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Reading Comprehension 103: The Troopergate Report

Sarah Palin is destroying my brain.

I know shouldn’t keep going back to this. I shouldn’t let her get to me. I should remain detached, safely viewing her Wile E. Coyote candidacy from a considerable emotional distance, lest the concentrated waves of radioactive stupid cause my IQ to drop just by thinking about her.

But, come on.

“Well, I’m very very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing … any hint of any kind of unethical activity there. Very pleased to be cleared of any of that.” [community.adn.com]

???????????

Isszzawha…? Do you have any idea how difficult it was scraping parts of my exploded cranium off the ceiling? Did she even read the report? [media.adn.com]

Finding Number One

For the reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.

Words mean things. And when put together in a particular order, they mean specific things. Words like “abuse” and “power;” “violating,” “statute” and “ethics.” In this case, they mean exactly the opposite of what Palin is saying. While the Branchflower Report also found that she was within her legal right to fire Monegan, that doesn’t make those words go away, or mean something different. By pressuring and intimidating state employees in pursuit a personal vendetta, and knowingly allowing her husband and aides to use the power of Governor’s office to do the same, Sarah Palin broke the law. She can’t just stick her fingers in her ears and shout “LA LA LA LA LA I’M NOT LISTENING!” Her inability or unwillingness to acknowledge that doesn’t change a thing, just as an ostrich sticking its head in the sand doesn’t make the predator disappear.

This aphasic condition is spreading to the rest of the McCain campaign. Take, for example, the word “partisan.” To issue a response statement to the report saying, “this was a partisan led inquiry run by Obama supporters,” demonstrates an ignorance of the word’s definition. The Alaska Legislative Council is made up of four Democrats and eight Republicans. Given that Alaska Democrats look more like Republicans than their lower-48 counterparts, it’s tempting to say this was a partisan inquiry, but in the other direction. This bipartisan panel unanimously appointed Stephen Branchflower as independent investigator. If those 12 panel members and Branchflower are all “Obama supporters,” I’ll eat my touque.

Other words and phrases are also victims of Palin and McCain’s assault on the fabric of space, time and vocabulary. Palin denied making any “negative” attacks on Alaskans in this case, claiming she and John McCain were “taking the high road” and focused on being “positive.” One local reporter told her that the McCain campaign had called fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan a “rogue.” Palin denied this was a “negative” term, even as the previously mentioned McCain campaign statement claimed “the Palins were completely justified in their concern regarding Trooper Wooten given his violent and rogue behavior.” That’s not a compliment. The word “rogue” has meaning, and applies in this situation, but not to Walt Monegan.

rogue n.

1. An unprincipled, deceitful, and unreliable person; a scoundrel or rascal.
2. One who is playfully mischievous; a scamp.
3. A wandering beggar; a vagrant.
adj.
1. Vicious and solitary. Used of an animal, especially an elephant.
2. Large, destructive, and anomalous or unpredictable
3. Operating outside normal or desirable controls

Unprincipled. Deceitful. Wandering the country, begging for votes, while displaying a viciousness that turns people away. Destructive, unpredictable and operating outside of normal or desirable controls. These words describe Palin and McCain to a T.

And I mean it.

– Michael Turner