Palin: the stuff keeps pilin’ up

A major management boo-boo; Ramesh Ponnuru; following a Democratic innovation at a respectful 24-year distance. And where are the news stories about the bogus “Bridge to Nowhere” and “porkbuster” claims?

1. She’s a global warming denier. This is from an interview with NewsMax that was scheduled to appear in September, so I assume it must reflect her recent views:

What is your take on global warming and how is it affecting our country?

A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.

[via ThinkProgress via Political Animal]

[Also note Palin’s pre-selection preference for wingnut venues (NewsMax, Glenn Beck) or theirs for her.]

2. Having fired a well-respected state police chief apparently for improper reasons, Palin hired a replacement. The replacement turned out to have a rather nasty sexual-harassment issue in his background. But Palin never asked. [h/t Andrew Sullivan]

3. You can’t make this stuff up: Palin described herself today as “commander in chief of the Alaska National Guard.” No, really.

4. How un-serious was John McCain in choosing someone with a good chance (should he win) of becoming the most powerful person in the world? He met her once.

This can’t be said often enough: The issue here isn’t Palin. It’s what the choice of Palin says about the man who chose her. If she’s unprepared for the Presidency now &#8212 as she surely is &#8212 she might learn. But with McCain, what you see is what you get. And what you see here is a terminally reckless man who has gotten to the brink of old age without ever reaching maturity.

5. Ramesh Ponnuru must have gotten the placebo Kool-Aid today; he notices that not only does Palin take the “experience” card out of McCain’s hand, he takes the “affirmative action” card as well.

6. I finally figured out what the Dems’ reaction should have been. (Someone told me Carolyn Maloney said something like it, but I can’t find a link.) “Congratulations to John McCain and the Republican Party for putting a woman on the ticket, only 24 years after the Democrats did. That’s less time than it usually takes them to catch up,”

I would have added, though only under my breath, “And too bad that the Republicans also imitated the Democrats in coming up with a grossly under-qualified woman, especially now when there are some fully qualified alternatives.” If he didn’t want Condi Rice or Kay Bailey Hutchinson or Christine Todd Whitman or one of the female CEO’s, how about Mitt Romney? Don’t tell me the Mittster wouldn’t have changed his gender for a shot at the Oval Office; he’s already changed everything else.

7. Palin didn’t like Hillary Clinton’s “whining.” Of course that was then; this is now.

8. Even though Palin’s claim to have killed the “Bridge to Nowhere” has been thoroughly debunked using her own words and an Alaska reporter’s local knowledge, the big-media outlets that reported it straight the first time don’t seem to be backing off. (Her more general claim to be anti-pork doesn’t seem to jibe with this piece by Palin’s “special counsel” and “director of state-federal relations”.)

When your signature substantive claim turns out to be fake, that’s not a “qualifications” issue; that’s a character issue. And it reflects on McCain’s character as well. Did he know the claim was false when he watched her make it, or had he failed to his homework?

Time for a little action from the fact-checkers. I’d rate this no lower than three Pinocchios.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: