Saturday, October 04, 2008

She's not a Hockey Mom with Lipstick ... She's Emily Litella!

By J. Thomas Duffy

We referenced this in our post yesterday.

During the VP Debate Thursday evening, the Republican Candidate for Vice President ended her exercise in delivering talking points by quoting, in her final statement, the ol' Gipper, former President (well, he had the title, anyway), Ronald Reagan;
We have to fight for our freedoms, also, economic and our national security freedoms.

It was Ronald Reagan who said that freedom is always just one generation away from extinction. We don't pass it to our children in the bloodstream; we have to fight for it and protect it, and then hand it to them so that they shall do the same, or we're going to find ourselves spending our sunset years telling our children and our children's children about a time in America, back in the day, when men and women were free.

Unlike her running mate, Mommy Moose can't pull out the POW-POW-POW card, so, you go next best, and wave that flag, high and proud, using the forum of the nationally-televised debate to shake a good dose of jingoism all over us.

A Frank Capra moment ...


However, there's only a slight problem with it.

Either the Wasilla Whiz Kid didn't research, and put this together herself (by all accounts of her, that's extremely doubtful), or the Rove Rats in the Dead Campaign Express just pulled it off the World Wide Web and threw it in, believing, as we noted above, end the night waving, verbally, at least, Old Glory.

The problem is Reagan, how, and what he was using that quote for.

The Gipper was rallying the Right Wing troops, jingoistically hamming it up, as part of Operation Coffeecup, to defeat the advent of Medicare.

Reagan was paid by the American Medical Association to make a recording, inveighing against Medicare!

From Larry DeWitt's "Operation Coffeecup: Ronald Reagan’s Effort to Prevent the Enactment of Medicare";
In order to maintain the illusion of spontaneity, the AMA did not announce the existence of Operation Coffeecup or publicize the Reagan recording. The record was to be used, campaign organizers cautioned, only in the groups meeting under the controlled conditions of the informal coffees. Under no circumstances, recipients of the record were warned, were they to permit commercial broadcast of the recording.

(You can go here to listen to the YouTube of the Reagan "Operation Coffeecup" recording)

From Paul Krugman today;
When did he say this? It was on a recording he made for Operation Coffeecup — a campaign organized by the American Medical Association to block the passage of Medicare. Doctors’ wives were supposed to organize coffee klatches for patients, where they would play the Reagan recording, which declared that Medicare would lead us to totalitarianism.

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

I am a bit surprised, Palin, being young, and at a college, didn't pull out the "Ask not what your country can do for you, But ask what you can do for Country First - because, you know, John McCain is the only one in this campaign who can say he would stoop so low as to have me exploit Ronald Reagan and JFK in the same evening, just for the purpose of sucking in a few more votes ..."

Or, maybe, pull up Eisenhower's "Military Industrial Complex" speech, and lift a few passages from that, if only to wink one out to the home base.
Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad.

Add a few lines about the son in the Army, and the flags would practically wave themselves.

Ya Betch'ya!

I can't wait to see what Peggy Noonan does with this.

Being the #1 Gipper Groupie, she must have turned even a ghostlier shade of white when she heard Palin dropping the Gipper's' words.

The Stumblin' Bumblin' John McCain Campaign, who she has already dissed in public once, now appropriating the brilliance of Ronald Reagan, for a cheap political stunt?

"How dare they do that to my beloved Ronnie!"

(And you don't want to mess too much with the Nooner ... She's got connections with that that old Iran-Contra gang, and they have the resources to make it look like it was a wolf in a helicopter that does the shootin' of certain nitwits that dare use Ronnie like that.)

It's fascinating, how these people actually work at, go out of their way, to make themselves look ridiculous.

Palin's not a "Hockey Mom with Lipstick" ...

She's Emily Litella!

Can we expect a press release coming soon, succinctly saying "Never Mind"?

Bonus Palin "Brilliant!" Riffs

Wonkette: COMMUNISTS AMONGST US - Palin Quoted Reagan Calling Medicare Communism

John Aravosis: Is Palin against Medicare?

Jonathan Chait: Palin Channels Reagan

Attaturk: Know what you’re quoting

Saturday Night Live - Weekend Update: Emily Litella on Puerto Rico

Gilda Radner - Emily Litela: Substitute Teacher

(Cross Posted at The Garlic)

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