For the record, I am “blogger two” Lorrie referred to in her earlier post. And I will certainly admit that Sarah Palin is a deadly serious and competent (thus far) culture warrior. She is certainly McCain’s best chance to win. She, of course, isn’t taking any questions. I guess the vice presidential nominee’s account of her own record and political beliefs is none of our business.
So in Palin absentia, I have a few questions I want to ask Lorrie, who sees her as such a heroine. I’d really like her to answer them.
But first, because these questions are a little rough, I want to emphasize what good person Lorrie is and how much I respect her and her civic-mindedness. We’ve know each other a long time. And since I’ve certainly written a few snarky things about some of the classic Republican narratives in the past few weeks, I’d love for Lorrie to put any similarly tough questions to me. I’ll answer them.
Anyway, here it goes:
1) Do you think the Iraq occupation is a “task that is from from God,” like Palin does?
2) Can you cite a media report attacking the Palin family, a specific report you heard or saw. What did it say?
3) If my 15-year-old daughter were raped or a victim of incest, would you deny her the same array of choices available to Bristol Palin? Sarah Palin would. If she had an abortion, would you consider her a murderer.
4) Do you think “community organizers,” like say, the people with Parker Street ministries, or you, with your great Keep Polk Beautiful work, or the people with PEACE, are worthy of the contempt that dripped out Palin’s mouth. Or did you not see the sneer with which she and Rudy Giuliani repeatedly referred to community organizers?
5) In fact, would you agree that Republicans have now expressed more contempt for Obama’s community service than they have for John McCain’s repeated adultery on his first wife?
6) If Buddy Fletcher went to the Lakeland librarian to ask about banning books and then threatened to fire her over questions of personal loyalty, how would you react?
7) If Michelle Obama, like Sarah Palin’s husband until 2002, belonged to a political party that advocated secession from the United States and whose founder said this:
And talked about “their damn flag.”
How would you react?
8) Do you agree with this:
Brickner also described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God’s “judgment of unbelief” of Jews who haven’t embraced Christianity.
“Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It’s very real. When [Brickner’s son] was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can’t miss it.”
Sarah Palin sat in church and listened to that sermon a couple of weeks ago. Should she renounce the speaker and her church? Or at least account, like Obama did with Wright, for why she stayed? What if she believes that Jews really are enduring God’s judgment?
9) Do you think angling for and receiving $27 million in federal taxpayer earmarks, which you and I paid for, while mayor of a town of 5,000, qualifies as getting Americans ” to brush off their own skinned knees and wipe their own snotty noses.” Do you agree that Alaska is the single-biggest welfare state in America judged by government spending per person?
10) In fact, let’s look at that whole passage: “Pardon me while I wretch. It’s not gonna happen, people! It’s time for Americans to brush off their own skinned knees and wipe their own snotty noses. Try as the government may, I am convinced that it does not hold all of the answers to our woes. People need to take some personal responsibility.”
Is that what you think of me or my family? Or some portion of your fellow writers here at LL. That we don’t brush off our own skinned knees or wipe our own snotty noses? That we wake up each day and walk out the door thinking, my God, what will we do if government doesn’t hold our hand today? That we don’t take personal responsibility? If so, name us. Who do you think “people” is? Do you really think I look down on the 10,000-person small town where I grew up and my parents still live? Really? Who exactly is Sarah Palin defending small towns from? Does my perception that the last eight years have been an utter disaster for this country, and especially small towns, reflect my lack of character? You ever hear a Democrat give a speech that sneers at Mississippi or Alabama values?
These are personal questions because Palin and the rest, particularly Rudy (serial, unrepentant adulterer) Giuliani, made personal speeches dripping with disgust and ridicule at who Obama, and by extension, the people who support him, are. Not what they do, or what they think. Who they are. And you loved it.
Those speeches were designed to do exactly what they did: make this election a struggle between warring cultural/religious tribes. Obama’s entire campaign has been built on moving past this into a battle over ideas. It is infinitely sad to see McCain, who used to think similarly to Obama, (I might have voted for him in 2000) do what he’s done here. But McCain needs an emotional fight to win, and he’d obviously rather set off a culture war than lose an election.
I reacted just as viscerally, in opposite, to Palin’s speech as you did because she flung a dagger at me and my family’s values. I will put those values up against yours, or anybody else’s, at any time, as will the millions of other taxpayers, citizens and parents who think like I do. If that means tribal warfare, so be it. And one thing to keep in mind, whether it wins this year or not, my tribe – made up of all the types of people you didn’t see at the Republican convention – is growing. The other isn’t.