Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 9, 2009

CONSERVATIVES SLAM PALIN ATTACK AS 'CRAZY'.... Newt Gingrich told a national television audience this morning that Sarah Palin's "death panel" argument is fair and legitimate. I should note, in fairness to other conservatives, that others on the right have not been as kind to the former Alaska governor.

On "Meet the Press" this morning, David Brooks called Palin's attack "crazy," adding that "the crazies are attacking the plan because it will cut off granny. That is simply not true, that simply is not going to happen."

Similarly, Rep. Jack Kingston (R) of Georgia, who no one has ever considered a moderate, told Bill Maher there's nothing to Palin's attack. "It's a scare tactic," Kingston said. "No question about it."

Even some political reporters who shy away from drawing firm conclusions have acknowledged the facts. The Washington Post's Dan Balz said this morning, "It's not the way to debate this bill, and it's another example of Sarah Palin having difficulty figuring out how to enter into a serious debate about issues."

I've long wondered if there would be a point at which Sarah Palin went just a little too far for the political mainstream. A whole lot of political observers noticed the obvious lies, the cringe-worthy ignorance, the petty feuds, and the bizarre behavior, but wanted to maintain the fiction that Palin was a credible political figure. After all, John McCain wanted her to be one heartbeat from the presidency -- and 60 million Americans agreed.

Maybe, just maybe, her "death panel" message on Facebook -- complete with lies, poor writing, policy confusion, and family exploitation -- will be enough to convince the skeptical that Palin really is that far gone?

Steve Benen 2:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (46)

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Don't expect Brooks to remember his opinion this morning by sometime late next week. He's perfectly capable of writing a column two weeks from now about how refreshingly different and innovative Palin is, and how Democrats would be wise to fear her. It's what he does.

I'm happy to see some on the right actually acknowledging the insanity, but when are they going to start doing something about it?

Posted by: biggerbox on August 9, 2009 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

they'll hafta pay her off somehow to make her less painfully damaging.

even bobo brooks is unscrupulous enough to flip on palin when it is beneficial to the conservative attack/obstruction. all of them are...

so, they'll give her a patsy cline position somewhere -- UNTIL '12 when the GINGRICH-PALIN ticket is revealed... surprise surprise surprise! WAH-HOO!

Posted by: neill on August 9, 2009 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

actually, i don't think there's very many "skeptics" left on the subject of caribou barbie..last poll i saw, only 12% had "no opinion." folks either think she's the most fantabulous republican EVER or they decided a long time ago that's she's batshit bonkers....

Posted by: dj spellchecka on August 9, 2009 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Brooks is a well-known RINO. He lives in Bethesda Maryland, which is not part of America. QED.

Posted by: MattF on August 9, 2009 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

A "patsy cline position" -- hah?

Posted by: lotus on August 9, 2009 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

What's encouraging is seeing the corporate-controlled media acknowledging the fact that Palin said something that is "batshit bonkers".

I can't watch the Sunday news shows anymore. It's too much like watching a Republican convention. But hopefully the rest of the shows made a brief visit to reality.

In the meantime, watch for the astroturf mobs to start picketing the "librul meedya".

Posted by: SteveT on August 9, 2009 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Every time Palin opens her mouth she shows how crazy she is, every time she does I get cold chills thinking how close she would have been to the presidency had McCain won.

Posted by: JS on August 9, 2009 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Tip to Sara Palin: Put out some overtures to Glenn Beck. Maybe you could co-host his madness! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on August 9, 2009 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Brooks seems to feel that the Teabagger thuggery is no big deal, however.

Posted by: bob h on August 9, 2009 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Palin's "death panel" message on Facebook -- complete with lies, poor writing, policy confusion, and family exploitation.

Ghost written, perhaps, by Ann Coulter?

Posted by: DAY on August 9, 2009 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Palin is more interested in keeping her name in the press by spewing her typical fear-inciting hyperbole than she is in contributing any meaningful, substantive input to a serious, rational discussion on health care reform legislation.

Posted by: labman57 on August 9, 2009 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

I want to know what, exactly, does Sarah Palin personally know regarding the decline, hospice care and death of elderly parents? Both of her parents were apparently fine when she was campaigning for VP, and I'm assuming they still are. I think someone in the media ought to aggressively follow up on this point. My husband and I dealt with the extended illnesses and hospice care of 3 of our parents in a span of 4 years, so when I hear this dingy, loud mouth, ignorant woman talk about this issue I get absolutely livid. Sarah Palin, if you or your brain dead minions read this blog, I challenge you to tell us what in your limited experience gives you any authority on this, or *ANY* health care issue, not to mention any issue in general?

Posted by: Varecia on August 9, 2009 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

It's amusing how Palin's message doesn't even fit the conspiracy theory - namely that "end of life counseling" for the elderly that would be paid for by Medicare in one version of the house Democrats' bill will result in seniors being encouraged to end their lives to save money rather than treating their terminal illness. As nutty as *that* theory is, at least it's a legitimate conspiracy theory, inasmuch as it distorts beyond recognition an actual provision of an actual bill.

Palin has gone too far for even the wingnuttiest wingnuts by taking their perfectly good conspiracy theory about dying elderly folks confusing it with the totally separate matter of disabled children, who obviously aren't covered by medicare at all. In my opinion, it shows a real lack of respect towards the hard-working conspiracy theorists who hatched this little sideshow. They have no doubt worked hard to fill in the reality gaps with plausible-sounding scenarios to make their theory sound, well, real - and here comes Palin, confusing the details and throwing the whole carefully constructed operation out of whack.

She's too dumb to be a wingnut. That's saying something.

Posted by: owenz on August 9, 2009 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Palin, alas, a brunet with less grey matter than a dumb blond.

Posted by: Ted76 on August 9, 2009 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Sure. Can't wait.

Posted by: E L on August 9, 2009 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Just as I posted in the thread below, Gingrich DIDN'T actually support Palin's "death panel" argument, but instead engaged in the standard subtle scare-mongering we expect from conservatives on the national stage. While he defended her, he effectively pulled back her crazy by quite a lot. Rather than Obama having "death panels" which deny healthcare to the "unproductive," he was merely suggesting that the government is scary and MIGHT do this some day. And that's a complete dialback.

I said more here:
Crazy versus Palin Crazy

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on August 9, 2009 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Put Kingston on a show likely to be watched by the right and you think he's gonna stick with the scare tactic line? NFW.

Posted by: ComradeAnon on August 9, 2009 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Brooks is as reliable as a Yugo, and is mostly a spear-chucking Rethug propagandist, ever loyal to the conservative elite. He just happens to be the conservative liberals like - for reasons I have never quite figured out. His obsequious rants and lousy writing, frequently dwelling on his navel, are unreadable. Yet his presence on radio and TV is, unfortunately, ubiquitous.

He is, however, not unintelligent, merely an opportunist. The conservative elite has decided that Palin is too much of a liability, and he is merely parroting the order of the day. He's just as likely to reverse himself at some future time, and then deny he ever called her ideas crazy.

The Queen of Stupid has her following. They are the bellowers at town hall meetings, the ones carrying signs with Nazi symbols. The ones threatening to use their god given 'second amendment' rights to stop any intelligent conversation about healthcare reform. We should crown her Queen, declare her realm Alaska, and send all her loyal subjects to be with her in Wasilla - after Alaska secedes that is.

Posted by: rrk1 on August 9, 2009 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Babbling Brooks is desperate to prove that "Us Republicans can, TOO, be intelligent, so THERE!", Because of that, he's bound to distance himself from the worst of Palin's "err-ruptions". For a little while, at least, until everyone's forgotten what, precisely, she's said. Then, he'll say it wasn't all that bad. And she's so cute... All can be forgiven to someone who winks and licks her lips so winsomely.

Posted by: exlibra on August 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Kathleen Parker (yet ANOTHER RightWing columnist for the Washington Post) said on the Chris Matthews Show (syndicated):

"The Republican Governors meeting in Aspen the past few days, say that Sarah Palin is running as hard as she can, and they're all scared to death that she can win the nomination."


Posted by: Joe Friday on August 9, 2009 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

I'll repeat some sentiments,
It's a sad time when the MSM won't do their job, and only outraged flabby conservatives like David Brooks can get away with attacking this filth (in the "one of their own" way that minority comics can.) Since the MSM needs the respectable center-rightists to take the place of true progressives, this sort of thing will happen sometimes.

Posted by: Neil B ↨ on August 9, 2009 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Palin's nonsense is not meant to persuade "the skeptical"; Steve. It's meant to keep her idiot base riled up and on board.

Posted by: Bikelib on August 9, 2009 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

K-Par, is another honest soft-rightie who is on the shit list for e.g. recently saying the Republicans must drive a stake through the heart of old dixie. I sometimes fear for her safety, and other Republican squishes who cut down their own (but it sure is fun to watch!)

Posted by: delver on August 9, 2009 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

As awful as it is, the problem with our health care system is the length of time people live and the ability to keep children who would have not previously survived alive.

What I do not understand is for a bunch of people who believe in heaven, why do they insist on keeping the terry shivo's of the world alive for ever.

I am 31 years old. By the time I am 70 or 80, there will be so much life sustaining technology I will be able to live for ever if I have the money.

Medicare is a social program paid for by all tax payers and it must have limits. If you have plenty of money, you should be able to spend it on what ever life sustaining care you want. But there needs to be limits to how many new hips, organs, and ICU care we give old people.

I am in favor of some base care for all elderly, but there has to be some limit. Sorry palin, but maybe you should save some of your speakers fees to keep your parents alive in their old age and the expense of raising a genetically defective child and not rely on "evil socialist health care"

Posted by: Andrew on August 9, 2009 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

The problem with anyone thinking anybody as far to the right as Palin, thinking she is too far to the right, is that they're also so far to the right it means absolutely nothing.

They really don't want to hear anything but what they already believe to be so.

Palin, Newt, Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity, O'Reilly, Cantor and others have made our entire country look like uneducated fools.

Posted by: Dalton on August 9, 2009 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't Sarah Palin just finish telling the media the day she resigned the governorship she was sick and tired of the media's meddling with her family? And what does she do? She injects her poor baby into the middle of the health care debate in a sensational lie about Democratic-sponsored euthanasia.

Sarah Palin is not a serious person and she is ignorant to boot.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on August 9, 2009 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK


The fact that 58.7 million people voted for the McCain Palin ticket last year does not make Sarah Palin a serious person. That's like me saying Michael Phelps and I have 14 Olympic gold medals between us.

Palin gets noticed when she attacks Obama in large part because of Obama, not her. Her attacks are just nutty.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on August 9, 2009 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Forget Palin. What does it say about the Republican party that they can't argue ANY position on the merits anymore?

Seriously, their response to a very moderate, sane, and milquetoast health care reform bill is to gin up the most radical and hysterical part of their fringe (the "tea partiers"), and for their freaking Vice-Presidential candidate to tell insane lies about how this health reform plan is going to murder her son and parents.

It's not like Sarah is out of the mainstream of the Republican party. They just want to kill health reform because Obama wants it.

I don't understand how our nation is supposed to deal with a real problem like 45 million uninsured and unaffordable heathcare for the rest of us when one of our two parties is incapable of acknowledging reality.

Seriously, what are we supposed to do? Ignore real and pressing problems until these guys decide to stop pandering to their crazy base? When exactly will that be?

Posted by: anon on August 9, 2009 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

The Right is simply wielding Palin like a blunt instrument, as a spoiler. The only remnants of her base that remain loyal are those who dream of getting into her pants, but she still has that big-name status because she's always in the news. You needn't fear her future political aspirations, though, because she's out of options, reduced to being a hockey goon for the Republicans. Nobody really takes her seriously any more, and the Right is just cynically using her to scare old people who are too stunned to know any better. The twaddle she is peddling is so fantastic that only the irredeemably stupid would believe it. Death panels? Give me strength.

Posted by: Mark on August 9, 2009 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

One point to consider is that Sarah Palin isn't really trying to get the MSM's attention. They haven't been fair to her in the past, why would they be fair to her in the future?

No one can resist jumping on her every word though? I find that mystifying since she is such a stupid, has been, ill informed fool...mystifying.

I can see that the derision here is not limited to Sarah Palin either. All republicans and tea bag attendeeds are violent, swastika carrying, illiterate mobs...I wonder why so many politicians think that insulting their constituents is a good re-election strategy?

The comment earlier by the young man who suggests that if you want to live longer you should just make sure you have enough money to pay for it, and if you don't too bad. I guess to some people, that attitude is a little alarming, as it seems somewhat elitist, and heaven knows that the majority party believes in care for everyone, and especially the poor, elderly, innocent children and the downtrodden. Doesn't it? I read these comments and it just crystalizes all the reasons that a lot of people actually like Sarah Palin. She tells the truth and she doesn't promise a bunch of things and then do the opposite like our liar in chief does.

I realize this is a lefty blog, of a lefty paper, so the comments aren't entirely a surprise. Actually a surprise would be if there was any hint of respect for a view point other than the party line. And no, I'm not a republican. I am a former democrat who is now unaffiliated.

The smug, condescending, disengenuous commentary here, coupled with the outright lies, is exactly why I tore up my registration card, and sadly, the longer I listen to the "party" line, the less likely it is I would ever vote for any democrat again.

Insulting your constiuents is never wise, but that is the approach that has been adopted by both parties. We are listening, we are reading, and we are disgusted. Thank you for your contribution to my decision making process.

Posted by: Carolyn on August 9, 2009 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

By criticizing my statement, you are attacking Trig.

Why can't you leave my children out of your smears, Democrats?!

Posted by: Quitbull on August 9, 2009 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

The blind Obama worship of guys like Benen and his ilk in the comments would be funny if it weren't so dangerous. Sarah Palin was right on the money, and Obama has confirmed it. Asked if Granny could have surgery, he said no, she'll get pain killer. Deny it if you will, but that doesn't change it.

Posted by: Jonny Amplesack on August 9, 2009 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK
Quitbull: "Why can't you leave my children out of your smears, Democrats?!"

Oh, Mommy, please leave us out of it! Thanks to your wise parental guidance and dedicated oversight, my boyfriend was able to con me into believing that panties made good ankle-warmers when I was in the back seat of his car on chilly evenings.

Now, if you'll please excuse me, your grandson is crying for his bottle ...

Posted by: Quitbull's eldest on August 9, 2009 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

Jonny Amplesack: "Sarah Palin was right on the money ..."

... or so she thought, until the Alaska state ethics commission ordered her to pay it all back.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on August 9, 2009 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Carolyn, do you think *we* are politicians, Democrats running for office? And Sarah Palin tells the truth, but we tell lies? Obama doesn't keep his promises - maybe, but mostly he doesn't keep his *liberal* promises to do things like really close Gitmo, quit making deals with Pharma that keep us from negotiating prices, etc. Really, back your claims.

And I find your story hard to believe, because why wouldn't you be even more disgusted as the Republican Party goes haywire? What did you expect Obama and Democrats to do, not try to reform health care? They ran, saying they were going to try. What is it with you "Democrats left me" types? But I don't want you to think nobody listens to other opinions, so what do you think we should do about this subject, then?

Posted by: Neil B on August 9, 2009 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

I suggest that you lay off the Maui Wauie, Don Ho.

Posted by: Jonny Amplesack on August 9, 2009 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

The real question is whether people like Chris Matthews will recognize that Newt's support of Batshit Barbie's idiotic and assanine statements closes the case on his claims to be a serious intellectual and idea person.

Posted by: Winkandanod on August 9, 2009 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

I think we liberals are stupid to give guys like Brooks any credit for calling this crazy.

Actually all this conversation leaves a impression on the less engaged voter that killing off the gradma is on the table and, if that does not happen, the conservatives will take credit for scuttling the idea.

Posted by: gregor on August 9, 2009 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Gregor, I think Brooks et al calling Quit Bull Palin "crazy" gives the impression that the story about killing grandma is false. We worry, that Brooks is not consistent or deeply principled. But indeed, the worst of them will pretend they stopped something that wouldn't happen anyway.

Posted by: N e i l B on August 9, 2009 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

"Maybe, just maybe, her "death panel" message on Facebook -- complete with lies, poor writing, policy confusion, and family exploitation -- will be enough to convince the skeptical that Palin really is that far gone?"

Try telling that to NBC and it's latest on-air empty head covering the White House, Savannah Guthrie. On Sunday evening's national news broadcast, Guthrie repeated Palin's "Death Boards" post on Facebook, almost word for word, and treated it as a serious charge against what Obama and the Dems want to do. Lazy ass stenographers that, by coincidence at least, ALWAYS seem to slam the Dems and/or "liberals" and give a pass to Rethuglican incompetence, mendacity, and stupidity.

Steve, you are a lot more optimistic and forgiving than I might be IF I were aw well informed and connected as you seem to be.

Posted by: Analytical Liberal on August 9, 2009 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

Is she bipolar?
Roget's II: Thesaurus defines grandiosity as "boastful self-importance or display" and offers the words "ostentation," "pomposity" and "pretension" to further illustrate this definition. In short, it is an exaggerated sense of one's importance, power, knowledge or identity. It often has religious overtones. The term "grandiosity" is used to describe the larger-than-life feelings of superiority often experienced by those in a manic episode...

Posted by: sarah?? on August 9, 2009 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

There is a strong link between postpartum psychosis and bipolar disorder, and manic-depressive women are at a much greater than average risk for developing this serious illness

Posted by: good point on August 9, 2009 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

Brooks is a professional conservative who dines out on his ability to refute conservative principles when called upon. I'm not even sure he knows what they are.

Posted by: Mike K on August 9, 2009 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK
Jonny Amplesack: "I suggest that you lay off the Maui Wauie, Don Ho."

Better the Wowie than the bad acid you're apparently dropping. "Sarah Palin is right on the money ..." - you wish! That woman couldn't find her own asscheeks in broad daylight with both hands, a full-length mirror and illustrated directions.

Look, if I want to listen to a political porn star, I'll stick with Stormy Daniels. At least she's honest about her past and what she does for a living.

Posted by: Donad from Hawaii on August 10, 2009 at 3:03 AM | PERMALINK

I'm with Gonad from Maui! At least he's got some!!! I thought since GW faded into the wood work we wouldn't have anything to laugh at. Wrong!
The Newt and Nuts show is just beginning!!! I think the Re-pugs keep Palin out there....just makes the rest of them look sane!!!
Anyone know when the Palin Idiot phase of the day Calendar will be out? As long as it is not put out by the RNC I'll get one!!

Posted by: Buhweet on August 10, 2009 at 5:27 AM | PERMALINK

You know, Sarah Palin finally has no excuse to dump the care for her handicapped baby off on others, and the first thing that popped into her mind was the potential "killing" of that baby...supposedly by actions of others. Could the wish be the mother of the thought?

Just recall the absurd Palin attempt to connect the pregnancy of her daughter with "liberals" when she used a web article that repeated the rumors sweeping Alaska about Palin's own supposed non-pregnancy as a pretext to throw her daughter under the bus. That had to be the most absurd and evil event of the 2008 election...Palin proudly parading the principals representing the failure of her own philosophy of parenting on TV, on stages, and at other events across the country, all the while seeing liberals as responsible for anything negative about the circus.

Watch for more lunacy.

Posted by: Lacy on August 10, 2009 at 7:33 AM | PERMALINK



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