Saturday, August 30, 2008

How Far to the Right Is Sarah Palin? UPDATED

Far enough to the right that she supported Pat Buchanan's run in 1999. You know, the isolationist paleoconservative who doesn't hate Jews or minorities, but just really really likes Christian white people? Yeah, that Pat Buchanan.

Game changer, indeed.

UPDATE: Much as I'd like to continue the dialogue with DJW, this story renders the discussion moot. I'm not sure I get a public figure showing up at a rally wearing a button, then saying "psyche." But for a part-time mayor of a small time in Alaska, we can let it pass.

Btw, the Obama campaign screwed up calling Buchanan a "Nazi sympathizer." Buchanan is a Nazi apologist. Let's keep that straight.


Daniel Jack Williamson said...

I heard Chris Matthews making the same McCarthyesque remarks on MSNBC. Sarah Palin has never expressed the same sentiments as Pat Buchanan, just as Barack Obama never expressed the same sentiments as Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

I expect better, coming from you, Pho.

Pho said...

Oooh, comparison to Chris Matthews. You really know how to make it sting.

I see you working, but the analogy between Wright and Buchanan doesn't float. Obama attended Wright's church because that's where he found his faith. Lots of people like a pastor for his theology but not necessarily his politics.

On the other hand, a public official supporting a candidate is supporting that candidate's politics. That's the essence of an endorsement.

Moreso in this case where it wasn't like Buchanan was the only choice. Coming out for Buchanan in 1999 was a statement that W. Bush was insufficiently conservative. For a Republican campaign scratching for moderate votes, the more people learn about her actual politics the worse for the ticket.

Moreover, Obama accounted for his relationship with Wright. Palin should be called on to account for her support for Buchanan. How she reconciles support for his isolationism with McCain's support for aggressive intervention.

Daniel Jack Williamson said...

Pho, Buchanan was the only candidate that actually went to Alaska to campaign. No one else visited the state.

I've blogged that Obama shouldn't be judged according to the words that non-surrogates spoke. When Buchanan made the speeches you reference, he was not a McCain-Palin surrogate. Palin has never uttered the same sentiments.

If this is going to be a guilt-by-association campaign, there are plenty of Obama contacts already in the news that are far more criminal than Buchanan.

Pho said...

C'mon, there's a difference between people who like you and people who you like. Obama bashers have been trying to tie him to the former; this is about the latter.

She didn't have to go to the rally and she sure as hell didn't have to wear his button. I know plenty of Republicans who wouldn't be caught dead at a Buchanan rally. If she wants to claim that she was just being polite, we'll see how that flies. But people have the right to ask how closely she aligns herself with Buchanan's isolationism, and the ugliness that goes with it..

Daniel Jack Williamson said...

Pho, I vehemently disagree with Pat Buchanan on issues such as English-only legislation, multi-culturalism, immigration, affirmative action, etc. I think he is xenophobic, homophobic, and, in general, not sufficiently tolerant of diversity.

BUT . . . In the general election of November 2000, I voted for Pat Buchanan rather than George W. Bush, Al Gore, or Ralph Nader. Pat Buchanan had the most coherent foreign policy and trade policy. He's the only one who called China out on the carpet. He supports labor unions, as I do. He would have kept the government in the black. The candidates of 2000 all had severe deficiencies. My vote for Buchanan was not an endorsement of intolerance. I had to look at the totality of the issues, found everyone flawed, held my nose, and chose someone who had more of a clue than the others on matters of labor, commerce, accountability, administration, economics, taxes,
trade, and foreign policy.

Alaskans supported Buchanan because he's the only one who'd campaign in person up there. If Alaskans feel snubbed by everyone else, and they want to let the other candidates know that, then they'll wear the button of the candidate that showed up to give them the time of day. It's that simple.

Until Palin offers any public statements that are as revolting as Buchanan about issues of diversity, I'd say that it's dishonest to attribute those intolerant attitudes to Palin.

At my blog, I scolded Republicans, and demanded that they not portray Obama according to the words spoken by Rev. Wright since Obama never echoed those words. I'm scolding you for portraying Palin according to words spoken by Buchanan that were never echoed by Palin.

As vile as Buchanan may be on the diversity issue, he would never attempt a terrorist attack on targets of national significance. Ayers did. Whatever association Palin has with Buchanan, it is far more distant and casual than Obama's association with Ayers. And if we are going to judge people by how closely they associate with undesirables, then Keith Olbermann is much more closely associated with Pat Buchanan than Sarah Palin ever was.

Ben said...

Didnt she support Steve Forbes anyways?

Daniel Jack Williamson said...

Thanks for updating, Pho. I appreciate it.