The Tea Party girls join forces to attack Ricky. And in other news, the Republican Party is starting to suffer from severe in-fighting in spite of the Reagan mandate to never disagree. The circus is in town and we get to watch.
Last night during the “Tea Party” debate on CNN, Michele Bachmann attacked Rick Perry for his 2007 executive order requiring sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated with Gardasil, to protect against a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. Bachmann accused Perry of mandating Gardasil because his former top aide was a lobbyist for Merck, which manufactures the vaccine. The attacks were judged successful, allegedly granting Bachmann a bit of leeway against Perry. Bachmann later told Fox, “I will tell you that I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa, Florida, after the debate. She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter.”
So, Bachmann turned the mandate argument into an anti-vaccination argument, which makes it even more odd for Sarah Palin to have jumped on the anti-vaccine bus, but jump on the bus she did.
Not content to stay out of the spotlight, Sarah Palin jumped in the fray to back up Bachmann. Palin appeared on Fox News’ On the Record Monday evening saying, “That someone, as Michele Bachmann pointed out, was Governor Perry’s former chief of staff, who then went to work for a drug company who made the drug that would be required of the Texan government to mandate that, that our young daughters would have to be inoculated against potential disease from the company that his former chief of staff was lobbying for. That’s crony capitalism.” (Palin doesn’t have a leg to stand on regarding crony capitalism, as I detailed on September 3 after she gave a speech with crony capitalism as her central theme.)
Palin continued, “Remember when the media went a little bit crazy and demanded to see my 25,000 emails that I had written during my term as governor. In those emails, there is proof in there that the issue arose while I was governor of Alaska. And the emails reflect my principle there was, no, government, stay out of the lives of family decisions like that, and do not tell a parent that their daughter must be immunized.” While Sarah was referring to a 2008 email where she wrote, “I would not propose govt mandating anything like shots for our kids,” she left out the fact that her email didn’t say she was against mandates, didn’t try to end the mandates they already had, and wasn’t about Gardasil.
Now, for $200.00, under which governor did Alaska increase the availability of Gardasil? Oh, say it ain’t so, Joe. Sorry, but, yes it’s Sarah Palin. And how did the Mama Grizzly who hates the feds pay for this? With federal money.
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 9, 2007 State to increase Gardasil availability in Alaska: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends Gardasil® for girls and women age 9 to 26 to prevent infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause the majority of cases of cervical cancer and genital warts. In order to pay for all recommended vaccines for all Alaska children, the state has used two sources of federal money. ”
Since Alaska gets a lot more back from the fed than it gives, Sarah Palin basically forced you to pay for Gardasil in her state. Shovin’ it down your throat, as she would say. This is how small government conservatives roll. Palin certainly wasn’t anti-vaccine as governor, nor anti-Gardasil, and yet Palin was defending Bachmann, or rather, using Bachmann’s position as a vehicle with which to attack Perry.
This morning on The Today Show Bachmann doubled down on her successful Gardasil arrow during the “Tea Party Debate” last night:
Bachmann really ruined a perfectly good attack by going all paranoid. She should have left it at “mandated” but she had to go full Dominioinist paranoia about vaccines, and thus take the air out of what little boost she got from the original slam in the debate. The medical community has pushed back against Bachmann’s Gardasil claims. Just another Death Panel lie, relax people! As usual, we can count on Palin to jump on the crazy train while it’s careening off of the tracks.
Aside from Bachmann’s spurious, unsubstantiated claims regarding the drug, it’s politically fascinating to see Palin saddle up next to Bachmann, even donning a Bachmann-esque hair do for the occasion, when under Palin, Alaska had a taxpayer-funded Gardasil vaccination program. Does Sarah Palin believe Bachamnn that Gardasil caused “mental retardation”? And why isn’t Palin demanding that Bachmann apologize for using the word “retardation”?
Some conservatives say that the issue is mandating the shots, but others point out that since Palin took federal money to provide Gardasil to young girls, she’s hardly in a position to attack Perry. The real point is the lack of coherent, consistent values, since Bachmann made this into a rather paranoid, anti-science rant against a vaccine. Meanwhile, Bachmann, who has no track record as a Governor, is free to beat Perry over the head with it, but one questions how she would avoid making “mistakes” like Palin made with a drug Bachmann claims is responsible for the “mental retardation” of a young girl.
My only question after wading through all of this is who gave the Gardasil shot to Palin and Bachmann? Oh, I kid, I kid. I believe in science.
As usual, Palin’s attacks are not rooted in policy or values; they’re rooted in emotion. Sarah Palin sees Rick Perry owning her Tea Party base and she isn’t ready to give up her control and power (read: money making opportunities) quite yet. Sarah is losing her Tea Party base, and slipping into irrelevancy. Palin joined Bachmann not over policy (as evident in her own record), but over jealousy of Perry’s popularity and press.
In addition, I’m sure that in Sarah’s mind, she is God’s choice should she decide to run and the Texan is the first real threat to her with the Tea Party base. Mind you, I said in her mind. That doesn’t equate with rational thought necessarily.
Worst case scenario, Palin could be positioning herself as the “outsider”, which is, as I’ve been saying for two years, how Palin runs. She runs against her own party and the opposition party. She eats the Republican Party from within. That’s how she won as Governor of Alaska. She sits on the sidelines until everyone is sick and tired of the options and then, presenting herself as the fresh faced killer of cronyism, she sparkles her way through Gidget Goes to DC, never answering a serious policy question but dazzling ‘em with platitudes and bumper stickers.
On the other hand, it’s possible that Palin just couldn’t bear watching the spotlight on Rick and his great hair.