Friday, October 10, 2008

Why Todd Palin Is Important

This morning, The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan referenced Harper's Scott Horton’s puzzlement over the Palin email hacker incident. This sentence in Horton's piece caught my attention:

The hacker also helped establish a motive for the illegal conduct: Palin regularly involved her husband in official business, and it’s easy to understand why she did not want to leave behind evidence of her husband’s involvement.
Let me explain why I sat a bit more upright in my chair this morning when I read that sentence. I have often had conversations with my in-laws, who are people that Andrew Sullivan would identify as Christianist, as indeed they are. As such, they are biblical literalists and fundamentalists who I imagine support Palin for all the obvious reasons. [UPDATE: I should also say that my in-laws are wonderful people. I am very fond of them and they are extremely generous and good-hearted folks.] But I also remember having had a conversation with my in-laws one time about the proper relationship between husband and wife. For them, the biblical mandate that wives should submit themselves to the authority of their husbands was serious business. Here's what Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians (5:22-24):
22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
That made me wonder, knowing what we know about Sarah Palin’s Christianism, whether or not she and Todd ascribe to the same basic philosophy and theology. Since we apparently can’t ask them this, I think we simply have to assume that they do. And Horton’s comment about Sarah Palin using private emails to involve her husband in official business seems to confirm this assumption. What this means, though, outside of the fact that Sarah Palin was engaging in illegal activity, is that it is all the more imperative that we find out what we can, not only about Sarah Palin, but also about Todd Palin.

And though it is not the custom of secular American democracy to view spouses of candidates in this way, we are not really dealing with a candidate who embraces the values of secular American democracy.

So, please, let's find out who this Todd Palin is. One disturbing thing we do know about Todd Palin is that he belonged to the secessionist Alaskan Independence Party. Here's what one of the founders of the Alaskan Independence Party, Joe Vogler, had to say about America (at about 1:42-1:50 in the audio clip):
The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American Government, and I won't be buried under their damned flag.
And here's Sarah Palin addressing the Alaskan Independence Party Convention:

It is fair to wonder if Sarah Palin's Christianist submission to her husband might have anything to do with this. And it is also fair to wonder if Todd Palin's biblical authority over his wife might have more bearing on Sarah Palin's potential behavior and role as Vice President. My feeling is that Todd Palin is probably more important to understanding Sarah Palin, and what she is likely to do as Vice-President, than anyone has let on to date.

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