19 February, 2010

Sarah Palin for president in 2012? How dumb can we be?

By Jorge Reyes

I'm one of those people who love to read other people literally. I often equally enjoy to take them at face value. Dare I say that I also tend to be a bit sarcastic?

Since Sarah Palin seems to be a name much talked about as a possible presidential contender in 2012, I think that someone ought to scrutinize her recent ramblings at the Tea Party Convention in Nashville.

Did you watch her less than lackluster performance?

It doesn't matter if you did or didn't because basically she simply gave vent to that “creedal passion” of certain groups who feel that they are not represented in the halls of congress, never mind that most of what they say isn't true. Short of going through their entire list of complaints, you probably already know their basic ones: President Obama is a person not to be distrusted (he could also be of foreign extraction, so watch out); the economic bailout amounts to socialism; the healthcare reform infringes on people's rights; the behemoth of Washington is eroding states's rights. Dare I say it also, do I hear calls for secession from the Union?

All of us have been privy to all of these rhetorical-filled flairs and vitriol by some who consider themselves to be part of the new dispossessed. And while there's no evidence to feel that way, they believe it and that's enough for them to consider it true.

But now they have a savior, someone who happens to also be one of the least qualified woman in this country for such an important responsibility, Sarah Palin. Not that I have anything against her personally. I just don't think she has anything to offer any of us in the form of leadership.

Sorry folks, Sarah Palin isn't much to boast about, and, no, we're not going down the path of socialism. If the economic bailout has done anything, it is to keep the basic structure of mixed capitalism alive and well, thank you very much. In fact, if we are dumb enough to think of the rantings of Ms. Palin as anything other than vapid soundbytes for the evening news, then we have no right to complain when others call us Americans dumb, as when the British magazine The Daily Mirror did when George W. Bush was forced upon us as president by the Supreme Court.

Why am I being so harsh on someone as loveable, as promising, as pure as Ms. Palin?

For starters, she has neither the command of international issues nor the intellectual capacity to verbalize them. She has neither a vision nor a coherent plan for anything beyond platitudes.

As I wrote, her performance at the Tea Party Convention in Nashville was awful and it deserves more scrutiny. After her speech during a question and answer session moderated by Judson Phillips, the founder of the Tea Party, about a plethora of issues Ms. Palin responded with the typical gibberish answers she's well known for. This time, though, her answers were worse than ever.

She was asked about the Palin Plan, as opposed to the Obama Plan. With a timbre of fear in her voice, she responded: “When it comes to national security, as I ratchet down the message on national security, it's easy to just kind of sum it up by repeating Ronald Reagan when he talked about the Cold War. And we can apply this now to our war on terrorism, you know. Bottom line, we win, they lose. We do all that we can do to win.”

Not sure what to make of this statement, but then neither did many of the people in attendance who simply cheered and applauded with an effusion of energy.

When asked about the budget, she dutifully answered: “We've got to rein in spending, obviously, and not raise it extremely high budgets and then say, OK, we are going to freeze a couple programs here. That doesn't do us any good really. We've got to start reigning in the spending.”

Compared to the Ronald Reagan answer, this was more garbled and confused. But it matters not among equals for the applause continued, increasing to an almost frentic crescendo. Ms. Palin, unperturbed, seemed to gloat in the cheerleading moment.

Since God always seems to be a favorite topic of conversation in these pep-rallies, (God is always on the side of the dispossessed remember), she was asked a question about the spirit of America, and trust me, Ms. Palin didn't disappoint: “we should seek some divine intervention again in this country so that we can be safe and secure and prosperous again. To have people involved in government who aren't afraid to go that route.”

I don't know about you, but I feel that there's an obvious lack of intellect, substance and coherence to the Sarah Palin phenomenum and I've never been one to be taken by her charm. It's all pre-fabricated, like a mass produced and dangerous talking doll.

Dare I say it: I don't think she's qualified for much except trying to change our public discourse with a baseless and irresponsible call to arms that does more harm to our democracy than not. And heaven knows, we're in need of some new blood pumped into the system and some new ideas infused into our public discourse. But she, like her paranoid ilk, just aren't it.

Sarah Palin for president in 2012? How can so many of us be so dumb?


Anonymous said...

Ouch. I watched the convention. It wasn't one of her best performances. Reyes also fails to mention that during this convention she handwrote the issues in the palm of her hand.

JM said...

What we now call the "Tea Party" is nothing new. Nor is it spontaneous. This anger amongst the lower middle class whites who tote guns and yell asinine slogans against Democrats, liberals, elites and others considered to stand in their way of power has been around a couple decades. I know first hand because they have tried to control our county. Growth in the number of new followers can be attributed to the media attention and to the organizing efforts of Dick Armey and Karl Rove, the media assistance from Roger Ailes' Fox and Rush Limbaugh, and from the financing by David Koch. The economy, deficits, unemployment, Wall Street, etc. are excuses, but not the basis of the noise. People acted just like this in the 90's when the economy and employment were good. Tom Daschle and Hilary Clinton were then the bogey men. President Clinton was ridiculed, but as long as he was being badgered by the right and the press, he actually was not hated. If the Tea Party was truly motivated by the deficit and unemployment, they would stop supporting China's biggest trading partner, Walmart.

Jim said...

It's not Palin, nor the Tea Party, nor any problem with our institution. It's people mad as hell and it's because of the economy, stupid.