Friday, September 12, 2008

Dusting Off the Old GOP Playbook: Gods, Guns and Gays

God? Great Jeebus, they seem to have that one. Check. I popped on over the Wasilla Assembly of God website this morning over coffee. Interesting, and a wee bit scary.

Guns? Yep. Palin's go those, too. (Though really, even the liberals like me have guns up here.)

Gays? Well, I'm waiting for that one to pop up in the campaign. Palin certainly seems ready built to play from the more partisan Republican playbook, the one that we've seen before. Oh, and make no mistake, Log Cabin Republicans, she is no ally. Let us all prepare for another edition of the "culture war."

I've been having a few Palin-free days lately, trying mostly successfully to avoid the non-stop coverage in all major news outlets. But I've been mulling over the fact that, like a lot of people up here, I didn't know that much about her before she started getting scrutiny from some professional league media.

It's not that I'm lazy about staying informed, I just figured out pretty quickly that I wasn't going to vote for her back in the gubernatorial race. No one needed to say much more to me than "Wasilla Fundamentalist Republican, anti-choice" and my vote was going elsewhere. I mean, I knew she was a far right Christian, I just didn't know how much so.

There's a very interesting piece in today, which you ought to go read. It explores that fact that even we who live here don't know much about our potential Veep.
But the truth, said Michael Carey, former editorial page editor of the Anchorage Daily News, is that Palin knows little about the United States either. "She's spent her whole life up here in Alaska, except for a few years in college in Idaho."
Actually, I've always had the sense that Palin doesn't even know that much about Alaska outside the Anchorage-Wasilla-Palmer area, either. I've seen nothing that demonstrates an interest or understanding of our ginormous state outside that population center. (To be fair, that can be said of many who reside there.)

They even spoke to none other than our former governor, Tony Knowles. (An actual Democrat. We do elect them here, you know.)
Knowles pointed to the recent "per diem" controversy as one example of the petty ways Palin has "gamed the system" for personal gain. "By establishing the governor's house in Juneau as her home of record, instead of her family residence in Wasilla where she actually lives, Palin was able to charge the state for $17,000 in per diem expenses. Everybody in the state knows she doesn't really live in Juneau -- she just stays there a few days when the Legislature is in session. She lives in Wasilla, so she shouldn't be generating travel expenses there. But she hit up the state for $17,000 a year for meals -- that's not what I call just macaroni and cheese for the kids."
Well, shee-yit. That's not very reformer-y, is it?

One gets a sense from the article of the way this state is claustrophobically small. Several sources would only talk anonymously for fear of reprisal.

My favorite quote, though completely unrelevant to the topic at hand, came from Bill Parker. Genuine Alaska, here:
"People in Anchorage tend to think of people from Wasilla as toothless hicks, living on dope and poached moose. But she came out of nowhere and beat us like a drum.


E. Ross said...

Gay issues have started to pop up - her church advertised for the "ex-gay" (rabidly anti-gay) conference in Anchorage this weekend, and as mayor of Wasilla she supported her church's efforts to remove from the public library a gay-positive book by a local author. I expect to hear a lot more "culture war" when McCain & Palin campaign in California and encourage voters to stop the same-sex marriages that have been legal there all summer.

CabinDweller said...

I think it will hit the fan as we near the gun lap of the race. I expect it to get truly ugly.