Hijacking Truth

John McCain and his team have truly been masterful at creating a web of wrong turns, dead ends, and cul de sacs that serve the sole purpose of distracting attention from the corrupt and extreme politics that is all McCain and his chosen running mate have to offer.

While silver-tongued liars manipulate a media that is (with some notable exceptions) all too willing to be led by the nose into writing story after story after story about what Barack Obama really meant when he said, about McCain’s mantra of change, that a pig wearing lipstick is still a pig, and whether he was calling Sarah Palin a pig (Kyle and others have ably debunked that one), the truly important things to know about McCain and Palin languish by the roadside. (And yes, I know I have allowed myself to be drawn into this game as much as anyone.)

Here are two articles that are informative about Palin and McCain (especially the former) in a more substantive way.

The first, by AP writer Sara Kugler, is about Palin’s refusal to deviate from her “script,” which is basically a version of her convention speech, and how tightly McCain’s people are controlling her access to the press. Here is a snip:

John McCain took a risk in picking little-known Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a running mate, but now the campaign’s playing it safer. She’s sticking to a greatest hits version of her convention speech on the campaign trail and steering clear of questions until she’s comfortable enough for a hand-picked interviewer later this week.

More than 40 million people tuned in last week to listen to the speech from Palin, the 44-year-old, first-term governor whom McCain announced as his surprise vice presidential pick just days before. Since then, that basic script is all anyone has heard from her publicly, and her only interaction with the media was a brief conversation with a small group of reporters on her plane Monday – off the record at her handlers’ insistence.

Associated Press reporters were not on the plane, but an aide told the journalists on board that all Palin flights would be off the record unless the media were told otherwise. At least one reporter objected. Two people on the flight said the Palins greeted the media and they chatted about who had been to Alaska, but little else was said.

By comparison, her Democratic counterpart, Joe Biden, has been campaigning on his own, at times taking questions from audiences. He split off to campaign separately from Barack Obama the day after Obama announced his selection. They reunited at their party’s convention and spent the following weekend campaigning together.

The other article, by the estimable Juan Cole, is about the parallelism between Palin’s extreme religious beliefs and radical Islamic fundamentalism. “What’s the difference between Palin and Muslim fundamentalists?” Prof. Cole asks, and answers, “Lipstick.” In fact, as Cole describes, Palin’s stance on some issues (abortion, for example), is more extreme than that of some Muslim countries, and is identical to abortion policies in countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Here is one particularly chilling paragraph:

Theocrats confuse God’s will with their own mortal policies. Just as Muslim fundamentalists believe that God has given them the vast oil and gas resources in their regions, so Palin asks church workers in Alaska to pray for a $30 billion pipeline in the state because “God’s will has to get done.” Likewise, Palin maintained that her task as governor would be impeded “if the people of Alaska’s heart isn’t right with God.” Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei of Iran expresses much the same sentiment when he says “the only way to attain prosperity and progress is to rely on Islam.”

Both articles are important, but if you can only read one, it should be Juan Cole’s, because this aspect of Palin’s resume is so inadequately known to most Americans.

One Response to “Hijacking Truth”

  1. radical_Moderate says:

    The problem as I see it with concentrating on Palin’s extreme religious beliefs is, other than her “ban the books” gaffe, that she doesn’t seem to have attempted to impose her anti-abortion beliefs, or even ostensible disapproval of “gays” on Alaskan politics. Alaska apparently has some of the most liberal abortion laws, which Palin in her, albeit ,short time in office did nothing to change, and to her credit she vetoed the Bill that would have made domestic partnerships for homosexuals non-binding in Alaska (I believe that was the issue, forgive me for not looking it up.)

    Better to hammer Palin on budget malfeasance, and her mismanagement of the Wasillia budget, than on her extreme social beliefs, IMO. But Personally, I think that Obama should ignore her much as he did Hillary Clinton after it was clear that he had the numbers to secure the nomination. What we need to refocus on is McCain. Why isn’t the Obama campaign hammering on McCain for voting NO most of the time on increased funding for the Veteran’s Administration? Or that he voted NO 19 times on raising the minimum wage…an action that would have really helped millions of the working poor..or why not bring up how McCain has voted NO on giving renewable energy Businesses tax breaks…which in one case (in Ohio) alone spurred a Company making equipment for Wind Machines to take 300 good paying engineering jobs to Germany…why aren’t we on the left ,and Obama, talking about McCain’s awful record instead of concentrating on Palin and thereby playing into the McCain campaign’s plan of using the interest in her to obfuscate the McCain record?

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