David Neiwert and Max Blumenthal have done a terrific job with their latest article for The Nation and Salon.com. They also have much tougher stomachs than I do–these guys routinely face down right-wing nutters, live and in person. And look who they’ve gone and met in Alaska:
Wow, they sound like real winners already. But wait, there’s more:
An obscure figure outside of Alaska, Chryson has been a political fixture in the hometown of the Republican vice-presidential nominee for over a decade. During the 1990s, when Chryson directed the AIP, he and another radical right-winger, Steve Stoll, played a quiet but pivotal role in electing Palin as mayor of Wasilla and shaping her political agenda afterward. Both Stoll and Chryson not only contributed to Palin’s campaign financially, they played major behind-the-scenes roles in the Palin camp before, during and after her victory.Palin backed Chryson as he successfully advanced a host of anti-tax, pro-gun initiatives, including one that altered the state Constitution’s language to better facilitate the formation of anti-government militias. She joined in their vendetta against several local officials they disliked, and listened to their advice about hiring. She attempted to name Stoll, a John Birch Society activist known in the Mat-Su Valley as “Black Helicopter Steve,” to an empty Wasilla City Council seat. “Every time I showed up her door was open,” said Chryson. “And that policy continued when she became governor.”
Charming–they scrubbed the racist slurs, but left the heterosexist clichés firmly in place. Such cuddly secessionists! These guys, folks, are the REAL hate-America crowd. They even have financing from Iran.And no, Sarah Palin has NOT been at arm’s length from this nutty fringe party; on the contrary, she’s danced to their piping both as mayor of Wasilla and as governor of Alaska. Being a “card-carrying Republican since 1988” doesn’t mean much when you consider her dual loyalties–or conflict of interest, might be a better way of putting it.She’s also a fine one to slam Barack Obama for an imaginary terrorist connection when her own one…is real.Don’t take my word for it, though; read all about it.And then, ask some hard questions, starting with this one: Why does this woman hate America?
Chryson pursued a dual policy of cozying up to secessionist and right-wing groups in Alaska and elsewhere while also attempting to replicate the AIP’s success with Hickel in infiltrating the mainstream.Unlike some radical right-wingers, Chryson doesn’t put forward his ideas freighted with anger or paranoia. And in a state where defense of gun and property rights often takes on a real religious fervor, Chryson was able to present himself as a typical Alaskan.He rose through party ranks by reducing the AIP’s platform to a single page that “90 percent of Alaskans could agree with.” This meant scrubbing the old platform of what Chryson called “racist language” while accommodating the state’s growing Christian right movement by emphasizing the AIP’s commitment to the “traditional family.”“The AIP is very family-oriented,” Chryson explained. “We’re for the traditional family — daddy, mommy, kids — because we all know that it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. And we don’t care if Heather has two mommies. That’s not a traditional family.”