Posted with permission.
World Affairs Brief, September 5, 2008. Commentary and Insights on a Troubled World.
Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief.
SARAH PALIN: NAIVE CHRISTIAN IN THE LION’S DEN
The selection of Alaska governor Sarah Palin by the McCain team was a stunning move that caught all the professional pundits by surprise. In one single move, the Republican operatives stole the media spotlight away from Barack Obama and toppled conservative resistance to McCain’s liberal/maverick record. Even James Dobson of Focus on the Family, who swore he would never support McCain, succumbed and decided he could now do so. None of this drama could have been accomplished without a correct analysis and understanding of Palin’s particular weaknesses. This week I’ll explain what unprincipled Republican king-makers saw in her that could simultaneously boost McCain phony conservative credentials and yet never threaten the hidden globalist agenda that drives the insiders who control the Republican Party at the national level.
Governor Palin provided a ray of hope for constitutional conservatives and libertarians in Alaska. She was a fan of Ron Paul, she picked a few fights with the corrupt Alaskan political establishment (Republican) and won, she supported the small oil producers while not completely alienating the big oil companies. She supports reasonable oil drilling and improved pipelines across Alaska to service new fields in the ANWR and other offshore areas of Alaska.
But she has also shown a tendency to make unwise alliances and compromises. No one nowadays can get elected to high public office without these compromises (Ron Paul is the rare exception). Most notable is her relationship with Sen. Ted Stevens, the most corrupt of the old line Alaska politicians.
Matthew Mosk reports that “Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin began building clout in her state’s political circles in part by serving as a director of an independent political group organized by the now embattled Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens. Palin’s name is listed on 2003 incorporation papers of the ‘Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.,’ a 527 group that could raise unlimited funds from corporate donors. The group was designed to serve as a political boot camp for Republican women in the state. She served as one of three directors until June 2005, when her name was replaced on state filings. Palin’s relationship with Alaska’s senior senator may be one of the more complicated aspects of her new position as Sen. John McCain’s running mate; Stevens was indicted in July 2008 on seven counts of corruption. Palin, an anti-corruption crusader in Alaska, had called on Stevens to be open about the issues behind the investigation. But she also held a joint news conference with him in July, before he was indicted, to make clear she had not abandoned him politically.”
This is the kind of soft thinking that denotes someone who will not be able to withstand unwise compromises with the PTB. It stems from an unwillingness to make strong stands on principle, which usually require that a person being willing to resign rather than go along. While Palin’s mistakes won’t ever show the kind of systematic evil of a Ted Stevens, she clearly suffers from a weakness that is contagious for most Christians who get a taste of political success. They attribute their political success to being blessed by God for some divine purpose. Palin may feel she is now “on a roll” with God but in reality she is falling into a trap. Each new “success” will land her deeper into the temptation to compromise since resigning (or failing to move up the political success ladder) would equate to failing to achieve her “mission” with God. Sadly, such misguided Christians don’t realize that their only mission with God is to expose evil and champion liberty. In this future position, she can do neither–only promulgate the deceptions of those she has now pledged her loyalty.
Palin has already shown some signs of overconfidence and made some bad decisions along the way. ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos commented that “Republicans were rocked yesterday by new revelations about Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, and are increasingly worried about what else they may not know about John McCain’s running mate…. Monday brought the announcement that Palin’s 17-year-old [unwed] daughter is pregnant; news that Palin was once a member of the fringe Alaska independence party; and the revelation that Palin’s husband was arrested for a DUI in the 1980s. The news about Palin has continued to come this morning, with the Washington Post reporting that Palin hired a lobbying firm during her time as the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, to lobby for millions in earmarks for the small town.”
These, of course, are typical but minor errors for most normal politicians. But Palin claims to represent a higher standard and thus these kinds of political errors take on greater meaning. Can we hold any politician to these higher standards? Yes. Ron Paul does not compromise on principle and refuses to make alliance with corrupt politicians for political gain.
There are more serious charges against Palin back in Alaska. For instance, trying to influence the firing of a state trooper involved with her family, and then firing the Commissioner of Public Safety for not acceding to her wishes. Lisa Demer of the Anchorage Daily News has the story: “Alaska’s former commissioner of public safety claims that Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain’s pick to be vice president, personally talked to him on two occasions about a state trooper who was locked in a bitter custody battle with the governor’s sister. In a phone conversation Friday night, Walt Monegan, who was Alaska’s top cop until Palin fired him July 11, told the Anchorage Daily News that the governor also had e-mailed him two or three times about the trooper, Mike Wooten, though the e-mails didn’t mention Wooten by name. What role Palin played in seeking her ex-brother-in-law’s dismissal is under investigation by Alaska’s legislature and is the governor’s first brush with scandal in a political career that has been premised on reforming Alaska’s corruption-plagued Republican Party.”
My personal assessment of Palin is that she is a fine person and a legitimate Christian, although of the soft thinking variety. I’m also concerned whenever a mother of 4 young children, including a downs-syndrome newborn, takes on full time employment that will prohibit her acting as an effective full time parent. There is no way she can do both. Her family is not short of personal problems. The issue of her 17 year old daughter’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy surfaced this week, and Palin issued a statement expressing her “unconditional love” for her daughter. I think it is fine to be supportive of a daughter that has made a mistake, but “unconditional love” is a fraud and those that buy into it are soft in their understanding of life and true Christian doctrine. The whole affair also puts a taint on Palin’s campaign to promote abstinence over “safe sex” in teen sex education. Liberals are quick to pick up on any such hint of hypocrisy among Christian politicians.
Perhaps the most correct overall view of Sarah Palin, which matches my own, comes from Lew Rockwell, Jr. Here are some excerpts. “Palin provides a much welcome cultural break from the chip-on-the-shoulder, grudge-against-the-world model of public women that have been held up to us for years, embodied in the belligerent and insufferable person of Hillary Clinton. Sarah, on the other hand, is both beautiful and professionally accomplished, a wife and mother and a natural politician, both religious and secular, both feminine and fears no tasks such as hunting that are usually associated with men. She offers a different model of a woman who has excelled not through intimidation and aggressive demands for reparation, but through her own efforts, charms, and intelligence.
“What’s more, her political outlook has much to recommend it, from what we can gather so far. There is a libertarian impulse here. She has rejected the perks of public life in favor of common sense. She is friendly to business interests but unfriendly to special privileges. She has praised Ron Paul and rejected the party mentality of GOP regulars.
“It strikes many people as a brilliant choice on McCain’s part, and I would agree. Social conservatives have forgiven all of McCain’s deviations. Many people who just last week didn’t give a fig about whether he wins or loses have come around completely. She will, of course, be a huge focus of the campaign. The claim against her that she lacks “experience” is one of the most bogus things out there. For starters, the history of VPs shows a long history of people with very little of what is called ‘experience’ today. And contrary to what media pundits say, what is far more important than experience are the political values you hold. The demand for experience seems to imply that somehow we are seeking social and global managers for public office, and that is manifestly what we do not want.
“Now, the sad part begins. The first job of anyone who works for the government — and that is the job of the vice president — is to echo the line of the government… It really comes down to a matter of job loyalty. If you are working for Burger King, you have an obligation not to criticize their hamburgers publicly. But in government, this job requirement takes on a different cast. When a decent person accepts a job such as vice president, our first instinct is to celebrate that good people are in a position of power and influence. This is what the McCain campaign is counting on. But this is an illusion. The influence runs completely the other way. Good people become part of the party machine and surrender all their principles in order to survive.
“We are speaking here of the leviathan state that lives on a lie. To be part of that, you too must become part of the lie. It is perhaps possible to be the governor of a small state such as Alaska and not be part of the machine. It is not possible to be vice president of the United States and not enter into the deeply immoral arena that values the burying of all principle, and saying and doing whatever is necessary to bolster power. Part of the purpose of campaigns is to socialize the candidates in this mold. Sarah will be slapped around if and when she openly disagrees with McCain’s politics. When they win the election, she will immediately be required to take on the role of an apologist for all that the administration does.
“In some ways, this is the continuing of a terrible trend of the Bush years. Many good young people from conservative backgrounds, with excellent educations and decent political values, went to work for Bush under the impression that they could make a difference. There was change as a result, but it was not government that changed, but the young people who went to work for it. There are even cases of former libertarians who have held high government positions and sacrificed all their values in order to hold their jobs. They claim that they haven’t abandoned libertarianism but rather seek to apply it in the “real world.” But the real world of government is the opposite of libertarianism. It is stealing, lying, killing, butchering, badgering, looting, coercing, and sucking the life out of society itself. That is the essence of modern statecraft. You either have to come to terms with that or leave. If you stay, you become part of the very problem that you fought to oppose.
“This, sadly, is the future of Sarah Palin, who may have been doing some good in Alaska. It is even more of a tragedy when people leave the private sector where they are serving the public in productive ways, only to become part of the machinery of stealing, lying, and killing. There is something about Sarah I really like, especially that she seems to have had some sympathy for an Alaskan secession movement, which, contrary to media hysteria, is a perfectly reasonable and liberal position to take. But you can be sure that if she plans to be a successful vice president under a McCain administration, all of this will be swept under the carpet and her primary accomplishment in life will have been to dupe many people into supporting an administration that promises to be the worst thing that has happened to this country since Bush was sworn in.”
Constitution Party candidate for president Chuck Baldwin was even more specific: “Herein lies the problem for Sarah Palin. How can a principled conservative support the policies and actions of an unprincipled globalist such as John McCain? As Vice President, Palin will be required to promote and defend McCain’s big-government, liberal, and globalist plans. For example, what will she do when John McCain proposes amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, which he is certain to do? What will she do when McCain proposes to close gun shows, or at least the private sale of firearms at gun shows? What will she do when he proposes to increase federal spending for abortion providers (which he has done numerous times as senator)? What will she do when he promotes federal spending for embryonic stem cell research? What will she do when John McCain proliferates Bush’s police state machinations by expanding the Patriot Act and similar legislation? What will Palin do when McCain decides to nuke Iran (and who knows what else), not only without a Declaration of War by Congress, but also without provocation or justification? What will she do as John McCain expands the Security and Prosperity Partnership with Canada and Mexico? What will she do as McCain opens the door of the NAFTA superhighway and the North American Union? What will she do as John McCain allows the United Nations to dictate and manipulate America’s foreign policy?”
Rockwell is absolutely correct. If McCain is elected Palin will be relegated to public relations duties with a tiny staff reminiscent of Dan Quayle. Dick Cheney (the president’s handler) has a staff of several hundred spread out across Washington, controlling every aspect of the Bush administration. Politico.com provided a savvy commentary on what the Palin selection tells us about the Republican establishment and McCain:
“He’s desperate. Let’s stop pretending this race is as close as national polling suggests. The truth is McCain is essentially tied or trailing in every swing state that matters—- and too close for comfort in several states like Indiana and Montana the GOP usually wins pretty easily in presidential races. On top of that, voters seem very inclined to elect Democrats in general this election —- and very sick of the Bush years. McCain could easily lose in an electoral landslide…. They roll the dice only when they know that the risks of conventionality are greater than the risks of boldness.