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Governer Palin and the Religious Right

posted by Burns Strider

Senator McCain‘s Vice Presidential selection of Alaskan Governer Sarah Palin really has the talking heads, pundits and bloggers going at it today. The focus has been on various issues such as her experience and ability to win over Clinton women.

With all the talking and speculating going on there is one fact we can all agree on: no one really knows enough about Governor Palin to make any conclusive, rational observations. We can only speculate and out of this discourse look for and allow the facts about who she is and what she has done in public life surface.

One area that is receiving little attention on the national news and cable talk shows is her association with the Religious Right. National pundits and talking heads, from their coastal beachheads, usually miss certain currents and facts related to faith that the mass of the nation can be acutely aware. I think this issue is just such the case. Here’s why:

David Brody of Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) says “I am told that when conservative leaders heard the news this morning at a meeting at the Council for National Policy, one attendee told me that there is nothing but elation. People are giddy. They are energized and they now believe that in fact this campaign has the ability to win this election.’”

Mat Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel, says, “Absolutely brilliant choice. John McCain could not have chosen a better vice-presidential nominee than Gov. Palin. She is attractive, articulate, conservative, pro-family, pro-life, and pro-marriage. John McCain hit this one out of the ballpark.”

Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council says, “Senator McCain made an outstanding pick from the choices that were on the table. Sarah Palin clearly addresses the issues so many conservatives are concerned about. It balances out the ticket.”

And prior to the public announcement, on Monday, August 11, CBSNews.com asked Dr. Rev. Richard Land, of the Southern Baptist Convention who McCain should pick and he said, “Probably Governor Palin of Alaska, because she’s a person of strong faith. She just had her fifth child, a Downs Syndrome child… She’s strongly pro-life. She’s a virtual lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. She would ring so many bells. And I just think it would help with independents because she’s a woman… I think that, from what I hear, that would be the choice that would probably ring the most bells…”

Now that’s a lot of bell ringing within the Religious Right.

O, I must also note that Gov. Palin is listed as an invitee to this year’s “Values Summit” of Religious Right faithful.

Governor Palin seems like a remarkable person. She appears to be firmly planted in nourishing and experiencing life within a strong and good family and this is a substantial foundation to admire and applaud for this writer.

My point is that it seems likely that Governor Palin’s choice had as much to do with consolidating and intensifying the support from the Religious Right base as it did anything else. Quite Roveian, right? Yep. Energize and intensify the base. Make it whistle and push it to the polls on Election day. Then shave off swing voters until you are over the top.

Senator McCain really has no where to turn but to the old strategies of Republican electoral politics. He’s retreating to this base of voters out of default, there’s no where else to go even if the Religious Right is waning in power as more and more Evangelicals embrace the larger plate of values such as poverty and climate change and look to the Democratic Party for economic policies that support stronger families. The better known leaders of the Religious Right are gone or sidelined as well. It’s not your grandfather’s Religious Right, that’s for sure. But, its all McCain has.

 The real play; the real battlefield will be with those millions of Evangelicals and Catholics who are swing voters, who are honestly considering both tickets and have yet to make a choice. Can Governor Palin help bring these voters to the Republican side? That remains to be seen. It won’t be a set of swing voters the Republicans have to themselves this election cycle. The Democrats are there, too, having conversations, reaching out, sharing their message and story and, by many accounts, making the inroads needed for Election Day.

 Here’s the big question: Can the candidate of the Religious Right win Clinton voters? Now, that’s an interesting challenge. With total disclosure, I was there, with Senator Clinton, during the primaries. And I don’t think a Religious Right candidate can win these voters. The Religious Right kind of speaks only to itself these days and they are too polarizing and play with too narrow a set of issues.

 It’s important for people to know Governor Palin, including the adherence to and support from the Religious Right that is emerging in various statements and narratives during this first day of being the Republican Vice Presidential nominee.

It seems impossible to discuss Governor Palin’s ability to attract Clinton voters or any voters without full knowledge of her ties to the Religious Right.

 



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Hoping For the Best

posted August 29, 2008 at 9:22 pm


The reality is that John McCain is 72 and a cancer survivor. While Governor Palin is a nice lady, McCain needs a running mate who will be ready to step in to his shoes on a moment’s notice. Sarah Palin does not have the experience to do that. Sorry, I like her, but choosing someone with so little national or world experience is a big mistake.



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Reaganite in NYC

posted August 29, 2008 at 9:37 pm


Burns Strider: “Quite Roveian, right? Yep. Energize and intensify the base. Make it whistle and push it to the polls on Election day. Then shave off swing voters until you are over the top. Senator McCain really has no where to turn but to the old strategies of Republican electoral politics.”
Gee, Burns, this sounds like the same, proven strategy that ALL the major political parties in this country have pursued since the time of Andrew Jackson.
There is nothing peculiarly “Roveian” or “Republican” about the concept of “energizing your base” and then “shaving off swing voters until you are over the top.” It’s the strategy used in all modern campaigns — Democratic and Republican.
BTW, nice of you to try to demonize Sarah Palin as some kind of Religious Right robot. At least we all know what the DNC/NARAL/MoveOn.org talking points (a.k.a. “big lie”) will be over the next 72 hours. Thanks, Burns, for the “heads up” on this.



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fjfjdvdv

posted August 29, 2008 at 10:03 pm


Discussing the war on the Glenn Beck show, she stated that “We’re fighting in some sense over energy supplies.” I just don’t see why our soldiers should be dying for that reason. If we were in Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction, then fine. If we’re there to root out terrorists, then fine. In fact, as long as we’re fighting to protect American lives, then I can understand her support for the war. But how can she say that the war is about oil and still approve of us having sent thousands of America’s young men and women to die in Iraq? Keeping the price of gasoline down by a few cents isn’t worth a single American soldier’s life. It simply doesn’t make sense to (1) believe that we’re fighting for oil, and (2) still support putting our troops in the line of fire.
For anyone who would like to hear the above quote in context, the interview is available on YouTube and the relevant bit is at exactly the eight-minute mark.



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ds0490

posted August 29, 2008 at 11:05 pm


“BTW, nice of you to try to demonize Sarah Palin as some kind of Religious Right robot. At least we all know what the DNC/NARAL/MoveOn.org talking points (a.k.a. “big lie”) will be over the next 72 hours. Thanks, Burns, for the “heads up” on this.”
Gee, Reaganite, this sounds like the same, proven strategy that ALL the major political parties in this country have pursued since the time of Andrew Jackson.
There is nothing peculiarly “Liberal” or “Democrat” about the concept of “demonizing your opponent” and then “shaving off swing voters until you are over the top.” It’s the strategy used in all modern campaigns — Democratic and Republican.



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James

posted August 30, 2008 at 12:04 am


“My point is that it seems likely that Governor Palin’s choice had as much to do with consolidating and intensifying the support from the Religious Right base as it did anything else. Quite Roveian, right? Yep.”
This was my feeling exactly upon hearing about McCain’s surprising decision. It can’t be about Hillary or women because she’s pro-life, pro-gun, and her record on the environment is not clear (voted for some green measures but supports Alaskan drilling). So it has to be about the religious right, and after reading stories about how McCain was asked to withdraw Lieberman as his candidate I don’t doubt Rove’s fingerprints all over this. That’s okay, though. His (Rove’s) ties with Georgy have proven to be Georgy’s undoing, and I don’t doubt that this whole monstrous plan will backfire in the end and Obama will become president, just like our nation so desperately needs.
I hesitate to say I trust Americans to see through this shallow ploy, but one can at least hope, right?



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Rob

posted August 30, 2008 at 12:36 am


It seems to me the same people who are giddy about the selection of Sarah Palin were giddy about the nomination of George W. Bush. ‘Must be really hard to climb that learning curve.



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Cindy

posted August 30, 2008 at 8:45 am


I’m one of those Hillary supporters that will make my mind up the day of the election. I want to see how it all plays out the next several weeks and I want time to read and learn all I can about Sarah. It’s a wait and see for me.



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Chaslee

posted August 30, 2008 at 11:16 am


It was a brilliant pick if only measured by what we are talking about the day after Obamas million dollar accptance speech.
Palin has more executive experience than Obama. Governors and Mayors have more responsibility than do “Community Organizers” Obamas only “executive” responsibilities have been in promoting his cnadadicy and winning the Democrat nomination.
Additionally her brief time in politics has demonstrated that she is a reformer and a performer. She shook up the Republicans in Alaska after winning a primary over an ex governor and winning against an incumbent Dem Governor. She also has a record of dealing tough with oil companies, getting them to build a $30Billion gas pipeline to the Continental US, and transferring some profits when Oil Futures reach our now record levels. She is a fast learner and has accomplishments that I am proud of.
But of course she is new to politics and spent most of her adult life merely raising her children, now 5. A woman’s place is in the home, some say, but not me. Women have a new roll in our world, and can accomplish things beyond the imagination of most men.
Palin’s position on humnan life and even more important than positions is her life. Rather than abort a down Syndrome child as 80% of mothers do, she feels “blessed by God to raise an absolutely perfect son” That will appeal to all mothers including those who have aborted their “down syndrome child” because of the respect that we all have for human life.
And just the fact that Obama rejected the most qualified candate for VP, Hillary but McCain chose a woman is enought to get women thinking and I am confident will vote the McCain/Palin ticket.



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David Weber

posted August 30, 2008 at 12:14 pm


It looks like Governor Palin is DOING what we the people want.. Fighting corruption, representing citizens and ignoring special interests. She is the people representing the people rather than a experienced (or is that corrupted) politician.
This country will be better off with Governor Palin like citizens in government that the established network of people who understand politics which serves no one but special interests in ripping this country down.
I happen to be registered Democrat who is simply fed up with congress and politics as it is.. Are Americans better now than we were 30 years ago – NO..



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James

posted August 30, 2008 at 2:26 pm


“I happen to be registered Democrat who is simply fed up with congress and politics as it is.. Are Americans better now than we were 30 years ago – NO..”
It boggles the mind how anyone can make this argument and then at the same time turn around and champion another Republican ticket, with or without a fresh-faced outsider as VP. These are still Republicans, and if you think that suddenly they are going to start standing up to huge corporations, Big Oil, and any other powerful lobby, I think you are being pretty naive.
Again, I’m also astounded that Gov. Palin is being spun by conservatives as the more experienced between her and Obama, as nothing could be further from the case, and it isn’t like Obama just woke up yesterday from a life of doing nothing and decided he wanted to be president. He’s been working in politics for many, many years in many different capacities, and I’m sorry, but being the mayor of a village in Alaska is not going to prepare you for executive decisions more than being a US senator to an important state like Illinois. As I said before, these arguments are just “spin” from the right. Just last month Gov. Palin was asked about being VP and she responded with all candor that she actually wanted people to explain to her exactly what a VP would do on a typical day. Granted, I don’t know what a VP does on any given day – but I’m not being asked to hold that important office. When I watched that interview I was more than alarmed – it didn’t give me very much confidence in her, that’s for sure.
Finally, Republican women – especially pro life women – were going to vote McCain anyway. Hillary’s army of supporters are not going to switch parties and support a candidate that rejects all their core values simply because she’s of the same gender. That’s more than insulting to them as thinking individuals who know what they believe in.
So those who are proclaiming this to be McCain’s big win – that’s might presumptuous.



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Bart

posted August 30, 2008 at 2:30 pm


As a Hillary supporter, I am appalled at the nomination of Palin for V.P. She is against everything I hold dear. Go Obama!!!



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Melissa

posted August 30, 2008 at 3:22 pm


Politically, she seems a dream….
however, I question the “family values” of a woman that can take a position that will have her spending two months away from her infant child. Why have children if you plan to hand them off to a nanny to go back to work 3 days after giving birth?
I’ve always considered myself to be a right thinking conservative… I always thought I held the same values as other conservatives.
However, when I ask this question, I end up attacked and put in a corner with the far left.



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frgough

posted August 30, 2008 at 4:21 pm


This is a brilliant pick by McCain. Witness the rabid frothing at the mouth by the left.
They know McCain just sealed the election.



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Bill

posted August 30, 2008 at 4:40 pm


My wife and I are pro-life evangelicals, and we are appalled by McCain’s pick of Palin. Palin is an embarrassment to the pro-life movement with her support of captial punishment and the Iraq war, and her insensitivity toward environmental destruction. McCain’s pick of Palin has pushed us into the Obama camp.



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James

posted August 30, 2008 at 11:17 pm


I don’t see the “left” frothing at the mouth at all. All the blathering seems to be coming from the right, as their spinmeisters are busy at work trying to ram the idea down our throats that Sarah Palin is more experienced in politics than Barack HUSSEIN Obama is (oh yes, it’s important to keep reminding us of his sinister middle name). This was a desperation move by McCain and he has very little chance to gain from it, while every chance to be hurt by it. Just wait a week or so until things die down and people start really looking into things. There will be pictures of this nice lady holding assault rifles, there will be clips of her saying that she doesn’t know what a VP is supposed to do all day, there will be stories about her lawsuit against the government to try to speed up Alaskan drilling by rescinding the ruling on polar bears as endangered species, and many more “greatest hits.” And then there will be the puzzlement why a woman who just gave birth to a Down’s Syndrome baby would even consider going to Washington, especially since she is so “pro-family.” By the time the debates come around the GOP will be toast. Just watch and see.



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Cany

posted August 31, 2008 at 2:54 am


I am hardly a member of the religious right but I will say this: Those women who are more moderate conservatives just got pushed toward Obama.
McCain may get some traction from the religious right, but he will lose what he gains by losing pro-environment, economically conservative women. The polls, even with this recent excitement, do not give him the bounce he needs… no where near it.
I’m with James. She will drive as many away (perhaps more) than she attracts. It was a gamble by Rove. I don’t think the master will win this one.



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robert chapman

posted August 31, 2008 at 1:11 pm


This article makes the assertion that not enough is known about Gov. Palin to make informed judgements about her.
This is untrue, she has used her position as the Chief Executive of her State to harrass her former brother in law.
Whether the legal-beagles are able to find means to convict or loopholes to acquit her is less important than whether we as an electorate have the moral clarity to reject such a candidate.



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Emelie

posted August 31, 2008 at 3:35 pm


Bill: “My wife and I are pro-life evangelicals … McCain’s pick of Palin has pushed us into the Obama camp.”
OK, Bill, now try to sell us the Brooklyn Bridge. You’re probably the only “pro-life evangelical” in America who has switched his vote from McCain to Obama BECAUSE of Palin. BTW, what makes you think you really speak for your wife? What she says to you is one thing; how she REALLY votes in the privacy of the voting booth is her affair :-)
Cany: “The polls, even with this recent excitement, do not give him the bounce he needs… no where (sic) near it.”
Sorry to disappoint you, but Zogby has McCain-Palin 47-45 ahead of Obama-Biden. In addition, the Gallup daily tracking poll shows that Obama’s convention “bounce” peaked on Friday at 49% and has been dropping a point a day.
Of course, the Dems and their MSM allies will try to “Bork” Mrs. Palin over the next few days. They’ll be a ritual hazing led by the Crypto-socialist Commentariat. But even Obama is telling his operatives to go easy on Palin in order to avoid a backlash from female voters.



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James

posted August 31, 2008 at 6:22 pm


“They’ll be a ritual hazing led by the Crypto-socialist Commentariat.”
Well no one can say that the media has been kind to Obama. He was hounded all summer about his ties with Rev. Wright, questioned about his middle name, there was the Michelle Obama “whitey” scandal that every news network reported on even though it was a complete hoax, and on the week following his biggest moment – his moving acceptance speech at his party’s convention – This Week with George Steph. spent a total of about 5 minutes talking about Obama and the rest talking about Gov. Pailn, mostly in gushing terms. I flipped back and forth between this show and Meet the Press with Brokaw and Tom Schieffer’s show on CBS and saw pretty much the same thing. There was definitely no pro-Obama bias going on. The idea of a left-bias in the media is an absolute fabrication by the right.
Gov. Palin will encounter the same kind of scrutiny that every other candidate has to deal with – that’s part of the territory. The Democrats hopefully learned from how Rove & crew slandered Kerry, when Kerry chose to take the high road, and when dirt comes out on Palin, hopefully they’ll go for the kill. Surely the seasoned hunter in her understands the concept of “fair game.”
Anyway, it’s way too early to tell what will be the result of this new wrinkle. Pro-lifers are all giddy with joy, but they have no idea how she’ll handle herself before and during the debates, and then there’s still McCain to deal with – he’s not exactly Ronald Reagan when it comes to winning people over. And the one thing the Democrats have that will be the trump card in all of this is the simple fact that John McCain and Sarah Palin are still Republicans, and the reason this country is in the sinkhole it’s in now is because of Republican leadership.



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Rikki

posted September 2, 2008 at 2:02 am


Like a previous poster, I’m put in the too left box for asking how a woman with family values could leave her 4 month old. I thought that question prior to Palin, made me conservative. In the past my decision to stay home wasn’t popular amongs the modern women crowd. How is it that Republicans own the family values title but then don’t really live up to it? I’m pretty confused about all of this. I am a stay at home Christian Mom, and I don’t think Palin is quite ready. Maybe when her youngest is older, but just not right now. Poor timing.



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kaquita b

posted September 7, 2008 at 1:42 am


I don’t trust her to run my country cause she has not been in the senate or congress she is just a governer of a small state that not to long became a state. It is kind of funny that her husband also works for a major oil company and oil prices are going up which seems to be a profit for the republicians and breaking the pockets of the struggling democrats.



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Gail Claxton

posted September 9, 2008 at 1:21 pm


It seems to me that while people want change in America, hey may be looking to the wrong party. While I have been a Democrat all my life, I will vote Republican this time. It’s time we stopped all the mud slinging in politics. Sara Palin is qualifed to be vice-president as Obama is to be President. Obama makes me sick just to liten to him. He is always covering for his verbal mistakes, by saying that wasn’t what he meant. He is not a Christian. He is a muslim no matter what church he attendsor what he says. Palin is a Christian. It is time people stopped looking at the fact that she is a woman, who is married with 5 children. Time people stopped putting her down because her daughter is pregnant, and saying she’s not a good mother. “There is none perfect, no not one.” Is that not what the Bible tells us? It is time for a change. A change back to some of our old beliefs. I think with Palin as his running mate, we stand a better chance.



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Barbara Diener

posted November 6, 2008 at 11:23 pm


Hopefully we will see Sarah in the Senate soon and in the White House as the head of the ticket in 2012. Our press in this country are out of control and should be ashamed of themselves. It is difficult to understand why anyone would believe anything they have to say.



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