It's almost not worth the bother of taking another swipe at Sarah Palin's anti-intellectual bigotry this late in a game that's pretty much over. I mean, the coverage of her speech in Asheville, N.C., last night couldn't find anything newsworthy to mention beyond her decision to eschew the $150,000 wardrobe in favor of good ol' common-sense jeans. But Christopher Hitchens' way with words makes it all worthwhile.
The Hitch begins by lamenting Palin's empty-headed criticism of fruit fly genetics research: "...where does a lot of that earmark money end up? It goes to projects having little or nothing to do with the public good -- things like fruit fly research in Paris, France," she said the other day. From which our favorite contrarian launches into a dissection of the McCain-Palin ticket's refusal to respect science.
McCain, for example, has attacked DNA research, too, arguing that grizzly bear ecology is another waste of taxpayers' hard-earned money. And by now we all know about his attack on planetariums -- in two debates, no less. Hitchen's, though, hears something even scarier in Palin's speeches.
With Palin, however, the contempt for science may be something a little more sinister than the bluff, empty-headed plain-man's philistinism of McCain. We never get a chance to ask her in detail about these things, but she is known to favor the teaching of creationism in schools (smuggling this crazy idea through customs in the innocent disguise of "teaching the argument," as if there was an argument), and so it is at least probable that she believes all creatures from humans to fruit flies were created just as they are now. This would make DNA or any other kind of research pointless, whether conducted in Paris or not. Projects such as sequencing the DNA of the flu virus, the better to inoculate against it, would not need to be funded. We could all expire happily in the name of God. Gov. Palin also says that she doesn't think humans are responsible for global warming; again, one would like to ask her whether, like some of her co-religionists, she is a "premillenial dispensationalist"--in other words, someone who believes that there is no point in protecting and preserving the natural world, since the end of days will soon be upon us.
We should keep this in mind because, despite her almost certain loss next Tuesday, she'll still be governor of Alaska. And now there's talk that she could name herself as a replacement senator should Ted Stevens win re-election but be convicted and forced to leave the senate.
Alaska: what did we ever do to you?
How about giving Alaska back to the Russians before election day? Wouldn't that make her ineligible for the VP position as a resident there?
Go back to Canada you liberal Goober. Or at least get a job. I hear they'll hire biology degrees to clean bedpans down at the VA.
Mudflats reports that Palin can't appoint someone to Steven's old job. Alaska had a vote on it a couple of years ago to stop a previous Senator turned Governor appointing his daughter (who Alaskan's have continued to vote for as a Senator anyway).
Palin is very quiet about Stevens, which is strange for someone who was at the centre of a possibly illegal fundraising 527 for the man.
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