Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2nd Section of Chapter 3

In this section, we learn about how Palin cleaned up Alaskan politics singlehandedly, her burning hatred for her original legislative director, proof that Palin has traveled outside of the US, committment to parental notification laws & finally, her love of America.
Palin manages to start with the digs at the McCain this chapter, saying, "During the vice presidential campagin, she [Kris Perry] would become the lone state staffer the McCain campaign allowed to accompany me on the trail." (140) Oh poor Sarah! Perhaps the McCain campaign wanted to mitigate any damage the nutbags that Sarah employs would cause.

Palin talks about marriage in this chapter, saying "I support the traditional definition of marriage. One man and one woman make a marriage. And I don't support efforts that can lead to changing that definition." (143) Of course, she doesn't! Carabou Barbie is all about freedom & independence unless Teh Gays are threatening her heteronormative institutions.

We also get Palin bashing her first legislative director, John Bitney (who she, of course, does not bother naming.) "He turned out to be a BlackBerry games addict who couldn't seem to keep his lunch off his tie." (144) How is the fact that Bitney loves to play Brickbreaker & has poor hygeine have ANYTHING to do with the work he did as legislative director. Palin further writes, "During my 2007 budget powwow, the legislative director should have been at the table with us so that there would be no surprises in the state house come veto time. Occasionally, he would wander in and out, plop down in the chair at the end of the table, nibble cookies, and absently thumb his BlackBerry." (150) Again, how is this relevant AT ALL?? "The fact that his shirt was buttoned one button off and his shirttail was poking through his open fly didn't exactly inspire confidence." (151) Again & again, I find Sarah Palin to be a nasty, vindictive person. If he did a bad job, then fine, write about it. But why make nasty comments about this man's personal hygeine & BlackBerry addiction?
She blames Bitney for the lack of conversation between Palin & the legislators regarding the budget cuts Palin wanted. She claims that she told him to write a letter to the legislators with her funding criteria & he did not do so. Palin writes the whole saga off as a mistake in her hiring an "insider." Only mavericks for Palin from now on.
What is interesting is Bitney's take on what happened:
Palin writes that she told Bitney to send a letter to legislators about what sort of spending she would approve but that he didn’t do it. She said he indicated lawmakers were fine with budget vetoes that were coming but it became clear otherwise when they howled about being blindsided. “It soon became obvious just how little the legislative director had done to inform the legislature this was coming,” she writes.
Bitney said it was another staffer in the governor’s office, not him, who was requested to send the letter. The letter asked legislators for suggestions on which of their projects to cut, Bitney said, and not surprisingly they did not rush to answer Palin.

Bitney said he did meet with the four co-chairs of the state House and Senate finance committees to tell them about the coming vetoes, and reported back to Palin that three of them felt that was her prerogative and only one became angry.

But Palin staffers had only identified about $100 million worth of cuts by that point, about half of the final total. Bitney said the following day was when his “troubles” with Palin began. He said he was pulled from the governor’s budget work, and fired soon after. In the meantime, he said, Palin staffers kept cutting beyond what he had told legislators but he didn’t have authority to talk to them about it.

Palin uses Bitney in the book to illustrate a point about government. Bitney had years of experience as a legislative staffer and lobbyist before joining her team. “So much for my idea that I needed to hire an ‘insider.’ Lesson learned,” she writes.

Bitney said he tried to be fair to Palin when national media kept “crawling up my backside” over the past year to interview him about her. But the book is too much, he said.

“I’ve had it. Enough. Just enough; leave me alone,” he said.
Palin's attorney writes back, because of course, him telling his side of the story means he is stiffling free speech.
‘Going Rogue‘ is Sarah Palin’s book to set the record straight. It is her right to speak about the events that occurred in her administration and neither Mr. Bitney nor anyone else has the right to stifle that speech,” Van Flein said. “The statements in ‘Going Rogue’ speak for themselves, and it is Sarah Palin’s turn to get the truth out there after a year of misrepresentations, half-truths and dissembling by her critics.”
Jesus Christ. Do I have to explain the First Amendment YET AGAIN? Sarah Palin, Carrie Prejean, Joe the Plumber, any morons out there: you have the right to say whatever idiotic things you wish. ANYTHING. And I have the right to make fun of you for being such a moron. You got it?? If the GOVERNMENT tries to tell you you can't say what you want, THAT is a violation of the First Amendment. However, if mean anonymous bloggers make fun of the idiotic things that come out of your mouth, YOU ARE NOT BEING OPPRESSED.
Palin writes about how she wanted a smaller budget & that if she didn't get one, she would use her veto pen to get it. Because, she may drone on & on about representing the people, but let's face it. Sarah does what Sarah wants.
We get more love for Ronald Reagan, "I would cut to the chase like Ronald Reagan and just talk to the people in plain language." (158) Is this because that is the only language Sarah knows how to speak & anything more complicated would only confuse her?

Palin also talks about how she uses her children for political purposes, writing "Piper and her cousin McKinley stood beside me throughout the dedication [of the Alaskan pipeline], representing the future of Alaska." (160) And she's amazed when Letterman makes crude jokes about her children & everyone accuses her of using her children...perhaps she shouldn't put them so far out there.

Proving further that everything Palin does is a simulacrum, even the pipeline bill Palin signs is fake. When the bill doesn't come through, her legislative director says:
"Look we'll sign a ceremonial bill todau and the actual bill tomorrow. It's fine."
Fine wasn't good enough. I cared about the possibility that anything we did with regard to this much-anticipated bill could be perceived as fake or insincere. (160)
HMMM----what else has Sarah signed that isn't real?

When writing about how to calculate Alaska's share of revenue derived from resource development, Palin recognizes how confused her audience will become. "If that kind of explanation makes your eyes cross, it's because we didn't yet have a catchy name for our proposal." (163) Of course, it's not about the actual issues with Palin, it's about the image she projects. Palin further writes "political terms are meant to paint a picture. For example, liberals prefer the term 'social justice' over 'welfar' and why conservatives prefer 'marriage protection amendment' over 'gay marriage ban.'" (163) I don't think I have ever referred to welfare as "social justice," but go ahead & believe what you want Sarah as long as it supports your beliefs.

Palin goes on to prove to her critics that she has traveled abroad extensively--starting in 2007. We get a laundry list of where Palin went to visit the troops: Kuwait, Germany, Kosovo.

When writing about son's Track's hockey injury, Palin whines that the hospital would not do anything until getting her consent & therefore could not get a sip of water, lest he need surgery.

Apologetically, the nurse explained that they couldn't even let him walk down the hall to the drinking fountain becuase if he needed surgery his stomach should be empty, but they couldn't treat him without me. Of course I understood, but I still fumed inside. I even wondered out lout why this big, strapping, nearly grown man who was overcome with pain couldn't even get a drink of water without parental consent, yet a thirteen-year-old girl could undergo a painful, invasive, and scary abortion and no parent even had to be notified. The nurse seemed to agree with me, and on the spot I mentally renewed my commitment to change Alaska's parental consent laws so that our daughters would have the same support and protection we give to our children in other medical situations. (169)

Okay a few things: (1) How much do you want to bet that if Track were operated on & something happened to him, Palin would be railing against the fact that she wasn't consulted. (2) Abortion & teenage sexuality are highly sensitive issues. I know that Palin is naive enough to think that teenagers will not have sex, but that is simply not the case. Furthermore, some teneage girls could literally be killed by their parents if it was found out they had sex (or even talking to boys.) Abortion & reproductive decision making should be left up to the person making those decisions--the woman in question, not the parents. Parents do not own their children's sexuality & we should trust our teenagers to make the correct decisions.

On the next page, Palin contradicts herself yet again when Track enlists. Instead of him being a "big strapping man," he is "just a kid!!" (170) Geez. The inconsistencies in this narrative are staggering. Is he a man who can make his own medicial decisions or a young child? Make up your mind Sarah.

In the next section: Palin's pregnancy w/ Trigg.

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