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Palin Around (with Terrorists)

“Our opponent … is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s pallin’ around with terrorists who would target their own country,” Palin said at a fundraising events in Englewood, Colo. She repeated the line twice more that the day. She said she was speaking in reference to an article by the New York Times—“and they are hardly ever wrong,” she said—that reported the following:

A review of records of the schools project and interviews with a dozen people who know both men, suggest that Mr. Obama, 47, has played down his contacts with Mr. Ayers, 63. But the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers.

As McCain’s camp tries to deflect public attention from the economic crisis, there were few surprises in Palin’s statement on Saturday. It’s not surprising that the campaign has deployed a post-debate Palin as their attack dog. It’s not surprising that she would cast Obama as “un-American,” capitalizing on the apprehension many White Americans, particularly those in the swing states, feel about Obama’s race and unconventional background. To suggest that Obama is friends with terrorist is a very deliberate way to link Obama—whose image has suffered from false claims that he is Muslim—to terrorists, who, in many Americans’ minds, are darker skinned, foreign, and Muslim.

Even less surprising than these Swift-boat scare tactics, however, is that Palin’s arguments are outright lies.

Palin’s only victory on Thursday night’s debate was that she exceeded the subterranean-low expectations the media and the public had of her. She did this by ignoring the format, ignoring the rules, ignoring the questions and making up her own facts.

Palin is not only celebrated in spite of her lies, but because of them. The public would rather hear her state her own made-up facts than have her “find ya some and bring ‘em to ya.”

–Jamie Wong