Ms Palin has spent years avoiding the “lame stream media” (ironically of which she is a part), but recently she’s started spreading her wings, albeit to softball media such as her appearance this morning on “Good Morning America”. During her interview with GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts, Ms Palin responded to criticisms regarding her rather dismal current poll numbers were she to run against President Obama in 2012. Ms Palin’s response put to bed notions that she isn’t running as she extolled the virtues of “debating ideas” in competitive primaries.
Anyone who is in doubt about Ms Palin running for President had best grab the smelling salts. She is and it’s uncertain if the GOP can stop her without alienating her Tea Party evangelical base.
Here’s a clip from the interview:
From ABC’s website: When asked about her plans for 2010, Ms Palin replied, “It’s a prayerful consideration because, obviously, the sacrifices that have to be made in order to put yourself forward in the name of public service is, it’s brutal.”
If Ms Palin were taking an interview with a hard-hitting news journalist, she might have been asked at this point about her decision to quit on her vow to Alaskans to serve them as a public servant for four years and if perhaps she just hadn’t prayed enough before taking that job, since she quit claiming that she was being brutalized with ethics complaints by citizens — the majority of whom were Republicans, contrary to her claims.
While Ms Palin’s references to prayer may not seem odd in this country, if we take a look under the hood there are causes for alarm. Ms Palin is a Dominionist Christian, a sect whose goal is to transform America into a theocratic state resembling fascism in many ways. Ms Palin has made numerous references to her belief that the constitution is based upon the bible and that our laws are also based on the bible. She seems to still be laboring under this misinformation, perhaps because it is her belief and no fact will alter her belief. This should set that alarm bell a clankin’.
Furthermore, while running for mayor of Wasilla, Ms Palin’s Dominionist leanings opened the door further to her fruitful relationship with the Alaskan Independence Party, a secessionist movement, which originated during her tenure on the City Council. The AIP worked on her behalf to get her elected.
“Chryson boasted that he and his allies urged Palin to focus her campaign on slashing character-based attacks. For instance, Chryson advised Palin to paint Stein as a sexist who had told her “to just sit there and look pretty” while she served on Wasilla’s City Council. Though Palin never made this accusation, her 1996 campaign for mayor was the most negative Wasilla residents had ever witnessed.
While Palin played up her total opposition to the sales tax and gun control — the two hobgoblins of the AIP — mailers spread throughout the town portraying her as “the Christian candidate,” a subtle suggestion that Stein, who is Lutheran, might be Jewish.”
(John Stein, her mayoral opponent, claimed,) “This same group [Stoll and Chryson] also [publicly] challenged me on whether my wife and I were married because she had kept her maiden name,” Stein bitterly recalled. “So we literally had to produce a marriage certificate. And as I recall, they said, ‘Well, you could have forged that.'””
Gosh that sounds like familiar campaigning tactics from the woman who has suggested that it is reasonable to ask for President Obama’s birth certificate, even though said birth certificate has been available online and has been verified by authorities on numerous occasions. It’s hard to sell this kind of campaigning as anything other than appealing to the worst in people, and ginning up hate and division based upon religion, ethnicity, and any other charge of doubt Ms Palin can lob at her stunned opponents.
This was just the beginning of Ms Palin’s tight relationship with the AIP, whose sole purpose is for Alaska to secede from the union. The AIP also has ties with the theocratic US Constitution Party. The Constitution Party has adopted the ideas of a militant form of Christian Dominionism known as Dominion Theology. The Constitution Party platform reads, “It is our goal to limit the federal government to its delegated, enumerated, Constitutional functions and to restore American jurisprudence to its original Biblical common-law foundations.”
In 2008, Chip Berlet, co-author of Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort (Guilford, 2000) wrote:
“The AIP has placed the candidate of the U.S. Constitution Party on the Presidential ballot in Alaska in the 2008 race. Let’s be clear, the U.S. Constitution Party would impose a form of theocratic neofascism in the United States. And I am not a person who tosses the term fascism around lightly.”
The AIP called Ms Palin an example of their successful infiltration into the Republican Party. In 2006, Dexter Clark, vice chairman of the Alaska Independence party, said:
“Our current Governor, the one we were hoping would get elected, did get elected…There’s a lot of talk of her moving up. She was an AIP member before she got the job as a mayor of a small town — that was a non-partisan job. But you get along to go along — she eventually joined the Republican Party, where she had all kinds of problems with their ethics, and well, I won’t go into that. She also had about an 80% approval rating, and is pretty well sympathetic to her former membership.”
It should be noted that unlike her husband Todd Palin, Ms Palin was never registered as an AIP member according to Alaskan voter registration records. However, Dexter Clark’s claims of Palin being a successful infiltrator of the Republican Party bears some credence due to the open door policy Ms Palin had for leaders of the AIP while mayor and governor, going so far as attempting to appoint a member of the AIP to a city position while mayor, only to be shot down. Ms Palin also made changes to the state constitution that coincidentally fulfilled part of the AIP agenda.
“During the 1990s, when Chryson directed the AIP, he and another radical right-winger, Steve Stoll, played a quiet but pivotal role in electing Palin as mayor of Wasilla and shaping her political agenda afterward. Both Stoll and Chryson not only contributed to Palin’s campaign financially, they played major behind-the-scenes roles in the Palin camp before, during and after her victory.
Palin backed Chryson as he successfully advanced a host of anti-tax, pro-gun initiatives, including one that altered the state Constitution’s language to better facilitate the formation of anti-government militias. She joined in their vendetta against several local officials they disliked, and listened to their advice about hiring. She attempted to name Stoll, a John Birch Society activist known in the Mat-Su Valley as “Black Helicopter Steve,” to an empty Wasilla City Council seat. “Every time I showed up her door was open,” said Chryson. “And that policy continued when she became governor.””
Indeed, one of the many ethics complaints filed against Ms Palin related to her refusal to live in the Governor’s mansion and yet still charging the Alaskan citizens a per diem for food and expenses while living in her home in Wasilla and commuting to the state Legislature in Juneau (or not: buttons reading “Where’s Sarah?” began popping up around this time, reflecting her consistent pattern of not being around in Juneau). While Ms Palin claimed that she wanted to be near her family (whom usually move to the governor’s mansion with the governor), Palin did endorse and may have been implementing Chryson’s initiative to move the state Legislature from Juneau to Wasilla. At any rate, their initiative was unsuccessful.
The AIP also has numerous ties with the KKK, white supremacist groups classified as hate groups, and militia movements across the country. They are closely aligned with evangelical Dominionists as well, such as Christian Exodus, which advocates creating an all white homeland. Chryson also wrongly claimed that the Civil War was not about slavery but about states’ rights. Chryson was known to accuse Democratic leaders (such as Ms Palin’s mayoral opponent) of being “socialists” over issues of public education and city planning. That’s not just Right, it’s far, far fringy Right.
When Ms Palin was running for Governor of Alaska, not only did she appoint previous AIP member and then Republican Walter Hickel as her campaign co-chair, but also her church flew in a witch doctor from Kenya to bless her. For these reasons, when Ms Palin refers to prayer, it raises questions that Americans need answered if indeed she’s running for President. In fact, even were Ms Palin to bow out of the 2012 elections, her determination throw gasoline on any political match she sniffs should be reason enough for the main stream media to begin asking some important questions about Ms Palin’s agenda, her associations, her church, and her disconcerting and inaccurate beliefs about America and the Constitution.
However, it doesn’t appear America will be spared a Palin candidacy. When asked about her poor poll numbers, Ms Palin came out punching like a 2012 candidate. “A poll number like that, it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, that doesn’t look really pretty today,’ but a primary is months and months in the process, and there are thankfully many debates,” she said. “And if I were to participate in that contested primary — you know, it — I would be in it to win it.”
It would be most interesting to see Ms Palin debate any of the other Republican candidates. Ms Palin has always held the notion that getting elected is a popularity contest rather than a knowledge contest and she was proven correct in this assessment in Alaska. She also successfully implemented (with the help of the John Birch Society and the AIP) campaigns of such vicious negativity and misinformation that her opponents were often left stunned as she cheerily gave non-answers in debates and yet sailed right past them to get elected.
Fox News will be handling several of the primary debates for the Republicans, which may assist elevating Ms Palin’s brand of populism and create a disadvantage for her opponents, none of whom enjoy the same level of star treatment Ms Palin does on Fox News.
Ms Palin then went on to accuse President Obama of wanting to fundamentally change America. Phrases like this are thinly veiled jabs at his patriotism, his religion, and imply that his ideology is something un-American, meant to provoke doubt and fear about the man, much like Ms Palin did to her mayoral opponent in Wasilla.
Ms Palin’s unwillingness to be honest about her own record and her unfailing attempts to smear her opponents with baseless accusations of their being somehow less Christian and less American than she only serve to prove that she can’t win on ideas or her record. It also proves that she does not appreciate that the Founders most decidedly rejected the notion of a religious test for office, thereby casting further doubt onto Ms Palin’s version of America.
Does Ms Palin plan on transforming America like she did Wasilla and then Alaska? Will the AIP have an open door to a Palin White House? Will fringe hate groups like Christian Exodus have access to Ms Palin or will she denounce these groups and explain her associations to nervous melting pot Americans who most certainly don’t share the group’s vision of an all white Christian nation.
If that isn’t enough, Ms Palin’s reign of terror in Alaska should give pause to anyone who values their freedom. Ms Palin quite literally ran Wasilla like a dictator, cutting off the press and ordering her staff not to speak to press as she proceeded to fire beloved city employees claiming she doubted their loyalty to her. This continued as Governor, as the Palins terrorized Alaskan citizens who disagreed with them and went to incredible lengths to punish them, using the power of Ms Palin’s office to do so on many occasions, through appointments, firings, and governmental harassment.
One such victim was the trooper in Troopergate (contrary to Ms Palin’s claims, she was found guilty of abusing the power of her office in the bi-partisan report which predated the inquiry she ordered helmed by her appointees) who refused to help the Palins continue their vendetta against Ms Palin’s ex-brother-in-law — a vendetta that had years before been labeled as “child abuse” by a judge who ordered Ms Palin to cease and desist her harassment of the children’s father. Another example lay in the AIP’s claims that she fired someone they had a long standing grievance with, boasting about how this payback only cost them a thousand dollars in campaign donations. Another victim down.
Is this the America Ms Palin sees; an all white Christian country over which she reigns with absolute authority, authorized by none less than God himself?
When Ms Palin accuses President Obama of wanting to “fundamentally transform America” (one assumes she means implement liberal ideology which is not actually a transformation but a continuation of a very American liberal agenda), reasonable people must ask themselves if she’s projecting. And then they must take stock of what a Palin-transformed America would look like. The dingy hockey mom populist America is being sold on is not the real Sarah Palin. Ms Palin isn’t stupid; she’s been indoctrinated to a very extremist Right wing view of America.
While many dismiss Ms Palin as being un-serious, I do not. Ms Palin is deadly serious about amassing power. The real question is, to what end?
Updated: Corrected bumper stickers to buttons 3:54 PM
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.