The Pile Just Keeps Growing

I really didn't intend to do any more posting about Sarah Palin, at least for the time being. But the pile just keeps on getting taller and taller, the smell just keeps on getting more awful, and my tolerance for ignoring this stuff is pretty low to begin with.

Now, to be honest, this is probably because I live in an area populated with lots of conservative Christian voters who aren't necessarily that well-versed on the finer points of politics. That's being polite, if you hadn't noticed. The fact is, most of the people around here are voting for McCain because Obama's name sounds funny and he's pro-choice. Really. It matters not one whit that A) The current Republican administration has, by any yardstick imaginable, run this country straight into the ground, B) McCain/Palin promise four more years of the same or C) The McCain/Palin/Republican campaign machine is a great big ball of misdirection, smear tactics and outright lying. Seriously, they don't care. Obama's name sounds funny. Didn't somebody say he was a Muslim? Yeah, I ain't votin' fer him. So, you see, I'm assaulted from all sides on a daily basis. I can't even discuss politics casually with my neighbors without getting really angry. I need to vent periodically.

In any case, rant aside, The New York Times ran a piece on Saturday that just adds more evidence for my opinion of Sarah Palin - that this woman is simply not fit to govern this country (and let's be honest, who really thinks John McCain will last a year in office?) She has no real grasp of or interest in actual policy, she appoints elementary school friends to every top post (yes I know lots of politicians do this but at least let's have someone running the Dept of Agriculture who has more than just a "childhood love of cows" to recommend them for the post), she carries out systematic removal of anyone within her reach of power who offends her (personally or politically), and she is unapologetically guided in all her policy decisions by her fundamentalist Christian beliefs which portray science and education as, at least, laughable and, at worst, dangerous.

Here, have some tidbits:

  • Gov. Sarah Palin lives by the maxim that all politics is local, not to mention personal. So when there was a vacancy at the top of the State Division of Agriculture, she appointed a high school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to the $95,000-a-year directorship. A former real estate agent, Ms. Havemeister cited her childhood love of cows as a qualification for running the roughly $2 million agency.
  • Rick Steiner, a University of Alaska professor, sought the e-mail messages of state scientists who had examined the effect of global warming on polar bears. (Ms. Palin said the scientists had found no ill effects, and she has sued the federal government to block the listing of the bears as endangered.) An administration official told Mr. Steiner that his request would cost $468,784 to process. When Mr. Steiner finally obtained the e-mail messages — through a federal records request — he discovered that state scientists had in fact agreed that the bears were in danger, records show. “Their secrecy is off the charts,” Mr. Steiner said.

  • But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book “Daddy’s Roommate” on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. Chase and Mr. Stein. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it. “Sarah said she didn’t need to read that stuff,” Ms. Chase said. “It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn’t even read it.” “I’m still proud of Sarah,” she added, “but she scares the bejeebers out of me.”

  • The Wasilla High School yearbook archive now doubles as a veritable directory of state government. Ms. Palin appointed Mr. Bitney, her former junior high school band-mate, as her legislative director and chose another classmate, Joe Austerman, to manage the economic development office for $82,908 a year. Mr. Austerman had established an Alaska franchise for Mailboxes Etc.
  • Many lawmakers contend that Ms. Palin is overly reliant on a small inner circle that leaves her isolated. Democrats and Republicans alike describe her as often missing in action. Since taking office in 2007, Ms. Palin has spent 312 nights at her Wasilla home, some 600 miles to the north of the governor’s mansion in Juneau, records show.
  • Mayors across the state, from the larger cities to tiny municipalities along the southeastern fiords, are even more frustrated. Often, their letters go unanswered and their pleas ignored, records and interviews show.
It occurred to me while reading this article that in truth, Sarah Palin is the ideal Republican candidate. She's clueless about actual policy issues and unfailingly faithful to the religious right, so she's easy to program and control. She's not interested in debate or dissent, instead choosing to surround herself with cronies and old friends who are unwilling to question her, and, probably most importantly, she's very, very good at spouting the RNC's talking points in such a way that makes them sound self-evident and hip. She looks pretty and vivacious in front of the camera, in contrast to her half-dead running mate. No wonder she's their beauty queen.

Oh, and also, War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength. Right?


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