Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

Self-Defeating Conservative Newspeak

1984

So apparently, the Conservative Ministry of Truth (aka, the people who brought you “personal accounts” and the “constitutional option”) has now decided that the investigation into Sarah Palin’s firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan should be referred to not as “Troopergate”, but rather as “Tasergate”, on the grounds that Palin’s former brother-in-law, who is alleged to have been the catalyst for Monegan’s firing, once tasered his stepson.

Now, I see no need to defend Wooten (although it’s worth pointing out that Wikipedia’s account of the tasering incident, while hardly exonerating Wooten, makes it sound a lot less indefensible than you might have imagined.) What I find strange about this Orwellian attempt at redefinition is that it actually strengthens the abuse-of-power allegations against Palin by assigning motive.

Remember, Palin’s official position is that Monegan was fired for reasons unrelated to Wooten. Why, then, should there be any need to focus on Wooten’s behavior? It’s the equivalent of a man on trial for killing his wife claiming that he had nothing to do with her murder, but by the way she was a dirty slut who was sleeping with his best friend. (Come to think of it, wasn’t that O.J.’s defense?)

Philip Gourevitch’s recent profile of Palin in The New Yorker (back when she was still willing to speak to the press) makes a similar point:

She wanted to persuade me that firing Walt Monegan had nothing to do with Trooper Wooten; that it was in no way a conflict of interest or an abuse of power. But, as she spoke, she seemed to be saying something else—that her vendetta against Wooten was wholly justified.

I honestly don’t know whether I find this combination of incompetence and corruption reassuring or downright scary.

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September 24, 2008 - Posted by | Media Strategy, talking points, Veepstakes | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. You asked “I honestly don’t know whether I find this combination of incompetence and corruption reassuring or downright scary.”

    Definitely the latter.

    Comment by dansac | September 24, 2008 | Reply


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