01 October 2008

William Kristol and the Sarah Palin Problem

For anyone wondering if the right wing of the Republican party has any integrity left, please read Bill Kristol's latest Op-Ed piece* in The New York Times. The answer couldn't be more clear.

My favorite quote from the 1000+ almost-universally excoriating comments which were left in response to Kristol's column is one in which a commenter describes Sarah Palin as "Chance the gardener with a mean streak." I think Bob from New Jersey hit the nail on the head.

She's folksy and simple, and sometimes the stupid things she says sound profound, until you realize that really, underneath it all, what she's saying is absolutely meaningless. But we expect people to make sense, so we desperately try to assign meaning to her words even when it's not possible, and that allows some people to believe that what she is saying is wise, or true, or meaningful, even when it is nothing but ignorance layered with obfuscation and wrapped in snark.

Henrik Herzberg's take
on Sarah Palin's trouble with the English language was also "spot on." (My favorite line, if you don't have time to read the whole thing, is the one where he described her interview with Katie Couric as, "Pronouns wander[ing] in search of antecedents like Arctic explorers in a blinding snowstorm.")

And has anyone seen Sarah Palin trying to squirm out of answering Katie Couric's seemingly innocuous and straightforward question about where she gets her information? Her answer is terrifyingly non-responsive and defensive, eventually ending up in the non-answer "Alaska is a microcosm!", which made me think, "Just fucking answer the question!" I can think of a thousand ways to answer that would have been reasonable, but she couldn't come up with one?

"Alaska is a microcosm." Huh?

Here are 10 answers to "Where Do you Get Your News?" that would have been better than Sarah Palin's answer:

10. I get all of my news from Fox News.
9. I get all of my news from Fox News online.
8. I get all of my news from the
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
7. I get all of my news from the Anchorage Daily News
6. I get all of my news from the Alaska Journal of Commerce, the Alaska Star, the Anchorage Chronicle, the Anchorage Daily News, the Anchorage Press, the Bush Blade, the Capital City Weekly, the Eagle Eye News, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, the Juneau Empire, the Ketchikan Daily News, the Kodiak Daily Mirror, the Nome Nugget, the Peninsula Clarion, the Petroleum News Alaska, and -- of course! -- the Wasilla Frontiersman
5. I get all of my news from the Wall Street Journal
4. I get all of my news from the Washington Post
3. I get all of my news from the New York Times
2. I have trusted advisors who screen over 15 newspapers a day, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, and summarize the most important news stories from each one, and I read their news digest every morning.
1. I skim the front page of The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Anchorage Daily News, and
the Wasilla Frontiersman every day.

Or she could have practiced some of John McCain's famous "straight talk" and admitted that she doesn't read anything; that others read and digest the information for her, from a variety of sources including the New York Times, Time Magazine, and the Anchorage Daily News, and also from several blogs ('cause she's young and hip to the internets!), and that that's where she gets her news.

Anything would have been better than what she said. Whatever that was.

*You'll have to register to read the articles, sorry.

No comments: