Thursday, September 04, 2008

Lies, Lies, and more Lies

Like the rest of us, I am utterly distracted by the Palin story and too overwhelmed by all of it to really collect my thoughts.

But when I heard her position herself as an advocate for special needs children last night, my antennae went up. As a small-town mayor, she would have had oversight of a school budget which would have included funding for special needs children. Before the birth of her baby, how was her record?

Well, as you would expect, not good. This from "Hilzoy" on the CBS news blog:
Palin: "To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House."

Sarah Palin might have changed her mind on this one recently. However, a comment here notes that Palin actually slashed funding for schools for special needs kids by 62%. Budgets: FY 2007 (pre-Palin), 2008, 2009 (all pdfs).
There is a lot to be outraged about in this VEEP pick and Gloria Steinem nails it this morning when she calls Palin the new Schlafly.

Remember Phyllis Schlafly? She was a prominent crusader against the Equal Rights Amendment, a smart, charismatic woman, a mother, who used her identity as a professional mother as a cudgel against other women. Here's what the conservative Eagle Forum says about her (emphasis added):
Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since the publication of her best-selling 1964 book, A Choice Not An Echo. She has been a leader of the pro-family movement since 1972, when she started her national volunteer organization now called Eagle Forum. In a ten-year battle, Mrs. Schlafly led the pro-family movement to victory over the principal legislative goal of the radical feminists, called the Equal Rights Amendment. An articulate and successful opponent of the radical feminist movement, she appears in debate on college campuses more frequently than any other conservative. She was named one of the 100 most important women of the 20th century by the Ladies' Home Journal.
I take some small comfort in the recognition that Schlafly is no longer a household name. I hope that one day, too, Palin will be the darling of some neglected fringe movement, maybe back in Wassila.

UPDATED: As SFP notes in the comments and I heard intimations of elsewhere, it does look like Palin raised the budget on Special Ed. last April (her baby's birth month) [Education Week]--the confusion and apparent drop came because the name of the budget line changed. I'm correcting this in the interest of accuracy, but I still feel frustrated and indignang about her lying ways.

5 comments:

Carolyn said...

Funny, Palin canceled her appearance at a Schlafly-organized anti-choice event at the RNC. I'm with you -- I hope they both go gently into obscurity.

Dave Munger said...

I've been really impressed with Palin's ability to lie so earnestly. I wonder if it's because she's got a great poker face, or because she actually believes what she's saying, or because she's just reading the lines she's fed and actually has no idea whether or not they're true.

KATE EVANS said...

Yes, the new Schafley & the new Anita Bryant.

SFP said...

I was outraged by the 62 percent cut, too, but I read (on a message board yesterday) that Katherine Hall Jamieson from the Annenberg Public Policy Center has found out that Palin actually increased funding for special needs kids--a change in how the state classified items in its budget from one year to the next is what made it appear she'd cut the funding.

Considering the awful stunt the McCain campaign pulled with the flags yesterday and all the lies they're willing to tell, I don't know why I'm even bothering to give her credit for anything at all, though.

Anne said...

That's really interesting that she's NOT at the Schlafly event--they're probably too similar for comfort.

I don't know at all whether she's lying earnestly either. I used to be so outraged at Reagan's lies and my father just said, "I think he really believes that stuff." My face fell and I could see a whole new terrifyiing world of political possibility/evil.

I have been wracking my brain to remember Anita Bryant's name...Thanks, Kate.

Finally, sfp, yes, I saw that too on a blog somewhere so I've (reluctantly) given her credit.

She still lies, though.