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Sarah Palin-drone: Clashing Not Clever

Scott Swenson

Palin-drone: Sequences of social conservative family values and public policies that run in both directions, but clash rather than flow, and aren't very clever. syn: hypocrisy.

The world’s most popular palindrome: A man, a plan, a canal Panama.

But this is not Teddy Roosevelt’s Grand Old Party. It’s not even John McCain’s. This is Sarah Palin’s Republican Party.  It is her far-right platform, her socially conservative delegates, her convention, her ideology. 

In clever word play, simple lines can be read forwards and back, making a palindrome. But Palin’s claims to social conservative values and her record on public policy — neither witty, nor simple — clash against reality, rather than flowing from it.

Her positions shall be known as Palin-drones: less clever, more complicated, often hypocritical, and repeated drone-like, to replace original thought with canned lines. Unlike palindromes, Palin-drones are not the least bit amusing to the thousands of Alaskan families her decisions impact, or the American families she’s now speed dating. 

Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.

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  • She wants to hold up her family, and their values, as an model that others should follow, but believes people talking about the realities "all families face," using hers as an example, is off limits.
  • She says it is too "explicit" to teach comprehensive sexuality education that promotes resepect for self and partner, delayed sexual debut and facts about contraception, as most parents support. Instead she supports abstinence-only-until-marriage policies that have been proven quantitatively, and anecdotally, not to work.
  • She denigrates community organizers, but celebrates faith-based inititiaves which are a form of community organizing, including, one could argue, the abstinence-only-until-marriage programs run by right-wing Christian groups often without any public health expertise, often promoting religion. Community organizers are often required to have specific skill sets to ensure competence and accountability, and often work along side faith-based groups, both relying on and celebrating the volunteer spirit.
  • She says she is pro-contraception but hasn’t defined that, and will likely keep the ideological soul mates she will find in Bush’s  Department of Health and Human Services staff, who have proposed regulations that would make contraception less accessible to American women. 
  • She celebrates the fact her family is ordinary, dealing with everyday issues like teen pregnancy to bond with moms everywhere, but as Governor stripped funding for pregnant mothers who may not have the same family support systems the Palins clearly have.
  • She wants people to know she is making the best choices based on her values, and hold her daughter’s choices up as a model, but would deny that same right to choose to all other American women, refusing them the opportunity to make decisions based on their own family values even in cases of rape and incest.
  • She holds up her "pro-life" family values to motivate the far-right, but would not even utter the words during the most significant speech of her political career as millions of less ideological Americans watched. Was Palin hoping moderate women just wouldn’t notice? Some might call that sexist.
  • She wants to be in the Oval Office when John McCain starts reviewing "short lists" for the next two (or three) Supreme Court appointments, but is not ready to answer questions about her own judicial philosophy.
  • She wants to sell her story as a maverick reformer who took on the "big boys" in her own party, but joined John McCain who won’t help women stand up for equal pay for equal work.
  • Saying she’s made "executive decisions," she touts her experience as Mayor and Governor, but is being sheltered from media who mights ask about those decisions and their impact on families other than her own.
  • She wants to continue to divide the nation by playing to base fears and fomenting Culture Wars, and thinks by putting lipstick on it, Americans will just laugh and call it "change."