World Affairs Brief, September 12, 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.
THE REAL SARAH PALIN EMERGES: A BIT TOO AMBITIOUS TO BE PRINCIPLED
Last week I compared Sarah Palin to a sincere but naive Christian in a den of Lions. This week I’ve revised my assessment to a more negative and realistic stance: Palin has the same kind of raw ambition that plagues Mitt Romney–wanting to get elected and advance so badly that they are willing to compromise on a wide range of principles–including some honesty. According to the Anchorage Daily News some of the things McCain’s VP candidate told the GOP convention were not quite true:
On Alaska Oil Pipeline: “Palin implies that construction has begun on a major natural gas pipeline from the top of Alaska into Canada. That is not correct. In fact, no building has begun and actual construction is years away, if it ever happens. This summer the Alaska Legislature, at Palin’s request, passed a bill under which the state will issue a “license” to a Canadian energy company, TransCanada Corp., and pay it up to $500 million as an incentive to someday build this enormous project, which Alaska politicians have long sought with little success. The license is not a construction contract, and federal energy regulators have not yet approved the project. Palin also puts the price tag for the project at $40 billion, an exaggeration. This is roughly $10 billion more than most cost estimates industry players and consultants have made to date.”
On wasteful legislative earmarks and her opposition to Sen. Steven’s Bridge to Nowhere: “As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation, although she has cut, by more than half, the amount the state sought from Washington this year. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to Gravina Island, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a ‘bridge to nowhere.'”
It has also been brought to my attention that Gov. Palin is part of a coalition of governors supporting Canamex, the NAFTA
superhighway for the North Coast. She also supported the REAL ID act for Alaska-a very serious mistake for state rights and citizen privacy.
Perhaps the most candid and balanced criticism of Sarah Palin came from Wasilla resident Anne Kilkenny, as published by the Online Journal. Here are some excerpts I found enlightening. They seem to paint a picture of a women that is pretty aggressive, who shifts positions for political advantage, and borders upon being a ruthless player who holds no loyalty to anyone who has helped her but may differ with her in even small ways. She does not seem to be highly principled except on a view high profile issues like abortion and gun rights. This helps explain why she, as an avowed Christian evangelical, would join a den of globalists like the McCain campaign.
“She is enormously popular; It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents for seven months. She is ‘pro-life.’ She recently gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby. There is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby.
“She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym. She is savvy. She doesn’t take positions; she just ‘puts things out there’ and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit. Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000 (at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about 670,000 residents. During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had given rise to a recall campaign.”
She is not a fiscal conservative. “Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a ‘fiscal conservative.’ During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefitted large corporate property owners way more than they benefitted residents. The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million.