Palin & Theocratic Ambitions

By Debra Sweet

I have really disagreed with columnist Frank Rich over the last couple of years when he declared that the Christian Right and the Bush administration were "over".  But I think his perceptions about Sarah Palin  in the debate Thursday night are on to something about her steely appetite for power.

"The standard take has it that she's either speaking utter ignorant gibberish (as to Couric) or reciting highly polished, campaign-written sound bites that she's memorized (as at the convention and the debate). But there's a steady unnerving undertone to Palin's utterances, a consistent message of hubristic self-confidence and hyper-ambition. She wants to be president, she thinks she can be president, she thinks she will be president. And perhaps soon. She often sounds like someone who sees herself as half-a-heartbeat away from the presidency. Or who is seen that way by her own camp, the hard-right G.O.P. base that never liked McCain anyway and views him as, at best, a White House place holder."

I would add that this hubris comes from her belief that she's on a mission from God.

Today, she was at a fundraiser in the Bay Area, where no press was allowed.  A couple hundred of us were mostly stuck behind barricades across the street: union members, Obama supporters, womens' rights activists.  Lots in the crowd had really creative, perceptive signs exposing her opposition to evolution, sex education, protection of the environment, and the McCain/Palin support for the war.  It was great to meet people there on this list, and many new people!

Here are excerpts of your responses to my request for comments on Palin:

I received a fascinating letter from Deennaa, an indigenous native of Alaska: "Palin opposes tribal sovereignty - which also covers, under the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act(ICWA) the right to keep our own children.  Where is anyone telling this in national news?  She opposes our inherent (and by Federal Law) our rights to our traditional way of feeding ourselves by hunting & fishing - this being called the "Subsistence issue".  This Subsistence battle is one of long standing in Alaska government and politics and IS well known in Alaska.  Where do we hear of this in national news?  She is shown so obscenely in pictures of hunting OUR moose and  caribou and is praised for this, yet she is adamantly against the Federal Law that is our protection for the  Subsistence way of life we have known for ice ages.  Not only moose & caribou, but  her and her husband  want to  further pollute our beautiful state with gold mining ( she's a gold digger in all senses of the meaning plus) and  more sports fishing to take away from  the indigenous peoples of Alaska who are in such dire straits out in our villages that if it were not for  Subsistence,  would  suffer malnutrition and more hunger than we already suffer.  Our people do not live in the same condition that Sarah Palin does.  They do live in Big beautiful lakefront homes near the city hub of Wasilla and Anchorage, Alaska."

Virgil A. wrote, "The assemblies of god is another branch of the radical pentecost although they account for 2/3 of the pentecostals.I grew up in a pentecostal family and i chose to stay out of religion in my adult life.Although i read the bible cover to cover in my early adult life and what i understand is totally different than these fundies interpret it.Sarah Palen as VP is as scary as the last 8 years of Dick Cheney."

Regina Purcell sent a link to her blog WomenReportedNow, where she wrote, "A YouTube video shows Republican Vice President nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin being anointed with a protection prayer against witchcraft prior to her victory as governor.  Palin filed campaign papers a few months later, in October 2005, and was elected governor the next year. On a visit to the church in June 2008, Palin spoke fondly of the Kenyan pastor and told a group of young missionaries his prayers helped her to become governor."

Melanie Lee wrote in part, "This Palin quote scares me: 'Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America, and [Obama's] worried that someone won't read them their rights?' Republicans love to deny due process to those they don't like, especially those of a darker hue or different religion. What if someday Palin decides that I'm a terrorist or a criminal?"

Jim Abourezk, the former US Senator who is on our Advisory Board, sent links to Katie Couric's interviews with Palin, where she displayed intentional ignorance on world affairs, and could not name one Supreme Court decision she disagreed with, other than Roe. v. Wade.
More are going up on  

I want to say a last word on Palin/McCain's criticisms of Obama for associated with Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and Bill Ayers.  Obama has done his own distancing from both men.  I thought a lot of what Wright said was "right" about the history of the United States, certainly more true than anything Rev. John Hagee, the Christian fundamentalist nut-case McCain was hanging around with through last spring.

Bill Ayers signed World Can't Wait's Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime in 2005.  In the 60's, he tried to stop the war as a leader of the Weather Underground.  Federal charges against him were dropped because the federal government didn't want to reveal all the spying done against the anti-war movement.  The last time I saw Bill, he was an Obama supporter.  But along comes Palin, calling Bill a "terrorist" while she's on the ticket with a war criminal called "hero".  Does any Democratic leader ever ask why McCain was in that prison camp in North Vietnam?  Because he flew many missions dropping bombs on civilians, and was eventually shot down doing so.

But, hey, according to Palin, "victory is assured in Iraq" because it's part of God's plan. If it's important to you to have a community of resistance against this whole Bush plan, whoever the president is, send some funds, become a sustainer or a member of World Can't Wait.

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.