I've been deluged with Palin trivia for days. It's annoying, yet strangely entertaining. If the McCain team, as they claim, "thoroughly vetted" Palin, it seems they were out to choose the most ridiculous vice president in the history of this country. They've succeeded.
This tops Dan Quayle," widely lampooned in my friend's little brother's sixth grade reenactment of the vice presidential debates. He played Gore, and ended the debate with a devastating "Mr. Quayle, learn how to spell potato." I can only imagine what Ashwin would be saying about Palin. He's spoiled for attack lines.
Some highlights not previously mentioned in these pages:
1. Sarah Palin on the Pledge of Allegiance: "If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance."
You know, the fact that it was actually written in 1892 by a Socialist, not to mention that the phrase "Under God" didn't get crowbarred in there until the 1950s, delights me almost as much as her abysmal grasp of history. Considering how much the Republicons hate Socialists, that's just priceless.
2. Palin didn't only defend corruption-plagued Sen. Ted Stevens, she was director of a 527 group called "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc." The 527 was created by none other than Ted Stevens. Now, that's good judgement of character!
3. Guess who wanted Alaska to secede from the Union? That's right - Sarah Palin, who belonged to the Alaskan Independence Party before giving them the big fuck-you. I'm sure McCain will have fun trying to explain how someone who luuurrves America could join a party that puts Alaska before the country.
4. And, finally, no book is safe where Sarah Palin's concerned:
Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." The librarian, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire her for not giving "full support" to the mayor.
After the deluge of negatives, you may be wondering exactly why McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. Dday has a pretty good idea:
It certainly doesn't seem like it, given the stories that have emerged within the past 48-72 hours. But she most certainly was vetted, only not by the McCain campaign. She was vetted by the only group that matters - the super-secretive Council for National Policy.McCain/Palin '08: The Batshit Insane Ticket. Putting the Religious Right First.
The CNP deliberately operates below the radar, going to excessive lengths to obscure its activities. According to official CNP policy, "The media should not know when or where we meet or who takes part in our programs before or after a meeting." Thus the CNP's Minneapolis gathering was free of reporters. I only learned of the get-together through an online commentary by one of its attendees, top Dobson/Focus on the Family flack Tom Minnery.[snip]
Minnery described the mood as CNP members watched Palin accept her selection as John McCain's Vice Presidential pick. "I was standing in the back of a ballroom filled with largely Republicans who were hoping against hope that something would put excitement back into this campaign," Minnery said. "And I have to tell you, that speech by Alaska Governor Sarah Palin -- people were on their seats applauding, cheering, yelling... That room in Minneapolis watching on the television screen was electrified. I have not seen anything like it in a long time."
That's all this was about. Forget the press reports grasping at straws trying to figure out this pick, whether it represents a new reform message or was targeted to exurban voters. This was a wet kiss to the religious right.
Oh, she was vetted all right. By the religious right. The question is whether or not Palin's extreme, radical philosophy is distasteful to the wide swath of Americans. In a sane world, the support for creationism and questioning of man-made global warming and rejection of birth control would indeed be disqualifying.
...What this also means is that she was totally forced on John McCain, which must call into question his erratic, shoddy judgment, and his ability to carry out anything but the most extreme agenda.
Except when it's Alaska.
And I think that says quite enough about their qualifications to lead this country. To wit: zilch.