Katha Pollitt’s recent column in The Nation, “Lipstick on a Wing Nut,” proposes that we skip all the Sarah Palin family saga & simply ask her a dozen questions instead:

  1. Suppose your 14-year-old daughter Willow is brutally raped in her bedroom by an intruder. She becomes pregnant and wants an abortion. Could you tell the parents of America why you think your child and their children should be forced by law to have their rapists’ babies?
  2. You say you don’t believe global warming is man-made. Could you tell us what scientists you’ve spoken with or read who have led you to that conclusion? What do you think the 2,500 scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are getting wrong?
  3. If you didn’t try to fire Wasilla librarian Mary Ellen Baker over her refusal to consider censoring books, why did you try to fire her?
  4. What is the European Union, and how does it function?
  5. Forty-seven million Americans lack health insurance. John Goodman, who has advised McCain on healthcare, has proposed redefining them as covered because, he says, anyone can get care at an ER. Do you agree with him?
  6. What is the function of the Federal Reserve?
  7. Cindy and John McCain say you have experience in foreign affairs because Alaska is next to Russia. When did you last speak with Prime Minister Putin, and what did you talk about?
  8. Approximately how old is the earth? Five thousand years? 10,000? 5 billion?
  9. You are a big fan of President Bush, so why didn’t you mention him even once in your convention speech?
  10. McCain says cutting earmarks and waste will make up for revenues lost by making the tax cuts permanent. Experts say that won’t wash. Balancing the Bush tax cuts plus new ones proposed by McCain would most likely mean cutting Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Which would you cut?
  11. You’re suing the federal government to have polar bears removed from the endangered species list, even as Alaska’s northern coastal ice is melting and falling into the sea. Can you explain the science behind your decision?
  12. You’ve suggested that God approves of the Iraq War and the Alaska pipeline. How do you know?

I’d really like to hear her answer these.

18 Replies to “Questions”


    Katha Pollitt was criticized by Bernard Goldberg, who named her number 74 in his book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, because of her essay “Put Out No Flags,” in which she says: “The flag stands for jingoism and vengeance and war.” Goldberg criticized what he perceived to be her lack of patriotism in the time shortly after the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

    Is it any wonder why this woman would hate Sarah Palin?
    I bet she hates looking in the mirror too.

  2. And zing! That’s not an answer!

    That, westjen, is a talking point tactic designed to make the conversation about something OTHER than the topic originally proposed.

    I am, however, pleased to know that you can Google.

    So, considering that we now know you can Google, please provide us with an answer to any one of Katha Pollitt’s questions.

    I’ll give you a head start. Go!

    If you want to have an actual debate about this election you will respond to this. If you don’t and just shift over to another talking point thereby skipping the point (once again!) you will have earned a spot in The Rogues’ Gallery of Shills.

    Answer one of the above questions. I dare you.

    I double dare you.


  3. Double dog dare you.

    The quotes around the word dog – while a neat rhetorical shift in that I had a moment of wondering why they were there – are inconsequential and especially meaningless in that I’m only interested in hearing you answer one of the questions Katha Pollitt posed.

    Surety of purpose must be backed up by reality.

    An answer awaits? (Hint: try #3 because that’s a fun one).

  4. Yeah….I loved it the other night when, almost in the same sentence, Ms. Plain said that Wall Street needed more regulation and that we needed Big Government to get off our backs….
    But then, Jesus is coming back soon….
    Maybe we should ask Mz. P. what plans she has for serving if the Rapture occurs…

  5. Dear westjen:

    (Damn, forgot about how this editor handles angle brackets.)

    “Is it any wonder why this woman would hate Sarah Palin?”

    Does this mean you have answers to those questions?

  6. I think I’ve figured out how I will choose whom to vote for — put McCain, Palin, Obama, and Biden on “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” — highest score gets my vote.

  7. westjen, if you’re going to link a news story try reading it first.

    “The same week that Palin raised the issue she fired Baker”

    The news story clearly says that Palin did fire her only to rehire her after a public outcry at her actions.

    It is not insubordination for a librarian to state that she would not ban books. It is not insubordination for her to also state that she would fight anyone or any group who tried to intimidate her into banning books.
    It is not insubordination for a librarian to disagree with or question the motives of a public official. It is her inalienable right as a citizen and it is her duty as a public librarian to uphold the constitutional guarantee for freedom of speech.

  8. fired, un-fired, whatever. point is, she still had a job.
    None of us were there and don’t know what really went on.

  9. Let’s Hear It for the Ladies Who Brought Us the 19th Amendment and the Women’s Vote!

    Thanks to the success of the suffragettes, women have voices and choices!

    Senator Clinton and Governor Palin are proof that women can and do diverge on important issues.

    Most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won votes for women, and what life was REALLY like for women before they did.

    “The Privilege of Voting” is an exciting, new FREE e-mail series that follows eight great women from 1912 – 1920 to reveal ALL that happened to set the stage for women to finally win the vote.

    Powerful suffragettes Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with First Lady Edith Wilson (who opposed votes for women), and TWO gorgeous presidential mistresses.

    It’s rocky road to the ballot box, but in the end, women WIN! Exciting, sequential episodes with lots of historical photos are great to read on coffeebreaks, or anytime.

    I hope you will subscribe, and share this opportunity with others. It’s free at

  10. “fired, un-fired, whatever. point is, she still had a job.
    None of us were there and don’t know what really went on.”

    That is the kind of pathetic answer that is destroying our country. Apathetic and ignorant, like so many Americans. Palin used her powers to threaten a librarian for standing up to her and refusing to ban books. End of story. It was not only wrong, it was disgraceful.

    For others, if you make a donation to Obama’s campaign before midnight tonight (Sept. 19), it will be MATCHED.

    Barbara, it WOULD be hugely telling if these four were on “Smarter Than a 5th Grader”. Obama would win hands down, Biden would do okay, McCain would whine he was a POW instead of answering the questions, and Palin would try and fire the host.

  11. I’ve just made my second donation to the Obama campaign, and am volunteering for voter turnout in Wisconsin. I had already given some money earlier, but I wanted to thank people like westjen for spurring on a second, larger donation.

    Keep up the good work, sparkles.

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