As election day gets closer, the rhetoric on both sides of the political spectrum becomes more and more inflamed. A new high water mark in over-the-top ranting was reached today when syndicated radio host Bill Press, whose show appears on both Sirius and XM Radio, called first husband of Alaska Todd Palin a terrorist, based on his involvement with the Alaskan Independence Party. Press commented on the air:
What's the difference between a secessionist and a terrorist? Isn't a secessionist just another form of a terrorist? Ask Abraham Lincoln…Let's find out what the "First Dude" was going to do in order to secede from the union. I tell you it wasn't going to be peaceful.
Todd Palin seems to have become the new designated angle of attack on the McCain campaign. With Sarah Palin's remarkable recovery in the Vice Presidential debate, more and more attacks directed at her have been backfiring. She has a teflon quality which comes from her attitude, her gender and her background which makes her difficult to tear down effectively. So the strategy of the hour is to go after her husband, who has done very little to attract attention, except having been involved off and on as a registered but non-participating member of the Alaskan Independence Party.
The AIP is the third largest party in Alaska and was founded by Joe Vogler, a controversial figure who died under suspicious circumstances in 1993, as he was preparing to speak about Alaskan independence in front of the United Nations. Vogler was known for making radical statements, but since his death, the focus of the party has been more on issues of general benefit to Alaskans and less on creating international controversy. There is some evidence to suggest that Vogler may have personally endorsed terrorism to achieve his ends, but the methods of the AIP since his death have been nonviolent.
Todd Palin's involvement with the AIP consists of nothing more than appearing on the rolls of the registrar of elections as a party member in two elections, in 1996 and 2000. There has never been any suggestion that he was any kind of activist, or that he played a larger role in the party than any common voter plays in the party of a candidate he votes for. Classing Palin as a terrorist is equivalent to calling any fundamentalist Christian a terrorist because they belong to the same religious movement as Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph.
The excessiveness of the rhetoric coming from leftist pundits like Press seems to be justified by the argument that muckrakers have relied on for years, that it's the first accusation which sticks, no matter how weak the evidence is to support it or how thoroughly it is disproven by later research.Powered by Sidelines