Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sarah Palin goes to a party, and enjoys tea.

So, Sarah was at the Tea Party convention the other night. I watched most of her speech, but dropped out when she had the sit-down chat. Too bad, as I understand I missed her checking notes she had written on her hand. Oh wait, I live in the 21st century: that shit will be online forever. Excellent.
Now, what I wonder is this: considering her track record with Q & A, would it really have devestated her image to carry a pad out with notes on it? I mean, really, is it so important to appear able to speak "off the cuff?" Poor dear didn't practice her speech enough either, as she stumbled several times and once obviously lost her place. I'm cool with that, however, even if I feel I would have been more prepared. I just don't understand why she keeps trying to hide weaknesses instead of being practical about overcoming them.
Now it may surprise those who know me that while I find the thought of Sarah in the White House horrifying, I have a grudging respect for her. While I'd never drop a thin dime on her book, I'll likely check it out of my college library (it will almost always be there: I go to college with teenagers; they don't read books). Call it a morbid curiosity.
The Tea Party is an interesting movement, in theory at least. Basically an amalgamation of independant voters, those disgruntled with both political parties (as well they and you should be). I'd have thought that getting independants together under any kind of banner, much less a convention would have been as sucessful as herding cats. Understanding that the Tea Party doesn't represent the spectrum of all independants, I'm impressed with the effort, even if I find the political philosophies of nearly all the convention attendees interviewed by CNN by and large repellant. And let me be clear that I admire Sarah only for continually putting herself out there. One also has to admire her walking the walk about her abortion views, even if I hold divergent and wildy more complex views. Largely, I think she is a power-hungry catchphrase machine, who is playing every supporter of hers for a fool. In her speech, she said exactly what her supporters wanted to hear, and they love the idea of her so much, they don't waste a moment thinking critically about what she's saying.
Allow me paraphrase because I'm far too lazy to mine quotes.
That we're fighting a war on terrorism, and using criminal investigation techniques and mentality are the wrong tactics. Completely wrong, unless your aim is not to use precise techniques to prevent attacks and aprehend terrorists, but instead to solve the problem by blowing up as many Muslims and people of brown skin as possible. Logically, we shouldn't be wasting our money on investigating the drug trade and weaving intricate webs to catch as many drug-related criminals as possible, but should carpet-bomb Columbia, and raze every town south of the border. Why waste the time trying to work your way as high up into a criminal (or terrorist) heirarchy as possible when you can just kill as many people as possible, including innocent women, men and children. That would prevent them from breeding more non-Americans just like them. Besides, despite tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Muslims, Arabs, and brown-skinned people dead, I don't think we've reached the eqivalency yet. It's never been stated, but isn't it something like, for every one of the 3000+ Americans killed on 9/11, 9000 or so Arabs must die? I know I'm not tired of revenge rhetoric.
Lesse, what's next.
"Common sense" in our Federal spending. Can't really argue too much with that sentiment. I do wish she'd have at least hinted how much more complicated it is than that appealing bit of rhetoric. Sure, I think the current attempts at health care reform are misguided, but I sure didn't hear any solutions to the pressing issues of Medicare and Medicaid ensuring Federal insolvency in a decade or two. Our budget deficit is worrying (but for all the wrong reasons: it's disturbing because of how it weakens our currency. Oil is denominated in dollars, which is bolstering the value of the dollar. If oil were to be denominated in any other currency, it would send our money into free-fall. Then China would then dump its currency reserves onto the market to try to recover some of their losses, further wiping out the dollar. Incidentally, both of the above are why we are in Iraq, not weapons of mass destruction) but advocating lowering taxes at the same time? Voodoo economics, anyone? Favoring the supply-side of the economy has now 30+ years of empirical evidence, during which time no recessions were prevented (we're in our 4th since Reagan took office), the divide between rich and poor has grown into a chasm, and deficits are the rule, not the exception. I wish if she's going to open her mouth, she'd have some real intelligence about economics behind it.
"It's been a year..." referring to the economy, "...can't blame the previous administration." Well, one could, but from one point of view that's correct: we should be casting a very critical towards the last 15 sessions of Congress. Besides, it took nearly 8 years to get into the recession. I'm tired of it too, but I know it takes time to pull out of one as well. Even longer for it to be felt in the "real" economy (how I despise that phrase). To reiterate the above, it's complicated. The Government is not a person, can't household financing isn't entirely applicable. Sigh
I must away to bed, but let's throw one more stone. Sarah stirred outrage that the Christmas Day attempt at blowing up an airliner, which she declared a miracle that it didn't go as planned (a miracle? Really? God intervened and stopped the bomb, through means awe-inspiringly inexplicable, such as the bomb-makers ineptitude? Really?), outrage that the terrorist is being prosectued with rights granted by our Constitution. Now, I understand the kneejerk reaction. He is not a US citizen, why should he be graced with the protections afforded our Constitution? Well, he was aprehended in US territory, and is thus subject to US law, not US lynchy, mob-ruley gut feelings. Let me offer this argument. I'm in no way a theist, but the Constitution is founded on the premise that the rights guaranteed in it are HUMAN rights, not exclusively American rights. These rights, as theist never tire of arguing, are in fact God-given rights, and our legal system was founded, theoretically, at least, on the premise that these HUMAN rights cannot be abridged. We live in a country that recognizes these human rights, and bases its laws on them. I'm an atheist, but I appreciate and enjoy the liberties and protections of the Constitution, even if I don't think them granted our species by a deity. But if one does believe our country is founded on Christian principles, and these rights are inalienable to the species, just how do you justify denying them to whomever pisses you off? A US citizen who attempts or commits mass murder is protected, and processed with these rights firmly in mind. It's hubris and jaw-dropping hypocrisy to deny these lauded (and entirely reasonable) rights, written down in our Constitution, to anyone simply because they're not American. Anyway, if I can say nothing else about Sarah (and I can, to be sure), she sure does get me thinking.

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