Thursday, September 4, 2008

Parsing Politics

Yesterday's speech (you can find the text here, as well as many other places) by Gov. Palin contained lots of errors (such as the lie that Obama's 5% tax cut for working families was actually a tax increase rather than almost twice as big as the cut promised by McCain) that were so glaring they were identified in an AP story almost as soon as the speech was given.

But I want to single out something that said more by what was omitted than by what was said - and it goes to the heart of the "Rob America First" energy policy that McCain is promoting. Palin said

We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers.

Notice that she didn't say "American companies" anywhere in there? No? That is because significant amounts of off-shore and Alaskan oil is produced (and thus owned and sold) by foreign companies such as British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell, and Statoil (Norway). We might "need" those resources, but those foreign companies will sell our resources to the highest bidder.

The McCain campaign wanted you to think that she was putting America First, but she is really advocating giving away our grandchildren's oil at today's low prices for the short term profit of her state and oil speculators. You can learn a lot if you listen and read carefully.

Here is another example from today's news.

As reported today on CNBC, my home for investment news:
Axelrod told reporters aboard Obama's campaign plane that the Republican National Convention speakers had distorted the Democratic candidate's record and ignored his resume. He also suggested that John McCain's running mate was only parroting what she'd been told.

"There wasn't one thing that she said about Obama or what he's proposing that is true," Axelrod said.

"She tried to attack Sen. Obama by saying he had no significant legislative achievements. Maybe that's what she was told."

That statement drew strong reaction from McCain's headquarters.

"For the Obama campaign to suggest that she is simply being told what to do is offensive and takes our country backward," communications director Jill Hazelbaker said.

So Jill is implying to us that Palin knowingly made false statements about Obama's legislative achievements, one of which was an extremely significant bill to limit the spread of nuclear weapons that he pushed through in a bipartisan effort with Indiana Senator Richard Lugar? Knowingly making false statements is what is known as LYING, so did McCain's spokesman decide that it was better to have Palin be known as a liar than as a parrot? Not really. Jill didn't actually say that Palin was not being told what to do, she only said that suggesting it is offensive to her as the communications director.

Yeah, it was a strong "reaction", but don't ever confuse a "reaction" with a "denial". Since the McCain campaign did not actually DENY that Palin was told what to say (which would be odd given all of the stories yesterday about how she was being coached and prepared for the speech), we can take this non-denial as proof that Palin was told what to say and someone else (maybe the communications director?) was responsible for those lies.


Neil' said...

How about this: require American drillers to sell oil directly only to American consumers (companies like refiners of course, not just "people.") Then see who salutes.

B said...

I found you via Unbalanced Reaction, I like your commentary.

Doctor Pion said...

Thanks, but I really need to get back to teaching and science. Unfortunately, I've been doing too much teaching lately to do much blogging other than commentary elsewhere. (I need to do a followup on the storm surge from Ike, for example.)

I just wish the Obama campaign would hit McCain harder for wanting to see AIG (which bought one of the major educational 403b retirement companies, VALIC) go bankrupt. He should be using that to scare the bejesus out of anyone who has insurance through one of its companies (e.g. American General) about just how stable and sensible McCain would be as a leader.

That and pick up the facts about just how huge the Palin government is in Alaska (yesterday I heard she increased it by 60%) and how it is funded by taxpayers outside of Alaska (reportedly 85%).