What Palin Told Us — Analysis of Gibson Interview

Because of the recently aired ABC interview Americans have their first beginning insight into Governor Sarah Palin. Below is a brief review of the interview.

Abortion question – Palin is not pro-life. Her position is that abortion is an issue that should be turned over to the States. Given this answer her position indicates that she would be satisfied on the abortion issue if all fifty states had the most liberal abortion laws as long as each of the states had determined the law for their state. Abortion is one issue where “States rights” as a theory isn’t acceptable. The Constitution gives the Federal Government the responsibility and role to protect life. Palin may be pro States-rights on this issue but she isn’t pro-life.

Also on the abortion issue it was interesting that Palin kept saying that “pro life was her personal opinion.” She didn’t explicitly contrast her personal opinion with what she would do in the way of public policy although the way she kept insisting that pro-life was her personal opinion one wondered what Palin public policy on abortion would be. Remember in 2004 John Kerry likewise said his personal opinion was that he didn’t like abortion although he couldn’t translate that into public policy. So the question is, will Sarah Palin translate her personal opposition to abortion into public policy. If Palin’s record as Governor of Alaska is any indication we should be slow about concluding that she would be willing to take abortion on in the public square.

Earmarks question – While Palin may be a Reformer in some sense, she clearly isn’t a Reformer on the earmarks question. She lobbied for earmarks while a Mayor. She accepted the earmark money for the Bridge to Nowhere, even if she didn’t build the bridge. Now, I understand the way Government works. I understand that politicians have a twisted responsibility to bring home the pork. I don’t like that but I understand it is the governing reality of the way things work. Therefore I am not surprised to learn that Palin tried to get her fair share (and maybe more) of the booty that was stolen from taxpayers through confiscatory taxation. What I am insulted by is the cynical attempt to try and sell to the nation that Palin is a reform politician when it comes to the pork and earmarks question. On this issue she is just another politician who operates just the same as Ted Stevens, Frank Murkowski, and all the rest.

National Security Credentials question – Would someone please tell me what the ability to see Russian territory from the State you Govern has anything to do with National security. It’s embarrassing to hear someone seriously put that forth has some kind of answer to how one is qualified on National Security questions. Also, with respect to National security issues, I am less than impressed with someone being in charge of the Alaska National guard. To be fair though, Obama doesn’t have any National security experience, and I can think of quite a number of other Vice Presidents that didn’t have National Security experience when they were tapped to be Vice President so I don’t think the lack of experience on this issue is that debilitating as it pertains to be qualified to be Vice President.

Homosexual Question — Palin was evasive on this issue and it seemed clear that she didn’t want to address the issue. Gibson tried to get her views on whether homosexuality is genetic or whether it is something that someone chooses. Palin dodged the question.

Sexist question – Charles Gibson asked whether or not it was sexist to ask a woman candidate about her ability to be Vice President given the reality that she has small children and a large family to care for. The very asking of this question indicates that there remains some sort of residue in the American psyche that a woman with a family should be spending the preponderance of her time nurturing her family. The reason that the same question is never asked of a man in the position Palin is in is because there is no residual belief that a man is supposed to be the nurturer to the family the way a mother is. The fact that Charlie Gibson can ask this question, albeit in an embarrassing and apologetic manner reveals the hypocrisy of many Christians who are flying right past this issue barely pausing to consider it. It seems that Charlie Gibson is more Christian then many Christians. At least he asked the question.

An alternative and more cynical explanation for Gibson’s “sexist question” is that by asking the question Gibson is not revealing some Christian worldview residual hangover but rather he is attempting to subtly expose the contradiction in the worldview of Palin’s social conservative Christian base. On one hand this base has long been opposed to the feminist agenda while on the other hand they are rallying around somebody who embraces substantial elements of the feminist agenda.

This reality is seen in what Palin had to say about Title IX. In answering Gibson’s “sexist question,” Palin said she was a product of Title IX. Social conservatives have consistently (and rightly) gnashed their teeth about Title IX legislation. Most have noted that Title IX legislation was an attack on the family and that its reason for being was feminist philosophy. Social conservatives have hated title IX legislation and now they are cheering and rallying behind someone who proudly proclaims that she is a product of Title IX.

Finally, on this whole feminism issue, Palin went out of her way again to praise Hillary Clinton. I understand that a great deal of what Palin is saying on this issue may possibly be for public consumption in order to pick off some feminist votes and may be contrived in such a way to make it difficult for the Marxist media establishment to oppose her but when Palin starts praising Hillary Clinton, as some kind of feminist role model I just feel ill to my stomach.

God Question – Here Gibson played a YouTube segment where Palin invokes God and His plan in Iraq. I am sure Palin had been briefed and coached on how to answer this question by the McCain campaign. On this question Palin went into full spin mode and somehow tried to offer Abraham Lincoln’s comments about needing to be on God’s side as an explanation for what she was saying on the YouTube comment. The answer made no sense whatsoever but given the possible explosiveness of this issue, Gibson left her incoherent answer alone. It should also be noted that Gibson didn’t give the whole context of the Palin quote. The way that Gibson framed the quote was significantly misleading.

Leaving Wasilla In Debt Question – Gibson pointed out that when Palin became Mayor, Wasilla was fiscally healthy while when she left office Wasilla was in debt. Gibson implied that such a reality hardly gave credence to the persona around Governor Palin that she is a fiscal conservative. Palin countered that the debt was due to the new sports facility for which Wasilla voters had opted in referendum. Palin thus suggested that the debt was legitimate since the voters had voted for it. Though, I understand that this is largely accepted reasoning I fail to understand how it is fiscally conservative for an elected official to allow 65% of the community which supports a sports arena (or whatever the vote was in Wasilla for the sports arena) to pick the pocket of 35% who voted against the sports arena. Why should a majority be allowed to vote to force a minority to join them in debt? Shouldn’t elected officials protect the interest of the minority in these matters?

There is one more thing that interests me about Palin given this interview. Several times Palin interjected some phrase like, “that’s my worldview.” I wish Gibson had picked up on that and had asked her to tease out what she meant by the idea of “worldview.” That might have been interesting.

As far as Gibson is concerned he was walking a tightrope in this interview. He can’t be perceived as going directly after her, or nothing he turns up in the way of negative information about Palin will be taken seriously because people will dismiss new revelations exposed by Gibson by saying that as a member of the elite media he was just trying to destroy her. On the other hand as a member of the Marxist media he clearly wants to destroy Palin. The whole God, Guns, and Life had to drive Gibson nuts. I would also say that Gibson came across in the interview as condescending and patronizing.

Given the way that the major media treats Palin I don’t know why the campaign just doesn’t boycott them and take their message to alternative media outlets. Such a move would be a blow against the major media outlets while at the same time giving legitimacy to the alternative outlets. I believe that the alternative outlets are strong enough now that such a move could be successful.

Another note of concern about Palin has come up in light of the continued unraveling of American financial institutions. Palin has said that we need to overhaul the nations oversight and regulatory apparatus since their inadequacy has led to the recent financial meltdown. The error with Palin’s position is that she is recommending a socialist solution (more and better government financial regulation) to a problem that was created by the very thing she is offering as a solution. The reason that financial institutions are melting down is that, because of Government involvement, those running the financial institutions that are melting down never had to worry about the shady investments being made because they knew that the Government would bail them out if those questionable investments went bad. In fairness Palin did say that letting Lehman brothers go down without a bailout was solid.

Meandering Thoughts On Election

Overall, I think we have reached the nadir of identity politics. Those of us with half a brain in our head realize that neither Obama nor Palin are qualified to be on their respective tickets but in the spirit of affirmative action we have nominated two unqualified people simply because of the amount of their melanin and because they have a uterus.

Also, I’ve been mulling the whole celebrity thing. First Obama reaches celebrity status and then Palin turns around and goes celebrity. It’s as if the mentality that created and attracts viewers to “The American Idol” has infused the Presidential campaign. I just don’t get it. Qualifications are irrelevant. All that is important is glitz.

This may be the strangest campaign cycle that I’ve ever studied and I’ve studied most of them. A black guy with a Muslim name who boasts about being a community organizer and who has lifelong ties to racists (Jeremiah Wright), terrorists (William Ayers), and Marxists (Saul Alinsky). A Pentecostal woman at the bottom of the ticket getting far more attention than the guy at the top of the ticket. Christians violating their historic convictions on God’s created order that teaches that men are to men lead in order to vote for a Pentecostal woman, who, for all we know may get a “word from the Lord” to bomb Iran.

Lewis Carroll couldn’t have created all this strangeness on his best day.

Sanity is hard to come by.

Posting Notification

For the next two weeks posting here will be spotty. I will be on holiday with my wife in Maine.

As a good amount of this time will be spent at family, I will likely have time to find internet access, so I’m pretty confident that I’ll be posting periodically.

I am taking a good number of books with me. I hope to catch up on some of my reading. As such I will likely have a good amount to say.

Pray that we will have traveling mercies and that God will grant us refreshment and invigoration.

New Sunday Talk Show — Meet The Suspicious

Good morning and welcome today to “Meet The Suspicious.” I’m your host Bret McAtee and joining me in our round table discussion is Cookie Robertson, Stephanie Opolis, and always present in his trademark bow tie, Will George. Welcome friends for another week of “Meet The Suspicious.”

Today our guest is Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, John McCain’s Republican Vice President nominee.

Welcome to our show Governor.

Governor Palin — Thank you Bret, it’s always good to be around my friends in the press.

Cookie — Well Governor, it’s been over a week since you’ve been nominated. How are you doing 8 days later.

Governor Palin — Cookie, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind. Still, my family and I are doing wonderfully and we are so excited to be in a campaign that is for the future of America.

Stephanie — Governor, since we’re still making small talk, I’m just dying to know if you have a fashion consultant. Your ear-rings and pearls during your speech were simple yet elegant. Do you do make your own fashion decisions or do you consult with someone.

Governor Palin — Stephanie, my best advice is from my Husband Todd and my daughter Bristol. All in all though I make my own decisions. Thank you for your kind comments.

Bret — Let’s move on to serious conversation shall we?

Governor, having grown up in the Church, I was wondering if you would say that the Church is important to you.

Governor Palin — Oh yes, my family and I have a very strong faith.

Bret — That’s what we’ve heard Governor and we salute you on that score.

Governor Palin — Why thank you Bret.

Bret — Governor, given that your faith is so important and the your Church is so important could you tell us if you’ve ever received from someone in your church — your pastor or anybody else — what is called as a “word from the Lord.”

Governor Palin — What?

Bret — Have you ever acted on that “word from the Lord” when you received it?

Governor Palin — I don’t know how any of this is germane to the campaign.

Will — I think where Bret is going with this Governor is that we think it is important to know how your Assembly of God theology could potentially affect your leadership. If you’ve acted upon a received word of the Lord from somebody before it might indicate that you would do so again while in office and quite possibly touching policy decisions.

Governor Palin — I would never do that.

Stephie — Why not? Couldn’t the Lord conceivably have a word for you on policy decision or does he only speak about non policy issues?

Governor Palin — This is preposterous.

Bret — So, is that a “yes” or a “no” on ever having received from someone a “word from the Lord” that you then acted on?

Governor Palin — I’m just not going to comment on these kind of issues.

Cookie — Very well. The church you grew up in has a long history of believing that Israel is God’s people and therefore should never be opposed. Will this teaching you grew up with affect your foreign policy decisions?

Governor Palin — Israel is our friend in the Middle East and America has always stood by her friends.

Bret — Governor, given your theology, we want to know if it would even be possible for Israel to act in such a way where you would sanction them or does your theology require you to always stand by Israel?

Governor Palin — I just answered that question Bret.

Will — Do you believe that it is important that the Solomonic temple needs to be rebuilt where the Muslim Dome of the Rock now stands and would you, by way of policy, support the Temple being rebuilt?

Governor Palin — Will, it’s hard to predict things in the future that might happen. I’d rather not try to pretend to be Nostradamus on this show.

Bret — Governor, have you ever spoken in tongues and if you have, have you ever had those tongues interpreted?

Governor Palin — Really, Bret, I don’t know what this has to do with campaign 2008.

Bret — Governor, it has to do with campaign 2008 because we are trying to find out, as we were earlier, if the teaching of your faith and church, which you yourself said was important, is going to impact future Palin policy decisions. If God is speaking to you — if he is imparting to you ongoing revelation — and if His speaking could possibly impinge on policy decisions we think the American people need to know that your decisions are coming from God.

Governor Palin — Have there ever been any other candidates with whom you’ve felt compelled to grill them on their faith.

Stephie — No, Governor, but we’ve never had other candidates from a faith and church tradition that regularly get messages from God.

Cookie — And we’ve never had other candidates whose faith and church taught, by way of divine revelation, that modern Israel continues to be God’s people.

Bret — And we think the American people would like to know if you differ from your church on these teachings.

Governor Palin — I think my record speaks for itself.

Bret — Thank you Governor. We will be right back after we break for these commercial messages. When we return we will continue to chat with the Governor focusing more directly on political and legal issues.

Insert Trojan commercial

Insert Deodorant commercial

Insert Bob Dole Viagra commercial

Bret — Welcome back to “Meet the Suspicious.” I am your host Bret McAtee and we are pleased to have Alaska Governor and Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin with us.

(Bret gives a beaming smile and nods to the Governor)

Bret — Let’s begin the questioning with Will.

Will — Governor, you’re reputed to be a conservative small government candidate. Can you tell us how you understand the 10th amendment?

Governor Palin — I think America should be a place where the Government knows its place.

Will — That’s interesting Governor, but what about the 10th amendment?

Governor — Will, I just answered that question.

Will — I see.

Cookie — Governor, do you agree with the controversial Supreme Court Gideon v. Wainwright decision that explicitly embraced the doctrine of incorporation?

Governor Palin — I think all companies should have the right to incorporate. I am a big believer in free markets.

Stephie — Governor, could you give us your views on the proper relation of Church and State?

Governor Palin — Stephie, I’ve always believed that the America people ought to be free to worship God in the public square. I don’t believe that we should try to eliminate God from our public life.

Bret — Which God ought the American people be free to worship Governor?

Governor Palin — Any one they’d like.

Bret — Even a God who sends them on Jihad?

Governor Palin — True religion is peaceful. When it is no longer peaceful it is no longer true religion and so should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Bret — So the American people are only free to serve pacifistic gods?

Governor Palin — Yes, that sounds right.

Stephie — Then how will we ever man a military?

Governor Palin — What?

Stephie — Well, if the American people are only free to serve pacifistic gods then they would seem to have to be a pacifistic people. Pacifistic gods have pacifistic follower after all.

Governor Palin — Of course Stephanie Americans have to be willing to fight for their country when needed.

Bret — So they should fight for their country but not their God?

Governor Palin — I didn’t say that Bret.

Cookie — Governor, can we return to the faith aspect just one more time.

Governor Palin — I’d love to answer any question I can.

Cookie — Good. Governor as a Christian we know you follow the Bible.

Governor Palin – As best as I can.

Cookie — Governor, just as Americans in 1960 had concerns about Jack Kennedy being submissive to the Pope, many Americans today are concerned about you possibly being submissive to your husband. Governor, can you relieve American’s concerns, as Jack Kennedy did, that you will be your own person and not be an agent for your husband as Kennedy was no agent of the Pope?

Governor Palin — Cookie, Todd knows I’m my own woman and he understands that my work as Vice President as nothing to do with him. The American people don’t need to worry about me being in submission to my husband as it touches political issues.

Will — So if your husband said, “You can’t bomb Iran, or you must bomb Iran,” you wouldn’t listen to him.

Governor Palin — He would never do that.

Stephie — But if he did, you’d refuse to be submissive.

Governor Palin — I certainly would.

Bret — Unfortunately, that’s all we have time for. Thank you Governor for being with us here today on “Meet the Suspicious.”

Governor Palin — Thanks for having me Bret. I look forward to coming back some day.

Bret — And thank you Cookie, Stephie, and Will.

We will see all of you next week on…

Meet The Suspicious.

You Really Need To Listen To This — Touching Palin

I strongly encourage everyone to listen to what John Lofton has to say about Sarah Palin’s pro-life record as governor of Alaska:

Another Palin question for Reformed Christians that I’ve been hinting at is put directly by Frank Golubski,

Should Christians who favor a non-dispensationalist eschatology even consider supporting a dispensationalist candidate? (Mind you, this isn’t merely a spitting match between differing theologies, but a question of how dispensationalist theology could reasonably be expected to influence the political decisions of national leaders who adhere to it.)