The Inside Scoop on Sarah Palin
Special 3-hour shows all this week, as Mark fills in for Leslie Marshall
You’ve probably heard something about 1) Troopergate, but did you know that Palin has been caught lying about it? Check out the local Anchorage news, which gives an in-depth look at the scandal and inquiry. It’s a he-said she-said between Palin and Walter Monegan, the Public Safety Officer she fired. But Monegan says he has emails proving Palin’s lying. Oops! (Results due in October: just in time.)
And by now, you know the Alaska Governor’s 2) 16-year-old unmarried daughter conceived a baby while her mother, Sarah Palin supports abstinence-only education and is opposed to abortion, even in cases of rape. Although everyone in Palin’s hometown of Wasilla apparently knew about the teen pregnancy, it’s obvious that McCain’s top advisors were not informed in advance.
The more interesting story is whether the father, now 18, had reached the age of 18 five months ago when the baby was conceived in April of his senior year of high school. If so, in some states, he would have committed a form of statutory rape. Now I STRONGLY oppose criminalizing consensual sex between a 16 year old and an 18 year old. But most evangelical Christians support such laws. It will be interesting to get Governor Palin’s views of it. I wonder if her views will change now that her daughter’s intended husband in a “shotgun wedding” could possibly go to jail for a crime most evangelicals support.
Palin’s daughter is not the only one with a troubled pregancy. Did you know that 3) Sarah Palin herself travelled all the way from Texas to Anchorage, Alaska while in labor because she and her husband wanted the baby born in Alaska? (Her husband said: “You can’t have a fish picker from Texas.”) The distance — more than 4000 miles — is farther than the distance from Chicago to London. (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises against flying after 36 weeks.) She did not inform Alaska Airlines that she was in labor during the eight-hour flight.
Perhaps you think these personal questions are off-limits, that we should stick to politics, even where hypocrisy is involved. Perhaps you opposed discussing Bill Clinton’s private life for the same reason (even though he never tried to criminalize the behavior he committed).
So let’s examine Sarah Palin on the political front, where she has some whacked-out positions. Oh I’m not talking about her support of creationism, her denial that global warming is man-made, or her desire to take polar bears off the endangered species list to allow more hunting of them. I’m talking about REALLY whacked out positions. For example, she was 4) once a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, its state chairman told ABC news, which (get this!) challenged the legality of Alaska’s inclusion in the United States and wants a vote on Alaskan secession from the United States! See detailed article here.
Furthermore, Palin 5) supported for Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, attending a fundraiser with her husband for the one prominent man in American political life who advocates against punishing Nazi war criminals in the United States. Buchanan himself said Palin and her husband were “brigaders”, attending a fundraiser for him in 1996.
We will undoubtedly learn more about Sarah Palin over the next two months. But for me, the real question is “What did McCain know and when did he know it?” Either his choice shows, at a minimum, completely incompetent vetting, or at worst, a Presidential candidate willing to undertake grave risks to American security and well-being solely for political reasons, i.e. to get himself elected.
I mean, do we really want a hypocritical, lying Buchananite secessionist as Vice President? Does even McCain?
Among the things McCain didn’t apparently know: (a)that Palin was for the “Bridge to Nowhere” before she was against it and that she kept the federal money, (b) that Palin raised sales taxes as mayor of Wasilla, (c) that Palin took many trips to Washington to beg for earmarks, and (d) that she had no idea “what is it exactly that the VP does every day”. The McCain campaign also misstated the facts when they said they had the FBI perform a background check.
In sum, it appears McCain made a “fly-by-the pants” decision without vetting his Vice Presidential choice hardly at all. Now they’re even scrubbing Palin’s website of its praise for Obama’s energy plan. See here, and here.
COMMENTS FROM ALASKAN PRESS:
Alaskan Reaction 1: “Most people would acknowledge that, regardless of her charm and good intentions, Palin is not ready for the top job. McCain seems to have put his political interests ahead of the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s when he created the possibility that she might fill it. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s clear that McCain picked Palin for reasons of image, not substance.”
Alaskan Reaction 2: “McCain pulled a stunt today, the kind I thought American politics had gotten past. To me it looks like McCain, a politician I have long admired, chose Palin just to have a woman on the ticket…. Palin ran a little town in Alaska. Then she ran all of Alaska Ã¢â‚¬â€ which is like running a little town anywhere else. There are aldermen in Chicago with more constituents. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not a presidential resume.”