Republican Convention 2008

Cicely Libre!

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The takeaway lesson of the Palin family pseudo-scandal: In 2008, the average Christian conservative is more tolerant of teen sex than the average liberal Democrat. Apparently, it's one thing for a vice president's kid to indulge in, say, drug-fueled reckless driving. But consensual sex? That's unthinkable. And the kid didn't even have the decency to evacuate the evidence!

If you're searching for reasons to oppose Sarah Palin, you'd be better off looking at this:

[A]s mayor of the small town of Wasilla from 1996 to 2002, Palin also hired a Washington lobbying firm that helped secure $8 million in congressionally directed spending projects, known as earmarks, according to public spending records compiled by the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste and lobbying documents.

In other words, she put her town on the dole. Balancing that: Not only did Palin, as I reported earlier, send a friendly video this year to the Alaskan Independence Party, but for a while in the '90s she may have actually been a member. If Alaska were independent, it wouldn't receive any earmarks at all, though I suppose Prime Minister Palin could always hire a firm to lobby for foreign aid. They get self-determination; we get to spend less. Win-win!

(Yes, I know: The AIP doesn't demand independence for the 49th state; it merely wants a referendum on the subject. But you can guess from the party's name how most of the members would vote if the issue ever appeared on the ballot.)