Republican Convention 2008

One More Palin Post


As the one of the few pundits in America who thinks Sarah Palin's friendly ties to the Alaskan Independence Party are a good thing, I suppose I should address McCain flack Michael Goldfarb's denial that Palin ever joined the AIP:

Bumiller writes that Governor Palin "was a member for two years in the 1990s of the Alaska Independence Party." Not true, and unsourced. Governor Palin has been a registered Republican since 1982.

Other campaign employees have taken the same line: "Gov. Sarah Palin first registered to vote in the state in May 1982 as a Republican, and she has not changed her party affiliate with the Division of Elections since that time."

I don't know if Palin was ever a member of the AIP. I do know that it's entirely possible to be registered one way on the voting rolls while paying dues to a third party and attending its events. The fact that I've been a registered independent my entire adult life didn't keep me from joining the Libertarian Party for a year in college. And the fact that Ron Paul is an elected Republican congressman hasn't kept him from maintaining his Libertarian life membership.

But again, why should this bother anyone? At a time when the GOP is plunging ever deeper into mindless nationalism, Palin's willingness to hang out with northern separatists is a breath of fresh air. The political class's collective case of the vapors over this woman is even more ridiculous than the panics over Michelle Obama and Jeremiah Wright. There are reasonable criticisms of Palin, topmost of which is the fact that she's willing to run on a ticket with John McCain. This is not one of them.

NEXT: Update on Bill Kalles (No Star)

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  1. topmost of which is the fact that she’s willing to run on a ticket with John McCain

    It wasn’t like anybody else was offering the job.
    I have to credit him for picking her.
    If they win let’s hope she has some pro-liberty small government influence on McCain.

  2. click my name for the coolest Palin photo op yet.

  3. Has anyone noticed that her pregnant kid has actually inoculated her against questions about her anti-sex-education stance? If she had no personal drama going on, and she were being challenged over issues and positions, surely this would be a topic of conversation. Obama talked about reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies. Palin opposes giving teenagers accurate medical information about how babies are made and how to prevent them from being made. Yet now, nobody can call her on it.

  4. WC: Palin? I prefer the blonde warrior princess with the hubcaps on her chest. Whew!

  5. Jesse,

    I agree with you. Other than their rather asinine secessionist platform, there’s a lot in the AIP that is pro-liberty.

  6. My understanding — correct me if I’m wrong — is that I can “join” the national Libertarian Party (for a fee), but still remain a registered Republicrat for voter registration purposes. “Joining” the party and actually registering for it are two different acts. Could this be the same thing: she “joined” the AIP but stayed a registered Republican?

  7. If they win let’s hope she has some pro-liberty small government influence on McCain.

    When has that ever happened?

    DC and the Statehouses are full of people who started out with much better “libertarian” cred than Palin. Now they’re just regular members of the club.

    See Dana Rohrbacher, for example.

  8. “If they win let’s hope she has some pro-liberty small government influence on McCain.”

    I just hope she can exert more influence on McCain than she was able to exert on her own 17 year old daughter.

  9. I just hope she can exert more influence on McCain than she was able to exert on her own 17 year old daughter.

    You are really enjoying stirring up this argument, aren’t you.

    Ricky: You gave me away?

    Jerri: No, no, never! I traded you for a guitar. And all these years I’ve wondered, what happened to that guitar?

  10. MNG – laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame.

  11. For THIS libertarian, the key takeaway from the Sarah Palin Show isn’t what it says about the woman who might be VPOTUS. It’s what it says about the guy who might be POTUS. Some parts of the Palin story are quirky and almost endearing, some parts are most certainly not. In any event, you KNOW that if the shoe were on the other foot, the GOP Oppo Researchers and slime machine would be having a field day with her. It’s pretty clear that this was a desperate, cynical pick by McCain done with very little vetting and, as such, simply underscores what a reckless, shoot-first-ask-questions-later guy he is. Putting him in the White House is a dangerous proposition.

  12. Now that we have confirmed that Sarah smoked marijuana, I am changing my vote for President from Cris Ericson to McCain-Palin!

  13. What about Palin revealed so far indicates there was inadequate research into her and her background?

  14. The last U.S. v.p. who got involved in secession was John Breckenridge. But he waited until he was out of office. Quite a colorful guy – Confederate general, fled with Jeff Davis but escaped the U.S. after crossing the Florida wilderness. Even, as sitting VP, had a fist-fight where he rolled down the steps of the U.S. capitol. Palin has to go some to be this colorful.

  15. What about Palin revealed so far indicates there was inadequate research into her and her background?

    She had some kind of relationship with the libertarian-leaning, if kooky (but I repeat myself) AIP. Clearly, no politician who departs the party line is fit for office.

    She was supportive of Republican office-holders in Alaska. Clearly, no politician who doesn’t depart from the party line is fit for office.

    Her daughter is pregnant. Clearly, no politician with ordinary family problems is fit for office.

    She fired a political appointee who wouldn’t fire a bad cop. Clearly, no politician who doesn’t support the good old boy network is fit for office.

    I think that hits the high points.

    Would she make a good VP? Almost certainly; VPs do practically nothing of substance. Would she make a good/competent President? Who the hell knows.

    But I think the current faux frenzy is probably counter-productive for the Obama campaign in the long run, if it lays the groundwork for people to dismiss serious questions about her as they surfuce, much like the faux frenzy over Obama’s birth certificate did for him.

    I still think it comes down to likability for her; if she is likable, the media “outrage” will blow back. Obama gets this; we’ll see if the netroots and the major media does.

  16. What is so assinine about secession and its advocacy? Decentralization. Just try and stop it! You will be flattened by its inexorable march!

  17. I actually would like Gov. Palin more if she was a member of AIP. Any political party who thinks that secession is a constitutional right has got my vote.

  18. I think some of the over the top reaction by the media against Palin is sexism but a lot more of it is elitism. Palin really is an average middle class person. She married her high school boyfriend. She went the University of Idaho. She didn’t go to grad school. She ran a business. Got into small town politics and became governor of a Western State.

    Contrast this to the national media. They usually are from wealthy families. They disproportionately attended big name schools and have graduate degrees. They live in the big cities on the coasts and wouldn’t be caught dead living in some small town in Alaska. The media as a group are a bunch of smug assholes. It has to drive them crazy to see someone who is not from a big political family and did not go to the right schools stepping onto the national stage.

    But I have never seen anything like the response to Palin in the media. Whatever you can say about her, she certainly pushes all of the buttons of the national media and the left in general. They have truly lost their minds over this woman.

  19. RC,

    A lot is riding on tonight’s speech. If she gives a good one, most people are going to look at the media and the Dems and go, what the hell are you people so freaked out about? If she pulls a Dan Quale and looks like a deer in the headlights, then she will be a drag on the ticket.

    Republicans never like to admit it, but the fact is that the allegations against Quayle stuck because he gave a terrible convention speech and got killed by Lloyd Benson in the debate. The Dems call every Republicans inexperienced and stupid. That is their MO. They did the same thing with Reagan calling him and actor and and senile. It didn’t work with Reagan because people saw him speak and knew it was bullshit. People saw Quayle speak and thought, yeah he is kind of in over his head.

    I think most people in this country who are not crazy partisians are fair minded and don’t give a shit that Palin is not a political insider. They are going to listen to what she has to say and make their own judgement.

  20. It’s pretty clear that this was a desperate, cynical pick by McCain done

    I really don’t think it was. I think McCain sees Palin as very much of a kindred spirit in important ways (she meshes with his “outsider/maverick/clean gov’t” persona), who happens to have the gender and background to give the Obama campaign absolute fits.

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