Friday, October 31, 2008

Palin The Holy Warrior Now Thinks She's Above The Constitution

It's Halloween and with Sarah Palin things are getting even scarier:

ABC News reports:

In a conservative radio interview that aired in Washington, D.C. Friday morning, Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin said she fears her First Amendment rights may be threatened by "attacks" from reporters who suggest she is engaging in a negative campaign against Barack Obama.

Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama's associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate's free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.

"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media." (Gosh, I hope you remember this when you realize some of us have been calling you out on your associations.)

Salon's Glenn Greenwald explains why this argument is frighteningly wrong:

If anything, Palin has this exactly backwards, since one thing that the First Amendment does actually guarantee is a free press. Thus, when the press criticizes a political candidate and a Governor such as Palin, that is a classic example of First Amendment rights being exercised, not abridged.

This isn't only about profound ignorance regarding our basic liberties, though it is obviously that. Palin here is also giving voice here to the standard right-wing grievance instinct: that it's inherently unfair when they're criticized. And now, apparently, it's even unconstitutional.

According to Palin, what the Founders intended with the First Amendment was that political candidates for the most powerful offices in the country and Governors of states would be free to say whatever they want without being criticized in the newspapers. The First Amendment was meant to ensure that powerful political officials would not be "attacked" in the papers. (I bet all Holy Warriors think they should be free of criticism from any of the media, including insignificant bloggers such as myself. Although come to think of it, I get about 2000 discrete hits a month from 64 countries. That might be significant in it's own way.)

Is it even possible to imagine more breathaking ignorance from someone holding high office and running for even higher office? (Well, yea, it is. This is small stuff compared to claiming she had trade negotiation experience with Russia when she hadn't. I guess she really meant Canada)


Be forewarned. I will keep posting on Sarah Palin until the US presidential election is over. If some American Catholic Bishop obviously puts himself and his diocese in the McCain/Palin camp, I will post that as well. (Or puts him and his diocese in the Obama camp on some single issue --like the Iraq war for instance. Like that will actually happen.)

I'm not unaware of the fact that when given a chance to vote on the internet, the world is voting 85% in favor of Obama. Since at least 64 countries in the world have had someone who has read this blog this month, I've been keeping up with the world wide vote.

These are figures which Americans should understand, because almost everything this country does impacts people in places we don't even know where they are geographically. To forget this is to forget one the most important things Jesus ever taught. "We are all our brothers keepers, and what you do to the least of these you do to me." It's high time some of us Americans got this in terms of our global brothers and sisters.

I will do what I can to see that our past mistakes are not repeated---at least in this election cycle.


  1. Interesting stuff in the news today. I googled oprah + voting + electronic and found a number of listings indicating that when Oprah voted on Thursday, her presidential vote did not register.

    I havent found anything on any of the major news feeds confirming the story yet. Did I miss it?

    Interesting development, especially given the large number of early voting states for this election.

  2. It was on Huffington Post and they also had a clip of her reminiscing about the event. Her vote was recorded because she had enough presence of mind to double check.

    Her message is a very important one though. Those buttons on touch screen voting machines can be 'very touchy', recording double clicks which invalidate the vote.

    One can only hope this tendency is universal and not line specific.

  3. It is too bad that the Obama campaign doesnt plaster this picture of palin on the airwaves ... one look at that photo would probably be enough to swing undecided voters.

    I agree, it is a very important message, especially given the significance of this election

  4. Colleen, I'm glad you're going to keep on pursuing the Palin topic--I'm surely not getting bored by it.

    Whispers in the Loggia a few days ago has an interesting breakdown on the list of bishops who have made statements about the abortion issue that, on the face of it, seem to shove voters in the McCain direction. There is re also a list of bishops who don't seem to be toeing that line.