Palin’s Sound Bite Foreign Policy

April 21st, 2010 at 3:00 pm | 47 Comments |

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Seated on the same side of an antique table before a large audience, Presidents Barack Obama and Dimitri Medvedev smile at one another as they exchange documents encased in red and black leather folders. The new START treaty has been signed, completing a journey Obama began when he visited the Czech Republic a year ago and announced his intention to begin ridding the world of nuclear weapons. He has reset relations between Russia and the United States and fulfilled a dream of another American President: Ronald Reagan. The cold war is over. Back in America, the former half-term governor of Alaska decries the horror of Obama’s achievement by invoking the Gipper:

We miss Ronald Reagan who used to say, when he would look at our enemies, he would say: ‘No. You lose. We win.’ That’s what we miss. And that is what we have to get back to,” says Sarah Palin. Compacting her historical error, she adds: ‘No administration in America’s history would, I think, ever have considered such a step.’

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos thinks her historically inaccurate remarks are important, so in an interview with President Obama he asks: “Sarah Palin said you’re like a kid who says, ‘Punch me in the face, and I’m not going to retaliate.’ Your response?”

“I really have no response,” Obama answers at first. A full moment passes before he completes his thought. “Because last I checked, Sarah Palin’s not much of an expert on nuclear issues.” His half-smile is not mocking, it is reluctant, the look of a man who has made the best of a bad question while pointing out a simple truth.

Palin’s comments on START reveal a disturbing truth; that when she doesn’t have an expert to tell her what to think, all she can do is recite the factoids that were drilled into her during the campaign. Switch to the GOP Southern Leadership Council where Palin is seething. Without Randy Scheunemann to advise on foreign affairs, she has to wing it. She reaches in and pulls out a card from the past:

“With all the vast nuclear experience he acquired as a community organizer, a part time Senator and a full time candidate, all that experience and still no accomplishment to date with North Korea and Iran.”

She retaliates like an Israeli commando, striking back twice as hard as she is hit, and yet there is a new element that is decidedly odd. Why is she speaking in campaign slogans from two years ago? Obama has been commander in chief for over a year, a period in which he has met or spoken with the Russian President sixteen times to personally negotiate details of the treaty.

Can it be that her real beef is not about policy, but the suggestion that she knows less than he?

Obama studied non-proliferation long before running for office. His college thesis at Columbia was called “Soviet Nuclear Disarmament.” He spoke passionately on the subject on the campaign trail in 2004. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Obama took his first trip as U.S. Senator in 2005 to Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan to examine facilities for the storage and destruction of conventional, biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. He co-authored the “Lugar-Obama Non-proliferation Initiative,” which enhanced U.S. efforts to destroy conventional weapons stockpiles and detect and interdict weapons and materials of mass destruction throughout the world. This legislation was signed into law by President Bush in January 2007.

So why is Palin picking a fight with someone above her weight belt? The answer can be found in revelations from the McCain campaign’s senior staff. Assigned the job of prepping her for upcoming interviews and debates, they became apoplectic when they realized her dearth of knowledge on world affairs. To assuage their fears, Palin relayed that she could memorize facts quickly if they wrote them down on note cards.

Although she could memorize facts, she lacked an ability to conceptualize or use the information in alternative contexts, a problem most evident in her failed interviews where she answered specific questions with the wrong string of facts. It is not surprising that one of her contractual demands in her new persona as professional speaker is that no question be asked of her that has not been prescreened by staff. She uses campaign-speak to attack Obama because that is the memorized card she has pulled for the current situation, even though it has no relevance.

Compare the qualities of Sarah Palin’s dependence on note cards to how Dmitri Medvedev described Obama to George Stephanopoulos:

STEPHANOPOULOS: What do you make of Barack Obama the man?

MEDVEDEV: He’s very comfortable partner, it’s very interesting to be with him. The most important thing that distinguishes him from many other people . . . he’s a thinker, he thinks when he speaks. Which is already pretty good. He’s eager to listen to his partner, which is a pretty good quality for a politician. Because any politician is to a certain degree a mentor. They preach something. And the ability to listen to their partner is very important for the politician. And he is pretty deeply immersed in the subject, so he has a good knowledge of what he’s talking about. There was no instance in our meetings with Mr. Obama where he wasn’t well prepared for the questions. This is very good.”

The Russian leader isn’t wrong; whether you agree with Obama’s policies or not, you cannot dispute that Barack Obama is a thinker, while Sarah Palin –  “like many other people” — is not. It’s an important difference.

Recent Posts by Marcia Smilack



47 Comments so far ↓

  • mlindroo

    As Quin Hillyer pointed out the other day, Palin *could* be a rising star and even presidential timber if she would work on her present weaknesses, i.e. lack of policy knowledge and political experience. Instead, Hillyer laments, she has chosen to remain in her comfort zone as a media “celebrity.”

    MARCU$

  • Rockerbabe

    A dumb blonde masquarding as a brunette. Of course, she is laughing all the way to the bank as she stirs up a heap of crap! No one should take her seriously as Palin has not taken very seriously, the comments spouts. A case of running your mouth before putting the brain in gear.

  • rbottoms

    To quote Fred Sanford, “You big dummy.”

  • JimAK

    “Hey, traffic is done, gotta up the click count.”

    “Okay, I’ll throw together another Palin hit piece based on some old quotes.”

  • Rabiner

    JimAK:

    You realize this was a pretty recent occurrence where she was highly critical of the START treaty and was completely misinformed about it?

  • theteapartyleader

    Marcia Smilack, this is just a bunch of anti-Palin garbage. Not only is it a lousy opinion, it’s a poorly written article. Like her book says, your attacking a baracuda and she is going to swing around and rip your face off. You are definitely off my reading list.

  • charlesreardon

    [quote]“With all the vast nuclear experience he acquired as a community organizer, a part time Senator and a full time candidate, all that experience and still no accomplishment to date with North Korea and Iran.”[/quote]

    Sounds about right to me. Palin may not be as professorial as Obama but she has a far better understanding of human nature than our naive commander-in-chief whose thinks shoving his hands in his pockets is the answer to Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

  • Rabiner

    Charlesreardon:

    “Obama studied non-proliferation long before running for office. His college thesis at Columbia was called “Soviet Nuclear Disarmament.” He spoke passionately on the subject on the campaign trail in 2004. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Obama took his first trip as U.S. Senator in 2005 to Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan to examine facilities for the storage and destruction of conventional, biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. He co-authored the “Lugar-Obama Non-proliferation Initiative,” which enhanced U.S. efforts to destroy conventional weapons stockpiles and detect and interdict weapons and materials of mass destruction throughout the world. This legislation was signed into law by President Bush in January 2007.”

    You mean that nuclear experience? Seriously she’d rather make a campaign style attack than an attack based on reality.

  • sinz54

    Smilack: She retaliates like an Israeli commando
    What an odd metaphor.

    Israeli commandos have a well-deserved reputation for competence. They don’t throw blind punches.

  • sinz54

    Smilack: He has reset relations between Russia and the United States and fulfilled a dream of another American President: Ronald Reagan. The cold war is over.
    Ridiculous.

    The Cold War was over years ago.
    The treaty is an anachronism that solves a problem no one but a bunch of silly liberals cares about anymore. Maybe Obama should negotiate an arms control treaty with France next? (France has the largest nuclear force in the world after Russia, you know.)

    And relations with Russia have not been “reset.” They are set where they were before: Iran gets nukes while Russia sits back and laughs.

    But if you prefer to discuss Sarah Palin’s irrelevant comments on Obama’s foreign policy rather than discussing Obama’s foreign policy, that’s your affair.

  • JimAK

    Rabiner, the Reagan quote was from April 8. Maybe Smilak was out of town for 2 weeks.

  • Rabiner

    Jim:

    So she can’t write about a criticism that occurred 2 weeks ago? 2 weeks isn’t that out of the conscious mind to me.

  • Oldskool

    Tea Partiers should own up to an ugly truth: Palin has no plans to run for president and never did. But she’s been told by smart people that until the day comes in about 18 months when she has to admit she’s not running, she is a huge money making machine. And if that means lobbing bush-league softballs at a major leaguer to sell books and speeches, so be it.

  • JHJ

    Medvedev’s remarks can also be applied to M. Smilack, “The most important thing that distinguishes (her) from many other people . . . (she)’s a thinker, (she) thinks when (she) speaks.” Good blog!

  • anniemargret

    Sarah Palin…. give her enough rope….

    She is hopelessly over her head. But Oldskool is correct. She is going to keep writing those notes on her manicured hand and laugh all the way to the bank. And as soon as she finally gets cornered into actually having to answer a serious with a required substantive response, her fame and fortune will do a fast spiral in the drain. Of course she will continue to do her level best that this never happens, and the compliant and unprofessional and irresponsible media will help her.

  • anniemargret

    ….having to answer a *serious* question with a required substantive response….

    edit button please!

  • Catcher

    Ms. Smilack:

    Thoughtful research is always welcome, especially on issues that are as serious as Obama’s longer-than-widely-known interest in US-Russia relations and nuclear disarmament. Thank you.

    Of course, the implausibility of a potential Palin candidacy is a tired, tired issue. But, for whatever reason, she remains the right wing’s primary dynamic and telegenic fund raiser, not to mention her proven ability to activate its political base.

    Some tout a Palin presidential candidacy, just as some supported a Dan Quayle presidential candidacy in 1992. Though Palin’s following is limited, her influence and telegenic success is partially fueled by a 24-hour internet and cable media that just didn’t exist twenty years ago. Hey, McCain gave her a lucky break, and she has every right talk to a camera and make a buck.

    To me, the bigger Palin story requires an exposition of the Republican intellectual and political leaders that promoted her credibility and value to the McCain campaign organization before the Veep selection was made. Besides William Krstol, who were they? Who else and what else are they promoting today? And why, oh why, haven’t they been hung out to dry for their truly disastrous judgement?

  • SFTor1

    When will defenders of Sarah Palin just admit that she doesn’t have the knowledge, temperament or experience required for national higher office? As governor of Alaska she was nothing but an opportunist, and ultimately a quitter.

    The idea of her running this country is absurd.

  • SFTor1

    Charlesreardon:

    So Sarah Palin supposedly has a superior understanding of human nature.

    How come she couldn’t even manage to keep her teenage daughter from getting pregnant?

  • Antiobamunist

    Palin’s remarks had nothing to do with the idiotic START Treaty that allows the Russians to scrap their old Nuclear Weapons technology while we pledge not to update our own aging Deterrent Nuclear Arms. There’s a sucker born every minute, and the biggest one of all lives in the big White House with his pet Unicorn Joe Biden by his side.

    Palin’s remarks were a reaction to the Poseur Obama telling the world how the United States of America would use its Nuclear Arsenal if attacked. In other words, Obama the Amateur President gave our enemies and potential enemies the key to the safe holding our Nuclear Secrets.

    Kumbaya is not a Foreign Policy.

    How ironic that the Liberal Press tried to eviserate President Bush when he declared we would defend Taiwan if they were attacked by China. It was something that was never discussed, but was the unspoken policy of our Government. When Obama changes our Nuclear Deterrent Policy and announces his proclamation to the world, we get crickets from the Media.

    The Author of this latest Palin hit piece couldn’t even attach Palin to the correct topic. As my Mother used to say, Right Church, Wrong Pew.

    And the idiot Palin haters think she is stupid? The woman who wrote this tripe proved who the ignoramus is, and it isn’t Governor Palin.

    No Rats, no Rinos in 2010.

  • Amorak

    Palin knows so few details about foreign and domestic affairs that she has to compensate in public with sloganeering and bluster. That’s dishonest and it’s obvious. She will quietly wilt away and so she should. When she returns to Alaska she’ll have the best snow machines and rifles to play with that money can buy. No need to feel sorry for her, on any level, other than the general discomfort we have when we see people embarrass themselves like that.

  • Antiobamunist

    Just so I understand the sentiment here. Obama, who never even ran a Lemonade Stand, can takeover Car Companies, Insurance Companies, Wall Street and the entire Health Care System and change this country into a Socialist Paradise by proclamation.

    Palin, who successfully ran Private Businesses and a State Government, is just a clueless little woman who should be baking cookies instead of commenting on the “Progressive” takeover of the United States by a bunch of Leftist Ideologues bent on destroying the Constitutional Principles that made us the greatest country the world has ever known.

    Got it….

  • xcrewdrepubs

    Antiobamunist:

    You and your ilk deserve a “leader” like Sarah Palin. God bless you.

  • Antiobamunist

    xcrewdrepubs:

    My ilk? Who are my ilk? Those who dare to disagree? I thought Hillary said that disagreeing with the Administration was Patriotic. I guess my “ilk”are Patriots by her definition.

    I’m not sure what the future holds for Governor Palin, so I won’t know if she will be the Leader the country will need when Obama is done with his Socialist takeover. I pray it won’t be too late for this great Nation.

    I live in the now. Your Savior is doing a bang up job so far. Whine, lie, ignore the Constitution he swore to uphold, all the while spending our children into Bankruptcy and kissing up to our enemies.
    A real Leader you have there my Liberal Friend.

    Why the Palin hate? She can’t raise your taxes or destroy your country like the Obamanation is attempting to do along with his lap dogs Pelosi and Reid.
    Heaven forbid someone dares to criticize what the rookie President is doing to the country. The “indpendent” media won’t dare hurt the man they love, so it takes people you obviously despise to do the work they refuse to do.

    God Bless you too. Thank God we still have the freedom to disagree.

  • mlindroo

    > Just so I understand the sentiment here.
    > Obama, who never even ran a Lemonade Stand, can takeover Car Companies,
    > Insurance Companies, Wall Street and the entire Health Care System
    > and change this country into a Socialist Paradise by proclamation.

    > Palin, who successfully ran Private Businesses and a State Government,
    > is just a clueless little woman

    Both Obama and Palin had a perceived problem with lack of experience when the 2008 campaign started.

    In Obama’s case public doubt waned greatly towards the end of the campaign as Obama held his own in interviews and debates with more experienced candidates during the Democratic primaries as well as against McCain.

    As for Sarah Palin, her problems BEGAN when the interviews started and her mock-debate preparation sessions with McCain campaign staffers indicated she had a poor grasp of political issues… Nowadays, opinion polls indicate even a plurality of *Tea Partiers* do not think Sarah Palin is qualified to be president.

    MARCU$

  • sdspringy

    This is the new first strike method used by Frumm bloggers. When a incoherent Obama policy is presented use Palin as the ruse so discussion is not about the policy but about Palin.

    You all seem easily lead.
    Lets talk policy:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/09/obamas-false-start/
    The administration is also hyping the “historic” scope of the arms reductions, ignoring the more substantial efforts it inherited from the previous administration. Under President George W. Bush, the United States retired 4,000 nuclear warheads, while the new agreement commits the country to retiring only 550. Mr. Bush moved significantly closer to Mr. Obama’s fantasy-land vision of a nuclear-free world than Mr. Obama will.

    http://blog.heritage.org/2010/04/08/morning-bell-obamas-false-start/
    But President Obama’s NPR promises not to develop any new nuclear weapons. That’s an odd promise since Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea are all doing so.

    http://blog.heritage.org/2010/04/12/morning-bell-obama-is-no-reagan-on-nuclear-strategy/
    Reagan knew that to eliminate the need for large nuclear arsenals, you must first start to eliminate the dependence — both ours and others’ — on massive nuclear attack as the guarantor of security. That is why Reagan’s first priority was to build up U.S. conventional forces and introduce missile defense. That allowed his negotiators to approach arms control agreements from a position of strength.
    President Obama has done the exact opposite. He has cut our national defense, including acquisition of the F-22, removed missile defense installations in Eastern Europe, and cut missile defense development programs. His lawyer-like NPR weakens America’s deterrence credibility by broadcasting our intention not to respond in kind if we are hit by weapons of mass destruction. And his New START agreement not only clearly links our missile defense shield with Russian missile reduction, but it also limits our own conventional weapons capabilities as well.

    That’s the policy. Comparisons to Reagan to add weight to Obama’s weak presentation are fraudulent.
    As we have seen during other Obama foreign policy excursions this is just another “Large Bow”, placing the US in another weakened position.

  • Catcher

    My error above: Quayle-for-Presidential talk was part of the ’96 election cycle — sounds absurd now, but he had more experience than Palin and Obama combined.

  • chicago_guy

    “Palin, who successfully ran Private Businesses and a State Government”….

    ===

    Leaving off the totally unnecessary capitalization, you’re starting with a lie; Palin was not “successful” in either pursuit.

    Her private business – what, it grew into a multimillion dollar company, like those of actual successful entrepreneurs? No; it closed its doors after failing to catch on. Her time in state government was unremarkable except for the number of internal investigations it engendered, and short-lived, since (perhaps you didn’t get the memo) she QUIT after a bare two years on the job. Hard to see that as a “successful” tenure, mon frere.

    Palin has nothing to say, and the impulse to say it. The fact that she is now the exemplar of the modern Republican should be a badge of shame to any Republican who ISN’T an undereducated housewife.

  • anniemargret

    antiobamnist: “”..She can’t raise your taxes or destroy your country like the Obamanation is attempting to do along with his lap dogs Pelosi and Reid.
    Heaven forbid someone dares to criticize what the rookie President is doing to the country. The “indpendent” media won’t dare hurt the man they love, so it takes people you obviously despise to do the work they refuse to do.”

    She can’t raise taxes? Oh, I see. She will continue to call for tax cuts, correct? Where would she cut, do you know? Has she articulated her ‘plan’ should she become President? What would she do about Iran? Nuke them? She hasn’t met a war she hasn’t liked yet. She has not even articulated why we are in Iraq – she was asked that question and she said she ‘wasn’t sure.” When asked about the surge, at the time of the surge, she said she had no answer because “she was busy being a governor”. But we are now going to take this incompetent at her word because she has a laundry list of sound bites right off Rush and Beck’s homepage?

    Destroy the country? What in God’s name does that mean? The “I want my country back” crowd? Meaning they want a return to what….Bush and Cheney? Or not? What is Obama doing that he is destroying the country? His favorable ratings remain high. He was voted by a plurality of voters who think differently than the Palininstas. Or perhaps she wants social values mandated by the federal government? After all, she invokes God’s name every chance she gets. So which is it? Does she want smaller government but only if it doesn’t involve unending militaristic mindsets, and a forced ‘Christian’ values on all citizens regardless how they themselves feel and desire? Is that her idea of ‘freedom’?

    You are kidding, aren’t you that Obama hasn’t been ‘criticized” ???? He has been trashed since he appeared on the scene and trashed even further by Fox News, and right wing talking heads everyday in all media outlets 24/7. The media are beholden to no one but themselves. As long as it brings in viewers (and money) they will report it. So even CNN spend half their time talking about Palin and Tea partiers, who have nothing to say constructively except criticize the President on EVERY single issue, even when he is lowering taxes for the middle class!

    Gimme a break. It’s obvious you are a Palin-worshipper. Full of platitudes and sound bites with nothing but ideological non-substantive solutions, not based in reality, coming from your mouth.

    She is just another Ann Coulter, and she has a money-making schtick.

  • Hayseed

    to the AntiObamunist

    you seem particularly ill-informed about several things. a few points.

    1. General Motors. the government did not take over GM. the government loaned GM money to keep it solvent. GM has since paid back ALL the money WITH INTEREST. that doesn’t sound like socialism to me, that sounds like a smart capitalistic move that (a) kept a vital entity in business and (2) earned uncle sam a little coin in the process. i bet if george w. bush had done the very same thing, you’d be screaming that he was the second coming of adam smith.

    2. Bank Bailouts. while there is certainly much about this that is objectionable, a couple things. it was begun under (guess who) george w. bush. second, most knowledgeable folks (including a great many conservatives) acknowledge that the actions undertaken by bush & obama prevented an even larger economic disaster. if the choice is (1) ideological purity (that leads to economic disaster) vs (2) pragmatic action that may cause concern but averts a greater disaster, i’ll take the latter every time. finally, while IMO much of the bailout money was “wasted,” much of the money was simply loans to prevent a bigger disaster. also, i’m sure that if obama had done nothing as you seem to advocate, you’d be hammering him for….doing nothing, arguing that he should have bailed out the banks to prevent a second great depression.

    3. Health Care. please explain to me how changing the rules by which private businesses must operate in the market place constitutes a government takeover of the health care system? we don’t have national health insurance (except, of course, Medicare and Medicaid, which nobody seems to argue should be eliminated). i’m not saying that the recent legislation is without faults (it has many), only that “government takeover” is not one of them. if you’re really concerned about a government takeover of health care, you should push for the elimination of Medicare and Medicaid, two programs that are, in fact, government run healthcare. please tell me you’re not one of those folks that runs around screaming “keep the government away from my Medicare.” More stupid words have likely never been spoken.

    4. Government Spending. i completely agree that the government spends too much. however, were you complaining like this when reagan, bush, and bush were spending like drunken sailors? or do you simply complain when a non-republican is profligate with the public fisc? if the former, i applaud you. if the latter, you have no credibility on the issue.

    i find it unfortunate that the majority of the tea-baggers/Palin supporters are so ill-informed and so easily manipulated for others’ gain (e.g., Limbaugh, Beck, and Fox “News”). lord knows that there are more than enough things regarding which to legitimately challenge this administration. however, instead of engaging in legitimate debate the tea-baggers/Palin supporters engage in temper-tantrums that my three year would envy. my guess is that the teabaggers/Palin supporters refuse to engage the administration in legitimate debate because it would require them to acknowledge (at least implicitly) that obama legitimately serves as president of the US, something they are unable/unwilling to do…and why this “movement” cannot be taken seriously.

  • Sunny

    The best thing that ever happened to Ms. Palin was the horrible dogpile of half-truths, rumors, and outright lies which passed for reporting when her candidacy was first introduced. It set up the narrative of her as the victim of smears by the MSM and the left. Which means, for her ardent fans, that every criticism of her by-now obvious unwillingness or inability to learn something beyond the catchy slogans and soundbites she’s so good at delivering, is met with the same defensive anger and dismissal.

    It’s a cult of personality, not much different than that of Mr. Obama during his candidacy.
    Which is fine. She’s probably a decent person. And she’s making a pile of money from those same adoring fans. It’s the American way.

    I liked her, too, when she first burst onto the scene. I was rooting for her. I didn’t mind that she wasn’t a policy wonk, but I did expect her to start racing up that learning curve. To date, I’ve not seen evidence that she’s done so. And in fact, in her debate with Mr. Biden, she had a golden opportunity to showcase all her newly acquired depth of understanding — but failed to do so. (Imagine, if you will, a raised eyebrow to Mr. Biden’s comment about that time in an alternate universe when the US and France kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, and he and Obama wanted to send in NATO — all it would have taken was a, “When was that, Joe?” and slam-dunk, she wins that debate and silences all critics.)

    Most of her supporters are like my own much-loved relative, a sweet decent person who admits that she, too, is largely uninformed about history and policy, but just likes Ms. Palin. That’s okay by me. I still love my relative — but if by some weird alignment of the planets Ms. Palin is on the ticket in 2012, I’ll be voting Libertarian.

  • Gus

    It’s obvious why Palin still draws so much coverage. Articles about her draw eyeballs. It’s also obvious why she could be a contender for the Presidency. For people like JimAK and AntiObamunist she can do no wrong. The stupider she acts the more they feel compelled to defend her.

  • Carney

    Obama made an explicit pledge that if we are attacked by chemical or biological weapons, that we will not retaliate with nuclear weapons, ending decades of strategic ambiguity on this score that has served us well and helped our deterrent. That is what Palin was referring to. It is a substantive complaint, which neither Obama nor this columnist has understood or grappled with.

    Obama’s blind faith that grand gestures of self-weakening will inspire foreign malefactors to follow suit is not evidence of superior knowledge or wisdom. Rather, his decades of immersion in the smugly liberal world of academe and bitterly anti-American/anti-Western street-hustler politics, have given him a shallow, talking-point oriented foreign policy at radical variance with the evident facts of history, human nature, and current events. Palin may be reciting her own talking points, or more likely relying on her own patriotic and conservative instincts, but in this case she is completely right.

    Finally, as governor, Palin had far more executive experience, including command of military forces, than Obama ever had as a community organizer or liberal darling rising politician.

  • Sunny

    “Finally, as governor, Palin had far more executive experience, including command of military forces, than Obama ever had as a community organizer or liberal darling rising politician.”

    So what?
    I mean, especially now?

  • Bebe99

    If you haven’t seen the movie “Idiocracy” I would suggest it–not for its value as a film, but for, however crudely, presenting the vacuous future the US could look forward to if we continue to treat politics as a WWE competition. Palin fits in nicely with our”Idiocracy” future world, where style and personality outrank substance of any kind. Palin is probably a good barometer of where our country is at the moment. But she did not create her own cult of personality– the media did that.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    Bebe99 wrote: “If you haven’t seen the movie “Idiocracy” I would suggest it–not for its value as a film, but for, however crudely, presenting the vacuous future the US could look forward to if we continue to treat politics as a WWE competition.”

    I couldn’t agree more. It’s not a great film, but it does an incredible job at depicting a country that no longer values intellect in its leaders.

  • Carney

    Bebe99, would you really like to compare the average McCain-Palin supporter’s IQ with that of an Obama-Biden supporter? Cast your mind over the demographics of the Democratic coalition. Recall the man-in-the-street interviews of Obama backers eagerly agreeing with McCain policies when presented as being from Obama, joyful Obama backers exclaiming to the cameras that they will no longer have to worry about paying their own rent and car note, etc.

  • anniemargret

    Carney: At some point, she will be forced to put up or shut up . Obama is the POTUS. While he is governing (NOW), and making policy (NOW) you got a silly reference to some ‘man in the street’ interviews about Obama back in ’08? It’s over. He won.

    Now, let’s get back to Palin (NOW). Is she competent? Is is informed? Is she wise and prudent? Does she believe in diplomacy or does she just want us to drop nukes because we can ? Can she name some Supeme Court judges? What exactly does she mean by small government? Does she know the difference between Iraq and Iran? Heck, can she delineate why we are in Iraq? Is she still confused about why there are two Koreas? Does she think more tax cuts will save the economy? Does she believe there should be a “Christian government” or does she believe in separation of church and state? After all, she drops God’s name in vain for political brownie points every chance she gets…I just wonder. There’s a lot more questions….!

    Can she speak coherently, without word salads, and with substance about serious issues facing America, or will she continue to hide behind her fans and Fox News worried someone might force her to get past the first two predictable anti-Obama sound bites?

    If she can’t, we can rightly call her a coward. Either she gets behind her barbs and attacks and explains herself and answers some *real* hardball political questions, or the rest of us will just continue to snigger everytime she gets in front of the camera.

    But here’s the main question for you and other Palin-supporters…. why aren’t you concerned that a woman who wanted to be POTUS was described by the McCain camp about her – “…they believed for certain was nowhere near ready for the job, and might never be,” and that she was a “”A Little Shop of Horrors.”

  • Rabiner

    Carney:

    Bebe99, would you really like to compare the average McCain-Palin supporter’s IQ with that of an Obama-Biden supporter? Cast your mind over the demographics of the Democratic coalition. Recall the man-in-the-street interviews of Obama backers eagerly agreeing with McCain policies when presented as being from Obama, joyful Obama backers exclaiming to the cameras that they will no longer have to worry about paying their own rent and car note, etc.”

    Why do you continue to vaguely use race as a determination of intelligence? ‘cast to mind over the demographics of the democratic coalition’ when they are clearly more minorities (african-americans, hispanics, jews).

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    Carney wrote: “Bebe99, would you really like to compare the average McCain-Palin supporter’s IQ with that of an Obama-Biden supporter?”

    Why not? We know that conservatives and religionists have lower IQs than liberals and atheists.

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/high_iq_liberal_atheist_monogamous_/

  • Catcher

    Hey, some people may like what Sarah says, but does any reasonable person really believe that she can execute any sort of nuanced international arms strategy?
    And, many don’t like what Barak represents, but is there by now any doubt that he actually can create and negotiate thoughtful, multi-faceted international strategies?
    I believe this simple comparative judgement was the thrust of Ms. Smilack’s posting. Anyone interested in staying closer to topic?

  • Matthew Yglesias » Endgame

    [...] — Sarah Palin’s sound-bite foreign policy. [...]

  • anniemargret

    Catcher: “Anyone interested in staying closer to topic?” You take the whole enchilada, not just a part of it, IMHO. And looking at the PalinEnchilada, it’s scary as hell.

    “can she can execute any sort of nuanced international arms strategy?

    No.

    The word “nuance” and Palin together are oxymorons.

  • Archivist

    Sarah Palin has no serious intention of running for President. She doesn’t have the support of the party, for one thing. For another, she is cashing in on her ‘fame’ … she loves the attention and she doesn’t have to ‘work’ or accomplish anything to get that attention.

    There are many reasons why she shouldn’t be President, not the least of which is that she is amazingly uninformed about the state of the USA, the state of the world and even worse, she is not now (or ever has been) intellectually curious.

    BUT: The main reason that Sarah Palin shouldn’t be President, is that she has no personal integrity and no leadership qualities. That is painfully obvious to anyone who spends any time on her OFFICIAL website on Facebook.

    She lies through her Notes. She misleads/misquotes and doesn’t have the self-respect to even attempt to be accurate. She disrespects (rightfully so it seems) her supporters by these tactics, since she knows they are willfully ignorant of ‘facts’ and would rather believe ANYTHING derogatory to President Obama than inform themselves.

    Her site is full of conspiracies agains the President, full of fantasy ‘attacks on their freedom’ and examples of racism/incitement to violence are common place….such as her fans urging others to pray Psalm 109 … a prayer that asks for President Obama’s death, that his orphaned children be beggars and his wife a widow.

    Before you say that she isn’t responsible for what others say on her site, let me point out that it is strictly moderated and people who question Sarah, or challenge her statements, or present facts to disprove her comments are promptly BANNED and/or their comments deleted.

    Her latest note, for example, takes a quote (out of context) then spins it into a totally different issue, complete with irrelevant examples …… and her idiotic fans are convinced that she is ‘right on’ because they are incapable/unwilling to check out anything for themselves.

    Want more proof that the woman is a clueless fool ??

    http://archivist.leapserve.com/featured-post/a-few-hilariously-stupid-highlights-sarahs-speech-in-hamilton-ontario/

  • Oscar Leroy

    It’s a true shame when foreign policy is conducted by sound bite. Like “Axis of Evil” for instance.

  • forkboy1965

    Thanks to SpartacusIsNotDead for putting that argument to rest.

    Odd…. the lock-step nature of the Republican Party, whereby everyone moves in unison on any given subject (at least publicly) has certainly been a strength when it comes to getting things done or getting the message out. And the typically fractured nature of the Democratic Party often finds itself somewhat ineffectual because of it’s fractured nature (brought about principally by its refusal to believe that only one solution can ever be completely correct).

    But when I start thinking about this lock-step nature of the Right… this purity of thought…. this one voice, I can’t help but think about the Nazis. And fascism.

    And then I hear Palin speak or read her words and realize I’m not imagining it. It’s real. It’s here. It’s now.

  • Archivist

    Oscar Leroy::

    Ouch!