The prospective nomination of Sarah Palin has made everyone a bit curious about where she stands—none more than among the organized Jewish community. The Jerusalem Post—a neocon outpost in the neocons’ favorite country—agonized about the topic in an article titled “‘McCain VP choice unknown to US Jews’.” Palin is indeed little known to the Jews. She hasn’t been on the national scene long enough to have been on a trip to Israel (gasp!), and she has never spoken publically about Israel (horrors!).
There is also the fascinating possibility that she is an admirer of Pat Buchanan. She showed up at a Buchanan fund raiser in 1996, and Buchanan himself claimsthat she was a “Buchanan Brigade” member.
Such a possibility raises red flags with serious Jews. Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler of Florida was livid:
John McCain’s decision to select a vice presidential running mate that endorsed Pat Buchanan for president in 2000 is a direct affront to all Jewish Americans…. Pat Buchanan is a Nazi sympathizer with a uniquely atrocious record on Israel, even going as far as to denounce bringing former Nazi soldiers to justice and praising Adolf Hitler for his ‘great courage’.
What’s intriguing about Palin is that she hasn’t been vetted by the usual process that gets politicians to high status in the US. She hasn’t been to an elite law school, nor has she achieved office in a state where fealty to the Israel lobby is asine qua non. She is governor of the last frontier state in the union—far from the power centers of the East Coast and the large urban areas and therefore far from their pervasive influence. Her attitudes on religion, abortion, and guns are anathema to the mindset of these elites. And her husband is a white blue collar guy—exactly the type of guy that has been left behind in the vast changes that have transformed the country. White working class voters were notable for their lack of support for Obama in the Democratic primaries.
Is it too much to hope that she really is exactly the type of person that the organized Jewish community abhors—that is, someone like Pat Buchanan who is steadfastly against the mass immigration that will result in the death of the West? Could she really have Buchanan’s populist inclinations and use her influence to attempt to preserve the traditional peoples and culture of the US? Is it too much to hope that she might really subscribe to a view of US foreign policy that is not yoked to whatever the Israel Lobby dictates to its underlings in the US Congress? And can we dream that having once attained high office and with a national audience she could galvanize a movement to take back America?
Probably not. But if she really does have these tendencies, she had best keep them under wraps. The powers that be have made an uneasy peace with Christian religiosity, but certainly not with any attempt to preserve the traditional peoples and culture of America. (This includes the neocons for whom support of some of the trappings of traditional America is seen as a convenient way to advance their Israel-centric foreign policy interests and their commitment to mass immigration.)
Admittedly, the possibility that Palin in her heart is a Buchanan clone is only a small possibility. Even if she were, it’s very difficult to imagine that anyone could actually be elected president without the blessings of the political establishment somewhere between the confines of the far left (think Barack Obama) and the neoconservative right (think John McCain). But given McCain’s age, it is certainly possible that she might accede to the presidency without being elected, and this adds to the angst among the powerful.
It’s more than likely that with her background she really does not have very sophisticated beliefs about much of anything. If so, she would be a babe in the woods—much like George W. Bush when he entered the White House only to become the prey of the neocons. (Jacob Heilbrunn has a nice section on how Perle, Wolfowitz et al. were thrilled at Bush’s lack of foreign policy knowledge and his willingness to admit he didn’t know anything.)
And for her to achieve the vice-presidency would mean that we would have to put up with the very real likelihood of further wars for control of the Middle East in a McCain presidency—a very big downside, but scarcely worse than an Obama presidency.
In any case, her candidacy likely means that a whole lot of people who were at best lukewarm about McCain will vote for him, just like his strategists intend. Palin is like a Rorschach test: Because we don’t really know what she really believes deep down, we see what we want to see. For those of us without power (like admirers of Buchanan), that raises tantalizing possibilities. For those with power (and that includes the Israel Lobby), it’s clearly a very large negative—an unnecessary risk to be taken only if they really think that Obama would be a disaster for their interests.
In fact, Obama’s flimsy track record and his leftist proclivities (given that honest leftists like Jame Petras and Alexander Cockburn typically oppose Israel) are exactly why serious Jews need constant reassurances about him. Because he hasn’t been around for long, he doesn’t have a tried and true track record on the issue that is so near and dear to their hearts. Sure, he made the pilgrimage to the AIPAC convention, but did he really mean it? Could he possibly be aMuslim masquerading as a Christian?
In the same way, many on the far left are doubtless fantasizing that an Obama presidency would bring on a socialist revolution, while some of his black supporters likely dream of sudden riches or violent revenge.
In fact, AIPAC is doing all they can to find out about what Palin thinks about Israel. Within days of the announcement that Palin would be nominated, AIPAC securedan interview with her where, in the words of AIPAC spokesman John Bock, she “expressed her deep, personal, and lifelong commitment to the safety and well-being of Israel.” The clincher was that she displays an Israeli flag in her office.
Looks like Palin may not be any different from the sociopaths who currently run the country. She seems to know what politicians have to say to be elected to high office in the US. Her speech to the Republican convention will doubtless be tailored to demonstrate her fealty to the Israel Lobby and to show that she is a good neocon at heart.
So let’s not get carried away about Palin. But we can dream that her apparent support for Buchanan really meant something and that her gut feelings really would mean a dramatic change from politics as usual in the US if she attained power.