Sarah, Get Your Pitchfork!
What’s wrong with the media? Most of them are gushing all over Annie Oakley’s younger sister, Sarah, and not reporting who she really is.
The Sunday morning shows, Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos, were less than thorough in their roll-out of the Sarah Palin candidacy. Brokaw was better than the Georges, et al over on ABC, but he could have been tougher.
It was a sight to see when the Republicans lined up for their appearances on Sunday television after having dutifully drunk their Kool-Aid. Hm, what does elephant piss taste like, anyway? It must be mighty tasty, since nobody seemed to have turned down an over-brimming glass. And hearing the general reaction from many of the panelists seen that morning, the Republicans must have brought a Tupperware container of the brew along for their hosts. At least Brokaw seriously questioned her foreign affairs credentials and held on to his interviewees until they responded, although the Republican response was tepid at best. You, know, responses like: Alaska is the closest state to Russia, so she does have foreign relations experiences. That was First-Lady wannabe, Cindy McCain. Did I miss it during Governor Palin’s 20-month tenure as Alaska’s governor when Russia either threatened to attack or actually launched an attack on her state? Or did the media neglect the state visit of Vladimir Puten to Juneau since her inauguration?
Over on ABC, the Kool-Aid must have flowed freely as all but the thankfully prickly Sam Donaldson railed at the pick and warned of the possible consequences. Stephanopoulos smiled benignly as his panel of “experts” rose three-to-one in support of the good little woman. The always acerbic George Will went first, and I waited for his usual jaundiced view to shoot down the foolish McCain pick. But, alas, no. After revealing that his wife was part of the acceptance speech writing team for Governor Palin, he launched into a full throated endorsement of his old nemesis Pat Buchanan’s foot soldier. Unbelievable!
Surely, I thought, Cokie Roberts would rise up and speak out for intelligent women everywhere and chide John McCain for pandering to women. But once again I was to be disappointed by someone I don’t always agree with, but hold in high regard nonetheless. Ms. Roberts literally gushed about Governor Palin being voted Miss Congeniality in the Miss Alaska Pageant. Now, there’s a real qualifier for might-be President of the United States. She also warned Democrats to be careful how they “handled” their attacks on Miss Congeniality during the remainder of the campaign.
The only supporter on the panel who expressed some cautious misgivings in Governor Palin was Matthew Dowd, a true conservative columnist, who it would appear had only sipped the Kool-Aid. Thank God for Sam Donaldson, whose eyes absolutely telegraphed his outrage that John McCain had so dismissively selected his Vice-Presidential candidate. I can only guess that Sam has no taste for elephant-piss-flavored Kool-Aid.
Back on Friday, after the Palin announcement, Chris Matthews on Hardball brought up the issue of Pat Buchanan’s “Pitchfork Brigade” and Palin’s possible alignment thereto. He asked Buchanan point blank if Palin was a member of the Brigade, “wielding the pitchforks” for Buchanan. Buchanan confirmed what had been rumor up until then by answering: “They were at a fundraiser for me” referring to Palin and her husband. Then he called her a “terrific gal” and assured his long-suffering supporters that she is a “rebel reformer.”
Pitchfork Sarah was there to greet Pat Buchanan at a fundraiser he held in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, according to a report from the AP in 1999, where she wore a Buchanan button. This connection to Pat Buchanan is troubling to many people, including many in the Jewish community.
Commenting on the selection in an interview reported by Politico.com, Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida said, “John McCain’s decision to select a vice presidential running mate that endorsed Pat Buchanan for president in 2000 is a direct affront to all Jewish Americans. Pat Buchanan is a Nazi sympathizer with a uniquely atrocious record on Israel, even going as far as to denounce bringing former Nazi soldiers to justice and praising Adolf Hitler for his ‘great courage.’ At a time when standing up for Israel’s right to self-defense has never been more critical, John McCain has failed his first test of leadership and judgment by selecting a running mate who has aligned herself with a leading anti-Israel voice in American politics. It is frightening that John McCain would select someone one heartbeat away from the presidency who supported a man who embodies vitriolic anti-Israel sentiments.”
Buchanan’s views about women’s rights and gay rights are also well known, and the selection by McCain of a running mate who forms a mutual-admiration society with Mr. Buchanan, is troubling for those who have been fighting a long and bitter battle against the radical religious right. Let’s call them what they are, not what they call themselves, anti-abortion – because, God knows they don’t really care about life past the womb – and anti-gay. Governor Palin is in favor of resorting to the draconian measure of imprisoning women who choose to terminate their pregnancies for any reason, including rape and incest. We can only imagine what measures of justice this pitchfork wielding anti-feminist has in mind for gays in our society.
The time has come for women and gays to rally behind Barack Obama like never before. It’s time for any disaffected women who are concerned about their rights to equal pay and control over their own bodies to come home to the Democratic Party. And this is a shout out to my gay friends down in Houston. “IT’S TIME TO GET OUT OF THE BARS AND GO VOTE ON ELECTION DAY!” Perhaps activists in the gay community could go into the gay bars and register voters, and maybe the bars should close down during polling hours this year and offer a free drink to those who show up on election night with an “I voted” sticker on their shirt.
It’s later than we think, and the time is running out on democracy and freedom in America. Governor Palin represents a viewpoint that wants to impose its narrow views of personal behavior and religion on all the rest of us. It’s time to shout “HELL, NO!” We may not get another chance after conservatives have another four or eight years to stack the Supreme Court. Your alarm clock is going off. DON’T HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON!