Megan McArdle On Palin’s “Truthiness” Tendencies

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The libertarian blogger is certainly no fan of Obama, but she’s puzzled as to why Sarah is pushing stuff that’s easily disproven…

Why is Sarah Palin lying about having gone off teleprompter? People I trust have spoken to people who were there, and if she went off teleprompter, she somehow nonetheless managed to deliver exactly the remarks that she handed out to the press beforehand.

What I don’t get about this lie is the pointlessness. I expect politicians to lie. But I expect them to tell the standard sort of lies about how they will give us all $5 solar cars by 2010, and never, ever sleep with their staff. This seems like some sort of bizarre compulsive disorder.

It has been a little over two weeks and we’ve been told stories that didn’t add up on the Bridge To Nowhere, selling the plan on eBay, TrooperGate, earmarks and now this teleprompter myth.

McArdle asks at the end of her post, “Am I missing something?” and I have to agree. Why do this with stuff that’s so easily disproven? True, TrooperGate isn’t an easy story, and Palin recently released documents that very well could exonerate her, but as to all the other pieces of the puzzle that make up the Palin picture…did McCain realize that many of them just aren’t fitting?

  • mike mcEachran

    What’s intriguing about “Troopergate” and the “truthiness” question is what it reveals about her ethical compass, not so much the legalities. It’s all starting to reveal that maybe she lives in a kind of world-of-her-own-making; a sheltered “us vs. them” world (a world view consistent with evangelical christians) where one is justified by any action if it is “for the good”, “against the evil”, i.e., “what god wants.” Secular standards be damned if the ends justify the means. People are sniffing around about these details, because it smells of the same stuff that’s been dished out by Bush for the last eight years. These are revelations about how she handles moral dilemas, her intellectual curiosity and honesty, and about her judgement and decision making. So far, not good.

  • http://stubbornfacts.us/ Tully

    She’s able to memorize prepared remarks, and that’s a strike against her?

    She’s been in politics before and has enemies who dispute anything and everything?

    Wow, we really have entered the silly zone. Politics As Religion is back in the fore, and the zealots have their torches out. Same as it ever was. I guess that’s the HopeChange we’ve been waiting for, but it sure looks like the same old same-old.

  • http://itsthe21stcenturystupid.wordpress.com Jim S

    That’s funny, same old same-old is exactly what I thought of Bush in skirts. And if you look at her ideas (That we know of.) that’s precisely what she is. Since I don’t like the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania why would I approve of someone whose policies match his? Why would anyone who disagrees with Bush want Palin as the heir to the office?

  • L

    It is actually that she didn’t memorize prepared remarks, but lied about memorizing prepared remarks that seems to be the problem here.


    I suppose there are some who won’t be bothered by lies such as these, but I am just baffled at why they would even bother. She got great reviews, I even thought it was delivered greatly, but why lie?

  • Rich

    1) OK, so she covered the all of the topics and hit the bullet points that was included in the press release. That means that she knew the contents of the speech and didn’t forget anything. That does not mean that she “lied” about the teleprompter not working properly. Did she follow the teleprompter script verbatim? Perhaps the teleprompter did not work properly, she stopped using it and STILL managed to make all of the points that she intended to make. Just because Obama can’t tie 2 thoughts together without a teleprompter does not mean that it’s impossible for anyone to do.

    2) Birdge to nowhere…the money was still sent to Alaska in 2007, even though it was not specifically marked as for the Bridge. So, in fact, the bridge could’ve still been built if she had wanted to proceed with it.

    3) she said that they put it up for sale on Ebay, but she NEVER said that she “sold the plane on Ebay”. The fact of the matter IS that the plane WAS sold and the money returned to the state treasury.

    4) troopergate is a non-story. Monagan was fired for multiple cases of insubordination and for illegally pursuing his own agenda despite vetos from the governor and disapproval from the state legislatures.

    I think it’s humorous that you are putting words in her mouth, then screaming that she “lied” when you prove that the words you attributed to her are incorrect.

    Try to be intellectually honest, for a change, Justin!!

  • Rich

    Show me where Gov. Palin acutally said that her teleprompter didn’t work properly…please. I’m serious. I cannot find where she actually said it.

    I’ve seen where a host of bloggers have claimed that she made a statement about it, but their references and links – INCLUDING YOUR LINK – say that another blogger, like Red State and Drudge, have said it.

    Who heard her say that? Was it your friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s uncle?

  • David

    I don’t have a lot of time, but:

    2) Birdge to nowhere…the money was still sent to Alaska in 2007, even though it was not specifically marked as for the Bridge. So, in fact, the bridge could’ve still been built if she had wanted to proceed with it.

    Instead, she spent money on a road leading to the (now nonexistent) bridge. Is this the act of an earmark reformer.

    3) she said that they put it up for sale on Ebay, but she NEVER said that she “sold the plane on Ebay”. The fact of the matter IS that the plane WAS sold and the money returned to the state treasury.

    “You know what I enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was acquired by her predecessor and sold it on eBay — and made a profit!”
    — John McCain, at a campaign stop in Wisconsin

  • http://www.donklephant.com Justin Gardner

    2) Birdge to nowhere…the money was still sent to Alaska in 2007, even though it was not specifically marked as for the Bridge. So, in fact, the bridge could’ve still been built if she had wanted to proceed with it.

    Wrong. The money for the bridge was still available for other projects, but Congress had said it couldn’t be used for the bridge even before she was elected Governor. They killed it before she said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” It’s a matter of public record.

    And the eBay thing was just plain dumb, especially on McCain’s part. There is NO need to lie about any of this stuff or even misrepresent it in the slightest. She could have said that she put it up for sale on eBay, but it didn’t sell. However, she did eventually sell it and return the money. But she didn’t. Instead the McCain campaign tried to make it seem like she had actually sold it on eBay.

    And then comes the teleprompter thing, and I’m sorry Tully but you’ve branded yourself as the research king so you’re obviously smart enough to click a link and read a story. They made it up, and there’s no good reason why.

    In other words, the McCain campaign has botched this candidate’s rollout by claiming one easily disproven thing after another. So ultimately It strikes at the heart of their collective “reform” brand. Palin was a clean slate, but now she has all these unnecessary question marks.

  • billy

    she is a serial liar. i guess if you are a right wing nutjob you are allowed to do it in alaska. the problem is that 50 people confirmed she abused power in troopergate and she has given 15 different reasons why she fired the man who wouldnt fire her ex brother in law.

    if I were trooper wooten I would move for full custody of the kids because the palin family was under court order not to disparagte him and it is obvious they continue to do so themselves and through their surrogates to this day.

  • L


    Fundraiser in Canton, Ohio, September 15

    “There Ohio was right out in front, right in front of me,” Palin said. “_The teleprompter got messed up._ I couldn’t follow it, and I just decided I’d talk to the people in front of me. It was Ohio.”


    Hope this is enough proof.

  • L

    And please leave my friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s uncle out of this. He never said anything of the sort.

  • http://itsthe21stcenturystupid.wordpress.com/ Jim S

    For Rich to accuse Justin of being intellectually dishonest is too hypocritical for words. It just is.

  • gerryf

    4) troopergate is a non-story. Monagan was fired for multiple cases of insubordination and for illegally pursuing his own agenda despite vetos from the governor and disapproval from the state legislatures.

    Since no one took this one and since we don’t want anything Rich says to be undisputed…..

    Monagan was fired for multiple reasons, it’s true, and one of those reasons certainly looks like payback for not firing the ex-husband of Sarah’s younger sister Molly.

    To suggest that Palin did not have a vendetta against the trooper Mike Wooten is to be so completely out of connection with reality is to terrify. There have been lots of rumors about what a bad guy Wooten is floating around the right blogosphere and most of them result from 25 complaints filed against him as an officer. Here’s the problem; the complaints were filed against him by Palin and her family during a messy divorce.

    How credible are those complaints? Not very. He’s a drunk guilty of drinking in his patrol car is a favorite brought up by the right. Hmmm, where did that come from? Why, Palin made that allegation. When the police questioned Palin, she admitted that, well, she never really saw him do that, but she thinks he did. Yeah, let’s can an 8 year police veteran with a good record just because Palin says he was a drunk (funny, she doesn’t condemn the “first dude” who actually was caught drinking and driving).

    The police department investigated every single one and only one stuck–that he illegally shot moose without a license. This is my favorite.

    What’s this story about?

    In 2003, Wooten, his wife and a friend were moose hunting. Upon spotting a moose, Wooten instructed his wife to shoot the moose since she had the permit, she refused so Wooten did.

    After carting the moose back to town, Sarah Palin’s father butchered it in his garage, and Wooten shared the meat with Sarah and Todd Palin as well as her parents.

    It wasn’t until 2 years later, during the divorce battle that the the family filed a complaint against Wooten for illegally shooting the moose.

    At least they waited until they finished the meat to file the complaint against Wooten, eh?

    During the divorce proceeding, the Palins and his soon to be ex-wife’s family engaged in threatening phone calls, private detectives following Wooten, notes left on his windshield, Todd Palin taking pictures then submitting them to Wooten’s supervisor–all this designed to intimidate Wooten into backing off from demanding equal child custody rights.

    Each case was investigated and each time they found nothing. the investigator said in all his years he had never seen such a shotgun pattern against one officer. During the divoce the judge warned Palin and her family that if any of their actions caused Wooten to lose his job or pay in anyway, Molly and her family would be held liable.

    They all shut up at that point until two years later when under the stipulations of the court order custody the issue was revisited. This was not due to any issue, but simply as a way to ensure everything was still working.

    During the revisiting, Palin in written testimony to the court, denied she personally ever made any complaints about Wooten! This was — guess what’s coming– a lie. Police records show an email from her complaining about Wooten driving drunk. Gee, another case of Palin lying–see a pattern?

    Anyway, the rest of it as all been hashed to death so let’s go on to some of those other areas as to why Monagen was fired.

    Palin campaigned on a platform of improved police service and Monagen came into the job knowing that. He had inherited a department that had problems in the past. Things had actually been on the upswing under Palin’s predecessor Governor Murkwoski, who made significant investments in the department.

    Then, despite Palin’s campaign pledges that more needed to be done, under her budget the police budget was cut by .06 percent because the government needed to tighten its belt. Gasoline prices had soared and so much of the police budget is invested in patrol that any cut was a problem. In addition to that burden, a state legislature authorized retirement program was brutally impacting the police budget.

    OK, the right says, but times were tough and everyone had to tighten their belts. Well, everyone but Palin. Her budget grew by 22.6 percent!

    OK, but Monagen was publically complaining about the budget–not a team player. That’s a valid point, but Palin publicly praised his performance.

    OK, she was just being nice, but quietly, she needed him to be a team player, right? She must have told him that, right? In his entire time as Public Safety director, Monagen met with Palin for about one total hour of face to face time, and four meetings with other department heads. In a year and a half. In not one instance did Palin signal any dissatsifaction other than when Todd Palin and then later Sarah Palin pressured him to re-open an investigation into Mike Wooten.

    Now, the Palin hit machine is coming up with all kinds of problems. In additon to what I covered– that was going around the governor’s office to increase the Department of Public Safety’s budget–something she never had an issue with until now, they say he engaged in “obstructionist conduct” and had a “brazen refusal to follow instructions.”

    And yet, they cannot come up with any such conduct or refusal, except when Todd Palin asked him to reinvestigate Mike Wooten.

    But this is my absolute favorite. Now the campaign says Monegan made multiple trips to Washington, D.C., to try to get earmarks from Congress–this from the woman who made multiple trips to Washington as a freaking mayor to get earmarks for her town, and who despite her lies, sought and received earmarks for Alaska as governorn.

    You have got to be kidding me.

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again….the real issue of Palin is not her experience–she is plenty experience in the way Washington operates–but her integrity and the way she operates.

    We don’t need this kind of person as a vice president….we’ve already got one and that has worked so well.