Monday, September 29, 2008

Politicians say the dumbest things...

Obviously liberals were never going to like Sarah Palin. She's a feisty, devout Christian who hates reproductive rights almost as much as she hates polar bears. And looking a lot like Tina Fey only makes it easier to parody her:

But then again, she hasn't done herself any favors. Compare this SNL skit to the transcript from her actual interview with Katie Couric, which was cited in a scathing piece by Fareed Zakaria:
COURIC: Why isn't it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries; allow them to spend more and put more money into the economy instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

PALIN: That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, were ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health-care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy, helping the--it's got to be all about job creation, too, shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health-care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans. And trade, we've got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, scary thing. But one in five jobs being created in the trade sector today, we've got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.

Wow. And this was after weeks of prepping from senior McCain advisors and consultants. You're better off asking Paris Hilton for policy analysis.

Unfortunately for Palin, the right-wing is also starting to notice her, let's say, "shortcomings". Writing in the conservative National Review, Kathleen Parker says:
"Palin’s narrative is fun, inspiring and all-American in that frontier way we seem to admire. When Palin first emerged as John McCain’s running mate, I confess I was delighted. She was the antithesis and nemesis of the hirsute, Birkenstock-wearing sisterhood — a refreshing feminist of a different order who personified the modern successful working mother...

It was fun while it lasted.

Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League...

If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself."
But before we're too hard on Palin (and trust me, no one has less respect for her intellect than me) Paul Krugman reminds us that John McCain isn't exactly a great mind himself, especially when it comes to the economy:
"We’ve known for a long time, of course, that Mr. McCain doesn’t know much about economics — he’s said so himself, although he’s also denied having said it. That wouldn’t matter too much if he had good taste in advisers — but he doesn’t."
This, of course, is the same John McCain who once said interest rates should always be set at 0%. So when McCain and Palin get together, it's not exactly a MENSA meeting.

In the interest of fairness, however, Don Boudreaux provides a uniquely libertarian perspective on the issue:
"Mr. Zakaria is incorrect to suppose that these traits separate Gov. Palin from other candidates for high political office. Calls by Senators McCain and Obama for cracking down on "speculators" are full of classic and wrongheaded catchphrases, as is Sen. Obama's vocal skepticism about free trade. Gov. Palin is merely less skilled in passing off inanities and claptrap as profundities."
This is true on some level. But Governor Palin is working really hard to distinguish herself.

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