From the Department of Irony: Wine Wholesalers & Sarah Palin
First, the above headline, written by the PR department of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association is unusually disrespectful. I'm sure she is supposed to be referred to as GOVERNOR Palin, whether she hightailed it out of Juneau before the term she asked Alaskans to allow her to serve was up or not.
However, that's not the most disrespectful thing that could be said about Ms. Palin. I'm sure this is more disrespectful:
Governor Palin is without a doubt the most prominent political pretender we've watched come on to the scene in decades. You hear backhanded compliments, questioning remarks and heavy sighs coming out of the mouths of many folks when they refer to her or her words and actions. But what you don't hear about her quite enough is the truth: This woman is a political dolt who could not construct even a semi-complex policy statement if she had the entire weight of the Republican Party in her corner…Oh wait…she did, didn't she.
And yet a heavyweight organization like the Wine & Spirit Wholesalers Association (WSWA) still decided to pursue her and pay her many multi-thousand dollar fee (said to be $100,000) to speak in front of their collective membership at their annual convention in Vegas in April.
Now, the head of WSWA, Craig Wolf, is on the wrong side of nearly every regulatory issue of importance to wineries and retailers in America. But he's not a dumb guy. He's a smart guy. I've met him. I've talked to him. He's a smart guy who I assume just hasn't thought through his economically-obscene, industry-diminishing, and intellectually dishonest positions on alcohol distribution, sales and regulations.
So, I have to believe that today, at this moment, after lending his name to a press release announcing Palin's attendance at his annual conference and having to toot her horn, Craig Wolf is probably wincing, shaking his head and having a hard time sleeping—out of embarrassment.
The meat of Wolf's statement in today's press release announcing Governor Palin's talk at the WSWA conference is this:
“Governor Palin is a great supporter of America’s free enterprise
system and understands that industries like the beverage alcohol
industry play a key role in driving our national economy. We're proud
and honored to welcome her as a speaker,” stated Craig Wolf, WSWA’s
president and CEO. “We expect she will share with the convention
attendees her analysis of the current political environment and her
vision for America’s future,” Wolf added."
What seems so odd to me is that WSW would laud Governor Palin's support of "Free Enterprise" when WSWA is perhaps the most vigilant opponent of Free Enterprise. WSWA has spent millions of dollars working to convince Americans that it is imperative manufacturers and retailers of alcoholic beverage have no real choices in how they choose to sell wine. They've argued that manufacturers of wine, beer and spirits be forced to sell through wholesalers whether the wholesaler is needed or not. They've argued in the public space and in front of judges that consumers ought not be able to purchase the products they want if wholesalers don't want them to purchase them. And, get this, wholesalers have OPPOSED the sale of wine in grocery stores. Free Enterprise, anyone?
Hell, since Governor Palin is such a supporter of Free Enterprise maybe she can actually introduce the WSWA and its members to what the concept really means. But of course, that would require the Governor to be able to articulate a well thought out position on Free Enterprise and the three-tier system.
I'm not holding my breath.