For People Who Think

November 4, 2011

“Palin” by Comparison… by Dan Lynch

Filed under: Uncategorized — 4peoplewhothink @ 8:00 pm

Normally, I let individual politicians say what they want to say without comment from me. Enough people understand by now that these people will say whatever they think their target audience wants to hear.

I’ll make this exception, though, this time. I’ll do it for Sarah Palin. Why? Because she routinely has demonstrated a public capacity for missing the point that’s so staggering, so breathtaking in its magnitude, so awe-inspiring in its sheer scope, that it borders on some sort of misguided, nit-witted grandeur.

So, the other day Palin was in Lake Buena Vista, Fl., talking to a bunch of Republican political contributors, and she took that occasion to say that the Occupy Wall Street crowd is only after “a bailout” from the government.

Well, excuuuuuuussse me, but I was under the impression that the Occupy Wall Street crowd was complaining because they can’t find paying jobs. I have that impression of their desires because – pay attention, now, Governor Palin – I actually READ A NEWSPAPER NOW AND THEN!

There’s little question that Sarah Palin is a talented woman. She has charm, warmth and a gift for pushing the right buttons with blue-collar, Joe-the-Plumber types who don’t really understand what’s going on but have plenty of opinions about it. It’s my distinct impression, though, that if she actually were to try to read more than two or three sentences at a stretch her head might explode like the bomb the Enola Gay dropped on Hiroshima. I base that assessment on what I’ve heard her say on TV about Paul Revere – you might want to look that up, by the way – and the opening shots of the American Revolution. (Google that one, too, if you want a real chuckle.)

Look, there are plenty of complaints to be leveled against the Occupy Wall Streeters. Too many of them seem to be Jew haters. That’s a disease of the left these days more than of the right. Some of them are more or less out-and-out commies. Some are every bit as nuts just on general principles as some of the loonies who showed up at the Tea Party rallies. They’re also pushing too hard now that they’ve made their point in cities across the country. For them, it’s time to settle down and get organized, as the Tea Party got organized before them.

Most of them, though, are just people who believe that Wall Street was largely responsible for the recession that has left 15 million people out of work in this country. Most of them simply want to find regular jobs and earn a paycheck. Most of them feel that this has gone from the Land of Opportunity to a land divided more and more into poor and rich – extremely rich, actually. And, unlike previous generations of Americans brimming over with optimism and faith in the system, they believe that if you weren’t rich when the recession hit, you never will be.

Their big complaint is that that the political system is now so frozen with partisanship and so tightly controlled by big money that it doesn’t work for most Americans – that it instead works mainly to aid the super rich in becoming ever richer. Like the Tea Partiers, they’re horrified that the government gave the reckless Wall Street bankers nearly a trillion bucks in loans with no strings at all and that the Wall Street barons are now rolling in cash while working class people are losing their homes and savings.

The big differences between the two groups are age – the Tea Partiers skew older – and education. The Occupy Wall Streeters have more schooling, and they have the college loan bills to prove it. But they don’t have jobs. That’s what they want – not bailouts from the taxpayers like the lords of Wall Street got after they screwed up.

The Tea Partiers at least had a plan to make things better – cut federal spending ruthlessly. Their solution is overly simplistic and depressingly incomplete, but at least they had a solution and the drive to push to make it work. That’s where the Occupy Wall Streeters have fallen down. Maybe, once winter chases them off the streets, they’ll smarten up and start to get organized. And maybe not.

It’s unlikely that Sarah Palin will smarten up, though. If she was going to display any intellectual horsepower my guess is that it would have happened already. She’s still seething because Katie Couric asked her on TV three years ago what she read.

The answer, quite obviously, was pretty much nothing.


  1. The gist of the controversy as to what Sara Palin said about Paul Revere’s ride is that she said that Revere warned the British that the Colonials were mustering militia to oppose them and her critics ridicule that possibility. In point of fact, the weight of opinion of professional historians, based in large part on Revere’s own writing, is that he did advise the British upon being captured in the course of his ride that the word had been spread as to their intentions to seize Colonial arms and leaders and that they’d best return to Boston before they suffered casualties for no good reason, the objects of their raid having been removed from the area to which the British were marching.

    Comment by Cap — November 13, 2011 @ 7:15 am | Reply

  2. Glad to find your blog Dan

    Comment by jerry houser — November 13, 2011 @ 4:48 pm | Reply

  3. The problem with pigeon-holing the OWS people, is that they aren’t really organized into a single political agenda, as Dan is explaining. There are some common elements, the clearest being their justified conviction of corruption, inside the financial powerhouses.

    But that’s the best we’ve got, right now. Chaotic & uncertain as it is, OWS could be the next important step in the evolution of our democracy. I hope it works out for the better, but as with all things there is no guarantee.

    As far as Palin goes, I can’t help but like the woman. I choose to view her resignation as a courageous act; an instinctive sense, on her part, of the priorities that an individual has to choose between. But for Pete’s sake, WHY CAN’T SHE STAY OUT OF POLITICS? She doesn’t belong there.

    Speaking of accusations of stupidity – Perry. I dislike this guy as much as liver. But it was so painful to watch that blunder. It had to be so embarrassing, that it’s difficult not to put oneself in the guy’s shoes, and have some sympathy.

    On the more general topic, is a perfect memory a mandatory requirement for the presidency? Or do you have to be a terrific orator like Clinton or Reagan, in order to be an effective president?

    You might need those things to WIN the office, yes, but that’s the point. And yeah, you can make a case for needing some oratory facility, because you have to persuade conflicted groups, in order to move forward your agenda. But things like an occasional synapse not firing, or an off color remark from 20 years ago – it’s just so sad that we are making decisions with these superficial heuristics.

    Basing your voting patterns on character, is one good strategy, though. On that basis, Perry should have been out the door, long ago.

    Comment by DCWhatthe — November 13, 2011 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

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