Michelle Goldberg Gets It
The lies of Sarah Palin are different from any other politicians'. They are different because they assert things that are demonstrably, empirically untrue; and they are different because once they have been demonstrated to the entire world that they are untrue, Palin keeps repeating them as if they still were true or refuses to acknowledge that she was wrong.
Ann Althouse has rightly figured out how dumb Palin is; she has not yet figured out how disturbed she is. And once again, for Ann's sake, here are the lies I mean. Go through them. See if you think they are Clintonian type parsings of the truth or artful political hedging or anything like what we find in most pols. They really are not. They are functions of delusion and a worldview that wants things to be a certain way and cannot absorb that they are not. If you find the slightest error or come across a fact that we should add to this list of current lies, please let us know. We want this list to be as accurate as Palin is delusional. We want to create some template of easily-accessible reality as some kind of guard against the fantasies and fabulisms of our post-modern and fundamentalist age.
Palin lied when she said the dismissal of her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, had nothing to do with his refusal to fire state trooper Mike Wooten; in fact, the Branchflower Report concluded that she repeatedly abused her power when dealing with both men.
Palin lied when she repeatedly claimed to have said, "Thanks, but no thanks" to the Bridge to Nowhere; in fact, she openly campaigned for the federal project when running for governor.
Palin lied when she denied that Wasilla's police chief and librarian had been fired; in fact, both were given letters of termination the previous day.
Palin lied when she wrote in the NYT that a comprehensive review by Alaska wildlife officials showed that polar bears were not endangered; in fact, email correspondence between those scientists showed the opposite.
Palin lied when she claimed in her convention speech that an oil gas pipeline "began" under her guidance; in fact, the pipeline was years from breaking ground, if at all.
Palin lied when she told Charlie Gibson that she does not pass judgment on gay people; in fact, she opposes all rights between gay spouses and belongs to a church that promotes conversion therapy.
Palin lied when she denied having said that humans do not contribute to climate change; in fact, she had previously proclaimed that human activity was not to blame.
Palin lied when she claimed that Alaska produces 20 percent of the country's domestic energy supply; in fact, the actual figures, based on any interpretation of her words, are much, much lower.
Palin lied when she told voters she improvised her convention speech when her teleprompter stopped working properly; in fact, all reports showed that the machine had functioned perfectly and that her speech had closely followed the script.
Palin lied when she recalled asking her daughters to vote on whether she should accept the VP offer; in fact, her story contradicts details given by her husband, the McCain campaign, and even Palin herself. (She later added another version.)
Palin lied when she claimed to have taken a voluntary pay cut as mayor; in fact, as councilmember she had voted against a raise for the mayor, but subsequent raises had taken effect by the time she was mayor.
Palin lied when she insisted that Wooten's divorce proceedings had caused his confidential records to become public; in fact, court officials confirmed they released no such records.
Palin lied when she suggested to Katie Couric that she was involved in trade missions with Russia; in fact, she has never even met with Russian officials.
Palin lied when she told Shimon Peres that the only flag in her office was the Israeli flag; in fact, she has several flags.
Palin lied when she claimed to have tried to divest government funds from Sudan; in fact, her administration openly opposed a bill that would have done just that.
Palin lied when she repeatedly claimed that troop levels in Iraq were back to pre-surge levels; in fact, even she acknowledged her "misstatements," though she refused to retract or apologize.
Palin lied when she insisted that the Branchflower Report "showed there was no unlawful or unethical activity on my part"; in fact, that report prominently stated, "Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act."
Palin lied when she claimed to have voiced concerns over Wooten fearing he would harm her family; in fact, she actually decreased her security detail during that period.
Palin lied when asked about the $150,000 worth of clothes provided by the RNC; in fact, solid reporting contradicted several parts of her statement.
Palin lied when she suggested that she had offered the media proof of her pregnancy with Trig to "correct the record"; in fact, no reports of her medical records were ever published; and the letter from her doctor testifying to her good health only emerged hours before polling ended on election day, even though there was nothing in it that couldn't have been released two months earlier.
Palin lied when she said that "reported" allegations of her banning Harry Potter as mayor was easily refutable because it had not even been written yet; in fact, the first book in that series was published in 1998 - two years into her first term - and such rumors were never reported by the media, only circulated as emails.
Palin lied when she denied having participated in a clothes audit with campaign laywers; in fact, the Washington Times later confirmed those details.
Palin lied when asked about Couric's question regarding her reading habits; in fact, Couric's words were not, "What do you read up there in Alaska?" or anything close to condescension.
Palin lied when she mischaracterized the "$1200 check" given to Alaskans as the permanent fund dividend check; in fact, that fund had yielded $2,069 per person, and she claimed otherwise to obscure the fact that Alaskans also received a $1200 rebate check from a windfall profits tax on oil companies - a tax widely criticized by Republicans.
Palin lied when she claimed to be unaware of a turkey being slaughtered behind her during a filmed interview; in fact, the cameraman said she had picked the spot herself, while the slaughter was underway.
Palin lied when she denied having rejected federal stimulus money; in fact, she continued to accept and reject the funds several times.
Palin lied when she claimed that legislative leaders had canceled a meeting with her to hold their own press conference; in fact, they only canceled it after being told she would not participate, and the purpose of the press conference was very different from the meeting's.
Palin lied when she announced on the news that she never holds closed-door meetings; in fact, she had just attended a closed-door meeting with the legislature earlier that day.
Palin lied when she said that former aide John Bitney's "amicable" departure was for "personal" reasons; in fact, Bitney said he was fired because of his relationship with the wife of Palin's friend, plus a Palin spokesperson later claimed "poor job performance" for his firing - without elaborating.
Palin lied when she said she kept her running injury a secret on the campaign trail; in fact, her bandaged hand was clearly visible in photographs and the story was widely talked about.
Palin lied when she claimed that Alaska has spent "millions of dollars" on litigation related to her ethics complaints; in fact, that figure is much, much lower, and she had initiated the most expensive inquiry.
Palin lied when she denied that the Alaska Independence Party supports secession and denied that her husband had been a member; in fact, even the McCain campaign noted that the party's very existence is based on secession and that Todd was a member for seven years.
Palin lied when she told Oprah that she desperately wanted to go on Saturday Night Live because it would be "fun" and could push back on the Tina Fey impression Palin says she hated but never actually listened to. Contemporaneous emails show that Palin resisted going on SNL and was therefore lying to Oprah.
Palin lied when she told Oprah Winfrey that she gaffed on the campaign trail in saying that the McCain campaign shouldn't quit Michigan. She said she had been unaware at the time that the decision to withdraw had already been taken. Contemporaneous emails show she was lying, and had already been told.
Palin lied in "Going Rogue: in accusing two journalists she recognized from a press conference as ambushing her daughter Piper on the street. One of those journalists had never attended the press conference cited by Palin, but Palin has never withdrawn the charge.