I know corporate America has exported a ton of our telemarketing jobs to India over the last decade, but it is difficult to see how it qualifies as an appropriate destination for a potential presidential candidate to enunciate her “vision of America.”
That was the gist of Sarah Palin’s speech at the India Today Conclave, a major media talk-fest, in Delhi earlier this week.
Palin’s rambling and incoherent performance suggested two things to me.
First: perhaps the theme didn’t allow for the needed flexibility any good speech has, like those school projects that require students to construct whole essays around a key theme, such as global warming or wall street.
People often try to overcome this challenge by resorting to an old technique: write lengthy, unconnected passages and sprinkle them with the keywords. So in a verbose essay about nothing, you’ll find repeated references to climate change or stock trading.
Palin borrowed that technique, holding together a suffocatingly vacuous speech by invoking, from time to time, the theme. So she would interrupt herself now & then, pause for a second, and say, “my vision for America” while staring into the crowd.
The second possibility is the most likely one: Palin was, and normally is, out of her depth. It’s depressing enough that a contender for the American presidency, the leader of a popular anti-government movement like the Tea Party, cannot conjure up a compelling vision for her country.
Talking about energy – the centerpiece, apparently, of her “vision” for America — Palin had no words to assuage Indian anxieties about nuclear energy in the wake of the tragedy at Fukushima in Japan.
Energy-starved India is being targeted as one of the world’s biggest markets for American nuclear technology, but Palin was content to ignore that fact while spewing empty rhetoric.
The very first sentence of the policy part of her speech, once the requisite pleasantries had been taken care of, starts with ” …our connection is based on the shared values of freedom and free-market capitalism,… ”
Does she know anything about India’s economic policies and how controlled it is ? India and China survived this global economic meltdown with maximum ease simply because their Reserve Banks (analogous to the Federal Reserve) stipulates strict borrowing and lending conditions.
In fact, unless you were an Indian company that was trading with American and European companies directly, you would have hardly felt the tremor that rocked the entire free-market world.
There was that repeated praise of free-trade that missed the mark, condemnations of government spending, and even a vacuous mention of the moose her daughters had recently spotted outside their house in Alaska. I suppose that makes Bristol a veterinarian now?
Standing in the capital of the world’s largest democracy, she said nothing in her speech about the pro-democracy uprisings in India’s neighborhood. Not one single word.
When prompted, she “refudiated” President Obama’s approach to things, but offered only a vague alternative of her own.
What’s the biggest security challenge facing the world right now? The “evil dictator” of Iran (or, as she put it, “eye-ran”) and his nuclear program. Fair enough. How would she stop him? She seemed lost, suggesting economic sanctions and then military action.
There was no word on how the pro-democracy movement in the Middle East may affect Iran nor whether India, which has strong relations with Iran, could mediate if called upon?
On China, she was refreshing, unafraid to sound the alarm: India and the US should be partners in containing an ever dangerous China, she suggested straightforwardly. And yet, for someone seeking the presidency, as is her modus operandi, she offered no suggestions on how to do so.
But, hey, this is par for the course with Sarah. She refers to President Obama as the “ditherer-in-chief” yet here we are 18 months later, still wondering “is she running or is she not?”
She sits comfortably in her home, paid for lock, stock & barrel by her lucrative reality television series and ludicrous public speaking fees, tossing criticism at her opponents (Democrats & Republicans alike) using Facebook & Twitter, rather than putting herself out there to face tough questions that real leaders face each and every day.
Even then this behavior often times has had laughable results, most notably the now infamous “Lou Sarah” Facebook profile she was using to comment on and “like” her own drivel.
One of my favorite social media moron moments she had involved a little quibble with the Wall Street Journal last fall.
It’s chronicled beautifully in a November 9th 2010 piece titled “Wall Street Journal: Sarah Palin Is An Idiot” on a site I love (News Corpse):
OK, the Wall Street Journal didn’t really say that Sarah Palin is an idiot, but they proved it in an exchange that leaves no other conclusion. The following tale of deceit is particularly interesting because both sides are members of Rupert Murdoch’s media family. The WSJ is the gem of financial newspapers, and Palin is the star of Fox News. So Palin is not being attacked by some “lamestream media” hack. This thwacking comes from the most respectable source that Murdoch commands.
The intra-News Corp cat fight began when prepared remarks Palin will make at a trade association conference were released by the National Review. Her speech will address recent actions taken by the Federal Reserve with which she takes issue. She orders Fed chief Ben Bernanke to “cease and desist” and oddly suggests that the U.S. should follow the economic lead of Germany. That’s odd because she and her rightist comrades generally portray anyone who offers European solutions to American problems as socialists and traitors. But here is where she proudly demonstrates her monumental ignorance of economic affairs:
Palin: [E]veryone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so.
There’s only one small problem with that statement. It simply isn’t true. It’s as false as death panels; as dishonest as $200,000,000 a day trips to India by the President; as unscrupulously fraudulent as “palling around with terrorists.” In other words, it’s just another day for Sarah Palin. Sudeep Reddy of the Wall Street Journal stepped up to correct the Tea Party Queen by presenting some actual facts:
Reddy: Grocery prices haven’t risen all that significantly, in fact. The consumer price index’s measure of food and beverages for the first nine months of this year showed average annual inflation of less than 0.6%, the slowest pace on record (since the Labor Department started keeping this measure in 1968). Even if you pick a single snapshot — say, September’s year-over-year increase in prices — that was just 1.4%, far better than the 6% annual increase for food prices recorded in September 2008.
Not content to leave dumb enough alone, Palin calls Reddy’s facts and raises some more lies. She took to her Facebook page to accuse Reddy of failing to read his own paper. Then she offers this quote from a recent WSJ story to support her position that food prices have risen in the past year:
Palin: The article noted that “an inflationary tide is beginning to ripple through America’s supermarkets and restaurants…Prices of staples including milk, beef, coffee, cocoa and sugar have risen sharply in recent months.”
Notice that ellipsis Palin inserted after “supermarkets and restaurants?” Here is the complete segment with the portion she edited out in bold:
WSJ: An inflationary tide is beginning to ripple through America’s supermarkets and restaurants, threatening to end the tamest year of food pricing in nearly two decades.
Prices of staples including milk, beef, coffee, cocoa and sugar have risen sharply in recent months. And food makers and retailers including McDonald’s Corp., Kellogg Co. and Kroger Co. have begun to signal that they’ll try to make consumers shoulder more of the higher costs for ingredients.
So Palin just happened to cut out the part that affirmed that price inflation has been “tame.” And she also excised the context of the staple costs that have risen, which the Journal story makes clear was at the producer level, not the prices consumers pay. The point of the article that Palin quoted was that prices may rise in the future, but they have not risen in the past year as Palin claims.
Palin went to great lengths to ridicule Reddy and the Journal for what she regards as shoddy reporting. But upon closer examination it is Palin (who supposedly has a degree in journalism) who is mangling the truth and deliberately misrepresenting the content of the articles she cites. On her Facebook page she notes that…
Palin: Ever since 2008, people seem inordinately interested in my reading habits. Among various newspapers, magazines, and local Alaskan papers, I read the Wall Street Journal. […] Now I realize I’m just a former governor and current housewife from Alaska, but even humble folks like me can read the newspaper. I’m surprised a prestigious reporter for the Wall Street Journal doesn’t.
Now Palin may be just a former half-term governor, a quitter, a ghost-written book hustler, and a current reality TV star, but even wealthy, narcissists like her can spew falsehoods and propaganda. Judging from the evidence above, if Palin can read a newspaper her comprehension skills (or her respect for the truth) are abysmal. And her attempt to malign “a prestigious reporter for the Wall Street Journal” has not only failed, but has blown back into her face.
And finally, I mean FINALLY, that kind of moronic behavior has seemingly wore out it’s welcome in the Grand Ol’ Party.
Here’s a recap of Sarah Palin’s relationship with the “establishment” Republican party and its supporters in the press: They sat on their hands after John McCain picked her as vice president because she was able to fire up a despondent base.
They continued to sit on their hands in the two years leading up to the 2010 elections because Palin raised tons of money while mobilizing the Teatards; and now that that’s over, they don’t want her to run for president because she’s an embarrassment to the nation and to anyone with more than three brain-cells clearly incapable of doing the job even if she were to somehow win, which she won’t.
But they can’t just call her an incompetent joke in public. The base would rush to her defense, skewering them in the process! So instead they come up with feeble, over-intellectualized excuses for why they don’t like her and want her to disappear forever. A Politico story today about top conservative commentators’ problems with Palin includes many of these “excuses”.
Politico tells us that Palin’s “flamboyant rhetoric” — the same sort of rhetoric that all conservative commentators and politicians stuffed their faces with during the first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency, for the purpose of winning a midterm election — has been met with a “backlash… from some of the country’s most influential conservative commentators and intellectuals.”
Catch that? After only three years, “the country’s most influential conservative commentators and intellectuals” have finally noticed that retarded, nonsensical lies come out of Sarah Palin’s mouth every time she opens it.
But again, they can’t just say this. It has to be translated into the double-speak of the country’s most influential conservative commentators and intellectuals. A sampling:
“Palin’s politics of grievance and group identity, according to these critics, is a betrayal of conservative principles.” Oh my god. Didn’t an entire party just spend an election season playing up the ol’ “snobby east coast commies hate Real America and think they’re better than you” card?
The “conservative intelligentsia” also — wait for it — “fear that her rise would represent the triumph of an intellectually empty brand of populism and the death of ideas as an engine of the right.” Translation: “Palin is a vapid and meaningless mouthpiece for her dangerously shallow followers. Nothing more, but maybe something less.”
But when conservative columnist George Will is cited to back this up, he doesn’t just say, “she’s a moron who could destroy the entire Republican party.” He says instead, “For conservatism, because it is a creedal movement, this is a disease to which it is susceptible.”
Really George? That is the “best” you can come up with to describe this village idiot? Way to take the cowards way out.
You know, kind of like Alaska’s Quitter-In-Chief.