Okay, despite my overall lack of complete confidence in the Democrats finally getting their act together, and in the voters actually getting it this time around, I do think there’s a chance to neutralize Sarah Palin early on, and maybe gain a measure of redemption for letting Dan Quayle skate back in ‘88.
Of course this would depend on whether there are still working journalists out there with the wherewithal and the stones to ask the really tough and meaningful questions of the gentlelady from Alaska that would help fill in a significant number of blanks. So as a freelance with a few tough interviews under his belt, here are some questions I would put to Gov. Palin had I the opportunity:
You have embraced the religious right’s attempts to force the teaching of biblical creationism in public school science classes, under the rubric of “intelligent design” and the Discovery Insitute’s campaign to “teach the controversy.” That being the case, would you say that you were a creationist, and if so are you a young-earth or an old-earth creationist?
[Followup] In the Dover, Pa. case, a federal judge appointed by Bush II ruled that introducing a blatantly theological and theocratic agenda into the science curriculum was patently unconstitutional. Do you agree with that decision? Is Judge Jones your kind of Republican? And do you think that promoting a religious agenda in science or history classes is, or ought to be, considered constitutional, and would you favor changing the First Amendment to reflect that belief?
There’s been some confusion on where you stand regarding spousal benefits for committed gay couples. Do you believe in, at the very least, civil unions as an alternative to actual marriage, or is even that off the table?
You are on record as being opposed to abortion in all cases, including rape and incest. Back in ‘88 a twelve-year-old girl hypothetically asked Dan Quayle what he would do for her if she were made pregnant by incestutous rape. Quayle’s now-infamous reply was “I’ll pray for you.” So let’s put the same hypothetical in play now, and ask you tell us what your response would be to that young person if she were to put the same question to you today.
Even if Barack Obama were a Muslim, which he most assuredly is not, should that preclude or otherwise disqualify him from running for, or being, president? And in a related manner, do you believe, as many of your fellow Republicans do and is thus reflected in many state GOP platforms, that America is a Christian nation?
Two years ago you stated for the record that you were in favor of any and all public works projects that came your way, including the so-called bridge to nowhere, and now you’ve come out foursquare against that project. Would you describe the thought process that led to that decision?
Much has been made of the current problems with our military, the laundry list being very well known so we won’t get into it here. Do you believe that the new GI Bill was the right piece of legislation, or do you believe that John McCain’s defeated alternative would have been the preferred choice?
[Followup] Should our military continue to be led by a cadre of Christian fundamentalists, as it is now by all accounts, who believe that we should be fighting an apoalyptic holy war in the Middle East and Central Asia?
Do you believe it is proper and appropriate for our servicepeople to actively attempt to convert the Iraqi people to their particular brand of Christianity, or any other faith for that matter?
Do you believe that evangelicals in the military throughout the ranks have the right to aggressively evangelize or proselytize their fellow servicepeople while on active duty? Should the service academies and installation commanders be permitted to coerce cadets to attend sectarian activities in exchange for free time or lighter duty?
Which are the two largest Islamic factions in Iraq? Which holds the population majority, and what would you do to help promote stability between the two?
Should you somehow become president:
Under what circumstances do you believe we should go to war with Iran?
Under what circumstances would you consider the use of nuclear weapons?
Would you consider actively pursuing any constitutional amendments, and if so what would they be?
What sort of approach would you take towards Russia?
Do you truly believe that expanded oil drilling in Alaska or elsewhere, or enacting a gas tax holiday, will provide us with the short-term relief we so desperately need at the moment? Are there no unintended consequences to consider as a result of such actions?
Have you read Jerome Corsi’s book about Obama, and if so what did you think of it?
Define the following terms, as you understand them: fascism and appeasement, and how these two concepts figure into current domestic and world affairs.
Let me offer you a few observations made by various Americans throughout our history, presented anonymously, and ask in the best Republican tradition of black or white, yes or no, up or down, whether you agree with them. Names will be supplied after your replies:
1) “We should invade them all, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”
2) “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military/industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
3) "Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites."
4) “I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman.”
5) "The same human activity that has brought freedom and opportunity to billions has also increased the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Increased atmospheric carbon has a warming effect on the earth."
(Republican platform, 2008)
6) “The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity.”
7) “Oh Lord! Do you think that a Protestant Popedom is annihilated in America? Do you recollect, or have you ever attended to the ecclesiastical Strifes in Maryland, Pennsilvania, New York, and every part of New England? What a mercy it is that these People cannot whip and crop, and pillory and roast, AS YET in the U.S.! If they could they would.”
So if you had half an hour with Governor Palin, just you and her and a voice recorder, what would you want to know?