Palin the Hun?

Today, I read Anna Kilkenny’s Letter About Sarah Palin. Anna is an acquantance of Palin from Wasilla, Alaska, and she portrays the Vice-Presidential candidate as a combination of Huey Long, George W. Bush, Richard Nixon, Karl Rove, Hillary Clinton, Attila the Hun, and Nellie Oleson. At the outset, let me just say that I have no problem with Palin being a little ruthless in her attempt to get things done. That does kind of disrupt my image of her as a sweet motherly lady who would embrace anyone with open arms, but I’m sure she didn’t buck Alaska’s political establishment by just being nice and pretty.

I also don’t care that she opposes the condom brand of sex education, or sought to remove certain books from the public library. Maybe the books were smut! I’m somewhat concerned, however, about the taxes she raised, the debt she accrued for roads, the tax money she wasted on a sports center, and her refurbishments of city hall. But I’m eager to hear her side and the explanations of her defenders. After all, there are many things that liberals are saying about Palin that are simply not true: that she hates wolves and polar bears, that she cut funding for unwed mothers, etc., etc. (see here, here, and the readers’ comments here and here).

At the same time, how much of her own story is mythical? As I look at how much she and her husband make together, my impression is that she’s quite well-off (see here). She makes $125,000 as governor, her husband earned $40,000 for a snow race, and their home is worth $500,000. If her family ever had to worry about a mortgage, it was probably a while back, when she and her husband worked together in the fishing business (I think I read about that somewhere). But, then again, how far does money go when you’re raising lots of children, and when you live in a house that costs that much?

A Wall Street Journal article presents her as somewhat of a pragmatist in her governing style (see here). She supports restrictions on abortion, yet she didn’t include that on the agenda when she called special sessions of the state legislature. That angered the pro-life community, but she wanted bipartisan support for the gas pipeline. And the article also says that, as mayor of Wasilla, she got voters’ permission to increase the sales tax and issue a bond to pay for the sports center, even though the referendum only won by 20 votes, and she supposedly botched up the purchase of the land.

I may talk more about Palin tomorrow. Or I may not. We’ll see!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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