Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Palin Manifesto

I'm sorry to ruin your weekend, but I should mention that Sarah Palin, undeniably the greatest and most amazing living American, has posted "An Open Letter to Republican Freshmen Members of Congress" at Facebook, her usual outlet (which, like Fox News, her other haunt, does not allow for disagreement or dissent) -- because, of course, her not-even-one term as governor of Alaska and ability to regurgitate right-wing talking points without so much as having to blink make her an expert guide not just to Capitol Hill but to American politics generally. Here's a taste:

Your victory was hard fought, and the success belongs entirely to you and the staff and volunteers who spent countless hours working for this chance to put government back on the side of the people. Now you will come to Washington to serve your nation and leave your mark on history by reining in government spending, preserving our freedoms at home, and restoring America's leadership abroad. Some of you have asked for my thoughts on how best to proceed in the weeks and months ahead and how best to advance an agenda that can move our country forward. I have a simple answer: stick to the principles that propelled your campaigns. When you take your oath to support and defend our Constitution and to faithfully discharge the duties of your office, remember that present and future generations of "We the People" are counting on you to stand by that oath. Never forget the people who sent you to Washington. Never forget the trust they placed in you to do the right thing.

I'll pause while you rinse and spit -- and repeat.

I've already given the whole thing a read, but to spare you the misery our friend BooMan has helpfully listed Palin's priorities -- all 17 of them:

So, this is what Palinism stands for. It does not appear to deviate in any way from the policies of George W. Bush. Excepting earmark reform, increased hostility toward Latinos, and an even more Likudnik-friendly position towards Israel, nothing in Palin's proposals would change how the country was run between 2001 and 2009. 

Yes, Palinism is (far) worse than Bushism. What's amusing, though, in a not-so-very-funny sort of way, is that Palin is calling for "reining in government spending, preserving our freedoms at home, and restoring America's leadership abroad," Palin is (inadvertently and unintentionally) drawing attention to the the fact that Bush exploded government spending, trampled all over freedom at home, and destroyed America's leadership, credibility, and moral standing abroad.

She asserts that "so much damage has been done in the last two years," blaming Obama for anything and everything, but it is Obama who has sought to get the budget under control (including through health-care reform), revive Americans' constitutional rights at home, and restore America's image and standing around the world. To the extent that Obama hasn't done enough on civil liberties (for example, by maintaining elements of the Bush-Cheney national security state and by refusing to move forward on gay rights), he has actually found himself criticized vehemently from the left for being too much like Bush -- and shouldn't Palin like that?

As for her interpretation of the election results, Palin is just plain wrong. Republicans' success owed primarily to factors other than Republicans themselves -- to the lousy economy, to Democrats having to defend seats in predominantly conservative districts (won in the '06 and '08 "wave" elections), to Democrats failing to present a compelling case to voters (largely because they ran away from themselves and their achievements), to rabid anti-incumbent sentiment largely connected to the state of the economy, etc. It is a gross mistake to read too much other than that into the results, but of course Palin, basking in unwarranted triumphalism, does just that.

Simply, the election did not provide Republicans -- Palin's Tea Party Republicans, that is -- with a mandate to govern, or to impose their (highly unpopular) right-wing ideology on the American people, let alone to "leave [their] mark on history." The American people don't trust the Republicans and certainly didn't put their trust in them "to do the right thing." And the election certainly was not a victory for Palin's opportunistic combination of neoconservatism on foreign policy, theocratism on social policy, and libertarianism on economic policy -- even if this internally inconsistent insanity is currently what is holding the GOP together.

Yes, Sarah Palin is the ultimate princess of delusional overreaching -- and she presents it here, as she always presents herself, packaged in a wrapping of arrogant, self-righteous, self-aggrandizing cluelessness.

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  • Really? Is it at all possible that anyone "asked for (Palin's) thoughts on how best to proceed in the weeks and months ahead..."? Are they pulling in Joe the Plumber as well? Are the new Tea Party member of Congress visiting city zoos across the country to poll female grizzly bears? I think she's inflating her influence. We saw what her offerings this election cycle. And the GOP minority in the Senate isn't exactly thankful for her contributions. – The Mama Grizzly Train Has Derailed

    By Blogger Muddy Politics, at 9:07 PM  

  • Sour Grapes really do leave a bad taste don't they? To claim that Obama tried to save the budget by insane levels of spending on projects that would never help to create private sector jobs is abjectly stupid. To claim that Obama tried to improve the country's image by bad-mouthing it to anyone and everyone who would listen shows just what a fool the author is. Even worst is to try to belittle the accomplishments of the Tea Party who beat the two huge political machines in our country in national political races when their election funds were dwarfed by the two major parties is insane. What happened during this last General Election was not a fluke and did have a great deal to do with the greed and corruption of both the Democrat and Republican parties. The author really needs to stop drinking or smoking whatever it is he is into.

    By Blogger HarryG, at 8:24 AM  

  • Yawn - you lost we won - get used to it!

    By Anonymous Craig, at 8:37 AM  

  • Hey Michael. Just came to this blog from one of my favorite political blogs, crooksandliars. How cool was that to be posting there?

    Regarding the "self-righteous, self-aggrandizing" clueless Sarah Palin, your comment reminds me of a cartoon I did on her. It showed the various models of the universe. First panel -the geocentric model. Second panel - the heliocentric model. Finally, there is the Palincentric model. She truly believes that the planets and stars revolve around her, doesn't she?

    By Blogger john horse, at 10:31 AM  

  • Okay, HarryG, if you didn't like all that "insane spending," give back the tax cut you got from the stimulus package.

    By Blogger Mustang Bobby, at 1:00 PM  

  • Excuse me, I didn't quite hear where you expertise in economics comes from. Harvard, Princeton, the London School of Economics -- oh I see, it was Fox U.

    Some of that insane spending has been paid with up to 38% interest. But yes, that evil Obama is so bad he started the collapse even before he was elected! That Muslim scoundrel!

    I wish I could spend like that and what about borrowing insane amounts of money on a scheme that has proven over and over again never to work, ever? It's the same damned scheme that gave us 1929. Why can't we talk about that? Unless you vehemently protested Bush's economic assertions, go away because it's all your fault, not mine. You bastards were screaming about the robust health of the economy and pessimistic Liberals while it was all falling into the fan and I still haven't heard your apology.

    And don't give me some shit about unemployment, it's always the last thing to recover and we had no net gain in employment in 8 years of Bush. Zero. We're better off than we were a year ago and we put up with your lies and incompetence for many many years, so get used to wearing the dunce cap.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 2:00 PM  

  • Not Palinism, Palintology - it's Jurassic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:28 PM  

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