Friday, September 5, 2008

Oh, Fudge! Now What?

The news media has been "vetting" Sarah Palin and has turned up some stuff that the Republicans don't want us to know about. They're apoplectic because reporters are asking questions about these matters. Bay Buchanan, a Republican strategist, thinks the news folks should just leave the poor gal alone. Hello! She'll be a heartbeat away from the Presidency if McCain wins. I want to know whether I can trust her to be straight with us at the very least, since she has no foreign relations experience at all.

I can see why Bay Buchanan and other Republican talking heads are concerned. She has been on the ticket for just a week and already four different lies (or potential scandals of national concern) have been uncovered:

1.) During her acceptance speech, Governor Palin talked about selling the "inherited" governor's jet on e-bay; McCain followed up the next two days on the stump by saying the jet was sold at a profit. Not true, any of it. It's true that Palin listed it on e-bay. It didn't sell there. It was listed at 1.7 million. A private businessman bought it, after it was de-listed at e-bay, for $1.2 million. It was sold at a loss.

2.) Palin reported during her speech that she said "No, thanks" to the infamous "bridge to nowhere" that McCain has railed against for ages. (He never bothered to tell us it was a non-issue, and had been resolved years ago.) She neglected to tell us that she was for it before she was against it. I now wonder: Was it the public outcry against it (by people like McCain) that caused her about-face? A concern that her reputation as a steely reformer might be tarnished? I would like to see that timeline tracked down by a reporter. I'd like to read the whole story on that.

3.) She's under investigation for abuse of power in Alaska -- has just hired a defense attorney -- over claims that she fired a man because he wouldn't fire her ex brother-in-law from his job, not because he was failing in any way to perform his duties in an exemplary manner, but because he was unwilling to fire an ex-relative of hers for no reason at all. Now, no one knows yet if this is true, and she's innocent until proven otherwise... but it's still in the air, and bears close scrutiny. So, no, Bay Buchanan: "Hands off on Sarah Palin" is not in the best interests of our country at this time.

"Little" stuff like this just erodes any confidence the Republicans may be trying to build regarding their candidates. These people need to tell the truth. If they can't tell the truth on "small" matters, how can we trust them any more than we could trust Bush to tell us the truth regarding larger, international matters?

Reporters are looking for the truth in all the fluff. That's their job. (One they shamefully abdicated for far too long following September 11th in a fit of fear and patriotic fervor, but one they're now re-dedicating themselves to after blindly following the lead of a President who said he had proof of weapons of mass destruction and al-Qaeda links in Iraq, and other fabrications revealed and proven since then.)

It just seems like more of the same in Republican Land.

The Democrats haven't had many chances in the past thirty years to lead this nation, but each time they have, they've not perpetrated many bona fide scandals (except for Clinton's dumb and dumber dalliance with Monica and other pre-Presidency ladies), and they've never betrayed us in a way that would compromise our essential trust in them as public servants.

McCain looks like he might be a breath of fresh air at times, but then this kind of stuff comes to light and we begin to think again, "What else are the Republicans spinning to keep us blissfully hopeful and less cognizant of the Republican rule over the past eight years, during which McCain supported President Bush 91% of the time?"

We need to clean house. We need to hold people accountable for the lies they tell on their own behalf, and the lies they tell about their worthy, equally-patriotic opponents.

In November, I'm voting for the truth tellers who know something is broken, not for the folks who think the economy is fine and improving, the skies are all blue, and only Islamic terrorists are worth spending quality time thinking about.

More is going on here that needs to be explored and brought into the light. Not to denigrate or exploit -- but so we know what we're getting if, indeed, McCain-Palin become our next President and Vice President.

Barack shares a non-profit board position with a former member of the Weather Underground or buys a house from a guy who later is found guilty of illegal activity, and the Republicans spin and spin and spin, trying to blow him out of the water. Obama was eight years old when the Weathermen were active; the fellow in question is now a professor at a college. Bottom line: Barack is not a Weatherman or a closet terrorist, nor does he endorse or support terrorism or revolution. And nothing in the new home deal with Rezko was illegal (even though it was unwise to agree to dealings with a less-than-stellar personality). Reporters have covered these Obama matters carefully and found him blameless. Cases closed.

But when Palin comes under scrutiny, Republicans bullyrag the reporters and do everything they can to squelch further inquiry, denigrating investigative reporters who might consider the stories of some importance to the nation.

I say, go, reporters, go! Do your jobs. Watch EVERYBODY. Report on EVERYBODY. That's the only way we citizens are ever going to be able to decide who to vote for.

The issues matter. Stands on positions matter. So does integrity.

I don't see a lot of integrity in what has been uncovered about Palin this week. She may look the part, but underneath the lipstick, it seems that the pretty "pitbull" has done more than a little dodging -- and possibly even some serious damage. I need to learn more to know for sure. And so do you.

I'd like to be convinced that we have four honorable, fully-capable candidates, but right now I only am certain about only two (or three*) of them. (*I'm giving McCain a "passing" grade because of his military service, not because of his stand on the issues. I think he's an honorable man: I just don't agree with his stated agenda as shown by the Republican platform.)

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