Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Nov/09

14

Yes, Sarah Palin is a Creationist (not that there’s anything wrong with that)

Memoir Is Palin’s Payback to McCain Campaign:

Elsewhere in this volume, she talks about creationism, saying she “didn’t believe in the theory that human beings — thinking, loving beings — originated from fish that sprouted legs and crawled out of the sea” or from “monkeys who eventually swung down from the trees.” In everything that happens to her, from meeting Todd to her selection by Mr. McCain for the G.O.P. ticket, she sees the hand of God: “My life is in His hands. I encourage readers to do what I did many years ago, invite Him in to take over.”

Just clearing up an issue which came up in the comments before. This seems like a rather definitive statement.

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49 comments

  • Uncle Kenny · November 14, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Sigh. Who shall lead us … a freedom-loving creationist democrat or a collectivist rational oligarch? Perhaps the serious question is why only some of the boxes in the big “ism” matrix contain viable candidates.

  • kurt9 · November 14, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    I have no problem with this. Ron Paul is a creationist as well (I think).

  • Hisham · November 14, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Is Palin supposed to be the “freedom-loving creationist [D]emocrat” or “collectivist rational oligarch”? I’m not sure if either description really fits her well.

  • Mark in Spokane · November 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Kurt9,

    Good point. I was just going to make the same observation re: Dr. Paul.

    The question in my mind isn’t what she believes personally. The question is what are her stances on public policy? When she was governor of Alaska she didn’t push creationism in the public schools, for example.

    Most people, particularly independent minded people, have at least some idiocyncratic views. When it comes to politicians, such views are less important, in my mind, than how they behave once they are in office.

  • Author comment by David Hume · November 14, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    well, with ron paul you can be sure that if he believed that oompa-loompas controlled the world it wouldn’t effect his policy positions, since they’re so clear and distinct. hard to have weird views change things when you don’t want to do anything 🙂

  • Uncle Kenny · November 14, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    @Hisham Capitalization does matter. Would you have be equally confused had I said republican, or libertarian? In understanding these issues, [P]arties are the problem.

  • Author comment by David Hume · November 14, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    p.s., this anti-science stance of palin would probably weight less heavily for me if she hadn’t been willing to go hard against drosophila research:
    http://www.hoxfulmonsters.com/2008/10/sarah-palin-against-spending-money-of-drosophila-research/

  • Secular Right » Creationism vs. Abortion, Left, Right, elites and the masses · November 14, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    […] a follow up to the post below on Sarah Palin and Creationism, it strikes me that those on the Right & Republicans seem more divided and […]

  • Argon · November 14, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    @David Hume
    I agree. It’s not just that she’s a Creationist, it’s just that there is a whole pile of “dumb passing as knowledge” packed into her brain.

  • Susan · November 14, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I understand that Rush Limbaugh has praised Palin’s memoir as the most policy-subtantive political memoir he’s ever read. Given that he appears to support creationism, if not be an outright creationist, could he be referring to this?

  • Susan · November 14, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    It would seem from Palin’s remarks–that God led her to Todd–that she doesn’t believe in free will. How can you be a conservative and not believe in free will?

  • Author comment by David Hume · November 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    How can you be a conservative and not believe in free will?

    well, a substantial number of american conservatives who are calvinists don’t accept free will. so however it works, it’s empirically possible to hold to both positions. though really the psychological evidence is that all calvinists who notionally reject free will are operational compatibilists.

  • Mark in Spokane · November 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Well, if one is a consistent philosophical materialist, human free will is an illusion.

  • Susan · November 14, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    @David Hume

    Quite apart from compatibilism, it seems that a true Calvinist would only be content in a feudal society. (Preferably, I suppose, at the high end.) “Upward mobility” has always been the central concept of the American dream. It’s hard to reconcile upward mobility with Calvinism. Or hard-core determinism. From what I know of Calvinism (not a great deal), your material success in life, your wealth, accrues to you not because of your own efforts, but because you’re one of God’s elect.

    But this is the big dilemma for Christians in general, isn’t it? If God pre-ordains all outcomes, why bother striving? Or doing any petitionary praying? Presumably if God intended Sarah to meet Todd and marry him, it wouldn’t have mattered if Sarah’d been a bioengineering major at Johns Hopkins. Or a waitress at Hooters. The outcome would have been the same.

  • Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » As It Turns Out, Yes, Sarah Palin Is A Creationist · November 15, 2009 at 4:54 am

    […] H/T: Secular Right […]

  • Susan · November 15, 2009 at 10:34 am

    There’s an interesting AP article by Scott Bauer that discusses a paper some linguists have done analyzing Palin’s speech patterns. One point they made is that she may have ramped up her yokel locutions for the sake of her national audience; that she doesn’t sound like quite such a hayseed off-camera. Christopher Hitchens, in Newsweek, has accused Palin of “duping the hicks,” as he put it. So, by extension, could she be affecting a belief in creationism because that’s what gets her the plaudits from her acolytes? Well, she probably does believe in creationism, as she believes in End-Of-Days. But as Hitchens points out, what’s worse: Someone who really believes this stuff, or someone who pretends to believe it in order to con her audience?

  • Heather Mac Donald · November 15, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Well, I’m obviously on the fringe here: why doesn’t it matter that Palin chooses to ignore steadily accumulating evidence regarding one aspect of the world in favor of her preferred beliefs? I presume that we want people with power over our lives to be maximally open to facts and evidence—evidence, say, that government deficit spending does not stimulate the economy, or does not stimulate the economy enough to offset the resulting deficits. How can anyone be confident that a rejection of scientific consensus in one area–not to mention the delusional idea that your actions have the imprimatur of God–will stay confined to the allegedly benign “religious belief” box and not bleed into more recognizable policy areas? Granted, I realize that my discomfort would disqualify a depressingly large number of Americans from public life, and is therefore unrealistic and possibly also demonstrably unjustified, but to just shrug your shoulders and say that irrational beliefs don’t matter at all seems to me unnecessarily latitudinarian. I also realize, as Andrew would point out, that there are many ungrounded, officially secular, beliefs that have public consequences. But the sheer number of irrationalities doesn’t make the case for rationality any weaker.

  • Le Mur · November 15, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    “Well, I’m obviously on the fringe here…”

    Me too – there’s plenty wrong when people in power have bizarre ‘n’ primitive ideas (or claim to have those ideas). But it seems that people who want, and get, power over other people invariably claim to be cozy with god, e.g. Pelosi claims that “god has blessed us with” Obama, who in turn claims he “heard god’s spirit” and knows “His[sic] purpose.”

    “…what’s worse: Someone who really believes this stuff, or someone who pretends to believe it…”

    Both are worse.

  • Susan · November 15, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    @Le Mur

    Yes, but given how things are, your choice is almost inevitably going to be between those who really believe and those who pretend to believe.

  • Andrew 2 · November 15, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    I find Palin’s creationist stance troubling, but given the choice in 2012 between her and another four years of Obama I wouldn’t give it a second’s thought before pulling the lever for her.
    That being said, I would prefer a candidate who wasn’t a creationist.

  • Author comment by David Hume · November 16, 2009 at 1:26 am

    a certain mentally ill person left a comment where the creature didn’t understand that the “not that there’s anything wrong with it” is a joking reference to a seinfeld episode. i thought i would make it clear for those who are not mentally ill.

    normally i am more charitable to the mentally ill, but this creature is a sociopath well known to me which can’t help but spam this weblog with comments despite the fact that i don’t publish said comments. if you are curious as to how this individual’s mental illnesses manifests, consider that it has made a transition from being an israel-firster to a salafi-sympathizer in 4 years (heritage is no excuse, as this individual is of neither jewish nor islamic origin). not there’s anything wrong with that.

  • Mike H · November 16, 2009 at 2:58 am

    Sarah Palin is almost a caricature of what most ardent Leftists imagine right-wingers to be these days. I think a lot of conservatives love Palin simply because her mere presence trolls the hell out of the Left.

    Unfortunately I fear if Palin got the nomination or god forbid won the Presideny the final troll would be on all of America.

  • Polichinello · November 16, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Well, I’m obviously on the fringe here: why doesn’t it matter that Palin chooses to ignore steadily accumulating evidence regarding one aspect of the world in favor of her preferred beliefs?

    Throw me on the fringe, too. Palin’s views aren’t the generic, wishy-washy, God-directed-the-whole-show, ID sort of creationism, but they sound like young earth creationism, which is on par with UFOism and other sorts of quackery. Either she’s invincibly ignorant or unfathomably cynical to make those sorts of statements. Neither makes me want to vote for her. I’ll pull the lever for the libertarian if she’s on the GOP ticket.

    Of course, all this assumes that the quotes are correct and in context.

  • Polichinello · November 16, 2009 at 7:46 am

    One point they made is that she may have ramped up her yokel locutions for the sake of her national audience; that she doesn’t sound like quite such a hayseed off-camera.

    That you’d need a linguist to discern this actually means she’s rather skilled. Obama and Hillary become absolute parodies of themselves when they start talking to southern black audiences.

  • Susan · November 16, 2009 at 8:04 am

    @Polichinello

    I don’t think it means that she’s skilled; I think it means that she realizes that the yokel shtick plays well to her most ardent fans.

  • Author comment by David Hume · November 16, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    her religious background suggests a high likelihood of being a young earth creationism. i doubt she’s pandering. this is why i was suspecting she was obfuscating the last time this came up.

  • Susan · November 16, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I’m sure she is a young earth creationist. The problem for her is: How does she handle this? The ideal situation for her would be to shut up about the whole subject and let her worshippers believe what they will, and let everyone else assume she’s just pandering to the fundies. But I’m sure that, if she stays in public life, and tries for national office, she’ll be required to state her beliefs by the press. If she comes out and says, “Well, young earth creationism is b.s.,” she loses her fundie base. If she comes out and says, “Well, I believe that the earth is only 6000 years old and that Adam and Eve gave little Cain and Abel a pet stegosaurus,” she loses everyone else.

  • Polichinello · November 16, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    @David Hume
    To which one should quote Scripture at her: “What profiteth a [woman] if [she] should gain the world but lose [her] soul.” If YEC is correct, she should say so openly. There’s no threat of her being dispossessed or imprisoned. The only reason to hide her lamp under a bushel is personal advancement. There’s just no way she comes out looking good.

  • Polichinello · November 16, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    @Mark in Spokane

    Yes and no. Palin is an unspoken candidate for the presidency. Yes, her policies do matter, but there’s more to the office than just executing laws. The president is the “first citizen”. He or she represents America both to herself and the world. Having someone who thinks the world is only 6,000 years old–in utter defiance of all known scientific discovery–would have a large cultural impact. It’s why I’m really not cool with a Mormon (even a non-literal one like Romney) since their election validates a bunch of out-and-out religious hoaxers going back to Joseph Smith. To be sure, I’d still take Romney over Palin by a LARGE stretch, but the unease is still there.

    As for Ron Paul…meh. It’s not like he’s a real threat to take the oath of office.

  • Billare · November 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    The sad thing is that some of her nuttier supporters think she’s suffering simply by the hands of the media, yet I just read somewhere that she’s gotten upwards of $7 million dollars payment for her little book. All she is representing right now is a plausible avatar for “heartland” folks who perceive they are looked down upon by the ruling elite. Certainly I agree their perception is correct; much of the stereotypes are unfair, but some of them are not. And I don’t care to indulge people’s need to be validated for important national office.

  • Susan · November 17, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I looked at the book today. (The only retail outlet that appears to be selling it is WalMart, and we have lots of booksellers in this area.) In all fairness I shouldn’t offer a critique of Going Rogue, not having read it but just glanced through it, but it appears to be rather dull. There’s no index, so if you want to look for any substantive policy commentary, you have to plow through it. (I couldn’t find any, but then perhaps I failed to look hard.) The minutiae of her life is not that compelling, or at least it hasn’t been presented in compelling fashion. I have the feeling–and I could be very, very wrong–that once word gets out that this is a boring book, sales will drop sharply. Her admirers, of course, think it’s the best thing since the New Testament.

  • Polichinello · November 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    All she is representing right now is a plausible avatar for “heartland” folks who perceive they are looked down upon by the ruling elite.

    There’s no small amount of reverse snobbery at work, too, a feeling that being in a rural or small-town environment makes one inherently superior to the city folk.

  • Susan · November 17, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    @Polichinello

    True. But there’s slways been a strain of that belief in American culture. For a long time, Hollywood represented small towns (almost always small towns in the midwest) as the only places where the virtues of honesty, straightforwardness, willingness to work hard, faith in God, fidelity, loyalty, love of family, and love of country resided. (Actually we can probably blame Thomas Jefferson and his theory of the natural aristocrat for that, though it wasn’t his fault the idea got corrupted.) I can see Sarah Palin starring in a remake of “Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington.” And remember Patrick Buchanan and his “peasants with pitchforks” shtick.

  • Caledonian · November 17, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    There are all kinds of things wrong with being a Creationist. Even moreso with a VP-candidate that it’s whispered may be seeking a Presidential run.

    It seems to me that conservatism went down the wrong path when it began to focus on reactionary responses to other ideologies instead of emphasizing its own positions and their justifications. It’s ended up with conservatism losing all intellectualism and becoming a big tent for traditionalist morons.

  • TangoMan · November 17, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    There’s no small amount of reverse snobbery at work, too, a feeling that being in a rural or small-town environment makes one inherently superior to the city folk.

    I wouldn’t characterize that perception as being primarily on the superiority-inferiority axis, rather ISTM that it finds more solid footing in the realm of reflection of American ethos and national character, both of which have rooting in colonial and frontier histories. People who live in big cities are more favorably disposed towards big government, find it difficult to be self-reliant, etc than those who live less “specialized” lives out in the hinterlands. It’s easier to see yourself as following the same path and holding the same values as those Americans of long ago when you’re more or less living in the same fashion as they did, a fashion which stressed independence, not wealth redistribution, fixing problems yourselves, either by yourself or with your immediate community, rather than calling on strangers in government to come and fix the problem for you, etc. The way I see it it has less to do with superiority and more to do with being true to American character.

    Somehow America became a great nation, and I suppose many folks attribute the rise to greatness on American values, so when they see those values being derided, ignored or invalidated then they conclude that those who oppose those values are working to diminish America.

  • Susan · November 17, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Well, who wouldn’t rather see conservatives propounding intellectualy sound positions on fiscal and foreign policy rather than having to debate about whether the earth is 6000 years old? The problem is that Palin and her ilk are holding the rest of us (and any candidate) hostage. They feel that the “elites” have scorned them all too long, but now, with Palin as their Joan of Arc, they have a chance to take over and say, “Okay. Now YOU do what WE want. And if you don’t, we’ll form a third party, or at least stay home and sulk if you give us another of your country club candidates.”

  • TangoMan · November 17, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    I find Palin’s creationist stance troubling, but given the choice in 2012 between her and another four years of Obama I wouldn’t give it a second’s thought before pulling the lever for her.
    That being said, I would prefer a candidate who wasn’t a creationist.

    I don’t disagree with your point. You know, I’d love it if a candidate appeared who held every one of my positions – I’d support that candidate with 100% enthusiasm. Alas, the odds of that happening are very, very slim, so the issue becomes one of balancing a suite of favorable versus unfavorable characteristics amongst the competing candidates.

    Governor Palin’s clinging to god and seeing the hand of god, and believing in divine creation, etc are all negatives, but how do these personal beliefs translate into the realm of policy. I’ve seen no evidence that she’s governed by applying personal whim into State legislation or the management of State resources. On the other hand, we have a President who holds to a more socially acceptable form of creationism, that is beliefs that reject the principles of evolution as they would apply to humans, and these creationist beliefs form the basis for policy formulation and work to guide policy implementation.

    If I had to rank order my preferences for the world outlook held by a politician, I’d prefer an H-BD viewpoint over a religious creationist viewpoint, and a religious creationist viewpoint over a liberal creationist viewpoint. Seeing the world as it is allows one to more often than not correctly identify a problem and then work to addressing the problem, so an H-BD oriented politician is less blinded by false light than a liberal creationist politician. A religious creationist politician doesn’t have much leeway in which to apply their viewpoint on the “origins of mankind.” The question of origins doesn’t have much intersection with Presidential authority.

  • Susan · November 17, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    @TangoMan

    Sarah Palin’s religious beliefs may not translate into policy, but they’re very useful (along with other things, such as her sordid long-running squabble with Levi Johnston) for portraying her as an idiot, which is why I doubt she’ll be the nominee in 2012.

    But say she was the nominee, and she won the election. How would she satisfy that very considerable part of her constituency that expects her govern according to fundamentalist beliefs? These people believe that the most important things she can do as president are end abortions and gay marriage. “Sarah loves the Lord, and that’s enough for me!” as one of her followers said. (Apparently this person forgot that Jimmy Carter also loves the Lord, a fact of which he endlessly reminds people, and it certainly didn’t make him a great president.)Does she kick them to the curb once she reaches the White House? Or does she cater to them?

  • TangoMan · November 17, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Well, who wouldn’t rather see conservatives propounding intellectualy sound positions on fiscal and foreign policy rather than having to debate about whether the earth is 6000 years old?

    I’ve followed Governor Palin’s career for a while now and I’ve not yet come across her debating her opponents on the issue of origins. I have though seen her govern as a fiscal conservative with an eye towards the interests of people rather than special interests. I’d put Governor Palin’s record on fiscal management up against Governor Romney, Governor Huckabee, President Obama and Vice President Biden. I haven’t looked in detail at Governor Pawlenty’s record so I’m open to a persuasive case in his regard. Governor Palin cut budgets, cut earmarks, forward funded critically important functions so that they wouldn’t be victim to cyclical revenue vacillations. Many other Republican governors claim to be fiscal conservatives because they’ve worked to “slow the rate of growth” of government budgets when compared to their opponents. Actually cutting the size of government is something that they don’t achieve. She did.

    The problem is that Palin and her ilk are holding the rest of us

    I’m pretty far removed from a religious social conservative and, for now, I consider myself one of her ilk. She has the best bona fides to appeal to libertarian-leaners and fiscal conservatives. To paraphrase the saying about armies and war, you go to the polls with the politicians you have and face the voters you have. Find me a better politician than Governor Palin, one with a record of sound fiscal management who hews to a small government and anti-special interests philosophy, and I’ll give serious consideration to supporting that candidate. Until that point, we all have to choose from the politicians who are contenders for the Republican nomination. Wishing for a better candidate doesn’t do anyone any good. On a related point, bemoaning the fact that vast swaths of conservatives also cling to the god views doesn’t do us any good. They’re the voters who form a big constituency of Republican – we non god adoring people need to come to terms with this fact.

    They feel that the “elites” have scorned them all too long, but now, with Palin as their Joan of Arc, they have a chance to take over and say, “Okay. Now YOU do what WE want. And if you don’t, we’ll form a third party, or at least stay home and sulk if you give us another of your country club candidates.”

    Why people vote as they do is not my concern. The motivations of these folks are just as legitimate as the motivations of other people who wish to see a more redistributionist government or a more caring government. As for the third party issue, Governor Palin has pretty clearly squashed that perspective, which doesn’t mean that some people may work to advance the prospects of a third party, but that can’t be laid at her feet.

  • TangoMan · November 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Sarah Palin’s religious beliefs may not translate into policy, but they’re very useful (along with other things, such as her sordid long-running squabble with Levi Johnston) for portraying her as an idiot, which is why I doubt she’ll be the nominee in 2012.

    So how a politician’s opponents work to define the politician is of critical importance to whether the politician is deserving of support from the voting bloc that they would normally appeal to? Sorry, that doesn’t work for me. I’m not denying the impact that Pravda-like propaganda can have on the masses but that doesn’t mean I have to be a sheep and go along with the media-driven narrative. I don’t like the fact that she clings to god, sees god at work in her daily life, etc but that doesn’t mean I automatically buy into the fact that she’s a drooling religious idiot. As for her long running feud with Levi – again, look at the fact that Obama has an illegal immigrant Aunt who is living on the dole, the fact that he has a half-brother living in a shantytown shack, that another half-brother who can’t travel internationally because of some sex-related intersection with the criminal justice system. The media don’t say boo about these actual family members and so the public isn’t up in arms about the poor morality that reflects on the President via his family associations. Levi isn’t a family member – he’s a dude who accidentally impregnated her teenage daughter. Sarah Palin, as a mother, didn’t get to choose the sexual partners for her daughter. Governor Palin isn’t instigating this issue with Levi, in fact, she’s barely responding – he’s making accusations, racing for the klieg lights, milking his Kato Kaelin talents and the media is furthering his agenda and apparently paying him quite well considering that he’s now in the market for a nice suburban home and he was jobless and near penniless at the time of the convention. When I was 19 I dated a few girls, and there is no way that I knew all the nitty-gritty dirt on their parents. Anyone who believes that Governor Palin took Levi into her confidence and shared intimate family details with him is a fool. She’s being tarnished by the willful choice of media editors. In my mind President Obama’s family presents more opportunities for salacious gossip mongering and smearing than does the baby-daddy of Governor Palin’s grandchild.

    But say she was the nominee, and she won the election. How would she satisfy that very considerable part of her constituency that expects her govern according to fundamentalist beliefs?

    The same way that Bush satisfied them and the way that Obama is satisfying all those who thought he would govern as a moderate.

    Governor Palin has a record of executive experience. I’d expect her to govern in accord with that history. The social conservative aspects, I would expect, would be satisfied through her use of the bully pulpit and through moral suasion. Having a Down Syndrome child, aged from 5 to 13, growing up in the White House would provide opportunities for her to talk about the “value of life” and shape the pro-life arguments throughout the nation. That alone would be more payback on voter investment than social conservatives got from President Bush. No legislation advancing her personal social beliefs need be advanced. I don’t see a history of her advancing her personal beliefs while holding executive positions so I’m a bit befuddled why many think that they should hold the position that this would be her agenda when they have contradictory evidence which addresses the issue. The most parsimonious position is that she is clearly more comfortable in governing for all of the people rather than for those who think just like her and that she is willing to put aside her personal beliefs when executing her professional duties.

  • TangoMan · November 17, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Here is an example, just breaking as I write, of a politician seeing things clearly:

    1) I asked about Palin’s upcoming visit to Ft. Hood. “We had planned on that before the tragedy struck,” she said. She commented on the trail of evidence linking the alleged Ft. Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan, to militant Islam. “There were such clear, obvious, massive warning signs that were missed,” she said. “This terrorist, even having business cards” that identified him as an “SoA” or soldier of Allah. Palin blamed a culture of political correctness and other decisions that “prevented — I’m going to say it — profiling” of someone with Hasan’s extremist ideology. “I say, profile away,” Palin said. Such political correctness, she continued, “could be our downfall.” If the upcoming investigations into the attack reveal bad decision-making on the part of senior officials, Palin continued, those officials ought to be fired.

    So, let’s grant that she clings bitterly to her religious creationist views. Where exactly is she going to trot them out as President? On the other hand, look at President Obama’s liberal creationist and multiculturalist views. Apply the views of the two to the Hasan situation. Is the body politic better served by the positions of President Obama or those of Governor Palin? Sure, there is a liberal-conservative split on this issue when it is expanded to profiling in general, but here we’re talking about those in contact with Hasan purposely not taking “profiling” related actions that should be warranted by clear evidence because they feared the career repercussions associated with “profiling.” Frankly, I don’t see the benefit to the body politic of ignoring clear evidence and I do see the benefit that comes from acting on such evidence even if it involves profiling.

    A politician who advances an agenda of liberalism and multiculturalism is, to my viewpoint, more dangerous to society than a politician who holds personal god beliefs, even when they extend those god beliefs to the realm of the question of human origins.

  • Susan · November 17, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    @TangoMan

    I think you’re willfully misunderstanding my point about Palin being unelectable because of her press coverage, which is surprising, since you don’t seem like the type to do so. Of course the public isn’t “up in arms” about Barack Obama’s dubious associations; they’ve been told by the press that he’s beyond reproach. And apparently they believe it. Sarah Palin, in contrast, has been portrayed as a white trash moron for the past thirteen months. It’s fine to sniff and say, “Well, I’m certainly not going to allow that unfair characterization to prevent me from voting for her.” Can you speak for the rest of the voting public?

    Look, this woman could be a combination of the best of Marie Curie, Margaret Thatcher, Abigail Adams, Clare Booth Luce, Germaine de Stael, and Elizabeth Tudor. With great legs. But if a majority of voters think she’s an idiot, she’s not going to get elected dog catcher.

  • TangoMan · November 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    I think you’re willfully misunderstanding my point about Palin being unelectable because of her press coverage, which is surprising, since you don’t seem like the type to do so.

    What I’m arguing is that I recognize the public perception regarding Governor Palin, that I see false reporting and omitted reporting, and my unstated supposition is that the public image that results from this malfeasance today need not be a permanent definition that becomes attached to the Governor. Here’s my litmus test – will the Couric interview performance loom large in the public’s view of Governor Palin if she, at a series of future debates holds her own, or even outperforms, her primary competitors or heads in for round 2 with Couric and performs admirably? In such circumstances I hold that public opinion will shift. Secondly, if she performs abysmally, say on par with her Couric performance, then, at that critical decision point, she will not progress further. I’m not prepared to write her off today in regards to future contests – I’ll wait until she crashes to do so. She didn’t earn her 90% approval rating in Alaska by being the caricature she’s portrayed as. There is a massive incongruency at play here – the most popular governor in the nation, with a very effective record of governance can’t walk and talk at the same time. Something’s not computing. When she was representing herself, in the Alaska milieu, she did fine, but when she signed on to be McCain’s surrogate and to specifically appeal to the conservative base which was very cool on McCain, then the press started painting a narrative about her that was divorced from who she was in Alaska. How much of the blame for this should fall on her is a good question.

    My point is that much of the public is opinionating based on the Pravda information that they’ve imbibed. As Palin comes to control her own narrative, bypassing Press interpreters and pontificating via Facebook, she might be able to nurture a competing personality narrative – “judge me on the sum total of my words, policies and actions, rather than on the impressions offered by biased media analysts.” Will the public be willing to change their opinion over time? I have no clue, but I’m not ruling it out. Secondarily, if the public starts giving her a second or third look and do change their minds, then that really begins to diminish the trust that regular joes out there have for media interpretations and that could be used to advantage.

    As for Palin’s effectiveness, to my mind she is one of the leading voices of opposition to President Obama, and she’s quite effective in being heard. Senator John Edwards was also a losing candidate for the Vice Presidency and so was Rep. Kemp, and these guys never managed to become effective forces of opposition to the Administration that they lost the election to. If Governor Palin is an idiot beyond salvage, then how to explain the incongruency of her effectiveness in opposing President Obama’s agenda. Sufficient numbers of people seem willing to follow where she is leading. That brings us to the question of who is a leader – the person who has all of the smartest answers or the person people are willing to follow?

  • David · November 17, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    I don’t particularly like Palin. I prefer a bumbler. I hate the idea of a smooth talker running the country. That being said, I find myself rooting for her because she is such a boogie-woman to the left.

    I don’t really think she is electable though. She just pisses too many people off.

  • David · November 17, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Also, just because someone is a “creationist” doesn’t mean they believe the Biblical account refers to a literal six day creation.

    Personally, I don’t care what people believe as long as it doesn’t effect policy. And honestly, I don’t believe most religious beliefs has much of an effect on policy. I don’t know how many instances of a creationist being in office has actually hurt anything or effected policy in any way. I am not saying it has not happened, but I just don’t know of any instances where it has happened.

  • Polichinello · November 18, 2009 at 7:10 am

    Governor Palin has a record of executive experience. I’d expect her to govern in accord with that history.

    Bad News: She’s probably a YEC.
    Good News: Given her “record of executive experience”, if she’s elected she won’t stick out her full term anyhow.

  • Polichinello · November 18, 2009 at 7:12 am

    @David
    Unfortunately, looking at her comments and specific religious background, she looks to be a literalist, a YEC’er. I’d like to be proven wrong on this.

  • Susan · November 18, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Beyond the fact that she’s probably a YECer, what about the fact that she was raised in a sect that believes in the rapture and the end-of-times? If she adheres to this, then she believes that Jesus will return in her lifetime. How might that affect her ability to govern? If you genuinely believe that the world is going to end in another forty or so years, what does it matter what happens? Above all, why worry about saddling your grandchildren with debt?

  • Polichinello · November 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Very rarely have I seen genuine belief in the end of the world. I grew up a Southern Baptist in a church full of Hal Lindsey fans. None of them were spending their savings, assured that Jesus would be showing up Real Soon Now. I doubt Sarah and Todd P. are going to be blowing through the $7 mil she’s getting for her book. So, really, I don’t find this as troubling because I don’t think she genuinely believes in the End Times’ imminence like she would in, say, Australia’s existence.

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