Vote Obama on Tuesday


Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin has an amazing knack for mixing her personal wants with the greater good.  Through both word and deed, she has repeatedly confirmed this tendency: in Palin's mind, that she get what she wants is treated as either the "will of God" or a prerogative of the state.  This is both incredibly immature, and, in a high official, potentially dangerous.


I will give just a couple earlier examples of this Palinesque confusion before pointing out the most recent one.


We saw her charge Alaskan taxpayers more than $20,000 last year so she could bring her daughters with her to official functions.  Doing so inappropriately adds what are really family vacations to the Alaska state budget.  It's surprising this glaring case of corruption hasn't been raised more seriously in the last weeks of the campaign.


We saw her inappropriately use her power as governor to bring about the firing of a state trooper who had gone through a rough divorce with her sister.  Again, the state office gets mixed up with her family life.


We saw her claim that finishing a gas pipeline was "God's will."  We sense that Palin believes it must be God's will because it was part of her political agenda.  (If such dumb things actually managed to get caught on video, one can only wonder what other odd beliefs are swirling behind those ditsy eyes.  See link below.)


Now we've got a new example of how the world must revolve around Palin's personal self.  With these new remarks she shows two things: an amazing ignorance of the intent of the First Amendment and a strikingly dumb supposition as to her own rights as a political contender.


On Friday morning Palin claimed in a radio interview that she feared her First Amendment rights were being threatened by "attacks" by reporters who claimed she was engaged in negative campaigning against Barack Obama.


"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning," Palin said, ". . . then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."


There it is.  Just consider this sentence and its arresting stupidity.  Governor Palin is suggesting here that when American journalists point out that a politician is "going negative" in a campaign that this somehow infringes on the politician's "rights."  In other words, that the First Amendment is about protecting politicians like Palin when they want to communicate a message to voters.  Or: that the spirit of the First Amendment is to protect politicians from being criticized in the press!


Glenn Greenwald explains why this recent neat idea from Palin is so dangerously wrong:


If anything, Palin has this exactly backwards, since one thing that the First Amendment does actually guarantee is a free press. Thus, when the press criticizes a political candidate and a Governor such as Palin, that is a classic example of First Amendment rights being exercised, not abridged.


This isn't only about profound ignorance regarding our basic liberties, though it is obviously that. Palin here is also giving voice here to the standard right-wing grievance instinct: that it's inherently unfair when they're criticized.  And now, apparently, it's even unconstitutional.


According to Palin, what the Founders intended with the First Amendment was that political candidates for the most powerful offices in the country and Governors of states would be free to say whatever they want without being criticized in the newspapers.  The First Amendment was meant to ensure that powerful political officials would not be "attacked" in the papers.  Is it even possible to imagine more breathaking ignorance from someone holding high office and running for even higher office?


I don't know how many educated Americans out there intend to vote for John McCain on Tuesday.  Certainly there are McCain supporters who have a sense of the Constitution and what the Founders intended.  But consider: any politician who can show such dumb contempt for one of the lynchpins of our system--who would dare claim the First Amendment as a basis for silencing journalists in their campaign reporting--anyone capable of thinking or speaking this way is a danger to our country.  It is impossible, intolerable, to imagine such a politician getting near the highest office.


For Sarah's sake alone, Americans should vote Obama on Tuesday.  We cannot afford to a door for Sarah Palin to get into the White House.  Given all the evidence of her crackpot beliefs, given her obvious contempt both for separation of church and state and of her own family life and state, Palin would almost certainly prove a very damaging and possible disastrous president.


McCain made a major blunder in putting Palin in line to the presidency.  Think about it.







The Politics of Palin's Church:


The mainstream media has only hinted at the extremist beliefs promulgated by Sarah Palin's Wasilla Assembly of God church.  The following article gives some idea of the religious milieu at issue.  Read it: wade through it if must be.  The writer is not the best at editing his own articles, but at least he writes from personal experience in a similar "Third Wave" church:








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