The Palin Choice: Giving Conservatives Hope

US Republican Presidential nominee John McCain has not been the favourite choice of conservatives. He is far from ideal in a number of areas (eg., he is pro-embryo stem cell research; he opposes same-sex marriage but also opposes a federal amendment to ban it; etc) but strong in other areas (national security and foreign affairs, etc). But his choice this weekend of running mate Sarah Palin has a lot of conservatives excited.

They are excited because Palin, a governor from Alaska, is a solid conservative. She is a Christian who opposes same-sex marriages, for example. She is strongly pro-life. She has five children with her husband, one of whom has Down Syndrome. Her doctor advised an abortion, but she refused, and calls her son “perfect”.

Conservatives are also excited because this makes the Presidential race even more close, boosting Republican chances considerably. A female running mate will be a real boost for McCain. Of course this is not the first time a female VP has been chosen (Democrat Geraldine Ferraro ran with Walter Mondale in 1984).

In terms of minorities in the White House, we now have a black (or half-black – his mother is white, his father black) Obama running for President with the Democrats, while we have a female running as a Vice-President for the Republicans. Many Hillary Clinton supporters who are still sore at Obama may well be even further tempted to vote for McCain now that Palin is on the ticket.

Of course the biggest furphy going around is that the 44-year-old Palin is inexperienced. But bear in mind that the 47-year-old Obama is only a first term Senator from Illinois, for heaven’s sakes. McCain certainly has age and experience (he is 72), while Obama had to pick a much older running mate to offer experience (Biden is 65).

Commentator Ken Blackwell offers some reasons why Palin is a good choice, and will boost McCain’s chances: “Senator John McCain’s pick of Mrs. Sarah Palin to be the GOP vice presidential nominee is historic. Coupled with the GOP platform he enthusiastically embraced, Mr. McCain has completely changed the game, and put Senator Barack Obama in a difficult situation.”

He also notes the inexperience charge being made against Palin: “People understand that it’s unfair to compare the presidential candidate of one party with the vice presidential candidate of the other. Mr. Obama’s opponent is Mr. McCain, not Mrs. Palin. It is the president who makes life-or-death decisions for the country. The phone rings at 3 a.m. in the East Wing of the White House, not the Naval Observatory where the vice president resides. It is a disastrous mistake for Mr. Obama to raise the experience issue. Mr. McCain’s experience in national security exceeds Mr. Obama’s by orders of magnitude.”

Moreover, “Mrs. Palin has more executive experience than Mr. Obama. A governor does a lot in two years. And speaking as the former mayor of a major U.S. city, her years as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska are full of executive experience. Is she as experienced as Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan when they first ran for president? No. But she is more experienced than Mr. Obama.”

“For that matter, Mrs. Palin has more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket. Her opponent is Mr. Biden, not Mr. Obama. And in all of Mr. Biden’s years legislating, he’s never made an executive decision. Even before he was in public life, he never held a job that required him to make leadership decisions. Between Messrs. Obama and Biden, they’ve never run a corner store, to say nothing of troops. So if I were them I would not want a comparison with the commander-in-chief of the Alaska National Guard, Mrs. Palin, staring across a narrow strait at Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”

He continues, “The nature of Mrs. Palin’s experience is also important. She’s a reformer. She has taken on corruption in her own party, and people are now out of office in Alaska because of her crusade to clean up that state. She even challenged the sitting Republican governor of Alaska, Frank Murkowski, and beat him in the GOP primary to restore integrity to Alaska state government.”

Mark Steyn, political columnist and humourist, also weighs in to the choice of Palin. He offers a number of reasons why she makes a great choice:

“First, Governor Palin is not merely, as Jay describes her, ‘all-American’, but hyper-American. What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew? As an immigrant, I’m not saying I came to the United States purely to meet chicks like that, but it was certainly high on my list of priorities. And for the gun-totin’ Miss Wasilla then to go on to become Governor while having five kids makes it an even more uniquely American story. Next to her resume, a guy who’s done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of ‘community organizer’ and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy.”

“Second, it can’t be in Senator Obama’s interest for the punditocracy to spend its time arguing about whether the Republicans’ vice-presidential pick is ‘even more’ inexperienced than the Democrats’ presidential one.”

“Third, real people don’t define ‘experience’ as appearing on unwatched Sunday-morning talk shows every week for 35 years and having been around long enough to have got both the War on Terror and the Cold War wrong. . . . Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are more or less the same age, but Governor Palin has run a state and a town and a commercial fishing operation, whereas (to reprise a famous line on the Rev Jackson) Senator Obama ain’t run nothin’ but his mouth. She’s done the stuff he’s merely a poseur about. Post-partisan? She took on her own party’s corrupt political culture directly while Obama was sucking up to Wright and Ayers and being just another get-along Chicago machine pol.”

Not all Republicans are happy with the choice, and it is a risky selection. It definitely remains to be seen how this decision will pan out. But it is certainly going to make for a very interesting contest indeed.

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17 Replies to “The Palin Choice: Giving Conservatives Hope”

  1. I applaud the choice of Sarah Palin! It has made a very lacklustre campaign suddenly thrill with interest – overnight! And the conservative constituency across America is suddenly galvanised, even electrified, when up until Friday they were all at sea and disillusioned.
    I watched James Dobson on Fox News fairly gush with enthusiasm on Saturday. All of a sudden the Christian constituency is fired up. Then there was McCain at the Saddleback Forum on Aug. 16th. I saw it last night – he came over very firm on all the major social and moral issues.
    And don’t fall for the claptrap about “no foreign policy experience”. She has Vladimir Putin’s resurgent Russia just across the Bering Strait, and Russian bases not all that far from the Aleutians: she has to be aware of the new threat on what is again America’s frontier. I’m sure that is not lost on her!
    I urge all American Christians now to get behind the MCain – Palin ticket, and work their proverbial hearts out for it. It may not be everything you would wish for, but the alternative is just horrific, what with Obama’s links to the far, far left, and thugs like Bill Ayers. Even Americans who are not Christians can well support the GOP ticket: Palin stands for the values that made America the great country she has been. Even the “wow” factor – she is very attractive – may win her some votes (although that is NOT a good reason, I admit).
    Murray Adamthwaite

  2. It’s an interesting choice, that’s for sure, but one I like.
    Like Murray says, the alternative isn’t worth thinking about. I’d much rather have a professed atheist in the White House than a man who professes to be a Christian as a token placard to swoon the masses. That Obama’s words don’t match his deeds truly worries me, but it is an emerging trend in the contemporary church.
    A little off track I know, but last week I learnt that a certain prominent Australian politician was both a lesbian and a Christian. Sorry, but I thought my bible showed the two are mutually exclusive. So when men (and women) twist faith in Jesus Christ to suit their own ends and dismiss sin I am really concerned, especially for those who are easily deceived, as the Word says many will be in the last days.
    I perceive Obama to be one such deceiver. The fact that trying to find out if Obama is the Antichrist is a popular google search shows that I’m not to only one!
    Ben Williams

  3. Ben:

    I know, but last week I learnt that a certain prominent Australian politician was both a lesbian and a Christian.

    Next you’ll tell me that she believes in other mutually contradictory positions, like “fixing” global warming, oops sorry, climate change, and growing our economy.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  4. Quite apart from Sarah Palin,John McCain held the faith in the Hanoi Hilton. The Vietnam War is now very unfashionable subject, except our belated embracing of those who served – no one dare mention the oppression of minorities by the regime that many on our left helped to power. But John McCain did time in HH, with torture, and refused an offer of early exchange because of his father’s rank. Anyone who has served in the Armed Services, and done Code of Conduct training (Cold War preparation for capture by a Communist regime), recognises John McCain as a man of substance.
    Stephen White

  5. Sarah Palin’s 17 year old daughter Bristol is pregnant. One commentator said this: “Now, what to do to combat the sure-to-appear catcalls about Palin being a believer in abstinence and a devout Christian? The first response from the Palins, issued in their statement is not a bad start. The Palin’s insistence that their daughter gets unconditional love and support as she and her soon-to-be husband “grow up faster” than anticipated is a correct response. Biblical principals dictate forgiveness, and that forgiveness involves the walking out of consequences. In the Palin household, walking out of consequences does not involve abortion. With mom, it means raising a Down Syndrome child. With Bristol, it will be growing up and facing tough responsibilities earlier than planned. In all cases, the child is a blessing and not considered ‘a consequence’. These so-called problems can be fabulous teaching opportunities and even political wins if they are framed correctly.”
    (Bristol’s Baby: Quick Take, by C. Edmund Wright – )

    Jennifer Parfenovics

  6. It was interesting to see that Obama referred to a baby as “a punishment” when asked what he’d do if one of his daughters got pregnant.

    As an American, I feel badly that so many have been bamboozled, or more accurately in this case, drunk the Kool-Aid for Obama. Orwell’s 1984 gets more and more real to me every day.

    Joel Griffith

  7. While I agree entirely, Jennifer, what angers me is the anti-Palin smear machine in full tilt at this time. I think I can honestly say that I have never in all my life seen such a disgraceful, gutter-snipe campaign of destruction, even to the point of digging up dirt on her children, her husband, her private life. This is the political left for you – in all their disgusting colours! These self-appointed arbiters of morality, grandstanding on the moral high-ground, denouncing war and nuclear energy, and talking up freedom and democracy. And they have the hide, the gall, to rail at hypocrisy. Let them talk to a mirror first!
    Murray Adamthwaite

  8. Thanks Murray

    Yes quite right. The secular left absolutely hates her, and McCain, and is involved in some of the most foul and reprehensible smear tactics yet seen in American politics. The trouble is, Palin is a real American woman, who will resonate with millions. She is a down to earth “hockey mom” but in fact has plenty of political experience as well, especially compared to Messiah Hussein. Andrew Bolt has a good column on all this today:

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  9. What a contrast between the pro-infanticide BHO, who said:

    I don’t want them [my daughters] punished with a baby.

    Thomas Sowell’s latest column points out:

    At least one media attack has claimed to have some substance because Governor Palin has been critical of so-called “sex education” in the public schools. Her own daughter’s pregnancy is supposed to demonstrate the need for such programs.

    That is the vision of the left but what are the facts?

    For decades, “sex education” has been sold as a way to reduce teenage pregnancy and venereal disease. But incessant repetition is not a rational argument, whether for “sex education” or for generic “change.”

    Before propaganda against traditional values regarding sex was introduced into the public school under the label of “sex education” in the 1960s, both teenage pregnancy and venereal disease had been going down for years.

    In 1960 the rate of infection for syphilis, for example, was only half of what it had been in 1950.

    But teenage pregnancy and venereal disease were pictured as the problems for which “sex education” was the solution. In reality, the long downward trend in both not only ended, but rose dramatically, after new attitudes toward sex were promoted in the schools under the guise of educating students.

    “Sex education” is as phony as the scandal-mongering over a young woman who is no candidate for anything.

    Walter Williams comments on Sowell’s Vision of the Anointed (reviewed on this site):

    As Dr. Thomas Sowell points out, in his new book, The Vision of the Anointed, statists deliberately invent crises as a means to gain more control over our lives.

    In the early 60s, Planned Parenthood and other groups convinced the nation there was a “crisis” in teen pregnancy and venereal disease. They got Congress to give them our money to sponsor sex education (read: indoctrination) classes, often showing films to junior high school students depicting hetero- homosexual couples engaged in sex; teenage birth control clinics were set up and condom distribution programs started.

    Was there a crisis in the first place? Since 1950, teenage fertility rates had been declining as were venereal disease rates. By 1960 syphilis and gonorrhea infections were less than half of what they were in 1950. We all know the story after “sex education.” Teen pregnancy rose from 68 per thousand in 1970 to 96 per thousand by 1980. Venereal disease rate skyrocketed 350 percent between 1965 and 1978.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

    Theory 2: Her Non-Feminist Feminism

    “I used to marvel at the rudeness so often publicly shown to parents with many children. But then I saw how the very existence of such families exposes the guilt and self-doubt others feel about their own decisions to stop having children. The surest way to avoid dealing with these stifled concerns is to assault the character or intelligence of parents who dare to expose them with their large families. So, too with Sarah Palin and the left. Her very life rebukes them. She has five children, two of them after the age of 40. When her infant son was diagnosed with Down syndrome, she chose life. And when her own daughter was discovered pregnant, she helped her choose life, too. Without ever saying a word about being pro-life (to say it would have been superfluous), she demolished all the common arguments used in favor of abortion and family planning, totemic doctrines of the left.”

    “But it’s more than just doctrine. It’s that so many people on the left have condoned abortions, helped others obtain abortions, or even had abortions themselves in the very same circumstances under which Sarah Palin chose life. Honest people are an affront to liars. Law-abiders are an affront to criminals. And the woman who has made pro-life “choices” is a stinging affront to modern feminism, which has spent decades trying to convince women that an unwanted pregnancy is like a disease and the unborn child something like a parasite. They must demonize her because her choices so clearly condemn their own. Make no mistake, when your example disproves someone else’s deeply internalized rationalizations, they will try to destroy you. After all, the only other option would be to repent.”

    Jennifer Parfenovics


    I found this is a very in depth article and well worth reading;

    September 04, 2008
    Rebutting the Democrats’ Fearful and Intolerant Attacks on Sarah Palin
    By Patrick J. Casey

    “Since the first article on American Thinker warning about the forthcoming types of attacks on Sarah Palin was posted last Friday (Defending Against the First Attacks on Sarah Palin), the assault has come fast and furious from both the media and the Democrats. Perhaps the only surprising thing about it has been, however, the depravity of the attacks.”

    Jennifer Parfenovics

  12. I was very worried when I saw Palin on Katie Couric’s CBS news show. Watch and you’ll see what I mean.

    As the global hegemony the US will (for at least another 15 years) play a dominant role in the global community. Whether it continues to trump the Bretton Woods Institutions and other attempts of global multilateralism will be determined, I believe, by the upcoming election. Either way, the US will be a major actor on the global stage.

    With this in mind, it is crucial I believe, that the next US administration be well experienced in international relations. For mine the question of Palin’s possible role is classic case of competency vs conviction… I align with her values but have been scarred by her ignorance and her willingness to try and bluff her way out of trouble.

    So I am left with a question that I don’t know the answer to… Is it irresponsible for Christian’s to support an incompetent person because they are Christian?

    Nathan Clarke

  13. Thanks Nathan

    It is a fair question. Becoming a Christian does not automatically make one better at many things. One does not necessarily become a better pianist, cricketer, gardener or politician simply by becoming a believer in Christ. A pagan politician may be better as a politician than a Christian politician.

    Having said that, however, there are some important distinctions that still need to be made. If I had to choose between a person who was fairly skilled as a politician, but had a radically anti-Christian worldview, and a person who was perhaps a bit green as a politician, but had a solid biblical worldview, then I would go for the latter candidate.

    There are many secular politicians who may have all the qualifications of being a good politician, but their worldview may lead them to do great damage to a nation. Hitler, for example, was a quite qualified and capable politician, but his lousy worldview resulted in lousy policies which had very serious consequences for the whole world. Political skills can be learned and developed, but worldviews can either be inimical to, or conducive of, the common good and the wellbeing of a nation.

    But I do not share your concerns about Palin, or your view of her as being “incompetent”. She is an intelligent woman with much political experience. As to foreign policy, she has as much experience as Obama or Biden. And she of course is not running for President.

    BTW, Couric is one of the most radically secular and leftwing media personalities in America today, so all she offers in ‘interviews’ with those she disagrees with are hatchet jobs

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  14. Hi Bill,

    Just for clarrification. Can I suggest you watch the clip I mentioned? Anyone who has watched the Couric interview would know that Couric was very gentle on Palin. Irrespective of her world secularist worldview, the questions were simple, objective and open. It was Palin’s incompetency in the area of foreign policy that shone through, not the cynicism of the interviewer.

    With all the instability characterising the current global environment I believe it would be irresponsible of Christians to support Palin and support a potential president who make such an irresponsible potential VP appointment.


    Nathan Clarke

  15. How “responsible” was it for the evanjellyfish Left to get behind the even more inexperienced Obamov with his radical hatred of unborn babies, so much that he even voted against them if they survived an abortion attempt?
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

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