“I’ve got nothin’ to lose.” – Sarah Palin on Rush Limbaugh October 14, 2008
I agree. She has imploded on a national screen. When you hit bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. As Governor, she has gone sideways on her promise to Alaskans. Her “open and transparent” mantra has been revealed to be secretive, vindictive and disingenuous. Indeed, Sarah Palin has nothing to lose.
We, as Americans, however, are in danger of losing all that we stand for. Since the excuse of 9/11, the Bush administration has all but stolen the Constitution. The Patriot Act, (Part I and Part II) viciously attacked and undermined the Bill of Rights-in particular the 4th Amendment which protects Americans from unusual searches and seizures. Bush’s Military Commissions Act of 2006 swiped away not just a “quaint” part of the document, but the foundation itself, Habeas Corpus. In addition, the MCA of 2006 legalized torture retroactive to 2001. The recent passage of the FISA Bill provided retroactive immunity for law breaking telecoms that illegally wiretapped Americans BEFORE 9/11 at the request of the Bush Administration. The FISA Bill further concentrated Executive branch power allowing companies to break the law so long as they had a permission slip from the president. As a result, we have officially gone from a country under the Rule of Law to one under the Rule of Men.
Sarah Palin has nothing to lose.
We are in danger of losing civility. Elections are competitive and sometimes downright nasty. It’s understood when all is said and done and the votes are counted and stolen, we mend fences and resolve to get along-even if our team loses. In recent years, personal attacks have become commonplace. Over decades, we have witnessed political campaigns morph from heated policy disagreements to outing damning personal skeletons in opponent’s closets. In four short years, we have moved from 3rd party Swift Boating to candidates themselves, like Sarah Palin and John McCain, openly and tacitly endorsing their campaign rally crowd’s call for murder! There are unspoken protocols that keep this ultimate competition for the most powerful office in the world civil. Those protocols have disappeared like the Bill of Rights under Bush. The coded xenophobic language is not that covert. McCain and Palin love to refer to Barack Obama by his full name. “Who is Barack Hussein Obama?” The only time someone’s middle name is used is when their mother is mad at them or they have committed some awful crime; John Wilkes Booth. Lee Harvey Oswald. John Wayne Gacy. But they relish Obama’s middle name, Hussein, because it is a Muslim name. And, an Arab Muslim could never be president because this is America. Only white Christian men can be president, right? At a McCain town hall campaign rally last week, a woman gave a singular voice to the rabid Republican mob. She said she didn’t trust Obama because he was an Arab. McCain grabbed the microphone, shook his head in disagreement and said, “No, ma’am, he’s a decent family man.” As if being an Arab and a decent family man are mutually exclusive. Dorothy, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore. Maybe we’re in 1960s Mississippi-the only thing missing are hooded white robes and KKK cross burnings. This ugly discourse forever threatens exactly what makes this country great-our diversity. It should be celebrated not demonized. John McCain crumples into a victim when confronted with his responsibility to put a stop to his supporter’s threats. Sarah Palin has nothing to lose, but continues to condone the violence with her silence. Together they are forging dangerous new ground. In the end, it is not the Republicans who will lose, or the Democrats. America will lose.