Sarah Palin has taken her position. She has shown her cards. She has stuck her flag in the ground. She has crossed her arms.
Palin likes the spotlight, she likes power, and she has decided she will do or say anything to get it. That much is obvious to anyone who has been watching her performance over the last week. Many Alaskans have watched, sickened, at Palin’s insinuations, before cheering crowds, that Senator Obama is a terrorist sympathizer. Others, have agreed. She stands in the glow of the lights, soaking up the energy from a crowd, whipped into a frenzy of hatred, engendering comparisons to a Nazi rally or a KKK meeting. Shouts of “Kill him!”, and “Terrorist!” referring to Senator Obama have been picked up on media microphones covering the McCain-Palin roadshow.
Hatred, like an iceberg, leaves 90% of its mass below the surface. The media has not picked up on comments that aren’t screamed at the camera – the conversations in living rooms, the knowing nods, and the dark thoughts that McCain and Palin have given people permission to think.
“He doesn’t think like we do,” she tells us. We love the country. We are patriotic. We are like us. We can’t turn our country over to THEM.
The Republican party has become very good at pointing fingers, both literally, and figuratively, at Obama. Last night, McCain pointed a finger at him during the dabate and referred to him as “that one.” The undercurrents of dehumanization, objectification, and scorn rose to the surface.
Attack Obama on his “lack of patriotism” and his “otherness”, and he’ll spend his time defending it. It’s never good when you have to defend your position. The attacker always has the greater position of power.
Strangely, in light of this new patriotic furor, the following video has not gained much traction in this election. It surfaced some time ago, and I’ve posted it here before, but its worthy of another look. This is a meeting of the Alaskan Independence Party. The speaker is Vice Chairman of the AIP, Dexter Clark. A partial transcript is below. It’s worth watching in full.
The Alaskan Independence Party believes that Alaska may have become a state against its will. Anyone in the party today, is likely there because they think Alaska would do just fine without the rest of the country being attached to it. The image, on most maps, of Alaska detached from the rest of the country in its own little box works for them just fine.
They don’t like the way the statehood vote was worded, and Clark explains why.
The basic argument of the Alaskan Independence Party has always been the number one plank in our platform – the question of our vote to become a state. So…the most blaring disparity in that vote was the definition of an eligible voter. Among those qualified to cast a ballot were 41,000 American soldiers and 36,000 dependents. Now, to the native population of Alaska, to me, these were occupation troops! And they were made eligible and, in fact encouraged to vote. There were educational meetings held on the military bases. I can’t imagine them telling anyone that anything but that statehood would be very good for the military – in fact they still have 6, 7 big bases and numerous smaller holdings in the state. Statehood would be good for the military. Now can you imagine the international uproar if American troops had all went and got their purple fingers in Iraq?
After Clark’s discussion of the American ‘occupying troops’ getting the right to vote on Alaska statehood, he goes on to say that Alaskans should have been able to vote to remain a territory, become a commonwealth, become a state or become an independent nation. In reality, voters were only given the option: Statehood? Yes or No.
Now, we get to the interesting part, just before 6:00 on the video.
“Our current governor, we mentioned at the last conference, the one we were hoping would get elected, Sarah Palin, did get elected. There’s a joke, she’s a pretty good looking gal, there’s a joke goes around we’re the coldest state with the hottest governor. (laughter) And there was a lot of talk about her moving up. She was an AIP member before she got the job as a mayor of a small town — that was a non-partisan job. But to get along and go along — she eventually joined the Republican Party, where she had all kinds of problems with their ethics, and well, I won’t go into that. She also had about an 80% approval rating, and is pretty well sympathetic to her former membership.“
What Clark is saying here, is that Palin’s philosophical loyalties lie with the Alaska Independence Party, but in order to get elected, she had to distance herself from the AIP and pretend to be a Republican, because that was the only way for her to get elected. But not to worry, Clark reassures those in attendance, her heart is still with us at the AIP, and her sympathies are with our agenda, namely, Alaskan ndependence.
He goes on:
If there is ever a time that is right for change, this is it. [snip] The pitfalls of an organized political party – you don’t have any control over who joins that party. They put the X next to it on the registration form, and if they join the — go into the primary, and win that primary, they’re your candidate, like it or not. I think Ron Paul has kind of proven that. He’s a dyed -in-the-wool Libertarian. He came to Alaska and spoke as a Libertarian. And he put the Republican label on to get elected. That’s all there is to it. And any one of your organizations should be using that same tactic to infiltrate.
Palin claims to have been a member of the Republican Party since 1982. Clark is telling us that Palin ‘marked the Republican box”, but she isn’t one. He loves the fact that she got elected. He’s already dreaming about ripping one of those stars off the flag. And though Sarah Palin’s membership is not documented officially, there is no dispute that Todd Palin was a card-carrying member of the AIP as recently as 2002 when his wife was the mayor of Wasilla. After that, he decided to change his registration to “Unaffiliated.”
How does the rest of the country feel about the concept of Alaska secession, especially considering the strategic importance of the oil reserves in Alaska of which Governor Palin is so fond of reminding us? Works well for the nation of Alaska, but not so well for the truncated version of the United States of America it leaves behind.
I don’t think that the Alaskan Independence Party stands much of a chance of getting their wish of an independent Alaska. But, how can we allow Barack Obama’s patriotism and loyalty to his country to be challenged, without ever mentioning the fact that the woman who may be a heartbeat away from the Presidency of the United States, and her husband have legitimately condoned and supported a secessionist group?
And finally, here’s the quote of the day from AIP founder Joe Vogler.
“The fires of Hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government, and I won’t be buried under their damn flag! I’ll be buried in Dawson, and when Alaska is an independent nation, they can bring my bones home.”
Reverend Wright suddenly sounds stunningly patriotic.
Sarah Palin, meanwhile, is saying that the fact that Barack Obama served on the same non-profit board as Bill Ayers a Weather Underground member 40 years ago, “is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.” She continued, “This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America,” Palin said.
Here’s Palin addressing last year’s Alaska Independence Party’s convention.
So, how does Sarah Palin “see Ameirca?” Does she see it as “so imperfect” that one of its 50 states needs to vote on whether it wants to secede from the Union? Should a political party in this state “target its own country,” and if successful, devastate energy reserves, and compromise the national security of the rest of the nation by taking its oil, and leaving? Maybe, maybe not. But you just watched her tell the group whose purpose it is to vote on that issue to “keep up the good work.”
If Senator Obama had made such an address to an Illinois secessionist party, or any other group who wanted to make off with 13% of the nations oil supply, what would be said about his patriotism?