Saturday, October 11, 2008

And I kinda sorta hate to do this to good ol' Meredith on the same day that I've wished her a happy birthday, but...

A state investigator in Alaska, commissioned by the bipartisan Legislative Council, has issued a finding that Governor Palin violated state ethics laws by applying undue pressure in regard to the firing of her ex brother-in-law from the state police. Spokespeople from the McCain-Palin camp immediately issued statements decrying the entire investigation as some sort of partisan witch hunt meant to derail the Governor's vice presidential campaign, but the investigation was initiated by a bipartisan committee months before Palin's vice presidential nomination was ever announced, and Palin herself had initially agreed to cooperate with the inquiry and had disclosed in August that her advisers had contacted Alaska's Department of Public Safety nearly two dozen times regarding her ex brother-in-law.

I guess I kind of find it hard to believe that an investigation which was begun before anyone even had any idea that Palin would be a candidate is actually nothing more than part of a left wing conspiracy to smear the governor's name (Were the Democrats so full of foresight that they gazed into the future and predict a VP nomination that even Republican beltway insiders were unable to predict? Such foresight would seem to be necessary in order to set a trap for a VP candidate before her candidacy is even announced.) Also detracting from the witch hunt argument, you've got the fact that this investigation was initiated by a bipartisan council- meaning that before Palin was ever picked as a VP candidate, there were already people, Republicans among them, who were concerned enough about Palin's behavior to think that an ethics probe was in order.
And even if we assume that the investigation got added attention and focus from Democrats once Palin's candidacy was announced, I have sort of a hard time feeling too sorry for the McCain camp. Isn't that sort of the risk that you run when you pick a vice presidential running mate who is the target of an ongoing ethics investigation? Shouldn't you sort of expect that your opponents are going to heighten their level of scrutiny for the target of an ethics probe once they realize that you're seeking to put this person into a position which might one day make her the most powerful person in the free world?

Anyway, the whole thing- the cronyism, the abuse of power, the revision of history, and the whole cover up just serve as big ol' red flags to me that if McCain and Palin get in power, we can expect the exact same crap from their administration that we've been getting from the Bush White House for the last eight years (remember all of those tests of political affiliation and party loyalty that were going on in the Justice Department under the Bush regime? Just one example...).
This woman is not a reformer and she's not to be trusted. She's surely not an appropriate choice to serve as vice presidential candidate behind a candidate who is over 70 years old and who has had health problems. And, sadly, I think McCain's choice of Palin as a VP candidate shows a certain lack of judgement on his part. Not only does she have a tremendous lack of experience and knowledge, but there are also serious questions to be raised about her moral character (this ethics probe included, but not the only example- she seems quite willing to lie about and exaggerate her own accomplishments and to lie in order to smear the Obama campaign whenever she sees fit). Even if this whole ethics probe thing were to come to nothing, from a tactical standpoint, I think it showed an error in judgement on McCain's part to bring someone onboard in his campaign who had the baggage on an ongoing ethics investigation in the first place. McCain just keeps making bad decisions.

On a more personal note, being a government employee myself, it bothers me to see this sort of abuse of power. If you go to work every day and handle yourself in an effective, professional capacity, you shouldn't have to worry about politicians swooping in and trying to oust you from your job for completely unrelated personal reasons (or political reasons or any reasons that aren't related to job performance). Believe me when I say that I would be offended by this behavior even if the person engaged in it was a Democrat. It wouldn't hurt any less to lose your job because of bullsh*t personal squabbles if the person abusing their power and costing you your job was a member of your same political party.

Here endeth the rant.

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