Sarah Palin Has Her Way with Matthew Scully

Sarah Palin’s speech this evening was written by Matthew Scully, a Republican speechwriter, says the WSJ. Scully is a fine writer and gave Palin an solid text, but anyone who has ever read Scully on hunting or factory farms must wonder how he really feels about writing for a candidate who is not only an enthusiastic sportswoman, but even supports aerial hunting.

Most hunters and most ordinary people say that hunting from low-flying aircraft is not really a sport; it’s beyond the pale, because it’s not a "fair chase" — the animal has no possible means of escape.

Further, shots from a small plane swooping low to the snow tend to be uncontrolled, the animals are frequently gravely wounded, but not killed, and left to die agonizing deaths by bleeding.

Aerial hunting has been against Federal law since l972, but in Alaska, the state argues that it’s necessary to cull the wolves to preserve moose and caribou populations, and under this rubric the legislature has found a loophole under which to kill hundreds of wolves a year. and some bears as well.

Palin likes the practice, and not only agreed with the Legislature to continue it, she even authorized $400,000 to encourage the killing, and wanted to authorize the state to pay a $150 a pelt bounty.

Bonnie Erbut of the US News and World Report wasn’t as impressed: she described it as Palin’s "ardent desire to slaughter animals."

For Scully, best known outside the Beltway for his excellent book "Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy," Palin’s brutal stand has to make him wince.

Scully loathes cruelty to animals, including hunting, but can support "Fair Chase" hunting. In a 2004 op-ed, in which he criticized both Bush and Kerry for going hunting and killing small creatures to mollify the hook and bullet factions, he wrote:

"If a man is going to hunt, than let him at least hunt like a man."

Shooting at wolves or bears from low-flying aircraft hardly counts: even in hunting-friendly Alaska, substantial majorities of voters have twice vote by large majorities to end the practice, only to be foiled by the good old boys in the state legislature.

Contrast that quote with a couple of others from Scully:

On the NRA:

You would have to search the Washington offices of the American Civil Liberties Union to find a more truculent
and sanctimonious group of people – or for that matter to find
grievances less deserving of serious attention.

On hunters, from "Dominion":

Probably what unites all hunters…from all classes and backgrounds is…the conviction that it all comes down to what a person wants. You want a deer, that’s fine, and if it’s a giraffe or elephant a man wants, and he’s got the money, why then that’s fine too. The important thing is not to let a lot of outsiders start laying restrictions on things. Then you’re fiddling with basic rights, above all the constitutional rights to firearms, as the National Rifle Association is here to remind us. Nothing unites like a common enemy, and they’ve all got one here: Give an inch to the enviros and Bambi lovers, all those urban types who know little about firearms and even less about wildlife, and it won’t end there…before long it’ll be deer… Here,m the mildest qualm or fugitive doubt is heresy. Let them take away our helicopters and next it’ll be our guns. [[pp53-54] 

Commenting on In Defense of Hunting, by James Swan, he derides the essence of the argument as as:

I kill, therefore I am…"I am like the cougar, I need to eat meat."

Well, no reference to hunting tonight in Sarah Palin’s speech — not even a gun reference, I don’t believe. Does that count as a victory for Scully? Nor any reference to factory farms, despite fellow con Rod Dreher’s hopes.

He thinks it was a smashing session: to me the awkwardness of the body language of the insta-McCain/Palin is more memorable than anything Palin said.

Strangest line:

"The American presidency is not a journey of self-discovery."

It is for Sarah Palin! 

In any case, The crowd didn’t know what to make of it…some nervous laughter, then massive applause. Dreher compared the speech to Obama’s classic 2004 red states/blue states address. Huh?

Palin revealed herself as a happy culture warrior, but is that really what America wants in 2008?

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

3 thoughts on “Sarah Palin Has Her Way with Matthew Scully

  1. Thanks for drawing attention to this…as an ardent admirer of “Dominion” I couldn’t have been more disgusted or disappointed by his (effective) work on Palin’s behalf.


  2. The late Rev. Hyland’s pamphlet “Jews, Christians and Hunting” should be read by all Christians.
    Doesn’t the Bible say that we will know them by their fruit? Isn’t part of the fruit of the Spirit, kindness?


  3. Take a good look at this link. I don’t know if the amount of insanity enveloping this country has been properly studied or reported on. LOOK AT IT. Here is what you’ll find: “Obama is a muslim.” “Obama supports killing babies.” “I’m never visiting this site again because you’re voting for a democrat.” THIS IS WHAT AMERICA HAS TURNED INTO. When and how will this stop?


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