Friday, February 04, 2011


From Michael Shear of The New York Times:

Could Friday night be one of those defining moments in the career -- and potential presidential candidacy -- of Sarah Palin?

... Ms. Palin, the former governor of Alaska, is scheduled to give a major speech Friday night at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, Calif., in honor of what would have been the 40th president's 100th birthday.

It's possible that Ms. Palin could use the opportunity to deliver a broadly conceived foreign policy speech that uses the turmoil in Egypt to advance an understanding of her national security beliefs that goes beyond her use of Twitter messages and Facebook posts....

Sorry if you spit coffee on your monitor when you read that. I didn't make it up. He really wrote that. He really thinks it's theoretically possible.

So what will she say? I think the answer is pretty obvious from this:

Sponsored by Young America’s Foundation, the dinner does not start until 9 p.m. East Coast time....

The group says Ms. Palin will "reflect on the seminal speech by President Reagan, 'Time for Choosing,' that discussed the risks and rewards before an America at a crossroads in the early 1960s. Governor Palin will draw parallels to today while calling for young people to continue the Reagan revolution into the future."

Have you read Reagan's "Time for Choosing" speech? It was a campaign speech for Barry Goldwater in 1964, but it's so teabaggy you'd think it was written in the past two years:

... How many of us realize that today federal agents can invade a man's property without a warrant? They can impose a fine without a formal hearing, let alone a trial by jury? And they can seize and sell his property at auction to enforce the payment of that fine.

... Last February 19th at the University of Minnesota, Norman Thomas, six-times candidate for President on the Socialist Party ticket, said, "If Barry Goldwater became President, he would stop the advance of socialism in the United States." I think that's exactly what he will do.

But as a former Democrat, I can tell you Norman Thomas isn't the only man who has drawn this parallel to socialism with the present administration, because back in 1936, Mr. Democrat himself, Al Smith, the great American, came before the American people and charged that the leadership of his Party was taking the Party of Jefferson, Jackson, and Cleveland down the road under the banners of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin. And he walked away from his Party, and he never returned til the day he died -- because to this day, the leadership of that Party has been taking that Party, that honorable Party, down the road in the image of the labor Socialist Party of England....

Did the speech touch on foreign policy at all? Yeah, somewhat, especially at the end:

Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us they have a utopian solution of peace without victory. They call their policy "accommodation." And they say if we'll only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he'll forget his evil ways and learn to love us. All who oppose them are indicted as warmongers.

... this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face -- that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight or surrender.

....You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery.

This was delivered two and a half months after the Tonkin Gulf incident and the subsequent resolution that had already started to enable Lyndon Johnson's massive escalation of the Vietnam War.

This is the sort of nuanced rhetoric I think we can expect from Palin tonight.


UPDATE, SATURDAY: Well, she steered clear of the subject of Egypt as if it she were dodging a non-Fox News reporter. In fact, she avoided specifics on every conceivable subject. The speech was thirteen minutes a half hour of Reaganesque boilerplate -- government is evil, our grandparents were rugged individualists who never took a dime in handouts, we're enduring a socialist nightmare of punitively high taxes and a command-and-control economy, but we're also a shining city on a hill that's the light of the world, and, well, God bless our troops -- and (she added in passing) Israel. This guy has the video,* if you can stand it, though I wish she'd just posted the transcript so I wouldn't have had to listen to the fingernails-on-a-blackboard one-octave leaps that she imagines are an effective public speaking technique.

*UPDATE: Whoops -- sorry, I was watching an edited video. Mediate has the whole bloody thing, but the rest is mostly soppy words about Reagan and Palin's usual self-satisfied "we eat all those stupid animals liberals want to protect!" schtick. Oh, one specific, if you can call it that: government investment in green energy is stupid because Spain tried that and now Spain has high unemployment! So there! Nyah-nyah nyah-nyah-nyah!


Some follow-up thoughts here on what a policy lightweight Palin is -- and why she's not very different from anyone else in her party.

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