She's a mom - 5 kids, one with Downs. It's going to be tempting to criticize her as a bad mom, holding public office and running for VP. Except a lot of Hillary voters are still pissed, and they won't be any happier when they hear that Joe Biden's first assessment of Palin was, "She's attractive." Plus, it's never good for a hard leftie to sound like a hypocrite by criticizing a working mom. It also ignores the "historic" nature of her campaign for VP, which is apparently supposed to be important....

She was only the mayor of a small town. Hitting this highlights "experience" again, but it's also going to remind us small-town bigots, clinging to our guns and religion, that Obama doesn't like our kind.

LASunsett said...

Greg, I think it's a fair story if she had done this just to get even with this guy for, say, cheating on her sister.

But from the sounds of things here, the guy is one of those loose cannons that leftists use as proof that we live on a police state. Here, the woman goes after a rogue cop that fits every description, and now they seek to villify her for it.