The Palin choice-7: Her background and positions on issues


(For previous posts in this series, see here.)

What do we really know about Sarah Palin, apart from her family life? Here is a synopsis of some of her views.

The news website Alternet gives some background on Palin’s political positions and history. We learn that:

  • Palin doesn’t believe global warming is man-made.
  • Palin is the candidate of a powerful far right-wing cabal; her nomination seals their support for the little-wanted McCain.
  • Palin staunchly opposes abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.
  • Palin supports failed abstinence-only sex education programs.
  • Palin is under investigation for allegedly abusing her power as governor to help her sister in a messy divorce.
  • Palin has big money ties to Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who has been indicted for political corruption.
  • During her time as mayor, Palin drove the town of Wasilla deep into debt.

The Progressive Review has more on Palin’s views.

Palin also supports, against all scientific advice, allowing the public to kill wolves by shooting them from planes.
She also believes that we should teach creationism in schools, in addition to evolution.

Since Obama’s pastor became a campaign issue, it is instructive to see what her pastors’ views are and that can be seen here. She was baptized in the Assembly of God church in Wasilla that is Pentecostal and whose parishioners believes in speaking in tongues and whipping themselves into incoherent frenzies.

Although she speaks as someone who looks out for taxpayers, she got the state to pay her thousand of dollars in per diems for staying in her own home. In fact, Palin seems quite comfortable stating things that are flat-out contradicted by facts.

Her record as Mayor of Wasilla and her attempt to ban books from the public library and fire the librarian when she refused to go along can be seen here.

Her husband and her own past flirtations with the Alaskan Independence Party (whose founder has said “The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government” and “I won’t be buried under their damn flag,”) can be seen here and here.

Palin and her husband also had some failed business ventures.

Given all these negatives, Glenn Greenwald describes how Palin’s supporters are trying to shut down criticism of her.

Palin herself has been shameless in her repeated lies about being a stalwart opponent of federal pork earmarks, especially the infamous ‘bridge to nowhere’, using the same words each time. She first supported it, then opposed it only after Congress cut off funds to build it, and yet still kept the money and used it for other projects.

In actual fact, under her governorship Alaska requested the highest per capita earmarks of any state. She is in fact just the kind of person that John McCain says he detests and thinks is ruining the country.

Steve Benen summarizes why Palin is wrong for the job and what this choice says about McCain.

What should be clear to anyone paying attention is that the McCain/Palin ticket is cynically hoping that people will overlook the facts and vote on the basis of bogus slogans and non-issues.

POST SCRIPT: Leave Sarah Palin alone!

Since Sarah Palin’s policies and history cannot bear close scrutiny, the McCain campaign has gone into full victim mode, whining about how mean people are to her, and trying to pressure the media to treat her gently. A famous defender of another beleaguered woman has resurfaced to rescue her. (language advisory)

Comments

  1. says

    Well to stop the spread of lies here is a list you can go from and actually be right

    1. Yes, she is Governor of Alaska. No, she’s not the Lieutenant Governor. No, she’s not currently Mayor of Wasilla. Yes, she was Mayor of Wasilla, some years ago.
    2. Yes, as Governor of Alaska, she’s the Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard. And yes, her professional military subordinate is quite impressed with her in that role.
    3. And yes, the New York Times says the job of Governor of Alaska is one of the harder, and more powerful, jobs in state government.
    4. Yes, there are people in Alaska who think she’s too liberal.
    5. Yes, she did giggle when someone called Lyda Green a “bitch.” Yes, Lyda Green is a cancer survivor. Yes, it was the same Lyda Green who tried to force a scheduling conflict that would make Palin miss her son’s high school graduation. Yes, this would also be the Lyda Green who complained no one had asked her about Palin during the vetting process.
    6. Yes, she did push for and approve the Wasilla Sports Center. Yes, it did cost a lot of money. (People keep saying $20 million, that article says $14.5 million, but then they also added a $1.2 million dollar food service/kitchen piece. This year, after Palin was out of office as Mayor.) Yes, the city went into debt to do it (how did you buy your house, bunkie?) and raised the city sales tax from 2 percent to 2.5 percent to pay for it. Yes, the city is paying it off early. Yes, there is an ongoing dispute about title (following a struggle with the Nature Conservancy and another buyer. And yes, at the time it was built, Wasilla had a Federal judge’s decision that they had title to the land.
    7. Yes, she did want authority to have wolves culled from the air, because they were taking too many moose and caribou. Which people hunt for food in the back country in Alaska. No, she isn’t shooting them herself. I mean, not that she couldn’t, but I’m sure she doesn’t have time. (Thanks to bluemerlin in the comments.)
    8. No, the Downs baby (Trig) isn’t Bristol’s kid, and no, the kid wasn’t born with Downs because (a) Palin flew on an airplane (b) went home to have the baby after an amniotic leak (c) because he was the result of incest between Todd Palin and Bristol.
    9. No, Track (the kid who is leaving for Iraq) didn’t join the NG because he was a drug addict. He may have joined the NG because he was tired of people saying his Mom was getting him into the good hockey leagues. (Yes, that one was original reporting. I’ve got sources in Wasilla.)

    10. No, Willow and Piper aren’t named for witches on TV. Among other things, Willow was born before Buffy came on TV, and Piper was born before Charmed.

    11. Yes, Trig’s name may be misspelled. Isn’t it usually “Tryg” as in “Trygve”? In any case, I doubt he’s named for the Secretary General of the UN (1948-1952), either. But at least that was before he was born, unlike the others.
    12. Yes, it appears that she has a Big Dipper tattooed on her ankle. She lost a bet.
    No, she’s never been in any porn as far as anyone can find (and God knows I get enough google hits on those very topics.) I would think the Big Dipper tattoo would be a giveaway.
    13. No, no one seems to be able to even find swimsuit pictures of her from her beauty queen days; God knows I looked. The bikini pictures that are around are photoshopped, just like the Vogue cover I have up.

    14. No she wasn’t a member of the (wild-eyed libertarian) Alaska independence Party, although her husband once was No, neither the (Canadian) National Post, nor Marc Armbinder at the Atlantic have troubled themselves to issue a correction. Yes, the New York Times did finally correct their story of September 1 — on September 5. And on page 14. This was after Elizabeth Bumiller was quoted by Howard Kurtz as saying she was “completely confident about the story.” Yes, that was after the New York Times’s source retracted the story. Yes, this should embarrass the Times, Bumiller, and Howard Kurtz. No, there have been no signs of embarrassment.

    15. No, she was never a Pat Buchanan supporter; even when Buchanan claims she was, she was on the board of Steve Forbes’a campaign in Alaska. Yes, Palin was a Steve Forbes supporter in 2000.

    16. No, she’s not anti-semitic. In fact, she has an Israeli flag in her office. (Contrary to popular belief, the usual Evangelical thinks Israel has a right to exist, granted by God.)
    17. No, I don’t think she’s being “indoctrinated by Lieberman and AIPAC as we speak”; I don’t get the feeling that being indoctrinated is something that Palin does well.

    18. Yes, it seems unlikely that she’s going to be in hiding for the next two weeks seeing as she’s been in rallies twice in the last two days. Or at least it’s going to be real rough, given that she has three media interviews scheduled today (6 September) alone.
    19 Yes, it does appear that Palin’s local pastor preached about an end time when God will judge everyone, even Wasilla, Alaska, and the United States. Duh. This is called the Book of Revelations, and while I don’t believe it personally, I don’t see it as a disqualifier for the hundred million or so Baptists, Methodists, Evangelicals, Episcopalians, Catholics, Assembly of God, Presbyterian, Lutherans (traditional and Missouri Synod), African Methodist, and so on Christians in the US.

    20. Yes, I do sometimes wonder about the state of Andrew’s health.
    No, she’s doesn’t believe that the Iraq War was directed by God. Yes, she did pray that proceeding with the war was God’s will: “they should pray ‘that our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God, that’s what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan, and that plan is God’s plan.'” (Ever hear the phrase “Not my will, but Thine, be done”?) Yes, this apparently freaks some people right out.

    21. No, Buchanan doesn’t support her now; in fact he’s supporting Obama. (Buchanan did think her speech was amazing, but then so do 80 percent of the people who saw it.) Or maybe not. Buchanan sure doesn’t like McCain though.
    22. Yes, she was apparently pregnant when she got married
    23. No, so far there’s no confirmation she had an affair while she was married, and they’ve denied it pretty strongly. No, she wouldn’t be the first Christian woman who got a little on the side, if it were true.

    24. No, she wasn’t named as a co-respondent in a divorce; there’s no evidence she had an affair with her husbands’ business partner. The partner tried to have his divorce records sealed because he was being harrassed by journalists who used them to get his phone number.

    25. Yes, barring immaculate conception virgin birth (whatever), Bristol appears to have had sex with her fiancee. No, Bristol didn’t receive only “abstinence-only” sex ed.
    26.Yes, I have it on reliable report that Sarah Levi’s mom has been heard screaming “Way to go Levi!” at her future son-in-law son. No, it doesn’t appear to have been when Bristol broke the news to her family Note: I originally understood this story to be about Sarah, not Levi’s mom, in the context of hockey games. As such, it’s shouldn’t be in a Sarah Palin Rumors story, but I like the story too much to delete it.

    27. Yes, her 17 year old daughter is pregnant; no, the baby’s father is not an eighth grader; no, having sex at 16 is not statutory rape in Alaska. And no, there’s no way that a 17 year old can be 5 months pregnant as a result of having sex before she was 16. Learn to count for God’s sakes.
    28. Yes, she did fire the public safety guy — but he said in the Anchorage paper that, for the record, she never, and no one else in her administration ever, tried to make him fire her ex-brother-in-law
    29. And yes, the state trooper (her sister’s ex-husband) she was worried about did: tase her 10 year old nephew; drive his state patrol car while drinking or drunk; did threaten to “bring her down”; and did threaten to murder her father and sister if they dared to get an attorney to help with the divorce.
    30. Yes, the state trooper was suspended when he was put under a court protective order.
    No, the trooper wasn’t fired
    31. Yes, she did fire the Wasilla Chief of Police as Mayor; yes, it was because he was lying to the City Council.
    32. Yes, she did try to cut her own salary as Mayor by $4000 a year; yes, she had voted against the $4000 a year raise while on the City Council.
    33. No, she didn’t cut funding for unwed mothers; yes, she did increase it by “only” 354 percent instead of 454 percent, as part of a multi-year capital expenditures program. No, the Washington Post doesn’t appear to have corrected their story. Even after this was pointed out in the comments on the story.
    34. No, she didn’t cut special needs student funding; yes, she did raise it by “only” 175 percent.
    35. Yes, she did try, clearly unsuccessfully, to get Bristol married off to her fiancee before the story came out
    36. Yes, she did ask the librarian if some books could be withdrawn because of being offensive; no, they couldn’t; yes, it was “rhetorical”, at least as was reported contemporaneously in 1996[1] ; yes she did threaten to fire the librarian a month later; no, that wasn’t over the books thing but instead over administrative issues; no, the librarian wasn’t fired either; yes, the librarian was a big supporter of one of her political opponents; yes, the librarian was also the girlfriend of the Chief of police mentioned above; no, this is not the first time in the history of civilization that someone has been threatened with being fired over a political dispute
    37. No the list of books she wanted to ban that’s being passed around isn’t real; among other things, it includes a number of books published after her time in office there.
    No, that hasn’t actually deterred people from claiming it really is true even if the list isn’t correct. For example:
    “This list might not in fact reflect the books Sarah Palin wanted banned. As more than one person in Comments has pointed out, some of them were not published when Palin was in office. It is my hope that the mainstream media will not let this story drop and that at some point an actual list will surface. The very thought of having someone who once advocated book-banning possibly occupying one of the highest offices of our land fills me with profound dread. It should fill you with dread too.”
    38. No, I don’t understand why a fake list is supposed to fill me with dread, either.
    no, it wasn’t won’t be [bad tense, hasn’t happened yet] a shotgun wedding; Bristol and Levi been engaged for a good while according to Levi’s mother. It was either an accident or just an unconventional order.
    39. Yes, she’s an was an Assembly of God Holy Roller. No, she doesn’t attend an AoG church now. Yes, she did leave the AoG because they were getting too weird for her.
    No, she’s not anti-Mormon. No, not all AoG churches are anti-Mormon. (AoG is even more hard-core about allowing each pastor and congregation to make their own decisions than the Baptists are.) (Thanks to AnonAmom in the comments.)

    40 No, she’s not from another planet. No, I haven’t actually heard that one yet, but you wait. Okay, I have now heard it.

    41. Yes, she apparently believes in some variant of Intelligent Design
    42. No, she didn’t try to force the schools to teach it; she said if someone brought it up, it was an appropriate subject for debate.
    43. No, she doesn’t believe in “abstinence only” education. Yes, she thinks abstinence is an effective way of preventing pregnancy. Duh. Yes, she believes kids should learn about condom use in schools.
    44. Yes, she did smoke marijuana, when it was legal in Alaska. Yes, she apparently did inhale.
    45. Yes, she kills animals and eats them, and wears their skins
    46. Yes, she was a beauty contest contestant
    47. Yes, she was once a sportscaster
    48. Yes, she has a college degree in Journalism, but I won’t hold that against her, as she seems to have found honest work as well.
    49 Yes, she sometimes wears her hair up; no that’s not a “beehive”
    50. Yes, her husband is Not A White Person (he’s a Yup’ik; an Eskimo but not an Inuit as my Inuit cousins have taken some pains to explain)
    51. Yes, she has on occasion, as Mayor, tried to get money from the federal government.
    yes, she did finally turn down the money for the bridge. Yes, that meant changing her mind about it.
    52. Yes, she was vetted extensively, not just in three days — I’ve got links to press reports about people coming to Wassila on 29 May.
    53. Yes, she went to a bunch of colleges before getting a degree. No, that’s not illegal. Yes, she seems to have made something of herself anyway.
    54. No, they didn’t talk to a lot of the R’s power structure during the vetting; that probably has to do with the fact that she beat them in elections and sent a bunch of them to jail.
    55. Yes, Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech was written by a speechwriter. Duh. No, none of Obama’s, McCain’s, nor Biden’s speeches were impromptu off the cuff things either.
    56. Yes, she did put the Governors plane on eBay. No, that’s not how it was finally sold. Yes, McCain did say it wrong. Bad McCain.
    57. No, Sarah Palin doesn’t have such control of Alaskans that people are afraid to say bad things about her. (What, are you nuts? Look at this list.)58. No, I don’t think it’s likely that she called Obama “Sambo”. (Good God, man, I’m ten years older than she and I barely remember “Little Black Sambo.”) Yes, it seems unlikely to me that she’s be real racist and marry a Yup’ik (or a part Yup’ik.) But yes, people are capable of amazing things. Yes, I’m sure there are people who don’t like her — I’ve talked with some myself. And no, I don’t think this waitress would have been thrilled to be called an “aboriginal”. And yes, if she called Hillary a “bitch”, I’m pretty confident is wasn’t the first time anyone in politics has said that.
    59. No, she’s not a “global warming denier”, and when the crush dies down remind me to explain why the very phrasing “global warming denier” is anti-scientific, anti-intellectual, and a clear sign of a desire to impose your beliefs by coercion. But in the mean time, while I do believe that she has expressed some skepticism that warming is wholly human-caused, the existence of the Alaska Climate Change Sub-Cabinet and the Alaska Climate Change Strategy work demonstrate that she’s considering the problem and has brought together people more expert than she to advise her.
    60. Yes, Todd Palin did have a DUI. Twenty-two years ago. Get a grip.
    61. No, Sarah Palin’s brother isn’t in jail. No matter what the commenter at Anderson Cooper’s page says. (Thanks to Galynn in comments.)
    62. Yes, Sarah Palin’s pastor apparently does believe that gays can “repent” and be cured of homosexuality. No, believe it or not, even fundamentalist Christians don’t have to believe every litle thing their pastor believes. Yes, Palin seems to be more libertarian about this.
    63. Yes, contrary to press reports, Sarah Palin’s mother-in-law plans to vote for her and the R ticket (on Inside Edition this evening.)
    64. No, the fact that some 17 year old was arrested for malicious mischief at the right time doens’t mean Track Palin was. Goddamn, Josh, have you no shame at all?

  2. says

    a pro Palin post for sure.
    What has this woman really done in lil ol’ Alaska?
    And why is she talking so much?
    Does a VP actually get that much publicity or is McCain that weak of a speaker?
    She is the biggest surprise to even the republican party.
    A young woman in the white house against the old guard. Yeah, that’ll work..hehehe LOL. McCain in the white house who has agreed to all that Bush did; 90% of it. Yes, that WILL actually work. Biden and Obama who knows if that will work.

    1.) you have a great speaker and the old guard.
    2.) But you’re up against the Republicans who win by any means necessary and are above the law. Just ask Bush & his background cronies.

    SLOGAN: MORE OF THE SAME FROM McCAIN. It’ll probably worse though since you don’t have Cheney driving your decisions.

    Your answers seem sincere but we know political spins and how to make it sound right.
    How many press secretaries has Bush had ?
    Ari Fleisher, and so many more…….?

    I guess they got tired of the corruption and the above the law policies.

    For a Palinite your lipstick leaves a big mark on her rear !

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