'McCain seems to have put his political interests ahead of the nation’s '
By Lee Russ
Saturday, August 30, 2008 at 08:40 PM
That's not me talking, folks, that's the editorial page of yesterday's Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. So, continuing the "all Palin" theme here, let's think about that.By now you've probably been subjected to the rough outline of Sarah Palin's history, even if you tried to avoid it. Young, married, mother of 5 including a young child with Down Syndrome, first term Governor of Alaska with a reputation for attacking the Republican Party's entrenched corruption in that state, former mayor of a small suburb of Anchorage (Wasilla), having before that been on that town's City Council for two terms. If you're one of the very few who just emerged from a coma and missed it, check out the history info on Wikipedia or the state of Alaska's Governor page.
It seems to me there are two very legitimate questions here: (1) What does Palin stand for in terms of policy and philosophy, and (2) what are her qualifications to be president, a serious possibility should the 70+ year old McCain be elected President.
What does Palin's record indicate she stands for? She's on record as being very, very strongly opposed to abortion and as being against gay marriage, though she adopts a "softer" position on whether gays should have various rights as long as they don't stem from "marriage." She's a lifelong NRA member very supportive of broad gun rights. She has said she would sign a death penalty statute of the legislature passed one. She and her husband chose to have their fifth child, a boy, despite learning fairly early in the pregnancy that the child would suffer from Down Syndrome. Rogers has already detailed the events surrounding that child's birth.
On other issues, here's an except from her "on the issues" from the palinforgovernor.com web site [www.palinforgovernor.com/issues.html], though you'll have to take my word for it or find a cached version, because that page appears to have been deactivated since yesterday, and now the front page of that site [palinforgovernor.com] simply takes you to McCain for President:.
I believe in fairness and inclusion and will call on the public to work together for Alaska's common good.She's currently under investigation in Alaska for firing a state official who claims that the real reason for his termination is that he refused to go along with pressure from Palin and her family to fire the ex-husband of Palin's sister. Her explanation is that the official wasn't doing is job. One state newspaper editorial appears to treat the fired official's claim as true: " While she was governor, members of her family and staff tried to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from the Alaska State Troopers. Her public safety commissioner would not do so; she forced him out, supposedly for other reasons."
GASOLINE - I am a conservative Republican, a firm believer in free market capitalism. A free market system allows all parties to compete, which ensures the best and most competitive project emerges, and ensures a fair, democratic process.
TRANSPORTATION - An efficient and functional transportation system is absolutely vital to our economy. Throughout history, strong transportation systems have been the cornerstone of economic growth and success throughout the world. It is equally important in Alaska, where so much of our state is remote and still not connected by roads. Transportation infrastructure is a basic necessity that Alaska must have to succeed and prosper. Improvement and expansion to our aging network of public facilities, roads, harbors, airports, and rail is required for any development, and gas line construction success. A highly functional, well-maintained, statewide transportation network of public facilities, roads, ferries, trains, and airports is required, to improve Alaska's economy and the quality of life for ALL Alaskans.
HEALTH CARE - Obviously, high medical costs are hurting Alaskans and our Medicaid budget has quadrupled in the past 10 years. Solutions to this problem are complex, and no one person has all the answers. I look forward to working with affected parties to find the necessary solutions that will lead to more affordable health care for Alaskans. I support flexibility in government regulations that allow competition in health care that is needed, and is proven to be good for the consumer, which will drive down health care costs and reduce the need for government subsidies. I also support patients in their rightful demands to have access to full medical billing information.
Palin is very religious in a fundamentalist kind of way, belonging to The Church of the Rock in Alaska, and having in her upbringing "attend[ed] nondenominational Bible churches". That was an issue during her campaign for Governor, but Alaskans elected her anyway. During one debate, she indicated she favored teaching creationism alongside evolution in the schools, but later tempered that to indicate that she wouldn't actively push the state to add creationism to its curriculum.
As to official actions and statements, the area where she has seemed the most extreme and possibly dishonest is the environment and how that meshes with energy production. From what I can gather, she has something of an obsession about drilling and drilling in Alaska under the firm belief that Alaska has all the energy we need for the country, enough to free the country from any foreign oil dependence. In fact, she agreed with Larry Kudlow that we should "bloody deregulate the entire energy system? Isn't that what Reagan would do?" On the same show, she avowed that we know that "low taxes ... spur the economy."
On a Glenn Beck show she justified her suit against the federal government to keep polar bears from being named an endangered species on the ground that polar bears had dramatically increased in numbers over the last 30 years and managed to dodge Beck's question on why Alaska had the highest gas prices of any state. Oddly, according to McClatchy Newspapers, Palin claimed in that suit that "scientists' predictions that global warming will eliminate the ice where the bears live in summer were unreliable," and asserted that state wildlife officials had found no reason to list the bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, yet the "Anchorage Daily News reported in May that the head of the marine mammals program for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and two other marine mammal biologists on his staff agreed with nine studies the federal government cited to justify listing polar bears as a threatened species."
So we've got strong signs of the familiar Bush administration fudging of science so it serves business goals, a desire to prohibit or discourage personal behaviors based largely on Christian teachings, a deep belief in unregulated capitalism, a belief in creationism, a belief that regulation is at least partly responsible for out health care cost dilemma, a strong belief that we need to undertake drilling and similar traditional methods of energy production (and that such efforts can supply all of our country's energy needs), and a very deeply held belief that abortion is wrong.
Her policies and political philosophy fit pretty easily into the modern political spectrum: firm believer in most things that right wing conservatives believe, true believer in the market, true believer in the Bible, true believer that abortion is wrong, that gay marriage is wrong, that government regulation is more a problem than a solution, etc. Not surprisingly, she is adored by home schoolers, by freepers, by Glenn Beck, by Fred Barnes, by Bill Kristol...you get the idea. According to a piece in the Minneapolis newspaper, has "already has energized conservative religious leaders" such as Richard Land, Gary Bauer, and Mathew Staver, dean of Liberty University School of Law.
Her qualifications for VP and, by extension, for P....you tell me. She definitely seems to have the personal strength to stand up for what she believes in, and to take on powerful forces that she thinks are wrong. She certainly seems to have a firm and honest antipathy to government corruption. I like those things, even though I hate many of her policy positions. At the same time, she has that pending investigation of her own ethics. Not unlike John McCain's oft expressed dislike of corruption paired with his appearance in the Keating Five.
But as much as the Republicans will now attempt to portray her meager time as Governor as valuable "executive experience" which all 3 other candidates for Veep and Prez lack, that's a load of hooey. She's got a degree in journalism, she's been on City Council, she was mayor of a very small town and she has been Governor since 2006's election of a state with fewer than 700,000 residents and a very large income from energy. Along the way, she picked up a little experience in state agencies. That's it, folks.
So what do I make of all this? Either McCain honestly believes that practically anybody can be president, or he thinks that he's immortal. I don't know how else to see it. I remain convinced that Palin was picked to make the extreme right wing of the GOP salivate and donate, and knock on doors. That Palin is a woman was just so much icing on the cake, raising the possibility that it would help McCain's image with female voters and partly counterbalance the "historic" buzz around Obama's candidacy. The newspaper quote that serves as the title to this piece pretty much nailed it for me. Remember, this is an Alaskan newspaper, and you can generally expect the media in Alaska to be kinder to its own than it would be to an outsider. The same Fairbanks News-Miner editorial continued that "It’s clear that McCain picked Palin for reasons of image, not substance. She’s a woman. She has fought corruption. She has fought the oil companies. She’s married to a union member. These are portrayals for campaign speeches; they are not policy positions."
Nor is that paper alone among Alaskan papers. The Anchorage Daily News had this to say:
Alaskans were stunned and delighted that John McCain chose Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.A very strange and important election just got stranger and even more important.
... Alaskans are delighted because the eyes of the world will be on Alaska as Sarah Palin campaigns for the vice-presidency.
And it's stunning that someone with so little national and international experience might be heartbeat away from the presidency.
.... For all those advantages, Palin joins the ticket with one huge weakness: She's a total beginner on national and international issues.
Lee, dude, Jesus-tap-dancing Christ!
With the era of Big Media, TV, and lardasses like Limpdick, it has come down to creating a "sales campaign"; not the creation of political ideals.
Since we last spoke, I've done some loose canvasssing in my little redneck burg, and a conclusion comes to mind:
The majority who vote are so incredibly, overwhelmingly...ill-informed and base their voting according to their couch potato nature.
I mentioned to one stubborn couch potato redneck I have lunch with frequently, about Moyers and Hollings, their little sit down, and how it's more now about raking in cash from the Big Dollar kind, so they get their way and we get stiffed.
What I hear in reply is the same bullshit I read over at DT, or hear replayed from the lips of the radio nasties, or just the usual Swiftboat crap coming from Freeperland. All rhetoric, and zero proof, of course.
McSame, thus, truly is like Shlub: It's all about grabbing the gusto, and zilch to do with economic repairs or a dependance on a fucking poison. His choice of Palin is like an ad for a car, all glitz, glam, for show, but read the fine print that blinks and you may wake up...and realize...the joke's elsewhere.
It's nothing but a huge PR deal, a big spin, a Hollywood movie premiere...for a picture best left in the can.
I fear that Gibbon was correct: When the citizenry allow themselves to be this stupid, well, ya pays yer money, ya takes yer chances.
McSame is elected? America, the Beautiful is then extinct. And I can smell a Chapter 11 story in the making, oh, yes.