A Democrat In Defense of Sarah Palin

Palin's views on abortion and gay rights have been distorted by Democratic Party scare tactics.

10.13.08 6:17 AM ET

As a Democrat supporting John McCain, I am most often questioned about Sarah Palin. I have two simple responses.

First, although I disagree with several of her positions on social issues, I do not fear that she is a threat to the rights we have as Americans. As Governor of Alaska she vetoed a bill that would have denied hospital rights to gay couples because the bill violated the Alaska constitution. In her debate with Joe Biden, she clearly stated her tolerance, with the same position on gay couples as her opponent.

Although she is personally pro-life, Palin has proven she will uphold the law of the land. Like McCain, she will work with a Democratic Congress on acceptable judicial appointments. It is time to stop allowing the Democratic Party to scare voters into believing only they can protect a woman's right to choose.

Second, the attack on Palin's qualifications is sexist, a bias abetted by the media. On CNN, Obama contrasted Palin's experience to his own by saying Wasilla has only 50 employees and a budget of $12 million a year while his campaign has 2,500 employees and a budget of $36 million per month.

Excuse me, but she is Governor of a State with 29,000 employees and a budget of $11 billion. She has actually reduced taxes and cut spending.

Imagine if it had been Palin instead of Biden who said during the debate that Pakistan has missiles today that can reach Israel (wrong). Or, what if Sarah Palin had been the one who said that in 1929 President Roosevelt went on television? The mainstream media would have declared her a bad fifth grade history student. Biden got a pass.

Perhaps The New York Times made the best argument for backing Sarah Palin in their editorial of July 3rd, 1984, when they said: "Where is it written that only Senators are qualified to become President?...Where is it written that Governors and Mayors, like Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco, are too local, too provincial?

Presidential candidates have always chosen their running mates for reasons of practical demographics, not idealized democracy. What a splendid system, we say to ourselves, that takes little known men, puts them in high office, and permits them to grow into statesmen...why should not a little known woman have the same opportunity to grow?"