THE CRIME AND THE COVER-UP…. At her kickoff event in Ohio yesterday, Sarah Palin boasted about having rejected congressional funds for the infamous “bridge to nowhere.” Soon after, we realized that Palin wasn’t telling the truth about one of her signature issues, on her very first day as a candidate for national office.

Now, some might say this is excusable, because Palin’s remarks were written by McCain campaign aides, and the McCain campaign barely knows who Palin is. That’s probably true.

But lying about an alleged abuse of power is far more serious.

Remember the expression, the cover-up is worse than the crime? It’s plainly true in the case of Palin firing Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan. Take a look at this video, from the ABC affiliate in Alaska, and notice that Palin seems to have been caught, rather blatantly, misusing her power and then lying about it.

While we’re at it, read this rather extraordinary report from the Washington Post about just how embarrassing this scandal is for Palin.

For that matter, let’s not forget that Palin fired the Alaska Public Safety Commissioner for the most dubious of reasons, and then replaced him with a guy facing a credible sexual harassment accusation, and who was out of the job two weeks later. What a great example of sound judgment.

As part of the investigation, Palin will have to leave the campaign trail to be deposed soon, the results of an investigation from the legislature into the controversy is due shortly before the election, and the word “impeachment” has been thrown around more the once.

Josh Marshall added, “Using the power of the government to settle scores with estranged relatives or associates is far from unprecedented…. But I doubt very much that they were prepared for the heat of full bore national media scrutiny on this one. And in this case you not only the underlying act, which is sleazy, but the high probability that Palin is lying about her role.”

Did John McCain even ask about any of this? Does he have any idea what it looks like? Why would he pick a running mate in the middle of an ethics scandal in which there’s strong evidence that the governor told obvious untruths?

I’m not making any predictions here, but I can’t help but wonder if Palin will still be on the Republican ticket by the time Election Day comes in November.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.