Monday, May 24, 2010


Well, to make the obvious point about this:

Right-wing darling Sarah Palin accused US President Barack Obama on Sunday of leading a lax response to the Gulf of Mexico spill because he is too close to the big oil companies....

"I don't know why the question isn't asked by the mainstream media and by others if there's any connection with the contributions made to president Obama and his administration and the support by the oil companies to the administration," she told Fox News Sunday....

... I'd appreciate hearing her explain how this jibes with the criticism leveled by her pal and endorsee Rand Paul, which was, of course, exactly the opposite:

What I don't like from the president's administration is this sort of, you know, "I'll put my boot heel on the throat of BP." I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business.

I would have appreciated it if Palin's interlocutor on Fox, Chris Wallace, had done what he's been known to do now and again, that is, skip the talking points and ask a pointed question along those lines, even if it deviated from the right-wing script. (No such luck, according to the transcript.)

I also would have also appreciated it if Robert Gibbs had thrown Paul back in Palin's face; Gibbs did an okay job of defending Obama ("I'm almost sure that the oil companies don't consider the Obama administration a huge ally. We proposed a windfall profits tax when they jacked their oil prices up to charge for gasoline"), but why not play the Paul card? (Something like "Gosh, I'm confused. Rand Paul, whom Palin has endorsed, says we're too tough on business. I wish Palin and Paul would get their stories straight.")

I'd also like to hear a thoughtful debate between Ms. Palin and her Fox colleague Andrea Tantaros. Palin thinks Obama is the poodle of Big Business. Tantaros begs to differ, in classic understated Fox style:

This past Sunday, in one of the most aggressive and offensive intimidation tactics to date, hundreds of members of the largest union -- the SEIU -- stormed the front yard of Bank of America deputy general counsel Greg Baer's home. The angry mob had bullhorns, signs and even broke the law by trespassing to bully Baer's teenage son, the only one home at the time, who locked himself in the bathroom out of fear....

If you think the unions are working alone, think again.

These protests, the ones storming Wall Street bank lobbies and now the private homes of bankers, are likely being carefully coordinated with the White House to increase their profile against the financial fat cats and help pass disgraced Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd's financial regulatory bill.

Remember, when the White House visitor records were finally made public, it was SEIU boss Andy Stern who was the most frequent guest.

There are also no coincidences in politics. The bill passed the Senate last night.

From the G.M. bondholders, to the Black Panthers at polling stations, to ACORN to these assaults on private citizens, Obama is running a Hugo Chavez-style thugocracy. Like Chavez, he gets non-official "allies" to act as his henchemen and do the intimidation work. Obama provides the narrative and tells the story of "greed" while the SEIU provides the muscle. This is about power, not prosperity....

Andrea, is this before or after Obama licked BP's boots? Ex-Governor Palin, your thoughts?

Oh, but I'm sure Glenn Beck will be along any second now to explain via diagram how Obama can be both Hugo Chavez and Dick Cheney.

Though I'll give Palin this much: taken in isolation, her shameless transformation from corporatist to full-throated critic of BP shows better political instincts than Obama seems to have right now. His administration has said nasty things about BP, but you don't feel his heart is in it. Palin's interest, needless to say, is exclusively in what advances her career, but she knows it's a moment when you want to bash business, while he doesn't seem sure. Which is not to say that she would actually have a clue what to do if she were actually in office and dealing with this. But Palin knows what's good for Palin. I wish Obama didn't sometimes seem to lose sight of what's good for Obama, because good politics in this case would be much better policy than what we have now.


(AND: because I didn't make it clear, I say all this even though Palin's grasp of facts leaves something to be desired.)

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