Melissa has a fascinating look into the aspects of Palin’s Troopergate problem pertaining to the fight against sexual assault. By now, I’m sure you’re all aware of the story of how Palin fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan because he refused to dog Palin’s sister’s ex-husband with legal troubles. But one aspect that Melissa teased out is fascinating. Alaska’s sexual violence problem is, compared to the rest of the country, rightfully called a crisis—two and a half times the national average in a sparsely populated state. Considering that the ratio of men to women in Alaska is out of sync with the rest of the country (114 single men to 100 single women, couldn’t find overall numbers), I suspect the per capita rate just amongst women is even higher.
Monegan wanted to do something about this, and had a plan to build up the sort of specialized sex crime divisions in his state that have helped so much in other places—I can’t even imagine how scary it is to be a victim going through the prosecution process without detectives that are trained to and deal solely in sex crimes. When Monegan decided to go to Washington to ask for the money directly, Palin threw a fit, saying he wasn’t authorized to make the trip and she didn’t want him straining her relationship with Senator Stevens. So, instead of taking her Commissioner’s advice on this matter and letting him do what needed to be done to combat the problem, she fired him. The McCain campaign is making this their official story, instead of the other story about the vindictive firing over her ex-brother-in-law. I suspect it’s a combination of factors. But like Melissa says, if the McCain campaign thinks it’s better to have fired someone for attempting to go above and beyond in the fight against sexual predators, that says something about their views of the disposability of the average woman.
Considering that Joe Biden is a Senate leader—probably the Senate leader—on legislation combating violence against women, this is a strong point of contrast.