September 9, 2008

Debunking the Smears

It's hard to keep up with the various smears and lies being propagated about Sarah Palin, but getting the truth out is necessary business.

James Taranto takes apart the "book-banning" canard as well as anyone else today, and Power Line does a number on claims that Palin lied about her role in stopping the Bridge to Nowhere. (If you can't believe the Alaska Democratic Party on this issue, who can you believe?)

The distortion of her record by the left has been accompanied by resort to unvarnished sexism, sneering religious bigotry and just old-fashioned hate.

Any number of commentators have been weighing in on the reasons for the hatred. Jeffrey Bell says that just being a mother of five who has a thriving political career is enough to annoy leftists, smashing as it does their central narrative that:

...for women to achieve dignity and self-fulfillment in modern society, they must distance themselves, not necessarily from men or marriage or childbearing, but from the kind of marriage in which a mother's temptation to be with and enjoy several children becomes a synonym for holding women back and cheating them out of professional success.

Palin apparently just isn't "held back" enough from professional success to suit their grievance message.

Dean Barnett links a Mona Charen column suggesting it's about Trig.

And Christopher Hitchens, who has equal contempt for Christians in both parties says Obama supporters are in an awkward spot to be ridiculing Palin's faith:

Interviewed by Rick Warren at the grotesque Saddleback megachurch a short while ago, Sen. Barack Obama announced that Jesus had died on the cross to redeem him personally. How he knew this he did not say. But it will make it exceedingly difficult for him, or his outriders and apologists, to ridicule Palin for her own ludicrous biblical literalist beliefs.

And while it's a bit off-topic, the other V.P. nominee does some more of what he does best...say stupid stuff. The latest Joe Biden idiocy was this remark:

“I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy, because there’s joy to it as well, the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect. Well guess what folks? If you care about it, why don’t you support stem cell research?”

One assumes for the sake of conversation that Biden is aware of the distinction between "stem cell research", which is opposed by virtually no one, and "embryonic stem-cell research", the federal funding of which is opposed on moral grounds by many Americans and some political leaders (although Democrats have made an art form of blurring those important distinctions in their demagoguery on the issue.)

But even if you assume Biden was talking about ESCR, (if he's not, the point makes no sense at all, since everyone supports SCR) he contradicts his own stated conviction that life begins at the moment of conception, by endorsing a practice that creates and kills embryos for research purposes. His dismissal of his own principle only highlights the reverence of Palin for hers. (Admittedly, McCain's support for ESCR shows the same disconnect. At least he's not attacking and/or distorting his opponents' positions)

Then there's the political stupidity, which Allahpundit points out. Biden's raising of the issue allows McCain to tout his own support for ESCR, and helps keep the issue of Obama's extreme abortion stance in front of voters.

Even though Biden often sounds stupid, maybe we should give him more credit than that. It seems just as likely to me that this is another cynical appeal to under-informed voters who don't understand the differences between SCR and ESCR, in the ongoing attempt to portray Republicans as opposed to all stem cell research, even though they know that's a lie.

So...stupidity or a cynical distortion of the opponent's position. Pick one.

UPDATE 9/9: Biden: Just plain dumb.

Posted by dan at September 9, 2008 9:28 PM