Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 10, 2009

GOVERNOR TRAIN WRECK.... The Republican Party's base loves Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R). I can't relate to their affection, but I recognize her popularity in right-wing circles.

That said, anyone who fails to realize that Palin is hopelessly confused just isn't paying attention.

HANNITY: The price of oil is going up again. It's not quite at $140 a barrel, but it's certainly on its way up to $70 and $80.

PALIN: Yeah, well and I thank God it's not at $140. You know people say, "Hey, Alaska! 85% of your state budget is based on the price of a barrel of oil. Aren't you glad the price is going up?" I say, "No!" The fewer dollars that the state of Alaska government has, the fewer dollars we spend. And that's good for our families and for the private sector.

You've got to be kidding me.

Alaska residents pay almost nothing in taxes, because the state relies so heavily on oil money. If the price of oil goes up, Alaska gets more money. Palin argued on Fox News that would be a bad thing.

The problem, of course, is that Palin doesn't understand why she opposes government spending. In general, the Republican line is that it's important to limit spending so to keep taxes low and prevent deficits. But that doesn't apply to Alaska at all -- it already has exceedingly low tax rates and no budget deficit at all.

The governor, in other words, wants Alaska to have less money, just for the sake of having less money. Palin is the only governor in the country who can see her state's budget go up considerably -- giving Alaskan families more, and helping fuel the state's private sector -- without raising taxes a penny.

But Palin doesn't want that at all, because she doesn't understand the basics of how government works.

No one this conspicuously unintelligent should be in a position of power or authority.

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (44)

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Palin is so stupid it hurts...Wow!

Posted by: Nick R. on June 10, 2009 at 7:59 AM | PERMALINK

Queen of the Asshats

Posted by: John R on June 10, 2009 at 8:02 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah Palin is blundering here, but let's worry about what really will go wrong almost everywhere when oil creeps back up to the 3-digit realm as demand increases amid stagnating supply (with how well we control speculation being the wild card.) It will crush the recovery such as it is. There needs to be a crash program to deal with/head off this looming crisis.

Posted by: Neil B ☼ on June 10, 2009 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

Just a thought:

Since when has being in touch with reality been a requirement for seeking national office? The Alaska vote isn't exactly going to put Palin into office. If she misrepresents the situation in her own state in a way that sounds appealing to ideologically obsessed voters in the lower 48 who aren't particularly concerned with reality anyway, doesn't this score her points? Why expect anything else?

Doesn't seem like something worth giving yourself ulcers about...

Posted by: Just Wondering on June 10, 2009 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

Sarah just gave me a jingle and she would like to know what "cornspisciously" means. She says she understood the unintelligent part, but she insists that the good lord created more than one kind of intelligence - and she has, well, the other kind.
So there, Mr Smarty Pants blogger!

Posted by: richard.greenslade on June 10, 2009 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

Lurking somewhere in the recesses of Palin's mind is another rather vague argument against big government you sometimes here conservatives make--that big government is bad in and of itself, regardless of its cost, because it saps individual initiative, makes people dependent, and constricts liberty. I imagine that something like this is behind her otherwise hard-to-fathom comments.

Posted by: Karl Weber on June 10, 2009 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

It doesn't hurt so bad when the person in power and authority has an R after their name.

The dumbing of America is nearly complete. That hurts.

Posted by: anonymous on June 10, 2009 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

What Governess Palin is saying is that self-reliance is a defining American trait, and runaway government will destroy that trait. I'm not surprised liberals don't get it.

Posted by: Al on June 10, 2009 at 8:11 AM | PERMALINK


Posted by: Viceroy Matt on June 10, 2009 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

Come on, this is pandering, not confusion. She knows perfectly well that higher oil prices are good for Alaska. She just can't say it, because obviously higher oil prices are bad for everyone else, and she wants to be president. So she has to come up with some plausible reason that higher oil prices are bad for Alaska. She failed, but that doesn't mean she actually believes such nonsense.

But maybe I'm giving her too much credit.

Posted by: John on June 10, 2009 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not surprised that Al doesn't "get" that the mythologizing of "defining American trait[s]" is a defining trait of conservatives. Most of this country's ills are directly traceable to conservatives overweening need to feel good about themselves in comparison to others.

Posted by: John Dillinger on June 10, 2009 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

Personally I hope she wins the Republican nomination in 2012. :)

Posted by: Liam J on June 10, 2009 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

Benen has Palin derangement syndrome.

Must be a slow news day, after all the Chrysler merger is not much of a news story, another bomb exploding in Baghdad really doesn't capture the imagination, Taliban supposedly on the run in Pakistan doesn't seem all that important, who really gives a shit about Iranian election, uigars being transferred is no big deal...

I can't wait to hear and read more about Sarah Palin's scripted infotainment talking points!

Posted by: grinning cat on June 10, 2009 at 8:23 AM | PERMALINK

To expand on Just Wondering, Karl and John:

Yes, she is that dumb, which is why she is just parrotting repug talking points.

But the larger point is that repugs everywhere are reduced to the "taxes bad, government bad" repetition because that's the most complicated "policy" their 20 percent base can understand.

That's also why Palin gets away with accusing Obama of socialism while praising the downright communistic structure of the People's Republic of Alaska.

She doesn't really understand what socialism is, but neither does her intended audience.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on June 10, 2009 at 8:29 AM | PERMALINK

It's so not funny that the opposition party is reduced to this. Yeah, I like having Democrats in office, but I don't like living in a country that can put people of this caliber within spitting distance of the White House. It's deeply, deeply disturbing.

Posted by: shortstop on June 10, 2009 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know if she is actually stupid or not, because what we have here is a species of politician who believes it does not matter what they say. If she wants to be a spending hawk this week, she will say something like this. Next week, if she wants to advance a slightly different image, she will gladly say something completely contradictory. It's self-marketing over policy.

Which is no less dangerous, mind you.

Posted by: Algernon on June 10, 2009 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with John, I think she does understand the effect of oil prices on the state budget but doesn't want to support high oil prices on national TV. She just isn't quick enough on her feet to say something that sounds half-way plausible.

Posted by: Maineiac on June 10, 2009 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

That Palin is so "conspicuously unintelligent" is precisely the reason that we want her in a position of power and authority.

Sarah fits the mold of what we want in a person in a governing position. She is very good at reciting (with emotion) our economic messages of destroying government and reducing taxes on the wealthy job creators of our society. She seems to believe and is very good at reciting (with emotion) the religious messages that keep our low information voter base in the republican camp.

Whether it is a facade or real, that Sarah may be stupid is of no consequence to our needs of returning power to the rightful owners of power. Face it, Huckabee does not fit our needs and Newt has too much baggage even for our party. Mitt may talk our talk, but we do not trust him. Our options may be limited, but the leading spokesman for our causes is behind her and Rush carries a lot of weight with our voters.

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on June 10, 2009 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

But that's always been the problem with the Republican Party's "we stand for less government" mantra. It implies that shrinking a government is an unbiguous public good in and of itself... and by extension, that any policy or event that would grow a government (even if only incidentally), is a public bad, regardless of it's effects on actual people.

It never made sense as a philosophy, because it it is not attached to any theoretical or empirical argument or to any logical reasoning. Ms. Palin's comment about the price of oil didn't add to, but only shined a light on the nonsense.

Posted by: JimG on June 10, 2009 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

With apologies to the late, great John Facenda of NFL Films, St Sarah's brain cells have become "The Frozen Tundra" of the North.

"Spitting distance" - Is that Mika, imitating Gabby Hayes on Morning Joe and saying "Durn tootin', Joe", while spitting?

Posted by: berttheclock on June 10, 2009 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

And what does God have to do with the price of oil? Is He speculating again?

The trailer park wing of the GOP ascended in the 90s, hopefully, we're looking at the descent since the king of the hillbillies left office.

Posted by: ChrisS on June 10, 2009 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

Your lede "Governor Train Wreck" is timely. In 1985, Jon Voight starred in the exciting film "Runaway Train", which was set in Alaska. Perhaps, this has become the sequel with St Sarah at the non-functioning controls, Voight riding Moose Gun and introducing "The Dude" as "Hi-Ball Harry".

Posted by: berttheclock on June 10, 2009 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

What Governess Palin is saying is that self-reliance is a defining American trait

Is that why Red states siphon tax money from Blue ones?


Posted by: Gregory on June 10, 2009 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

If she really believes that the Alaskan government should have less money, I want to see her call for an end to federal pork dollars going to her state.


Posted by: dmsilev on June 10, 2009 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

If she really believes it, why doesn't she simply shut the state government down?

Just veto everything lock the doors and go home. It would be great for private enterprise.

>"saying is that self-reliance is a defining American trait, and runaway government will destroy that trait. I'm not surprised liberals don't get it."

al, I don't see those words anywhere in the remarks being discussed.

Posted by: Buford on June 10, 2009 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

Give it a flippin' rest, grinning cat! I would rather read Chicounsel or Al's BS than your constant bitching and moaning. If Steve ain't doing it for you then hit the road. The internets is a big place.

Posted by: GiggsisGod on June 10, 2009 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Deep historical thought

I'm sure we are not the first culture to be entertained by the musings of a fur-wearing savage from the edges of our empire.

Posted by: koreyel on June 10, 2009 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Is God speculating, again? Yes, Phil and his wife of the Graham infamy, included God in their Enron Loophole for the revision in futures speculation in the 2000 change. God, as well as hedge funds or anyother speculator does not have to take delivery. So, just party hardy.

Posted by: berttheclock on June 10, 2009 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

Palin imposed what is essentially a windfall profits tax on oil companies operating in Alaska and then gave the money to the state's residents. Then she accused Obama of being a socialist.

I waited all through the fall campaign to see some reporter somewhere ask her if she was a hypocrite. None did. Now she's reviving the socialism claim--think any "journalist" might grow a pair and ask her the real question?

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on June 10, 2009 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

grinning cat = boring concern troll

Al = unimaginative cut-and-paster

We need better assholes around here.

Posted by: Shade Tail on June 10, 2009 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

Yet another example of the law of unintended consequences when your solution to everything from teen sex to good government is to "just say no".

Posted by: Chopin on June 10, 2009 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

No one this conspicuously unintelligent should be in a position of power or authority.

As I said during the fall campaign, she's W in a skirt.


Posted by: Zorro on June 10, 2009 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Any election process icluding the presidential election porcess, for S. Palin is just another beauty pageant. It's how you smile and wink that wins for her. It's winning the contest that is important, not governing the state of Alsaka or governing America.

Posted by: mljohnston on June 10, 2009 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Personally, I look forward to Palin's 2012 Presidential debates- will she continue her policy of providing "her" answers without connection to questions asked? how will Tina use the scripts provided by Palin on SNL?

Posted by: Johnny Canuck on June 10, 2009 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

However, she has a point - If the State of Alaska receives more money, it will be more difficult her lack of aiding any Native-American in the state.

But, St Sarah is a dream for any attorney engaged in taking depositions - Just ask a question and let her spew and spew - Her mouth gets out far ahead of her limited brain.

Posted by: berttheclock on June 10, 2009 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

PALIN: "The fewer dollars that the state of Alaska government has, the fewer dollars we spend."

Which is why while Governor she instituted a Windfall Profits Tax on the Big Oil companies, more than doubling the revenue from oil for the state of Alaska ?

Posted by: Joe Friday on June 10, 2009 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Jeez, now that the GOP is getting boiled down to it's various die-hard constituencies it would not be surprising to have one or the other see a new "bright shiny object" and just wander off.

Posted by: PatD on June 10, 2009 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

don't all alaskans get a check from the government based oil produced in the state? doesn't fewer oil dollars mean smaller checks for her constituents? am i missing something here or is sarah silly really that stupid?

Posted by: mudwall jackson on June 10, 2009 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

am i missing something here...Posted by: mudwall jackson

It is too difficult to run for President while posing as Governor of a geographically distant state; therefore she will not run for reelection in 2010 but devote herself to Presidential campaigning; therefore Alaskan voters are no concern; her base in the lower 48 will not understand or care about the hypocrisy- just as they swallowed her lines about her role in stopping the bridge to nowhere

Posted by: Johnny Canuck on June 10, 2009 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

The tooliest of tools. Tragic. I am ashamed that her ticket got as many votes as it did in the 2008 national election. Our nation is shamed.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 10, 2009 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

It boggles my mind that she is dim-witted enough to actually think that she has the smarts to be elected President. What's really disheartening is that there are a goodly number of people spread out across America as dumb or dumber than she to cheer her on as though she were some sort of rocket scientist.

Posted by: sparrow on June 10, 2009 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin is no less intelligent than Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. In a Republican administration, the shadow government runs things behind closed doors; the President is merely a PR mouthpiece.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on June 10, 2009 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

They think that if you starve the beast (govt.) you can drown it in a bathtub.

So, less government revenue is good, regardless of spending.

Posted by: flubber on June 10, 2009 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK


Posted by: stevenz on June 10, 2009 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK



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