Tuesday, February 1, 2011

With Friends like Sarah Palin....

Yikes! I know this is my second posting bashing a "Conservative"...not a great track record for a self-proclaimed "Workingclass Conservative", but when so-called "Conservatives" cozy up to tyrants (like Haiti's Baby Doc Duvalier) and the reigning "Sweetheart of Conservatism" out-gaffes Joe Biden...I just can't ignore that.

And I know there's that vaunted and all too real double standard - when a liberal gaffe-meister like Joe Biden drones on about how, "When the stock market crashed, one of the first things that FDR did was to get on TV and reassure the American people..."http://factcheck.org/2008/09/biden-fdr-and-the-invention-of-television/) and to be fair, Jon Stewart did skewer that as well (http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-september-24-2008/joe-versus-the-volcano) - but Sarah Palin's most recent "Sputnik Moment" gaffe goes waaaay beyond the pale that any such blanket can cover. (SEE:

In an explosion of what can be best called idiocy, she completely (deliberately or not...and frighteningly, it DID NOT appear to be deliberate) misconstrues the meaning implied by Barack Obama with "America's Sputnik moment" (an obvious call to greatness in meeting a challenge) AND goes further (apparently inadvertently) maligning Ronald Reagan by erroneously asserting that it was the "massive debt" from the former USSR's "Space race" (of the 1950s and 1960s) that bankrupted that nation, instead of the "Arms race" of the 1980s....which, in fact, DID bankrupt the then USSR.

That famous "Billy Madison" refrain came to mind, hearing Sarah Palin's "Sputnik Moment rant"; "At no time during your rambling, incoherent diatribe did you come close to a single actual fact...we are all now dumber for having listened to this. We award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul".


Early Light said...

Sarah Palin is a stink bomb. You throw her, and laugh at the ensuing chaos. You can even use her and the chaos she causes as a diversion while you get something important done. But, if you really think she is a serious weapon in your arsenal, then you nothing about politics.

JMK said...

While I've never been much enamored with Sarah Palin, sad to say, I honestly don't see her as much "dumber" or "more dangerous" than many of the other professional politicians we have polluting the body politic today.

As you can see, both Biden and Schumer have had more than their own share of insipid moments and then there's reliably moronic members like Maxine Waters.

I think the Tea Party is the best thing to happen to America in a generation, and if Sarah Palin can draw more of "middle America" in with her "charms"....I can (sort of...though inexplicably) appreciate that.

Saying that, I don't believe she has any real shot at any potential 2012 GOP ticket...and some of her recent actions (her "reality" TV Show and her abandoning her Governorship) would (hopefully) seem to signal a lack of the personal inclination to run on her part.

Josh Painter said...

Soviet space expert James Oberg comments: “I’m seeing up close how ‘Palin Derangement Syndrome’ can compel otherwise intelligent people to foam at the mouth and babble nonsense to prove they’re right and she’s wrong... It’s more complicated, but the essence is, Palin was right: the Soviets sowed the seed of their own collapse by setting off the Space Race.”


JMK said...

While I’ve never seen Palin as a legitimate candidate, I’ve never “hated” or even disliked her personally, Josh. That said, her analysis of Obama’s use of the phrase “Another American Sputnik moment” was, in fact idiotic.

Barack Obama’s allusion was to a call to greatness, when America responded to the USSR’s Sputnik program’s “first to reach space” by eventually “winning the space race” with the lunar landing in 1968.

James Oberg’s views to the contrary, the accepted cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union remains; “The dissolution of the Soviet Union into independent nations began early in 1985. After years of Soviet military buildup at the expense of domestic development, economic growth was at a standstill. Failed attempts at reform, a stagnant economy, and success of Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence against the Soviet Union's forces in war in Afghanistan led to a general feeling of discontent, especially in the Baltic republic and Eastern Europe.

“Greater political and social freedoms, instituted by the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, created a bad atmosphere of open criticism of the Moscow regime. The dramatic drop of the price of oil in 1985 and 1986, and consequent lack of foreign exchange reserves in following years to purchase grain profoundly influenced actions of the Soviet leadership...”

From: The Soviet Collapse Grain and Oil, By Yegor Gaidar (AEI Online)
Thursday, April 19, 2007

BUT that is actually immaterial, given that Obama wasn’t encouraging us to imitate the former USSR’s “Sputnik moment” (which Palin seemed to be responding to), but America’s response to the Soviet’s being the first to reach space - “America’s Sputnik moment”!

It was, in fact, a dumb analysis compounded by some profound factual errors.

Both sides do themselves a major disservice by playing politics like a team sport. G W Bush was both an affable guy and a capable leader who did some good things (the Bush tax cuts and engaging the global jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan) and some bad (reckless overspending that doubled the national debt in 8 years), likewise Barack Obama is also an affable guy and a capable leader whose basically followed the Bush foreign policy, INCLUDING maintaining the NSA Surveillance program and renewing the Patriot Act...not to mention ratcheting up the drone attacks and the use of rendition.

Worse yet, he also pretty much followed Bush’s overspending economic agenda as well! In fact, he took Bush’s reckless overspending and increased it to hyper-overspending.

The people on either side who see either figure as “horrific”, "demonic" or even “anti-American” are delusional.

Right now, ineluctable economic realities are forcing politicians from both Parties (NY-D Andrew Cuomo is sounding very much like NJ-R Chris Christie) to confront some basic fiscal realities and that, more than anything else, is overcoming some of our “ideological divide”.

Early Light said...

Agreed on your analysis of Palin. In fact, for all her faults, I suspect she is perhaps smarter than some pols like Biden, though she is certainly more inexperienced.

Agreed about the Tea Party. Not a bad direction to go in.

The professional politicians, and the politician-wannabes, have demonstrated to us time and again that they are the problem, not the solution. Tunisia is seeing that, Egypt is seeing that... and I think there are parallels to be drawn between those places and here.

The difference is that in those places, the powers-that-be rule through one politician who is in office for decades; here, they give us new puppets to vote for every couple of years.

JMK said...

"Agreed on your analysis of Palin. In fact, for all her faults, I suspect she is perhaps smarter than some pols like Biden, though she is certainly more inexperienced.

"Agreed about the Tea Party. Not a bad direction to go in." (EL)
I'm with you on both assessments.

I like the Tea Party because it does seem a genuine outpouring of actual Americans fighting to limit government intrusion into their lives...and though it's not without its flaws (every group has them), I think more participation in the political process is better than less.

As for Palin, I've never been a big supporter, but I've never held any real personal animus for her either. Yes, at times (many times, in fact) she makes me groan and grate my teeth, but I do believe she has galvanized a lot of Conservatives, even as she's alienated most Liberals.

I think her appeal is largely because she connects with much of apolitical middle-America. She sounds and acts like a regular working Mom, even though much of that seems like a fabricated front....she's able to make it seem genuine and real, and I think her beliefs are, though her articulation needs some work.

I didn't believe "Katie Couric sandbagged her" (Palin just wasn't ready for prime time....neither was O'Donnell or Angle) and I don't think Jon Stewart has been all that unfair.

Yes, he skewers Conservatives more than Liberals because HE IS a Liberal, BUT (1) he does skewer both sides and (2) it's not as though some Conservatives don't warrant the skewering - the recent "redefining rape" as a pretense for limiting abortion funding is just one example where social Conservatives shoot themselves in both feet and in the process, make Libertarians and secular Conservatives groan...

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