Sarah Palin: All That Glitters
With all the hoopla since Governor Palin's September 4th acceptance speech, you have to wonder if Google had reached the planet Krypton. Since McCain can't operate a computer, an aide must have googled "vice presidential candidate, earth, woman, oil, guns, religion, bans books, and minimum experience" to find her. Then, in a single bound, cape hidden from view, she swooped down onto the choir that is the Republican National Convention and ignited a despondent party whose candidate only a week before was trailing Obama by a significant margin. A Hollywood blockbuster premier has less glamour. You would think Palin had delivered the best speech since the Gettysburg Address.
Governor Palin received roaring applause from the audience: roaring applause stirred by evoking McCain's name, the soldiers in Iraq, mentioning the names of cities, and by condescending and crass jibes aimed at Obama. Palin said absolutely nothing of substance in her acceptance speech, and has said nothing since.
Her acceptance speech was quintessential sycophancy; obsequious McCain flattery, and demonstrates the depth of GOP hypocrisy. The McCain ticket constantly attacks Obama's alleged lack of experience, yet nominates a woman who was a small town mayor and a marginally experienced governor of a sparsely populated state.
Palin's nomination is incontrovertible evidence that McCain is entrenched in the Bush ideology. It proves that he is a Washington good ol' boy; not the maverick who will change Washington as he claims: he caved in to the religious right wing of the GOP instead of going with the man he wanted on his ticket - Joseph Lieberman.
Governor Palin has, hitherto, not made any clear, definitive statement on her position about the economy, health care, the Iraq War, the environment, energy, foreign policy, or her qualifications. Ostensibly, the qualification for vice president is very low. Any man or woman who has attained the age of 35 years and born in America is qualified to become vice president. The vice president, however, must be ready to assume the office of the presidency on a moment's notice.
Consequently, given McCain's age and health history, in the event that he becomes incapable of completing his term, here's the true question:
Is Sarah Palin qualified to be president of the United States?
This is what we know about Palin so far. She was mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people. She has served for less than two years as Governor of the 47th most populous state - a state with a population of just over 683,000. That's a population of slightly less than the city of Austin, Texas and slightly more than Memphis, Tennessee. The population of the United States is now just over 300,000,000.
She is an ultra right-wing religious conservative who opposes a ban on assault weapons, stem cell research, Roe v. Wade and all abortions except to save the mother's life. She is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and also chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Her claim that she opposed the "bridge to nowhere" has been completely discredited. It turns out she opposed the bridge after the project had been canceled and used the money for other projects in Alaska.
Her claim that she opposed "earmarks" or pork barrel spending has also been completely discredited. It turns out that since she has been governor, Alaska has received more
federal aid per capita than any other state.
It would appear that she was unaware of the Hubbert
Peak Theory when she said that we had "lots of oil reserves" in Alaska. Geophysicist M. King Hubbert,
in 1956, estimated that domestic oil production would peak in 1970. In fact,
it peaked in 1971 and has steadily declined since.
She failed to mention that she tried to ban the books "Go Ask Alice" and "Pastor I am Gay" from Wasilla bookstores and the public library based on her religious convictions. When the librarian refused to remove the books, Palin attempted to get her fired.
Charlie Gibson of ABC News interviewed Palin and asked her views on foreign policy and national security. When asked what should be done if Iran obtains nuclear weapons, she said "we have got to make sure that these weapons of mass destruction, that nuclear weapons, are not given to those hands of Ahmadinejad, not that he would use them, but that he would allow terrorists to be able to use them."
In the Gibson interview, she appeared to be unfamiliar with the Bush Doctrine. "In September 2002, George W. Bush declared that the United States has the right to anticipatory self defense, including the right to preemptive strikes against any sovereign nation which we believe harbor terrorist." said Gibson
Effectively, the Bush Doctrine tells the world that if the U. S. wants to, we can be the world's bully. The Iraq invasion demonstrates it. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and despite the intelligence which strongly suggested it did not, we invaded anyway. Governor Palin, nevertheless said, "I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation."
Gibson asked her if she believed that we had the right to cross the border into Pakistan from Afghanistan in pursuit of Al Qaeda, without Pakistani permission. "In order to stop Islamic extremist, those terrorists, who would seek to destroy America and our allies, we must do whatever it takes and we must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions." she said.
Perhaps the most alarming comment Governor Palin has made since her thrust into stardom was directed at Obama when she said, "Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America...he's worried that someone won't read them their rights." This is a chilling statement because if she becomes President will she uphold her oath to defend the constitution?
Oil, religion, weapons of mass destruction, and the war on terrorism is nothing more than the regurgitation of the policies and rhetoric of the last eight years from one of the worst presidencies in American history. She is of one mind with the president when it comes to oil profits and religious issues.
If she has so little regard for the constitution as to trivialize the Miranda rights of a suspect, then she is of one mind with Vice President Cheney. No one more than Cheney, in American history, has so blatantly championed the illegal and unashamed evisceration of our Constitution. Illegal torturing of prisoners, suspension of habeas corpus, illegal wiretapping, the Patriot Act, and other affronts to our liberties which have effectively set the stage for a Nazi-style takeover of our country. Hitler did not become dictator overnight. He slowly chipped away at the German constitution until a free-thinking and democratic Germany became a dictatorship.
With Palin, her speeches, interviews and appearances are nothing but glitter. It sparkles, it's pretty, and it glistens. It is brilliant and showy. Half the nation is delirious with excitement. Oscar Levant, once quipped "strip away the phony tinsel of Hollywood and you'll find the real tinsel underneath." With Palin, strip away the phony glitter of her candidacy and you'll find a right-wing religious extremist that makes Rush Limbaugh look like a bleeding heart liberal.