Does Sarah Palin have an affiliation with the Alaska Independence Party? Some AIP members say she does, but the McCain campaign says she has never been a part of that group. Right now, there appears to be little proof of her affiliation. Given that Alaska is smaller in population than most major American cities, Iâ€™d expect Palinâ€™s path to have crossed with the group from time to time. For me to believe sheâ€™s ever shared or currently shares AIPâ€™s secessionist views, Iâ€™ll need some concrete evidence.
Lack of such evidence will certainly not stop Barack Obamaâ€™s supporters from pushing the story. A complete lack of evidence that Obama shares the belief system of William Ayers hasnâ€™t stopped conservatives from pushing that story. And in todayâ€™s political world of â€œtwo wrongs make a rightâ€ I donâ€™t expect the AIP story to go away.
However, the Ayers controversy brings up an important point. Do Obama supporters really want to get into a â€œwhose anti-American affiliations are worseâ€ debate? After all, I donâ€™t believe the AIP has done anything criminal unlike Mr. Ayers. And, if history is any indicator, the right is proficient at winning any debate about whoâ€™s more American. The left should be careful with this AIP story. Rumor and hearsay about Palinâ€™s affiliations are probably not going to be enough to make the story stick in any influential way.
UPDATE: Reports now inidcate that Sarah Palin’s husband was a member of the AIP but records indicate Palin herself never was. Spouses are usually fair game in elections. We’ll see how this plays.