Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 7, 2010

PALIN AND HER PEOPLE.... Sarah Palin, the former half-term governor of Alaska, threw plenty of red meat to a ravenous Tea Party audience in Nashville last night, reminding the political world that she's still a hero to confused, unhinged right-wing activists.

There wasn't anything especially surprising about her 40-minute diatribe -- apparently, she does not hold President Obama in high regard -- but there were a few interesting remarks of note.

For example, it was pretty amusing to hear Palin trash the financial-industry bailout, which she just so happens to have supported at the time -- a detail she hopes her adoring fans won't remember.

But the real entertainment came during the post-speech Q&A, when Palin fielded a few "pre-screened, pre-selected" questions. She was asked what Congress's top three priorities should be, if "conservatives" retake the majorities in both chambers. She said lawmakers' priorities should be to (1) cut federal spending, though she didn't say where, (2) adopt a conservative energy policy, and (3) turn to "our creator." Seriously.

This was the third part of her answer, verbatim: "I think, kind of tougher to, um, put our arms around, but allowing America's spirit to rise again by not being afraid to kind of go back to some of our roots as a God fearing nation where we're not afraid to say, especially in times of potential trouble in the future here, where we're not afraid to say, you know, we don't have all the answers as fallible men and women so it would be wise of us to start seeking some divine intervention again in this country, so that we can be safe and secure and prosperous again. To have people involved in government who aren't afraid to go that route, not so afraid of the political correctness that you know -- they have to be afraid of what the media said about them if they were to proclaim their alliance on our creator."

For those keeping track, the first part of that answer was a 100-word run-on sentence.

Ron Chusid asks, "So, one of the U.S. Congress's top priorities should be ... asking for divine intervention from God?"

The answer, apparently, is yes.

I realize right-wing activists adore the former governor, but her conspicuous unintelligence should be obvious to anyone above the age of 4. There hasn't been a more ridiculous figure to hold American political prominence in a very long time.

She's simply an embarrassment.

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (86)

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Comments

But but didn't she have the answers written on her hand?

Posted by: js on February 7, 2010 at 8:03 AM | PERMALINK

She still scares the shit out of me.
I remember laughing at Reagans lines when he was running in '79 and '80 and saying, 'people can't be THAT stupid!'
I was wrong. They were. And they loved him.

The rube's love her. I don't "mis-underestimate" the stupidity, ignorance and gullibility of the American voting public anymore.
2008 was an aberation. So were a few other Presidential elections. But in recent history, we have more of a history of voting in Republican crooks, shnooks, and criminals, than of electing competent Democrats.
What scare me is that Bush II set the bar so low, that she appears Presidential to the "morans" out there.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on February 7, 2010 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

js,
Writing answers on her hand will only endear her to the "morans" out there. Who among them never cribbed on a test?

Posted by: c u n d gulag on February 7, 2010 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

Ridiculous times select for ridiculous characters.

Little Big Man: "Sometimes the world is just too ridiculous to live in."

Wow, if it ain't a mess enough already, wait until the holy alliance puts god at the wheel. Good gaaawwddd!

Posted by: lou on February 7, 2010 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure which is worse-That she had to cheat and write on her hand a list of that which she supposedly cares about so deeply, or that her memory is so horrible that the list contained only 3 items.

Posted by: Steve on February 7, 2010 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

She scares me too. I laughed at the thought that an actor could be elected governor of California, the first time, let alone that he could go on to win the Presidency. And even now a lot of people think Reagan should be on Mount Rushmore.

We underestimate her at our peril.

Posted by: brooklyn on February 7, 2010 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

Let's not forget Sarah's troubles in the mere material world: I hear, she didn't pay taxes on some properties, that should get play.
BTW, I would think all this about written on hand is just a joke, but why do commenters keep harping on it?

Posted by: neil b on February 7, 2010 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

Last year the Tea Party began with what is guaranteed to draw media : Yelling people with offensive signs.

The signs and the overt loonies were gone last night, and so were most of the people; Sarah's "crowd" was smaller than most high school basketball games.

Of COURSE she was vapid and superficial; that's the hallmark of so-called 'populist' politicians today. Example: She said we need Reagan's foreign policy: "We win, and they lose!"

And then she channeled Jerry Falwell, talking about a "God fearing nation." Question: If America is such a magnificent country, why should we FEAR God?

Posted by: DAY on February 7, 2010 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

I would like to hear what some of the other third party candidates(Greens,DSUSA,etc.)have to say on some of the important issues facing our country. It's obvious the Republicans,Democrats,Libertarians and 'Tea Baggers' don't have any solutions to help the majority of struggling Americans.

Posted by: par4 on February 7, 2010 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

"There hasn't been a more ridiculous figure to hold American political prominence in a very long time."

Steve, Palin has stretched the boundary, so I take your point. But, the boundary was loosened up substantially by some pretty ridiculous actors who were (are) prominently IN POLITICAL POWER -- GWB, Cheney, Gingrich, Armey, McConnell, Boennert (sp?),
McCain, etc. etc. etc. There is just a long list of ridiculousness out there.

Posted by: lou on February 7, 2010 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

neil b, see for yourself:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stefan-sirucek/did-palin-use-crib-notes_b_452458.html

Posted by: lotus on February 7, 2010 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

She was also wearing a lapel pin with the US/Israeli flags entwined. The perfect neocon candidate. Shudder.

Posted by: Mary on February 7, 2010 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

She spread her legs on national television.

Posted by: Ten Bears on February 7, 2010 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

Physics has never been able to come up with a perpetual motion machine. But in right wing politics they've found one: Elevate a dangerous, unthinking, proto-fascist moron as leader and then feed off an endless supply of cultural resentment fueled by the horrified criticisms of condescending liberal cosmopolitan elites who note quite rightly that conservatives have elevated as leader a dangerous unthinking, proto-fascist moron. And round, and round, and round it goes.

Posted by: Ted Frier on February 7, 2010 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

"She's simply an embarrassment."

You should talk to my ENTIRE family. They believe she was sent here by a divine power to lead us to a better place.

As for the looking at her hand thing - PLEEEEASE. This sounds (and yes I've seen the 1 second glance) like the kind of thing the Repugnant Ones run around saying - trying to turn nothing into an outrage.

Posted by: Mark-NC on February 7, 2010 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

she's dangerous.

Posted by: bkny on February 7, 2010 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

As a second comment - the crib notes.

She writes a couple of items on her hand. That's miles from writing down what to say and, IMHO no different from have the same reminders on a teleprompter - just a bit more crude.

The bigger story would be that she apparently already knew the questions that would be asked. Not that that's unexpected in her world.

Posted by: Mark-NC on February 7, 2010 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

Imagine the deficit reduction when President Sarah's Cabinet and White House staff consists of just God, who works for free.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on February 7, 2010 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK
There hasn't been a more ridiculous figure to hold American political prominence in a very long time.
And that's why she scares me. Ridiculous figures have a terrifying tendency to ride populist resentment waves to the highest level of power, and then go completely unhinged when there. Is it crazy to imagine the world's most powerful nation handing supreme executive authority over to a genuine cracked pot? Anybody remember 43? Posted by: Bernard HP Gilroy on February 7, 2010 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

While waiting at the checkout of my local Food Lion last night I happened to see a magazine with Sarah Palin on the front page and it appeared to be titled Sarah Palin (the magazine), underneath the title it said 'Can sarah Palin save America?' I wonder if anyone else has seen it, I just shuddered at the thought and moved on.

Posted by: js on February 7, 2010 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Some have been praying for "divine intervention", to protect us from Sarah Palin.

So far, no luck.

Posted by: biggerbox on February 7, 2010 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

But wait, that shouldn't be half-term governor, it should be half-wit governor.

Posted by: rbe1 on February 7, 2010 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

While writing answers to prearranged simple questions may be embarrassing, it should be noted Palin is substantively correct. If conservatives take over both house of Congress, devine intervention is by far our best chance of a decent outcome.

Posted by: dwight meredith on February 7, 2010 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

There hasn't been a more ridiculous figure to hold American political prominence in a very long time. She's simply an embarrassment.

whaaaa??? bush. reagan. just as idiotic, moronic, doltish, national embarrassments, not to mention many, many republican morons in Congress. Palin has plenty of company in repug nation. Be careful there isn't misogyny buried in there, because there are easily just as stupid, and worse republican men of prominence.

Posted by: pluege on February 7, 2010 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

I realize right-wing activists adore the former governor, but her conspicuous unintelligence should be obvious to anyone above the age of 4.

But don't you get it? To them, conspicuous unintelligence is a feature, not a bug. Smart is bad. Everything we need to know we learned in kindergarten. A Christian kindergarten.

Posted by: Steve M. on February 7, 2010 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

hmm. our creator only ranked 3rd in importance according to hockey mom's priorities!

Posted by: me on February 7, 2010 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

It isn't a matter on underestimating her at one's peril, it is overestimating the 59 million people who voted for her treasonous, homophobic running mate with her at the bottom of the ticket.
Also, it is hardly credible to cloak incredulity with misogyny in her case. She actually got away with referring to the 'mandation' the present administration was exercising with their policies.
Face it, she is a media inflated pretty face who's elevation is for the most part, the divine sustinence, of an encouraging complicit media. No pictures, no face time, no twitter, no facebook, no Oprah. Just the simple observation of the complete vapidity of this shell, the real bile should be to those who give it credibility.

Posted by: myshadow on February 7, 2010 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

When you read these 100 words you can literally see her mind wrestling the question 'Where's the exit?'

Sarah Palin is more than an embarrassment. The thought that this lady could be VP right now is frightening even with 20-20 hindsight. And the fact that a large junk of the US electorate considers her presidential material is even more scary.

PS: Sarah Palin reminds me of a young niece of mine. A nice girl, very social, very energetic, always up to something, being treated for a mild form of ADHD.

Posted by: eserwe on February 7, 2010 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

As usual, Ted Frier's got it.

I know without checking any winger blogs that crib note #3 is playing very, very well in wingnut land, and mocking it just reinforces the conviction of Palin's supporters that we are condescending, smarmy elitists who reject god in favor of deifying our own radical opinions. (Which doesn't mean we shouldn't mock it -- it just means that we should be aware that Palin's comment was exactly what fires up that audience, and the circle continues.)

What pisses me off about this stuff is not that they think we're smug and patronizing and believe we have all the answers. What pisses me off is that they're totally unaware that their fake humility -- "people are fallible and we need to turn to god" -- is a poor mask for their own smug, patronizing insistence that they have all the answers. They're not humbly asking for god to confer wisdom and righteousness upon them. They're asking him to validate their immovable convictions.

Posted by: shortstop on February 7, 2010 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

At least she didn't suggest they should ask for protection from witchcraft (remember her getting "protection from all witchcraft" at that holy-roller church she goes to?).

That this worthless, ignorant, airheaded bimbo is taken seriously by anyone at all is a blot on the intelligence of the country.

Posted by: TCinLA on February 7, 2010 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

The staging of this event reminds me of communist party meetings in the ussr. everything scripted including the questions and the applause. Pure show biz and tent-meeting hype-but, hey, it worked for reagan...

Posted by: sue on February 7, 2010 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Over at the Washington Post, University of Virgina politics professor Gerard Alexander attempts to provide some academic reinforcement to Sarah Palin's right wing grievance-mongering when he wonders "Why are Liberals So Condescending?

Every story has its characters and Alexander's familiar right wing fairly tale paints a portrait of the put-upon conservatives manfully offering their bright ideas in good faith only to have them shot down by those Ivy League snobs who refuse to take them seriously. This boilerplate conservative complaint sounds plausible enough in the detail-free abstract -- which is pretty much the level where the argument gets played by Alexander, just as it does endlessly at FOX News and in GOP talking points.

In short, Alexander's attack on liberal snobbishness is populated with strawmen. Without giving his characters names, the impression Alexander intends to leave is of a belittled erudite conservative hero like William F. Buckley dismissed as a dunce when Alexander knows perfectly well its right wing creature like Tom Tancredo that liberals loath.

Physics has yet to find a perpetual motion machine. But right wing politics has found one in the endless supply of right wing outrage they are able to exploit whenever liberal cosmopolitan elites are horrified by the dangerous, unthinking, proto-fascist morons like Sarah Palin and Tom Tancredo that the Radical Right so regularly elevates to be its leaders.

Alexander provides a long and familiar list of liberal offences guaranteed to feed right into these conservative resentments.

He mentions the Daily Kos poll that portrays conservatives as weird (about a third think the president should be impeached) but never bothers to say what it says about the right wing state of mind. Poor Richard Hofstader, who first connected the right wing mindset with “the paranoid style in American politics” comes in for his usual share of abuse as a name-calling academic elitist. But he gets no credit for accurately describing 50 years ago precisely the prevailing dynamics of right wing populism we just saw perfectly on display just the other day from Tom Tancredo and Sarah Palin.

In fact, Alexander never once actually engages with liberal arguments directly -- perhaps his own form of conservative snobbery.

Stories like Alexander's are not meant to make an argument but evoke a mood. And amid all the hand-wringing about liberals who reject conservatives because they think they're hicks, here are a few real ideas that Alexander failed to consider.

Just how are liberals supposed to take conservatives seriously when they call the president a “socialist” for putting the country in hock when he replaced a right wing president who doubled the national debt in just eight short years?

How are liberals supposed to take Republicans seriously when they say they've suddenly re-discover Reagan era fiscal austerity after quadrupling the number of pork barrel earmarks they gave themselves when they were in charge. And even now Alabama Senator Richard Shelby is shaking down the government like some mob enforcer by putting a hold on all new appointments until he gets the protection money he so desperately seeks for his state.

How are liberal supposed to take the right wing seriously when they question the president’s patriotism and loyalty -- and issue passionate warnings about the safety of the nation -- should Obama do exactly what Bush did dozens of times with the terrorists who were caught on American soil on Bush's watch?

When almost identical behavior is portrayed in two so radically different ways, it's not snobbery that causes liberals to dismiss conservative ideas. It's the inescapable logic that they're not really ideas at all but talking points in a Republican agenda that is brazenly and shamelessly partisan.

Alexander says that liberals are hypocrites who pretend to keep an open mind but don't when they dismiss conservative's dissenting ideas out of hand. But when you scratch below the surface you find that what the Radical Right is really demanding is that liberals give respect and legitimacy to a Radical Right worldview in which only Radical Right ideas are legitimate.

Republicans have not ground the government to a halt because President Obama refuses to listen to right wing Republican views. They’ve shut down the government because Obama refuses to govern AS a right wing Republican.

When Christian fundamentalists find themselves forced to live side by side with people who don’t share their particular sectarian views, they call this an “attack on Christianity.”

When gays object to having their homosexuality called a crime against nature and a sin against God, they are accused of “attacking people of faith.”

When the president is called a traitor to his country because he tries to build bridges of trust with other countries by coming clean on past US wrongs -- or when he is accused of being a foreign born Muslim intent on giving the country away to Muslim terrorists because he thinks terrorists caught on American soil should be convicted in American courts according to American standards of justice -- it should be clear to everyone that what conservatives like professor Alexander are really demanding is that conservatives be given a measure of respect by liberals who conservatives don't respect at all.

Posted by: Ted Frier on February 7, 2010 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

It may have been a vapid speech with only 600 in attendance, but it was carried live by all three cable news networks and got prominent coverage in the print media, describing it as her "return to the political stage." Be very afraid. My only hope and consolation is that I don't think she really wants to be President - too much work.

btw - Why do conservatives assume that divine intervention would be to our benefit? Maybe God might like to even out the world's distribution of resources a bit.

Posted by: Virginia on February 7, 2010 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Notes on her hand? Better than stilted teleprompter comments from the anoinited one who is wrecking our country. Come November, and like MA, we will begin to take our country back.For now, liberals can bask in their hatred of ordinary people.

Posted by: Neil on February 7, 2010 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, what happened to the comment that was right after Ted Frier's, two up, that said something to the effect of how we're right to be "afraid" of the popularity of The Sarah, and ended with the helpful note, "we're coming for you."
I'm not aware of any means by which a commenter can take down a comment of their own, so I'd assume a moderator did so. Why do that? Why give the reichwing any deniability? They're literally fascists, they're literally thugs, and they know they ultimately have nothing but fear and force to offer. Why help them pretend otherwise?
In any case, I was looking forward to pointing out that, unlike Publicans, teabeggars, libertarians, etc, who proudly proclaim "the virtues of selfishness" (even as they claim to put "country first"), we're not "afraid" for ourselves. Assuming that we are is just another of the infinite series of right-wing projections of their features, foibles, and failings, on to us. They're afraid for themselves -- their physical safety, their wealth -- and assume we are too. But we're not. We're afraid for our country, for our fellow citizens, and for the world.
And that right there is really all you need to know about the differences between liberals and conservatives.

Posted by: smartalek on February 7, 2010 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

And, we've seen what happens when the "elite" win...
My IQ is 145 - it's not only how smart you are, but what your values are.

President Obama apparently believes that the 'Government' (read: he) knows best...that the rabble doesn't really know what's good for it.
That's the only explanation for continuing to push an agenda that the American people have overwhelmingly told him they don't want.

President Obama is finding that governing is not nearly as much fun, and is much more challenging, than campaigning. He has not stayed with any job for a prolonged period of time, and is showing signs of being frustrated by this one.

Mrs. Palin wouldn't be my first choice for the Republican nomination, but we could do worse.

Posted by: Bob in TX on February 7, 2010 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

and, by the way, "Gulag", it's rubes, not rube's...you really undercut your argument by not knowing the difference between a plural and a possessive.

Posted by: Bob in TX on February 7, 2010 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

For now, liberals can bask in their hatred of ordinary people.

Don't feel bad, Neil. We've never for one moment thought you and your friends were ordinary.

And the juxtaposition of these sentences by Bob in TX cracked me up: President Obama is finding that governing is not nearly as much fun, and is much more challenging, than campaigning. He has not stayed with any job for a prolonged period of time, and is showing signs of being frustrated by this one....[the person who quit halfway through her first term because she couldn't handle it] wouldn't be my first choice for the Republican nomination, but we could do worse.

You can't even parody these guys.

Posted by: shortstop on February 7, 2010 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

"...start seeking some divine intervention AGAIN...". When did we have it before?

Posted by: ComradeAnon on February 7, 2010 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Well said, Steve Benen.

Posted by: Jane on February 7, 2010 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

President Obama is finding that governing is not nearly as much fun, and is much more challenging, than campaigning. He has not stayed with any job for a prolonged period of time, and is showing signs of being frustrated by this one.

Mrs. Palin wouldn't be my first choice for the Republican nomination, but we could do worse.
Posted by: Bob in TX

Ah, Bob. It's creatures like you that keep me coming back to political postings like this. And thanks for providing that number. From now on, I will call you "145".


That's the only explanation for continuing to push an agenda that the American people have overwhelmingly told him they don't want.

Please explain, 145, how the "American people" (you know, the ones who overwhelmingly voted for Obama based on his "agenda") have overwhelmingly rejected his "agenda". Cuz, all I see when I look around is a bunch of Rushbots screaming nonsensical babble about deficit spending in lieu of the nonsensical babbling about a foreign born Muslim spouted a 1 year and half ago.


it's not only how smart you are, but what your values are.

Don't even get me started about bullshit like "values". It is painfully clear that Palin values dollar signs above everything else. If those are your "values", so be it.

Posted by: oh my on February 7, 2010 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

So after she mocks "Hope and Change" she says her solution is to "Lift America's Spirit?"

Also, picking apart her answer: allowing America's spirit to rise again by not being afraid to kind of go back to some of our roots as a God fearing nation where we're not afraid to say, especially in times of potential trouble in the future here, where we're not afraid to say, you know, we don't have all the answers as fallible men and women so it would be wise of us to start seeking some divine intervention again in this country, so that we can be safe and secure and prosperous again. To have people involved in government who aren't afraid to go that route, not so afraid of the political correctness that you know -- they have to be afraid of what the media said about them if they were to proclaim their alliance on our creator."

she's saying people should stop being afraid to pray for God to intervene (meaning what - hurricanes? Politicians struck down by God?) and that people involved in government shouldn't be afraid to say they rely (ally?) on God?

Seriously - is there anyone in elected office who is constrained from saying such things? Is there any American who is afraid to pray? What is this woman's world-view anyway - such a freaking victim.

Seriously, if someone with this finely honed a sense of victimization and partisan resentment were to lead a country, it would be like having Milosevich for President.

Posted by: g on February 7, 2010 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

President Obama is finding that governing is not nearly as much fun,

Oh, you read minds, too?

Actually, I think Mr.Obama had a lot of fun kicking the Republicans' asses the other day.

Posted by: g on February 7, 2010 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Modern Republicanism: when you don't have any real solutions just invoke God

Posted by: John Henry on February 7, 2010 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Actually her prepared speech was much longer, but she decided to quit a little over half way through.

Posted by: Baldrick on February 7, 2010 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

"Mrs. Palin wouldn't be my first choice for the Republican nomination, but we could do worse." -Bob in TX

and you probably will. -mellowjohn

Posted by: mellowjohn on February 7, 2010 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Ted Frier stated @ 8:37 a.m.:

Physics has never been able to come up with a perpetual motion machine. But in right wing politics they've found one: Elevate a dangerous, unthinking, proto-fascist moron as leader and then feed off an endless supply of cultural resentment fueled by the horrified criticisms of condescending liberal cosmopolitan elites who note quite rightly that conservatives have elevated as leader a dangerous unthinking, proto-fascist moron. And round, and round, and round it goes.

I thought that was such a great analysis I cross-posted Mr. Frier's comment at a somewhat related blog post at the forum I normally hang-out at and comment, Ed Brayton's Dispatches from the Culture Wars.

Posted by: Michael Heath on February 7, 2010 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

and, by the way, "Gulag", it's rubes, not rube's...you really undercut your argument by not knowing the difference between a plural and a possessive.

Well if good grammar is the measure of the validity of an argument then your argument is fucked.

In your post the word "Government" goes inside of double quotes not single quotes because in this case you are directly quoting a President who just oversaw GDP roar back to life over two quarters as a result of his fiscal and economic policies. You are not quoting him quoting something the "government" uttered.

"Rabble" is a plural noun like "people," therefore the appropriate construction of that phrase is "the rabble don't really know" what's good for them, not the "rabble doesn't really know." But rabble being rabble and driven by their coarse desires instead of reason really don't don't know what's good for them, like a stimulus that has seen a reversal of the job losses that started because of the terrible policies of the Bush administration. The country lost jobs and GDP under Bush and they loved him; the country is regaining jobs and GDP under Obama and they hate him. That is the very definition of stupidity and intransigence.

And while not technically incorrect your overuse of commas is just shitty grammar and really distracting, as are your "arguments" which are not really arguments but unsupported claims from someone stupid and immature enough to lay claim to a high IQ on a blog and then not be able to back it up with wit or persuasiveness.

Do they grade IQ on a curve in Texas?

Posted by: trex on February 7, 2010 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

I can't wait to read the autobiography of Todd Palin. It's called "Fucking Retards."

Posted by: J. Sidney McCain on February 7, 2010 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

I disagree with those who compare Palin's charisma (and as a direct connection, her political potential) to Reagan.

For example, when he first ran for POTUS, Reagan has eight years as governor of California under his belt. Palin has a little over two.

Plus, no matter what one's politics, few can argue that Reagan had a gift for public speaking that rallied the nation across cultural lines.

Palin, however, is an all-or-nothing speaker, has zero backing from minorities, and starkly divides women voters - half of whom despise her for Palin reminding them of bitchy, shallow, two-faced girls they went to high school with.

Do I think Dems should ignore Palin? No. However, I also think her public appeal is way too narrow to ever get close to the White House.

Posted by: CHV on February 7, 2010 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

"I realize right-wing activists adore the former governor, but her conspicuous unintelligence should be obvious to anyone above the age of 4. There hasn't been a more ridiculous figure to hold American political prominence in a very long time."

Exactly. And isn't it time that respectable journalists and media outlets begin to ask, very seriously: Is Sarah Palin intellectually and emotionally retarded?


Posted by: eric on February 7, 2010 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

"She's simply an embarrassment."

No, she's dangerous.

I do love that Steve refers to her as the former "half-term" governor. I wish the rest of media would pick up on it, because it's much more accurate than calling her a former governor -- a title she does not deserve.

Posted by: beep52 on February 7, 2010 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

well, i am a conservative who was glad to see palin nominated to vp. i thought then and still think she has many positive qualities. i figured out i was mistaken about her suitability for vp during the campaign. and, post-election, she let herself become radicalized. so has obama. i know the unfettered, irrefutable, inalienable reality is that bush was evil, he did nothing, he created every problem plaguing the nation, he was stupid, homophobic... etc. except, not one of those things is true. obama's clinging to that unreality is more destructive to the nation that palin's rants. example: had obama once said, nationally, if he had just spoken this truth: you know, i derided the surge, and so did my party. but, in retrospect, we were simply wrong, and president bush was right - that, to me, is a constructive statement that reflects truth, post-partisanship, realism. instead, we get the steady stream of indiscriminate insults of anyone who doesn't see the world the way the president does. it makes it impossible for people like me, who want him to succeed, to take him seriously. by the way, progressives, had obama taken the kind of tack above, massachusetts would still have a democratic senator and hcr would have passed. but by clinging to patterns that directly contradict his promises for things he intuitively knew the country desperately needs, he has radicalized his administration as badly as palin has radicalized herself. so obama can no longer figure to make any meaningful advances on his agenda. "digging in" on hcr right now, for example, is as confusing and misguided as everyone knows - except the president himself and a few people in the thief pit called congress. right now, sarah palin is the best thing he has going for him because she has proven to be out of her league, laughingly. she scares independents. obama is out of his league too, unfortunately for the country. let's hope for all of our sakes my fellow conservatives resist palin's polarization and wierdness. and that obama shows traits that have been elusive to date.

Posted by: Luke Liberty on February 7, 2010 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Fundamentally, my problem with Sarah Palin beyond her obvious incompetence is that she's vicious and nauseatingly self-righteous. She's sort of like Ann Coulter that way, although I think Coulter is actually brighter and has a far better grasp of policy and economics than Palin. Mostly they're both conventionally pretty on the outside and really ugly on the inside and most of their popularity depends upon their physical attractiveness. Imagine how popular either of them would be if either of them looked far more ordinary, say, like Senator Barbara Mikulski.

Posted by: zoe kentucky in pittsburgh on February 7, 2010 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

If she is so dumb, why was she able to destroy Obamacare just by posting comments to her Facebook page?

Posted by: Andy McGill on February 7, 2010 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

President Obama is finding that governing is not nearly as much fun, and is much more challenging, than campaigning. He has not stayed with any job for a prolonged period of time, and is showing signs of being frustrated by this one.

Mrs. Palin wouldn't be my first choice for the Republican nomination, but we could do worse.
Posted by: Bob in TX

How? Seriously. You must be the new Al, because this just has to be a parody.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on February 7, 2010 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

From whence and reason the Tea Party form
Reminiscent reflection of toil it born
Rears up in all glory, upon the castle it tread
A platform most feeble and sans a head
Fraught with pain driven by fear
Slay the regime, the dissidents do cheer
Source of such unrest yet too blind to see
Shrouded under cloak and dagger, prepared to flee
Unlock the code, a final reckoning of fate
25, 15 then 57, 38
Steady the ship, stay the course
Able the captain, most noble a force
To jump ship now, destiny assured
Lurk a sea of sharks, history reheard
Through the ages replication as tales are told
Truth paramount revealed, the story unfold
-J

Posted by: Jay Wright on February 7, 2010 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like everybody's snowed in and in a bad mood. Fire up the ad hominem attacks. Geez do you people have either 1)any creativity or 2) a sense of humor? Most of my enjoyment of Sarah Palin comes simply from watching liberals freeze in place and wee wee themselves every time she says something....or makes a Facebook post.

You might want to wonder if there is a kernel of truth somewhere in it all and be a little less dismissive of the folks you see as your "lessers". You might find that a iittle common sense trumps a lot of IQ.

My vote goes to Bill Buckley's long ago observance that it would be better to be governed by the first 200 names in the Boston telephone directory than the faculty of the Kennedy School of Government. And certainly Bill was no anti-intellectual.

Posted by: Samuel Adams on February 7, 2010 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

You elite liberals amuse me. You insult the intelligence of anyone who respects Ms. Palin. But you know absolutely nothing about her followers. To the contrary, you believe that you are intellectually superior to any conservative because they just have to be stupid. This is why the liberals will never control this country for extended periods of time. You are simply to condescending and narcissitic for the majority of the people to support. Palin people simply want the freedom to pursue their dreams without undue government intervention. Liberals simply want to control peoples lives without following their own rules. Can you say Al Gore?

Posted by: Rick on February 7, 2010 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Oh goody, the Palinistas are out in force today. They're all kinds of fired up from last nights palm reading.

Posted by: Viking on February 7, 2010 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

They're all kinds of fired up from last nights palm reading.

I don't think reading is the only thing they were doing with their palms.

Posted by: ummmm on February 7, 2010 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

After reading this col and all of the comments, I wonder how mainstream conservatives have managed to attract such weak, narrowminded and arrogant opposition. Those of you who want to believe that the Tea Party and Palin supporters are all a bunch of out of touch whack jobs, please keep on thinking that way. You are in for the shocks of your lives, first in Nov 2010, then, again in 2012. You backed a loser president and agenda and are about to pay a severe price for your awful judgment. Palin may or may not be the GOP candidate in 2012, but she will play a major role in the GOP victory that year. I have not seen such an overwhelming lead wasted since Miami lost to Flutie's Hail Mary. Obama, Reid and Pelosi have done something know one thought possible. They turned one of the great triumphs in U.S. history into a huge defeat in just one year's time. And you folks are too whatever to see what is happening right in front of your eyes. Truly remarkable.

Posted by: BurkeVA on February 7, 2010 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

BurkeVA, I don't get why you think that whack jobs couldn't win elections? Of course they can, if that's how nutty a big bunch of Americans are, or anywhere else. BTW are you just enjoying the bullies' delight in seeing the nerds beat up on someday, or do you *really want* her to win and think our Nation would really be better off? Tell me.

Posted by: neil b on February 7, 2010 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Liberals: Have you noticed that Barack Obama has become Jimmy Carter before Jimmy Carter became Jimmy Carter?

It's true.

Posted by: Herman Husband on February 7, 2010 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

If the adoring crowd that thinks Sarah Palin is the leader who will give them "the freedom to pursue their dreams without undue government intervention" - despite her belief that there is such a thing as "clean coal" and her apparent understanding that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were government-owned enterprises paid for with taxpayer dollars - then maybe we ARE in for a shock in 2010. And if they believe she single-handedly destroyed "Obamacare" with her Facebook page, maybe there are enough of them to give us all a shock in 2012.

And if she ever gets any more power than she already has, America is in for a shock, because the American Dream will never stand another neoconservative leader like Bush. The country is close to going down the tubes already, and lost all its friends except Australia under Bush, so there's not even anyone left to lend a helping hand while the conservatives mortgage your childrens' souls to the Chinese. How else do you think they're going to raise the money for tax cuts? Hold a fucking bake sale?

Posted by: Mark on February 7, 2010 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

As someone who was in the frontlines of the Women's Movement in the 60s and 70s, I cringe every time I see Palin and think she sets the movement back at least a year every time she opens her mouth. What a complete and total dunce.

Posted by: Bonnie on February 7, 2010 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

"She's simply an embarrassment."

But an embarrassment who gets mounds of press coverage, the largest part of it from "journalists" too lazy to even begin to explore the contradictions between what she said yesterday and then today, or ask just what it is the GOP would/should cut if it regains power, or whether the party really does favor a privatization of Social Security.

It is a perfect storm of incompetence matched up with a media which does little more than serve as a conduit.

Posted by: dweb on February 7, 2010 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Just knowing how all you beltway Libs are trembling at current events keeps me smiling more everyday. You just can't shut up about her, thus you magnify her star-power.

Too all you lefties making 65K in the beltway and going broke writing anti-sarah - stuff a big kiss to all of you - without you - she would never be where she is today.

Too funny,

republicans = dumb
democrats = even dumber
lefty writers = even more broke than ever- eh babe.

kiss it, kiss it real hard guys!!!

Love ya!!

GW

Posted by: gene wiley on February 7, 2010 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

If she is so dumb, why was she able to destroy Obamacare just by posting comments to her Facebook page?

Why are you confusing animal viciousness and total lack of principle with intelligence?

Posted by: Mart on February 7, 2010 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

My vote goes to Bill Buckley's long ago observance that it would be better to be governed by the first 200 names in the Boston telephone directory than the faculty of the Kennedy School of Government. And certainly Bill was no anti-intellectual.

He certainly wasn't. And his son got kicked off the National Review for dissing the teabagging movement and its vacuous, vapid viciousness. The irony of that is apparently lost on you.

Posted by: Mart on February 7, 2010 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

You know what is even more embarrassing? A president bringing a teleprompter to a elementary school

Posted by: Barry on February 7, 2010 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

You know what is even more embarrassing? A president bringing a teleprompter to a elementary school

You know what is even more embarrassing? A president paralyzed with fear continuing to read a book about a Pet Goat at an elementary school -- while the country is under attack.

Obama had a teleprompter because he was giving a televised speech on education from that school, you fucking dope. As he showed last week he doesn't even need a teleprompter to answer hostile questions from the Republican caucus on their home turf, much less to answer more relevant and important questions from grade school children.

Posted by: trex on February 7, 2010 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

That's right, Bonnie. And run over a baby seal on your way to the death panel, if you can. Don't forget to pull the plug on Grandma on your way out. The Wicked Witch of the Northeast has got your number.

I doubt you needed another preview (already) of what conservatives are like when they're in power. But that's a helpful snapshot - grinning lazily at the special interests who flatter them and clamor for their attention, and vicious to anyone whose ideology clashes with their own. Not above making up a baby-killing scenario out of whole cloth either, you'll notice.

Conservatives' big hope for Palin is that if she could somehow scramble into the big chair, she'd overturn Roe v. Wade. If it was that simple, a mere wave of the presidential hand, Bush would have done it. It isn't.

Posted by: Mark on February 7, 2010 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

With all you hate mongering morons, taking up so much of the oxygen, I take it you have all forgotten the mammoth mistake that America made in electing Obama, you remember him, the famed Chicago liar, who will promise snow to Eskimo's, but you folks have the gall to critize Sarah Palin, she can do no worse than what the unintelligent one Obama has done, and just for you losers, with God behind her or anyone else who have the brain to put God in their corner, she cannot lose.

Posted by: patrick on February 7, 2010 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

If there really is a God, and if we really are His children, do you think His priority right now is causing Sarah Palin to win an election? Your Appealing to the Deity 101 could use a little review. God doesn't do that kind of stuff, just like praying to him to pass the history test for you although you fucked the dog all through grade 9 history, not paying attention or taking any notes, will do no good at all. You appeal to God to help you with things you've already been working on, and have kind of hit a wall, but that most reasonable people would agree you deserved to attain because you've worked so hard. Dear God, help me put up with my dad, who lives with me and my wife now because he has no place to go, but who acts in no way grateful and bosses us around like he's the head of the household. That kind of thing, because your dad looked after you when you were a kid, and now you owe him.

Asking God to help you reach a goal you've been too damned lazy to do any work to prepare for just cheapens the whole concept, like that nutjob last year who built a whole cult around the notion you could realize your heart's desires simply by thinking positive thoughts and wishing for them just the right way. She probably fooled a lot of people, some of whom deserved to be fooled and many who didn't, because they have so little hope that things will ever get better that they'd snatch at any straw to keep from going under.

We pray for God to help people in trouble not of their own making: we pray for God not to take the people we love before their time. We do NOT pray for God to sweep a halfwit, who can't be bothered to pick up a book or read a newspaper, into the highest elected office in the land. If you believe that's the kind of thing with which The Creator occupies His mind, you have a pretty odd concept of religion.

Posted by: Mark on February 7, 2010 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry; those probably appear to make no sense because somebody keeps deleting the crazy posts that I'm replying to. Please don't do that - vituperative nuts have a right to be heard as long as they're only expressing an opinion and not advocating for someone's death. I promise you, we can stand it. We're not going to soil ourselves because someone disagrees with us.

Posted by: Mark on February 7, 2010 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

Had to wait for a commercial break from the game.

Seem to recall that the disagreement with the National Review and Chris Buckley had something to do with an endorsement of Obama.

But as for irony, think I'll take an honest upfront disagreement over idealogy any day--and at least one that played out with some sense of humor on Mr. Buckley's part--again stand by the assertion that is sorely lacking here.

Regarding Chris having any "right by lineage" to write for the Review for life--will again take merit and free choice to associate over the drug and scandal besotted spectacle the Kennedy's have become.

Oh and "teabagging', oh so clever. Not a Tea Party person myself, but happened to wander, (literally) into the middle of one of their rallies in the Baltimore Inner Harbor this summer--(my son and I were merely looking for a place to eat) So hung around just to see who was there--a pretty mixed crowd--very orderly, no Kluckers, in fact an African American appeared to be the organizer or at least running the roster of speakers. Baltimore PD was so concerned they assigned all of two cops to watch a couple hundred people. I wonder how many of those that rail against these folks have ever actually been to one of these events? Speeches were of the lower taxes/less government variety. Clearly dangerous and seditious...

As point of comparison had to endure the left wing protests in NYC during the convention several years ago--sorry just trying to get to work--not my choice. Tea Party people had the manners of a ladies bridge club in comparison.

Posted by: Samuel Adams on February 7, 2010 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

PS Go Saints

Posted by: Samuel Adams on February 7, 2010 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding Chris having any "right by lineage" to write for the Review for life

The only one holding that strawman is you, boyo. He was asked to leave because he was the lone rational voice left and didn't pass the psycho purity test. The inmates had completely taken over the asylum by then and weren't interested in having a pesky voice of reason around harshing their buzz.

Posted by: Mart on February 7, 2010 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin, the former half-term governor of Alaska

a half-term half-wit, the former too much by a half, the latter a half-wit too far...

Posted by: Chris C on February 7, 2010 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

Speeches were of the lower taxes/less government variety. Clearly dangerous and seditious...

No one will do you the honor of validating you by calling you seditious. That would confer much too much respect on a bunch of screamers with no cohesion, no coherence and no discernible platform other than shrieking about the economic "repression" they gladly voted for from 2000-08 and holding up signs about Hitler, Islamist-Marxists [sic] and "niggars" [sic]. We're laughing at you, buddy, for falling for the oldest trick in the book.

Dangerous -- maybe. Any movement run by corporations that capitalizes on the low education levels and anger management problems of its "grassroots" members has the potential to be dangerous. But probably not in the way you think you mean.

Posted by: Peter on February 7, 2010 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

All of the communists here have way too much time on their hands...

Posted by: fred on February 8, 2010 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin: Is she a 'nauseating self-righteous' danger to the world or is she a ridiculous half-wit? She can't be both. Maybe she is something else.

Posted by: Renfield on February 8, 2010 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

You do not need to believe in god to admit that you do not have all the answers. And admitting you do not have all the answers does not mean you believe in god.

Whenever I hear a Republican or a Christian or a conservative complain about "political correctness" I just chuckle. These people are not exactly standing up for the rights of people they disagree with.

As far as politicians being afraid to talk about their faith: What planet is this woman living on? Has any president/governor/senator in this country explicitly stated they were an atheist?

Posted by: Blue Nine on February 8, 2010 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

And if Palin thinks that people should not be afraid to express their faith, why are Christians so afraid of people who do not share their faith?

Posted by: Blue Nine on February 8, 2010 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

That's almost as bad as Bush's receiver under the back of his jacket during a debate.

Posted by: Al Whassizname on February 8, 2010 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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