Palin And Sufferin’
Scary Sarah leads the way to a nastier, stupider America
by Bernadette L. Wagner
Sarah Palin wouldn’t be my first pick for Vice President of the United States. The Alaskan Governor is unfit for the job.
For starters, forget that she’s female. Palin is no friend of women’s rights. She rose to the top not because she’s cream, but because she’s female, a token woman — a strategic play by Republicans to lure Hillary Clinton supporters to their ticket — and because neoconservative types like her. A lot.
Still, her spot on the Republican ticket shocked the world. Mitt Romney or Joe Lieberman were the favourites to run as Senator John McCain’s running-mate. How, exactly, Palin floated to the top remains a mystery.
Palin hails from Wasilla, Alaska, a town in a state with an incidence of sexual assault that’s twice the national average. During her two-term reign as mayor in the 1990s, Wasilla was one of a number of Alaskan municipalities that began billing victims of sexual assault for the forensic testing they underwent after filing a report with the police. (This ‘blame the victim’ policy stood until 2000, when the state legislature squashed it so Alaska would be eligible to receive funding for (from?) the federal Violence Against Women Act.)
The “rape-kit story has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media during the U.S. Campaign. That’s surprising given the sheer viciousness of this policy that was in place under Palin’s tenure. Can you hang the whole mess on Sarah? Well, no, but she’s far from blameless. — After all, she hand-picked a police chief who championed the policy and Palin signed off on the budget that turned the rape-kit expenses into revenues.
None of this should be really surprising, given that Palin belongs to a book-banning, gun-toting brand of hard right, Christian fundamentalism. Officially blessed by Wasilla’s Church of God, Palin opposes same sex marriage and holds strident views on reproductive choice (women don’t get any). As a member of Feminists for Life she believes all pregnancies should be carried to term, even those that are the result of sexual assault.
Thanks to the good women (& men) at BnR for the great accumulation of Palin links!