Religious Right is Ecstatic about Palin --UPDATED
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 04:14:52 PM EST
Sarah Palin, as Chip Berlet writes below was a predictable choice for John McCain, at least in so far as a Religious Right candidate was almost a necessity for McCain.  And as pastordan writes over at Street Prophets, her Religious Right credentials are impressive.

And suffice to say that the Religious Right itself is ecstatic. For example, Fr. Frank Pavone of the militant anti-abortion group Priests for Life said at a news teleconference today:

When asked the question by a member of the press, "How would you contrast Sarah Palin giving birth to a Down Syndrome baby with Barack Obama supporting leaving Down Syndrome babies to die when born alive?", Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life stated, "A lot of pro-life groups will make sure that contrast comes is a very striking contrast....there is also a contrast between Sarah Palin (being pro-life)... and Joe Biden being a pro-abortion Catholic.  I expect that there will be very strong statements from Catholic Bishops all over the country."
Here's more:

Top conservative leaders gave their reactions to the announcement that Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) made today of his Vice Presidential running mate, Governor Sarah Palin (R-Alaska).  Commentators who participated in a nationwide press teleconference that followed the forum and which was hosted by included: Father Frank Pavone, Priests for Life; Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform; Sandra Froman, NRA Immediate Past President; Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List; Ken Blackwell, Chairman for the Coalition for a Conservative Majority and Vice Chairman of the 2008 Republican Platform Committee; and Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring.

"Sarah Palin is the whole package. There couldn't be a better vice presidential pick," said Susan B. Anthony List President, Marjorie Dannenfelser. "Women voters are electrified, and Sarah is someone who is truly in sync with the way real American women think."

Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform commented, "The good news about Sarah Palin is that she is a reformer on spending.  She is one of a handful of governors who by executive order put government spending online and searchable.  Both in government transparency, on spending transparency, on saying no to tax increases and keeping government spending down, she has been a star at the state level."

Ken Blackwell Chairman for the Coalition for a Conservative Majority, stated, "Sarah Palin offers a freshness and she is grounded in virtues that have made our country great.  She is an independent thinker....she believes in human dignity and (the) rights of every person and is a strong believer in the First Amendment and religious liberty and in the Second Amendment....John McCain couldn't have made a better choice."  

A full transcript is to be published here.

Update [2008-8-29 20:14:44 by Frederick Clarkson]: And Richard Viguerie says: "She's perfect." and "Conservatives, the base of the party, have been listless. But, now, nearly all will work enthusiastically for the McCain-Palin ticket. In fact, this is the most enthusiastic conservatives have been since the era for Ronald Reagan."

I wonder if any of them are thinking about the consequences should McCain die? It is interesting that the possibility of her being Commander in Chief hasn't crossed someone's mind. He is old, and will look older standing next to her.

I am also wondering how enthusiastic the rank and file will be about Todd being the househusband. I suppose his oil roughneck image might reassure some that the husband rules the bed, if not the household. Or have the rank and file gotten over the angst over the wife being the breadwinner? She will surely get bonus points for carrying the Downs' baby, but will religious right women have qualms about her leaving the baby to her husband?

by NancyP on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 06:21:39 PM EST

Actually...and I hope to the gods I am being, as the term goes, "hyper-aware" to the point of being paranoid on this...

...but part of my very real gut feeling on this is that Palin got nominated in large part because of a real sense that (if elected) McCain wouldn't make it through his term--thus putting Palin in to be a dominionist president.  A particularly nasty and hardline dominionist president, at that. :P

This is one of those areas I really hope it's just the PTSD rearing its ugly head...

by dogemperor on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 02:48:40 AM EST

Religious Right bloggers appear to be primarily fixated on a single aspect of Palin's qualifications - her "testimony" for her anti-abortion stance demonstrated through the birth of her baby with Down's Syndrome.  This is a story that will now be repeated many thousands of times and become a rallying cry to motivate the base. While one can certainly admire the parents for this very difficult (and very personal) decision, it is frightening to think that such an important election could be influenced, or possibly even determined, on this basis.

by Rachel Tabachnick on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 08:59:27 AM EST
that if Palin survives the current controversy into the firing of the Alaska Commissioner of Public Safety... that this will be one of the defining issues of the election.  It is one that the Dems are not as well prepared for as they might be, since they have come under the influence of groups and campaign consultants who instruct the party and its candidates not to talk about reproductive rights and separation of church and state.  

by Frederick Clarkson on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 11:36:04 AM EST

While I believe this will be the excuse Dobson uses to finally endorse McCain (something he would have done anyway, as I long predicted) I am not sure it's as much of a slam dunk as Viguere believes.

She is so inexperienced that she may well give even fundamentalists pause for thought.  While they may be ecstatic over her anti-choice credentials, many will be sensible enough to have grave concerns over her ability to lead the country from day one.  Just ask them to think what would happen if McCain was incapacitated in his first month in office.

Second, if the Democrats play this right, they should be able to frame this as the Republican's stepping away from any possible compromise on reproductive rights (not that there was one anyway).  After the Dems have leaned over backwards to accommodate evangelicals, McCain has thumbed his nose at the moderates by picking Palin.  

Of course, such framing has been a big problem in the past, so it remains to be seen if the Obama campaign can be any different.

Palin probably turns this from a cake walk for Obama into a tighter race, but evangelicals still have to put a check mark against the name "McCain" and I'm betting the euphoria over Palin will be shortlived.

by tacitus on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 12:39:14 PM EST

Palin is risky choice in a lot of ways that even the cable news pundits clearly see.

But this campaign is going to be more about the litmust test issues of the religious right than anyone thought possible. Rick Warren completely sandbagged the liberals who thought he would act like the new moderate evangelical he was billed as -- wrong!  He dwelled on abortion ("holocaust") and same sex marriage and never got around to climate change and AIDS.

I predict that Palin's Down's Syndrome baby will be one of the most famous people in America before this is over. In a truly perverse way, that child will be the standin for Terri Schiavo as an animating issue for the religious right; a narrative that embodies so much of what they say that they are about; and what they say Obama is about, like Pavone says, above.

by Frederick Clarkson on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 02:32:40 PM EST

Yeah, it's all just speculation for now.  There is already more stuff coming out about Palin, especially from Alaskan press and fellow politician (some Republican) who are somewhat stunned that she was chosen and are not all that complimentary in their comments.

It will probably take another three weeks (the Republican convention -- with Gustav in tow) and two more weeks to see where this shakes down.  

I know the PUMAs are happy, but they were going to vote for McCain anyway since they were not swayed by Clinton's words.  Palin just gives them a better excuse to vote against their hero's wishes. (Ironically, electing McCain now probably lessens Clinton's chances of being elected in 2012, but the PUMAs are too far gone to understand that).

So, my bet is that in three weeks, the poll will be about where they were before the conventions -- Obama up by about 2 points.  A superior ground game will be the best chance for Obama to win this election as it has been all along.

by tacitus on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 02:56:56 PM EST

I also think they will use Bristol Palin's pregnancy as a weapon in the culture war, no matter how bad it may make the Palins look. In addition, Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton (birthplace of Obama's running mate Sen. Joe Biden) is firing up the communion wars by telling the public any Catholic who isn't "pro-life" need not bother receiving Communion.

by khughes1963 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 05:47:38 PM EST

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