You know I said a lot of tough things about Steve Schmidt in the rough and tumble of the campaign, but the more we find out about what actually went on, the more you realize he was actually one of the few sane people with real clout in the McCain implosion. And CBS News has some new evidence of a classic Palin lie - deployed against the McCain campaign. She tried to argue that it was false that her husband had been a member of the Alaska Independence Party and false that the Alaska Independence Party actually supports secession. Here's the email she fired off to Schmidt when the press exposed her husband's extremist politics:
"That's not part of their platform and he was only a 'member' bc independent alaskans too often check that 'Alaska Independent' box on voter registrations thinking it just means non partisan. He caught his error when changing our address and checked the right box. I still want it fixed."
This is a classic Palin lie - because it has a high school quality to it and is provably untrue in the public record. CBS points out:
The box that Alaskans have the option of checking when registering to vote states the full name of the party, "Alaskan Independence Party," not "Alaska Independent," which would make an error by uncommitted voters more plausible.
To his eternal credit, Schmidt fired back:
"Secession. It is their entire reason for existence. A cursory examination of the website shows that the party exists for the purpose of seceding from the union. That is the stated goal on the front page of the web site. Our records indicate that todd was a member for seven years. If this is incorrect then we need to understand the discrepancy. The statement you are suggesting be released would be innaccurate. The innaccuracy would bring greater media attention to this matter and be a distraction. According to your staff there have been no media inquiries into this and you received no questions about it during your interviews. If you are asked about it you should smile and say many alaskans who love their country join the party because it speeks to a tradition of political independence. Todd loves his country
We will not put out a statement and inflame this and create a situation where john has to adress this."
These are the words of a sane professional grappling with smeone who can only be called a pathological whack-job, unable to accept criticism and responding to it with pathetic untruths and diva-flame-outs and personal vendettas. This person could have been a heartbeat away from being president of the United States in a moment of economic crisis and national security peril. Her selection remains the most surreal moment in modern American political history. That she is a serious candidate to be the GOP nominee in 2012 is a sign of something very, very seriously wrong with the contemporary American right.