US News: McCain Pick of Palin 'Reignites' Culture War

Gov. Sarah Palin's pick as John McCain's running mate was a risky, but potentially rewarding way to restart the culture war and fire up social conservative voters, according to U.S. News & World Report's Jay Tolson. But couldn't the same be said in reverse for Obama's pick of Sen. Joe Biden?

Here's how Tolson treated the Arizona senator's pick of Palin in a September 9 article (emphasis mine):

When Palin addressed the convention, she made it abundantly clear why she was there: Alluding to Obama's gaffe about working-class Americans who turn to guns and God when the economy sours, she presented herself as proof that his characterization was not only false but condescending. Proof, furthermore, that he was out of touch with God-fearing heartland America.

McCain hardly needed to say any more on that point when it came time for him to speak. His choice of Palin said it all. Not only was she anti-abortion; she was against it in all cases. Not only was she pro-gun; she was a hunter herself.

The Palin pick was McCain's way of reigniting the culture war, a limited culture war, while not getting too directly involved in it. Depending on how it works out, it will be deemed a brilliant or disastrous strategy. At the very least, it is a risky one.

Yet Sen. Biden's pro-choice and anti-gun rights bona fides are equally impressive. In a Democratic YouTube debate in 2007, Biden mocked a gun owner who asked him for his thoughts on gun control:

 

As the NRA has noted, Biden voted against confirmation for all but one of the Supreme Court justices that signed the majority opinion in June's landmark District of Columbia v. Heller decision. That case overturned D.C.'s handgun ban on 2nd Amendment grounds, citing the individual's right to keep and bear arms:

The Supreme Court's recent ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller—the case that overturned Washington, D.C.'s handgun banoffers two more insights into Biden's position on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

First, Biden has been in the Senate long enough to vote on the confirmation of all nine justices now on the Court. Biden voted to confirm only one of the five justices who ruled against D.C.'s handgun ban in Heller, and he voted to confirm all four justices who believed D.C. could ban handguns without violating the Second Amendment.

Second, before the case went before the Supreme Court, more than 300 members of Congress signed a legal brief supporting the Second Amendment and opposing D.C.'s handgun ban. Biden, like Obama, refused to sign the brief.

On the abortion issue, Biden voted a solid 75% of the time in 2007 with NARAL Pro-Choice America and both Biden and Obama earned a 0% score in the 110th Congress when it comes to agreeing with the National Right to Life Committee.

If Democrats were not interested in fighting an election along the lines of a culture war, wouldn't it have made sense for Obama to find a significantly more pro-gun and pro-life running mate?

Of course to the media, it's always conservatives who are divisive and close-minded on hot button issues, never liberals like Obama and Biden.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters