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Sarah Palin and Libertarianism:

In my initial post on Sarah Palin, I was encouraged by the fact that she seems to be much more libertarian than most other prominent politicians. In this column, David Harsanyi of Reason shows that she has a fairly libertarian record on a variety of issues.

Obviously, Palin is far from being a consistent libertarian across the board. But she has fought to reduce government's role in the economy during her time as governor of Alaska. And even on "social issues" where she diverges from libertarianism because of her conservatism, she seems to support decentralization and a degree of laissez-faire. For example, as Harsanyi points out, she does not favor government-imposed teaching of creationism, but wants parents to be able to choose their children's schools for themselves. As an atheist, I have a lot less sympathy for creationism that Palin seems to. But I agree with her that the overall quality of school curricula is likely to be better with school choice and competition than if they continue to be dictated by the state.

Ultimately, I think that the main libertarian argument for McCain-Palin is based on the general benefits of divided government rather than on the details of their records. To the extent that the latter count, Palin's virtues are counterbalanced by McCain's many flaws; after all, he's the one running for president. Still, Palin's presence on the ticket makes it marginally more appealing from a libertarian perspective.

UPDATE: I am told that David Harsanyi is in fact employed as a columnist with the Denver Post, though he is also a Reason contributor.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Sarah Palin and Libertarianism:
  2. Reflections on the Palin Pick:
  3. President Palin:
  4. The Biden Pick:
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
Even if McCain were more of a libertarian than he is, given that the President and VP have to work with their party and that libertarians are minority within the Republican Party, which is dominated by the neocons and religious conservatives, both of whom are anti-libertarian, how much of an effect do you think that the White House would have? I suspect that electing McCain and Palin would not change very much.
9.4.2008 10:03pm
llamasex (mail) (www):
"she has fought to reduce government's role in the economy " This is simply bullshit. From Slate

"The woman who made this complaint about big government taking your money is the governor of Alaska. Please take a moment to look at this U.S. Census chart showing federal-government expenditures, per capita, in the 50 states. You will observe that Alaska receives about $14,000 per citizen from the federal government. That's more than any other state, and a good $4,000 more than every other state except Virginia, Maryland, New Mexico, and North Dakota. The chart is from the Census Bureau's Consolidated Federal Funds Report for Fiscal Year 2005. I skipped over the 2006 report, the most recent one available, because Hurricane Katrina put Louisiana and Mississippi ahead of Alaska that year. But that's an anomaly. Alaska held the per-capita record for sucking on the federal teat in 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, and 2000. According to the nonprofit Tax Foundation, Alaska gets back $1.84 for every dollar it pays into the U.S. Treasury—even though Alaska enjoys a higher per-capita income than 34 of the 50 states. This is a state that preaches right-wing libertarianism while it practices middle-class socialism.

Palin has not bucked this venerable tradition. It's been widely reported that even though Palin came out against the federally funded, $223 million "bridge to nowhere," a wasteful Alaska earmark (and one she'd supported before it created an uproar in Congress), Alaska ended up receiving the same amount of federal money as transportation funds to be spent at the state's own discretion. When Palin was mayor of Wasilla, she hired the former chief of staff to Sen. Ted Stevens, the recently indicted dean of the Alaska congressional delegation, to lobby for the town (pop. 6,700)—which, as a result, wound up receiving nearly $27 million in federal earmarks over four years. As governor, Palin just this past February sent Stevens a memo outlining $200 million in new funding requests.."
Also there is this image


She was from Alaska, its normal, but she DID NOT reduce governments role in the economy
9.4.2008 10:08pm
byomtov (mail):
she has fought to reduce government's role in the economy during her time as governor of Alaska

Maybe you could provide some evidence for this.
9.4.2008 10:15pm
frankcross (mail):
And there is the windfall profits tax on oil companies she pushed
9.4.2008 10:29pm
TJIT (mail):
llamasex,

Don't forget that 65% of the state of Alaska is owned by the federal government.

And the government has considerable activity (military bases, offices to manage all of the government owned land in the area.)

A technically correct evaluation of Alaska's consumption of federal dollars in comparison to other states needs to account for those factors.
9.4.2008 10:34pm
PC:
And there is the windfall profits tax on oil companies she pushed


Attacking Palin's family like that is out of bounds.
9.4.2008 10:37pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
Are libertarians into trying to ban books from libraries now? I just can't keep up on these things.
9.4.2008 10:41pm
Jeff Boghosian (mail):
As mayor of her town, I read she increased the size of gov't by about 30% in 2 years. If she is libertarian, is libertarianism officially dead now?

Every few years wouldn't it be nice to see what one of the party's would do if they did have control of the white house and congress? So often they just blame each other. I'm curious to see what the Dems will do in the fall if they win, I think they'll show some restraint and not increase as much as Bush increased spending. If they fail, they can be punished for several years just as the Republicans are now.
9.4.2008 10:42pm
Ilya Somin:
The woman who made this complaint about big government taking your money is the governor of Alaska. Please take a moment to look at this U.S. Census chart showing federal-government expenditures, per capita, in the 50 states. You will observe that Alaska receives about $14,000 per citizen from the federal government. That's more than any other state, and a good $4,000 more than every other state except Virginia, Maryland, New Mexico, and North Dakota.

This is a longstanding trend that wasn't caused by Palin (though she did nothing to change it). Fundamentally, no governor is going to turn down federal money for their state, since it's "free money" that their constituents don't pay for. Palin did, however, work to reduce Alaskan state expenditures, as Harsanyi indicates, and as I noted in my earlier post linked in this one.
9.4.2008 10:42pm
Ricardo (mail):
Another news story about Palin:


Back in 1996, when she first became mayor, Sarah Palin asked the city librarian if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so.

According to news coverage at the time, the librarian said she would definitely not be all right with it. A few months later, the librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, got a letter from Palin telling her she was going to be fired. The censorship issue was not mentioned as a reason for the firing. The letter just said the new mayor felt Emmons didn't fully support her and had to go.


The rest of the article quotes Palin as saying that she didn't actually want to ban any specific books but was using it as a test of loyalty. Is this what libertarians do when they are elected to public office? Experience shows that when libertarians try to tag along on the right-wing bandwagon, they wind up getting burned.
9.4.2008 10:43pm
fullerene:
I would agree that you need to take into account government installations, but there is a catch. Politicians do lobby to locate those in their home states. While a military base is not necessarily a pork project, its presence in a given state may and often does represent the strength of its political representation.

As for the percent of the state owned by the federal government, I really am not sure there is much of a point to be made. Looking out at the list of states with the highest federal owned land, there does not seem to be a strong correlation to federal expenditures. 85% of Nevada's land is owned by the federal government, and it is continually sending more money to Washington than it receives. Washington State is 30% owned by the federal government, and also gets less. Half of Oregon is owned by the federal government and it comes out no better than even. My sense is that very little of the federal spending any of these states receives is related to federal land maintenance.
9.4.2008 10:47pm
llamasex (mail) (www):
Ilya Somin,

She didn't just let things go since they were already happening, she actively sought more federal dollars. She didn't not turn it down, she lobbied (and by that I mean hired a lobbyist to get more) for more federal money.

How spending other states money and not spending your own state's is economically libertarian is beyond me.
9.4.2008 10:49pm
TJIT (mail):
frankcross,

You said,
And there is the windfall profits tax on oil companies she pushed
Which is flatly incorrect.

It is understandable that you might believe it though since this lie has been spreading with amazing speed and I'm sure you have seen it in enough places that it probably seemed correct.

This link provides the correct information. Please feel free to use the link to correct the windfall profits lie when you run across it.

Don't be misled into thinking that Gov. Palin has championed the same sort of "windfall profits taxes" on oil companies that Obama has

Palin has stood up to the major oil companies, and has made utterly transparent the State of Alaska's dealings with them, but she is neither in their pocket nor a rabble-rouser who unfairly demonizes them. She's dealt with them like a responsible public servant, not a class warrior.
9.4.2008 10:51pm
byomtov (mail):
Ricardo,

You don't understand libertarians. If it's not about money they don't care.
9.4.2008 10:52pm
TJIT (mail):
Another indication of the fact that the windfall profits tax laim is a lie is the fact that Louisiana has a severance tax on timber. I don't think anybody is claiming that Louisiana's timber severance tax is a windfall profits tax on big sawdust.

http://www.thepineywoods.com/severanc.htm
9.4.2008 10:53pm
Estragon (mail) (www):
Palin did, however, work to reduce Alaskan state expenditures

If this is your criterion, then rather more Democrats than Republicans would qualify as libertarians, given their better record on balancing state and national budgets.

The banning books thing is better, though. That's the kind of thing I look for in a libertarian. Hayek was well known for secretly setting the works of Keynes and Marx on fire in libraries.

Experience shows that when libertarians try to tag along on the right-wing bandwagon, they wind up getting burned.

To the contrary, when (upper middle-class) libertarians tag along on the right wing bandwagon, they wind up getting the tax cuts they wanted. They can disavow responsibility for any of the other culture-war stuff, and are unlikely ever to be on the sharp end of the increasing state power they help facilitate.
9.4.2008 10:53pm
BlackX (mail):
While I thought she was quite impressive last night, and preferable to the other three, she didn't "feel" very libertarian to me. Guess that's not saying much given the other choices.

I read the supposed "Anne Kilkenny" email today and, whether from the real "Anne Kilkenny" or not, if there's any substance to it, it's not a good sign.

Sometimes (rarely) I'm glad I live in this hellhole--Massachusetts--as I can vote my conscience in national elections and don't even have to consider having to vote for the lesser of evils.
9.4.2008 10:53pm
BlackX (mail):
You don't understand libertarians. If it's not about money they don't care.


That's pathetic.
9.4.2008 10:56pm
TJIT (mail):
One of the main drivers of unneeded federal moneys to Alaska is the senior positions alaska's delegation holds on appropriations committees. This allows them to get support for there projects based on threatening other states funding.

A pretty good argument for term limits.
9.4.2008 10:56pm
llamasex (mail) (www):
frankcross erred using the term Windfall which has a specific meaning. Palin did raise taxes on the Oil Companies drilling in Alaska, again helping Alaskans and hurt Americans in every other state.
9.4.2008 10:58pm
Splunge:
Well, llamasex, your argument would seem to be this:

(1) The Federal government spends lots more money in Alaska than it gets from Alaskan residents in taxes.

(2) Therefore Gov. Palin's claim to have reduced the size of Alaskan state government -- the only government over which she has any control, as any fool would realize -- must be false.

Have I got that right? And you haven't observed the gaping logical gap in this argument? Like, the fact that Gov. Palin has exactly zip to do with how much the Feds spend in Alaska? Because she's the governor of Alaska, not a member of Congress, duh?

Furthermore, a moment's thought would tell you that the reason the Feds spend a huge pile of money in Alaska is, first, that giant swathes of the state are Federal property or jurisdiction of one kind of another (parks, reservations with Native Americans on them, et cetera), and, second, that a large chunk of its population is Federal military employees and their dependents, inasmuch as Alaska is chock full of air bases and missile defense installations and whatnot from the Cold War. Not only does the governor have zero say over how much money of this type is spent, she probably isn't even told about it, except on some "need to know" basis. She probably doesn't even like some of it, since it means the Feds do all kinds of stuff in her state without asking permission of her or her constituents.

Then there's also the fact that Alaska has an international frontier, a huge coast to guard, a vast area of water offshore from which mariners need to be rescued, and the fact that lots of federally funded polar research goes on there, and so forth. You wouldn't suggest that the Feds limit the amount of research money studying how global warming is threatening the polar bears be matched to what Alaskan state resident pay in income tax returns, would you? Or limit Coast Guard rescues of unlucky fisherman to, say, business hours Monday through Friday?

Palin has not bucked this venerable tradition. It's been widely reported that even though Palin came out against the federally funded, $223 million "bridge to nowhere," a wasteful Alaska earmark (and one she'd supported before it created an uproar in Congress), Alaska ended up receiving the same amount of federal money as transportation funds to be spent at the state's own discretion.

Another logic difficulty here. Why is the "bridge to nowhere" wasteful spending, hmmm? Because (the argument goes) it's too much money for too little benefit to too few people. So how do you leap from this conclusion to the amazingly broader conclusion that any money given to Alaska for the purposes of public transporation is wasteful? Are you saying the Feds shouldn't send money to the states to subsidize public transport? So the Federal money in Boston to pay for the Big Dig ($18 billion?) is "wasteful?" So is the Amtrak subsidy? Subsidies to build subway lines in LA? I thought you people liked public transit money?

Clever, by the way, to put this on the meaningless per-capita basis, since Alaska's tiny population conceals the fact that in terms of total dollars, way more money is spent in blue states like California or Illinois. Well might the other side use an equally meaningless per-acre basis -- hey! surely the amount of highways and bridges a state needs is proportional to its area not it's population ha ha -- and conclude that Alaska is way more thrifty than, say, tiny Delaware.

The point, my logically challenged friend, is that Palin (allegedly) rejected wasteful spending from Washington, and (she claims) redirected it into useful spending. If you want to make the case that where she redirected it was equally wasteful, then by all means lay out your case. If you're arguing that all Federal spending in the states for infrastructure improvement is "wasteful," well, first you're about 210 years too late to that party, and second you obviously have a much, much bigger problem with the "Government Is Not Doing Enough To Help You" Democratic Party, and should go off and join the Bob Barr Whack Fringe in arguing the Federal income tax is unconstitutional.

Personally, I think you're just snatching at straws, and strange straws at that. Do you really think anyone who likes Gov. Palin is going to slap his addled head on reading a partisan rag's (Slate's) hastily-constructed hit and say, gosh darn it, that Palin must really be another high-spendin' Democrat in disguise. Well, I hate hypocrisy so darn much, I'll just mosey on over and vote for an even higher-spendin' Democrat to "punish" her.

Gosh, that makes sense, huh? Nothing like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Just how stupid do you assume voters not already on your side are? Perhaps you've already answered that question implicitly.
9.4.2008 11:01pm
fullerene:
Spending and taxes in Alaska are divorced from one another, because Alaska relies almost exclusively on oil and federal dollars to run its government. Might one be able to argue that this makes cutting spending harder rather than easier? I don't like Palin, but this seems like a possible line. Essentially, Alaska is a fantasyland where money just shows up. Why not spend it all?
9.4.2008 11:01pm
Tom Cross (www):
The fact that an idea like this could float in actual "libertarian" circles such as this blog is the final nail in the coffin of libertarianism. The word libertarian has obviously become so corrupted by Republicans that it doesn't mean anything anymore and there is no point in continuing to use it.

It used to be that there was a difference between the word conservative and the word libertarian.

It has always been the case that conservatives supported laissez faire economic policies, lower taxes, smaller government, etc... Supporting these things does not make you a libertarian, or it least it never did before.

The difference was always been about social liberty and civil liberty; that libertarians supported economic freedom because they supported human freedom, including social freedoms that conservatives sought to control.

It has been the case recently that some Republicans have used the word libertarian to distance themselves from people in the party who were not perceived to be doing enough to lower taxes. It has been the case recently that some radio pundits who are clearly conservative have called themselves libertarian because it sounds hip. It has also been the case that a paleoconservative presidential candidate (Ron Paul) attracted support from libertarians who did not pay careful attention to his positions, such as his opposition to the doctrine of incorporation.

But this is really the last straw. A woman who openly mocked civil liberties concerns in the war on terrorism in a major address on national television yesterday, who has supported teaching creationism in public schools, who opposes abortion in cases of rape and incest, who opposes civil unions for homosexuals, and who threatened to fire a city librarian allegedly because that librarian refused to censor books from the library... you're calling this person a libertarian!?

Don't you realize that the only reason she vetoed that bill about benefits for homosexuals is because her legal team advised her that it was facially unconstitutional and they didn't want to waste money defending it in court when they were certain to loose?

Sarah Palin is a normal conservative. She supports economic liberty and social control. On the later point she is more radical than most Republicans. She is the furthest thing from libertarian that a conservative can get. The fact that so many so called libertarians have conned themselves into thinking otherwise about her speaks volumes about people's ability to delude themselves when they want something to be true. It speaks, also, to the meaninglessness, irrelevancy, and impotence of real libertarian ideas in our political system.
9.4.2008 11:03pm
llamasex (mail) (www):
Splunge,

You do misunderstand me. I am saying Palin isn't a Libertarian Mayor or Governor because she lobbied for Federal Tax Dollars (at both levels)

You also misunderstand
Like, the fact that Gov. Palin has exactly zip to do with how much the Feds spend in Alaska?

SHE HIRED A LOBBYIST TO GO TO CONGRESS TO GET ALASKA MORE MONEY! In my mind that would be the opposite of what a libertarian would do. Not to mention all the other stuff, like raise taxes on oil companies, work with Ted Stevens to get more pork, and Say they did good when looking at all the earmarks their town go when she was mayor (look at the note, on top of the million dollars to repave the airport)

Why a economic libertarian would think that it is a good thing the federal government is using federal money to repave a local airport just makes no sense
9.4.2008 11:08pm
absalom:
Splunge:
Another logic difficulty here. Why is the "bridge to nowhere" wasteful spending, hmmm?
Hasn't St. Sarah long since conceded that point?
9.4.2008 11:13pm
JakeStar (mail):
You are confusing libertarians and librarians.
9.4.2008 11:16pm
mac (mail) (www):
"Small town tyrant" might make for a more meaningful discussion.

This is a woman who conspired to fire city managers who she suspected of disloyalty. She didn't like the attitude of the librarian in Wasilla because being a librarian she wasn't gung ho about banning books. Palin found a way to get rid of her. She imported family beefs and grudges into the political arena as governor with Troopergate being the prime example. She wants to control women's right to abortion. Used lobbyists. Shills for big oil and gas, despite her "reformer" conceit.

Palin is a nasty piece of work. In many respects she out-Bushes Bush in terms of some of her ideological positions.

The term "libertarian" is often used to try and endow bohunks and clowns on the right with a mystique they don't deserve. I'll bet Palin would even have difficulty defining the term.
9.4.2008 11:32pm
TJIT (mail):
Tom Cross, llamasex, byomtov, et al.

Flatly Obama's pick of Biden is a civil liberties disaster.

The fact Palin's library question is getting multiple comments on these threads while biden's disastrous civil liberties history is ignored shows one thing.

Folks complaining about Palin's library book question while ignoring biden's civil liberties disasters are concerned about obama's electoral prospects not civil liberties.

Had to take a break from my vacation to register my disappointment in Obama's selection of Biden.

Biden has sponsored more damaging drug war legislation than any Democrat in Congress.

Hate the way federal prosecutors use RICO laws to take aim at drug offenders? Thank Biden. How about the abomination that is federal asset forfeiture laws? Thank Biden. Think federal prosecutors have too much power in drug cases? Thank Biden.

Think the title of a "Drug Czar" is sanctimonious and silly? Thank Biden, who helped create the position (and still considers it an accomplishment worth boasting about).

Tired of the ridiculous steroids hearings in Congress? Thank Biden, who led the effort to make steroids a Schedule 3 drug, and has been among the blowhardiest of the blowhards when it comes to sports and performance enhancing drugs.

Biden voted in favor of using international development aid for drug control (think plan Columbia, plan Afghanistan, and other meddling anti-drug efforts that have only fostered loathing of America, backlash, and unintended consequences).

Oh, and he was also the chief sponsor of 2004's horrendous RAVE Act.
9.4.2008 11:32pm
llamasex (mail) (www):
I think TJIT has just conceded the argument that Palin is any sort of libertarian, Which was my only point, by bringing up that Joe Biden isn't a libertarian either (I must say that was a big shock)
9.4.2008 11:37pm
TJIT (mail):
mac,

Your monomaniacal focus on Palin while ignoring biden's actions that have put thousands of non violent drug offenders into prison is pathetic.

I question Obama's judgment in putting biden on his ticket. Particularly given the fact that biden's legislation has ruined the lives of other recreational drug users like obama.

That is not change, that is the same old disastrous business as usual we have come to expect out of entrenched washington interests.
9.4.2008 11:38pm
uh_clem (mail):
"Libertarian".

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. ...
9.4.2008 11:39pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"She was from Alaska, its normal, but she DID NOT reduce governments role in the economy"

Would things be in better balance if the military bases in Alaska were moved to Florida? We could also spend the money used to manage the feds huge Alaskan land holdings in Arizona? Then we could say Alaska is getting less money from the feds. Are these things best determined by looking at state population?
9.4.2008 11:43pm
uh_clem (mail):
Your monomaniacal focus on Palin while ignoring biden's actions that have put thousands of non violent drug offenders into prison is pathetic.

Well, nobody is trying to pass off Biden as a Libertarian.

If I thought Palin &co. was serious about ending the drug war she'd get my attention. But she isn't. The sad fact is that the drug war has overwhelming bipartisan support. Biden &Palin are peas in a pod on that issue. Obama and MCCain as well, as near as I can tell.
9.4.2008 11:48pm
TJIT (mail):
You folks complaining about Palin need to get a sense of perspective here.

Libertarian philosophies, civil liberties, and and fiscal conservatism are not held to be important by the vast majority of politicians.

Coburn, Flake, and a few others have done yeoman's work fighting for fiscal responsibility. But they are rare examples of this.

Palin is another one of those politicians who has done something to try and restrain spending in her state. That is another example of the, unfortunately, rare commitment to fiscal responsibility in the republican party.

The Most Popular Governor
Alaska's Sarah Palin is the GOP's newest star.


Her rise is a great (and rare) story of how adherence to principle--especially to transparency and accountability in government--can produce political success.

Palin is a conservative who only last month vetoed 13 percent of the state's proposed budget for capital projects. The cuts, the Anchorage Daily News said, "may be the biggest single-year line-item veto total in state history."
9.4.2008 11:55pm
TJIT (mail):
You folks should find it interesting that the first veto of Palin's administration was of a bill blocking health benefits to same-sex partners.

It pays to remember there is a lot of truth to the saying that the perfect is the enemy of the good. Palin may not be perfect on civil liberties but she is better than a lot of others.

Alaska governor won't block partner benefits


Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin vetoed a bill Thursday that sought to block the state from giving health benefits to the same-sex partners of public employees, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

"Signing this bill would be in direct violation of my oath of office," Palin said in a written statement Thursday night.

The anti-gay bill was passed by the Republican-controlled legislature during a special November session.
9.5.2008 12:04am
frankcross (mail):
TJIT, I think you're wrong. Or really the BeldarBlog is wrong. I'm not sure that's a really good source. What is it? I had heard conflicting reports on whether this was a windfall profits tax, and I researched Alaskan newspapers, and they report it is a tax on profits, not a severance tax.
9.5.2008 12:06am
Tom Cross (www):
TJIT, If you scroll up a few I already explained that the veto was merely an attempt to avoid a costly and futile legal battle. Palin is a social conservative. She is not a libertarian and she is not "better than a lot of others" on civil liberties.
9.5.2008 12:07am
Soronel Haetir (mail):
Anyone who thinks there are vast tracts of federally administered reservation lands in Alaska is mistaken. This used to be the case but was altered by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. There is only one such reservation left, and it is quite small.

Most of the land previously controlled by the feds is now owned outright by various native corporations.

In fact, CJ Roberts argued and won the case that these lands are no longer "Indian Land" as that term is understood legally.
9.5.2008 12:16am
fullerene:
The mere fact that it "may be the biggest single-year line-item veto total in state history," indicates that such vetoes were often used in the past by other Alaska governors (you know, the corrupt guys). If it were truly so rare for Alaska governors to veto spending items, the paper would not need qualifiers.

Palin's popularity reflects the extreme (and I mean extreme) unpopularity of the former governor more than it does anything else. Murkowski managed only 20% of the vote in the primary. That was awful performance no matter good how Palin is. People had just had it with him for a number of unique reasons. Palin looked great along a number of lines compared to him.

Ted Stevens, who unlike Murkowski has been indicted, is still reasonably popular enough to poll in the upper 30's to low 40's. Alaskans, including Palin, have apparently not tired of his brand of corruption. One wonders whether Palin will become more or less popular if she distances herself from Stevens. We may get a chance to see.
9.5.2008 12:18am
fishbane (mail):
The big question is that we don't know what Palin is. She cut funding for single mothers while being anti-choice at the same time her daughter was having issues. She taxed oil companies to buy voters with a tax rebate. She used to be part of the AIP, an Alaska successionist group, according to that party chairman (Dexter Clark), but became a Republican because it was expedient. She was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was repeatedly against it. Some of her earmarks were on McCain's own list as naughty. There is evidence that the speech she just gave was being written for the position, not for her, before she had the nod - she was parroting a telepromptr, not telling us anything about her.

We don't know anything real about her.
9.5.2008 12:20am
TCO:
I'm warning all my Conservative friends that she can not be trusted. She talks a Republican game, but has a secessionist husband and smoked dope. Libertarian in sheep's clothing.
9.5.2008 12:26am
TJIT (mail):
Tom Cross,

All you have provided to date is hand waving and assertions

It would be easier to evaluate your assertions if you would provide links with supporting information.

Absent that you are not the least bit persuasive.
9.5.2008 12:34am
TJIT (mail):
fishbane,

In another blatant, bald faced, already disproved lie you say

She cut funding for single mothers while being anti-choice at the same time her daughter was having issues.
Wrong, wrong, wrong, flatly wrong.


More Anti-Palin Pack Journalism


if you actually bother to examine the information that Alaska's Covenant House makes available about its operations, it's obviously not true. Start with the financials. In 2007, Covenant House reported $1.3 million dollars in "grant income". In 2006, the figure was $1.2 million. So why, all of the sudden, did Covenant House seem to need 4 times that amount, $5 million or so in state money?

The answer is that Covenant House is expanding.

no existing program that helps teenage mothers or the children of teenage mothers has been affected by this budget decision,

calling a one-time infusion of $3.9 million added by the state on top of normal operating expenses a "cut" only makes sense if you can't do math, if you don't understand the difference between a capital outlay and an operating outlay, or if you hate Republicans.
9.5.2008 12:54am
David Warner:
Spam, spam, spam. The cut funding thing for teen mothers has been repeatedly debunked multiple times on this very blog. The "cut" was from a six-fold increase to a five-fold. You do understand that this paleo-liberal bunk is what got you guys in trouble back in the pre-Clinton days right? Guess the ritual sacrifice of the DLC wing wasn't such a bright idea after all.

The book banning thing is all on the word of a disgruntled librarian - not exactly a profession friendly to libertarians, in my experience. Knowing what you do of Palin, do you actually believe that if she wanted those books banned they would remain unbanned?
9.5.2008 12:54am
Ricardo (mail):
Your monomaniacal focus on Palin while ignoring biden's actions that have put thousands of non violent drug offenders into prison is pathetic.

Of course, this would have been a perfectly appropriate fact to bring up in the VC post about how Biden as Obama's running mate makes Obama more "appealing from a libertarian perspective" because...

Given that McCain's vice-president would probably have little real policy impact unless the Senate splits 50/50, a claim that libertarians ought to find her presence on the ticket appealing ought to be opposed.
9.5.2008 12:55am
Angus:
I get the same sense as Mac, that Palin has strong authoritarian tendencies. The "loyalty tests" of various types I keep reading about are just bizarre. The phrasing seems to always be "You did not support me 100%, so I'm firing you." Since when is 100% loyalty even possible let alone desirable? 95% support plus a couple objections to policies the person sees as bad somehow equals an attempt to undermine her? I get Nixonian vibes the more I read about her government style.
9.5.2008 12:57am
TJIT (mail):
This thread shows that a large amount of flatly disproven lies about Sarah Palin and her policies being circulated by the obamatrons in comment threads.

Best to assume that unless the commenter is willing to provide a fair amount of supporting information for their anti Palin assertion the assertion is wrong.
9.5.2008 12:59am
David Warner:
Ricardo,

"Given that McCain's vice-president would probably have little real policy impact"

On the other hand, there's Ilya Somin's theory about the importance of the VP for setting the R ascension order.

Palin is less beholden to the party than any candidate since Eisenhower, and yet, at the moment, more loved by it than any since Reagan. If, somehow, she can keep this up, she will wield tremendous power over party priorities.

The more support she gets, including those inclined to support her here, the more likely the above scenario.
9.5.2008 1:02am
TJIT (mail):
Another link on the special needs budget cut lie

"Newest Palin Smear: She Cut Special Needs Budget"

A second part of the measure raises spending for students with special needs to $73,840 in fiscal 2011, from the current $26,900 per student in fiscal 2008, according to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (emphasis added).

So the Netroots and CNN allege that Palin cut special needs funding by 62 percent, by crediting her with the budget proposed by a political opponent.

the truth is that rather than a 62 percent cut, she's actually increasing special needs funding by 175 percent.

It's no wonder a majority of Americans think the media is trying to hurt Palin.
9.5.2008 1:05am
Ricardo (mail):
The book banning thing is all on the word of a disgruntled librarian - not exactly a profession friendly to libertarians, in my experience.

No, read the article. Palin was asked about the incident at the time and admitted she made the request but that it was "rhetorical." Palin also made the request publicly at a city council meeting where there were other witnesses who recounted her exchange.
9.5.2008 1:06am
Beem:
So, let's see. On social issues, she is a conservative with extreme pro-life views and a desire to teach both creationism and evolution (which happens to be unconstitutional too, but oh well). On economic issues, Sarah Palin is practically a socialist. Her greatest legislative achievement is passing a windfall profits tax on oil companies in Alaska. And even better, she is a Pork Queen, who enlisted the help of lobbyists to capture a ridiculous amount of earmarks for her small town.

I think Somin is confused about what the word "libertarian" actually means.
9.5.2008 1:08am
Tom Cross (www):
TJIT, Your google is as good as mine, and any basic amount of digging into the matter will demonstrate that she issued a signed statement indicating her opposition to the court order that she was upholding by vetoing the legislation.

Try dropping the following text into your favorite search engine: The governor's veto does not signal any change or modification to her disagreement with the action and order by the Alaska Supreme Court.
9.5.2008 1:10am
TJIT (mail):
Tom Cross,

I provide links, you provide assertions and hand waving.

There has been a huge volume of anti Sarah Palin slime which has been buttressed by large volumes of bald faced lies.

Given this and the utterly undependable, fraudulent nature of many of the claims against Palin prudent readers would do well to assume that absent abundant documentation anti Palin comments are at best not correct and at worst bald faced lies.
9.5.2008 1:24am
TJIT (mail):
Beem provides another example of the huge volume of bald faced lies obamatrons are spamming into any comment thread on topics related to Sarah Palin. He says
Her greatest legislative achievement is passing a windfall profits tax on oil companies in Alaska.
This has been proven to be a baldfaced lie on this thread with multiple supporting links.

Yet the obamatron's continue to spam this lie onto the thread.
9.5.2008 1:30am
Bill Poser (mail) (www):

On social issues, she is a conservative with extreme pro-life views and a desire to teach both creationism and evolution (which happens to be unconstitutional too, but oh well). On economic issues, Sarah Palin is practically a socialist.


Ahha! So she's an early 20th century feminist!
9.5.2008 1:32am
David Warner:
Ricardo,

Thanks for the correction. My sense from the hundreds of Sarah Palins I've known is that she was coming from the GTA backlash direction (I've read elsewhere that profanity was a concern). At some point, we're all bluenoses* (I doubt that many public libraries are carrying copies of, say, Liberal Fascism), but its a legitimate concern whether her point was too far afield of that of libertarians. Would be an interesting thing to ask her about with Russertian doggedness.

Given what she seeks to accomplish, I doubt her leadership style would be recommended by Dale Carnegie, but the "loyalty" stuff smacks too much of W. We'll see.

* - unless one believes that every library should shelve every book ever published.
9.5.2008 2:46am
Dan M.:
So she's a disastrous social conservative authoritarian that hasn't actually tried to pass any socially conservative authoritarian policies. She believes that abortion is wrong except to save the life of the mother but she doesn't push abortion legislation and doesn't allow it to be inserted into energy bills.

She fires the Public Safety Director who now accuses her of lying about the pressure and as proof releases a couple of e-mails to the public that show no pressure. She inserted her brother in-law's name into discussion about a couple of bills. She supported a bill creating tougher sentencing for police officers convicted of murder, and encouraged the public safety director to support it because it's a huge betrayal when police officers betray the trust of the public, like for instance when an investigation confirmed that Mike Wooten had threatened to kill her father but was still considered fit to be a state trooper. A later bill would create greater gun ownership restrictions on the mentally ill, and Palin comments to Monegan that she agrees with such prohibitions but that they also need to apply to police officers who aren't fit to carry a gun, like her ex-brother in-law Mike Wooten.

As mayor, she also fired the chief of police who wouldn't back down on a suggestion to force bars to close 3 hours earlier and who the NRA wanted sacked for some reason in an unrestricted carry state. She also initially intended to fire a librarian that had openly campaigned for her opponent in the election, and perhaps set up a little test for her, but then ended up letting her keep her job and no books were banned. Saying she "expanded the government" is deceitful when you consider that the population was rapidly expanding.

So her record demonstrates that she's a social conservative who never did anything to actually impose those morals on others. Then she got rid of some tax breaks for oil companies that she thought had been the result of corruption. She fucked over some oil companies and decided to make a deal with a Canadian company.

Her populist tax rebate seems a little odd, but I don't see much wrong with her performance as governor if she vetoed a (very popular) bill that she was morally in support of. She claims to be in support of creationism in schools (on the state's party platform) and then backed down from it.

I am disturbed by her "He's worried that someone won't read them their rights" line but I'm hoping that she's just getting in step with McCain for now and hoping that she doesn't really believe that.

Yeah, she lobbied for federal money, which seems a little hypocritical but I think just about every state official thinks that if the federal government is going to spend money, that it might as well be in their district. But she won't have a different group with more money that she can lobby once she's in the federal government, so if she can remain fiscally responsible and uphold the Constitution, I think she'll be great. However, having the line-item veto in Alaska make it a lot easier to fight pork than in the federal government.
9.5.2008 2:51am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
no governor is going to turn down federal money for their state


Then why has Palin been making statements suggesting she did precisely that?
9.5.2008 5:47am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
tj:

This link provides the correct information. … I provide links


I'll start respecting links you offer from beldar and proteinwisdom at roughly the same moment you start respecting links I offer from dailykos (btw, I almost never offer links from dailykos).
9.5.2008 5:47am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Your monomaniacal focus on Palin while ignoring biden's actions


Here's one reason such a thing would be very rational: Obama's life expectancy is much greater than McCain's.
9.5.2008 5:47am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Knowing what you do of Palin, do you actually believe that if she wanted those books banned they would remain unbanned?


Palin is smart enough to pay attention to what happens after she launches a trial balloon. That's why she backpedaled on creationism one day after saying it should be taught.
9.5.2008 5:47am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
This thread shows that a large amount of flatly disproven lies about Sarah Palin and her policies being circulated by the obamatrons in comment threads.


Try disproving this: she's a liar.
9.5.2008 5:48am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
She fires the Public Safety Director who now accuses her of lying about the pressure and as proof releases a couple of e-mails to the public that show no pressure


I quoted those emails in the comment I just cited. Tell me with a straight face that those emails "show no pressure."
9.5.2008 5:48am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Hey tj, it's ironic to hear you express concern about allegedly false statements. I proved here that NRO relayed a false statement from the McCain campaign. It's a whopper. You were right there in that thread. Why didn't you speak up? To either defend McCain's false statement, or condemn it?
9.5.2008 5:53am
Kirk:
You don't understand libertarians. If it's not about money they don't care.
That's pathetic.
Who cares?
9.5.2008 11:19am
Dan M.:
I think she stretches the truth sometimes and sometimes tells outright lies. I've seen Obama and Biden tell lies, too, and there will be a short article on politico or on some right-wing blog, but no one else will care.

I read the e-mails to Monegan. I actually enjoyed her shots at the police union pointing out that they should have higher accountability than the general public and that their rights should be subject to the same due process as the rest of us. Even though those comments were clearly her way of bitching about the handling of Mike Wooten, I don't think there was pressure in those e-mails to fire him. I think that bitching about something that happened in the past and using it to make points can surely seem like pressure, but I don't take it that way.

I agree that the campaign should drop the stuff about the Bridge to Nowhere. I didn't expect them to bring it up again at the Convention.
9.5.2008 11:55am
Anderson (mail):
The Anne Kilkenny letter merits attention.

Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a "fiscal conservative". During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren't enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn't even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later--to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once.

These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city.

* * *

As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget guidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing projects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislative action restored most of these projects--which had been vetoed simply because she was not aware of their importance--but with the unobservant she had gained a reputation as "anti-pork".


Libertarian. Right.
9.5.2008 12:57pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dan:

I think that bitching about something that happened in the past and using it to make points can surely seem like pressure, but I don't take it that way.


Even you're admitting that her emails "can surely seem like pressure" (even though you don't take it that way). But pay attention to how emphatic she was in her denial. She didn't just say she wasn't aware of pressure. She said she wasn't aware of anything that could even "have been perceived" as pressure. But no reasonable person can read her emails and claim that they cannot even be perceived as pressure. Even you admit this.

Also, her emails have to be interpreted in the light of lots of other very solid evidence, like the tape of Bailey's phone call. The pattern shows that she was trying to get Wooten fired.

And I don't know what you mean about "using it to make points." What she said in the emails about Wooten had no relevance or meaning other than communicating her belief that it was wrong for him to still have a job. Yes, she tried to tie this is in to a bill she was discussing, but she could have very easily made her point about the bill without mentioning Wooten.

I think she stretches the truth sometimes and sometimes tells outright lies. I've seen Obama and Biden tell lies, too


I defy you to show an example of Obama telling a lie that is this clearly documented, and unmistakable, and recent, and material.

You also have to take into account that one of Palin's major selling points is her alleged record as a reformer, and someone who has rooted out corruption. She is inviting us to hold her to a higher standard. Even though she's at least as demonstrably dishonest as anyone else in the race.
9.5.2008 1:43pm
Dan M.:
jukebox:

I don't think you or she can make an honest assessment of what Monegan perceived. I am not supportive of her cover-up. I am supportive of her firing of him if he repeatedly showed through his responses that he did not feel that troopers were accountable to the public.

Yes, I think she probably wanted Wooten fired, I'd say her whole family wanted Wooten fired. I think I'd put considerable pressure for the firing of any trooper who'd threatened to kill a member of my family. And as I said if Monegan felt that death threats are becoming of an officer, I'd fire him. I would probably explain why I fired him, but I would probably steer clear of the family issue and make clear that his demeanor regarding trooper conduct was the primary issue. Regardless, I don't think anything that she said would have preempted an ethics investigation.

I don't expect politicians to be honest. She considers herself a reformer because she opposed Republican party members who did party work while being paid to run the Oil &Gas Commission. She also got rid of some of the sweet tax deals that lobbyists had gotten for the oil companies. I still certainly don't think of her as anything less than a politician.

As for lies from the Obama campaign:

They continue to repeat Palin's support for Pat Buchanan.

They repeatedly said that she was mayor only 2 years ago.

Joe Biden said, while campaigning, with Obama right beside him nodding in agreement, that George Bush's talks with Iran (with preconditions that they suspend nuclear development) were consistent with Obama's stance that he would meet with Iran without preconditions, and that they were inconsistent with John McCain's views that he would not meet with Iran without preconditions. Followed by "John McCain was wrong; Barack Obama was right!"
9.5.2008 6:09pm
Dan M.:
I'm pretty sure that politico has documented that Obama was disingenuous about his reasons for voting against an anti-infanticide bill, when there was a provision in the bill that it would not have any effect on any other abortion law.

I think it's clear that Obama's stance on failed abortions is simply "I don't want my daughter punished with a baby." even if that baby is born alive.
9.5.2008 6:14pm
TCO:
I'm glad she fired some people. Alaska has all kinds of corruption and deal making. Lopping some heads is a good way to change the mindset. Remember the black female Prez in Heinlein's book starting off with firing a few underlings.
9.5.2008 7:43pm
TJIT (mail):
jukeboxgrad,

Obama's utter lack of management experience provides him one advantage.

Since he has not been in positions of authority that require decision making he has no (maybe a tiny amount) of decisions that can be used to evaluate his competence to handle management authority and decision making.
9.6.2008 12:37am
roschelle (mail) (www):
After a mediocre (at best) acceptance speech I still don't know who she is. She wasn't properly vetted and when the dirt on her hit the press everyone wanted to blame Obama and his supporters. And talking about keeping kids out of politics...Conservatives should practice what they preach! This woman has become more popular in less than a week than Obama and McCain. What does that say about the American People?...wow...People are raving about how much they love her, her kids, even her parents who, as far as I know...have only been shown once...in the audience at the RNC...What is going on?
9.6.2008 8:02am
David Warner:
"This woman has become more popular in less than a week than Obama and McCain. What does that say about the American People?"

That we get our information from somewhere other than the brain dead MSM?
9.6.2008 2:45pm
Bill McGonigle (www):
'Head Librarian' doesn't seem like a terribly political position, but perhaps Palin knew something about the town librarian that we don't?


Back in 1996, when she first became mayor, Sarah Palin asked the city librarian if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so.


That's a great question to ask a librarian. If the answer is 'yes', she does have to go.


According to news coverage at the time, the librarian said she would definitely not be all right with it.


Great, then, and she stayed...


A few months later, the librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, got a letter from Palin telling her she was going to be fired.


And the tone of the article would infer that absolutely nothing transpired in the succeeding months.


The censorship issue was not mentioned as a reason for the firing.


Again, leading - there were an infinite number of reasons not listed for the firing.


The letter just said the new mayor felt Emmons didn't fully support her and had to go.


Again, we have insufficient information. Was the librarian trash-talking the new mayor to patrons? Could it be that they were of opposing viewpoints (having been appointed by the previous Democratic mayor) and the librarian was acting unprofessionally? Maybe. Who knows?

Would it have been civil for Palin to cite such specific behaviors in the letter to the librarian? No, of course not, a curt dismissal letter isn't bound to haunt her in the future.
9.7.2008 10:33pm