Saturday, August 30, 2008

2 Top Alaska Newspapers Question: The Palin Hits Just Keep Coming

LSB: Anyone care to guess how long she stays in the race? My guess is she hasn't got the balls for a rough national campaign.
Now a word from religious right leader James Dobson:
"[O]ur conviction is that birth and adoption are the purview of married heterosexual couples. Traditional marriage is God's design for the family and is rooted in biblical truth. When that divine plan is implemented, children have the best opportunity to thrive. That's why public policy as it relates to families must be based not solely on the desires of adults but rather on the needs of children and what is best for society at large." – James Dobson of Focus on the Family, TIME, December 2006
Joe and I discussed this post before writing it. We weren't even sure we were comfortable posting this because, as Democrats and progressives, we don't pass judgment on children born out of wedlock, or their parents. Every child is a gift, and we don't believe it's the government's, or anyone else's, business what you do in your own bedroom.
But the conservative base of the Republican party, the very base that McCain's VP choice, Sarah Palin, was chosen to woo, does care about legislating your sex life. Though it was 20 years ago, who can forget the infamous Murphy Brown controversy, when then Republican VP Dan Quayle criticized a fictional TV character, Murphy Brown, for having a child out of wedlock. For conservative Christians, aka "values voters," getting pregnant while not married is still severely frowned upon. Remember, it was only 18 months ago that religious right leader James Dobson famously, and publicly, criticized vice presidential daughter Mary Cheney in a column in TIME magazine for having a child out of wedlock. It is exactly Dobson who McCain is wooing with the choice of Palin.
As Joe notes in his post below, pregnancy and birth control - and overall sexual mores - are key issues for conservative voters, and for the Republican party leadership. It is therefore newsworthy, and a legitimate issue, while admittedly somewhat uncomfortable, to inquire as to the practice of those very same issues in Sarah Palin's own life. Let me walk you through the issue:
1. Sarah Palin's first son, Track Palin, was … born on April 20.
2. Sarah Palin was married on August 29, 1988. She eloped.
3. 38 weeks is the typical human pregnancy.
4. 38 weeks before her son's birthday, April 20, 1989, is July 28, 1988 - i.e., that would be the hypothetical day of conception.
5. If this data is correct, that would mean that Sarah Palin eloped four weeks after
her son's conception.
6. Sarah Palin's son could still be legitimate if he was born four weeks premature, AND if he was conceived on the night his parents eloped.
Again, Joe and I aren't very comfortable discussing these kind of issues because, honestly, we don't care when Sarah Palin's son was conceived. But Sarah Palin and John McCain and James Dobson care very much about the conception of your children. James Dobson, the very man McCain is wooing, himself decided that Mary Cheney's out of wedlock conception was worthy of an entire commentary in TIME magazine only 18 months ago. It is at least fair to ask that Sarah Palin meet the James Dobson/Mary Cheney standard, and clarify for James Dobson and values voters everywhere whether her actions match her words.
We know McCain, Palin and the GOP will reverse Roe v. Wade. They also want Griswold gone. That means birth control. Joe Sudbay (DC), The traditional media thinks the Palin pick means Roe v. Wade is now part of the presidential debate. It always has been -- McCain wants to reverse Roe (although the punditry often overlooks that extreme view.) The real question isn't Roe. We know how the GOPers feel about that. The bigger issue is birth control. Remember how freaked McCain got when he had to answer a birth control question?
Roe is based on the holding in Griswold v. Connecticut, which held we have constitutional right to privacy. If Roe goes, Griswold is on the chopping block. Griswold overturned a Connecticut law that prevented the use of contraceptives by married couples. That case was decided in 1965. Think about that: 43 years ago, in Connecticut (not Alabama or Utah), married couples were prevented from using contraceptives.
Here's are a couple questions for any reporter who has access to the GOP ticket: Do John McCain and Sarah Palin want to reverse Griswold v. Connecticut? Do John McCain and Sarah Palin want to prohibit any forms of contraception? Do John McCain and Sarah Palin think "the pill" is a abortificant?
These are important questions. In case anyone doesn't think that Republicans want to ban the use of contraceptives like the pill, watch this video of Mike Huckabee, who is from the same theocratic wing of the party as Sarah Palin. Huckabee thinks the pill is abortion:
Then read the draft RNC platform with that in mind:
Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life.
For the GOP, the pill is abortion and all abortion must be stopped. Ergo, no pill.
Earlier this month, we did an online chat with Congresswoman Diana DeGette about her new book, "Sex, Science and Stem Cells: Inside the Right Wing Assault on Reason." In the chat, I asked her this question:
I’m interested in the issue of birth control. In the book, you describe the debate about expanding insurance coverage for birth control - an issue that has recently come up in the presidential race. It sounded like Rep. Chris Smith and some of his right wing colleagues really would just prefer to ban birth control. Are there people on Capitol hill who would ban access to contraception?
DeGette gave this response:
There are many examples in my book where far-right members have tried to deny
access to birth control. For many years, we gave international HIV/AIDS prevention money to religious organizations which would not provide information about condoms about AIDS prevention. Rep. Smith tried to exclude certain types of birth control methods to be covered in federal employees' insurance plans and exclude birth control pills, IUD's the patch, and others. There are other juicy examples in the book.
As I say in the forward to the book, I have concluded that many powerful politicians want to ban birth control altogether and think we should have some sort of Christian nation (according to their views) where people should be abstinent until marriage, and then only have sex for procreation. I have not arrived at these conclusions lightly.
This is real. And, the American people need to know where McCain and Palin stand. Will any reporter dare to ask them about birth control?
McCain impressed by Palin's courageous work at the Wasilla PTA. Joe Sudbay (DC), My sister, Karen, directed me to this quote People Magazine. This says a lot more about John McCain than Sarah Palin:
Sen. McCain, of all the candidates you considered, what drew you to her?
JOHN: Obviously, I found her to be very intelligent and very well-versed on the issues. But I think the important thing was that she's a reformer. She's taken on special interests since she ran for the PTA and the city council and mayor. The courage, I guess, is what most impressed me.
That's what most impressed John McCain. Granted, McCain doesn't really know Palin, but that's still frightening. Knowledge and understanding of all the foreign policy crises to which McCain is always referring -- al Qaeda, Islamo-facists, Iran, Russia, Georgia -- that stuff doesn't really matter if one stands up to the special interests at the Wasilla PTA, according to John McCain.
John McCain showed once again that he doesn't have the mindset to be President.
Alaska's GOP State Senate President on Palin: "She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?" Joe Sudbay (DC), Did the McCain campaign do any research on Sarah Palin? Talk to anyone in the state? Even do a google search?Apparently not. Check out this hometown smack down:
State Senate President Lyda Green said she thought it was a joke when someone called her at 6 a.m. to give her the news."She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?" said Green, a Republican from Palin's hometown of Wasilla. "Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"
All politics is local. Palin doesn't like State Senate President Lyda Green. Palin laughed out loud when a radio talk show host called Green a "bitch" and a "cancer." (Green is a cancer survivor):
Now, if Palin had been vetted by the McCain campaign, some of this stuff might have come up. But, McCain is erratic and impulsive. It was more important for McCain to "win" the news cycle than pick a v.p. who was qualified.

Sarah Palin doesn't know much about the Iraq war. Joe Sudbay (DC), You have to hear Sarah Palin's views on the war in Iraq -- from Sarah Palin. She really doesn't know what "the plan" is or too much about Iraq or foreign policy.
Just listen to excerpts of Sarah Palin from an interview with TIME magazine. It's from August 14, 2008. That's just two weeks ago. This should make you feel safer. She'd be one heart beat (or another bout of cancer) away from the being the leader of our nation. In these dangerous times of which John McCain so often speaks, John McCain made a craven political decision. He's willing to entrust the safety of our country to someone who knows nothing about keeping us safe.

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