Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Veil of Palin

Over the last week or so, I've become more and more alarmed about Governor Palin. Yes, I say Governor, and I will not refer to her as "Sarah Palin". That would be sexist. And, as Willie Brown points out, it lends a familiarity with her that Democrats do not really enjoy. He's a little bit pompous, but he does make a good point here.

The New York Times is running an article (you'll get 4 1/2 pages, and then you must subscribe) that describes in detail a history of Palin that shows an extreme concern for secrecy. Like intending to use private emails on private devices to conduct government business so that the records of the email cannot be reviewed under open government laws, as an example. We've already seen this in the Bush Administration, too. Remember the lost emails?

Very scary. The Democrats have their own issues to be sure, and many of us can remember secrecy in the Clinton administration. But this, and potentially the next administration have taken secrecy to new extremes. And Palin seems intent on continuing that philosophy.

To illustrate the difference, let me give you an example. A number of sources have noticed a change in the way the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act have been enforced and administered. During the Clinton years, the executive branch agencies erred on the side of disclosure. But during the Bush II years, they erred on the far side of withholding documents.

I can remember when I was a young man, how the Republicans proudly stood for freedom. But now, as an older man, I see that they live in constant fear of being exposed. The war on terrorism is a convenient cover for the need for secrecy and it will only be more so under Palin. I don't think the Republicans stand for freedom anymore. In fact, I'm not really sure what they stand for. It's a secret.

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