She shoots puppies, doesn’t she?

October 11th, 2008 4:04 pm by Kelly Garbato

Writer-slash-environmentalist Nick Jans gives us an Alaskan’s view of Sarah Palin and her run for the White House.

It’s a great piece – really, I could excerpt the whole damn thing – but this piece in particular is worth noting:

Palin pushed hard, along with sport hunting and guiding interests, to help defeat a ballot initiative that would have stopped the state’s current aerial wolf control program, which had been criticized by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council for flawed science. Now her administration has pointedly refused to respond to repeated public information requests (I’m one of the petitioners, and a potential litigant), regarding the apparently illegal killing of 14 wolf pups at their dens on the Alaska Peninsula this spring by state personnel, including two high-level Department of Fish and Game administrators. A biologist at the scene admitted to an independent wolf scientist that the 6-week-old pups were held down and shot in the head, one by one. This inhumane practice, known as “denning,” has been illegal for 40 years. But a simple request for information on the details of this operation, including to what extent the governor was involved in the decision, has resulted in a typical Palinesque roadblock and a string of untruths.

Sarah Palin, “my friends,” is a “pro-life,” God-fearing evangelical. And yet (according to her and hers), it’s atheists like moi who lack morals.

Anyway, Jans explains how Palin can claim to be a genuine Alaskan while simultaneously working to destroy the land she calls home, vis-à-vis her policy of pillaging the environment, to hell with the consequences:

In the broadest sense, Palin is a poseur. Alaska is too large and culturally diverse (it’s only a bit smaller than the entire lower 48 east of the Mississippi, and once was divided into four time zones) to be summed up by some abstract, romanticized notion. And even if it could be, it sure wouldn’t be symbolized by Palin. “The typical Alaskan? She couldn’t be farther from it,” says Alaska House Minority Leader Beth Kertulla.

Still, Palin is a genuine Alaskan — of a kind. The kind that flowed north in the wake of the ’70s oil boom, Bible Belt politics and attitudes under arm, and transformed this state from a free-thinking, independent bastion of genuine libertarianism and individuality into a reactionary fundamentalist enclave with dollar signs in its eyes and an all-for-me mentality.

Palin’s Alaska is embodied in Wasilla, a blue-collar, sharp-elbowed town of burgeoning big box stores, suburban subdivisions, evangelical pocket churches and car dealerships morphing across the landscape, outward from Anchorage, the state’s urban epicenter. She has lived in Wasilla practically all her life, and even now resides there, the first Alaska executive to eschew the white-pillared mansion in Juneau, down on the Southeast Panhandle.

Go read the whole thing.

Note to the rest of the Salon staff: this is a perfect example of how to criticize a female politician without resorting to misogyny and sexist slurs. It’s the policies, stupid! (As opposed to, you know, the vag-n-mams.)

(Crossposted from.)

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