Friday, December 4, 2009

Poli Sci 210: Trig Truthers, Right Back Atcha

Sarah Palin's comments on the Rusty Humphries show followed by her Facebook post had me scratching my head at 2:00 am this morning. Of course, the political scientist in me was voraciously curious. But since it was late, I decided to get some sleep and deal with it today.

I got some help from Conservatives4Palin Regarding the Latest Controversy, which gave me a good starting point. "By comparing it to Trig Trutherism, Governor Palin hinted at how seriously she takes the "birth certificate issue" regardless of whether it is fair game or not."
While on the Rusty Humphries show, Governor Palin was asked if she would make the "birth certificate an issue" if she ran for President. She replied that it wouldn't be necessary to make it an issue because the electorate can do so if they choose. Governor Palin didn't suggest that the President wasn't born here. She simply said that the electorate can ask whatever they want of a candidate, as some did with Trig. She's not going to second guess the electorate's right to ask questions.
Normally, political questions are pretty direct. Here's the issue, are you for it or against it? However, this question is actually a double edged sword. Sarah Palin chooses to both respect the electorate and silently chide it at the same time by deflecting the question back to them so as to make them answer it.

It's like the person who yells at the customer service rep for something that the rep has no control over and then asks the rep "am I acting like an idiot?" When the rep answers "you tell me," it takes the onus of being the bad guy off the rep and makes the customer look inward for the answer. If the customer is intellectually honest, they may just say "you know you're right, I am acting like an idiot." Noone is offended that way.

In analyzing her Facebook note, the answer is in the title "Stupid Conspiracies." The customer service rep is telling the customer that he is acting like an idiot without actually telling him that he's acting like an idiot.

Sarah Palin can control the birthers in her base. But she can't control the Trig Truthers in Obama's base. If she tells the birthers to stop, she knows the Trig Truthers are still going to keep it up.

If she directly tells the segment of her supporters that they are wrong, she is in essence saying what's good for the goose is not good for the gander. The liberals own the board. They make the rules. We have to play by those rules and beat them at their game. If the game was hockey and the opposing team also controlled the referee, Palin would in essence be unilaterally pulling her birther off the ice, giving the liberals a man advantage. You know they surely aren't going to pull their Trig Truther off if she did that.

Palin puts it this way:
Hey, you know, that’s a great point, in that weird conspiracy-theory freaky thing that people talk about that Trig isn’t my real son. And a lot of people say, “Well you need to produce his birth certificate! You need to prove that he’s your kid!” Which we have done. But yeah, so maybe we could reverse that and use the same [unintelligible]-type thinking on them.
Since the liberals own the board and the "ref" isn't calling a penalty on the Trig Truthers, why should we call for one against the birthers on our side? When we win and own the board, then we can make the rules. Then we can call off-setting penalties on both the birthers and the Trig Truthers. Until then, to quote Jean-Paul Sartre, hell is other people.

It's a brilliant move right out of my playbook on Fight for the Right.
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1 comments: on "Poli Sci 210: Trig Truthers, Right Back Atcha"

Lisa Graas said...

Interesting analysis. The initial question came out of left field and I don't think she really knew quite what to make of it. There was some strategy involved with the Facebook post. You could be right......but I'm involved in repairing a skateboard now, so my mind's not really into it at the moment! :-) Thanks for the post! I always enjoy reading your take on things.

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