Earlier, we blogged about Matthew Scully’s important book, Dominion, which condemns factory farming, trophy hunting and other activities involving animals. At the time, Scully was speechwriter for George W. Bush.
He is also the man behind last night’s Republican convention speech by Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, which is interesting in light of Scully’s moral opposition to hunting and Palin’s love of the activity.
“We hunt as much as we can, and I’m proud to say our freezer is full of wild game we harvested here in Alaska,” she recently told Newsweek. Probably better than a short life in a factory farm, but there’s more.
Another report detailed the home where her parents “live amid hundreds of sets of trophy antlers and a taxidermy collection that includes a giant moose head and a full-grown mountain lion.” Then there’s the aerial hunting of bears and wolves. The AK Wildlife Alliance discusses the state’s pandering to corporate and special interests such as the Safari Club, which Scully lambasted in his book.
Time had this to say:
“But the story is more complicated than just the recycling of a Bush staffer into John McCain’s fold, and it tells you more about how McCain’s camp intends to use Palin than it does about the continuing influence of the current White House.”
“The clues are in the text itself. Scully started working on the vice-presidential speech a week ago, before he or anyone else knew who the nominee would be, and it’s not hard to pick out the parts that would have been the same regardless of who delivered it. Scully unspooled two centrist themes via Palin that have been key to the McCain message: the idea that the Republican nominee puts service to country ahead of career and the notion that he’s the true representative of Middle America. Both themes implicitly push Obama and Biden to the left, and Scully made them explicit with lines accusing the Democrats of élitism and talking down to working-class voters… Palin was shown as an average mainstream American looking to bring change to Washington, further bolstering McCain’s overarching message of reforming the wasteful Federal Government.”
‘Scully was a good choice to help moderate Palin’s right-wing image. A veteran of the early Bush White House, his specialty was crafting Bush’s pro-life message in a way that would not offend soccer moms or mainstream Catholics who get nervous around some of the more extreme Evangelical rhetoric.”
“Don’t be surprised, though, if the combination continues… If Palin was viewed as the most likely right winger to sell in the swing states, Scully is the right pick to help repackage her from a base pleaser into a bridge builder.”
Matthew, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.
More on this story at The Statesman.
Caribou Barbie image from Mudflats.
Visit the Marking Time blog for an eloquent review of the Scully/Palin speech.
Some interesting observations on the Scully/Palin connection and hunting over at My Face is on Fire.
A choice of nightmares: Hunting and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.