Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Oops: Palin never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, say records

Sarah Palin, John McCain's vice presidential running mate, was not a member of the Alaskan Independence Party as the liberal political bottom-feeders have charged. Her registration forms show she has been a registered Republican since 1982.

We'll let you know as soon as her critics apologize for the error, assuming it happens before the election is over.

24 comments:

Art said...

Hi Martin,

You need to read the link I gave in another comment. You've missed the boat pretty completely on this one.

(If you bother, which I'm pretty sure you won't, you'll see that the claim by the media is not that Palin was a registered AIP member. That's a comment straight from AIP itself.

Hmmm... are you saying that AIP are "liberal bottom-feeders"? You may need a crash course on political orientation, Martin.)

The spirit of Jeff Davis lives, in more places than KY!

Martin Cothran said...

Art,

I agree that the head of the group was the source of the reports, and most newspapers reported it properly with attribution. Of course there's the trick of stating in the headline that she was a member even though the story qualifies that claim in the body of the story itself. But all you need to do is a Google search to find the sites what just report the claim as fact without the attribution. That's what I was talking about.

And by the way, I do put this in a different category of criticism than the ugly attacks on her family by people like Daily Kos and Andrew Sullivan. The allegations about AIG (accurately reported) I consider fair game.

kycobb said...

Martin,

She didn't change her registration, but her husband was a registered member of AIP until 2002, so there is no reason at this point to doubt the claim by AIP that both Mr. & Mrs. Palin attended the 1994 AIP convention, especially since the Governor chose to address the AIP convention this year.

The evidence leads to the disquieting conclusion that Gov. Palin is strongly sympathetic with a far-right anti-american separatist organization. That is a legitimate cause for concern.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin greets the 2008 Alaskan Independence Party convention: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwvPNXYrIyI

Martin Cothran said...

Art,

Oh, and there is this:

"Among other less attention-grabbing news of the day: it was learned that Ms. Palin now has a private lawyer in a legislative ethics investigation in Alaska into whether she abused her power in dismissing the state’s public safety commissioner; that she was a member for two years in the 1990s of the Alaska Independence Party, which has at times sought a vote on whether the state should secede; and that Mr. Palin was arrested 22 years ago on a drunken-driving charge."

It's from a publication called the New York Times. Maybe you've heard of it.

Lee said...

Just curious: is it just as wrong to encourage Hawaiian separatism as Alaskan? And are Hawaiian separatists just as far-right and anti-American as Alaskan separatists?

kycobb said...

Lee,

I assume you are trying to get to some point. Do you have evidence that Obama supports Hawaiian secession?

Lee said...

You didn't answer the question, kycobb. Did you intend not to answer it?

kycobb said...

Lee,

If you don't want to make your point, don't-I'm not going to play rhetorical games with you. If there's a group calling for the secession of Hawaii from the Union and Obama supports it, show me your evidence.

Lee said...

kycobb, you said, because Gov. Palin spoke at a convention for a "far right" separatist organization in Alaska, it showed cause for concern.

It seems like I'm offering you a very simple question. Do you think it would be an equal cause for concern if someone in the Democratic Party, or either party for that matter, were to display sympathies for a Hawaiian separatist organization?

I'm trying to make the question as symmetrical as I can to your earlier statement. If I have failed, by all means, answer the question you think I *should* have posed. It seems like a simple enough question, to me. All you have to do is to swap the parameters and apply the same principles.

Seems simple enough.

Lee said...

And also, while we're at it, does your opprobrium apply to *any* separatist group? E.g., Hispanics. Indians.

kycobb said...

Lee,

Your question is pointless, since apparently you are unable to identify any actual Hawaiian secession group supported by Obama. I'm not much interested in hypotheticals.

Lee said...

So then, your principled objection is to... hypothetical questions?

I think it's a fair question, kycobb. Everybody has principles, but sometimes the hard part is figuring out what those principles happen to be.

As your earlier statement was phrased, it implied that you had a principled objection to right-wing separatist groups.

I wanted to discover the real principles animating that proposition.

Do you object to separatist groups? Or just separatist groups that are labeled "right wing"?

Do you object to political figures speaking at gatherings sponsored by separatist groups? Or only when such occasions have a right-wing pedigree?

Do you object to politicians with separatist sympathies? Or only politicians that you already dislike for other reasons?

People talk a lot about double standards, but I don't think that's a precise depiction of reality. Behind every apparent double standard is an unacknowledged single standard. But because some principles are harder to acknowledge than others, the presentation can often tend to obscure them.

So far, I don't even know whether you embrace a "double standard" or not. All I know is that you have refused to answer a fairly straightforward question which would require you to commit as to which principles are behind your initial proposition. If there were a double standard, though, this would probably be what it looks like: a refusal to apply a principle directly.

And for the record, I do think there is excellent reason to be coy about applying the principle universally to all separatist movements. Yes, there is a Hawaiian separatist movement. Yes, there is a Hispanic separatist movement -- in fact, one of the leaders of "La Raza" was a member of the Clinton campaign. Though, admittedly, "separatist" in the case of La Raza does not mean "secessionist" -- they just don't want to have to use the same water fountains used by whites.

kycobb said...

OK Lee, I'll try to spell it out for you. Your question is not "symmetrical". The reason is that there is on the one hand there is an actual separatist group, the Alaskan Independence Party, with its own website where you can see for yourself what they stand for, and there are undeniable connections to Gov. Palin and her husband. Your asking me to comment on an unidentified Hawaiian group with no known connections to Barack Obama. Thats not "symmetrical"-I've identified a genuine issue, while you are asking me to comment on vapors.

BTW, Clinton is not the democratic candidate for president and I didn't support her, so any connection she has to La Raza is irrelevant. I strongly oppose segregation.

Lee said...

> Thats not "symmetrical"-I've identified a genuine issue, while you are asking me to comment on vapors.

If I didn't know better, I'd think you were being evasive.

Do you have a principled objection to hypothetical questions? Or do you just fear that if you were to apply the standard universally that you have applied to Palin, that it might also tend to taint politicians you happen to like better than Palin?

Do you think it is wrong to ask someone a hypothetical question? In all circumstances? Or just this one? Have you ever asked anyone a hypothetical question? Was it cause for a lot of inner turmoil and private angst?

Lee said...

And, by the way, I don't think the evidence suggests Obama is a Hawaiian separatist. He did support the Akaka bill, but McCain certainly did nothing to impede it. The Akaka Bill would make an Indian reservation, in effect, for Native Hawaiians, and is certainly supported by genuine Hawaiian separatists.

But separatistism does go hand in glove with the liberal deference to all cultures that aren't American. Maybe somebody can explain the difference between Alaskan separatists, who garner liberal gasps, and Hawaiian separatists, who garner liberal legislative support. The only difference I see is that one group is a bunch of right-wing whites, and the other is a bunch of left-wing non-whites. Otherwise, it looks pretty much the same.

However, Obama did spend a lot of time in Rev. Wright's church, and with the Rev. Wright, separatism does seem to characterize his beliefs. Certainly, anti-Americanism does.

Hmmm. Palin speaks at a convention for white separatists = cause for concern. Obama goes to a church where the pastor hates American and is not terribly fond of whites and considers pastor to be his mentor for years = no big deal.

I can see how the subject of double standards might come up.

But then these are the people who, of all things, attacked Palin on the thinness of her resume. Hmmm. "Community organizer" -- I didn't even know that was a job. Briefly served as a state legislator. Then became the junior Senator from Illinois. Yes, I can see how someone with such distinguished credentials could be confused with Dean Acheson.

Anonymous said...

lee: Behind every apparent double standard is an unacknowledged single standard.

Huh?
I don't understand this at all.
Can you give an example?
Karl Rove just complimented Palin for being mayor of 2nd largest city in AK [pop ~ 9,000]; a few weeks ago he disparaged a potential Democratic vp for being the mayor of the 105th largest city in the US [Richmond, pop ~ 200,000]. That's a double standard for judging whether someone has demonstrated leadership. What in the world is the "unacknowledged single standard" behind this?


jah

Anonymous said...

lee: Maybe somebody can explain the difference between Alaskan separatists, who garner liberal gasps, and Hawaiian separatists, who garner liberal legislative support. The only difference I see is that one group is a bunch of right-wing whites, and the other is a bunch of left-wing non-whites.

Without knowing anything of either of these movements, I can suggest that one is composed of native people who no longer control their own land and the other is a bunch of immigrants. So I can easily imagine a philosophical difference.

Land ownership being a good example of sophisticated rules developing from nothing. There are presently complicated laws and regulations dealing with who owns land in the US. But what is this based on? Some absolute land grant? Of course not, land ownership in the US was essentially determined by force.

jah

Lee said...

Easy, jah. If what you say is true, my first guess would be that Karl Rove's unacknowledged single standard is simply this: if saying something helps Republicans, it's good.

And I think there is plenty of evidence to support that interpretation.

But Rove senses his statements may be more effective if conceals that particular standard and dresses it up by harrumphing about small-city mayors. And then later it becomes clear he only meant small-city Democratic mayors. Heck, my guess is you can leave small-city mayors out of it altogether: Rove just doesn't like Democrats.

This is why double standards exist: you have to make your statements appear to contain more principle than just party loyalty. That's why you can't always acknowledge your real standard, and have to pick another one as the "front" standard. Rove's statements may or may not have been effective, but they were almost certainly more effective than if he had been up front about his willingness to say anything helpful to Republicans.

Lee said...

> jah: "Without knowing anything of either of these movements, I can suggest that one is composed of native people who no longer control their own land and the other is a bunch of immigrants. So I can easily imagine a philosophical difference."

Certainly, at one time, Native Hawaiians too were immigrants. Maybe they killed off a bunch of former inhabitants. Would we know if they had?

But why would complaints about being "conquered" necessarily have more moral appeal than complaints, say, of a constitutional nature against an existing government? What makes one type of complaint legitimate, and the other type illegitimate?

There is, after all, nothing in the U.S. Constitution that expressly forbids secession -- in which case, the Tenth Amendment should secure that right for the states. In the Civil War, the Union proceeded as if that were the case, and settled the argument by force -- but settling an argument by force hardly settles it philosophically.

If I say that Ernest Borgnine is the ugliest movie star of all time, and he beats me up until I say he's better looking than Cary Grant, it doesn't make him any more handsome.

Anonymous said...

lee: Easy, jah.

I see now. I would have called the reason (e.g., proRepublican) something other than a "standard"; perhaps a "position" or "motivation". A standard is like a yardstick, something to measure against. Rove's reasons don't for me fit that.

[I thought lee might be referring to some sort of absolute standard.]


jah

Lee said...

> Land ownership being a good example of sophisticated rules developing from nothing. There are presently complicated laws and regulations dealing with who owns land in the US. But what is this based on? Some absolute land grant? Of course not, land ownership in the US was essentially determined by force.

Private property is a convention. It is certainly a less secure one since the Kelo decision. As we speak, a crab house in Portsmouth, VA is being stolen from its owners by the city via eminent domain -- at a condo developer's suggestion that property values would go up if there were a park in the crab house's place.

The basis of our property laws was inherited from England, I think, and probably most of theirs came from Rome. But originally, I think most if not all the land in Europe at one time was owned by the noble class.

The feudal system has an interesting history, I think, as it actually pre-dates the Middle Ages. In a nutshell, Roman Emperor Diocletian was what we would today call a big-government liberal. He decided he was going to restore the glory of Old Rome, so he created these vast public works, and then raised taxes to pay for them. In those days, there were private landowners, small farmers who were not rich or noble. On them, most of the tax burden fell, because (where have we heard this one?) the rich and noble could gain exemptions -- "loopholes", I think we call them. But it wasn't just an income tax. Oh no. Nothing that just. It was a tax based not on what was produced, but based on what a tax assessor thought *could* have been produced. It's like taxing you based not only on the full-time job you actually hold, but also on the part-time job as a bartender that you don't hold, but could.

The result was that the poor landowners could not afford the taxes. So many of them fled to the provinces.

That's not quite what the Emperor was looking for. So he decreed that, henceforth, all who worked the land of their fathers were henceforth bound to it -- they could not leave. Gotta stay here and pay those taxes.

So what the landowners did out of desperation created the feudal system that lasted for more than 1500 years: they deeded their property over to a "landlord" in return for the right to work it. In effect, selling themselves and their ancestors into slavery for many generations. The lord was a wealthy guy who could gain exemptions from the Roman Senate. His job was to take care of the politics and the taxes, and the farmers would take care of the crops.

That's the part about high taxes that Democrats never understand, or never let on that they understand: for the rich, taxes are optional. Always.

Let me repeat that: Taxes are always optional for rich people.

That means they don't have to pay them if they don't want to.

Go ahead and raise the income tax rates for the "super rich". Fine. The truly rich don't need an income. They will make money with their money, if they can. But making money with money requires risk. If you risk it in stocks, you may expect to earn perhaps an average of 10-12% over the long term. Before taxes. After taxes, much less. Or you can put it in tax-free municipal bonds, earn much less money, but pay no taxes and incur no risks.

Or just put it in a bank account and live on the principal. If you have enough money, that's an option.

And since both parties rely on rich patronage, there will always be loopholes for the rich. And the rich will always take them.

So when taxes go up, who does that leave to pay them? Same as in Rome.

Diocletian broke the system. The Empire limped along for another 150 years or so, but it never regained its strength or vitality. The lesson here is that high taxes destroy the emotional bond between common citizens and the government. When the ordinary working man sees the government not as something that's protecting him, but as something that's robbing him, it's over.

Anonymous said...

lee: In the Civil War, the Union proceeded as if that were the case, and settled the argument by force -- but settling an argument by force hardly settles it philosophically.

Agreed.

jah

Lee said...

> [I thought lee might be referring to some sort of absolute standard.]

Not this time. ;-)