Roger’s Rules

The Tasergate Report--Is that all they've got?

Surgeon General’s Warning: do not drive or attempt to operate machinery while contemplating the just-published 260-odd-page report orchestrated by Hollis French, Alaska legislator and supporter of Barack Obama. French had originally intended to release it October 31, for maximum effect on the campaign. Other legislators prevented that, but the report came out yesterday and guess what? It’s like Oakland according to Gertrude Stein, i.e., there’s no there there, Hollis, no smoking gun, no damning evidence, no nothing except 1) evidence of wasting the taxpayers’ money and 2) engaging in a clumsy smear campaign against Sarah. (Don’t you love the way Team Obama labels every criticism of The Dear One a “smear”: Google “Obama” and “smears”: 1,280,000 items in .13 seconds.)

French hired a chap named Steve Branchflower to conduct the investigation. Bill Dyer, writing on Hugh Hewitt’s Townhall weblog, has the details. For the purposes of the campaign, Dyer writes,

it boils down . . . to two paragraphs that completely contradict one another. And the one of them that’s unfavorable ignores the most important — indeed conclusive — evidence on point, but goes on to provide Branchflower’s guess as to whether Gov. Palin has done anything improper.

Please understand this, if you take nothing else away from reading this post: The Branchflower Report is a series of guess and insupportable conclusions drawn by exactly one guy, and it hasn’t been approved or adopted or endorsed by so much as a single sub-committee of the Alaska Legislature, much less any kind of commission, court, jury, or other proper adjudicatory body. It contains no new bombshells in terms of factual revelations. Rather, it’s just Steve Branchflower’s opinion. . . .

Read the whole thing here. As Dyer says, it’s an “episode of political theater that would make Josef Stalin blush.” (H/T for this to Instapundit, which also points to an excellent piece by Jules Crittenden: “A hasp and a hinge or two shy of a gate, as the Alaska Legislature’s bid to shaft McCain-Palin comes up a little short.”)