Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Opposition Research

In response to Sarah Palin's speech last night, the Obama camp has downloaded its opposition research, which is vastly more spin than substance. Indeed, some of the attacks on Palin are ridiculous - from an alleged flip flop on her positions on energy to a claim that she has taken money from babies and cripples. If this is the best they've got, there is trouble in the left's utopian world.

You can find the entire list here. Its lengthy and a lot of it is spinning out of control. For example:

Palin said last night, "Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems - as if we all didn't know that already. But the fact that drilling won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all." The Obama camp notes that Palin said once before that we can drill our way out of the current mess. "Asked by Invester’s Business Daily "Some politicians and presidential candidates say we can't drill our way out of our energy problem and that drilling in ANWR will have no effect. What's your best guess of the impact on prices?" Palin responded, "I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can't drill our way out of our problem or that more supply won't ultimately affect prices. Of course it will affect prices. Energy being a global market, it's impossible to venture a guess on (specific) prices." [Investor’s Business Daily, 7/11/08]"

To give you an idea of how weak this opposition research is, that is the lead point. Actually, I am pretty sure she pushed alternatives and we know she is responsible for a natural gas pipeline. Regardless, while this may be a got’cha, the bottom line is anyone who believes we are not courting disaster by failing to start exploiting all of our resources and doing so now, in addition to pushing alternatives, is either grossly misguided or moves in the same circles as the leftist elite. The cost of energy goes directly to the economic health of Middle America, and while $4 a gallon for gas is fine by Obama, it is putting the absolute screws to the majority of Americans. If the left wants to make that their lead, let's have at it.

Another attack is to claim Gov. Palin kicks babies and steals crutches from Tiny Tim. The Obama Camp give a laundry list of funding for "crucial education, health care and senior" programs that Gov. Palin "opposed." The reality is that all the things that they list were on the budget of the outgoing Governor. Yes, she tossed that. The Weekly Standard tells the whole story:

What's gone unmentioned is that the Palin signed into law a dramatic reform of the state's education financing system that equalizes aid to rural and urban districts, while significantly increasing funding for special needs students. From the publication Education Week:

Gov. Sarah Palin and state lawmakers have gone ahead with an overhaul of Alaska’s school funding system that supporters predict will provide much-needed financial help to rural schools and those serving students with disabilities.

The plan, enacted in the recently concluded session of the legislature, is based on recommendations issued by a legislative task force last year. It will phase in a greater flow of money to districts outside of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, over the next five years.

Advocates for rural and remote schools have lobbied for years for more funding, in particular noting the higher fuel, transportation, and other costs associated with providing education in communities scattered across the vast state.

A second part of the measure raises spending for students with special needs to $73,840 in fiscal 2011, from the current $26,900 per student in fiscal 2008, according to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (emphasis added).

So the Netroots and CNN allege that Palin cut special needs funding by 62 percent, by crediting her with the budget proposed by a political opponent. And the truth is that rather than a 62 percent cut, she's actually increasing special needs funding by 175 percent.

If this opposition research and the talking points are looking a bit thin, wait, it gets thinner.

One of the major acts that Mayor Palin undertook in Wasilla was to propose the building of a $14 million sports center to be funded through a half percent sales tax increase. The ultimate decision makers on this were the citizens themselves in the penultimate form of democracy - a referendum. Yet the Obama Camp would have you believe that because the people of Wasilla decided that this would be a good idea, this amounts to Mayor Palin being a hypocrite on taxes and spending. As they write it, she massively increased the long term debt of the town and imposed a draconian tax increase.

Other swipes get even more remote. One of her appointees had, five years previously, been a lobbyist. At times, she had rubbed elbows with some of the same Alaska Republicans she later attacked. One Republican wished her ethics reform bill had been stronger. She actually reached across the aisle to get that passed. And of course troopergate gets mentioned prominently – without any of the context explained.

I do not have enough information to evaluate some of their charges – that she in fact has asked for quite a bit of pork as a Mayor. I do note the curious wording of the charge that Alaska has been seeking pork while she is the Governor. No kidding. Gov. Palin has no input into what Alaska’s Congressional delegation, the worst porkers in Congress, ask for on behalf of Alaska.

The last real laugher that I’ll include here is a charge that "Palin is Close to the Oil Industry." Now, as Governor, Sarah Palin is famous for tearing up the sweetheart deals that the oil industry had negotiated with the corrupt Republicans she had bounced from office. So one wonders how the Obama Camp can possibly justify this accusation:

Sierra Club Director Carl Pope Said "No One is Closer to the Oil Industry Than Governor Palin." "No one is closer to the oil industry than Governor Palin," said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club in comments reflecting the views of a cross section of environmental activists. They cite her eagerness to embrace expanded offshore oil development, her lawsuit against further protection of polar bears so as not to hinder oil drilling in Alaska's ice-filled waters and her ardent support to allow oil companies into the Alaska wildlife refuge. [Associated Press, August 30, 2008] . . .

Well, there you go. If the Sierra Club Director says it, that’s good enough for an Obama talking point.

I think the left is in trouble. In the absence of substance, they are obviously aiming to baffle us with bull patties about Sarah Palin from now til November. They have 90% of the media waiting to assist. We will see the outcome.

No comments: