MoveOn appears a bit overwrought at John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate.
A few things struck us about the email, which is reprinted in full below:
1) The word "religious" in a sequence of words MoveOn personnal regard as pejorative. In context, it appears MoveOn considers religious faith to be a negative.Judge for yourself. Here's the complete MoveOn email:
2) MoveOn's use of Wikipedia as a source (see footnote #1). Risky. Wikipedia can say anything, and often does.
3) MoveOn's use of a Huffington Post blog post by the notoriously unreliable Canadian PR flack Kevin Grandia as a source on Palin's views on climate change (see footnote #5). Grandia is paid to write for the Canadian left-wing environmental website DeSmogBlog, run by a PR agency and popular with many global warming skeptics for its unintentionally hilarious incompetent posts on science issues. If MoveOn truly needs the help of foreign experts to evaluate U.S. candidates, it would do better to consult competent ones.
4) MoveOn refers to Palin suing the Bush Administration "for listing polar bears as an endangered species," but the Bush Administration didn't list the polar bear as an endangered species, it listed it as a threatened species. There is a big difference. MoveOn listed a political statement by the Sierra Club as its source for this, but the Sierra Club statement had it right.
5) MoveOn members being quoted but being identified without their last names. Are these people made up, or are they real people who lack the courage to have their full names in an e-mail? Surely the political situation in Alaska is not such that ALL the MoveOn members there faced some sort of retaliation for criticizing the governor. (Though we note that "member" Sherry C. said Palin "is doing well running our State.")
6) The consistent theme about Palin having no foreign policy experience, as if this was not also true for Bill Clinton in 1992, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and Barack Obama today, among many other presidents and presidential aspirants. Ditto for national experience. Governors often are elected to the presidency.
7) [Added to post later] MoveOn accepted the left-wing The Nation magazine's word that Palin endorsed Pat Buchanan for president in 2000, but ABC News is reporting, based on a 1999 Associated Press report, that Palin supported Steve Forbes and served on his local campaign leadership committee that year.
Dear MoveOn member,
Yesterday was John McCain's 72nd birthday. If elected, he'd be the oldest president ever inaugurated. And after months of slamming Barack Obama for "inexperience," here's who John McCain has chosen to be one heartbeat away from the presidency: a right-wing religious conservative with no foreign policy experience, who until recently was mayor of a town of 9,000 people.
Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic background:
She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.1
Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2
She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000.3
Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4
She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5
She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6
How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.7
This is information the American people need to see. Please take a moment to forward this email to your friends and family.
We also asked Alaska MoveOn members what the rest of us should know about their governor. The response was striking. Here's a sample:
She is really just a mayor from a small town outside Anchorage who has been a governor for only 1.5 years, and has ZERO national and international experience. I shudder to think that she could be the person taking that 3AM call on the White House hotline, and the one who could potentially be charged with leading the US in the volatile international scene that exists today. —Rose M., Fairbanks, AK
She is VERY, VERY conservative, and far from perfect. She's a hunter and fisherwoman, but votes against the environment again and again. She ran on ethics reform, but is currently under investigation for several charges involving hiring and firing of state officials. She has NO experience beyond Alaska. —Christine B., Denali Park, AK
As an Alaskan and a feminist, I am beyond words at this announcement. Palin is not a feminist, and she is not the reformer she claims to be. —Karen L., Anchorage, AK
Alaskans, collectively, are just as stunned as the rest of the nation. She is doing well running our State, but is totally inexperienced on the national level, and very much unequipped to run the nation, if it came to that. She is as far right as one can get, which has already been communicated on the news. In our office of thirty employees (dems, republicans, and nonpartisans), not one person feels she is ready for the V.P. position.—Sherry C., Anchorage, AK
She's vehemently anti-choice and doesn't care about protecting our natural resources, even though she has worked as a fisherman. McCain chose her to pick up the Hillary voters, but Palin is no Hillary. —Marina L., Juneau, AK
I think she's far too inexperienced to be in this position. I'm all for a woman in the White House, but not one who hasn't done anything to deserve it. There are far many other women who have worked their way up and have much more experience that would have been better choices. This is a patronizing decision on John McCain's part- and insulting to females everywhere that he would assume he'll get our vote by putting "A Woman" in that position.—Jennifer M., Anchorage, AK
So Governor Palin is a staunch anti-choice religious conservative. She's a global warming denier who shares John McCain's commitment to Big Oil. And she's dramatically inexperienced.
In picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has made the religious right very happy. And he's made a very dangerous decision for our country.
In the next few days, many Americans will be wondering what McCain's vice-presidential choice means. Please pass this information along to your friends and family.
Thanks for all you do.
–Ilyse, Noah, Justin, Karin and the rest of the team
1. "Sarah Palin," Wikipedia, Accessed August 29, 2008
2. "McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate," NARAL Pro-Choice America, August 29, 2008
3. "Sarah Palin, Buchananite," The Nation, August 29, 2008
4. "'Creation science' enters the race," Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2006
5. "Palin buys climate denial PR spin—ignores science," Huffington Post, August 29, 2008
6. "McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy," Sierra Club, August 29, 2008
"Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past," League of Conservation Voters, August 29, 2008
"Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor," The Times of London, May 23, 2008
7 "McCain met Palin once before yesterday," MSNBC, August 29, 2008