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Earth to Sarah Palin: Jesus was a Community Organizer

Jesus Christ was a Community OrganizerI don’t spend a lot of time on this blog on national politics, but I’ve been brooding ever since the Republican Convention over the way Sarah Palin sneered at and mocked community organizing.

There are many other things that bug me about Sarah Palin — including how much mileage she gets from lying about not taking the money for the “bridge to nowhere.” But she pushed a button about community organizing, and I realized it bugged me as a Christian, a veteran, and a librarian.

As a Christian, I know Jesus was a community organizer. It’s hard work — he had a lot of trouble toward the end of his term of service — and it’s the kind of effort measured in agonizing small sips (not in honking big earmarks for projects you will later thrice disavow).

As a veteran, I know what my brothers and sisters are trying to do in Iraq is in many ways community organizing. We can question if they should have been sent there, and we can question whether they should be there now, but I know in my heart that they are putting their everything into their efforts. I am sure she has no clue she’s criticizing the military — but then, let’s face it, Palin hasn’t served in the military. Everyone’s so focused on being careful not to say anything sexist they haven’t pointed out that while Palin was enjoying civilian life some of us broads were actually serving in the armed forces. (No, it doesn’t count that her — male — kid serves.)

As a librarian, today I spent a few hours in a meeting with a lot of library directors present, and I was reminded all over again why I love libraries. It’s really extraordinary how this country supports its libraries. Not always, not as well as we’d like, but to a degree that underscores how much we believe in the power of communities. I also spent today in a gorgeous library that to me represented what democracy is all about: the chance for all of us to gather at the town pump to read, to discuss, and to celebrate our lives as thinking people.

(I won’t even get into her trickster behavior with then-director Emmons, and brava to Emmons for standing her ground back then, and taking the high road now. Been there, done that with the opportunistic censors.)

There’s a lot that gets under my skin right now. Republicans chanting “Drill, baby, drill” — I’m sorry, this is their response to the mess we’re in? Hasn’t T. Boone Pickens, of all people, said we can’t drill our way out of this crisis? I’m also excited about Oback Barama for president. I was sorry to see Hillary lose, but I was conflicted from day 1 and am glad to see Oback on the track to the no-longer-so-White House.

But I worry that McCain has found the perfect one-two punch: a wrinkly old white guy in a cardigan paired with an aggressive conservative… one who has no problem mocking those of us who have spent our lives building communities. So much for “a thousand points of light.”

So if you want to get me to the Obama phone banks this weekend to help get out the vote this November, just remind me how Palin mocked Obama’s community organizing. Because I guess a real job, to her, wouldn’t be at the payscale or prestige level of a community organizer, or a soldier, or a veteran. For all her anti-intellectual “gotta dress me a moose” postering, Palin’s not just a liar and a hypocrite — she’s a snob.

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