Thursday, September 04, 2008

A fact-filled letter from Barack and MoveOn.org

From Barack to me,
Leslie --

Why would the Republicans spend a whole night of their convention attacking ordinary people?

With the nation watching, the Republicans mocked, dismissed, and actually laughed out loud at Americans who engage in community service and organizing.

Our convention was different. We gave the stage to everyday Americans who hunger for change and stepped up to make phone calls, knock on doors, and raise money in small amounts in their communities.


Dear MoveOn member,
Did you watch Sarah Palin's speech last night? The speech told us a lot about her.
It told us that she can distort the facts and deliver mean-spirited zingers with the best of them. It told us that if Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter ever need a stand-in, she'd be a great pick.

It told us that she can be condescending and dismissive of the real work Barack Obama did helping real people on the South Side of Chicago. It told us that she can uphold the long Republican tradition of lying about Democratic tax cuts—even though Obama's plan would give Americans a bigger break than McCain's.

But the speech—written by one of President Bush's speechwriters—didn't tell us the truth about Sarah Palin's extremist positions. And the more that people know her far-right views, the less they support her. (There's a partial list below.)

One of the best ways to get the word out about Palin is to write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Today's a great day to write because this is very relevant—it just happened last night. Plus, our online tool makes it easy and has great tips.

Palin's speech and the reaction to it also made clear why McCain picked her. It wasn't a decision about who's most qualified to serve a heart-beat away from the presidency—it was a political decision about pleasing the far-right base of the Republican party.


Palin recently said that the war in Iraq is "God's task." She's even admitted she hasn't thought about the war much—just last year she was quoted saying, "I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."
1,2
Palin has actively sought the support of the fringe Alaska Independence Party. Six months ago, Palin told members of the group—who advocate for a vote on secession from the union—to "keep up the good work" and "wished the party luck on what she called its 'inspiring convention.'" 3
Palin wants to teach creationism in public schools. She hasn't made clear whether she thinks evolution is a fact.4
Palin doesn't believe that humans contribute to global warming. Speaking about climate change, she said, "I'm not one though who would attribute it to being manmade." 5
Palin has close ties to Big Oil. Her inauguration was even sponsored by BP. 6
Palin is extremely anti-choice. She doesn't even support abortion in the case of rape or incest. 7
Palin opposes comprehensive sex-ed in public schools. She's said she will only support abstinence-only approaches. 8
As mayor, Palin tried to ban books from the library. Palin asked the library how she might go about banning books because some had inappropriate language in them—shocking the librarian, Mary Ellen Baker. According to Time, "news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor." 9

She DID support the Bridge to Nowhere (before she opposed it). Palin claimed that she said "thanks, but no thanks" to the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. But in 2006, Palin supported the project repeatedly, saying that Alaska should take advantage of earmarks "while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist." 10
The plain fact of the matter is that Sarah Palin did a bang-up job delivering a Karl Rove-style political attack speech last night. That makes her a skilled politician but it doesn't make her views any more palatable for voters. Americans don't really want another far-right, anti-science ideologue in the White House.

–Nita, Ilyse, Wes, Karin and the rest of the team
P.S. If you haven't seen it, check out the Daily Show clip on Palin. It's worth a watch.

Sources
1. "Palin: Iraq war 'a task that is from God'," Associated Press, September 3, 2008

2. "Palin wasn't 'really focused much' on the Iraq war," ThinkProgress, August 30, 2008
3. "The Sarah Palin Digest," ThinkProgress, September 4, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/palin-digest/
4. "McCain and Palin differ on issues," Associated Press, September 3, 2008

5. Ibid
6. The Sarah Palin Digest," ThinkProgress, September 4, 2008

7. Ibid
8. Ibid.
9. "Mayor Palin: A Rough Record," Time, September 2, 2008

10. The Sarah Palin Digest," ThinkProgress, September 4, 2008
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