Monday, February 15, 2010

Palin's True Colours! No Red, or White, or Blue!

Neocon Sarah sets her sights on the Tea Party movement
Beyond the Palin drone
Sarah Palin's still a player, but she's no threat to Obama
By Andrew Sullivan
Feb 14, 2010
The Big Read: So does tomorrow truly belong to her? I refer, of course, to the former governor of Alaska, who quit when she was barely past the middle of her first term because, as she explained, she was not a quitter.
SARAH AIN'T SO: Former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin inspires fervour in her supporters - who are devoted, but few. This makes her a liability for the Republican Party Picture: AP
I refer to the first vice-presidential nominee in modern times to run for office without holding a single press conference.
I refer to a person who had no idea why there was a South Korea and a North Korea; who had trouble understanding that Africa is a continent, not a country; who believes that the first amendment guarantees the right of politicians not to be criticised too harshly; who thinks climate change is "snake-oil science"; who thinks gays can - and should - be cured; and who last weekend electrified a small gathering of Tea Party supporters in Nashville, Tennessee, with a speech deemed so important that it was broadcast live on a Saturday night on every cable news station.
The answer, I am sorry to report, is: possibly.
I watched Sarah Palin's speech live and, if you leave any consideration of substance out of it, it was the most talented and effective performance of any Republican politician since Ronald Reagan. She has astonishing levels of charisma and a profound connection to her constituency: white, rural, evangelical, fundamentalist voters now roiled into ever greater levels of populist ire. She is also prepared to go where other, more - shall we say - responsible conservatives usually don't.
Two lines stood out for me. The first was a sign that she believes, and her followers believe, that she has some kind of divine destiny. She has repeatedly written and said that everything is in God's hands and that her future is simply to obey his will. In her question-and-answer session she explicitly called for "divine intervention" to save America from its current president, while openly declaring that she could well run for president in 2012.
Last week she cast herself in the mould of the biblical figure of Queen Esther, a story deeply embraced by the religious right. There was also her Eva Peron moment on Saturday in Nashville: "I will live, I will die for the people of America."
This is not the rhetoric of a politician. You cannot imagine even a late-stage Margaret Thatcher saying such a thing without being laughed off the stage. It has the apocalyptic tones of the leader of a movement.
The second line was more ominous, and about the sitting president of the United States leading forces in combat across the globe: "We need a commander-in-chief, not a professor of law."
At every event she attends she begins by asking every service member to raise their hands for praise. She constantly invokes her son, Track, who is serving in the military. And she constantly insinuates that Obama is not supporting the troops, and is befriending the enemies of the United States and alienating allies. She is particularly irked by the way Obama had Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas Day bomber, arrested using the civilian justice system, as George W Bush did with Richard Reid, the so-called "shoe bomber", and as hundreds of terror suspects have been under Bush, Dick Cheney and Obama and every president before.
It was striking that the first third of her speech was about national security, impugning Obama for being too weak. She defined her strategy for defusing Islamism, tackling Al-Qaeda, withdrawing from Iraq, fighting Afghanistan and Pakistan as: "We win. They lose." She also said that one way that Obama could regain the requisite image of "toughness" was by launching a pre-emptive war against Iran.
These two potent messages - casting Obama as "the other" and as a weak-kneed near-traitor to the troops and portraying herself as the avatar of the real America, ready to die for its survival - are political gold for the core of the Republican base. But she also adds something else.
She was widely mocked for scribbling some notes on her hand to guide her through the Q&A. But this endears her to those who form her strongest supporters - whites without college education who feel condescended to by liberal elites.
She has found an almost perfect cycle: the more she is attacked and criticised, the deeper her base identifies with her, the more convinced they are that she is being persecuted the way that Christians, in their view, are constantly persecuted.
As her church demonstrates, she is a believer in the end-times. In the old days, rural, white America was anti-Semitic, isolationist. Under the influence of the new evangelicalism, which treats the Book of Revelation very seriously, there is a wide belief that the state of Israel represents the in-gathering of Jews necessary for the end of the world. Hence her recent statement: "I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don't think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand."
This has serious foreign policy consequences and goes further than even those who sympathise with the difficulties of Binyamin Netanyahu's government in reining in the settlements. What it reveals is her enormous intuitive appeal as a female war leader to those bewildered by the events of the past decade. It would be foolish to underestimate the appeal of a beautiful, divinely chosen warrior-mother as a military leader in a global religious war. She is more radical than Cheney and a good deal more charismatic.
Could any of this happen? Could this person become president? The odds remain against it. A poll last week revealed that Palin's favourability ratings have dropped to a new low of 37%; 70% of Americans believe she is unqualified to be president, up from 60% in November. Even among conservative Republicans her ratings have slid: 45% now view her as qualified for the presidency - 66% said so last autumn.
That poll was Valium to the soul.
She has had a massive PR blitz with her book and has a platform on Fox News to broadcast her views direct to her base.
Her speech was a tour de force, but fewer and fewer take her seriously though her supporters love her more and more.
Even Michael Savage, the far-right radio host banned from Britain because of his hate speech, said last week: "If you want Obama for a second term, just make sure Sarah Palin is the Republican nominee ... she is not electable as president."
There are two unknowns, it seems to me.
The first is: who else have the Republicans got? No one out there can equal her grip on the base, or her charisma. In the primaries she has a solid phalanx of devoted supporters who are exactly the kind of voters who show up come rain or shine. If the Republican establishment tries to counter her with a blander candidate, she could easily run as a Tea Party candidate - a George Wallace-style option that might well guarantee Obama a landslide.
The second unknown is the economy and the war. Both could get worse. A slide back into recession or a terror attack could give the sub-rational forces that Palin channels so well a real chance to break through. This is a country of deep and dark populist moments, and she is seeking hers.
I have to say I fear her. Or, rather, I fear a country that has allowed such a person to come so close to power and to dominate its discourse quite so powerfully. It is a sign that all is not well. And the world needs an America that is more stable and more calm than the one Palin represents.
Palin says not considering a run for president in 2012 would be 'absurd'
Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Sarah Palin says it would be "absurd" for her not to consider running for president in 2012.
The former Alaska governor and the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008 says she will run for president if she believes it's right for the country and right for her family.
Palin was asked on "Fox News Sunday" if she knows more today about domestic and foreign affairs than she did two years ago. Her response: "Well, I would hope so."
She says her focus has widened since she was governor of Alaska. Palin says she gets daily briefings by e-mail on domestic and foreign policy issues from advisers in Washington.
Palin appeared on "Fox News Sunday." She is a paid contributor to Fox News.
Palin is a Neoconservative, not a Tea Party Constitutionalist
09 Feb, 2010
By Michael Pento
Sarah Palin is missing the nucleus of what the Tea Party activists are all about. They are not looking for another John McCain or George Bush. While I sympathize with much of Palin's platform, she misses the entire isolationist sentiment of the movement.
Tea party activists want a return to the constitution. While they want to fiercely defend our country, they also do not want to conduct any more pro-active wars that bankrupt the nation. They also value the life of our young men and women more than the profits of Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. There are many right leaning independents that will no longer support the use of military force to spread democracy and build nations across the globe.
Here is Mrs. Palin's interview with Chris Wallace on Fox news last Sunday. You could hear the votes dropping from true conservatives across the country when she uttered these words; "Say he decided to declare war on Iran..., which I would like him to do." Her comments were in response to the question how Barack Obama can improve his chances of re-election.
That means that if we elected President Palin, she would most likely declare war on Iran, today! What kind of war Sarah? Many military experts claim that a messy and bloody ground war would be necessary, not just a week of "Shock and Awe" air sorties.
There is a nascent movement in Iran to overthrow Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the citizens of that country are using people like Mir-Hossein Mousavi to change their government's attitude towards Israel and the west.
Our country must vigorously defend attacks against our nation and her allies. But demagoguery and jingoism should not be used as a way to score political points. And war must be viewed as the last option of defense, not a way of life or a political ideal.
By the way Sarah, the President can't declare war on anybody, only congress can. But if you do get elected, will you remember which country to invade? Iraq or Iran...maybe you can write in on the back of your glasses.
No need to worry Mahmoud, if Palin's platform in 2012 is more Neo-conservatism, she will mush her way back to Alaska.
Tea Party Sarah is a Neocon
Kurt Nimmo
February 6, 2010
Sarah Palin delivered a speech prior to her keynote at the Republican Tea Party fest in Nashville scheduled for this weekend. In addition to touching on government spending and the bankster bailout, Palin said the underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab should have been grilled before he was read his Miranda rights.
“We need a commander in chief, not a professor of constitutional law,” she said, according to the Wichita Eagle.
In fact, Obama was not a professor of constitutional law. He was a “senior lecturer” at the University of Chicago Law School. In academia, there is a vast difference between the two titles, not that we should expect Palin (or her script writers) to get it right.
Palin, the darling of the Tea Party movement (or the one hijacked by statist neocons), is merely echoing the Republican idea that supposed terrorists accused by the government do not deserve Fifth Amendment protection and should be shuffled off to the torture camp at Gitmo straight away. In other words, if the government says somebody is a terrorist then they do not have a right to remain silent. If the government says you’re a terrorist, well then by gosh you must be one.
Neocons say skipping the Fifth Amendment is crucial in such cases because the government needs to get “actionable intelligence” from terror suspects.
But what kind of intelligence would they get from Mr. Fizzlepants, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab? That he was escorted to the airport in Amsterdam by a well-dressed Indian man who was obviously a military or intelligence operative? Do neocons expect us to believe that if the government waterboarded Abdulmutallab they would get information on sleeper cells or nefarious plots in the making by al-Qaeda, the phantom terror group cobbled together by the CIA?
Palin supports the neocon concept of forever war against Muslims. In this respect she is just like Obama and the Democrat version of Bush’s neocons.
In December, Tea Party Sarah lauded Obama’s decision to send another 30,000 troops into the Afghan meat grinder. “At long last, President Obama decided to give his military commanders much of what they need to accomplish their mission in Afghanistan,” Palin (or one of her handlers) wrote on her Facebook on December 1, 2009.
“We now have an opportunity to build a bipartisan consensus in support of a vital national security priority: defeating Al-Qaeda and its violent extremist allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and ensuring that these countries never again serve as bases for terrorist attacks against America and our allies,” she wrote. “We should be in Afghanistan to win.”
Palin’s speech at the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet in Salina, Kansas on February 5, 2010.
In regard to the Middle East, Palin sounds just like a run-of-the-mill neocon. “I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going to grow,” Palin told Barbara Walters last November. “More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don’t think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand.”
Once again, Palin gets it wrong. In fact, people are deserting Israel in record numbers, especially educated professionals “who could not be integrated in Israel because of the unsuitability of their professions to the Israeli work force.” Others are leaving because the country is ruled by insane warmongers who are determined to start another war, this time with Iran. Palin supports the Israeli policy of stealing Palestinian land. She also apparently supports the Israeli bombing of civilians in Gaza.
Sarah Palin is a neocon Stepford wife. As Justin Raimondo noted back in November of 2008, Sarah had her head stuffed with neocon talking points in the lead-up to the election when she was John McCain’s running mate. “Strapped to a chair and forced to read a year’s worth of Weekly Standards out loud while having the audio version of the complete works of Norman Podhoretz piped into her ears, poor pistol-packin’ Sarah was no match for her neocon interrogators, who ironed all those right-wing populist quirks out of her malleable mindset. Now, Sarah, repeat after me: jury nullification is nuts, forget about Alaskan independence, and always, always remember, you hate Ron Paul!”
Raimondo made his albeit sarcastic point in response to a report in the London Telegraph. It stated: “Comments by the governor of Alaska in her first television interview, in which she said NATO may have to go to war with Russia and took a tough line on Iran’s nuclear program, were the result of two weeks of briefings by neoconservatives.”
War with Russia and attacking Iran? How is such warmongering insanity compatible with the Tea Party movement? Are Tea Party supporters ready to get behind ever increasing Pentagon budgets (more than $500 billion in 2009) in order to combat terrorists created by the CIA and Mossad?
Or is the new Tea Party about spending billions on mass murder while cutting “discretionary” spending? Sounds like Obama to me.
Sarah Palin is a thinly disguised Trojan Horse. Her mission is to subvert the Tea Party movement and shepherd its supporters back into the big government and all-war-all-the-time Republican camp.
Sarah Palin is a neocon. If the folks who are paying around $500 to attend the Republican love fest in Nashville cannot see this, they are about as clueless as Sarah who would be a babe lost in the woods without her Republican and neocon handlers and speech writers (and Facebook scribblers).
Finally, it really is scary how easily the Tea Party movement was played. On CNN last night, one attendee to the fest in Nashville said the idea is to change the Republican party from the inside out and make it the party of the Constitution and individual liberty.
I had to laugh. If Tea Party supporters believe this is possible, they may be interested in some oceanfront property I have for sale in Arizona.