It's The Extremism, Stupid
All you need to know about Sarah Palin is summarized in this: last February, I wrote about James Dobson's pledge to not vote for John McCain, should McCain win the Republican nomination. Dobson wanted a million of his followers to do the same. Now that Palin's on the ticket, Dobson is elated. As reported by Politico's Jonathan Martin:
The selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate has electrified conservative activists, providing a boost of energy to the GOP nominee-in-waiting from a key constituency that had been previously had been lukewarm — at best — about him.
By tapping the anti-abortion and pro-gun Alaska governor just ahead of his convention, which is set to start here Monday, McCain hasn’t just won approval from a skeptical Republican base — he’s ignited a wave of elation and emotion that has led some grass-roots activists to weep with joy.
And as Katha Pollitt wrote, in The Nation:
Here's the reality: Palin is a rightwing-christian anti-choice extremist who opposes abortion for any reason whasoever, except to save the life of the girl or woman. No exception even for rape, incest, or the health of the woman. No exception for a ten-year-old, a woman carrying a fetus with no chance of life, a woman on the edge of suicide-- let alone the woman who is not ready to be a parent, who is escaping domestic violence, who is already stretched to the limit as a single mother. She wants to force over one million women and girls a year to give birth against their will and judgment. She wants to use the magnificent freedom the women's movement has won for her at tremendous cost and struggle--the movement that won her the right to run those marathons and run Alaska -- to take away the freedom of every other woman in the country.
Her selection does not tell us McCain is a "maverick" who is just stringing the christian right along wink-wink . It tells us that he has thrown in his lot with James Dobson, the Family Research Council, the Catholic hierarchy and others for whom criminalizing abortion is the number-one issue. His record of votes against abortion and birth control -- 125 votes out of 130 in his congresssional and Senate career-- apparently wasn't quite enough for them. By choosing Palin, he wins their enthusiastic support.
I don't care about Sarah Palin's personal story. I don't care what she looks like or even what her gender is. I do care that she's a theocrat who sends thrills up the legs of this nation's most dangerous pseudo-religious extremists. It's not her resume that should prevent her from being anywhere close to the Oval Office, it's her ideology.