Tuesday, September 23, 2008

HSUS, you've just made the list!

In a shocking move, the Humane Society of the United States has just endorsed the Obama/Biden ticket.

What's even better is that they're doing so mainly because of Sarah Palin, as I discovered when I read my email today:

"While McCain's positions on animal protection have been lukewarm, his choice of running mate cemented our decision to oppose his ticket."

The HSUS is not an extremist organization by any means. They aren't PETA or Greenpeace, shooting at whalers or freeing lab rats from universities. They are very much a "work for change within the system" organization. And as they point out, "we've endorsed hundreds of congressional candidates for election, both Democrats and Republicans, we've never before endorsed a presidential candidate. We have members on the left, in the center, and on the right, and we knew it could be controversial to choose either party's candidate for the top office in the nation."

(NARAL has also recently executed a similarly uncharacteristic move, endorsing Obama after abstaining from presidential endorsements for 24 years. Granted, NARAL's decision was made before the VP nominations, but they certainly don't put a lot of faith in Gov. Palin.)

Several other non-"ecoterrorist" organizations are also backing Obama: The Sierra Club and The League of Conservation Voters. The Audubon Society is firmly sitting on the fence, according to a number of articles published in their magazine-- while Obama has done a lot for the environment in his short tenure, McCain has a history of Roosevelt-style conservation politics (see http://magazine.audubon.org/features0809/politics.html). The National Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy have not taken sides either, but the NWF does provide a brief but nice side-by-side Q&A on environmental issues (http://www.nwf.org/nationalwildlife/article.cfm?issueID=124&articleID=1650).

None of the above organizations have made mention of their feelings toward Sarah Palin-- although pretty much all of them (The Audubon Society in particular) have tangled with her over various wildlife and conservation issues.

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