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.