Since I make no bones about being neutral here on P&P, I thought I’d post my own thoughts about this supposed letter from someone who knows Gov. Palin (the Republican V.P. pick) that is circulating the Internet.
If you haven’t seen it, let me introduce you: Click Here
Now that you’ve read it, I’d like to put forth a few thoughts about the letter that I’ve not seen noted anywhere (yet). And maybe that’s because, as a writer, I pick up a lot about a person by the way they write.
- Any writer worth his or her salt, is trained to provide full disclosure at the beginning of any opinion piece, of which this clearly is. Instead, it is not until the end of the letter, after we’ve been witness to numerous claims by the author, that we find out that the author is, in fact, on the opposing side of one of Palin’s most notorious skirmishes (the attempted firing of a librarian).Also, despite the writer’s claims of being “just a housewife,” she’s somehow managed to attend more council meetings during Palin’s career than, “…about 99% of the residents of the city.” This alone leads us to believe the writer is more than she offers. Couple that with the facts that the letter is nearly flawlessly written and leaves out any mention of her past education and political leanings, and we can’t help but be skeptical.
- The writer makes reference to Palin’s giving oil dividends back to the residents of Alaska, but makes no mention of the fact that this has been a lawful tradition since Congress enacted the Oil Dividend program in 1976 (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Permanent_Fund). Life is certainly more difficult in Alaska than in most of the States’ moderate climates, so if someone wants to go stake a claim in Alaska, then I say they deserve their free parcel of land and oil dividends!
- Hillary Clinton is good looking? Oh come on! Now you’re really stretching!
- The letter is written in true bad news form. It goes like this:
Good News (which is usually some trivial something that sounds good, but really doesn’t mean much), then the REALLY bad news, and then some more trivial Good News.
- It’s her baby
- She “worked” out at the gym (note the tense here)
- “[Palin] is energetic and hardworking.”
- This is one of my favorites: “She is savvy. She doesn’t take positions; she just “put’s things out there” and if they prove to be popular, she takes credit.”
Notice how she compliments Palin and then gives her a backwards compliment, metaphorically likening her to all politicians.
- She extols the virtues of Palin’s husband, so as to not anger the men-folk out there, but then she can’t help but mention, “Nor has her life-style ever been anything like that of native Alaskans.”
Um, which native Alaskans is the author referring to? How many of the Alaskan population can claim to live like a native Alaskan? For that matter, how many Southerners can claim to live like the native Americans? And who would want to?
REALLY Bad News:
- Palin wanted to fire a librarian over some books. This is the one place here that I have to side with the author based on the information presented. Constitutionally, I can’t condone the banning of any books. However, what we aren’t told, are any of the details surrounding the incident, such as:
– What were the books?
– If they were pornographic or rated R in nature, were they separated from the other books so that children couldn’t access them?
- She increased govt. expenditures by “over 33%” (note to would-be writers; it should be “more than” not “over”) and that the amount of taxes collected by the city increased by 38%.
What she didn’t say here was that any of this was due to a tax increase. In fact, she mentions these increases in the context of it being during a period of “low inflation.” Now, any fiscal Conservative will tell you that when people have more money in their pockets (Corporations too), that they will spend more, thus generating more tax revenue. So, these increases are just in line with Conservative economics.
- She says Palin reduced property taxes, but increased a regressive sales tax, which included food.
So, what’s 7% of a $150,000 piece of property? It’s $10,500
What’s 7% of the total amount of money people spend on “things” in a year, including groceries? Let’s assume people will buy $25,000 worth of stuff. That comes out to approx. $1,750. I’m betting the property tax savings came out to more than the increase in taxes on food and other purchases.
- The rest of the “Really Bad News” essentially boils down to what you might expect to hear in a high school girls’ locker room, so I won’t bother repeating it here.
- The writer goes through the public knowledge facts about Palin, and in all cases where the truth is not cut and dried, her assertions are pure opinion. For instance, where Palin claims to be a “pro tax relief” the writer states that Palin “…increased tax burden on residents.” This is not a factual statement as proven by my analysis of property taxes and sales tax above. She also mentions the fact of “pro-labor/pro-union” and then follows it up with supporting Palin’s husband’s union status, but then rather than saying “yes she is” or “no she isn’t” the writer speculatively says, “I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is pro-labor/pro-union.”
How about instead saying, “I have seen no evidence to the contrary”?
To use one of my favorite overused phrases from my corporate life, “At the end of the day” we are left with a highly opinionated article written by somone who, at the very least, had some major polishing work done on the letter before publishing it. In my experience, average people don’t go public by themselves; especially when it comes to publishing. Granted, the Internet has made self-publication without verification, very simple, but that doesn’t mean people do.
Regardless, it won’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who this person is and I bet it won’t be long before we get the real story behind this letter. Either way, I’m betting she won’t be a friend of Palin’s parents much longer!