Contradictions, Misleading and Outright Lies: Recent Speeches by Sarah Palin


Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s speeches are excellent examples of the use of propaganda, distortion and dishonesty in support of an ulterior motive.  In Palin’s case, she attempts to energize the base of her party by promising things they want to hear, while using absolutely contradictory and often false buzz words that are the currency of conservatives in this country.

This is some of what she said in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Tuesday:

Our opponents put their faith in government; John and I, we put our faith in all of you.

If they don’t put their faith in government, why would they want “all of us” to put our faith in them?  This is empty rhetoric which is contradicted by the fact that they are running for the presidency.

In the same speech, she also said this:

It doesn’t sound like any of you are supporting Barack the Wealth Spreader because you understand his plan to redistribute wealth will ultimately punish hard work. It discourages productivity and, I tell ya, it’s going to stifle the entrepreneurial spirit that made this the greatest country on earth.

These statements are simply false.  First of all, Obama wants to spread more wealth to people who earn less than $250,000 and those are the people most likely to spend the money they get (hopefully on things built in the United States) and encourage the US economy.  The poor, working class and middle class are the hard workers, and their work is rewarded and not punished under Obama’s plan.  Also, if people can start a hard business without having to spend a huge percent of their money on health insurance they are more likely to use the “entrepreneurial spirit that made this the greatest country on earth”.

It is McCain’s private insurance at very high rates that will discourage entrepreneurship.

This is the video from Palin’s speech in Iowa on Saturday.  Notice that the same distortions are present, along with some false and manipulative elements:


Sam Stein of Huffington Post had this to say:

Sarah Palin had a few memorable moments during her campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday. But the most eye-opening of them all came, it would appear, when the Alaska Governor somehow drew a connection between Barack Obama’s tax policy and an encroaching, nightmarish, communist government. The Illinois Democrat, she hysterically suggested, would, through his proposals, create a country “where the people are not free.”

From what I see, she didn’t actually make the connection, or at least she didn’t make the case for the connection.  She just lied about where tax decreases on the middle class and increases on the rich would lead:

“See, under a big government, more tax agenda, what you thought was yours would really start belonging to somebody else, to everybody else.  If you thought your income, your property, your inventory, your  investments were, were yours, they would really collectively belong to everybody. Obama, Barack Obama has an ideological commitment to higher taxes, and I say this based on his record… Higher taxes, more government, misusing the power to tax leads to government moving into the role of some believing that government then has to take care of us.



And government kind of moving into the role as the other half of our family, making decisions for us. Now, they do this in other countries where the people are not free. Let us fight for what is right. John McCain and I, we will put our trust in you.”

There are many problems with this statement, beginning with the fact that Obama is not proposing a big government agenda and completely ignoring the humongous increases in the size of the federal government under the George W Bush administration.  Jon Wald of the Washington Times recently said that, “George W. Bush rode into Washington almost eight years ago astride the horse of smaller government. He will leave it this winter having overseen the biggest federal budget expansion since Franklin Delano Roosevelt seven decades ago.”

The second problem is that redistributing the wealth is actually the basis of our progressive income tax, which was originally proposed by Republican President Teddy Roosevelt.  This part is simple nonsense with no historical or political reference: “And government kind of moving into the role as the other half of our
family, making decisions for us. Now, they do this in other countries where the people are not free.”  Government has always had spending priorities and that doesn’t make it “the other half of our family, making decisions for us.”

Other Palin proposals and positions, and many of the planks of the Republican party platform, including the banning of abortion and marriage equality for gays and lesbians, are far more likely to make decisions for American families than any of Obama’s tax proposals.

Besides being a liar who uses manipulative language, Sarah Palin is also a hypocrite, as demonstrated by comparing the speeches above to her own statements as Governor of Alaska.

Ryan Powers at Think Progress notes that,

Palin contends that Obama’s characterization of his tax plan revealed him to be a “socialist” who wants to “redistribute” American wealth. Palin argues that the Obama tax plan “discourages productivity,” will “punish hardwork,” and will “stifle the entrepreneurial spirit.”

He then compares that to her record as governor:

But Palin’s criticisms of Obama’s “spread the wealth” remarks are ironic, as she recently characterized Alaska’s tax code in a very similar way. Just last month, in an interview with Philip Gourevitch of the New Yorker, Palin explained the windfall profits tax that she imposed on the oil industry in Alaska as a mechanism for ensuring that Alaskans “share in the wealth” generated by oil companies:

And Alaska—we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs. … It’s to maximize benefits for Alaskans, not an individual company, not some multinational somewhere, but for Alaskans.

In fact, Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (ACES) program, which manages the redistribution of oil wealth in Alaska, brings in so much money that the state needs no income or sales tax. In addition, this year ACES will provide every Alaskan with a check for an estimated $3,200.

As Hendrick Hertzberg notes, “Perhaps there is some meaningful distinction between spreading the wealth and sharing it…but finding it would require the analytic skills of Karl the Marxist.”

Sarah Palin is an effective and dynamic speaker who achieves her goals nearly perfectly: her goals of misleading and pandering to her listeners.  But the trained ear can hear that her goals have very little to do with what is best for the United States.

cross-posted at Relaxed Politics.

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