Friday, September 12, 2008

The Honesty of Wasilla

Okay, maybe it's too soon to start beating on Sarah Palin again, but I keep having to write about her for work, and she keeps being a cruel joke played on America.

Today, the McCain campaign tried to put a happy face on the book banning incident, and it decided to do it the old fashioned way: By lying through its teeth.

To recap for those of you who never follow the newser links, Sarah Palin became mayor and swiftly asked the librarian if she'd have a problem removing certain books from the library. The library said yes, so Palin asked again. And again. After the head librarian shot her down the third time, Palin fired her, saying she didn't feel she had the librarian's "full support." This became a one-day scandal in Wasilla, and Palin was forced to reinstate the librarian.

The McCain campaign isn't disputing any of that. Instead, it's saying that Sarah Palin was merely asking hypothetically if the librarian would mind banning a book. Just hypothetically! Not for realsies! You see, a patron had asked the library to ban a book the year before, and Palin just, you know, wanted to know what was up.

And if you buy that, then.... Well, then you're probably exactly as intelligent as John McCain assumed you were when he selected Sarah Palin to be his running mate. We're supposed to believe that she asked this "hypothetical" question on three separate occasions just because one anonymous patron had asked about it one time? An almost certainly fictional patron, I might add, since records show no books were challenged in Wasilla in the decade prior to Palin's inquiry. Moreover, we're supposed to just forget the firing of the librarian? That was unrelated? Why is the mayor supposed to need the "full support" of the head librarian anyway? Can you picture Rudy Giuliani calling up the library and asking them to... well, okay, bad example, but you get my point.

So pretty obviously a lie. I think there's more than enough smoke here to call the fire department. But here's what really gets me...

How does covertly banning a book help Mayor Sarah Palin?

It doesn't, right? Politically speaking, this couldn't possibly have ended well. Last I checked, book banning is pretty much a consensus no-no, pretty much inviting people to inanely call you a Nazi. The only people this could possibly be a plus for would be radically authoritarian individuals for whom the First Amendment isn't all that. Say, for example, fringe hard-core conservative Christians. Even then, you'd have to sell it, right? You'd want to whip the public into a frenzied mob and storm the library Frankenstein-style.

Which means, logically, that Sarah Palin wasn't trying to ban the book for political reasons. I'm willing to bet the newly-elected Mayor of Wasilla didn't exactly see the Vice Presidency in her future. She was trying to ban a book not to forward her career, but because she just plain wanted it banned. Most likely, the book in question was Pastor, I Am Gay, a tome written by a local liberal Christian pastor, which the church Palin attended, the Assembly of God, was on a crusade against, trying to get it removed from book stores.

This is stunning to me. It would almost be refreshing if it wasn't completely fucking terrifying. We are all painfully accustomed to politicians exploiting their supposed religious convictions for political gain, but this is something else entirely. If this is true, it means Sarah Palin wasn't using her religion, her religion was using her. She was using her newfound political power to forward a batshit church censorship campaign, and doing it back-door style.

Not even in the crazed, Christ-happy reign of Dubya have we seen something like this, a leader actively using their power in covert service of a politically undesirable religious goal. And now she's a coin flip and a heart attack away from leading the free world.

Oh well. At least she can field-dress a moose.

1 comment:

marc-van-bulck said...

Now, come on, Spak. At least she's not compromising or shaming the very foundation of the beliefs she holds so dear. I mean, we all know how much Jesus hated books. And freedom. And love. And compassion.

Wait a minute, hold on...

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