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September 22, 2008

New Tomdispatch


The Evolution of John McCain
Why He Picked Sarah Palin, Carbon Queen

By Chip Ward

Despite the media feeding frenzy, we still may be asking ourselves, "Just who exactly is Sarah Palin?" Mixed in with the Davy-Crockett-meets-SuperMom vignettes -- all those moose hunting, ice fishing, snowmobiling, baby-juggling, and hockey-momming moments -- we've also learned that she doesn't care much for her former brother-in-law and wasn't afraid to use her office to go after his job as a state trooper; that she was for the "bridge to nowhere" before she was against it; that she's against earmarks unless they benefit her constituents; that she can deliver a snappy wisecracking speech, thinks banning books in libraries is okay, considers herself a pit bull with lipstick, and above all else, wants to drill the ever-lovin' daylights out of every corner of her home state (which John McCain's handlers have somehow translated into being against Big Oil, since she insisted on a marginally bigger cut of the profits for Alaskans).

Oh, and -- not that this is very important to Americans or the planet -- she now thinks that global warming might possibly be human-made… sorta… though she didn't before, despite the fact that the state she governs is on the frontline of climate change. And, of course, she's a classic right-wing, fundamentalist Christian: against abortion -- check; against same-sex marriage -- check; against stem-cell research -- check; favors teaching Creationism in public schools -- check.

It's that last item, her willingness to put Creationism up against the teaching of evolutionary science in the classroom on a he-says-she-says basis, that's far more revealing of just who our new Republican vice presidential candidate is than we generally assume. It deserves the long, hard look that it hasn't yet gotten. Most Democrats and progressives tend to think of the teaching of Creationism as a mere sidebar item on their agenda of political don't-likes, but it's not. Sarah Palin's bias towards Creationism is a window into her political soul and a measure of John McCain's hypocrisy.

The rest.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at September 22, 2008 10:24 PM

The religious aspects of Creationism are over-emphasized. I know that's a weird thing to say, but it's true.

Creationism is an artifact of self-aggradizement, the result of the latter projected into culture. The religious bits get picked up as it rolls along, like a pile of offal rolling along a gravel path.

Evolution is offensive to the ostensibly Christian only if one's pride is such that one ignores the scriptures one proports. Anyone who claims God made man from the "dust of the ground" shouldn't be nonplussed to find that he has a relationship with the animals -- animals made before him, animals that are also made from the "dust of the ground." Is it more insulting to be called a monkey or to be called dirt?

Then there's the arbitrarinessness of the literalism. Genesis is taken literally by Creationists, even when allegory is implied. However, the unambiguous New Testament bits about ministering to the impoverished and social outcasts is treated as a mere suggestion. This is aggravated by the fact that a) a literal Genesis account is nigh-impossible since the "days" referred to require a sun to account for them -- and that celestial body isn't created until a couple of steps into the process -- and b) Genesis actually follows the evolutionary account beautifully if you align it to changes on the Earth's surface (as opposed to the creation of the entire universe).

The implications of Creationism would quickly be dispensed with if those maintaining it began to be hurt by indirect environmental factors -- spills, leaks, shortages, die-offs and so on. (That is, assuming that the victim recognized the cause of his or her suffering.) Thus, it is not a completely moral issue: there is a strong intellectual fallacy wrapped up in it all. Still, the intellectual and moral issues still outweigh the religious aspects of this "religious" issue. As usual, in politics, Christ makes for a poor Redeemer and a better Red Herring.

Posted by: No One of Consequence at September 23, 2008 12:12 AM

off topic, but I did this action and I do feel better! I made a simple sign that says:


Posted by: Susan - NC at September 23, 2008 12:51 AM

Oh palın ıs a dumb cunt, just about as dumb as you people, but what I prefer about her compared to you ıs that she at least bears no rıdıculous pretensıons of beıng knowledgeable or ıntellıgent.

Posted by: xyz at September 23, 2008 05:36 AM

Yeah, people who bear ridiculous pretensions of beıng knowledgeable or ıntellıgent are pretty annoying.

Posted by: cemmcs at September 23, 2008 08:26 AM

Because if you don't understand it, it's ridiculous and pretentious.

That's why teaching someone like xyz Creationism in school is a bad idea. He'll think he understands that as opposed to actual science.

Posted by: Bob In Pacifica at September 23, 2008 09:13 AM

The entire system is corrupt. Let's hit rock bottom so can bounce, instead of putting lipstick on a Palin and calling her Obama.

Posted by: Marcus at September 23, 2008 09:30 AM

eh I am all for teachıng creatıonısm ın schools. Lookıt, the kıds ın skool dıstrıcts where adoptıng creatıonısm ıs popular are not goıng to HYP to study genetıcs, they are at best goıng to the local state U to get a degree ın accountıng. So why not let them grow belıevıng that they descend from God or whatever ınstaed of monkeys. It ıs zealots lıke you dumbfucks that won't leave people alone, much as the dumbfuck zealots ın Alabama don't want to let nıce gay people ın Sf get marrıed.

Posted by: xyz at September 23, 2008 09:35 AM

Since the troll is back, I hope people stop feeding it. Unless you like endless servings of vacuous chestpounding, kindergarten insults, and sexist verbiage, accompanied by an occasional insight obvious to anyone who bothers to read a newspaper. Unfortunately, when it was here last it was clear some of you enjoyed it.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at September 23, 2008 11:13 AM

Stubby Ur back!! Did U get Putin to call Nan @1-202-225-0100?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at September 23, 2008 11:24 AM

Man, Mike, way to ignore the last comment...

Posted by: Save the Oocytes at September 23, 2008 12:18 PM

Mooses and gooses
and wolveses and bears,
all cry, save us from Palin
and her hunter's airs.

We all say no maverick she,
as she fair claims to be,
to the eye a faux treat,
and a cold killer cheat.

So up and away, please come help us out,
her creator didn't use evolution for naught -
She prays in tongues, with rifle to hand,
So lock her up tight, and help save the land.

sorry, couldn't resist.

Posted by: Jesus B, Ochoa at September 23, 2008 05:02 PM

Great poem!!!

Posted by: Mike Meyer at September 23, 2008 08:26 PM

Since Tom's Dispatch apparently doesn't allow comments, I thought I would comment here on this :

Remember, more than 60% of the nation's 60 million evangelicals believe that the Bible is literally true, every last word of it,

No, they do not. They say that they do, but they do not. The rapture, for example, is not in the Bible. Period. Most of the crap they spout is not in the Bible, or is based on such a narrow and twisted reasoning (a little bit here, a little bit there, a misinterpretation from over there) that no one who was really grounded in Christian theology would give it credence. And, if it is in the Bible but inconvenient for them, they wave it away. I have been waiting for 30 years for someone to seriously attack them on their own turf. This emperor has no clothes, and it is past time that someone called them on this.

Posted by: Marshall at September 23, 2008 09:10 PM

Results of PBS poll are shocking--whether Palin is qualified to be VP or not.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at September 23, 2008 10:24 PM

Is this what is in store for USA if the republican ticket wins? Those who do not want to vote or are considering not voting because they do not like Obama/Biden ticket either, may want to think again!

Has Sarah Palin Been Picked as the Titular Head of the Coming Police State?

Posted by: Rupa Shah at September 24, 2008 02:08 PM
Has Sarah Palin Been Picked as the Titular Head of the Coming Police State?

When the long road from the republic becomes a milfocracy, you know the sun is setting.

Waiting for Dubya's economy speechifying in a few minutes is making me all giddy and giggly.

Posted by: Labiche at September 24, 2008 08:59 PM

Labiche : Wonder how it felt after hearing GWB, the hypocrite, after his speech! Just a few days ago, he kept saying, the economy was SOUND!!! and now he is warning US, it is in great danger! That without the bailout package, there will be a long and painful recession! I guess, FINALLY he is waking up to the reality from his delusional state!

Posted by: Rupa Shah at September 25, 2008 10:15 AM