Thursday, October 02, 2008

What She Says

I'm sick and tired of reading the press and the left blogs dump on Sarah Palin. Every day, they have something nasty to say about her. It doesn't matter whether it's true or not, whether it's trivial or important, as long as it's negative. Yesterday, Huffington Post had an article criticizing the fact that (according to them) Governor Palin had her lips tatooed. I am fed up of this pile-on and my reaction is perfectly expressed in the following post by izrradar, at

"Dear Sarah, Dear Sister
by: izarradar - Posted on 02 October 2008

They laugh at your voice, your accent. They make fun of how great you look, and how many kids you have. They smirk because you played the flute in a beauty contest, and strutted your stuff in a swimsuit. They say you’re dumb, you didn’t go to an Ivy League school, and God forbid you didn’t even have a passport until last year. You’re small town, from a small, unpopulated state, scrutinized, belittled, and scorned.

On the issues, you and I don’t agree.

But every time they laugh at you, they laugh at me. Every time they call you dumb, my I.Q. is questioned. When they make fun of you, they make fun of me. When they attack your family, they attack mine. When they comment on how you look, my looks are also ridiculed.

I am a Democrat. You are a Republican. But we share common ground because we are women, and in my book that means something. It means that we share a life experience, and a knowledge that bonds us. That makes us sisters in gender, if not in ideology.

I’ve never had a sister, so I’m not sure what that relationship involves. But I know what it means to have family, and when my family is attacked, bullied, or laughed at, I don’t take it lightly. Even if I disagree with my family’s way of thinking, you better believe I’ll be there for them, protecting and pushing back. Hard.

There are differences between us, Sarah. But there are some things in life that are bigger and more important. And differences really should never separate us, or cause us to disrespect one another, or call each other “less” or “other.” Audre Lorde (a very fine Black feminist of the second wave) said it best:

“We must recognize differences among women who are our equals, neither inferior or superior, and devise ways to use each others’ differences to enrich our visions and our joint struggles."

There are those waiting for you to fail, Sarah. They want you to fall big time. They’re hoping like hell you get your ass kicked. But not me. I’m a woman, and that gender role trumps the D on my ballot anytime. Sorry, but it does. No one has ever taken advantage of me as a Democrat, but as a woman, yes. No one has ever paid me less as a Democrat, but as a woman, yes. No one has treated me inferior as a Democrat, but as a woman, yes. My dues have been paid as a woman, and not as a Democrat.

For this reason, I don’t want you to fail, Sarah.

Dear Sarah, dear sister. We are closer than you think. Not as a Democrat and Republican. But as much more---and with a stronger bond.

“We have chosen each other

and the edge of each others battles

the war is the same

if we lose

someday women’s blood will congeal

upon a dead planet

if we win

there is no telling

we seek beyond history

for a new and more possible meeting."

Audre Lorde

The battle for November is bigger than the White House. The 21st century is upon us, and the goals are bigger now. The stakes higher. We’ve lived too many years---thousands of years following the ancient script. It’s time for a change, but real change. Not the change slogan of a male-driven marketing plan.

Lorde said it, and now, more than ever, it has truth:

“The future of our earth may depend upon the ability of all women to identify and develop new definitions of power and new patterns of relating across difference.”

Our differences, Sarah, are not what define us. Our power is what counts. We can respect our differences, acknowledge them, and move forward. For real change.

Our world needs it."

Sarah Palin, you go girl!

Update: 2 October, 15:50
Best description I've read of the astroturfing of a smear campaign, starting with a YouTube clip containing patently false information against Governor Palin:

Quotes from the Jawa Report conclusions:

We believe that the case has been made that the Palin smear video was produced by the Publicis Groupe's Winner & Associates. We believe the evidence to this effect is compelling.

We also believe that the evidence shows that W&A tried to spread the lies about Palin in such a way as to catch the attention of the left-wing netroot supporters of Barack Obama. We think it is unlikely that one of the largest PR firms in the world would do this for free. That they would pay for video production out of their own pockets, hire a well known voice actress, or that its employees would work together in their free time to help the video go viral.

So, if we're right, who paid them? As of this writing we cannot answer that question. Our initial reaction was that this campaign had all the hallmarks of the Soros funded, but given David Axelrod's known predilection to these type of stealth campaigns it would not surprise us in the least if the Obama campaign itself was orchestrating it.

That this is what Obama meant by "taking the gloves off". Especially given the timing of the video's release -- during the brief period when Obama trailed McCain in the polls, and when most of McCain's sudden surge was attributed to the popularity of Sarah Palin.
And if the company has been hired to stealthily spread these Palin smears, what other smears might they be paid to spread? Ones in which they more successfully covered their tracks?

The Palin smear video analyzed here fits in nicely with the post-Palin pick narrative being offered by the Obama campaign. That narrative is that John McCain may not fill out his term in office. The narrative is bolstered by questions about McCain's age, the present status of the skin cancer he once had, and by demands that his medical records be released.

The second ingredient in the narrative paints Sarah Palin -- who would take McCain's vacated Presidential office -- as not ready for the job. Obama's campaign has called her experience & intelligence into question, but there is also a "grassroots" viral campaign of deception that claims Palin is on the political fringe and is a religious lunatic.

Just in the past week, since we first began following the astroturfing of Sarah Palin, rumors have circulated that Palin was a member of the John Birch Society and that she hates rape victims. Bored with the spreading the lie that Palin thinks the Earth is 6,000 years old and that she banned books, this week the netroots are claiming that she supports witch hunts. Not metaphorical witch hunts, actual witch hunts.

Sometimes rumors and lies get spread organically with no need from direction. But sometimes what may seem to be an organic bottom up grassroots movement, may actually be led from the top and may be professionally organized.

We believe at least one such campaign to discredit Sarah Palin is currently underway. It seems highly likely that others are as well. We've done the initial work, but now it's time for the professionals to take over and ask the tough questions.

UPDATE: Within an hour of this post going up, YouTube videos implicating Ethan Winner were yanked, sockpuppet accounts deleted, and more importantly, the Wikipedia entry on David Axelrod began to edit out mentions of his well know astroturfing campaigns. Hmmm, it sounds to me like we're on to something.

We have backups of all the deleted websites, and have now included them in the post.

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