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Radical Alaska

Kudos to Jesse Walker for making appropriately quick work of this ridiculous Salon report on Sarah Palin and the Alaskan Independence Party, which Andrew “Why are they talking about William Ayers when there are unresolved questions about Sarah Palin’s uterus?” Sullivan linked in his predictably breathless style yesterday morning. No doubt the AIPers are an odd bunch, but as Walker points out there’s something … well, rather McCarthyist about about attempting to identify the “real” Sarah Palin by way of her earliest political associates – and it’s very convenient, of course, to highlight the AIP’s alliances with secessionist movements including “white supremacists and far-right theocrats” without mentioning its history of working quite well with far-Left Vermonters, too. (Or is that just evidence that Palin’s politics are very, very confused?) Guilt by association, it seems, is sauce for the goose alone.

Then again, the Blumenthal and Neiwert article is hardly exceptional in its shrill and innuendo-laden take on secessionism: this Southern Poverty Law Center “report” on the closet racism of the Second Vermont Republic – did you know that Thomas Naylor was born in Mississippi?! – brings the genre to perfection, and is well worth reading if only for the quote from Naylor that it includes toward the end (“I don’t give a [expletive] what you write,” he tells the interviewer: “If someone tells me that I shouldn’t associate with the League of the South, it guarantees that I will associate with the League of the South”). If only Palin had been willing to adopt a similar sort of attitude when Kristol & Co. took up the task of making her into the nation’s most well-known hockey mom imperialist.

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