Yet Another Reason Palin Shouldn’t Be President

November 18th, 2010 at 6:27 pm David Frum | 87 Comments |

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Sarah Palin tweets:

RT @SarahPalinUSA: The publishing world is LEAKING out-of-context excerpts of my book w/out my permission? Isn’t that illegal? http://bit.ly/cD6DOQ

To which the answer is: actually, no it’s not. And the fact that Sarah Palin believes it might be is reason number 5,417 why she should be allowed nowhere near the police power of the United States.

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87 Comments so far ↓

  • lolapowers

    Listen carefully to Raskolnik. He speaks with true wisdom. The dems secretly want Palin to be the GOP presidential nominee and I suspect that is why the press is cutting her so much slack…. Beware! Palin is poltically savvy and no more than that…..she has no intellectual depth at all. and no biz directing the country!

  • lolapowers

    Mr Frum..you are the voice of reason within the conservative party.

  • Watusie

    CD-Host, you are aware, aren’t you, that there are one hell of a lot more women in the country than Mormons?

    You say Romney “picks up several states as the only Mormon he wouldn’t if he were running in a field with several Mormons.”

    Name them.

    Utah. Electoral votes: 5
    Possibly Nevada. Electoral votes: 5.

    It is like saying Thune has a built-in advantage because he will sweep the Dakotas.

  • CentristNYer

    This is still a pointless exercise. Palin is not going to run. What’s in it for her?

    As we know, she doesn’t like to govern, and committing to four (or eight) years as Leader of the Free World is not appealing if you can’t even hack being Governor of Alaska.

    She’s making money hand over fist through her crappy books and TV “work,” and that would have to go on hold if she went into campaign mode.

    Even she would have to concede that in order to win she’d have to reach beyond her base and that would require going outside the FoxNews cocoon, where she would be eaten alive by actual journalists.

    She knows she cannot win, so a run is all downside, no upside. Why risk her “brand” by entering a potentially damaging campaign where she could come out looking foolish, unprepared and defeated?

  • Slide

    from Palin’s book,

    Certainly his wife expressed this view when she said during the 2008 campaign that she had never felt proud of her country until her husband started winning elections. In retrospect, I guess this shouldn’t surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church listening to his rants against America and white people.

    What a piece of excrement Sarah is. What a disgraceful human being.

  • CD-Host

    CD-Host, you are aware, aren’t you, that there are one hell of a lot more women in the country than Mormons?

    Yes that’s my point. There also aren’t many anti-woman voters and possible substantially more pro women voters.

    Utah. Electoral votes: 5 Possibly Nevada. Electoral votes: 5.
    Idaho and Wyoming and possibly Montana would be the others where it would be a plus.

  • CD-Host

    Slide –
    And what’s does it say 4 paragraphs before that section you just quoted. Not just quoting talking point all over the web or anything are you?

  • Slide

    I don’t know CD-Host? Why don’t you tell me what was said 4 paragraphs before.

    Talking points? It is a quote from her book isn’t it? How is that a talking point?

  • Slide

    you have to laugh at Sarah Palin trying to suggest that the spouse of the President of the United States is somehow anti-American while it was her spouse that was a member of the Alaska Independence Party, a radical group that advocates for Alaskan secession from the United States.

    What a lowlife piece of shit she is insulting the President’s wife. Jesus, when the Dixie Chicks just said they were embarrassed to be from Texas like then President Bush they were vilified by the right wing. But this slime bag and her dysfunctional family are heroes to the knuckle dragging right wing. Gotta love it.

  • CD-Host

    Talking points? It is a quote from her book isn’t it? How is that a talking point?

    You are taking paragraph from a book you haven’t read, pulling a quote out that’s all over the internet right now which is the talking from Democrats about the book. Why introduce a talking point? Its a make believe controversy. The fact is that if it turned out that in context that quote didn’t say what it sounds like it was saying you wouldn’t even be responsible for the misquote because you are just quoting someone else. Quoting talking points is irresponsible, you know you are quoting a biased source.

    Basically you launched a kinda nasty personal attack against her based on a paragraph you are quoting 2nd hand without having any idea of the context. I think that’s objectionable. I could prove Obama is a dreadful human being by quoting Hannity and it would be no more true then those leaked passages specifically chosen to be quoted out of context.

  • CD-Host

    when the Dixie Chicks just said they were embarrassed to be from Texas like then President Bush they were vilified by the right wing.

    When the Dixie Chicks raised that objection abroad they were vilified by country music fans. Americans, quite rightfully IMHO tend to look at organizing against the government internally and externally very very differently. Adam Yahiye Gadahn has been charged with treason because he is agreeing with Bin Ladin from Pakistan.

    As for the right wing attacking internal dissent I thought that was terrible at the time. If you object to mindless vilification then don’t do it. But it happened in the early years of the war because Democrats went along with it. The Dixie chicks were part of the largely right-wing country audience, and had to pick up a whole new audience as they cross over into country-pop.

    What happened to America in 2002-4 as far as our dialogue was atrocious. But ultimately its the job of the opposition party in our society to check this sort of thing.

  • Slide

    oh please CD-Host, I didn’t quote any talking points whatsoever. I quoted Sarah Palin and then commented on what she said. Perhaps there is a passage before the paragraph quoted that would mitigate what she said but I think that even you know that won’t be the case. Lets face it, Sarah and her secessionist loving husband, are rather un-patriotic. To attack our President’s wife is pretty low, even for someone that insulted huge swaths of this country as not being “real America”. Here is what she said,

    We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation.

    Like I said, what a lowlife piece of excrement she and her husband are. Is it “pro-American” to attack the President’s wife in a racial way? Is it “pro-American” to insult everyone that doesn’t happen to live in “small towns” as not being in real America? Is it “pro-American” to want Alaska to secede from the union? Is it “pro-American” to quit your elected job so that you could rake in the big bucks, cashing in on your notoriety?

    I don’t know but I guess I have a completely different idea of what it means to be a patriot, and she ain’t it.

  • Slide

    When the Dixie Chicks raised that objection abroad they were vilified by country music fans.

    I just love revisionist history. No, they were vilified by nearly every conservative that had a microphone at their disposal. Don’t make me pull up the quotes.

    But…. dear dear Sarah can personally attack the President’s wife in a very misleading and particularly vile way and still be thought of as a patriot by the same right wingers. Rather amazing won’t you say?

  • CD-Host

    oh please CD-Host, I didn’t quote any talking points whatsoever. I quoted Sarah Palin and then commented on what she said.

    No you didn’t. You quoted an article about the book which was being critical. That’s a talking point.
    Sarah and her secessionist loving husband, are rather un-patriotic
    I don’t believe that. I don’t define patriotism as narrowly as you might nor do I think secession movement from Native Americans is a major threat.

    insulted huge swaths of this country as not being “real America”.
    I’m familiar with the speech. She made a reference to this idea from Pegler in her address before the Republican convention. So in your opinion the issues of rural people like the AIP that’s not real America but the cities are?

    I want you to reread your own paragraph where you start with a rather nasty insult followed by a serious of complaints about her insults Like I said, what a lowlife piece of excrement she and her husband are. Is it “pro-American” to attack the President’s wife in a racial way? Is it “pro-American” to insult everyone that doesn’t happen to live in “small towns” as not being in real America? Is it “pro-American” to want Alaska to secede from the union? Is it “pro-American” to quit your elected job so that you could rake in the big bucks, cashing in on your notoriety?

    But…. dear dear Sarah can personally attack the President’s wife in a very misleading and particularly vile way and still be thought of as a patriot by the same right wingers. Rather amazing won’t you say?

    I have no idea what’s she saying. I haven’t read the quote in context. All I’ve seen is the talking points. But I’ve been around long enough that I never trust talking points when it comes to these sorts of quotes. Particularly when it comes to Sarah Palin because a lot of her writing contrains references to JBS writers or Pentecostal doctrine that liberal writers don’t catch and thus frequently misunderstand what she is saying.

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    CD-Host: it really doesn’t seem as if Slide has taken Palin out of context, but if he did he’d (probably) be doing her a favor. Sarah Palin is a person who actually BENEFITS by being taken out of context, seeing that her context is usually an incoherent word salad, a morass of grammatical solecisms or just a grotesque display of hateful hayseed ignorance.

    Slide: thank you for pointing out the arrant hypocrisy of Palin attacking Mrs. Obama’s patriotism while seemingly excusing Todd’s flirtations with the secessionist far right. But there’s more to her hypocrisy here than Todd’s AIP association: I mean, how dare she criticize (the admittedly loathsome) Jeremiah Wright when she attends one of the most antediluvian, crackpot churches ever heard of, the Wasilla Assembly of God, a church with a theology so barbaric as to be almost indistinguishable from voodoo– surely you remember the 2008 ceremony in which an African cleric anointed Palin the reincarnation of Queen Esther and enjoined the congregation to join him in a prayer protecting her from witchcraft?

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    CD-Host:

    Do you seriously think Palin has a shot, even an outside one, in the New Hampshire primary? Even in a crowded field, religious right candidates don’t fare well in GOP primaries in New England, even in New Hampshire, the region’s most conservative state.

  • Rabiner

    Cd-Host:

    “So in your opinion the issues of rural people like the AIP that’s not real America but the cities are? ”

    A rejection of calling rural America ‘real America’ and cities as not doesn’t mean that he agrees with the opposite but most likely rejects the term ‘real America’ as meaning anything but America as a whole. Urban and rural areas are all real America in my view.

    “Certainly his wife expressed this view when she said during the 2008 campaign that she had never felt proud of her country until her husband started winning elections. In retrospect, I guess this shouldn’t surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church listening to his rants against America and white people. ”

    This isn’t a misquote from the book, it’s actually in it as reported by various news agencies. Now while there may be some larger context to this paragraph the underlying theme of this paragraph when taken by itself is Michelle Obama doesn’t like white people unless they’re voting for her husband.

  • CD-Host

    Do you seriously think Palin has a shot, even an outside one, in the New Hampshire primary? Even in a crowded field, religious right candidates don’t fare well in GOP primaries in New England, even in New Hampshire, the region’s most conservative state.

    Yes though I agree this is a tough state for her. I said way early in this thread New Hampshire likes non establishment candidates. She could win it the same way that O’Donnald beat Castle by her supporters being more enthusiastic. Especially since she is still going to be running against a crowded field.

    But I think a “stick it to the man” campaign would work great for her. She should take every anti Palin editorial from the Wall Street Journal and reprint them. Take all the places where comedians are mocking her and in effect mocking working class Americans, trailer trash and run those commercials. The theme of “they hate me because they hate you” will resonate in NH. Especially against nice guy establishment candidates. None of the Republican field except Newt is going to be good at doing angry.

  • CD-Host

    This isn’t a misquote from the book, it’s actually in it as reported by various news agencies.
    Actually no. Its been reported by blogs and quoted by news agencies covering the controversy. Which doesn’t address the issues like context. Take the very first line, “Certainly his wife expressed this view” Which view is Palin claiming she is expressing. The quote is not clear at all. I could put almost anything in there and it would work in context.

    And I don’t want to get into discussing a book neither of us has read. I point is neither of us has read it, we don’t know what Sarah Palin was saying so lets stop pretending we have anywhere near enough information to judge and shut up until we read the book.

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    CD-Host: I’d be willing to bet that, if any insurgent candidate upsets Romney in NH, it will be Gary Johnson and NOT Sarah Palin. New Hampshire’s Libertarian GOPers will take the genuinely libertarian Johnson over the pseudo-libertarian Palin without much deliberation.

    It should also be pointed out that some influential forces on the NH Right– the Manchester Union Leader and former Gov and current GOP state party chair John Sununu– are unambiguously anti-Palin. Their opposition will be big obstacles to overcome.

  • Fairy Hardcastle

    Slide, you have some serious hate going on there with SP. You must know her pretty well to get that exquisite level of emotion.

  • CD-Host

    I’d be willing to bet that, if any insurgent candidate upsets Romney in NH, it will be Gary Johnson and NOT Sarah Palin. New Hampshire’s Libertarian GOPers will take the genuinely libertarian Johnson over the pseudo-libertarian Palin without much deliberation.

    That’s good for her. Because she wins SC. The only bad scenario is he wins or there are still a lot of candidates and she does terribly.

  • Rabiner

    “I’d be willing to bet that, if any insurgent candidate upsets Romney in NH, it will be Gary Johnson and NOT Sarah Palin. New Hampshire’s Libertarian GOPers will take the genuinely libertarian Johnson over the pseudo-libertarian Palin without much deliberation.”

    I’d love to see a Gary Johnson – Barak Obama debate for President. I wouldn’t know who to support.

  • Raskolnik

    How about instead of, say, calling someone a “piece of excrement,” we refrain from the ad hominems? It makes the accuser’s argument look weak, fires up the accused’s supporters, and distracts us all from the real issues.

    Sarah Palin has repeatedly called for unilateral military intervention in Iran. This–as much as her clear inability to understand the difference between a Non-Disclosure Agreement and legitimate citation, in or “out of context”–should disqualify her from any kind of office in the administration of the United States. The point is not that the government or policies of the Islamic Republic is morally acceptable, or that it does not pose a genuine threat to the security of Israel. The point is that saber-rattling is only going to make things worse, and that (God forbid) actually engaging in open hostilities is a recipe for

    a) the complete exhaustion of what little financial and military power the U.S. has left

    b) the complete eradication of whatever moral authority the United States still possesses

    c) loss of life (of American soldiers) on a scale unprecedented since the Korean War or maybe even World War II

    “Diplomacy” may be a code-word for inaction, but that woman has no business being anywhere near the launch-codes for even a single nuclear weapon, forget the entire arsenal.

  • CD-Host

    Sarah Palin has repeatedly called for unilateral military intervention in Iran.

    No she hasn’t. She wrote a long statement on Iran where she came out in favor of the Iran Sanctions Act (S.2799 — Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010)
    http://www.facebook.com/notes/sarah-palin/peace-not-possible-if-iran-escapes-real-sanctions/375861323434
    which passed House (408-8) and Senate (99-0) . In other words we have a consensus policy of Iran which she publicly supports.

    She urged that the non proliferation threats be made explicit and that the American government activily coordinate with Iranian opposition: Her most recent message on Iran I know of Nov 13, 2010:You should be prepared to stand with the President against Iran’s nuclear aspirations using whatever means necessary to ensure the mullahs in Tehran do not get their hands on nuclear weapons. And you can stand with the Iranian people who oppose the tyrannical rule of the clerics and concretely support their efforts to win their freedom – even if the President does not.

    Ambiguous but not an explicit call for war.

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  • Raskolnik

    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/02/07/palin-war-ira/

    7 February 2010:

    [Direct quote from Palin] “Say he [Obama] decided to declare war on Iran or decided to really come out and do whatever he could to support Israel–which I would like him to do. That changes the dynamics of what we can assume will happen between now and three years. Because I think if the election were today, Obama would not be elected.”

    Also, her quote about “stand[ing] with the Iranian people” is either diabolically cynical, criminally stupid, or both: yes, the worst victims of the mullahs’ regime are the Iranian people, but the last thing the Iranian people want or need is American military adventurism in their home.

    No one likes the idea of a nuclear Tehran; but, like a nuclear Delhi and a nuclear Islamabad, this particular can of beans has already been spilled. Military efforts would, according to Mossad, at best only delay their acquisition of nuclear weapons by a few years (tops).

    The issue is not how to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, because it’s already a done deal. The issue is, how do we prevent them from using–or, even better, from wanting to use–them?

    I haven’t heard any good answers yet, but I am absolutely 100% certain that attacking them is not going to make them less willing to use the nuclear weapons they either already possess or will certainly possess shortly.

  • CD-Host

    [Direct quote from Palin] “Say he [Obama] decided to declare war on Iran or decided to really come out and do whatever he could to support Israel–which I would like him to do. That changes the dynamics of what we can assume will happen between now and three years. Because I think if the election were today, Obama would not be elected.”

    First off that doesn’t say she support war, it says she supports Israel. The Iran “direct quote” is a perfect example of how much the left lies about this woman. Read the quote in context, she is discussing an article by Daniel Pipes on declaring war. Pipes is advocating for war, she is adding an argument to Pipes’ argument. If you look at the discussion on FOX after that comment, Cheney responds thinking the same thing you did and she denies that interpretation.

  • Raskolnik

    “Pipes is advocating for war, she is adding an argument to Pipes’ argument.”

    I’m not sure I follow… it sounds like you’re saying that she agrees with Pipes, i.e. that the United States should declare war on Iran. “Adding an argument” means she is giving more support to his line of ‘reasoning’ (such as it is), right? Or do you mean something else?

    For the record, I think you’re right, insofar as character assassination on Sarah Palin has become something of a national liberal pastime. But I don’t think that exonerates her from serious scrutiny, any more than I think she passes serious scrutiny; if anything, the fact that Cheney and Rove (among others) have serious issues with her indicate–if nothing else–that she is simply too polarizing and contentious a figure to be President. A leader is someone who brings people together, and a President who is unable to unite even her own party behind her, to say nothing of the opposition, is going to accomplish absolutely nothing.

    That said, I would be extremely surprised if she ended up running for the Republican nomination, and even more surprised if she won it.

  • CD-Host

    “Adding an argument” means she is giving more support to his line of ‘reasoning’ (such as it is), right? Or do you mean something else?

    Yes that’s what I meant. But supporting his line of reasoning is not the same as agreeing with his point. I frequently give supporting information for arguments I intend to demolish. Given that she’s explicitly taken a weaker position than Pipes I don’t think its reasonable to conflate her view with Pipe’s.

    As for her being polarizing. That’s the point. The establishment hates her. So far the right wing populace lover her, and through the Tea Party she’s drawing a moderate populace. Her negatives are extremely high. The group she really needs to pull in if she is going to be a populist leader would be the hard left, the other group of Americans that want deep structural change.

    Cheney and Rove don’t want deep structural change. Of course they don’t like her. Right wing romans aristocrats and left wing romans aristocrats both hated Attila. It was the slaves and free workers that loved his reforms.

  • Slide

    CD-Host: No you didn’t. You quoted an article about the book which was being critical. That’s a talking point.

    No CD-Host, I quoted from her book as has been reported in numerous places. I don’t care if it had been reported in a blog that is critical of her or in one of her fawning right wing fan blogs. It is either an accurate quote or it is not. I have not heard one person say that the selection from her book was misquoted. You may say that there is more context to the quote but that can be said about anything now can’t it?

    So, saying that it is a “talking point” in the way you suggest is truly absurd. If it is a “talking point” it is Sarah Palin’s talking point. Her contention seems to be that the spouse of the President of the United States is racist and un-American.

    Like I said, pretty reprehensible.

    And for those that object to my calling her a piece of excrement it is only because of the vile manner in which she attacks her opponents. It was a bit of “whats good for the goose is good for the gander”. I’m tired of one side having to play by some Marquess of Queensberry rules while the other can be the most vile in their denunciations of their supposed enemies. I don’t know of anything more disgusting than attacking the President’s wife in such a manner. I was making a point by calling her a piece of excrement and I shall continue to do so. Sorry.

  • Raskolnik

    “Given that she’s explicitly taken a weaker position than Pipes I don’t think its reasonable to conflate her view with Pipe’s.”

    Perhaps not… I’m beginning to suspect that our difference of opinion as regards Palin comes down to an analysis of her personal motives. You seem to be giving her much more credit, and a much more charitable reading, than myself. That’s something I will try to keep in mind, because you’re right: she is arguing for deep structural reforms, much like Glenn Beck, and while I have serious disagreements with the content of what her reforms would probably entail, at least with what I imagine they would be, it’s hard to argue against the need for deep structural reforms.

    Similarly, it’s hard to argue against CD-Host’s position, that she is one of the few politicians able or willing to articulate–however incoherently–that need for deep structural reforms. So yes. I will try to be more compassionate in my reading of Sarah Palin’s words and actions.

    “Right wing romans aristocrats and left wing romans aristocrats both hated Attila. It was the slaves and free workers that loved his reforms.”

    That’s a very interesting point. Do we really want our leaders to be more like Attila, though?

    I mean, that is a joke, sort of, but I remember reading an interview once, in Newsweek I think, where Ann Coulter literally compared herself to Attila. I understand that “foreign policy hawk” is something of a buzzword on this site, but I still don’t understand what is wrong with “doves,” foreign policy or otherwise. “First do no harm” doesn’t prevent doctors from cutting people open; certainly one can allow for the eventual possibility, if push comes to shove, of military intervention, without screaming for it from the rafters…

  • CD-Host

    Raskolnik –

    Thank you for being reasonable, I’ve been getting incredibly frustrated with unreason when it comes to her.

    That’s a very interesting point. Do we really want our leaders to be more like Attila, though?

    I’m a dove as well. Frum is a mega hawk. Mainly I meant Attila as the father of Europe. And while I don’t think we need so much change that: the religion, the language, the architecture, the family structure, the legal structure the ethnic makeup all change I’d like a bit more than we are getting. Say 85% Obama, 15% Attila.

  • anniemargret

    Palin says: “You should be prepared to stand with the President against Iran’s nuclear aspirations using whatever means necessary to ensure the mullahs in Tehran do not get their hands on nuclear weapons. ”

    CD: “Ambiguous but not an explicit call for war.”

    You’re kidding right? She uses the terms, whatever means necessary’…which means nuclear attack on Iran. Is she going to explain that statement, or just drop it cause it sounds ‘tough?’ Is she ready to tackle the law of unintended consequences of dropping nukes on Iranian targets, setting off a conflagration in the Middle East and beyond? Does she understand the implications of such an attack? The oil prices rises through the roof? And what then would she suggest we do when that happens, especially since she advociates, ‘drill, baby, drill?’

    She won’t give an answer because she has none.

    Sheesh. Please, God, anyone but her.

  • CD-Host

    You’re kidding right? She uses the terms, whatever means necessary’…which means nuclear attack on Iran.

    Why does it mean that? Iran doesn’t have its own uranium. Iran doesn’t have ionic hydrogen. I have serious question whether Iran could pump the amount of water needed to keep a reactor going.

    Why does it mean a nuclear attack? Why would that be necessary?

  • nhthinker

    Obviously, Sarah Palin’s instincts on this issue were dead-on and Frum was completely out to lunch-

    Should we chalk it up more to Frum’s hate of Sarah or the lousy advice he gets from publishing lawyers?

    http://www.newser.com/article/d9jkb9t81/ny-judge-orders-gawker-to-pull-leaked-pages-of-sarah-palins-new-book-from-its-website.html