Limbaugh: Palin associated with Alaskan Independence Party? But Obama voted for Akaka Bill!

The comedian Rush Limbaugh brings up Akaka bill in response to question about Palin's association with Alaska Independence Party.
RUSH: This secession business is one of the lamest straws, the lamest little twigs that the left have out there to try to go after Sarah Palin on the basis that her husband Todd supported secession for Alaska. Now, two things. Look at me on this. Follow me. Two things. Now, I don't support secession, obviously, but I can damn-well understand why people in Alaska feel put out. Here you have a bunch of elite, city slicker liberals in New York and California and elsewhere. They don't like liberals in these rural areas. They don't like liberal politicians telling them when, how, and where they can explore for and drill for their own natural resources. They don't like having to hear Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi tell them when and where they can't do things.

They don't like hearing it from Obama. They don't like being told that they can't use their habitats and all of that. Now, I don't support secession for Alaska, but I understand why people get ticked off up there. But can we go back to the recent past? There was a piece by John Fund on June 12th of 2006 in the Wall Street Journal. Senator Akaka [from Hawaii] "undermined his own bill last year when he made statements to National Public Radio that the sovereignty granted Native Hawaiians in the [Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act] bill could eventually lead to secession. 'That could be,' he said. 'As far as what's going to happen at the other end, I'm leaving it up to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.'" Obama and Biden both voted for Akaka's bill that opened the way for Hawaii to leave the union! And when this bill came up, we were all talking about how this is going to potentially lead to secession," and Obama and Biden both voted for it! Now, this is a clear example of a double standard.

Alaska hasn't done anything like this. They certainly haven't had a member of their congressional delegation propose it. But Daniel A-ka-ka (I love pronouncing that name) Daniel A-ka-ka from Hawaii not only proposed it, but it was debated and almost passed voted for by Obama and Biden. So what is this? The double standard just reigns extreme. But, see, we don't live in a monopoly anymore -- and the left cannot seem to get it through its head that we have researchers and that we have an archive of the stupid, contradictory, hypocritical things that they have and said how they've voted. The rope-a-dope again: "Okay, you want to go after Todd Palin for flirting with Alaskan secession? Fine! Obama and Biden voted for a bill that could lead to that very thing in Hawaii, by the sponsor's own admission, Daniel Akaka."

Now, just in case anyone missed it (like every conservative who talks about this bill), the fact is that most of the people who do favor restoring Hawaii's effective status as an independent country (there a lot more than you might think, and it's not really "secession" since Hawaii was never actually ceded), actually oppose the Akaka bill and see it as more of an impediment to independence. Sens. Akaka and Inouye, in supporting the bill, are seen as attempting to create a process to subsume the independence movement into a domestic dependent nation and finally trick the Hawaiian national population into ceding what they have not yet ceded, their country and their sovereignty.

Now I think frankly that Sen. Akaka does want what he thinks is best for the Hawaiian people, and he sees this bill as a means to protect and restore some rights and controls within the American system. He cares about his fellow native Hawaiians, but he's also a very loyal American. Yet he also recognizes the possibility that Hawaii could in fact one day effectively be an independent country again, though it is not likely to happen in his lifetime (thus, "I'm leaving it up to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.'")

But the point here is that those who actually support what Limbaugh would define as "secession" for Hawaii by and large feel the exact opposite about the Akaka bill than the way he characterizes it. But that truth doesn't serve his agenda. And while he may be truly ignorant (I know he is, in general, but about this point in particular), I know that many close allies of the national right-wing think tanks who are doing their work here in Hawaii, like Grassroot Institute and Hawaii Reporter, are well aware of these distinctions (having read them here at this blog explained over and over over the years) but somehow never manage to get the message across to their national brethren. Reality just doesn't serve their purpose, as usual.

But we have come to an interesting point in American politics when the Democratic presidential candidate and the Republican VP candidate are from the two non-contiguous states. The only two states that have international territory between themselves and the rest of the country. And both states that have thriving independence movements.

One interesting thing is how the independence movements in the respective states are so different (and I use the term "movement" here in regard to Hawaii to refer to the educational process, but it is in a different situation from Alaska in that there is an existing country whose government has been made ineffective through foreign intervention and prolonged occupation but the legal order and identity of that country continues to exist as a matter of law regardless of any "movement" to restore it, but there is in fact a strong movement to restore it). I guess they really reflect their states to a degree. Both of them have an independent spirit that is rooted in community and personal self-reliance, down to hunting and fishing and living off the land.

But politically, Alaska's seems to be much more libertarian/conservative in nature, not difficult for a potential second gentleman (or whatever the VP's husband is called) from the Republican party to "flirt" with, and that is a-okay with Rush Limbaugh, because he "can damn-well understand why people in Alaska feel put out." And "why people get ticked off up there."

And ethnically, I'll just point out that there do not appear to be a lot of Native Alaskans at this convention (or other videos I've seen of the party):

In Hawaii, while the independence movement is supported by a wide variety of people ethnically and is legally founded on a multi-racial country, it is very much led by Native Hawaiians who identify themselves as descendants of the Hawaiian kingdom.

And politically, while it is far from monolithic, it tends to more reflect the politics of the islands as a whole, which is more progressive and liberal. And more big D Democratic—I do know people who have been active in the Democratic party who are pro-independence, including the sitting state senator from my district, while a Republican state senator (former senate minority leader) is closely allied with those who are attacking independence, the Akaka bill, and Hawaiian programs and institutions. I have met a few principled conservatives who see how American values and constitutional law have been betrayed throughout Hawaiian history and actually look at the facts of history and acknowledge that there is a compelling argument for Hawaii having never been lawfully acquired by the U.S. But in large measure the most active actors in the movement are people who tend to be those progressive community organizers that the Republicans ridiculed at their convention, people who work for homeless Hawaiians living on the beaches, Hawaiians housed in prisons across America, who work for protection of our natural resources from commercial over-exploitation, clean up of military pollution, demilitarization of our schools, a responsive and responsible government that ensures basic needs like education and health care are met for everyone, taking care of our elders, self-sufficiency in food and energy, water rights for traditional farmers, respect for culture in our businesses and industries. In a sense Hawaiians are actually very conservative because they want to protect and conserve their traditions and their ways of life. Not that different from American conservatives, in a sense, except that American conservatives think their way of life is the only true tradition to be conserved. And traditional Hawaiian ways are actually very progressive in their values, in the sense of being tolerant and welcoming, taking care of the needy among us, sharing in the community, being good stewards of God's glorious creation for future generations. Things that the America I grew up to idealize was supposed to be about, but which too many supposed "conservatives" have seemingly forgotten.

(Totally digressing here, but on the Colbert Report tonight, Stephen caught another Republican Congressman calling for the Ten Commandments to be placed in courthouses unable to name the Ten Commandments. In fact he could only name three of them. Ha! But it kind of got me curious so I looked up the Ten Commandments, and noticed the part about not doing any work on the Sabbath, "so that your male and female slave may rest as well as you." (Deuteronomy 5:14) Aha, slavery, so that's the "traditional values" they want to put in our public courthouses and be the foundation of our law! Well, it was the foundation of our country. But I really wonder how many people who think we all should live by the Ten Commandments have even read them or could name more than a few, and realize they include several mentions of slavery.)

But for conservatives, Hawaiian independence is lumped together with the Akaka bill which independence supporters oppose, along with any institution that is a remnant of the Hawaiian Kingdom or any program intended to address the needs of the Hawaiians people and the stark statistics that are a reality for them in their American occupied homeland. And then all this become their target, their strategy to attack and dismantle and destroy as part of their overall right-wing think tank Grover Norquist Rush Limbaugh Rupert Murdoch agenda across the country. While in Alaska, the independence party is mostly made up of white conservatives, and conservative leaders like Rush Limbaugh, while they don't support secession, can basically say that they can related to it and understand why Alaskans would desire it, and there's nothing wrong with the VP having some association and past affinity for it.

Suddenly, the issue of Hawaiian and Alaskan "secession" are in the spot light of American presidential politics, with progressive blogs like DailyKos and conservative blowhards like Limbaugh all talking about it (those are not comparable except being ideologically opposed), and everyone in between.

Just seems to me it is the Republicans like comedian Rush Limbaugh who are being exposed as huge-ass hypocrites in the process.

BTW, as far as I know, Obama has never "flirted" with the Hawaiian independence movement. But if he had, I can just hear Limbaugh saying he "can damn-well understand why people in Hawaii feel put out," and "why people get ticked off over there." Not.

Posted: Fri - September 5, 2008 at 10:56 PM    
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Published On: Sep 16, 2008 08:12 PM
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