Screw haters bigtime!
Analysis: Palin's words carry racial tinge
Oct 5 10:43 AM US/Eastern
By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - By claiming that Democrat Barack Obama is "palling around with terrorists" and doesn't see the U.S. like other Americans, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin targeted key goals for a faltering campaign.
And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret.
First, Palin's attack shows that her energetic debate with rival Joe Biden may be just the beginning, not the end, of a sharpened role in the battle to win the presidency.
"Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country," Palin told a group of donors in Englewood, Colo. A deliberate attempt to smear Obama, McCain's ticket-mate echoed the line at three separate events Saturday.
"This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America," she said. "We see America as a force of good in this world. We see an America of exceptionalism."
Her reference to Obama's relationship with William Ayers, a member of the Vietnam-era Weather Underground, was exaggerated at best if not outright false. No evidence shows they were "pals" or even close when they worked on community boards years ago and Ayers hosted a political event for Obama early in his career.
Obama, who was a child when the Weathermen were planting bombs, has denounced Ayers' radical views and actions.
With her criticism, Palin is taking on the running mate's traditional role of attacker, said Rich Galen, a Republican strategist.
"There appears to be a newfound sense of confidence in Sarah Palin as a candidate, given her performance the other night," Galen said. "I think that they are comfortable enough with her now that she's got the standing with the electorate to take off after Obama."
Second, Palin's incendiary charge draws media and voter attention away from the worsening economy. It also comes after McCain supported a pork-laden Wall Street bailout plan in spite of conservative anger and his own misgivings.
"It's a giant changing of the subject," said Jenny Backus, a Democratic strategist. "The problem is the messenger. If you want to start throwing fire bombs, you don't send out the fluffy bunny to do it. I think people don't take Sarah Palin seriously."
The larger purpose behind Palin's broadside is to reintroduce the question of Obama's associations. Millions of voters, many of them open to being swayed to one side or the other, are starting to pay attention to an election a month away.
For the McCain campaign, that makes Obama's ties to Ayers as well as convicted felon Antoin "Tony" Rezko and the controversial minister Jeremiah Wright ripe for renewed criticism. And Palin brings a fresh voice to the argument.
Effective character attacks have come earlier in campaigns. In June 1988, Republican George H.W. Bush criticized Democrat Michael Dukakis over the furlough granted to Willie Horton, a convicted murderer who then raped a woman and stabbed her companion. Related TV ads followed in September and October.
The Vietnam-era Swift Boat veterans who attacked Democrat John Kerry's war record started in the spring of 2004 and gained traction in late summer.
"The four weeks that are left are an eternity. There's plenty of time in the campaign," said Republican strategist Joe Gaylord. "I think it is a legitimate strategy to talk about Obama and to talk about his background and who he pals around with."
Palin's words avoid repulsing voters with overt racism. But is there another subtext for creating the false image of a black presidential nominee "palling around" with terrorists while assuring a predominantly white audience that he doesn't see their America?
In a post-Sept. 11 America, terrorists are envisioned as dark-skinned radical Muslims, not the homegrown anarchists of Ayers' day 40 years ago. With Obama a relative unknown when he began his campaign, the Internet hummed with false e-mails about ties to radical Islam of a foreign-born candidate.
Whether intended or not by the McCain campaign, portraying Obama as "not like us" is another potential appeal to racism. It suggests that the Hawaiian-born Christian is, at heart, un-American.
Most troubling, however, is how allowing racism to creep into the discussion serves McCain's purpose so well. As the fallout from Wright's sermons showed earlier this year, forcing Obama to abandon issues to talk about race leads to unresolved arguments about America's promise to treat all people equally.
John McCain occasionally looks back on decisions with regret. He has apologized for opposing a holiday to honor Martin Luther King Jr. He has apologized for refusing to call for the removal of a Confederate flag from South Carolina's Capitol.
When the 2008 campaign is over McCain might regret appeals such as Palin's perhaps more so if he wins.
All facts about Sarah Palin are backed up by links to credible news sources.This page was created by Alaskans and has been online since 2007- with updates.
- As mayor of Wasilla, Palin made rape victims pay for their own forensic evidence kits (VIDEO)
- Palin is opposed to abortion in cases of rape and incest (even if victims are children)
- Palin believes creationism should be taught in public schools
- Palin believes that man coexisted with dinosaurs only 6,000 years ago
- While mayor of Wasilla Palin tried to fire the librarian because she refused to censor books (VIDEO
- Palin has no international experience and only obtained her first passport in 2007 (VIDEO)
- Palin supports the Alaskan Independence Party which seeks independence from the USA (VIDEO)
- Palin is presently under investigation in Alaska for abuse of power
- Palin offered a bounty of $150 for each left front leg of freshly killed wolves
- Palin promotes aerial hunting of wolves even though Alaskans voted twice to ban it (VIDEO)
- Palin used $400,000 of state money to fund a propaganda campaign in support of aerial hunting
- Palin believes man-made global warming is a farce
- Palin strongly supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
- Palin is a champion for big oil and her campaign slogan has become "Drill, baby, drill!"
- Palin is suing the federal government to prevent listing the polar bear as an endangered species
- Palin is opposed to listing the unique Cook Inlet beluga whale as an endangered species
Sarah Palin - Worse for the Planet Than Even Bush
Sarah Palin proudly displaying a grizzly bear her father killed
Sarah Palin spent $400,000 of state money to "educate" Alaskans about aerial hunting of wolves and bears. State tax money was used to directly influence the outcome of proposition 2 which would have limited aerial shooting of predators. Since Alaskans had previously voted twice to ban aerial shooting of predators, Palin used state tax money to buy support for aerial shooting. Buying votes with tax money worked - proposition two was voted down on 8/26/08.
Read more about Governor Palin's "predator control" policies and the use of state money to slaughter bears and wolves. This year the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game will exterminate 1,400 bears out of a population of 2,000 in an area west of Anchorage. The Alaskan Board of Game even approved the hunting of black bear mothers and cubs with the goal of killing 60 percent of the black bear population. Although biologists have known since the 60's that predators actually keep prey populations healthy, Alaskan wolves and bears are being exterminated (using cruel practices such as baiting, trapping, and aerial shooting) to boost dwindling moose populations. Do we really want a vice president who doesn't believe in science?
Sarah Palin sues the federal government over listing polar bears as a threatened species. Why? Because it could restrict the oil industry that fills her pockets. This is the same reason she wants to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling. Read Governor Palin's ignorant op-ed piece here. Palin believes that global warming is a myth.
Sarah Palin's voting record supports development of the Pebble Mine - the largest open pit mine in North America. Pebble mine jeopardizes the entire Bristol bay ecosystem which contains the largest sockeye salmon run in the world. The mine could pollute an unprecedented number or rivers, lakes, and bays. Although Palin claims that the mine would create jobs for Alaskans, it may effectively destroy the commercial and sport fishing industry in Bristol Bay - the main source of income for Alaskans in Bristol bay. Pebble Mine's potential for pollution makes the Exxon Valdez oil spill look like a tiny grease stain. Click here to watch the NY Times video story about the environmental destruction this mine would create.
The Alaska Board of Game makes most wildlife decisions in Alaska. The board is comprised entirely of trophy hunters, and not a single wildlife biologist or scientist is a member. Also lacking is any representation from Alaska's wildlife viewing and tourism industry. The most important decisions about wildlife in Alaska are decided by ignorant hunters with a total disregard for science. Palin even appointed her former middle school basketball coach to the board.
Donate to Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund to air a TV commercial exposing Palin's slaughter of wolves!
Palin: wrong woman, wrong message
Sarah Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Hillary Clinton. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.
Here's the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party -- are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women -- and to many men too -- who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the "white-male-only" sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.
But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.
This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can't do the job because she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn't say the same about a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years' experience.
Palin has been honest about what she doesn't know. When asked last month about the vice presidency, she said, "I still can't answer that question until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?" When asked about Iraq, she said, "I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."
So let's be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can't tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom. If that were not the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows what a vice president does and who has thought about Iraq; someone like Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. McCain could have taken a baby step away from right-wing patriarchs who determine his actions, right down to opposing the Violence Against Women Act.
Palin's value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves "abstinence-only" programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers' millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn't spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.
I don't doubt her sincerity. As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Assn., she doesn't just support killing animals from helicopters, she does it herself. She doesn't just talk about increasing the use of fossil fuels but puts a coal-burning power plant in her own small town. She doesn't just echo McCain's pledge to criminalize abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wade, she says that if one of her daughters were impregnated by rape or incest, she should bear the child. She not only opposes reproductive freedom as a human right but implies that it dictates abortion, without saying that it also protects the right to have a child.
So far, the major new McCain supporter that Palin has attracted is James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Of course, for Dobson, "women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership," so he may be voting for Palin's husband.
Being a hope-a-holic, however, I can see two long-term bipartisan gains from this contest.
Republicans may learn they can't appeal to right-wing patriarchs and most women at the same time. A loss in November could cause the centrist majority of Republicans to take back their party, which was the first to support the Equal Rights Amendment and should be the last to want to invite government into the wombs of women.
And American women, who suffer more because of having two full-time jobs than from any other single injustice, finally have support on a national stage from male leaders who know that women can't be equal outside the home until men are equal in it. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are campaigning on their belief that men should be, can be and want to be at home for their children.
This could be huge.
Gloria Steinem is an author, feminist organizer and co-founder of the Women's Media Center. She supported Hillary Clinton and is now supporting Barack Obama.
Palin is a hater too. And crooked. Shocking!