Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saradise Lost - Chapter One Hundred-Seventeen -- What Does TrooperGate Mean for November 5th?

Author, blogger and Valerie Plame expert, Marcy Wheeler, followed the Alaska Legislative Council's reception and acceptance of the Branchflower Report from afar today. This evening, at her blog, emptywheel, she posted a thoughtful early post-mortem on the report's likely effects on the remainder of the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, called What Does TrooperGate Mean For November 4?

Here are a couple of excerpts from Wheeler's essay: least for the moment, the McCain team is standing behind Palin. They released a statement that claimed that the report had found Palin had not done anything wrong, that the investigation was partisan, and that Palin looked forward to the Personnel Board investigation results as she continues her conversation with the American people.


McCain's whole campaign since he picked Palin was about "mavericks" who take on the old way of doing things. Was. That's not going to work anymore. So now he's got an unqualified but charismatic fundie fire breather, but a really tainted claim to maverickyness (though I think McCain will claim that his refusal to push the lynch mobs is more maverickyness).

In other words, since his poll numbers are already in the 42% range, McCain's bid to be President just got even more tougher, because his brand is for shit.

Wheeler's entire essay is well worth a read, and is the best I've seen out there yet, on the national implications of the twelve-to-zero decision to release the public portions of this document.

My reading of the Branchflower Report, especially given the discretion he showed in its writing, shows that he was quite generous toward the Palins' conduct in this matter. But in the hidden gems, I find the probability that both Palins committed multiple misdemeanors.

We're checking on this right now, but if it is possible to file criminal complaints based upon information in the report, expect those charges to be filed.


Which brings me to the title of this essay. There isn't much I can think of that can save the McCain-Palin ticket at this point. From the start - August 29th - some of us realized that it was only a matter of time before Palin became the hole in the bottom of McCain's under-sized campaign vessel it certainly deserves to be. But she will still be our governor the day after the election.

For how long? How the national narrative on the Palins' power abuse plays out, will have an important effect on presidential politics, but how much will that effect have an impact on our Alaska races?

For one thing, I'd like to see more of our Democrats running for state-level office, to now weigh in on this 12-to-zip bi-partisan vote. And on the contents of the report itself.

I'm not convinced yet, but part of Ethan Berkowitz's recent rise in the Alaska polls may be his resonance as a corruption fighter. It was only this past weekend, at the Alaskans for Truth rally, that Berkowitz started directing comments straight toward Palin, so I don't think his finally getting his cajones re Mooselini had anything to do with the bump.

But the time has come for Democratic Party candidates in Alaska to attack Palin. Not just Ethan. All of them!

It is time to attack her ties to nutty religious ideas that disenfranchise gays.

It is time to attack her anti-science stances that undermine the ability of American students to compete globally.

It is time to attack her race-baiting appearances over the past three weeks.

It is time to attack her overall rise for what it is - proto-fascist politics, disguised as populism.

It is time to attack her manipulation of Alaska oil politics for what it is - a confused jumble of ideas that lead to no rational conclusion.

It is time to attack her manipulation of governmental machinery to glorify her personal image.

And so on......

attack - Attack - ATTACK - ATTACK!


Anonymous said...

The decision by the ethics investigators is the most popular news article at the BBC World Website right now:

Anonymous said...

Thank you and Alaska, for saving the lower 48. The last thing we needed is a Bush/Cheney "power hungry" secret Gov. again. McCain and Fox News are really trying to sugar-coat this though. I hope this stops the Palins from future power, before they ruin Alaska's land, people and integrity of the state. I have heard great stories, from my late husband about Alaska, and we all want to hear of more great stories, not about someone trying to ruin it.
Love what you do, Thank you

Allen Lulu said...

Of course one fear down here in the lower 48 is that the RNC has effectively given up on Johnny Mac and are positioning Palin to be a evangelical-rousing new face of the republican party.
Some of us expect that she will go after Stevens' seat and go to Washington to basically prep for 2012.
The only way to stop that is to challenge her for the Gov seat, unseat her and get a Democrat in the senate seat.
It's up to you, Alaska!

Anonymous said...

Did you see that her spokespeople are claiming vindication?!!! Do they read the same material I am reading?

I feel like the Palins are the next Clintons.

Cynthia Rose said...

THANK YOU and a big warm hug from a NJ supporter! I wish I could travel to Alaska and help - but know that you have my full support and a cheerleader here on the East Coast.

I read today about more facts coming out about her blurring church and state, charging Alaskan taxpayers for the religious trips.

The truth, the whole truth, will be uncovered.

Go Alaska!

Anonymous said...

Love your blog Phil but totally disagree that Ds need to attack attack ATTACK. Attack people is exactly what the Palins were doing wrong here. The vengefulness Todd especially showed is a major turn-off for me. Like those crazy mobs Palin is speaking to, urging Mcain to, I guess, grab Obama in a headlock and pummel him. This isn't high-school football. Politics isn't a zero-sum game. You win by winning, not by beating your enemy. The better response I think is to take the high road and ATTACK THE ISSUES. Get things done, blow off the petty personal politics.
Also, I don't see that tearing Palin down even further helps the progressive cause in Alaska. Take yourself back to August. Palin was in fact the major political force that was able to pass ACES and AGIA, against the far-far-right Republicans. Come November 6, we are going to face a battle in-state between the right-wing and the far right-wing. It is an embarassment to our state (but true) that Palin, who IS extreme right-wing by U.S. standards, is a force for moderation and fairness against the Big Oil companies and real wingnuts who run this state. Tear her down and who are we left with? Sean Parnell? Lyda Green? Maybe Ben Stevens has another run left in him? Remember your history. Palin is not our worst enemy by a longshot.