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At first, I didn't really mind the Washington Post's decision to publish a "Five Myths" piece about Sarah Palin written by Palin sycophant Matthew Continetti. I mean, sure, it's a pointless waste of space to publish the Weekly Standard writer's contorted attempts to justify Palin's resignation as governor of Alaska because stepping down would mean "she would no longer be accused of neglecting her official duties." But coming from a paper that has taken to publishing one anti-gay rant after another in recent months, Continetti's laughable arguments are a welcome break from offensive arguments.
Then I saw Washington Post managing editor Raju Narisetti's explanation for how the Post chose Continetti:
The Five Myths About..series is one of our most popular weekend reads in print and online and has been an ongoing feature for a while. Sometimes it is about a topic (deficits) or a person (sarah palin, this week) or a company/service (Facebook). The editors of Outlook pick people who they think are best able to deal with the myths out there.
Really? The Washington Post thinks the person who is "best able to deal with the myths out there" about Sarah Palin is a knee-jerk Palin defender who managed to "debunk" only anti-Palin myths? Strange.
Even more strange, Continetti has a history of highly questionable defenses of Palin, like his repetition of her claim that ethics complaints against her cost Alaska $2 million (the state personnel board put the cost at $300,000.) Or his laughable assertion that Palin's claim to have told Congress "thanks but no thanks" for "bridge to nowhere funding" was "literally true." It wasn't. Not literally and not figuratively:
Palin was never in a position to reject the bridge. After authorizing funds to be spent specifically on the bridge project in August 2005, in an appropriations bill in November 2005, Congress earmarked the money for Alaska, but specified that it did not have to be spent on the bridge. Further, Palin did not refuse the funds or reimburse the federal government; as The Washington Post noted, "Palin's decision resulted in no savings for the federal government. The bridge money is being spent on other highway projects in Alaska." Moreover, when Palin "directed the Alaska Department of Transportation to find a less expensive alternative" to the bridge, her stated rationale was not that she thought it was a waste of money but, rather, that Congress was unwilling to appropriate more money to build it.
So, the Washington Post chose a person who actively perpetuates one of the original pro-Palin myths to write a piece debunking myths about Sarah Palin, because he is "best able to deal with the myths out there." I'd hate to see who the Post thinks is number two on that list. Bill Kristol?
(And then there's the time Continetti wrote that Sarah Palin and Tina Fey "could not be more dissimilar," because a fictional television character portrayed by Tina Fey is dissimilar to Palin. Clearly, the Post found a Palin scholar of the highest order in Matthew Continetti.)
Weekly Standard writer and professional Sarah Palin sycophant Matthew Continetti has taken to the pages of the Washington Post to debunk five alleged "myths" about the good ex-governor. It's a fun read, as Continetti cut-and-pastes from Palin talking points to try and convince everyone that they just don't understand Palin, who's not at all polarizing, is completely electable, and would never, ever lie (he casually refers to the famous "death panels" as one of "Palin's views" instead of an outright fabrication).
You can read Continetti's lickspittling if you like, but I want to focus on just one of the so-called "myths" and Continetti's response to it, which shows pretty clearly that his arguments are not to be taken seriously. Continetti pushes back on the notion that Palin's abrupt resignation as governor was "rash," arguing that it was a prudent response to the deteriorating political environment she returned to in Alaska after losing the 2008 election. He writes:
Palin's solution was to resign. Her agenda stood a better chance of passing if then-Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who shared Palin's goals, succeeded her as governor. As a private citizen, meanwhile, Palin could make enough money to pay her legal bills. And she would no longer be accused of neglecting her official duties.
Read that again. Continetti argues that Palin, by resigning as governor, could no longer be accused of neglecting her official duties as governor. A less charitable person might be inclined to point out that quitting constitutes the ultimate dereliction of official duty. But that's just cynical -- after all, the people of Alaska didn't elect her to do what's best for Alaska. They elected her to do what was best for herself.
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The Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama opposed designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. In fact, Obama said he would have voted against the bill Continetti referenced -- the 2007 Kyl-Lieberman amendment -- because it "states that our military presence in Iraq should be used to counter Iran," not because it designated the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Indeed, Obama co-sponsored a different bill in 2007 that also would have designated the group a terrorist organization.