Sunday, September 7, 2008

Palin & McCain: Lying about Ebay Jet Sale

I know I'm not the only one who finds the two Republican candidates to resemble characters out of an episode of South Park - and as if that wasn't bad enough - their words and deeds just keep getting more cartoonish every day.

Sarah Palin, squinting like Clint Eastwood into the camera, made a claim about selling her state's luxury jet on Ebay:

"That luxury jet was over the top," she told Republican National Convention delegates when she accepted the party's vice presidential nomination Wednesday night. "I put it on eBay."

As intended, that little story line got a raucous round of applause. You could practically hear every Republican in the audience patting themselves on the back and thinking "we are so much better with money than those liberals!"

The former beauty queen is clearly comfortable in front of a crowd, and enjoys being center stage. The only problem is she misled the crowd with a story that was not entirely true.

CNN reports today, the jet didn't sell on Ebay. Palin did indeed "put" the jet on Ebay, but was unable to sell it. I guess giving her audience the whole truth wouldn't have made for such a good soundbite, huh?

Of course that hasn't stopped the kool-aid drinkers in the republican party from gleefully repeating the story everywhere they go. Even John McCain is getting in on the action, saying at a campaign stop,

"How many saw her speech a couple of nights ago? Wasn't it fabulous?" McCain said Friday during a campaign stop in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. "You know what I enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was purchased by her predecessor and sold it on eBay — and made a profit."

Not so fast, Mr. McCain. The jet was sold by a private broker... for a loss!

Let's review: Palin claims to sell the plane on Ebay to the roaring approval of her audience (she will later claim she didn't lie because she never actually said she "sold" it). Faithful followers repeat the story everywhere they go as evidence of how much smarter they are, and how much better they are with money than Democrats. And finally, senile old John McCain repeats the lines given to him by his staff and swallows the lie himself hook line and sinker.

The truth never stood in the way of a good republican talking point.

This whole story is emblematic of the last 8 years of Republican rule. They make promises to bring us economic success, but bring us losses instead; they claim to be strong on security, but they've made the world a more dangerous place with their reckless foreign policy. They cast themselves as ethical, but have presided over the most corrupt government in our history. Simply put, they cast themselves as reformers, but bring us more of the same.

There's more to this issue than misleading the convention about an Ebay sale.

The real story here is about credibility and confidence. John McCain's repeating of the fake story give us a glimpse of the kind of president he will be: a man with no knowledge of the facts on his own, and who will rely on flunkies for information instead.

Echoes of Reagan and the Iran/Contra Scandal.

Reagan was so out of touch with what was going on around him, he allowed illegal arms sales to Iran on his watch. Under a president McCain, we risk another leader so clueless of his surroundings, that he would allow the worst to happen right under his nose.

We cannot afford 4 more years of people who would lie so easily about an Ebay sale; even worse, in these dangerous and complex times, we cannot afford a clueless president who will drive us ignorantly down a road to international and economic disaster.

To put it simply once again, we need a president who will be sharp as a tack, not one who is as dull as ditchwater.

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