Recognizing the dangerous effect of the revelations that Sarah Palin once inquired as to a method of how to ban books, the campaign for John McCain/Sarah Palin today is disputing a list of books that has appeared on the internet as being the ones that she tried to ban.
The truth is, no list was ever submitted and no books were ever banned. That is a fact.
But the tack that the campaign is taking is that because no books were ever banned and because the list is false, that means that Palin never had any thoughts about banning books. They say this even while admitting that Palin requested information on HOW to ban books. But they say the request was "rhetorical" and try to pass it off as an isolated and casual conversation.
The truth is that the reason Sarah Palin never banned books is because a woman took a stand. Mary Ellen Emmons told Palin in no uncertain terms that she would not allow books to be banned. And not just on one occasion, as the campaign would have you believe. Emmons says that Palin asked for information on the subject at least three times, including once before she was ever sworn in as mayor. The "single rhetorical question" defense stems from the fact that Palin only asked this question once as a matter of public record.
That should be scary enough... that a mayor of any American city would, on public record, ask a librarian how she would go about banning books. It scares me.
For the record, Sarah Palin DID fire Mary Ellen Emmons. As part of what Plain described as a "loyalty" purge. In fact, she first requested Emmons resignation in October 1996, then actually fired her on Jan. 30, 1997.
She rehired both Emmons and the Chief of Police (fired the same date) on the following day. Emmons then remained in her position for two and a half years.
It amazes me that the Republicans believe this is a defense. Does anyone really believe that the firing of public officials on Jan. 30, 1997 was not all about sending a message? Should people who have done nothing wrong in their work be fired because they are not "loyal" to an official?
I believe that Sarah Plain was prevented from banning books by the stand of a courageous librarian who put her job on the line. I further believe that no one in the United States who has faithfully and properly performed their duties should have to worry about retaining their job and livelihood simply because their new boss doesn't think they are "loyal" to her.
If you do your job the way it is supposed to be done, you should keep it.
If someone asks about the mechanism for banning books three separate times, they are probing, not being rhetorical.