Sarah Palin: Why Is She Still Important?

February 11, 2010 at 2:22 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

It seems that some politicians are given a free-pass when it comes to even the most basic knowledge. Take Sarah Palin. If you look at the list of statements that this woman has made over the last 3 years, it is mind boggling that anybody would ever want her as the leader of the free world. Let’s review her history here:

This is the same woman who told Charlie Gibson of ABC in a nationally televised interview that her foreign policy expertise included the fact that Russia could be seen from an island off the coast of Alaska. This, I might add, is an island that Palin had never once set foot upon. “You never know when ole Mr. Putin is gonna come flyin’ over here…”. Yep. She actually said that.

When asked which periodicals and publications she has been reading to keep up on national and world affairs, Palin told Katie Couric that she reads “them all”. Whenever Palin is baffled by a question she uses her standard “I like ’em all” answer, and that’s what she did. To this day, we still do not know what Palin reads to keep informed about national issues. Until four years ago, she never even had a passport and had never left the United States.

Sarah Palin has stated publicly that she does not accept the theory of evolution, not even understanding the meaning of the term “theory”, and that she believes in a literal translation of the Bible. This means Palin believes mankind walked alongside living dinosaurs and that the world is only 6,000 years old. Of course, when asked which book of the Bible she likes most, she would no doubt say, “I like ’em all.” Certainly, people are free to believe whatever they like, but Palin’s rejection of the scientific method hardly makes her the ideal leader of a nation of 300 million people which share a variety of beliefs.

When asked by Glenn Beck who her favorite Founding Father was, Palin stumbled with the question, then said– you guessed it– “I like ’em all.” When pressed by Beck, Palin said she liked George Washington the most, not knowing that Washington was a general and not one of the Founding Fathers. Furthermore, in her stone ignorance, she chose a man who actually favored a strong central government as well as the formation of a national bank. In other words, George Washington stood for everything that Palin says she is against. More recently, when asked what notable role Paul Revere played in the Revolution, she said he “warned the British” that they couldn’t just “come over here and take our guns…” by “ringing bells” and repeatedly firing his muzzle-loaded flint-lock rifle.

Probably one of Ms. Palin’s most hysterical misstatements occurred during the campaign when she referred to “the great country of Africa”. More recently, she didn’t seem to know why there was a North and South Korea. One has to wonder if she can’t figure out who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb.

During a Tea Party convention, Palin made several insulting remarks about President Obama, one of which accused him of being “a law professor lecturing the American people behind a lecturn using a teleprompter.” Of course, she failed to realize that she was doing precisely the same thing, only she was using the palm of her hand instead of a teleprompter.

What Palin is best known for is her bald-faced lie about “death panels” during and after the health care reform debate. Despite the fact that every fact checking organization had debunked that outrageous lie, Palin has stuck to her guns. Of course, she would never admit that private insurance companies already utilize de facto death panels by denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and canceling the policies of people who become ill.

Palin has referred to President Obama on numerous occasions as a socialist, but refuses to provide her definition of the term, no doubt because she doesn’t have it written on the palm of her hand. She doesn’t care that Obama hasn’t nationalized a single business, nor has he put any government employees into the boardrooms. Of course, Palin believes that Obama should have just let the auto companies fail, even though doing so would have caused hundreds of thousands of Americans to lose their jobs and essentially turned over that industry to foreign manufacturers. In recent weeks, we have learned of the remarkable rebound of the US auto industry and the fact that they have repaid most of the funds that the Obama administration LOANED to them. Not surprisingly, you won’t hear Sarah Palin talking about that.

In a closed meeting at the White House, Rahm Emanuel told a group of liberal activists that their idea to air attack ads targeting conservative Democrats who were against the health care reform bill was “f’ing retarded”. Palin, who has inserted her special needs child into the political arena before, demanded that Emanuel immediately resign. Then, when Rush Limbaugh said on national radio that all Democrats are retards, Palin went on FOX News and defended Limbaugh’s use of the word and his characterization of all Democrats. While his use of the term was insensitive and inappropriate, Emanuel said that an idea was “f’ing retarded”, while Limbaugh was using the term to describe a group of people he doesn’t like. But, according to Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh should get a pass. This could be a blatant case of hypocrisy, but it could also be that Palin is just too dim to understand the difference between what Emanuel and Limbaugh said.

Sarah Palin never speaks in specifics and is always on the attack, never offering a single constructive alternative. Why? Because she doesn’t know what the specifics are. It is far easier to make insinuations, and attack with empty-headed sarcasm than it is to develop your own well thought out ideas and articulate them in a comprehensible manner. We all get a good laugh about Sarah’s gaffes, but the time to stop laughing has come. This is a person who is building a political movement on the cult of her personality. She is a classic fascist masquerading as a populist who has managed to win the hearts and minds of far too many Americans. Even if she never ran for president, her influence on our political process and election outcomes could do great damage to the country.

Elia Kazan, the Academy Award-winning film director, said many years ago that the greatest danger to our democracy would be having person of no ability or intellect elected to high office based solely on their personal charm.


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Is the opposition to President Obama driven by racism?

September 16, 2009 at 11:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

I would have to agree with President Carter’s assessment, when he says that racism lies at the core of the current venomous attacks on President Obama. (To be clear, Carter said that he was talking about a “radical fringe element”, rather than all people who oppose Obama’s policies). While the extreme language and behavior of many people involved in the Tea Party movement in addition to the rantings of people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh has been veiled in manufactured political causes, they are clearly driven by anger that a black man is sitting in the White House. At best, they are attempting to tap into the undercurrent of “white man’s anger”, especially in the southern states, in order to score political points. We also have people like Michelle Malkin attacking Mrs. Obama, and a pastor in New Mexico preaching that the President and his family should die and go to hell. All of this is symptomatic of a concerted effort to de-legitimize Barack Obama’s presidency before he has even been in office for one year.

When people refuse to listen to reason and continually ignore the facts as they are presented to them, then hallucinate nefarious schemes such as death panels, secret nationalist armies, and concentration camps for political enemies, we are witnessing the kind of ignorance and fear that are the building blocks of bigotry. When people scream, “I want my country back!”, they’re really saying that the President of the United States isn’t a true American. When they walk around carrying signs that say “Bury Barry with Teddy” and hold up forged Kenyan birth certificates, they’re saying that they truly believe the President is the enemy. One man even stated on camera at a Tea Party rally that Obama was more dangerous to the United States than Osama Bin Laden. This is not rational behavior, and it’s edging closer to sedition every day.

This monster has been created by the right-wing of the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement, whose organizer is a blatant racist. On his website, he refers to the President as an “Indonesian, Muslim communist thug”. Like any good propagandist, he hand-picked each of those words to push the most sensitive buttons without regard to the fact that none of them have a thing to do with reality. Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin are the incendiary personalities who are inciting these crowds with their strident and almost comical accusations. At a certain point, this country is going to have to deal with them, just like it dealt with Joseph McCarthy, another political opportunist with a sick agenda.

If you think Joe Wilson would have yelled “You lie!” to a white president, you’re on crack. Mr. Wilson, a member in good standing of the Sons of the Confederacy as well as other organizations with ties to white supremacists, is an overt racist. He has also been a staunch proponent of making the Confederate flag the standard for his state. On top of violating decorum during a presidential appearance before a joint session of Congress with his Tourette’s-like outburst, he was just plain wrong. All five of the reform proposals currently before Congress contain ‘verification’ provisions. Just because those provisions don’t go as far as he would like them to go does not mean they are not there. The Republican amendments which were voted down required that emergency room doctors and nurses refuse treatment until an incoming patient’s status had been verified by some unnamed bureaucrat. Imagine a situation where a bleeding child who has been hit by a car is brought into ER and somebody who looks like Joe Wilson steps in and says “Don’t touch that child until we make sure he’s not another Mexican trying to get free health care.” Preposterous.

The longer that the Republican Party remains in denial about the emergence of racism within its own ranks, the sooner this country is going to have a one-party system. The problem is that the GOP actually relishes this grotesque phenomenom because it is energizing its notorious right-wing base and creating doubt among more impressionable independents. For that reason, you will never hear Michael Steel admit that there is any racism going on in the Republican Party and that all these lunatics at Tea Party rallies are just hard-working Americans who hate President Obama’s policies. Of course, we’re talking about the policies as characterized by the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin.

Here is another interesting and eye-opening video which compares Canadian health care to the U.S.:

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Sarah Palin, David Letterman, Rush Limbaugh and American Politics

June 16, 2009 at 6:12 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

For the last year, many Americans have been incensed by Sarah Palin’s and Rush Limbaugh’s inflammatory remarks. The ad hominem attacks waged by these two on their political rivals and anybody who didn’t agree with their ideology have made them both the target of blistering counterattacks in the press and, especially, in blogs. I’m guilty of this behavior myself, even though I’ve tried to stick to the facts in criticizing them. It is unfortunate that, in our attempts to discredit and criticize people like Limbaugh and Palin, we become so much like them. David Letterman’s completely inappropriate insult of a teenage girl who happens to be Sarah Palin’s daughter was as unacceptable as anything Palin said during the campaign, and yet many people rush to defend Letterman simply because they hate Palin. The back and forth salvos of insults are in major conflict with the fundamental message of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and what he has tried to do since his inauguration. The most depressing part of this is that our behavior appears to be a basic part of human nature. Neither side of the argument can help themselves, nor do they really want to because they’re convinced that they’re 110% right in their views. The stridency that this certainty breeds is most evident in people like Limbaugh, but we all suffer from the malady. I suppose that partisanship is an unavoidable side effect of all politics. Self-interest is the driving force, whether it’s the desire to increase one’s radio show ratings and make ungodly sums of money, or attain political influence and power. The fact is, we can discredit the greedy charlatans and incompetents without resorting to their tactics. American politics needs to show a lot more maturity. The schoolyard mentality is not helping us “form a more perfect union.” The underlying message here seems to be that we need to try harder as a people to become less like our enemies, whether they’re spewing their hate in a press conference, radio sound booth, or village in Pakistan.

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What’s eating the GOP? Rush Limbaugh.

March 5, 2009 at 5:19 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

While it’s become politically incorrect, most of us remember the old story about the natives and missionaries. The missionaries invariably end up cooking in a Jacuzzi-sized stew pot atop a blazing fire as the natives set the table for dinner. Today, we have the leadership of the Republican Party sitting in a similar pot, only this time it isn’t hungry natives stirring up the stew. It’s Rush Limbaugh. Whether the base of the Republican Party realizes it or not, the well-fed Limbaugh is gleefully devouring his own kind. Because, as long as respected, influential Republicans cower in the corpulent talkshow host’s sizable shadow, the party is going to remain in disarray and no Republican is going to win another national election. In case they hadn’t noticed, voters in the last two elections have roundly rejected the strident ideology of the GOP, and Mr. Limbaugh is the archetypal right-wing ideologue. Belligerent, verbose, vitriolic and astonishingly arrogant, he is the de facto Chief of the conservative movement in this country and the epitome of everything that a growing majority of voters have reviled.

How bad are things for the Republican Party? The Wall Street Journal, not exactly an enemy of the RNC, printed the results of a recent and devastating survey of voters. Apparently, 26% of voters have a mildly positive opinion of the GOP, and only 7% are significantly positive about it. Now, add the porcine pariah of airwaves and you have a perfect storm of loathing.

If you’re a Democrat, the most ill-advised thing you could do is jump into that pot. But that’s what has been happening. Too many Democratic officials, including members of the Obama administration, have already put one leg into the boiling stew by making statements about Limbaugh, thereby enhancing his appeal to the Republican Party and validating his popularity with its base. In the process of doing this, they are creating even more friction in Congress, assuring increased obstructionism by a desperate political party with no responsible leadership. The latest example of Democrats jumping into the pot is this “I’m sorry, Rush” website, which is one of the most juvenile political gags in recent memory. The people who came up with that one are no better than the Republicans they’ve been criticizing. And every time Rush gets one of those e-apologies, he lights up another $100 cigar and swallows another jelly donut.

It’s time for politicians on both sides of the aisle to realize that this corpulent, strutting demagogue is exploiting them all for his own self-aggrandizement. Limbaugh has been at this for the last 35 years. He wants to be a celebrity. He desperately covets admiration and power– almost as much as he hankers for those jelly donuts. Why anybody, especially the DCCC, keeps focusing a big spotlight on this human caricature is short-sighted at best. Why do key Republicans allow this radio personality to keep his pudgy-fingered grip on their party and their platform, knowing that he is one of the most unpopular people in the country? Why do Democratic officials and pundits keep giving him free air-time, when they know that will only result in boosting his already bloated ratings?

Leave Rush Limbaugh alone. He can stir that big pot just fine all by himself and, by the time he’s finished, all that will be left of the Republican Party is a few sun-bleached elephant tusks. (From the look of him the other night at CPAC, he’s already swallowed a few congressmen). In the end, he will be like the character in Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life”. He will nibble at that last “wafer-thin mint”, then explode, sending out lethal shrapnel of Big Macs, Whoppers, milkshakes and buffalo wings. Stand close to that pot at your own risk.

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