The theme of the Republican Convention is "Country First," which is very strange when one considers the record of the Republican Party over the past eight years. A more fitting theme would be "The Republican Party First."
Now it turns out that vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin may have her own slogan, "Alaska First."
Since the 1970s, the Alaskan Independence Party has attempted to arrange a legal vote for residents of Alaska to decide whether they want Alaska to remain part of the United States or to secede and form their own country.
The motto of the AIP is "Alaska First - Alaska Always."
Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, were members of the AIP in the 1990s! The chairman of the AIP, Lynette Clark, told ABC News that the Palins were members of the AIP in 1994 and attended the statewide convention of the AIP held in Wasilla.
"We are a state's rights party," said Clark. The API has "a plank that challenges the legality of the Alaskan statehood vote as illegal and in violation of United Nations charter and international law."
Palin is a member of the Republican Party today, but has not severed her ties with the AIP. Earlier this year she recorded a welcoming address to the AIP convention.
But there's more. Frederick Clarkson, writing at talk2action, reports "that the AIP is the Alaska affiliate of the Constitution Party, founded by Howard Phillips, and has been the political home to leading theocratic Christian Reconstructionism such as John Lofton, Otto Scotdt, Joe Morecraft and movement founder R. J. Rushdoony himself."
Christian Reconstructionism refers to the loony ultra-fundamentalists who are working to teach their brand of American history in our public schools and want to take over our government to institute a theocratic state, based not on the Constitution, but on their interpretation of the Old Testament. Think of Christian Reconstructionists as the American Taliban, for about the only difference is the book they use to force their views on everyone else. Those who resist will be dealt with severely -- using Old Testament methods. Stoning, anyone?
Joe Vogler, the founder of the AIP, said: "I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions."
Thomas Schaller asks this pertinent question at salon.com, "... what would have happened to that unpatriotic, American-hating Muslim the Democrats nominated for president if he had been part of a secessionist group led by a man who once said he was 'an Illinoisan, not an American'? To borrow Clarence Thomas' famous phrase, it would have been a high-tech lynching."
Another pertinent or impertinent question, depending on your affiliation: What the hell was McCain thinking?
Much more on the AIP here and here.