Yesterday was John McCain's 72nd birthday. If elected, he'd be the oldest president ever inaugurated. And after months of slamming Barack Obama for "inexperience," here's who John McCain has chosen to be one heartbeat away from the presidency: a right-wing religious conservative with no foreign policy experience, who until recently was mayor of a town of 9,000 people.
Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic background:
- She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.1
- Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2
- She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000. 3
- Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4
- She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5
- She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6
- How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.7
This is information the American people need to see. Please take a moment to forward this email to your friends and family.
We also asked Alaska MoveOn members what the rest of us should know about their governor. The response was striking. Here's a sample:
She is really just a mayor from a small town outside Anchorage who has been a governor for only 1.5 years, and has ZERO national and international experience. I shudder to think that she could be the person taking that 3AM call on the White House hotline, and the one who could potentially be charged with leading the US in the volatile international scene that exists today. —Rose M., Fairbanks, AK
She is VERY, VERY conservative, and far from perfect. She's a hunter and fisherwoman, but votes against the environment again and again. She ran on ethics reform, but is currently under investigation for several charges involving hiring and firing of state officials. She has NO experience beyond Alaska. —Christine B., Denali Park, AK
As an Alaskan and a feminist, I am beyond words at this announcement. Palin is not a feminist, and she is not the reformer she claims to be. —Karen L., Anchorage, AK
Alaskans, collectively, are just as stunned as the rest of the nation. She is doing well running our State, but is totally inexperienced on the national level, and very much unequipped to run the nation, if it came to that. She is as far right as one can get, which has already been communicated on the news. In our office of thirty employees (dems, republicans, and nonpartisans), not one person feels she is ready for the V.P. position.—Sherry C., Anchorage, AK
She's vehemently anti-choice and doesn't care about protecting our natural resources, even though she has worked as a fisherman. McCain chose her to pick up the Hillary voters, but Palin is no Hillary. —Marina L., Juneau, AK
I think she's far too inexperienced to be in this position. I'm all for a woman in the White House, but not one who hasn't done anything to deserve it. There are far many other women who have worked their way up and have much more experience that would have been better choices. This is a patronizing decision on John McCain's part- and insulting to females everywhere that he would assume he'll get our vote by putting "A Woman" in that position.—Jennifer M., Anchorage, AK
So Governor Palin is a staunch anti-choice religious conservative. She's a global warming denier who shares John McCain's commitment to Big Oil. And she's dramatically inexperienced.
In picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has made the religious right very happy. And he's made a very dangerous decision for our country.
In the next few days, many Americans will be wondering what McCain's vice-presidential choice means. Please pass this information along to your friends and family.
Thanks for all you do.
–Ilyse, Noah, Justin, Karin and the rest of the team
1. "Sarah Palin," Wikipedia, Accessed August 29, 2008
2. "McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate," NARAL Pro-Choice America, August 29, 2008
3. "Sarah Palin, Buchananite," The Nation, August 29, 2008
4. "'Creation science' enters the race," Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2006
5. "Palin buys climate denial PR spin—ignores science," Huffington Post, August 29, 2008
6. "McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy," Sierra Club, August 29, 2008
"Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past," League of Conservation Voters, August 29, 2008
"Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor," The Times of London, May 23, 2008
7 "McCain met Palin once before yesterday," MSNBC, August 29, 2008
PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Yeah, and I'm donating heavily to Ron Paul.
Now, if you look at MoveOn's "research" a couple of things pop out. First, essentially most of their sources are "internal," meaning they're all from sources either connected to MoveOn in some way (HuffPo) or with like-minded idealogues (MSNBC). That's like writing a piece about how George W. Bush eats baby seals for breakfast and using nothing but citations from DubyaEatsSealBabies.com. Then again, this is MoveOn we're talking about here. Their idea of intellectual honesty is saying they hate Bush and all Republicans in the first line of their emails.
The other thing that popped out to me is more of a perception than a hard fact. It seems to me MoveOn, and other Leftists for that matter, are trying to use fear-based tactics. Palin is "anti-choice" (i.e. she thinks a fetus is a baby, not a glob of issue like the pro-kill baby side). Big deal. She's going to be Vice President, so she's not going to have a lot of say on the abortion subject. Even if she ascends to the Presidency, she'll have precious little power to stop abortions. Palin supports offshore drilling? Given how gas prices are still well above $3 a gallon and families would like to be able to afford food and gas, that's a net plus for her.
And so on down the line. Every reason MoveOn gives is to be expected, but really doesn't hold that much relevance to someone looking for real information on where Palin stands on the issues. MoveOn has more axes to grind than a lumberjack camp, as any objective reader can see. But what is more interesting is how quickly the Left has gone negative and fear-based on Palin. If she's as unpopular as MoveOn wants to make her seem, why would they bother to "expose" Palin to people who probably wouldn't vote for McCain/Palin in the first place? Simple. It's so they can spread the misinformation to others like them to invent a groundswell against her.
But here's the thing the MoveOn folks aren't counting on. We got to see and hear Palin on Friday, well before MoveOn could mobilize, and she carried herself well by most accounts. That's going to blunt a lot of MoveOn's attacks against her, and as time goes on, we'll see opportunities for Palin to try to withstand other, more substantive attacks. From what I've heard, she's more than capable of handling the tough questions, which means she'll be able to sleepwalk through the MoveOn talking points.
And it leaves MoveOn looking like bitter partisan tools.