Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Troopergate: Palin shows that she is a quick study
Her speech at the Republican National Convention was an impressive feat for a woman so recently thrust into the national limelight. Although it was largely written before she was even selected as Mad Johnny's running mate, somewhat diminishing the magnitude of her accomplishment, it was nonetheless an impressive delivery.
But the real indication that Palin is an apt student is the swiftness with which she has adopted the Republican tactic of flaunting, defying, and avoiding legitimate public inquiry.
At issue is the investigation into a potential abuse of authority by Palin in her official capacity as governor of Alaska. The Alaska state legislature, on the strength of a bipartisan vote, initiated an investigation into Palin's firing of the Alaska public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan after he refused to fire a state trooper who had divorced Palin's sister.
Palin, at first, and before she was chosen as McCain's running mate, promised full cooperation. Then, on September 1st, three days after McCain tapped her for the bottom of the ticket, she lawyered up. Today, Alaska's Republican Attorney General, Talis Colberg, said that state employees that have been subpoenaed to testify in the investigation will not honor those subpoenas. Further, a McCain lawyer, Edward O'Callaghan, has been dispatched to Alaska to do what he can to squelch the inquiry altogether. His argument? The inquiry is "tainted" by Democratic state lawmakers. This, despite the fact that the initial vote to launch the investigation was bipartisan.
From the beginning, the whole thing reeked of poor vetting on the part of the McCain campaign. It is unclear whether Mad Johnny's people knew about the investigation before they chose Palin, but what is clear now is that they are moving aggressively to squelch it.
Well, after all, over the last 7 years, if there is one skill that the Republican party has perfected , under the leadership of Big Dick, it is the ability to forestall, delay, and squelch when it comes to pesky investigations. Shall we go through the list? The investigation into the leaking of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity? The secret energy policy task force? The practices of the Bush administration's Justice Department? (And much more, besides.)
Republican party. And, after all, she's learning at the knee of the master.