September 13, 2008

The End of the Affair: How Sarah Palin Broke My Heart

I loved Sarah Palin. She was so nice and sweet. And hot. Man, was she hot. So I loved her. Yes, I loved her. For about a day. But, like all love affairs, this one had to come to an end.

It turned out that Sarah Palin was, well, a politician.

I first realized this shortly after she spoke about “the bridge to nowhere”—a.k.a. the proposed Gravina Island Bridge, which became a famous example of pork barrel spending in 2005 when Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma tried to block $223 million in federal funds from going to its construction. As Sarah stated in her first speech as McCain’s running mate: “I have championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. In fact, I told Congress—I told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ on that bridge to nowhere. If our state wanted a bridge, I said we’d build it ourselves.”

Though Sarah claims that she told Congress, “Thanks, but no thanks,” I soon learned that she actually favored receiving federal money for the bridge, as she made clear during the 2006 gubernatorial race. And though it’s true that she finally abandoned the project, she never turned down federal funding. In fact, she kept the $223 million earmark her state received from Congress. And she stated that the only reason she wasn’t building the bridge was because there wasn’t enough money for it.

As if this revelation wasn’t enough, my image of Sarah grew even worse when, just a few days later, I picked up the Washington Post and saw this headline: “Palin's Small Alaska Town Secured Big Federal Funds.” Alarmed, I continued reading, only to learn that, as the mayor of Wasilla (pop. 6,700), Sarah hired a lobbying firm. The firm’s goal: to secure federal earmarks for Wasilla. The firm’s results: spectacular: in just four years, it won $26.9 million in federal earmarks for Wasilla.

How could this be, I wondered? After all, Sarah, my Sarah, had declared, “I have championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.”

And then, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. Not only did anti-earmark Sarah Palin not say “no thanks.” Not only did she actually hire a law firm to lobby for earmarks. But it turns out that she’s not even all that fiscally conservative. During her stint as mayor, she “racked up nearly $20 million in long-term debt.”

Oh, Sarah, say it ain’t so! Say you’re not like them!

And then I turned on CNN the other day and learned that she’s currently under an ethics violation for using her position as governor to fire her former brother-in-law!

Oh, it just keeps getting worse and worse…

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