Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 29, 2011

THE PRESSING NEED FOR A 'SPUDNUT MOMENT'.... In his State of the Union address, President Obama argued, "This is our generation's Sputnik moment." Referencing the Soviet satellite, the president made the case that we should be equally galvanized today, preparing the U.S. for a competitive global marketplace.

Former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin (R) responded by explaining that the USSR won the "race to space," but the Soviets' space program cost too much. The resulting debt "resulted in the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union." None of this made any sense at all.

I neglected to mention, though, what the conspicuously unintelligent Fox News personality said immediately after this:

"You know what we need is 'a spudnut moment.' And here's where I'm going with this, Greta.... Well, the spudnut shop in Richland, Washington -- it's a bakery, it's a little coffee shop that's so successful, 60-some years, generation to generation, a family-owned business not looking for government to bail them out and to make their decisions for them. It's just hard-working, patriotic Americans in this shop.

"We need more spudnut moments in America. And I wish that President Obama would understand, in that heartland of America, what it is that really results in the solutions that we need to get this economy back on the right track. It's a shop like that."

Of course, in Grown-Up Land, "Sputnik moment" doesn't have anything to do with successful small businesses; it's about thinking big to address sweeping national challenges.

Yesterday, Palin elaborated, and said she hoped to emphasize "the difference between a communist government's 'Sputnik' and the private sector's 'Spudnut.'" She added that she intended to "highlight a clear difference in economic focus: big government command and control economies vs. America's small businesses."

I think I'm beginning to understand what Palin actually thinks here. She looks back at the space race and thinks the United States made a mistake. After Sputnik, a galvanized America recommitted itself to scientific advancement, including landing Americans on the moon. The U.S. efforts -- which included a great deal of public investment -- not only led to a victory over the Soviets, they unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.

In hindsight, Palin sees this as misguided. NASA and the Apollo mission were "big government." What we should have done is focus on small businesses.

It sets up a fascinating contrast. President Obama declared this week, "We do big things." Palin's response, in effect is, "Let's aim lower and smaller."

For good measure, it's also worth noting that the original Spudnut Shop didn't find real success until it took advantage of government infrastructure spending -- the interstate highway system -- and the federal build-up of the community during World War II.

As Steve M. concluded, "This is Sarah Palin's shining example of the glories of private enterprise and the disastrous economic consequences brought on by government spending. Right, Sarah. Got it. You just make it too easy, Sarah."

Steve Benen 9:20 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (45)

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Perhaps she'd understand if we used a hunting metaphor: "If you aim low, you'll never hit a target far away."

Or: "If you aim low when shooting down, you'll only end up with dirt to put in your bag."

Or Tim Pawlenty's version: "Aim low, and all you'll end up with is a gut-shot deer that will run off and die somewhere."

Posted by: charles on January 29, 2011 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Let's not overthink this. Palin is just one of those people who can't admit she made a mistake and rather than just shutting up, just digs her self deeper trying to prove she was right. The only cure is to ignore her.

Posted by: martin on January 29, 2011 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

If it was the space program which kicked off our financial boom why are they cutting the budget for NASA now?

The Spudnick moment was about the threat of communistic advancement through control of space and was a national security issue in the cold war. I know most of you who do not remember the cold war think it was just a bit of an undercurrent but it actually was a looming cloud of doom for most of us who remember. We didn't see how the cold war was going to end without the complete destruction of the Soviets or the US.

Sputnik was such a shock because it showed the democratic countries that they communists were seeking to control space. I know it sounds ridiculous now but this was the major threat occupying the 1950s to 1990s.

Posted by: Orwell on January 29, 2011 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

I have at times worried that this stupid ass, Sarah Palin, would slide into obscurity and deprive the American people of an in-your-face true portrait of the Republican party, in all its selfish, dishonest, ignorant glory. But as she has begun her downward slide, Michelle Bachmann has arisen to eclipse her. And Bachmann has proven herself to be even nastier and stupider.

Now Bachmann, I don't think she'll last the 21 months until the next national election. So I wonder who will take her place in 2012. The slope from Reagan to Bush to Palin to Bachmann is a precipitous one. Will the Republicans have to look outside the human species to find their next Representative Oaf? Or will some other champion of idiocy arise?

My money's on Louie Gohmert. You need a man to do a knucklehead's job.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on January 29, 2011 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Missing from Palin's history lesson on Sputnik and the Cold War, is the fact that: From Wikipedia)

"The Cold War boom
Fears that the Soviet Union's intentions were aggressive set off the Cold War in 1947. The capacity to produce plutonium was increased beginning in 1947. When the Soviet Union developed and tested their first nuclear weapon in 1949, the U.S. nuclear program was reinvigorated. A second post-WW II expansion began in 1950 as a result of the war in Korea. Richland's Cold War construction boom resulted in Richland's population growing to 27,000 people by 1952."

In short, without massive government spending Richland- and Spudnuts- wouldn't exist.

Posted by: DAY on January 29, 2011 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

What we should have done is focus on small businesses.

...and then do nothing.

Posted by: Danp on January 29, 2011 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

With "spudnut" Palin deliberately stepped all over Obama's evocation of "Sputnik," intending to tarnish his Kennedyesque moment and to draw a contrast with the president's highfalutin use of history and her alleged feel for the economic concerns of middle-class (white) Americans. Whether or not swing voters will but her crude strategy remains to be seen.

Posted by: BrklynLibrul on January 29, 2011 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Palin's response, in effect is, "Let's aim lower and smaller, much lower and smaller."

Effective response fixed.

"And I wish that President Obama would understand, in that heartland of America, what it is that really results in the solutions that we need to get this economy back on the right track. It's a shop like that."

But why stop there, Sarah. If mom and pop solutions are always the best, we should get rid of that communistic, inefficient, Big Government military and just go back to the good ole' days of armed citizens for common defense.

Posted by: Oh my on January 29, 2011 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Why is washmo a 24/7 propaganda blog for obama and dem leadership?

Everyone is TIRED of palin - she had her 15 min of fame yet you seek to continue to catapult her to the forefront - today in a blatantly obvious attempt to distract from the serious deficiencies in the SOTU.

obama, like other dems, is fully complicit with everything that has destroyed the fiscal integrity of what was once the most powerful economic force on earth - now the greatest debtor nation.

Why do you "stand down" on this steve?

obama's SOTU was full of blatant lies, like somehow schools are responsible for the looting of the federal treasury by the military-industrial-media-complex and the financial sector.

lies lies lies lies lies lies lies lies lies

And you shout them to the world 24/7!

Posted by: minot on January 29, 2011 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

Please stop trying to figure out any logic in anything SP says. It's all just attempts at clever sounding wordplay to make associations of Obama = godless Soviet Communism. Or fascism, or Muslims, or anything that sounds bad.

Command economies? I thought they mostly folded twenty years ago. Socialism? By the tea party definition of socialism Social Security, unemployment insurance, worker's comp, Medicare etc. are socialist. You know, like in the middle name of the godless Communist USSocialistR. (But aparently bailing out Wall Street wasn't Socialist, I guess because that was done by a white born again Christian, and they don't do Socialism, just God's work.) Or maybe National Socialism. Which was fascist. Czars, a popular unofficial nickname for certain government positions used for about forty year? Russia was ruled by czars. Russia = Communist. Obviously makes no sense since the revolution in 1917 got rid of the czar, but what the heck, it's all about word association in the barely operating brains of the dittohead crowd.

Posted by: emjayay on January 29, 2011 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

How apt $t or $ister $arah should mention an area "enriched" by nuclear weapons and nuclear waste production. Hanford is a gigantic environmental disaster in the making. Somehow toxic waste and Palin go hand in hand.

Funny thing about this concern for small business by the far right. Where was she or the far right when Health Care expenses could have been taken off the backs of small employers?

Posted by: berttheclock on January 29, 2011 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK


You well-stated point would have been entirely reasonable and valid last year.

Now, the dialog here shouldn't be about "Please stop trying to figure out any logic in anything SP says."

It should be why washmo continues to use her as a distraction and to "rally the troops" at a blog that only holds one side accountable.

Meaningful change is going to demand holding BOTH sides accountable and not giving "hopey-changey" nonsense a platform 24/7.

Posted by: minot on January 29, 2011 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK


Why make this just about Hanford? What about the fact that we have been poisoning Iraq and Afghanistan will deadly toxic chemicals and weapons that are banned by international treaties that the US has signed.

Birth defects in Iraq are through the roof now and will be so for many many generations?

Don't take this personally - but the it is appropriate to point out that the issues you refer to have absolutely devastated the middle east - people of color.

Why do you just want to make this all about south-central Washington?

Very curious, indeed, especially at a "liberal/progressive" forum.

Posted by: minot on January 29, 2011 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, excellent criticism. Stop attacking Palin, and attack her enemies instead.

Then you let that "hopey-changey" bit slip out.


Posted by: hells littlest angel on January 29, 2011 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

Not my fault if the blatant one-sided nonsense here demands a response.

If you prefer to stay away from even questioning "hopey-changey" crap, that is your choice.

But this was suppose to be a "political analysis" forum and today's thread here is just too much nonsense to read and not comment.

Posted by: minot on January 29, 2011 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if Sarah has ever watched "The Right Stuff".

Posted by: bart on January 29, 2011 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Taking a page from the Obama playbook, Palin uses imagery against him - Sputnik to Spudnut.

Really Palin's argument doesn't have much substance as an argument - but neither did the President's connection to the Soviet space program and our current trouble. She, again, uses the President's attempt to be seen a smart against him. It really seems a little too easy.

When a woman who is considered a dunce continues to get the best of you and get under your skin there is a problem.

If Palin brings up this much anger, how is he going to deal with places like Egypt who will be nice to his face and undercut him to the rest of the world?

Posted by: Orwell on January 29, 2011 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

I thinks she's got a Spudnut between her ears.

No, check that. A donut is smarter than "The Whore of Babblin' On."

Even one with a hole in the middle.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on January 29, 2011 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

minot, you make excellent points. However, I wrote of Hanford as Palin was the one who brought up the donut shop in the Tri-City area. She failed to understand that government spending in both the new highway and the vast expansion of the Hanford site led to an explosion in population in that small area which, in turn, helped the growth of business at that small cafe. Many in this country have not even read of the potential threat by the nuclear waste stored at that Hanford site. You are correct about the problems in the Middle East, but, my focus was on this one area and the tie-in to the lack of understanding by Palin. One rant at a time.

Posted by: berttheclock on January 29, 2011 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

The most ridiculous part of this is the fact that this is a classic case of small business people (franchisees) being screwed by corporate takeovers.

According to Wikipedia, this was the largest chain of independently owned doughnut shops in America until the founders sold out to a large corporation, which proceeded to run it into the ground and leave the hundreds of small businesses that owned shops to fend for themselves with no national support and no source of the special formula dough. By the time the Soviets collapsed, so had Spudnuts, with just 28 shops left in 1989.

Posted by: anon1 on January 29, 2011 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

This whole debate shows that almost everybody, left and right, is addicted to the idea of GROWTH, GROWTH and more GROWTH - the ideology of the cancer cell. Instead of realizing that we are bumping up against resource depletion, peak oil, massive species die-off, we are fixated on building more monuments to ourselves.

We couldn't possibly focus on how to build a simpler, sustainable future, with less consumption and development, less stress, and less dependence on techno-gadgets.

We've been hearing for 30 years how America needs to get "more competitive" in the world economy; are we any better off for it? Most Americans are more miserable, working longer hours, have less time with their families, and all because we have to be "more productive" for the Corporate State.

Posted by: Speed on January 29, 2011 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Keep up the Left Nationalism around here and pretty soon you all will start to sound like Newt Gingrich. It's National Greatness Liberalism!

"they unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs."

Yes, lots of Tang and Duct Tape for us all. You know its funny but if we brought back Carl Sagan from the beyond what would he say about the Sputnik and the "space race"? That it was basically an exercise of Cold War nationalism and a jobs program for Florida, Texas, Alabama and California which had little scientific value for the money that was spent.

Your more like the neocons than you realize which is probably why the war in Afghanistan goes on, the drones kill innocent civilians in Pakistan and you all remain silent and complicit.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on January 29, 2011 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe all the former 1/2 term governor, failed reality show star, and oracle of Fox meant was that she really likes donuts; especially when the donuts are made from potato flour.

Think about it.

Listening to and understanding the SOTU is hard. Wouldn't Murka be better off if we all just quit doing hard stuff and ate donuts at a donut shop?

All the cops in the donut shop say ay oh way oh
Live like Sarah Palin

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on January 29, 2011 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Orwell, I differ with you on that useage of Sputnik by Obama. He spoke of how America responded to the Russian moves in space. He spoke of the excellence brought about by US government and private enterprise working together to leap forward. He spoke of how our universities responded, as well. BTW, there has been talk of Obama appreciating Reagan. Funny, that St Ronny did not believe in what occurred following Sputnik. He did not believe in government getting involved with R&D in this country. He saw everything through the lenses of only private enterprise solving anything. He said that scientists had not been able to predict future developments in science to questions asked by FDR, so, he dismissed any importance in government involvement. All of the vast leap forward in the computer field brought about by the research following Sputnik passed Reagan by.

If, this nation is going to be able to compete with the world, we do need to have a resurgance of that Post-Sputnik moment. We can not sit by and hope that someday our universities will be able to make, either, their football or basketball teams proud of them. (That was in homage to a former Chancellor of the University of Oklahoma back in the '50s) We do need a major Post-Sputnik moment in this nation.

Posted by: berttheclock on January 29, 2011 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Hells Littlest Angel-don't sell Steve King Short. As dumb as Louie is, I think King could win the stoopid race cause he's got the racist angle wrapped up. Hard combo to beat.

Posted by: ComradeAnon on January 29, 2011 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

I really think Benen and others are misinterpreting what Palin's confused about.

When Obama referred to us having a Sputnik Moment, I believe she took it as meaning what the Russians did in building Sputnik, not our reaction to it. She thinks Obama was celebrating what the Russians did and how we should copy them in order to have our own Sputnik Moment.

And this is such a moronic confusion that people are assuming she understood the initial idea Obama gave, yet she didn't. And that's why she's contrasting Russian Big Government Spending with Good 'Ole American Small business, because she thinks Obama wants us to copy the Commies. I could be mistaken about this, but I don't think I am. Believe it or not, Palin's cluelessness is far vaster than it seems.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on January 29, 2011 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Good point, ComradeAnon. There's also Joe Wilson, Joe Barton, Darrell Issa, Steve King, Jim DeMint,and even dark horse Sharron Angle, to name a few. Right-wing dumbfuckery indeed has a deep bench.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on January 29, 2011 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with Doctor Biobrain. Palin thinks "Sputnik moment" means "build our own Sputnik" instead of "worry that other nations are kicking our asses and engage acccordingly."

The fact that _everyone_ has _always_ said that Sputnik was a jolt to the American establishment and led to a slew of federal programs in not just defense but education and even fitness... well, that's news to Sarah Palin. She just associates Sputnik with Russian, Commie, Ew.

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on January 29, 2011 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Anyone who puts a mike
in front of
the Imbecilla from Wasilla
is complicit in
spreading stupid!

Anyone making money
with, by, or for
the Imbecilla from Wasilla
is at risk of
eventual ostracism!

(Stupid doesn't wash off very well! Look how cleanly ignorant the Imbecilla from Wasilla looks every time someone insults our intelligence by putting her before a camera for what I would presume to be a profitable broadcast!)

Palin is the GoGo dancer of the Far Right! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on January 29, 2011 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK


Maybe all the former 1/2 term governor, failed reality show star, and oracle of Fox meant was that she really likes donuts; especially when the donuts are made from potato flour.

That's why her favorite song is "Donuts Make My Brown Eyes Blue."

Or in her case, glazed.

Posted by: navamske on January 29, 2011 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

LOL! You made my day!!!

Posted by: c u n d gulag on January 29, 2011 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Over on Steve M.'s blog:

"... The Spudnut Shop was established in 1948 by my dad, Barlow Ghirardo, and my uncle, Jerry Bell. With one $50 check, they bought a franchise and 100 sacks of Spudnut flour."

The business was not founded and developed by a single family. They had a structure behind them. Here in the Mountainwest (I am in SLC) there were bunches of Spudnut Shops - they are almost all gone now. They were all over the country and even international - Starbucks of their day. The franchise existed until the mid 80's. I knew an owner of one.

They were actually a big success in the 50's and especially the 60's - space race anyone? I am willing to bet that they were strongest in locations where space/nuclear/tech-defense development was hot. Utah, Arkansas, California, Florida, Texas,Colorado, Washington, Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico, Illinois and a few others. These places did mining, testing, r&d, and administrative work in outsize proportions for the space/nuclear/tech-defense complex.

So, Sarah's story is really like someone who owned a Subway franchise - a business kit - and kept it going after the franchiser folded. Location kept them going and a great product and processes developed by somebody else - they are a Utah invention.

Like everything else that comes out of her mouth - it is lies and gibberish. The thing is that this dim-witted, bigoted, ass-chancre sociopath must be responded to, otherwise her homey appeal will convince people. Hell, even the Spudnut Shop owners in Richland support her - they probably believe her lie about their business. I just pulled up their site, they are liars too.

Technically the Spudnut Shop in Richland does not even sell Spudnuts - the mix ingredients were not released to franchisees when the company closed.

You can buy spudnuts in some grocery stores, and a bunch of cafe/drive-in places that used to be Spudnut shops. They are raised glazed donuts made with potato flour making them very light tasting. Food of the Gods. But, some places spudnuts are better than others with their recipe. Spudnut searching is a regional passion for anybody over 40, seriously they are that different.

Another big franchise that came out of Utah at the same time was Kentucky Fried Chicken. Though he had a single Kentucky based restaurant and hotel earlier, Colonel Sanders started the KFC franchise operation with Utah businessman Pete Harman - the first location is down the road from my house. (It also grew because of the same industries - in the mid-'70s I can remember eating in the only KFC in Europe - in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Eindhoven was the world headquarters of Philips - space race anyone?)

Posted by: HenryEdward on January 29, 2011 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

HenryEdward, thanks for the historical insight!

Posted by: SWENXOF on January 29, 2011 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

just what overweight america needs...more donut shops!!

Posted by: dj spellchecka on January 29, 2011 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

and lots less of all that elitist science-y stuff

Posted by: dj spellchecka on January 29, 2011 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

What Doctor Biobrain said. She's talking about building Sputnik. Yes, she is that ignorant and stupid.

Meanwhile, it amuses me no end to read people using computers to post on the web that we never got more than Tang and Duct tape out of the space race.

When Netscape popularized the Web with its browser, its headquarters were on the site of the old Fairchild semiconductor plant in Mountain View. Fairchild semiconductors were used in the Apollo Guidance Computer. The money spent on military and space technology helped create Silicon Valley in the first place, and decades later, it was still providing ripple effects that made it a good place to build a software business. It's a perfect example of how government spending can lead to the creation of entire industries with a massive multiplier effect for society. So it's funny when people use that same technology to complain that they never got any benefit from the space program.

Posted by: biggerbox on January 29, 2011 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks HenryEdward, you just shone a bright light on Sarah Palin and revealed that, not surprisingly, there's nothing there but populist bullshit. Absolutely nothing else.

Her followers are just suckers.

Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on January 29, 2011 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Once again, Palin shows an inability to take responsibility for her own failures and shortcomings. This is yet another one of Palin's fatal flaws -- she is totally incapable of ever admitting that she made a mistake in a tweet, Facebook posting, speech, or during an interview.

"Hello, America. My name is Sarah Palin, and I am so blessed that my sh*t don't stink, don't ya know."

In Palin's infamous Sputnik moment, Sarah was trying to take a Six Degrees of Separation approach to explaining causal relationships in major historical events. This is what happens when you have a simplistic, comic book-level understanding of world history.

And then she followed up this inane commentary with an epiphany -- what our nation really needs to solve all of our problems is more donuts!

Palin has repeatedly demonstrated an inability for cogent, rational, substantive extemporaneous speaking, largely the result of her brain being on auto-pilot as she relies almost exclusively on memorized shallow, often snarky talking points during her speeches and (exclusively T-ball) interviews.

Bottom line. Palin won't waste her time with any interviewer who will not guarantee

1) advanced screening of all questions

2) no followup questions without her realtime permission.

On the other hand, her continual need to rationalize and justify her frequent faux pas with irrational and fabricated backstories illustrates why she is regarded as the Tommy Flanagan of national politics.

Posted by: labman57 on January 29, 2011 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Let's not overthink this: small mind, small ideas, most bad, because even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Posted by: robert on January 29, 2011 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

America is this the best you can do? Whine and moan impotently about a woman who merely personifies your collective self-absorbed narcissism? It's a little early to talk about winners and loosers of the 'cold war'. afterall, you're bankrupt and after 50 years of putting up with your boasting the rest of the world is sniggering behind your back.

Posted by: organ grinder on January 29, 2011 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

"Let's not overthink this: small mind, small ideas, most bad, because even a broken clock is right twice a day."

Assuming analog, that is 720 minutes of potential rightness daily. Rightness is determined by the person looking at the clock - since we don't know what the time is right for. That means for every potential right minute there are 1.82 million registered voters at stake if you distribute them evenly over a day.

The problem is that once you account for the skews of access and exposure you can find a message is perceived as right and familiar much more often.

In 2008 Obama successfully used this with Hope, Change, and his personal story. Those messages were right, and his story was familiar especially to under 45 people.

Palin is playing the same game. Her story is very familiar to people, and so is her feeling of being screwed. That alone makes her problematic, seriously. If we don't see it we are doomed to lose because we are tone deaf to the reality that people are living. We will repeat the worst excesses of Reaganism from a lower starting point, and not even have any optimism from our leaders.

What makes Palin worse is precisely that lack of optimism. This person believes in a sociopathic view of the destruction of the world, and that everything will end in certain ways. Further she believes that any lies she tells that get that closer are good, proper, and laudable. Reagan did not believe that. Period.

Reality, the popular vote could be won by Palin with a swing of 4.75M (3.7%) over the 2008 results. That means 6 minutes a day when people think she is right more than Obama.

Is that risk you are willing to take?

Posted by: HenryEdward on January 29, 2011 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

I think people give Palin too much credit by assuming she was making some sort of analytical criticism of Obama. In truth, as seems typical of her, she felt the need to say something "critical" or negative about Obama's speech and, without much, if any, forethought, launched into this incoherent, factually incorrect rant about the Soviet Union and its space efforts. She totally missed the point Obama was making, not because she's too stupid to understand (although that may well be true) but because she didn't bother to try to understand him--she just wanted to say something.

And, of course, her going on about Spudnut had absolutely nothing to do with anything Obama said, and she made no point with it. She only mentioned it because of the similarity of name. Total stream-of-consciousness, and on national TV at that!

Again, typical of Palin, after this absolute fiasco, when she should just either let the incident die or acknowledge that some of what she said was factually incorrect, she can't let it go, and has to try to defend the indefensible.

If anything shows that Palin has no business being a Presidential candidate and that she would be way over her head, this incident shows it. Can you imagine any other serious potential candidate for the Presidency whose thought process is so competely incoherent? Every other potential candidate can string together some sort of statement on a major issue which at least reflects that they have some knowledge of the issue; if they don't, they know enough to not speak publicly until they are ready. Time after time, Palin's public comments reveal an ignorance of facts and of issues, and an inability to speak in an intelligent manner. A long time ago, a number of sympathetic Republican professionals advised her, both publicly and privately, to study up and become knowledgeable on the important national issues. It's pretty clear that she has ignored this advice.

To me, this most recent incident should be sufficient to convince all but the die-hard lunatic fans that she is not qualified to be President.

Posted by: DRF on January 29, 2011 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

from a similar thread over at Hullabaloo:

Socialist Spudnuts

by digby

Reader Brew writes in to give us some context to Palin's "Spudnut" tale:

Palin's quirky invocation of the "Spudnut Shop" here in Richland Washington as an example of American "can-doism" is far more ironic than you and most of your readers likely realize.

The fact is, the town of Richland was literally built by the federal government as a part of the Manhattan Project. All of the houses that surround the Spudnut shop were built by the Army. To this day, the only employer in Richland of any consequence is the Department of Energy and the contractors that work on DoE contracts at the Hanford site, just north of Richland. As a result, virtually all of the Spudnut shop's customers are paid by tax dollars. Those that aren't are retirees, drawing government pensions and social security.

Were it not for government spending, the Spudnut shop would be bankrupt in a week.


Sarah is such a fool. But, a very rich, successful fool. America seems to breed these people in uncommon numbers. They're natural grifters, with millions of marks to choose from.

Except...Palin really isn't smart enough to be a good grifter. It's just that her marks are so profoundly stupid and gullible it doesn't take much intelligence to lay the gaff on them.

Posted by: LL on January 29, 2011 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

And don't forget, even before the 1950's interstate highway system was built and the "spudnik moment" happened, then Texas Rep. LBJ in 1948 got the Rural Electrification Act passed and signed into law.

Ask anyone what effect the passage of this federally-funded law had on their lives out in rural farming communities from that period, and you'll hear story after story of farmers getting their first light fixture and light bulb, or television, or electric washer and dryer, or any number of other electric appliances.

And who made these appliances? American manufacturers with the help of labor union workers. And small businesses grew to both sell and service these appliances all over America. A major boom in the U.S. middle class arose from this one act in 1948, a Democratic Party-sponsored act that expanded electricity all across America, even to remote rural areas.

And the later interstate highway system helped transport truckloads of electric appliances to consumers wherever electric wires had been strung. And the later "Spudnik moment" led to electric appliance innovations (like the microwave oven), further expanding our nation's manufacturing base and the U.S. middle class. Competition flourished.

And then conservative, primarily Republican, greed started tearing down everything in America, as conservative monopolists, primarily Republican, schemed and plotted how they could grab onto more and more of the American pie, leaving crumbs for everyone else...which is where America is today.

Labor unions constantly under assault. American manufacturing jobs outsourced overseas to cheap labor markets. Revenue-destroying tax cuts for the wealthiest. Our infrastructure being left to rot. Federal, state and local governments hit with huge debt burdens. High unemployment and underemployment levels. And House Republicans are doing everything possible, for the wealthiest, to continue this downward spiral, with nary a word uttered about holding all the Wall Street Robber Barons accountable for almost collapsing the U.S. and world economies in 2008 that almost triggered another Great Depression.

Posted by: The Oracle on January 29, 2011 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

#Washington Monthly...........Me Likey!

Posted by: Ronn Nichols on February 1, 2011 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK



Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
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