Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 31, 2008

AS NASTY AS SHE WANTS TO BE.... Sarah Palin sees her free-speech rights under fire from journalists who've highlighted her personal attacks against Barack Obama.

Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama's associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate's free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.

"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."

Let's unpack this a bit.

If I understand her correctly -- and with Palin, it's sometimes tough to understand her general incoherence -- the governor believes she should make scurrilous, dishonest, and personal attacks against Democrats. She's afraid, however, that reporters might tell voters she's making scurrilous, dishonest, and personal attacks, and worse, that voters might recoil from her vicious style of campaigning.

And if that happens, politicians in the future might hesitate before launching scurrilous, dishonest, and personal attacks of their own. What a brutal "chilling effect" that would be.

So, as Palin sees it, the appropriate solution would be for her to accuse Obama of "palling around with terrorists," and for the media to simply pass that along without scrutiny. It's her job to wage vicious smear campaigns, and it's the media's job not to tell anyone she's waging vicious smear campaigns.

And if reporters disagree, and point out reality to voters, it undermines her First Amendment rights.

I realize far-right activists think Palin is a great leader and the future of the Republican Party. I just can't figure out why.

Steve Benen 1:54 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (77)

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I've stopped trying to comprehend the woman. Go to barackobama.com and get some phone numbers. Call five people every time you hear that Palin said something stupid, to help guarantee an Obama win, so that we don't have to hear from her for awhile.

Posted by: Margaret on October 31, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

No, no - I like it! It'll upend all the slander laws. You can tell all the lies you want, no matter how damaging, and nobody can call you on it. Nobody can criticize you for lying, nobody can even point out that you are lying.

No, it doesn't make any sense. But that's the great part about living in PalinWorld!

Posted by: Yellow Dog on October 31, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Neither Palin nor this post has anything to do with 1st A. rights to free speech. Free speech has to do with government interference or prohibition, not criticism from other sources or for that matter paying a price socially or economically from non-governmental sources. Its not surprising that Palin doesn't understand the constitution.

Posted by: mww on October 31, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

What a cowardly, whiney bitch. Until she has the guts to call a REAL press conference and deal with some REAL question, she doesn't have standing to say anything about rights to free speech.

According to her, she should be able to infringe on the free speech rights of journalists by restricting them to only follow only her storyline.

Oh, and BTW, there is no shortage of "reporters" on Fox News willing to repeat her bullshit talking points.

I can't wait to see this woman slide into obscurity.

Posted by: bdop4 on October 31, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

"I realize far-right activists think Palin is a great leader and the future of the Republican Party. I just can't figure out why."

She represents a younger version of George W. Bush to the % of the country that actually still believes he's doing a great job (10% or so).

Posted by: Mathew on October 31, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives love Sarah because she's a pit bull with lipstick.

Posted by: Al on October 31, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

I don't believe anyone REALLY believe's Palin's all that. It's just politics. As is the national ambitions malarkey -- unless by "national ambitions" we're talking future Fox news anchor. She won't even be reelected to AK governorship. Stick a form in her, she's done (politically).

Posted by: ManOutOfTime on October 31, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah & Todd Palin raped an entire kindergarten class.

First Amendment. Nyah.

Really. THIS is what it's come to? Tragic in so many different layers.

Posted by: slappy magoo on October 31, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

In five more days, this cancer on American politics hopefully will return to obscurity.

Posted by: AJB on October 31, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

So, I guess Palin is against freedom of the press. Remind me, which amendment is that one?

Posted by: chrenson on October 31, 2008 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

It's the same old right wing nonsense we've seen for a long time. If a Christian Fundamentalist calls you a moral degenerate who is going to go to Hell then you are "attacking people of faith" if you disagree. If a right winger says that gays or immigrants or liberals or whatever are scum who should be kicked out of the country, then you are being "intolerant" if you do not tolerate their intolerance. Right wingers don't believe in the Constititution or Bill of Rights anyway, so why should we pay the slightest attention to whatever Palin has to say about the meaning of the First Amendment means.

Posted by: Ted Frier on October 31, 2008 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

And this person was a journalism major? Maybe Fox News was the accrediting agency....

Posted by: Heidi_PDX on October 31, 2008 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

It wasn't that long ago when Republicans equated free speech with unlimited campaign funding/spending. Now it's about restricting criticism of false claims. Frankly, even the fact checkers are bending over backwards to criticize equally, but that's not enough for Second Hand Sarah. Who said Republicans couldn't sink much farther?

Posted by: Danp on October 31, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Now let's try packing it up again.

Posted by: mr. merle on October 31, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

I hope she is the future of the republican party. If that's the case, they'll never win another election.

Posted by: citizen_pain on October 31, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

It's her job to wage vicious smear campaigns, and it's the media's job not to tell anyone she's waging vicious smear campaigns.

No, you don't have it quite right.

It's the media's job to amplify her remarks, not just to pass them along, but to repeat them endlessly, discuss them (nonjudgmentally, of course), and to ask the victims of the smear campaigns for their responses to the smears.

The media are not to think, nor simply to transcribe, but to serve as willing tools.

And y'know, given the media's behavior over the last 20 years or so, who can blame her for thinking that way? That's how they have behaved.

Posted by: bleh on October 31, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

mww wins.

She CLEARLY doesn't know what the first amendment is. She doesn't understand that it only affects the *government's* ability to restrict speech.

Or she doesn't care about the difference, which, in retrospect, is just as likely.

Posted by: Scott on October 31, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

So, I guess Palin is against freedom of the press. Remind me, which amendment is that one?

Right. Her comment was so fundamentally absurd that any further unpacking gives it more legitimacy than it deserves.

Although, if you squint, it could be seen as a threat: "Nice amendment you have there - it'd be shame if something happened to it"

Posted by: apm on October 31, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

"I realize far-right activists think Palin is a great leader and the future of the Republican Party. I just can't figure out why."

She'll be forgotten within, oh, I'd say about ten days after the election. This always happens.

Posted by: Jack Lindahl on October 31, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

What mmw said.

I'm tired of all the ignoramuses out there who don't know the difference between "free speech" and running afoul of community standards for what speech is considered acceptable.

Hey wingnuts! Did you know that if you wash your kids mouth out with soap if she blasphemes then you have "violated" the first amendment by your own clueless definition?

Oh, wait, I get it. A wingnut's definition of rights only applies when the right in question being violated belongs to the wingnut.

Authority for me, accountability for you!

That's the wingnut's golden rule.

Posted by: lobbygow on October 31, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

All this reminds me ... when the WM server was down a couple of days ago and I couldn't post a comment, who should I have complained to about the blatant violation of my First Amendment rights?

Posted by: scott_m on October 31, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

I'm reminded of Colbert's dictum: Facts have a Liberal bias.

As a thought experiment, imagine the chilling effect on our rights if someone even more nasty than Palin/McCain ascended the national stage. Imagine a Stalinesque or Hitleresque leader arising and demanding and receiving all manner of media fairness, someone who wants their narrative to be just as valid as the opposition's narrative.

Now that is an extreme example, but highlights a spectrum of acceptability. The campaign of Palin/McCain has crossed that border of unacceptable rhetoric.

Yes, Palin has, and hopefully will always have, freedom of speech, to say whatever despicable thing comes to mind. But freedom of speech does not grant equality in acceptance.


Posted by: JWK on October 31, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

I like it because she not only whiffs on what the First Amendment is and means — but actually attacks it in the state that it actually exists by implying the media has no right to address the validity of the goverment's statements.

This is proof that GOP has completely embraced the Bizarro World explanation of "creating their own reality." It's literally the opposite of the one we're forced to live in. (See also: "I haven't been convicted of anything", Stevens, Ted)

Accelerate off the cliff you fucking morons.

Posted by: Jay B. on October 31, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Someone in the GOP should have just nominated the 'Politics' edition of Refrigerator Poetry Magnets™ for the Vice Presidency, and have done with it.

You'd have gotten the same speeches, and no fewer press conferences, but the ticket would suffer less damage in the polls.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on October 31, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

This is all a part of the Right-Wing Persecution Complex. Those media meanies are picking on the plucky Sarah Palin, and that is somehow keeping her from speaking. It doesn't matter that the First Amendment guarantees freedom from government censorship of speech. Of course, Palin may be under the delusion that the media is, somehow, collectively, part of the government. It's hard to say. If she can't articulate even the basic duties of the Vice President (does she really think she'll be in charge of the Senate?) then maybe she doesn't realize that the Bill of Rights proscribes what the government can and cannot do.

When school kids respond to teachers "I can do what I like, it's a free country!" It's the exact same misunderstanding of those freedoms that Palin has. So we have a ticket that consists of an angry and confused old man who can't figure out what he wants to do, and a spoiled child who's response to someone pointing out that their clams are false is to say, "I can say whatever I want! It's a free country! Stinkyheads!"

Some people wonder why people mock Palin and McCain. I wonder why anyone takes them seriously at all.

Posted by: Diogenes on October 31, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Cool with me, she is playing chicken with the media, and she can't win. It's the equivalent to telling a cop he works for you or a letting a bouncer know how unimportant his job really is.

I don't believe it's meant to actually sway the press, it's this sort of idiocy that defines her. If it was Hillary and she might imply she must be gay for supporting gay rights, because if she wasn't gay, she wouldn't be on their side.

This is the logic that has defined republicans since about 1992. There is a decent chance that a republican Senator will keep his seat even though he has been convicted of 7 job related felonies a week before the election, you probably don't have the brightest bulbs in your pack.

The good news is the very logic that defines them is destroying them. They have wore out their fake outrage and scar tactics and hatred of everything not them. I think if this election has proven anything, it's that the country is capable of undoing a wrong and hopefully learning a thing or two about it so as not to repeat it.

Posted by: ScottW on October 31, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

I'd ask her why she didn't ever speak out against those in her rallies who shouted things like "KIll HIM" or "Treason" or NOBAMA". Why (like Obama) did she never ask folks to keep their boos down, to keep their anger in check, to focus on the issues? Why did she never make a statement to her fans to calm down some? Why did she never guide them to a more positive view of what a responsible campaign looks like? Why did she never say anything positive at all about Obama?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

It's not just 'negative',nothing wrong really with negative, per se. It's much worse. She's been provocative by making false links and playing the "dangerous by association" card full on.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

AND--she's been willfully neglectful about keeping any of it in check.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

What about the fact that she embraced a church whose preacher expressed utmost admiration and awe for a prominent leader of 'Jews for Jesus'? And Palin herself made sure to attend that day! This is a group that at it's root is utterly anti-Semetic--that insists Jews MUST CONVERT to Christianity--or they will be toast (as in literally).

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I'd ask if she felt that her rallies incited hatred in any way, I'd ask if she sees any connection at all between what has happened at her rallies and some of the horrific ugly things folks have said and done?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I'd ask her if she thinks it's important that political figures always keep foremost in their minds the upward hill fought over time in history and culture with which minorities like Jews and Blacks and Latinos and Women have come a long way but continue to a great extent to be marginalized, denied basic rights and treated less than human.

Posted by: Katie, I really don't like you on October 31, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

I would like to get a look at Palin's actual collage degree. She supposedly holds a BA in the communications field, ig: broadcast journalism. For someone with a degree in this field she seems awfully ignorant of the real role of media in a free and open society. Oh wait a second McCain/Palin don't believe in true democracy. Silly me. Please get out and VOTE do not leave anything to chance this election. We can not survive another 4 years of this kind of an administration.

Posted by: redrover on October 31, 2008 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

So, let me get this straight.

Free speech applies to politicians.

But it SHOULDN'T apply to the media, despite this being the probable attention of the amendment in the first place: for the free press to stay free.

The woman is a wack job.

Posted by: Sandy B on October 31, 2008 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

"Whack job" really does sum it all up.

Posted by: lou on October 31, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

This is pretty standard religious right boilerplate, though: "you're oppressing us if you impede us from oppressing others". They're the biggest bullies imaginable, but as spoon as you point that out, or question them in any way, then they're suddenly the world's most pitiable, martyred victims.

This bullshit is the foundation stone that the activist religious right is built on, and it's pathetic.

Posted by: DH Walker on October 31, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Besides the Constitution, she also doesn't get that a negative ad is just one that is about the negatives of your opponent, not the positives about you.

Any time she's talking about why Obama shouldn't be President, that's negative.

Posted by: doubtful on October 31, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

"First amendment rights for me but not for thee."

Posted by: larry birnbaum on October 31, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Always attack your opponent's strength from your weakness. Palin makes scurrilous attacks and the Press finally mans up and calls a Republican on it? Attack the Press and play victim.

These things write themselves.

Posted by: duBois on October 31, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

First Amendment, simplified: We are free to make full and utter asses of ourselves, as long as we don't hurt others.

That includes freedom to say things which destroy our personal credibility. Freedom to invite ridicule.

The simplest paradox of the first amendment is that exercising it may cause others to quit listening to us.

Message to Sarah: Soon, the world is going to quit listening to you.

Posted by: Bose on October 31, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure what you all are talking about. I just reviewed my Pocket Constitution, which I got free from the Federalist Society and it says, and I quote:

Amendment 1: Congress (nor the states, the media, George Soros, or liberal bloggers) shall make any law (or defamation suit, elitist editorial, blog post, or Keith Olbermann special comment) abridging (or criticizing or even fact-checking) the freedom of Republican speech, or the right of racists and other violent, ignorant mobs to assemble. Democrats, well, that's another matter.

As I read that, Palin appears to be absolutely correct.

Posted by: zeitgeist on October 31, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Message to Sarah: Soon, the world is going to quit listening to you. Bose

I used to think that about Britney Spears. Go figure.

Posted by: Danp on October 31, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

From Wikipedia:
"An anacoluthon is a rhetorical device that can be loosely defined as a change of syntax within a sentence. More specifically, anacoluthons (or "anacolutha") are created when a sentence abruptly changes from one structure to another. Grammatically, anacoluthon is an error; however, in rhetoric it is a figure that shows excitement, confusion, or laziness." I vote for confusion.

Posted by: Greg Worley on October 31, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

DH Walker hit the nail on the head. It is Palin's certaintly about the rightness of her goals (based on her religious background) that allows her to justify tactics that are in and of themselves scurrilous and unethical. It is the same mentality that allows the right wing to think that it is morally permissible to bomb abortion clinics - any means to achieve an end that one deludes oneself into believing is God's work.

Posted by: Observer on October 31, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

And now Ted Stevens says that he wasn't convicted of any crimes.

See, this is why Alaskans stay in Alaska where they can invent their own reality. Because it has nothing whatsoever to do with the reality that the rest of us deal with in the United States.

Posted by: Thin White Guy on October 31, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Where is Chris Mathews' misogynistic views when you need them ? I would love for his to say something wildly inappropriate to her and then tell her it's his first amendment right and that she should shut the hell up.

Posted by: ScottW on October 31, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

This, I hope, will make people reconsider the media-baiting used by Republicans on a constant basis. Maybe it will make them realize that the media isn't their "enemy" and that demagogues need voters to think of the media as an evil force to win election. Heck, maybe they'll do a little research and learn that this tactic was pioneered by George Wallace after the Voting Rights Act made it impossible for him to attack blacks.

But I doubt it.

Posted by: Brian on October 31, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Let's not forget the good (er sort of sad and pathetic too, IMO) news here: Palin's utter disregard for any semblance of keeping it responsible and her fervor to 'to whatever it takes' has not gone un-noticed by many.

Most of all see that she really wants and aspires to be that viscous Pit-bull with lipstick--that she has a fervor for choosing to bring out the worst in her defined'enemy'.
-----------------------------------------

Palin sees the whole world as either for her or against her. And she is on a mission with blinders to bring out the worst--at ANY COST--of her perceived enemies (which are growing). And of course be blindly faithful to those who she perceives are 'with her'. A true Demagogue, she is.

And btw, this is what really ill people do, people who have been abused or neglected, people who have no moral or ethical compass, people who are without a sense of true self, who are cynical with a capital 'C' to the core.

And don't forget that she is McCain's soul-mate.

Posted by: noabuseofpowerthereatall on October 31, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin does not understand the meaning of such words as "precondition" and "negative."

She does not understand the First Amendment or the Vice Presidency.

This woman is arrogant and ignorant -- and she is the essence of today's Republican Party.

Posted by: CMcC on October 31, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

I guess this "free speech" stuff is a one way street -- they can say anything they want any time they want but if anyone answers back, then that's a "chilling effect".

Brrrrrrrr.

Posted by: Steve on October 31, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Happy Halloween! courtesy of the assclowns of the Republican party!

Posted by: jurassicpork on October 31, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Sarah,

The media's being nice to you. If they were really mean and nasty they'd bring up the documented links that you and First Dud have to the Alaskan Independence Party who wants to, you betcha, leave the US, you betcha.

Posted by: Former Dan on October 31, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

It is the Sister Souljah fallacy -- the inability to distinguish between what you have the legal right to say and what you should say. And of course the difference between government censoring what you say and people criticizing what you say.

The later of course being the PURPOSE of the First Amendment

Sigh.

Posted by: Artemesia on October 31, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

It's fascinating. As a government official, she thinks it makes sense to use a provision of the constitution that prevents the GOVERNMENT from going after newspapers to keep the newspapers from going after the government. This is not earth logic.

And she's not only mis-read the Constitution to turn Zenger on its head (truth is apparently no longer a defense against slander), but she's also eviscerated Sullivan (public figures must prove malice to sue for slander). She literally just threw 300 years of jurisprudence out the window.

I mean, I'm sorry if she doesn't like being criticized. Who does? But it appears she thinks that we should hold reality TV stars to higher levels of public scrutiny and critique than the politicians who intend to make the laws that can be enforced against us at the point of a gun.

This is ridiculous.

Posted by: anonymiss on October 31, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Apart from the obvious fact that the First Amendment has absolutely nothing to say about whether or how the "press" can characterize the comments of political candidates as "negative" or otherwise, of course Palin's comments about Obama are "negative".

Any time you talk about why your opponent SHOULD NOT be elected, as opposed to why you SHOULD be elected, it is "negative".

And there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with Palin or McCain questioning Obama's experience, judgment or policy proposals -- or with Obama questioning theirs, as he has done. In both cases it's "negative" and in both cases it is legitimate.

What's wrong, and not legitimate, is when Palin and McCain attack Obama with vicious, sleazy, despicable, preposterous, deliberate lies -- which, so far, is all they've put forward.

In any other context than a political campaign, Obama would likely have an open-and-shut legal case for slander and defamation against Palin and McCain.

And indeed, some of the other individuals that Palin and McCain have recently attacked with deliberate vicious lies in the course of their dishonest attacks on Obama -- Rashid Khalidi for example -- may well be legally entitled to sue Palin and McCain for slander and defamation.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on October 31, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

You ever wonder if Palin and Bu$H were separated at birth? I wonder if Barb and Georgie the 1st know they have another child.

Posted by: on October 31, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

If Palin truly represents the "Core" or "Base" of the Republican party, than I say whew--that's some god-awful "Base"--and I'd say run, don't walk as fast as you can from that "Base"--because add the prefix: 'DE' to that and you have what it really is:

*******************DEBASE**************************

Posted by: icanseeRussiafromyhouse on October 31, 2008 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

You know, most of the ridiculous stuff I hear politicians say, I realize they don't actually believe it but are somehow using it as a debate tactic, or to pander to an ignorant base.

with Palin, though, I wouldn't be at all surprised that this exhibits her actual understanding of the first amendment.

Posted by: g on October 31, 2008 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin is within her rights to make public, slanderous claims about her political opponents that undermine her credibility. And her opponents as well as the media are well within their rights to publicly question and rebuke her slanderous claims. So what's Sarah's point? That no one has a right to respond to her???

Her inner diva is showing. What she's really saying is, "How can anyone criticize moi? and trying to frame it in a First Amendment contxt she doesn't fully comprehend.

As Bugs Bunny used to say, "What a maroon."

Posted by: pj in jesusland on October 31, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Danp: I used to think that about Britney Spears. Go figure.

I really shudder to think about the venue that will keep me continually exposed to Palin and her fans long after the election. Her own show on Fox? New judge on American Idol? Co-Anchor of the 700 Club? Celebrity Rehab 6?

Observer:

Thanks, and damned right. The notion that the ends justifies the means is the core of the neoconservative ideology. People are capable of doing anything, no matter how immoral, once they convince themselves that God's on their side. It's little short of psychotic, when you think about it.

Posted by: DH Walker on October 31, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

"or... or?!" -- I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

Posted by: Sandwichman on October 31, 2008 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

First Amendment, simplified: We are free to make full and utter asses of ourselves, as long as we don't hurt others.

NO. I appreciate what you mean here, but you're conflating "free speech" (which is a sentiment we've semi-successfully abided by and one that involves community standards and the like) and the First Amendment, which prevents the government from abridging freedom of the press, of assembly, of religion and expression.

Posted by: Jay B. on October 31, 2008 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

The real question is who exactly is writing this stuff for her? Is it Wallace, Kristol, Dick Morris? Who is feeding her this bullshit. If it's her own bullshit then I'd like a clinical definition. Hell, I'd like a clinical defition anyway.

When does the DSM V come out? Republicans should add about two dozen never before seen mental illnesses to it.

Posted by: grinning cat on October 31, 2008 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

You keep using that word, "first amendment".

I do not think it means what you think it means.

Posted by: Inigo Montoya on October 31, 2008 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

As a government official, she thinks it makes sense to use a provision of the constitution that prevents the GOVERNMENT from going after newspapers to keep the newspapers from going after the government. This is not earth logic.

Precisely right. Well said.

Posted by: DH Walker on October 31, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

After the Fruit Fly Statement "This is the most mindless, ignorant, uninformed comment that we have seen from Governor Palin so far, and there's been a lot of competition for that prize." - Richard Wolfe, Newsweek
Well Richrd , she eclipsed that one now didn't she

Posted by: John R on October 31, 2008 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

I realize far-right activists think Palin is a great leader and the future of the Republican Party. I just can't figure out why.

It's simple. They're doing it just to piss me off.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on October 31, 2008 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

To all you who are equating Palin with Bush (43), you're wrong.

They both may be backed by the same right-wing nut cases, but I have never gotten the feeling that Bush actually supports all the nonsense. I don't think he's a "true believer". I do think Palin is, though, which makes her more dangerous, much more dangerous.

Posted by: phoebes in santa fe on October 31, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

"In five more days, this cancer on American politics hopefully will return to obscurity."

She's got a taste of the national spotlight, and Alaska may be just a little small for her ambitions. I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot more of her in the upcoming years.

Posted by: Mick on October 31, 2008 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

I guess, since she obviously never read what the Constitution says about the role of the Vice President, it shouldn't be surprising that she hasn't read the Bill of Rights. After all, they do come at the end, after all that boring enumeration of Congressional powers.

Do all the Alaska successionists have such a limited understanding of the system they want to reject?

Posted by: biggerbox on October 31, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

You know, for a group of people who claim to be the only "real Americans," Republicans don't seem to have a clue of what America is actually about, nor the ideals upon which it is based.

This is just Example #1,920,818.

Posted by: Mark D on October 31, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

The bigger story out of this is that, once again, Palin doesn't know what the Constitution SAYS.

The First Amendment says nothing, zip, nada, about protecting one's speech from press criticism. (It protects speech against *government* action attempting to abridge it).

In fact, the First Amendment *protects* the press.

In other words, the Constitution ensures that the media is FREE to point out what an idiot Sarah Palin is. It does not protect idiots like Sarah Palin FROM the media.

Posted by: Ken on October 31, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

What Digby said (http://www.digbysblog.blogspot.com/):


We live in a world where the right wing ruthlessly and without mercy degrades and attacks by any means necessary what they perceive as the enemy, and then uses the great principles of democracy and fair play when the same is done to them. They leave the rest of us standing on the sidelines looking like fools for ever caring about anything but winning.

Posted by: LB on October 31, 2008 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

"I realize far-right activists think Palin is a great leader and the future of the Republican Party. I just can't figure out why."

Why? Because they actively want to attack the Constitution to reduce all amendments except the 1st and the 2nd - and they will find a way to change those s/t anyone they designate "dangerous" (ie, not one of them) won't be allowed to carry arms and those religions that aren't "Christian" (as they define it) will not be extended freedom of religion.

More and more this is describing the Right Wing Nutjobs to me.

Posted by: MichMan on October 31, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

I've heard several of her nutball supporters crying about Obama "taking away our freedoms." This latest confusion is keeping in line with that. She's pandering to her base AND knows nothing about the Constitution. She's also pissed off the money...the real Republican money. Quite a productive two months for the pit bull. I go back and forth on her future. At this point, I'm convinced she will not be back. Anybody remember that Dan Quayle ran for President in 2000?...didn't think so.

Posted by: Todd on October 31, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

"They both may be backed by the same right-wing nut cases, but I have never gotten the feeling that Bush actually supports all the nonsense. I don't think he's a "true believer". I do think Palin is, though, which makes her more dangerous, much more dangerous."

100% agreed. I think Bush liked the idea of being president and had no problem handing over the reigns once in office to his base/cheney. This is illustrated by the amount of vacation days the man has taken in the days prior to 9-11, which were considerable. I think he got his 'devine inspiration' post 9-11 which had to do more with crusading across the Middle East with the US Military rather than locking down social domestic issues he promised to wrap up during the 2000 campaigns. Domestic America was always an afterthought to Bush. It may be a blessing actually. He couldn't meddle that much - look at what he did to the Middle East. Now Imagine Bush turning his full attention to mainland America. You don't have to imagine too much, because it would basically be Palin.

Posted by: Mick on October 31, 2008 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

It's all about her. The word is Privilege. The idea that other people (say, journalists, or pundits, or citizens) might also have a right to free speach doesn't come into her head, because that would imply she's not special. It's all about her. The rest of us, not so much.

Posted by: royalblue_tom on October 31, 2008 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Half of America doesn't seem to understand the 1st Amendement. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people on Internet bulletin boards and fora complaining that their 1st Amendement rights have been violated because a moderator vetted or deleted their comments. However, while it might (MIGHT) be understandable that the average person could get this wrong, to have someone who is running to be the second most powerful person in the free world screw it up is mortifying.

I would love to see Palin run in 2012. It would be so satisfying to see her get crushed in the primaries. On the other hand, it might be more satisfying to see her indicted on the ethics charges once she finally goes back to Alaska.

Posted by: Gina on October 31, 2008 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

What has happened that such an obvious idiot should become the governor of a state and an actual candidate for the vice presidency? Her hopelessly mindless Palinisms make the very large volume of idiot musing utterd by George Bush look like Shakespere. There is more coherence and intellectual rigor in one of my farts.

Posted by: WInkandanod on October 31, 2008 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

It worked when they did it to the Bible. There is no reason for them to think they can't do the same thing to the Constitution.
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

Posted by: thebewilderness on October 31, 2008 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

Man, y'all got Sarah P. so wrong. She's fabulous, see? Fa-bu-lous. Open your eyes, you jealous bitches, girl got it goin' on. Y'all just mad 'cause you ain't her. Shit, she make Cher look like link sausage. Britney? Hell, Sarah P. took out that trash. I say, there's a new sheriff in town and she's packin' some fine heat, let me tell you. You jokers just don't know quality is all. I say, Sarah P. for Queen of America.

Posted by: Conrad's Ghost on November 1, 2008 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

Katie grabbed my main thought.

The lines have been badly blurred between legit negative campaign (pointing out relevant political miscalculations and votes) and BS negative campaigning, aka "smears" (pointing to divorces and the sins of friends, family, and casual acquaintances).


This serves the GOP very well because it feeds one of their favorite tools; the inapplicable comparison.

As much as I dislike John Edwards, his affair has NO relevant effect on my opinion of his fitness for office. Palin's using tax money to fund her children coming with her on business trips (a completely understandable and heartwarming crime) DOES.

Egregious personal conduct has far less effect on me than minor infractions directly related to the public work one wishes to do.

Get it, Real America?

It's imperative that you separate the two worlds. Not doing so gives you gregarious, personable idiots and criminals. Turning a blind eye to personal foibles can give you masterful technicians worthy of your contempt. We need not admire the PEOPLE who do exceptionally fine civic work. It is a costly luxury our country seeks when it insists on being led by people who are both competent AND personally moral.

It's hard to wrap your brain around it, Real America, but if you do, you can be richly rewarded.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on November 1, 2008 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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