This is from an intellectual conservative at the National Review ... yes, the National Review. The Christian Convention in St. Paul just gets more bizarre by the minute.
... On a question that is flying around here in St. Paul: What about the presence of one Levi Johnston, the 18 year-old father of Bristol Palin's unborn child? At the end of this kind of speech, there is usually a lot of applause, music, and the candidate's family up on stage. Johnston is in St. Paul, I am told, but there has been no final decision about what he will do tonight.
"This is not an issue that we're going to act ashamed or scared about," my source told me. "Despite the media coverage of this, voters still have such a great response to [Sarah Palin]. This just makes her more real." So, I asked, does that mean Johnston will be on stage with the Palin family? "At this point we don't know whether he will be up on stage," I was told. "It remains to be seen. There hasn't been a decision made yet."
Perhaps I'm focusing on an irrelevant issue, but the presence, or non-presence, of Johnston on the stage tonight strikes me as important. It's one thing for delegates to be understanding and compassionate about the fix these two teenagers have gotten themselves into. It's another to actually celebrate it. And, given what we've learned in the last few days, if Johnston is up on stage with his girlfriend and the Palin family, and Republicans are wildly cheering, it will certainly look like they are celebrating this situation.
I don't usually engage in these scenarios, but I'll do it here. If the Obamas had a 17 year-old daughter who was unmarried and pregnant by a tough-talking black kid, my guess is if that they all appeared onstage at a Democratic convention and the delegates were cheering wildly, a number of conservatives might be discussing the issue of dysfunctional black families.
Then this ...
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.
After the legislature passed a spending bill in April, Palin went through the measure reducing and eliminating funds for programs she opposed. Inking her initials on the legislation -- "SP" -- Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million. Covenant House is a mix of programs and shelters for troubled youths, including Passage House, which is a transitional home for teenage mothers.
Earthside Comments: Who wudda thunk it?
Every mayor of every village in America with a population of six or seven thousand folks is ready and qualified to be President of the United States! Because they have had 'executive experience'!
The Bush-Cheney "faith-based reality" is now on LSD-laced steroids with McCain-Palin. It is getting pretty weird over there in Republican holy roller land.
We tuned-in to a little bit of the revival meeting being held in St. Paul last night. We weren't sure at first if it was a cotillion or a convention ... a sea of old white women and men in suits and ties, occassionally very politely clapping, that is about all we witnessed. In the "reality-based world", America just doesn't look like that anymore ... but Republicans nostalgic for the Vietnam war apparently wish that it did.
What is really going on here with Palin should be fairly obvious to all now. The Bush-Rove campaign play book is being used again -- the tactics of smear and fear are being rolled out. The 'fear' angle will be McCain's theme ... try and scare Americans with visions of an al Qaida takeover of the United States. It doesn't have to make sense, fear breeds irrationality and paralysis, that's what Bush/Cheney/McCain politics is all about: don't make any changes because if you do you will probably get killed. The smear play is the whole point of Palin; it is the tactic of division and religion. Puffing herself up with self-righteousness and sanctimony, Palin will paint any opposition to the Republican religious perspective as decadent and immoral -- that's a smear on those who a different than them.
Make no mistake, this Sarah Palin vice presidential nomination stunt is about getting the extremist Christian right-wing on board with John Sidney McCain. It is all about NOT talking about the economy or the environment or energy or education of health care -- it is ALL about dividing up Americans on abortion.
The proof is in the emerging endorsements now of the McCain-Palin ticket by the fundamentalist, Talebanic Christian right-wing ... you can see the list below.
However, though we have focused our posts here in the past few days on the remarkably unremarkable Sarah Palin, let us not forget that the progenitor of this ruckus is old John McCain. He is a liar -- he is so ambitious that he will do anything to get elected, his heroics are decades and decades in the past -- he is a liar and his 'executive' judgment is now shown to be demonstrably miserable. As the last links posted here demonstrate.
Mounting a ferocious defense of his embattled running mate, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he is buying a TV ad arguing that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has more experience than the Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
In 2000, John McCain solidified his "maverick" reputation by lambasting the Religious Right. He labeled Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell "agents of intolerance" and decried the Right's role within the Republican Party:“They are corrupting influences on religion and politics, and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country.”In return, the right-wing’s response has been over the top:
“John McCain has been working hard to get back in the good graces of the Right,” said People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert. “By choosing Sarah Palin, he’s given them exactly what they want – a book banning, anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-science extremist who’s short on experience but long on ideology. Americans don’t want a candidate who believes that victims of rape and incest should be denied a right to choose abortion. But the far right does. They said jump, and McCain just asked how high.”
James Dobson, Focus on the Family: "A lot of people were praying, and I believe Sarah Palin is God's answer.”
Tony Perkins, Family Research Council: “Senator McCain made an outstanding pick.”
Connie Mackey, FRCAction: “I am elated with Senator McCain's choice.”
Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel: "Absolutely brilliant choice.”
Richard Land: “Governor Palin will delight the Republican base.”
Rick Scarborough, Vision America: “I’m elated. I think it’s a superb choice."
Ralph Reed: “They’re beyond ecstatic. This is a home run.”
Gary Bauer, American Values: "[A] grand slam home run."
Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: “She is the best possible choice.”
Wendy Wright, Concerned Women for America: “Governor Palin will change the dynamics of the entire presidential race.”
Janice Shaw Crouse, CWA's Beverly LaHaye Institute: “She is an outstanding woman who will be an excellent role model for the nation's young people.”
David Barton, Wallbuilders: "The talk won't be about, 'look at Sarah Palin' as much as 'look at what McCain's choice of Palin says about McCain's core beliefs.”
Jonathan Falwell: “John McCain made it very clear that his administration was going to be a pro-life administration, and he proved that’s his belief and his passion today with the choice of Sarah Palin.”
Jerry Falwell, Jr.: “I think it’s a brilliant choice.”
Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life: “And then when [Palin] was announced — it was like you couldn’t breathe. [We] were grabbing each other and jumping up and down.”
Gary Marx, Judicial Confirmation Network: “I can tell you that this pick tells millions in the base of the party that they can trust McCain. More specifically that they can trust him with Supreme Court picks and other key appointments.”
David Keene, American Conservative Union: “The selection of Governor Palin is great news for conservatives, for the party and for the country. I predict any conservatives who have been lukewarm thus far in their support of the McCain candidacy will work their hearts out between now and November for the McCain-Palin ticket.”
Citations at the link.
The McCain Lie:
McCain was asked if he believed his vetting of Palin was “thorough enough.” “The vetting process was completely thorough,” McCain said. “I’m grateful for its results.”
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was not subjected to a lengthy in-person background interview with the head of Sen. John McCain's vice presidential vetting team until last Wednesday in Arizona, the day before McCain asked her to be his running mate, and she did not disclose the fact that her 17-year-old daughter was pregnant until that meeting, two knowledgeable McCain officials acknowledged Tuesday. ...
... McCain did not speak face to face with Palin until Thursday morning, at his retreat in Sedona, Ariz. He also talked to her by telephone the previous Sunday. McCain had spoken with all of the others on his shortlist over the course of a selection process that went on for several months, but he was least familiar personally with the person he finally chose.
The campaign secretly flew Palin into Dayton last night [Ed note: That is last Thursday night -- the night before Palin was annnounced!]. She and McCain met privately for a couple of hours. McCain concluded she would "shake up the system" and was "a maverick," qualities he believed Lieberman would have brought to the ticket. But she also would appeal to conservatives -- which Lieberman most certainly would not have done.
After their meeting, McCain concluded he was comfortable with his choice. He notified Pawlenty this morning that he was going in a different direction.