Party whores

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Deceiving exteriors…the devil travels behind unthreatening masks. 

Sarah Palin’s Big, Sleazy Safari

“Alaska isn’t really very hard to understand. It consists of a minority that loves the wilderness and an overwhelmingly Republican majority that wants to squeeze all the cash it can get out of the state before the oil dries up, the fish die out and the wildlife disappears…”

By John Dolan, [AlterNet] | [print_link] Posted on September 2, 2008, Printed on September 2, 2008

Most people had never heard of Sarah Palin when she was named the Republican VP nominee. But I’d been hearing her name all too often, because I belong to a group called Defenders of Wildlife — and in her time as governor of Alaska, Palin has used her position as governor of Alaska to ruin the Alaskan wilderness in every way she could.

Her most recent “victory” came on Aug. 26, when Alaska’s voters defeated Measure 2, an initiative that would have banned hunting wolves from airplanes for sport.

Palin organized a campaign against Measure 2 and funded it with $400,000 of state money. For most of us, the idea of zooming around in a private airplane over snowbound wilderness just for the chance to spot a terrified wild dog and blow it apart with a high-powered rifle is insane. But there’s a whole culture out there in love with the idea. Palin did her part by playing the tired old Alaskan pioneer card, saying that lower-48 naysayers who dared to object to the idea of dive-bombing wildlife didn’t “understand rural Alaska.”

Alaska isn’t really very hard to understand. It consists of a minority that loves the wilderness and an overwhelmingly Republican majority that wants to squeeze all the cash it can get out of the state before the oil dries up, the fish die out and the wildlife disappears. Nowhere else does the Republican formula of manipulating the suckers by playing on their silly hatreds and even sillier vanities play out more clearly than in Alaska.

To get an idea of Palin’s core constituency, just go to the home page of Safari Club International, one of the groups that fought hardest against Measure 2 — and is now gloating loudest over this proud victory.

An aerial wolf hunt. Watch for yourself what these depraved idiots are doing to defenceless animals. Good pals, of course, of Palin. Brought to you by an overwhelmingly Republican “ethic” mixed with big dollops of backward libertarianism. Alaska, poor Alaska, is individualism’s favorite lab.

Even the name is a little skewed — “safari”?  When was the last time you heard that word? Most people are trying hard to forget the “safari” era, when rich white jerks had themselves carried into the African wilderness by nameless black servants, at vast expense, to kill animals they could barely identify.

Wonder Woman Palin. Liberals make a big mistake dissing Palin’s appeal to the conservative-individualist horde. She may be crawling with flaws from a totally rational standpoint, and a disgrace in many other dimensions, but, believe it or not, that’s irrelevant to vast numbers of people in the United States, especially in the Republican fold.

But for Palin’s core constituency, “safari” is still the dream. And Measure 2 would have interfered with that dream, the dream of strafing social canids from a Cessna plane. Alaska politics runs on the vast opportunities for graft offered by a small, easily manipulated constituency addicted to subsidies and self-delusion. Alaskans like to imagine themselves the last pioneers, hardy individualists, etc. — which makes them classic suckers for Republican propaganda. And they also like the petty cash that trickles down to them from the mining companies, timber companies and hunting guides who make the real money. Palin, an undistinguished part-time sportscaster on a local TV station, was a perfect non-threatening mouthpiece for the companies that want to gouge as much oil, ore and timber from Alaska as they can — while it lasts.

Palin is totally consistent in her anti-environmental stance. She not only wants to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, but actually vowed to sue the EPA if it dared to declare polar bears an endangered species.

It’s hard for most people to understand this sort of hatred for the great mammal species struggling to hang on at the edges of this continent. But then, Palin is an Alaska Republican. And Alaska’s Republican politicians are the most corrupt, ignorant and generally loathsome political clique in America, bar none. The so-called “dean” of the gang is Sen. Ted Stevens, finally indicted this year after a lifetime of graft. One of the crimes of which Stevens is accused sums up the relationship between Alaska’s Republican ruling gang and its big-money backers: a construction crew hired by an oil company called Veco jacked Stevens’s house up on stilts and added a whole new floor featuring two bedrooms and a bathroom — just returning all the legislative favors Stevens had done for it over the years.

The Right Typical Senior Scum from Alaska, Ted Stevens, longest serving (whom?) Republican in Congress, and one, among many reasons, why the Federal government should take Alaska back from Alaskans and turn it into a national park. Bent on destroying a patrimony that belongs to all Americans, if not humanity, these criminals and morons do not deserve it.  Stevens is the first sitting U.S. senator to face federal indictment since 1993, issuing from a federal investigation into his home renovation project and his dealings with wealthy oil contractors. Surprised anyone?

Palin was one of the founding members of Stevens’ 527 corporate slush fund, which skated around campaign finance laws to allow the senator to raise unlimited funds from big oil and other exploiters. Stevens’ fund bore the self-parodying name “Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service Inc.” — which is pretty droll, considering that Stevens is not only corrupt but one of the stupidest people in the Republican Party, no small feat in itself. In fact, Stevens’ only claim to the attention of the American people before he finally met his fate was for defining the Internet as “a series of tubes.” Thanks to YouTube, you can actually hear Sen. Stevens dithering for several minutes before uttering that famous phrase. A warning, though: Listening to Stevens will cure you forever of the idea that America is a meritocracy.

On Aug. 26, Alaska’s Republican voters showed their ethical level by choosing Stevens, this utterly loathsome, brainless greed monster, as their nominee to represent the state for another six years. The fact that Stevens had been indicted for corruption four weeks before the election didn’t faze them a bit.

Palin summed up her long, sleazy and profitable association with Stevensby saying that the two of them were “singing from the same sheet of music.” Isn’t that quaint, that “sheet of music” metaphor, with its hint of the hymnal and the pew? Well, that’s Alaska’s republicans for you: a thin coating of hokey populist rhetoric over a vast subterranean reserve of sleaze.

Palin’s predecessor as governor was Republican Frank Murkowski, another nature hater who spent a long, sleazy career in the pockets of the oil, mining and “safari” industries. Murkowski’s “endless ethical lapses” included an attempt to get the state to buy him a jet, and climaxed with his appointment of his daughter, Lisa Murkowski, to the U.S. Senate. That sort of unabashed nepotism was a bit much even for Alaskans and made Murkowski the most despised governor in the country, with an approval rating of 14 percent.

Lisa Murkowski has been busy in Washington, keeping up the family tradition of selling Alaska’s natural resources as quickly and sleazily as she can. In 2006 she got an astounding 2 percent rating on environmental issues from Republicans for Environmental Protection.

In Alaska Republican Party circles, a rating like that is a badge of honor.

Palin fits right in with this slime. She has served the oil, mining and hunting interests from the minute she won the governorship. This summer, she showed herself willing to poison whole watersheds and destroy a huge, lucrative salmon fishery by opposing Measure 4. The proposal aimed to stop the proposed Pebble Mine, a huge operation, from discharging huge amounts of cyanide and mining waste into streams that flow into Bristol Bay, the site of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.

Of course, Sarah Palin did her best to ensure the mining interests won. At first she had a bit of a problem: Under Alaska law, the governor isn’t allowed to take a position on ballot initiatives. Palin squirmed her way around that rule in classic Republican style, by speaking as a private citizen, with true George W. Bush eloquence: “Let me take my governor’s hat off just for a minute and tell you personally: Prop. 4 — I vote no on that.”

As one of the supporters of the initiative said, Palin and the rest of the state’s Department of Natural Resources staff were so comfortably in bed with the mining industry that they borrowed a propaganda slide show from their industry backers when making the case against Measure 4. “The slide show (DNR) had up on the screen is straight from the one (mining industry representatives) use in their presentations around the state,” said Art Hackney of Alaskans for Clean Water. “I think it’s absolutely outrageous — and somehow, unfortunately, it doesn’t surprise me.”

The reason Hackney isn’t surprised is that fronting for anti-environmental exploiters is what Palin does. It’s her job. So naturally, she spewed up the necessary lie, proclaiming that she had “all the confidence in the world” in the integrity of the Department of Natural Resources that was using themining industry’s own slide show.

Perhaps the saddest aspect of Palin’s disgusting record on environmental issues is the fact that it’s hardly even being mentioned in the debate about her nomination. Most of the focus, for an audience of suckers weaned on celebrity gossip, seems to be about her mothering skills, her daughter’s pregnancy and whether she was Miss Congeniality or just a runner-up in some beauty pageant. The fact that she makes her living helping to wipe out whole species, poison productive watersheds and play to the stupidest great-white-hunter fantasies of her constituency hardly seems worth a mention.

John Dolan, poet, sometime English professor, is an editor of the Moscow-based English-language alternative paper, The eXile. He is the author of, most recently, Pleasant Hell (Capricorn, 2005). Rumor has it that Gary Brecher, the notorious “War Nerd”, is his alter ego. 

© 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
11 comments on “Party whores
  1. The author (with whom I totally agree) says:

    “Her most recent “victory” came on Aug. 26, when Alaska’s voters defeated Measure 2, an initiative that would have banned hunting wolves from airplanes for sport.”

    I don’t know if Mr. Dolan is using here the way the measure was phrased by officialdom, but “hunting wolves from airplanes for sport” strikes me as a huge oxymoron. Not only is “recreational hunting” no sport but simply a degenerate activity worthy of sociopathic jerks, or perennial juveniles with a gun toy, but to “hunt” wolves with the aid of a plane is grossly unfair even to some regular hunters (or so they claim). As a southerner I’ve seen my quota of wanton atrocity and imbecility for imbecility’s sake, I guess we continue to retain the nation’s lead in that sorry regard, but Alaska is populated by the same type of people: morally backward individualists bent on imposing their “dominion” over nature, and the right to exploit it to the hilt till there is no more. How these people sleep at night is beyond me.

  2. Agree with Maryscott that this woman won’t last too long on the ticket; even to the idiotized “red state” mentality this woman has to start looking like a dodo and a liability. And by the way how refreshing to find a site where they don’t pull punches: SCUM is what this woman is, as is McCain and practically the entire roster of the GOP’s top tier. The masses who insist on voting this ticket are rationally “comprehensible” upon close sociological analysis, but morally unforgivable.

  3. Amen sisters, amennnnn!!! Few articles have frustrated me more than this (well, you know what I mean, not the article itself, which I frankly find brilliant, but the fact that such human excrement can get so far in this nation of still-largely selfish folk.) I thought the writer’s definition of Alaska was simply worthy of carving in stone:

    “Alaska isn’t really very hard to understand. It consists of a minority that loves the wilderness and an overwhelmingly Republican majority that wants to squeeze all the cash it can get out of the state before the oil dries up, the fish die out and the wildlife disappears…”

    It can’t be improved, so don’t try.

    Thanks for a very inspiring article. And that video will haunt me for days. TLR- Barcelona, Spain

  4. I LOVE PALIN because she exposes so clearly the hypocrisy of “pro-life” which of course is a highly limited concern only with pro-human life and wants to populate and dominate this planet with as many members of Homo rapiens as they can shit out. She shows the charade of this ethic and “compassionate conservativism” as clearly as she shows that you can attend Yale and still be as bright as the compost rotting in your garden.

    Bring her on! More of her please! The more the merrier/scarier, as new scandals about her and her promiscuous adolescent teenager wastelandee will show.

    McCain didn’t vet her (most top Republican wankers never met her) as much as pet her, if he can’t pick a viable running mate how is he going to pick a solid cabinet — besides putting in corporate foxes to watch the regulatory henhouses.

    She is McCain’s Dan Quayle, although I will admit she looks better than him in a fur wrap and leather mini skirt. Only she is more insidious and dangerous; Quayle just babbled about family values Palin lacks and couldn’t spell “potato.” But she can spell “kill that fucking wolf” and “Gimme that rifle, prick!” and shows how the killing machine of “civilization” works against humans and animals, exposes the lie of “female compassion/sensitivity” (as if we didn’t know both genders are each fucked up), and she is a ballast around McCain’s neck that will help pull his tired ass down, down, down, into the dark waters of irrelevance and his immanent grace.

    Just wait – within a week we will see pictures of her snorting lines off Cheney’s beer belly and getting it on with Condi in airport bathroom stalls.

  5. For being such devout Catholics, Palin and her family are a bunch of damned hypocrites; her daughter’s pregnancy makes them “proud” because she plans on keeping the baby? I suppose it would have been a sin to use a condom because it’s birth control, but it’s OK to have sex that produces a baby…after all, according to the Church, sex has only one purpose: Procreation!
    McCain stirred up a lot of excitement and interest after being virually ignored during the DNC by choosing the little beauty-queen (but that’s his thing, isn’t it, with Cindy having been a rodeo queen). Little did he know what kind of crap would hit the fan!

  6. They’re proud their daughter is “choosing” to keep her baby — but if they have their way, no woman will get to CHOOSE to keep her baby.

    The cognitive dissonance is deafening… and still, they believe. The right wing drives me batty.

  7. The ugliness of Palin became quite evident tonight!
    Although I could hardly stomach listening to her shrill tirade by having to switch channels for some relief, being an obvious masochist, I was compelled to return again and again only to catch more of her carefully scripted (and well-delivered) Obama ridicules. In the beginning of August, she was actually praising Obama for suggesting the use of Alaska’s clean natural gas….boy, that sure went out the window real fast!
    The ugliness of Sarah lies in her hypocrisy, total disregard for the environment, hatred of animals, and exploiting her family (God beware anyone should ask a legitimate question about them) to pander and endear herself to the mindless fools of the Republican supporters.

  8. Ah, dear, sweet Sarah – hockey mom, killer, foreign policy expert by osmosis through living in close proximity to Russia, whose most important claim to fame was being able to produce a litter of five while climbing the political ladder from the PTA , all the way to Governor, and McCain’s manna from heaven for injecting some badly-needed excitement to his blah campaign. Sarah is an unprincipled woman whose lies will be exposed if the “liberal” media sets their minds to it…but don’t bet on it because they’re bending over backwards to prove that they’re not! Dear Sarah’s decisions depend on which way the wind blows: She agreed with Sen. Stevens on the bridge to nowhere before she was against it…flip/flop, flip/flop – but that’s not what they call it!
    Can we trust the American voters to see her for what she really is and recognize why McCain really chose her?
    I hope so, but I seriously doubt it.
    We’re in deep doodoo!

  9. It’s all about family values, and the only ones with any family values are right-wingers…but wait a minute, there’s something wrong with this picture: McCain discarded his first wife, Carol, because she was no longer pretty enough after a devastating car accident while he resided at the Hanoi Hilton, Palin’s unwed teenage daughter is 5 months pregnant…doesn’t the Alaska Governor believe in what she preaches – abstinence and no sex education in schools. Abstinence might have gone along way had sex education been part of the curriculum vitae! Then McCain warmly greeted the unwed teen parents at the airport on Wednesday afternoon…hmmm…family values anyone?

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