Sunday, August 31, 2008

Why Sarah Palin?

On the wonderful Blue Marble Blog there's another story about the polar bears. I'm not so sure it's about the polar bears, really. It's about a mindset. The same mindset that can deny global warming and insist that the jury is still out, can also deny evolution and align with the fundamentalist Christian right.

"Science will tell us," her spokesman said. "She thinks the jury's still out." If by "jury" she means "the Bible," then yes, the jury is still out. But if "jury" means scientific consensus, then Palin needs to check out the IPCC's site or pick up an issue of Nature.

At the Daily Kos there's a good explanation of why the fundamentalist Christian right are happy with her nomination. It makes perfect sense that a savvy political choice like this had the effect of garnering for McCain the not insignificant fundamentalist vote.

In this article in the New York Times, Gail Collins convincingly writes that McCain's choice of Palin as VP was probably not about the female vote.

The idea that women are going to race off to vote for any candidate with the same internal plumbing is both offensive and historically wrong.

If she’s only on the ticket to try to get disaffected Clinton supporters to cross over, it’s a bad choice.

According to Ms. Collins, it was about Sarah Palin's executive experience as governor of Alaska.

He [McCain] was looking for someone who was well prepared to fight against international Islamic extremism, the transcendent issue of our time. And in the end he decided that in good conscience, he was not going to settle for anyone who had not been commander of a state national guard for at least a year and a half.

If that's true, he may have failed as badly as if he'd chosen her to win the ex-Hillary supporters. Palin describes herself as a soccer mom who got into politics relatively recently to combat corruption. Her experience fighting terrorism and her capacity to do so, is very limited to say the least.

This brings us back to the religious right. I agree with those who say this is what's behind the choice. In winning over the huge conservative Christian movement, John McCain has much to gain. But, is that the kind of person we want as Vice President to an aging cancer surviving president? Considering McCain's age and health record, I'd say her chances of taking over the number one spot are greater than many vice presidents in recent history. Haven't we had enough of mixing church and state? I know these concepts have always been there, annuit coeptis novus ordo seclorum and the Manifest Destiny, but in recent years the fundamentalist Christian movement has achieved unprecedented influence in government. I say enough is enough.

What's your opinion?


  1. "but in recent years the fundamentalist Christian movement has achieved unprecedented influence in government. I say enough is enough."

    I dunno, I don't see it. I mean there hasn't been a President yet who hasn't at least CLAIMED to be Christian (I'd say there has been a number who weren't but faked it for votes) There has always been religion and politics interacting.

    Still, as a Non-Christian, I really haven't seen any real influence over my life from government...even with a bible-thumper like George W. Bush.

    I'd go into enumerations of why I think you're off-base, but it would sound more like a random ramble, so instead I'll put the ball back in your court and ask how you think this is true and we'll go from there.

  2. All right, fair enough. How about when George Bush and his advisors cooked up that nonsense about the Evil Axis of Power? The concept of All the Good guys (us) vs. the Evil guys (them), I found to be related to the Christian Fundamentalist thinking that characterizes too many of these people. Based upon that, and the inspiration received directly from God, these criminal politicians justified lies about the Iraq involvement in 9/11 and their having WMDs. I say these abuses of the Executive power and many others were related to the fundamental right.

  3. Well I can see why you think that, seeing as most of our threat radar is Muslim Theocracy nations.

    But the corrilary isn't true...we've actully been maybe TOO comphortable with Pakistan over the last 8 years, There has been pushes in political circles to sweep the Armenian Genocide under the rug as to not offend the Turks who are stong allies to the US....also while Lebanon has been on our radar as far as forign policy, it has been more for their acts against Israel, rather than as the "Axis of Evil".

    My explanation of that? Well I think America's problem is not with Islam at all, but more the Radical sects that think its totally cool to Blow yourself up in civilian markets, to recruit children to do deadly work, to opress women to a level that makes my physically ill, and to murder and execute any person who does something "Unholy".

    And finally all political acts over the last 8 years have been carried out the same way any presidential act has, though congress and with supporting evedence (we can argue the validity of the evedence, but I don't think that's relevent to the topic at hand....its not that you're claiming Bush lied about WMDs in Iraq, but that Bush lied about WMDs for religious reasons...I see no evedence to support that) and through congress (who while was Republican controled, I think we can both agree that Republican doesn't always mean Christian Right)

  4. While I agree that Bush wields his religious rhetoric like a Crusader's sword, I have to agree with weer'd beard that little of it has resulted in actual policy.

    He can talk about being an agent of God and how Jesus is his favorite politician, but I see money and oil to be more at the heart of the conflict in the Middle East than his apparent belief that Christians are the ancestors of the protectors of Israel.

    I mean, I do believe that he does promote a religious agenda but I'm just not sure how effective it has been. There are small instances. For example, his administration now wants to classify birth control as a form of abortion. It's not gonna happen (I hope), but certainly this comes from the mindset of the religious Right rather than any kind of pure "values" thought.

    As for Palin..feh! She was selected from focus groups by analysts. I'm sure she is gonna help McCain with some, but she is going to alienate the moderates. And I thought McCain was trying to woo the moderates. I dunno. If he wins it will be because this country STILL isn't ready for a black president. If he loses, I'm sure he will be partly blamed for choosing this woman as his running mate.

  5. Sarah Palin because IMHO:

    She's the governor of a FREE state, one of the FREEST and most LIBERTARIAN in the nation.

    She has no problem with letting people do what they want as long as they aren't hurting anybody.

    She's not questioned Alaska's liberal, in a classical sense, gun laws that basically allow you to be armed whenever and however you want, the only significant limitations in Alaska are Federal, not state.

    She's family oriented and a fiscal conservative that campaigned to slash waste and corruption in Alaska and has then proceeded to actually do it.

    She had the cojones to take on the task of raising a birth defect instead of aborting it.

    She's a hard charger as evidenced by her sports career.

    Hunter, fisherwoman, and outdoors person.

    Feminist for Life, but not in a strident and annoying man-hater way.

    Have seen her shooting competitive service rifle.

    Went to visit the troops even though as governor, she really didn't have to, and this was before she was anywhere close to on the radar as a VP contender.

    Husband is ex-Army Sniper. Grew up in a strong military environment.

    Was runner up to Miss Alaska and looks hot on a Harley for a mom of five but chose to take a route of doing somethng productive with her life rather than become a vapid "beauty queen".

    Well spoken and sharp as a tack.

    Seems to have raised her children well.

    Has an 80% approval rating as governor in a state full of contentious Libertarian types who moved there to get some place where they could be themselves without government interference, property owner's associations, and other gaggles of people that tell you what to do all the time. I've spent time in Alaska, some parts of the state feel like a bar fight itchin to happen. Rough and tumble lot, the hardy fellows that decided to settle there. When I've actually been in Alaskan bars, there always was a fight or three, too. =] And she somehow has managed to have 80% of them all think she's pretty cool.

    These are what I can immediately come up with off the top of my head.

    She's like an Alaskan version of Lila Cockrell, and I liked having her as my mayor.

  6. Thanks Earl and Weer'd, I admit I was just shootin' from the hip. The connection between Bush's policies in Iraq and the Christian right is a tenuous one at best. I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't like those Christian Fundamentalists and I want them to have a little to do with the government as possible. And I like even less the conservative politicos who talk that nonsense and do whatever the hell they want.

  7. I agree, Mike, I don't like them either. The only (and best) thing you can do is not vote for them.

    Of course I see socialists as a far more dangerous (I have to think back to the Spanish Iquisition to recall Christians behaveing catastrophicly...while China, Cuba, and Venuzuala, are all happening right now, and USSR and Cambodia are hardly distant memories) So I'd vote for Jerry Falwell over Obama just as a matter of Priority.