Calling something like this a lie marks you as someone who's centered not on finding out what is true, but on destroying someone. It doesn't motivate me to go through the rest of the long list systematically to see what each item is about, and it certainly doesn't make me want to look at the list and accept the conclusion that wow, Sarah Palin really is a terrible liar.Tom Maguire, though regrettably not possessed of a uterus, fact checks another "lie":
Per Sully, Sarah Palin told the Republican National Convention that "we began a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence" even though actual construction had not begun on the pipeline.
Hmm, does a pipeline project begin with actual construction, or with the years of planning and approvals that precede construction? A toughie! (I know my wife thought we had begun our kitchen renovation before any workmen showed up, but three hundred meetings with architects affect some people that way. Liar!)
Exactly what qualifies as a "lie"? Rather than rely on Sully's self serving definition, I took the liberty of looking it up:
1 : to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive
2 : to create a false or misleading impression
Let's think about that for a moment. We're talking about a man who IN ONE DAY (as another uterus-deprived individual notes) cranked out a truly frightening number of posts about Palin:
...since resuming “as normal” [Sully] .... racked up no fewer than 23 Palin posts...
Can you say "unhinged", boy and girls? I knew that you could. But since we're here, let's deconstruct one of Sully's "Ooooh!!!! Gotcha!" moments. In a post bizarrely titled, "Most Educated Alaskans Are Aware Of All This", Sully writes:
History professor and Alaskan David Noon corrects Palin for repeating the myth of "Seward's Folly" - the purchase of Alaska in 1867 by Secretary of State William Seward.
Seward's Folly is a myth? Really? Someone forgot to tell Thomas Nast:
Mast, arguably one of the most famous political cartoonists in American history, published the cartoon above in Harper's Weekly. Contrary to the inference we're intended to draw from the tiny excerpt Sully brandishes, The New York Tribune was far from the only major paper to ridicule the purchase. The picture becomes even clearer when this little tidbit is fact checked:
And at the end of the day, the treaty with Russia passed the US Senate by a vote of 37-2, with no significant expressions of opposition during the floor debate.
Let's return, for a moment, to the definition of a "lie":
2 : to create a false or misleading impression
Sully, while carefully refraining from actually calling Palin a liar here, clearly creates the false and misleading impression that she's either less than honest or laughably ignorant. He uses the same tactic for his idiotic "explorations" of Sarah's "bizarre 5th pregnancy" - he carefully avoids actually saying Trig is not her son while repeatedly quoting others who helpfully cast doubt on Trig's parentage for him. This way, he can "honestly" say he's only trying to "get at the truth"!
Interestingly, the Seward's Folly "myth" Sullivan lampoons Palin for passing on is on the US History AP exam (scroll down to item 147). And on the State Dept. website. It's on History.com. A search of Alaska's official state websites reveals numerous references. It's even in the Encyclopedia Britannica, which notes:
The House passed the necessary appropriation on July 14, 1868. Extensive propaganda campaigns and judicious use of bribes by Stoeckl secured the required votes in each house of Congress.
There sure are a lot of stupid, dishonest and ignorant folk in America! Though I wouldn't exactly call them lying liars. In his lame attempt to portray Palin's characterization of the Alaskan purchase as simplistic and inaccurate, Sullivan commits the very same error: blithely glossing over several inconvenient truths which undermine his chosen narrative. As one very detailed and balanced account shows, the truth is somewhat more complicated than Sully would have us believe:
Why, then, is the story repeated today that the Alaska purchase was unpopular? Well first of all, there is that grain of truth. Before people had a chance to become informed about the matter, it was superficially unpopular for a time. Then, even after the majority of intelligentsia of the country realized it was a good deal, some opposed it for a variety of reasons, some having to do with its non-contiguity, some for political reasons, some because they could not imagine far enough into the future to picture a non-native population ever settling there. And even though the overwhelming majority of informed leaders in the country approved the purchase, it was difficult for uninformed, ordinary citizens to imagine why the United States should spend money to acquire apiece of the Arctic.
The oddest thing of all about Sully's deceptive narrative is that Palin's modest claims with regard to the "Seward's Folly" moniker are both reasonable and well grounded in the historical record. She never claims the opposition was overwhelming - that straw man exists only in Sully's fevered imagination. She only claims he faced criticism and that the purchase was far from a slam dunk (hence the bribes):
Critics ridiculed Seward for spending so much on a remote chunk of earth that some thought of as just a frozen, inhospitable wilderness that was dark half the year.
Inconveniently for Sully, critics did ridicule Seward for the reasons Palin cites in her book. For Sullivan to imply otherwise is ... well, a rather odd lie:
The lies of Andrew Sullivan are different from any other bloggers'. They are different because they assert things that are demonstrably, empirically untrue; and they are different because once they have been demonstrated to the entire world that they are untrue, Sullivan keeps repeating them as if they still were true or refuses to acknowledge that he was wrong.
Oops. Someone pulled a little switcheroo there. But hey - if the shoe fits... Meanwhile:
So you tell me: what is more "dangerous"? A private citizen "lying" about matters of great national import that occurred in the 1800s (like whether the purchase of Alaska was ever called "Seward's Folly")? Or a sitting president who tells whoppers all the time about public policy matters that affect us right now? Who publicly claims to value and encourage dissent but profits from demonizing anyone who dares disagree with him? One who has a long history of trying to silence the opposition?
Who is the bigger (let alone more dangerous) liar?
Someone's suffering from a massive case of projection. And it this case, it ain't the person with the uterus. Come to think of it, maybe that's his problem.
Update: In Andrew's defense, despite his repeated attacks on Israel we can't definitively conclude that he's a mean old Joooooooooo hater although some people might infer as much. But we would not say that, because that would be dishonest. And we wouldn't want to smear anyone by throwing out poorly sourced (and therefore deniable) indirect accusations. You know, the way some bloggers do.