Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 9, 2009

SHE'S GETTING WORSE.... Maybe it's just me, but it seems like Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), instead of becoming more credible and serious as her time in government progresses, is getting more ridiculous as time goes on.

In her appearance on "Hannity" on Monday night, Sarah Palin claimed that the country was headed towards socialism. [...]

Hannity, who bragged that he was interviewing her near his New York home, asked Palin about the country's debt and Obama's federal programs, prompting Palin to outline her fears.

"Our country could evolve into something that we do not even recognize, certainly that is so far from what the founders of our country had in mind for us."

Hannity interrupted her: "Socialism?"

To which Palin responded: "Well, that's where we are headed."

Palin added that increasing the national debt "defies any sensible economic policy that any of us ever learned through college."

I'm going to assume Palin was absent the day they taught Keynesian theory. She really seems to believe the principal goal of government in the midst of an economic crisis is to lower the deficit. In other words, what she "learned through college" is that Hoover was right.

"[T]his many months into the new administration, [I'm] quite disappointed, quite frustrated with not seeing those actions to rein in spending, slow down the growth of government," Palin argued. "Instead, Sean, it is the complete opposite."

Well, yes, it is the "complete opposite." That's the point. Facing the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, we want the opposite.

Mark Halperin referred to this bizarre Fox News interview as the "ALASKA SHOCKER!!!" (emphasis in the original). I have no idea what prompted this -- the only thing "shocking" is how little sense Palin made.

The governor went on to say that she rejected a "bucket of money" in stimulus funds because of the "strings attached." As it turns out, Alaskan lawmakers can't find any of these imaginary strings and even Republican officials are poised to override her veto. (That Palin would even consider complaining about federal funds is amusing given the largesse Alaska keeps accepting from D.C.)

At this point, Palin manages to make George W. Bush look like a sophisticated policy wonk. That so many far-right activists consider her their political savior is astounding.

Steve Benen 8:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (56)

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Comments

Palin has a degree in journalism. From Idaho. Which is pretty hilarious because she's running an entire god damn state. And I dont doubt she didnt damn near anything in college so it sounds like she's being honest.

Posted by: glutz78 on June 9, 2009 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

It's tedious and picky, but I'd be interested to find out what relevant courses she took in college, whether she took any courses in macro or economic history, etc.

Posted by: larry birnbaum on June 9, 2009 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

Part of me dearly wishes she continues her rise in the GOP, which is good for Democrats because, well, she's such a freaking idiot.

However, the long term realist in me knows that we need two (2) credible parties in order to best govern, and right now we barely have one (1).

Posted by: JJC on June 9, 2009 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

I have no idea what prompted this -- the only thing "shocking" is how little sense Palin made.

Beg to differ on this. It would have been shocking only if Palin made sense. We saw during the last election how making no sense was perfectly normal for Palin.

Posted by: Pee Cee on June 9, 2009 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

Except for her vast wardrobe during the campaign, I always think of Palin as an extremely immature Empress Without Clothes. After the McCain/Palin loss, lots of pundits said all she needs to do for a 2012 run is bone up on domestic and foreign affairs policies and some history. If her recent public statements (and alleged plagiarism) are any reflection of this effort, she won't be ready in her own lifetime and definitely not mine, which I realize doesn't mean she won't offer herself up as a candidate anyway. God, she's so high school.

Posted by: Norwood Woman on June 9, 2009 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, that Sarah, plucky girl heroine to the misinformed. Oddly, Sean must have missed the expansion of gov't and the deficit spending of the dear leader GwB. I'm guessing here but that could have been when he was spending lots of time in Florida lying about every aspect of the Terri Schiavo matter.
Lest we forget, some part of spending in this fiscal year (10/1/08-9/30/09) comes to us courtyesy of the Paulson's bank bonus, er, bailout plan.
But Sean loves the troops, he just doesn't love the truth.

Posted by: TJM on June 9, 2009 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah Sarah ...minor point ..GWB and his neocons financed the war in Iraq by borrownig from China.

Posted by: John R on June 9, 2009 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

Aaaaand who will be the prominent Democratic politician—we know it won't be Obama, unfortunately—who will make it a point to respond publicly and loudly to Palin's hypocrisy? How about Joe Biden? John Kerry? Where the hell is Jim Webb? Unless something has changed, it will be the tiny numbers of broadcast media people like Olbermann and Maddow who might make the point, and they're screaming into a very loud right-wing gale. Somebody in the Democratic Party with real star power needs to take the gloves off and point out that the Empress has no clothes.

Posted by: bluestatedon on June 9, 2009 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

"That so many far-right activists consider her their political savior is astounding."

That Palin is such an idiot is why so many far-right activists consider her their political savior. That makes her a perfect tool for the corporate and wealthy elite who just need a president who will act on the words of their lobbyists.

She is good at repeating the rethug mantras enshrining the wealthy and she is good at repeating the rethug mantras that enthall the party's base of low information voters. That makes her perfect to be either a corporate media talking head or an elected official.

Posted by: SadOldVet on June 9, 2009 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

"That so many far-right activists consider her their political savior is astounding."

I'm sorry, what's the astounding part?

Posted by: Charles on June 9, 2009 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

The people she's talking to don't think like us.

She best reaches this audience by throwing around vague accusations of socialism and terrorist loving; pretending the federal government is comin' to git their guns, children and full-fat sour cream; ominously warning of a super-gaycentric culture in which her followers will be forced to watch same-sex couples make love (with outstanding technical skill) in the front yards of Christians; and looking pretty in a not-quite-drag-queen way that doesn't threaten the evangelical ladies and gives the fundie men a tent revival in their own pants. And the dumber she sounds, the more they applaud that she's a normal, average person just like them.

What looks like "Palin getting worse" to us makes the fringe religious right swoon in delight. They reward failure, prejudice, fear, hatred and a particular kind of blatant Christian symbolism. She is exactly what they're looking for.

Posted by: shortstop on June 9, 2009 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

Palin is disappointed that a Democratic President and Democratic Congress have not carried out the Republican Party's Platform?

John McCain made this woman a player in national politics; she's the future of the party and an eidetic idiot-memorizing words and phrases, repeating back to a room full of idol worshippers in search of a savior.

The Republican Party is turning into a Cult.

Posted by: bcinaz on June 9, 2009 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

The rise of Sarah Palin has nothing to do with her mastery of facts, which was also true in the case of Reagan and Bush. 'Facts' are politically manipulated claims made by liberals in a futile attempt to change the minds of conservative who KNOW the truth with blood and earth.

Sarah has demonstrated time and time again that she thinks with blood and earth. She is a pitbull with lipstick. She has absolute confidence she is right, and not the slightest doubt she might be mistaken or incorrect. Her supports aren't distressed by her lack of mastery of calculus--they admire her for being able to field dress a moose. Don't underestimate the number of Americans for whom facts mean nothing in the face of the eternal absolute truths they have learned from the authorities in their lives: fathers, mothers, preachers, and those who hold the recognized symbold of authority. Hell, liberals don't even know what those symbols are. We have a total clash of cultural values, here. Sarah grows sillier to LIBERALS.She grows stronger with conservatives. As does Rush.

Posted by: c4logic on June 9, 2009 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

we know it won't be Obama, unfortunately

It shouldn't be Obama. He absolutely shouldn't be legitimizing her crazy by acknowledging it, or compromising his own authority by giving her any. Not his job.

Posted by: shortstop on June 9, 2009 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

c4logic said it much better than I. Liberals and today's conservatives are operating from two totally different sets of premises. Ne'er the twain shall meet.

Posted by: shortstop on June 9, 2009 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

"Empress Without Clothes"

Poor Al just had to dive into a cold shower.

Posted by: Sevencount'emseveninarow on June 9, 2009 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with shortstop. The people I talk to and work with daily don't know and don't care who Keynes is. To many people the idea that spending public money is the correct response to the financial crisis. violates "common sense". Palin words resonate for these people.

Posted by: Maineiac on June 9, 2009 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

Veering far off topic, but, after just listening to Senator Bernie Sanders (I) VT on C-Span discussing health care and the credit card non-capping, can we elevate him to National Treasure?

Posted by: berttheclock on June 9, 2009 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

In defense of Halperin (I just threw up a little in my mouth), I'm pretty sure he was being facetious with the whole "shocker" thing. When I read it, the impression I got was that the "shocker" part was she was attacking Obama, which she's been doing since last September. I don't think Halperin was being a douche this one time. Also.

Posted by: NHCt on June 9, 2009 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

Palin is a joke, a charicature of the ideal conservative female. They can dress her up and put her out in front of a favorable crowd, but she can't form a coherent sentence. It doesn't matter to Republicans; she's the only "star" they've got.

Palin is a journalism major who can't form a decent sentence. Her views on economic policy are worthless. Conservative men are excited by her folksy talk, snarky remarks, outrageous accusations, stinging criticisms. She excites the base and preaches to the choir. If Palin weren't such a trainwreck, she wouldn't deserve the media's time or our attention.

Posted by: Carol A on June 9, 2009 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

The only way that a 'reality based' governing philosophy has any hope of reaching conservatives is if those 'fact oriented' pragmatists can learn the symbols of conservative life and wrap them around their arguments. They will not listen to you if you do not show them that you have the CONCH. It's like a secret dog whistle. It's like a programmer telling a computer program to open for maintenance. Without the CONCH they will not open their ears.That is why some evangelicals, and gun clubs as well, have begun to team up with environmentalists. Somebody was smart enough to point out that the BIBLE teaches us to be good stewards of the Earth, and they pitched their argument in that clothing--like wise, they explained to the gun clubs that environmentalism would save and conserve the trout streams and the hunting game that are at risk. These few success stores occured because the correct and efficatious language and symbols were used. Liberals do not understand how conservatives 'think' if that word can even be used in the same way liberals use it, or how conservatives use language. Consequently, both groups are talking past each other to their respective bases, and they mostly do not even realize this 'fact'.

Posted by: c4logic on June 9, 2009 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

worth keeping in mind that when Sarah was in college, Arthur Laffer and his Curve were considered Serious Economics, and that George Gilder was being taken quite seriously.

in order to get exposure to something like the General Theory in those days, one had to go to a relative hotbed of Keynesianism, like Northwestern.

Posted by: xf on June 9, 2009 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

I'm with the Mudflats blogger (http://www.themudflats.net), who points out some great irony in the interview here.

A few minutes before of the whole "socialist" exchange, Hannity and Palin were discussing that Alaska shares oil wealth:

Hannity: By the way for all of us in New York, where we are now, where we pay 10% income tax, you actually give every citizen in Alaska a check back.

Palin: We are the only state with a negative tax rate (Hannity looks at the camera in disbelief and envy mouthing Im so envious(?)) where we dont have any income, sales or property tax statewide, and yes we have a share of our oil resource revenue that goes back to the people that own the resources. Imagine that.

Hannity: And it went up higher since youve been the governor and you negotiated with the oil companies. That all went up so people get a bigger check.

Palin: There was a corrupt tax system up there and we had a couple of lawmakers end up in jail because of the tax system that was adopted so we cleaned it up and said we wanted a fair and equitable share of the resources that we own, and the people will share in those resource revenues that are derived.

Posted by: Ben on June 9, 2009 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK


Has Sarah Palin ever used the word 'fascism' in a sentence?

Socialism might be a lot better than fascism.

Posted by: anonymous on June 9, 2009 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Can't help yourself, huh?

If Palin is such a lightweight (which she is) why do you bother to write about her? What does it say about the arguments of the Democrats that they have to spend time dismissing the arguments of people like Palin?

What it says (to answer my own question) is that there is still fear on the part of the left with discussing the basic issues of war, taxes and spending, health care, etc. Those are contentious issues, apparently, and will cause disagreement, conflict, and ultimately must be resolved. But as long as there is the opportunity to write about Palin, Limbaugh, Hannity or Gingrich we can all avoid the responsibility to lead.

I can't wait for the return of the Republicans to power so that these kinds of posts will have more relevance.

And based on where the Democrats are going (nowhere) that time will be soon enough. Yet another opportunity for real change thrown away.

Posted by: Joesbrain on June 9, 2009 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

As c4logic points out above, Sarah Palin would be wise to keep her piehole shut about college, since it merely draws attention to her far-less-than-impressive achievements in that arena. Perhaps she was just trying on the elitist cap for size, since most Americans don't have a college education and are easily made suspicious of someone who has, when they're a Democrat. Or perhaps she failed to note the subtle irony that former socialist countries such as Russia generally have far higher rates of college education among their population than the west - something the west gets around by not recognizing those degrees when immigrants from those countries arrive.

That aside, it still hasn't lost its power to stun me that the same folks who didn't turn a hair while Bush siphoned off billions in "emergency supplementals" every year to beat back the invading Iraqi hordes (oh, wait....)now shriek with fear when Obama wants to spend billions in - gasp! - America!

The Obama solution isn't perfect, but the situation was allowed to slip so far that there's no time to spare for a perfect solution. It deserves better than catcalling from the peanut gallery, but Obama couldn't get that crowd onboard with a magic wand.

You couldn't ask for a better opponent than Palin in you designed her yourself.

Posted by: Mark on June 9, 2009 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

"In other words, what she "learned through college" is that Hoover was right."

Actually, Obama is the one who is impersonating Hoover. Like Hoover, Obama is running up the debt with Big Government spending and preventing market corrections by meddling in the economy.

Of course, the similarities between Obama and Hoover go unnoticed because of the myth that Hoover was a conservative.

This myth might be shocking to F.D.R., who accused Hoover of having the most reckless spending policy in history. Yet this myth is satisfying to the economic counterparts to the "it's like Munich!" parrots. It allows them to give hand-outs to the interest groups by scaring people into giving the government more power.

Posted by: jeffersonian democrat on June 9, 2009 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Shortstop - I just read your post. Damn, that's funny.

Posted by: Mark on June 9, 2009 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

oh great, another Amity Schlaes troll.

Posted by: lou on June 9, 2009 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Her support[er]s aren't distressed by her lack of mastery of calculus--they admire her for being able to field dress a moose.

Given the fact that so much of what Sarah has said has turned out to be lies, I wouldn't place too many bets on her moose-dressing ability.

Posted by: g on June 9, 2009 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK
"defies any sensible economic policy that any of us ever learned through college."
And we should listen to Gov. Palin. She's done the legwork. After all, she went to five colleges to learn that policy... Posted by: Bernard HP Gilroy on June 9, 2009 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

bcinaz: "Palin is disappointed that a Democratic President and Democratic Congress have not carried out the Republican Party's Platform?"

Palin is just reciting the corporate-sponsored script, according to which the American people voted overwhelmingly for the Republican Party platform, and thus the efforts of the Obama administration and the Democratic majority in Congress represent a betrayal of the American people.

This same script has been continually and consistently recited by the corporate-owned, so-called "mainstream" media -- by everyone from CNN to The Washington Post to NPR -- since the election.

The script changes somewhat depending on the target audience -- Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin state it differently when addressing an audience of Ditto-Heads than, say, Fred Hiatt states it in Washington Post op-ed columns addressed to a more mainstream suburban audience.

But the essence of the script is the same. Only government of, by and for America's Ultra-Rich Ruling Class, Inc. is legitimate. Government in the public interest is a betrayal and illegitimate.

Sarah Palin is not the problem. The problem is that the American people are being hammered 24x7 with corporate propaganda by the corporate-owned mass media.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on June 9, 2009 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Don't look for logic or reason in Palin's silly rantings about socialism. I doubt she even knows what the word means. Certainly conservatives don't. They think it's nothing more than another word for the federal government. To Palin's right wing followers, now lining up at gun stores to arm themselves to the teeth thanks to Limbuagh-inspired paranoia that the federal government is out to get them and their guns (and so their "freedoms"), thinking isn't based on facts. It is thematic and metaphorical in nature. To the typical Palin-style, small town southern provincial right winger, an alien, Muslim, black man who isn't an American citizen and who shares nothing about American values and world view -- and goes off to effete, cosmopolitan places like Paris and Cairo to trash America, its brave troops and everything good about our country -- has been elected president. Says the typical Limbaugh listener: We are strangers in a strange land, and we express our alienation and frustration at "Tea Parties" organized by right-wing groups like FOX News to ostensibly protest fiscal policy but more accuretly to emote a nationwide primal scream at the fact that we don't recognize America any more.

So, when some like Palin tries to talk about the Obama administration's domestic economic policy what frame of reference are they likely to use? That's easy: The one where Obama wants to take our country away from us and impose some strange and alien ideological system on the freedom we use to know, and what could be more alien and strange than "Socialism?"

Never mind that George W. Bush -- THE most conservative president of the last 100 years -- undertook many of the very same "Socialistic" policies when the economy collapsed on his watch. Never mind that Newt Gingrich, for his own cynical and opportunistic reasons, has tried to rescue the conservative movement from George W. Bush's failures by trying to make precisely that connection, arguing that Obama is not a repudiation of Bush-style Republicanism but its logical continuation -- that what Sarah Palin and the right wing are protesting as "socialism" today is in fact, says Gingrich, the "Bush-Obama big government bailout plan."

You might think that the right wing needs to readjust its definition of "Socialism" if what passes for socialism today in the fever swamps of it's demonology and demagoguery are policies that were embraced (to repeat) by THE most conservative president in the last 100 years. But why let the facts stand in the way of a good smear?

We need to drive a stake in this beast called Socialism once and for all because it's American as Apple Pie. You want socialism. What about the National Bank of Alexander Hamilton. You want socialism. What about the "American System" of federally-financed "internal improvements" by Henry Clay and the CONSERVATIVE Whig Party. You want socialism? What about Abraham Lincoln's Transcontinental Railroad, financed almost exclusively by the federal government. You want socialism? What about the military-industrial complex.

Talk about transferring wealth from one class to another. Forget the pittance going from the "productive classes" to the middle class and poor when Obama talks about financing health care and college education and transportation improvements by supposedly "soaking the rich" when we raise their marginal tax rates from 36% to the confiscatory and Stalinist rate of 39.6% Please. What about the wealth transfer that occured by our "war of choice" against Iraq that has transferred $700 billion and counting from the American taxpayer to the owners and investors of America's military-industrial complex. Now, there's real money. That's real Socialism -- an entire arms industry bought and paid for by the state.

Posted by: Ted Frier on June 9, 2009 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Palin: There was a corrupt tax system up there and we had a couple of lawmakers end up in jail because of the tax system that was adopted so we cleaned it up and said we wanted a fair and equitable share of the resources that we own, and the people will share in those resource revenues that are derived.

Aiyeeeee!!!!!! Aiyeeeee!!!! "Fair and equitable share of the resources that we own"?!?! Socialism, socialism! Also, Canada. And Norway.

Seriously, it astounds me how Palin can swing from condemning efforts to save the capitalist system as "socialist" (which it's not) to then bragging about her own state's socialist spreading of the wealth. I'd say we're getting close to Peak Stupid, but I fear it's an inexhaustible resource.....

Posted by: Stefan on June 9, 2009 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

"Aaaaand who will be the prominent Democratic politician—we know it won't be Obama, unfortunately—who will make it a point to respond publicly and loudly to Palin's hypocrisy? How about Joe Biden? John Kerry? Where the hell is Jim Webb? "


Yeah that would be real astute. Prominent senators and the Vice President who are all too busy with the job of running a country take time out to have a press conference on some dim bulb beauty queen who is running around making ridiculous claims on some cheesy infotainment show thus validating her idiotic assertions and smearing themselves with mud.

Want to know what to do with Palin? Ignore her.

Posted by: grinning cat on June 9, 2009 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

I'm going to assume Palin was absent the day they taught Keynesian theory.

You have a number of days to choose from.

Did she miss the lecture at Hawaii-Hilo? Or was it at Hawaii Pacific? Perhaps she slept in that day at North Idaho College. Or perhaps she was out of town that day during her first sojourn at the University of Idaho. Or Matanuska-Susitna College. And she was probably way past Economics 101 by the time she returned to the U of I.

She seems to have squandered a number of opportunities.

Posted by: monocle on June 9, 2009 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

"Veering far off topic, but, after just listening to Senator Bernie Sanders (I) VT on C-Span discussing health care and the credit card non-capping, can we elevate him to National Treasure?"

This dovetails with the point I make over and over in the comments sections. If Benen had any sense he'd be promoting stories like this and educating his readers instead of daily updates on Newt, Sarah, Mike Steele, and Megan McCain.

It's kind of strange that Sanders name comes up ZERO times in the last two months of Washington Monthly posts considering he is from Benen's home state and Sanders is a leading voice on many issues near and dear to liberals and progressives.

Posted by: grinning cat on June 9, 2009 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Palin isn't "getting worse," she's playing to her strengths. What she learned in college was TV journalism, and she learned it well: she knows how to look good on camera, how to fake it in a convincing tone of voice when she doesn't know what she's talking about, and above all how to fire up a crowd. She was never any good at economics -- look how she plunged Wasilla into debt -- and her lack of knowledge of national and international issues is glaringly obvious, but she does have a skill that should not be discounted. She knows how to please people by bragging about sharing the wealth and still stir them up to rage with buzz words like "socialism," and it doesn't matter in the least that neither she nor they know what it is.

Posted by: T-Rex on June 9, 2009 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Can't escape the impression that most of what Palin learned in her five colleges was how to use bizarre sexual practices to make her way in the world.

Posted by: CN on June 9, 2009 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

This dovetails with the point I make over and over in the comments sections.

You mean spamming every comment thread with your juvenile whining because you're too lazy and stupid to find a blog that suits you? There's no other explanation for it at this point, unless you're just a lonely prima donna, which is even more pathetic.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on June 9, 2009 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

grinning cat wrote: "It's kind of strange that Sanders name comes up ZERO times in the last two months of Washington Monthly posts considering he is from Benen's home state and Sanders is a leading voice on many issues near and dear to liberals and progressives."

Allan Snyder replied: "You mean spamming every comment thread with your juvenile whining because you're too lazy and stupid to find a blog that suits you?"

Obviously this is the Washington Monthly's blog and they can do with it what they want. When Kevin Drum departed, they chose to hire Steve Benen who focuses almost entirely on The Daily Outrage(s) From The Right Wing. So be it.

But having said that, isn't at a bit strange that this blog virtually NEVER highlights progressive voices, and the message that they are trying to reach the American people with, against the massive resistance of the corporate-owned media?

Palin, Gingrich et al certainly don't need Steve's help in getting their message out -- not even in getting their message out to liberals who will be offended by it and ridicule it.

But folks like Bernie Sanders sure could use the help. And isn't that supposed to be the point of "new media", to get the good message out there, and not just to wallow daily in bitter outrage and snark at the corporate messaging of the corporate media?

Wouldn't it be nice, once in a while, to come to this blog and instead of reading another repetitive post about "here's the latest offensive, stupid and wrong thing that Newt Gingrich said on Fox News", to read a post about "here's the latest intelligent, encouraging and hopeful thing that Bernie Sanders said on the Pacifica Network's Democracy Now?"

Once in a while?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on June 9, 2009 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

The Republican Party is turning into a Cult.

Turning into? It became a cult the day Reagan became president.

Posted by: Mick on June 9, 2009 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

At this point, Palin manages to make George W. Bush look like a sophisticated policy wonk. That so many far-right activists consider her their political savior is astounding.
—Steve Benen 8:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (38) **************************************

Qualifications to be a repig leadurr: Talk sternly, seriously, forebodingly. Lie with a straight face. Be very good at putting forth erroneous, but simplistic and logical-sounding arguments. Name-call and label all those who don't agree, especially with names that end in -ism. Plus the big time Bonus quality -> Be a hot-looking bitch who winks and smiles and shoots guns at innocent animals. WALA! - Instant repig, celebrity status on the MSM, and you are now a certified professional who can say almost anything and it will be spun and defended to make you come out smelling like a rose.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on June 9, 2009 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Look folks, here it is boiled down:

Reagan + Bush 1 + Bush 2= $10 Trillion in national debt

Obama = $2 trillion+ (to avoid catastrophe caused by the Bush 2)

Republicans as fiscal conservatives? Priceless.

Posted by: FALCONIUM on June 9, 2009 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Given that large parts of the world were still mired in feudalism when the founding fathers did their founding work, liberalism was a faint idea and socialism hadn't seen its conception yet, two possibilities exist:
a) the founding fathers were either extremely prescient guys, or
b) Sarah Palin doesn't have much of a clue what she is talking about here.

Without wanting to dent the farsighted political acumen of the founding fathers, Ms P. is, as is so often the case, out of her depth.

Failing grade Sarah, go back and study some more!

Posted by: SRW1 on June 9, 2009 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

SA: I suppose if I were cynical I could suggest that maybe Benen doesn't want to hurt his chances of being invited back on one of the corporate news channel shows such as Maddow or Olberman, but I'll leave that to others.
I just don't see the point in constantly complaining about something that's clearly not going to change. Last I checked, Kevin Drum has a new blog at Mother Jones. There's no reason that people can't read that as well, and get their superficial political fix here.

Once in a while?

I don't know about a Bernie Sanders post, but Benen doesn't make every post about the latest from the extreme right either(every other, maybe), and to suggest that he does isn't being honest or fair.
It's a political blog that focuses more on the day-to-day back and forth between the parties, but not exclusively. There are also other contributors besides Benen, and it's not all about Palin or whoever with them either.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on June 9, 2009 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK
If Palin is such a lightweight (which she is) why do you bother to write about her?

She's easy and fun to mock. Everyone needs to pick the low-hanging fruit once in a while.

Posted by: Catsy on June 9, 2009 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Though many, perhaps even most economists agree with the general outlines of Keynesian thought and how it might apply to the current mess in this country, folks really ought to realize that the Queen of the Social Sciences was largely taken over, back around 1980 or so, by a bunch of morons who actually don't think so. The great liberal plot in academia never really got a foothold in Econ departments. And, in fact, it is entirely possible that in the Great State of Idaho, that Sarah P. actually was told, more or less, that Hoover was right, that FDR made the Depression worse, what you need to know most about Keynes is a summary of his deviant sexual proclivities, etc., etc. The economics business has a lot of blood on its hands for the current disastrous mess that this country is in. Even now, there are large numbers of these pompous, poorly educated clowns who think government spending to try to prop a dying economy is a bad idea. We can only hope that a few of them are tossed out to have to find legitimate work on their own. But, that would look too much like 'market discipline', wouldn't it?

Posted by: Jerry on June 9, 2009 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Gibson: Gov. Palin, you claimed that we are turning into a Socialist nation. Can you explain what you mean by that statement.

Palin: In what regard, Charlie?

Notice how Palin is good at throwing out red-meat phrases, but never allows herself to be put in a situation where she would have to actually speak on an issue with a "real" journalist who would ask questions. Can she expect to avoid all interviews (outside of Fox and the Christian Broadcasting Network) to campaign for the White House?

Posted by: trisha on June 9, 2009 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, stimulus is needed. It's Keynesian, it's needed, and it's logical. Why? Because the equation for GDP is

GDP = Consumer spending (C) + Investment (I) + Net Exports (E) + Government Spending (G)

The first two terms have collapsed, so we need G stimulus. But, thanks to what's called "free trade", the U.S. has experienced nearly 3 decades of negative Net Exports ... "trade" deficits that are major anti-stimulus.

From 1980 through 2008, the cumulative "trade deficit", the "trade debt", has totaled over $7 trillion, with $5.1 trillion of that from 2000 through 2008!

Compare that $7 trillion in cumulative "trade" anti-stimulus against the current $787 billion stimulus package and it's quite obvious the latter will be ineffective. "Free trade" has been like an anti-matter black hole that has sucked prosperity from the U.S. economy.

This is quite enough to seal our fate and the underlying cause of our economic collapse. Can't earn money the old-fashioned way by making and selling things? Do it by highly-leveraged speculation during Fed-generated economic bubbles and by outright fraud.

Read John Williams' April 2008 special report on "Hyperinflation" at Shadow Government Statistics. Excerpts:

"The U.S. government and Federal Reserve already have committed the system to this course through the easy politics of a bottomless pocketbook, the servicing of big-moneyed special interests, and gross mismanagement. ...

"The U.S. economy is in a deepening structural change that has resulted from U.S. trade policies that have driven the U.S. manufacturing base offshore. As a result, a large number of related, high paying jobs have been lost to U.S. workers.

"As shown in the accompanying graphs, as the U.S. trade deficit has risen to the highest level for any country in history, U.S. average weekly earnings, adjusted for inflation, have fallen. ..."

The US was already "dead-economy walking" long before Obama thanks to "conservative" "free trade" ... unfortunately Obama isn't addressing the enormous "free trade" anti-stimulus ... and his policies will fail because he's not instituted policies to create "balanced trade". "Conservatives" will rejoice.

Google "Jobs & 'Trade' Data Update Apr09" and see the section: On stimulus, "trade" anti-stimulus, and the GDP equation.

Posted by: Bob Powells on June 9, 2009 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

ooooh baby! A "Shocker" with Palin? I think she'd like that. Two in the pink and one in the stink.

Posted by: HenryHawk on June 9, 2009 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

You're shocked by how little sense Sarah Palin made when she spoke? You need to get out more.

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 9, 2009 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

"shocker". Look it up. YOU need to get out more.

Posted by: HenryHawk on June 9, 2009 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

If Sarah Palin is so silly and irrelevant, why the obsession? Clearly the Left noted her appeal, and are out to eliminate the threat- it's not like it's not obvious.

She's been highly successful in life while ignoring the left-wing feminist model- this helps to explain the extra dose of venom in the attacks. Of course, the Democrats are plenty afraid of Palin coming-back at them in 2012 with a dynamic and complementary VP like Bobby Jindal... or visa versa.

And they surely have reason to fear her- Palin is the most popular governor in the country- are all those people idiots?

Alaska was a pretty corrupt system until she stepped in. Her reforms took on entrenched politicians (inc. Republicans), a mafioso-style union boss, and Big Oil.

Wouldn't it have been nice if Obama had been principled and brave enough to confront the corrupt Chicago Democratic Machine?

Or shady political operators like Tony Rezko?

Racist preachers?

Instead of doing business with every last one of them?

Go get em, Sarah- and don't mind the press, nobody will be listening to them anymore after the pending Obamamania implosion- and once the ties of GE and others with media holdings to the corrupt, Chicago-style Obama administration are fully exposed.

http://reaganiterepublicanresistance.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Reaganite Republican Resistance on June 9, 2009 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

AND she has sharks with frickin laser beams on their heads!!!!!

Posted by: DonkeyKong on June 9, 2009 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, it is just you. You guys are just like the "great pretender" Obama. If I say it it must be true. If I write it, they will believe it. Smoke on. Remember if you and your fake god destroy this country, you go down too, The hypocrasy of continually harping on Sarah Palin when Obamanation thinks he can stroll down the Sein River, Say what, or does he think he can walk on water. And critizing the money spent on her wardrobe during the campaign. Really, and Mrs. O has the nerve to make a photo-op appearance at a food pantry wearing $540.00 French designer tennis shoes, plus that Winnie Mandela treat-or-treat outfit she was wearing the other day was scary. Ya all make me sick.

Posted by: Eileen Pressler on June 13, 2009 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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