Ignoring the Lipstick Wars for the moment…

by Diane Duane

(sigh) It’s hard to ignore the political noise right now, but as it gets noisier and each side spins the other one (or itself) as hard as it can, I prefer to go back to the earliest available sources to start understanding candidates’ behavior with an eye to projecting how they might possibly behave in the future. I find newspaper citations, especially local ones, can be a useful resource.

With this in mind: this document (a Democrat-prepared opposition document) found at Politico.com contains numerous excerpted details from local Alaskan newspapers regarding various aspects of Sarah Palin’s early political life. Leaving the source aside, and ignoring the bullet points on the first page, this doc is useful in that it gathers a lot of cites together. Does it have its own bias? Doubtless. However, it’s still interesting preliminary reading.

(ETA: This brought me up short —

Asked if she was offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, Palin responded, “Not on your life. If it was good enough for the Founding Fathers, it’s good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.”

Did she seriously not know that that phrase was only added in 1956? “What do they teach them in these schools…?”)

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randwolf September 11, 2008 - 4:35 pm

Well, she used to believe that the world was created 6,000 years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and humans rode them. Anything is possible, I suppose.

bwang September 11, 2008 - 5:39 pm

I had no idea that phrase was only added in 1956 either. Perhaps it is because we are both products of the public school system. I don’t ever recall discussing quaint loyalty oaths in civics courses.

Holding people accountable for bits of trivia they don’t know is a silly gotcha game, and it’s rarely productive.

More problematic is poor logic and argumentation. “If it’s good enough for X, it’s good enough for me,” is a silly appeal to authority, which is rarely a strong argument … especially when the basis is flawed.

randwolf September 11, 2008 - 7:03 pm

It’s not trivia; it’s an important part of political history, because of what it signifies–it was added as a sign of opposition to the godless commies (true!) The pledge itself was written by Christian socialist Francis Bellamy in 1892 and originally did not mention the USA, which was included in 1924. So the statement is deeply clueless in significant ways.

P J Evans September 12, 2008 - 2:42 am

They don’t teach the history of the pledge; they barely teach history, as it is. (My sister-in-law had things to say about her kids’ history classes being done as a month for this piece and a week for that, so they never get an overall picture before getting to college.)

bellatrys September 14, 2008 - 11:51 am

The Pledge, “In God We Trust,” and the corpus of patriotic songs all came from the Jove-like head of George Washington in 1776. Provenance? We don’t need no steenkin’ provenance!

On a more serious note, there are quite a number of manufactured approved “Christian histories” out there of various triumphalist denominational strains, all claiming to prove that the Founding Fathers intended the Gilead-style theocracy that the writers desire to bring about. (One series that I know of was put together by the wife & professional colleague of an ex-CIA propaganda monitor turned theocratic propagandist and “educator.”)

And Sinboy has found a gem from the Wasilla librarian talking about pre-mayoral Palin’s attempts to have books on gay families removed from the library to protect the children…

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