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."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.
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).
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.