Well, those old guys certainly know how to shake things up!
John McCain surprised everyone by doing something – well- surprising! He yanked into the national spotlight Rush Limbaugh’s favorite female governor, Sarah Palin of Alaska. She’s an attractive, young, schoolmarm, executive type who could be, by age, John McCain’s daughter. A gutsy choice from what was thought to be a too-old, toothless maverick. John made up for lost time when he reached deep into the VP pool and pulled out “Sarah the Barracuda.” He now has a new set of choppers! A set which is the envy of pit bulls worldwide.
With this choice it becomes clear that John has been answering those middle-of-the-night phone calls. But was he only dreaming when he heard a deep, authoritative voice intone, “If you want my people onboard you better give them some red meat to sink their teeth into. Someone who listens to me. Someone who comes with no ifs, ands or buts.”
John listened obediently and John jumped. He jettisoned Joe Lieberman, his first choice for VP. He took a big breath and, in the time it took to say, “I want to win – regardless,” he swallowed the entire Religious Right – hook, line and sinker.
Governor Palin was received with a vociferous ovation from the Christian soldiers. Gushed Rush, “Sarah Palin: babies, guns, Jesus. Hot damn!” I searched the crowd to see if anyone was waving palm branches. I listened for the blare of trumpets. I began imagining that the delegates sounded like the St. Paul Xcel Center Tabernacle choir. Was that a halo around her head? Judging by the reception given this political unknown, John must surely believe that his late night message came from the Big Guy upstairs.
Governor Palin is now the poster candidate for the religious right. Rush was exuberant, “From now on McCain is McBrilliant!”
And what is all the excitement about?
Abortion: Governor Palin doesn’t even support abortion in the case of rape or incest. God may speak to her and abortion will be outlawed and/or banned by a Constitutional amendment. She was free to choose to bring her autistic child into the world and her unmarried daughter has the choice to carry her fetus to full term. Mrs. Palin would deny that choice to others. She opposes comprehensive sex-ed in public schools. She’s said she will only support abstinence-only approaches. (Oops!)
Gay/Lesbian Rights: Mrs. Palin supports the 1998 Alaska state constitutional ban on gay marriage. And while she finally signed the court ordered same-sex partner benefits bill, she fought rabidly against them. Governor Palin said, “We believe we have no more judicial options to pursue. So we may disagree with the foundation there, the rationale behind the ruling, but our responsibility is to proceed forward with the law and abide by the Constitution.” The Governor opposes hate crime laws that protect gay men and lesbians.
Iraq: Governor Palin told ministry students that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a “task that is from God.”
Big Oil: Governor Palin has close ties to really Big Oil. In an address last June, the Republican vice presidential candidate also urged ministry students to pray for a plan to build a $30 billion natural gas pipeline in the state, calling it “God’s will.”
United States of America: As recently as six months ago, Governor Palin supported the fringe Alaska Independence Party, a group who wants Alaskans to vote on secession from the United States.
Creationism: Governor Palin wants creationism taught in public schools along with science.
Global Warming: Palin doesn’t believe that humans contribute to global warming. “I’m not one, though, who would attribute it to being manmade,” she said.
Library Books: Governor Palin asked the library how she might go about banning books because some had inappropriate language in them. According to Time, “news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire (the librarian) for not giving ‘full support’ to the mayor.”
The Bridge to Nowhere: She supported the Bridge to Nowhere, before she opposed it. Governor Palin claimed that she said “thanks, but no thanks” to the infamous Bridge. But in 2006, Palin supported the project saying that Alaska should take advantage of earmarks “while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.” And while the bridge went nowhere, the federal money stayed in Alaska and was used for other projects.
Pit bulls, barracudas, God, pregnancy and guns, these are the big issues of the day heralding even bigger change in Washington. Who knew?
by Carl Matthes
Carl Matthes is a native of Los Angeles and has lived in Eagle Rock for over 40 years. He is a former president and a current Board member of Uptown Gay and Lesbian Alliance. He is a former columnist and a current advisor to the Lesbian News, the oldest lesbian publication in America. He was editor of the GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) newsletter and a former GLAAD National Board member. He has also been a Board member of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Other articles by Carl Matthes
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