Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Advocacy for the disabled just a publicity stunt?

You'd think it was the virgin Mary's second coming with all the crowds who gather around Sarah Palin. When her adoring fans are asked what they like about her they swoon and breathlessly reply, "she's just like one of us." If being like one of us means hypocritical, manipulative, unstable and not too bright, there sure are a lot of hypocritical, manipulative, unstable and not too bright folks out there.

Palin is nothing if not disingenuous - so much so that the MSM slathers all over themselves to be the first to stick a microphone in her face. She's been interviewed and written about more times than Harry Truman and now she's the darling of FoxNews. So, who's the dumbest?

Using her Down Syndrome child as a prop during her vice presidential campaign she promised families with special needs children they "would have a friend and advocate in the White House." Palin raised a big stink when Rahm Emanuel used "retarded" during a private meeting with Democrats. She must have had momentary memory loss because she said Rush Limbaugh's use of "retard" was acceptable; it was satire.

Palin has attended an autism walk and given a few speeches about special needs children, but has she done anything beyond a few publicity stunts? Well, not exactly.

There are several organizations who are not so enamored with the diva. The Daily Beast's Dana Goldstein interviewed some prominent disability advocates who are less than impressed with her performance.

Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc, said, "Since the end of the presidential election, we haven't heard Sarah Palin articulate any specific policy proposals [on disability]."

Adam Pockriss, a spokesperson for Autism Speaks, wrote in an email to The Daily Beast that since the 2009 Westchester fundraising walk, "Sarah Palin hasn’t had any further involvement with Autism Speaks; nor has she taken a position on any autism-related policy items, to our knowledge."

Andrew Imparato, president of the American Association of People with Disabilities, said, "We'd like to see her go back to some of the policy issues, like Medicaid costs at the state level and how that will affect children and adults with disabilities. There are a lot of issues out there that we haven't seen her weigh in on. So the jury's still out on how strong of a disability advocate she wants to be."

Dave Fleurant, executive director of the Disability Law Center of Alaska, said that after the campaign Palin toyed with the idea of rejecting federal stimulus funds, which included money earmarked for disabled students. However, after pressure from the state legislature, she changed her mind.

While running for governor in 2006, Palin attended a community meeting at which local officials discussed a five-year support plan for the developmentally disabled. Once in office, she signed a bill that increased special-education funding. Overall, though, Palin's governorship "didn't do anything harmful for the disability community, but there was no clear direction, either," according to Doug Toelle, development director for Access Alaska.

Bruce Fletcher, founder and CEO of the New York-based National Association for the Developmentally Disabled, was harsher, saying, "I think having a celebrity as an advocate is a very good idea. But I don't think she's the right person to do that given that there's a cloud over her in terms of her credibility."

We all know - well, at least we Democrats know - that Palin is an empty headed monumental fraud. But I sense some disenchantment in her ranks. It's just too bad that those hypocritical, manipulative, unstable and not too bright folks haven't seen through her hypocritical, manipulative, unstable and not too bright personality.


  1. Having Palin as an advocate would not be beneficial, it would make me think "What is in it for her" the $100,000 fee for speaking at The Tea Party Convention is a prime example, although she said she would give it back, but why take it in the first place.

  2. Holte: I was just thinking about that yesterday. I have a funny feeling that she kept it.

    When I used to write a column for a marketing magazine, I wrote about the dangers of non-profits hiring celebrity spokespersons. It could turn out to be a real embarrassment.

  3. Birds of a feather flock together. They (Palin and the tea baggers)are all a bunch of hypocrites and dumber that dirt.

  4. Right on, Leslie. It's her tone deafness and cynicism as they pertain to issues like this one that give me hope that Americans will know better than to elect her to higher office. I doubt that Palin listens to anyone in the Downs community but she really should. Despite their limitations they can be remarkably persuasive speakers.

  5. I really do think she's going the way of Phyllis Schlaffly - talking about another nut case. She can't seem to produce anything but kids.

    A very touching video, JBW.

  6. there sure are a lot of hypocritical, manipulative, unstable and not too bright folks out there.

    I'm afraid you may have nailed it. At least, the people who still haven't seen through her are probably mainly in that category.

    Using her Down Syndrome child as a prop

    There may be more to it than that. I'm still trying to figure out whether this means anything.

  7. I don't think she just used Trig as a prop, I think she used all of the kids - especially Piper - as props as well. They were everywhere as opposed to the Obama girls who were only brought out for the real biggie events.

    I don't have a big problem with the older offspring - they're pretty much "formed" by then. But as a mother, I would never ever expose my daughters to something like a political campaign.

    Even a little maturity doesn't offer much protection from the hurt a child feels when a parent is vilified. And what is probably even worse is the applause and adoration from the crowd a child gets when he steps out on the stage or walks behind his candidate mom or dad? When it's all over, it's all over. A child isn't mature enough to know when the parade ends or why.