Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Decision 2012, Palin, Politics, cotton candy conservatives — Rick Moran @ 10:45 am

It’s pretty hard whether you are a Republican or Democrat, not to have a strong opinion about the abilities - or lack thereof - of Sarah Palin. The problem, as I see it, is that most on both sides paint the former Alaska governor in cartoonish colors thus making them incapable of evaluating her politically or personally in any kind of reasoned, rational way.

While my opinion of Palin hasn’t changed since it became clear that her depthless intellect and lazy habits of mind made her extraordinarily unready for national office, the more I see of her, the more I want to understand her appeal - and figure out what drives the left nuts about her.

Some on the left and right compare her to Ronald Reagan. That’s just not happening for me. The only similarity I can see is a superficial likeness in the way that people respond to her rhetoric - a pale echo of the Gipper’s soaring imagery and heartfelt sincerity when speaking about “that America.”

“That America” is not necessarily the “real America.” America is many things to many people. We all define our own “American” reality. I daresay that an African American’s America is slightly different than the America of a conservative southern Christian. Neither vision is wrong or evil. Our reality is shaped by our experience, our upbringing, our schooling, our friends and family, and outside influences.

Reagan - and to a less successful degree Palin - sought to hack into the American memory where most of our mistakes and crimes of omission and commission are either blocked by a firewall or deleted. What’s left is the “shining city on a hill” - the aspirational notion of an exceptional nation inhabited by exceptional people; self reliant, fiercely independent, contemptuous of government/authority, and bound by a citizen-government compact that doesn’t allow deviation from the template that was laid down when America was a coastal republic of 7 million people.

Change - dynamic, incremental, or otherwise - is virtually unknown in “that America.” Reagan was enough of a pragmatist to realize that it was impossible to repeal Johnson’s Great Society and FDR’s New Deal. But now Sarah Palin comes along and, while very short on specifics, hints at just such a revolution; a willy-nilly federalism capped by what Ambinder calls in this brilliant article, a “relitigating” of the social contract that has been the basis for life in America for the last 50 years:

Palin, writes Jonathan Raban in an excellent essay in the New York Review of Books, has an “exceptionally canny political instinct for connecting with her own kind.” It has been noted that her conservatism is resentment-based, and is fueled and nourished by the specter of elite mistreatment. (Palin is savvy enough to tease back.) But it is more than that. More than a list of grievances, Palin mixes Nixonian derision for those who think they know better with an aspirational dimension that motivates the middle class to vote. Out of the tony leagues of Washington and New York, she is — well, an Idahoan by birth, an exurbanite mother, able to expurgate the Republican Party of its own cosmopolitan tendencies. (This is one reason why the McCain campaign could not tend to her.) She is, as my friend @thetonylee says, “a hybrid of Nixon and Buchanan.”

The only presidential candidate who is able to put the boots to Obama and get away with it. What’s she running for? Not the question. What’s she running against? Not just Rockefeller Republicanism and the media, or pointy-headed law lecturer presidents, or Katie Couric: she wants to relitigate a bunch of issues that once were settled but now seem to be unraveling. The unrestricted embrace of immigration and the dilution of an American culture. Overweening Greenism. A complicated socially engineered tax code. A much larger role for government (embraced by the president who said that the era of Big Government Was Over and his successor, who was a Republican). The rule of experts. Even the concept of bipartisanship itself.

Ambinder is convinced that the way she is projecting herself smells suspiciously like she is a candidate in 2012. I think she wants to be but is being very cautious. She is leaving her options wide open, which is very smart, while making small moves on the national stage to both test the waters and leave herself an exit should the situation change in the next 10 months.

She can do this because she is the most popular Republican in the country right now. Even though a clear majority of Republicans don’t want to see her as president, an even larger number say that Palin “shares their values.” A majority of the GOP also believes that Palin represents a “new direction” for the party.

What is that direction? Ambinder:

In Searching for Whitopia, Rich Benjamin defines of a geo-racial balkanization that gives Palin-like candidates a natural base: towns like Couer d’Alene Idaho, with a “diversified economic base,” a pro-business regulatory environment, a commitment to “quality of life” issues, and — a 95% ethnic homogeneity. Coeur D’Aleners were migrants from the California of the 1990s; they live now in Colorado and the suburbs of Phoenix and are slowly pushing their way around the Sunbelt. Benjamin notes the “cultural, ancestral and implicitly racial” bond to their communities. The new residents come looking for land and living space; the long-time residents just want as little disruption as possible. Right now, there is enormous disruption. It is the same disruption that Democrats believe redounds to their benefit; depressed wages, exotic financial deals, government spending cuts (which feeds the disruption), what one Palin watcher calls the “downstream effects” of a country that has lived beyond its means for 60 years.

George W. Bush never spoke this language. He was an evangelical convert, more influenced by his advisers Catholicism than by, say, Palin’s Assembly of God charismatics. She is pure in ways the rich son of Connecticut could never dream of.

These simple folk of Idaho aren’t so simple. They get their news from talk radio and new media; and Palin speaks in 140-word epigrams: fragments that are icky to the ears of more polished speakers but convey meta-data — she understands this. What’s most appealing about Palin to these exurbanites, I think, is that the big Elite Crucible tore her apart — and she rose again, stood up, straightened her dress, and is now confronting her tormentors.

Palin speaks to a restlessness among conservatives who are uncomfortable with change. In the tea party movement, there is much hearkening back to a time when Americans didn’t need government so much (more realistically, government simply wasn’t there). While the fringes of the movement may not support much of any kind of government at all, the majority of tea partiers appear to be much more pragmatic in their criticism.

They may see a need for government in some areas but beyond anything else, they want the president and Congress - both parties - to adhere to founding principles. There is no reason this can’t be done while change occurs. Respecting individual freedom, acknowledging personal responsibility, adhering to the concept of constitutionally limited government, and following the rule of law are all under attack, and have been under both Democratic and Republican presidents.

I like to think that the linchpin that holds these principles together is prudence. And no one can make the argument that any of the last 3 presidents have demonstrated prudence when it comes to governing America.

Russell Kirk on prudence; one of his Ten Conservative Principles:

Burke agrees with Plato that in the statesman, prudence is chief among virtues. Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity. Liberals and radicals, the conservative says, are imprudent: for they dash at their objectives without giving much heed to the risk of new abuses worse than the evils they hope to sweep away. As John Randolph of Roanoke put it, Providence moves slowly, but the devil always hurries. Human society being complex, remedies cannot be simple if they are to be efficacious. The conservative declares that he acts only after sufficient reflection, having weighed the consequences. Sudden and slashing reforms are as perilous as sudden and slashing surgery.

It’s almost as if Kirk read the health care reform bill. Or the prescription drug benefit. Or even the AUMF resolution. We have an imprudent government and as such, it has rejected First Principles in favor of the temporary political aggrandizement of the elites.

Palin articulates this uneasiness, tapping into the resentment held by those who don’t want their old shoe America to disappear. The people sense things are moving too fast, careening out of control. The budget and deficit are symptomatic. It is the abandonment of prudence by the governing elite that has unhinged the forces of change and no one appears to be in control - or care much where we end up.

She wants to take us back to a place and a time that never really existed except in the imaginations of “that America.” It won’t work - it never has worked. Reagan was able to capture this yearning, but governed prudently and pragmatically. In that sense, he was always a disappointment to the “true believers” who thought he had been captured by Jim Baker and the inside the beltway elite. “Let Reagan be Reagan” was the plaintive cry of the James Watts, Richard Vigueires, and other movement conservatives who placed their hopes in drastically rolling back government on Reagan’s shoulders. The Gipper decided that governing and winning was better than slashing and burning, while going down to defeat.

That may be the real danger of a Palin presidency. She is not pragmatic nor do I sense much prudence in her either. That would require self-reflection - something that she clearly has eschewed in favor of “going with her gut” on all except calculating her own personal, political future. Basically ignorant not because she is stupid but because she is lazy, the half formed opinions that spout from her during her speeches may be enough to satisfy her legions of worshipers but, as we are finding with President Obama, translate poorly into a governing philosophy. If Palin were to beat the odds and win, no doubt we would see a continuation of the “perpetual campaign” that passes for leadership and governance from Obama.

So might she win?

Not a single other Republican presidential candidate can build a crowd like Palin, can run against something like Palin (be it Washington, the media, the McCain campaign or Obama); no one speaks to the resentment/aspirational conservatives like she does; no one’s life has better exemplified the way they perceive their struggle against the elite. We like to think about presidential primaries in paradigms, but candidates who fit with the times often find ways to completely subvert established paradigms.

Yes she can.


  1. “If Palin were to beat the odds and win, no doubt we would see a continuation of the “perpetual campaign” that passes for leadership and governance from Obama.”

    Surely you’re not so un-clued-in that you’re unaware of just how much legislation the president and his administration have been able to pass since taking office - helping reverse the past 8 (or more) years of neglect within the system.

    Palin would not only not have taken care of it by now… she wouldn’t even be AWARE of it unless Todd told her it was important.

    You’re right about one thing: she’s lazy.

    Comment by RoughAcres — 2/10/2010 @ 11:33 am

  2. Palin is emblematic one last run at an America that never was. It doesn’t mean they’re all racists, it just means they have no concept of what America looked like when you were limited to where you could live, where you could work, and sometimes on pain of death, what you could even say.

    There’s no simpler time to go back to for me and just about any black person drawing breath today.

    My dad had a Bachelor’s Degree from Butler University and he carried the mail. My genius level sister had to leave the state of Indiana to have a shot realizing her potential, and I grew up knowing that a black kid better not let the sun set on him in Zionsville.

    Times are tough, but I still write software for a living. I park my hybrid not too far from my condo situated in a nice little marina, far removed from the rear orifice that was the city I grew up in.

    There simply is no better time in the more than 400 years of this country’s existence on this continent for anyone with black or brown skin, and aspirations to make it. I have the one thing my father never had for 75% of his lifetime, a secure vote and a hand in running this country without fear of expressing that right come election time.

    This is the real America, the best America we’ve ever been, for my gay friends, and mixed-race relatives. For women who more likely than not will finally get paid the same as any man who has a family to support.

    For workers who are much less likely to come home in a box because their workplace killed them. For consumers of everything we eat, play with, and drive industry must make an effort to produce things that won’t poison us or blow up in people’s faces this is a fantastic time.

    My car is not a deathtrap, its safety features mandated by the “nanny state”. My drinking water and the paint on my walls are lead free due to previous “socialist” meddling in the affairs of the rich and powerful.

    It seems the only thing the teabaggers have to fear is fear of the clock continuing to move forward. The America they were sure existed long ago, that mythical Jeffersonian paradise of the slave owning founders and the mint julep are gone thank God.

    It wasn’t some magic Obama weaved, no pronouncement from “the one” (as teabaggers like to call the president) that brought about this change. It was a piece of paper signed by an unpopular president who get me and many like my the true gift of America.I want no part of any moment before that time not for all the riches of the world.

    Comment by Richard Bottoms — 2/10/2010 @ 11:43 am

  3. Rick, thanks for a great post. I’m not a big Palin fanatic, but I respect her appeal. I’d advise the left to respect it as well.

    Comment by Spider — 2/10/2010 @ 11:44 am

  4. Ambinder started off right, and then veered off the road with the white racial angle. Why exactly do we need such a complex tax code, or illegal immigration, why do we need such an overweaning leviathan of government. So being patriotic and hopeful is resentment, or as Schreiber put it

    Comment by narciso — 2/10/2010 @ 12:05 pm

  5. Nice Palin summary, Rick. Your analysis of the appeal of this woman to many Americans and her vast shortcomings compared with Reagan are right on target. The part about her being too lazy to actually make a successful run is dissected perfectly by this site:


    The guy who runs it has been pretty accurate before, so let me take the liberty of quoting the link in part:

    Palin probably hasn’t actually made a decision yet. She appears to be too busy enjoying her new-found celebrityhood. But at some point she will come to realize that running for President isn’t done on Facebook. She will personally have to walk through great piles of snow in subfreezing temperatures meeting voters in small batches in both Iowa and New Hampshire. While other countries find this an odd rite of passage, it is the way things happen in the U.S. and despite coming from Alaska, so far there is little evidence that Palin has the desire to put up with an extremely difficult process for months on end. If she tries to avoid Iowa and New Hampshire while her Republican opponents are out there at factories, schools, churches, malls, etc. day after day, they will hit her mercilessly for being lazy and a quitter. Even Hillary Clinton, who was widely accused of expecting a coronation, trudged through the snow day after day after day trying to collect votes one at a time. Palin will have to do the same thing if she wants the job and it may or may not have truly dawned on her how difficult, unpleasant, and demanding the process is.

    Something tells me that the “bet-it-all-on-Florida” strategy employed by Rudy in 2008 would be the preferred starting point for Palin in 2012, because then she can have everything stage-managed by her handlers, ensure that only supporters come to her rallies, and be able to enjoy an 8-hour working day at most. (She wouldn’t use Florida exclusively, but instead hop around between other early-voting states.) Yet in the end, this approach exposed a lack of “fire in the belly” for the job, something that also doomed Fred Thompson’s run for POTUS.

    In the end, Palin won’t run because she knows she can’t do it. She does know that talking about running will keep her in the spotlight (and make the dollars flow into her bank account faster), so she will keep up this charade for as long as we talk about her. In the meanwhile, any attempt of healing the structural problems of the GOP and elevating conservatism overall will be ignored, so long as she keeps shilling.

    Comment by Surabaya Stew — 2/10/2010 @ 1:23 pm

  6. Sharp. I don’t think Palin could win the nomination because she is too much like Obama–unqualified, inexperienced, and ineffectual. The public has its fill of those traits now. I once shared with you the belief that money would be Obama’s salvation in a re-election bid, but no longer. The United States Supreme Court just took care of that angle, and that is why the left-wing went batshit crazy over the ruling.

    Since there will be rough finanical parity now that the corporate caps have been lifted, the GOP nomination will be quite attractive. While no fan of Romney personally, either he or someone quite like him will be the GOP nominee, which is to say a person with a full business and political resume. One term of this Empty Suit will dampen the appetite of the public to replace him with another.

    Comment by jackson1234 — 2/10/2010 @ 1:38 pm

  7. Where is she from again, ‘the hottest governor from the coldest state’ as one magazine cover had her back home.
    She is the perfect retail politician, find a better argument

    Comment by narciso — 2/10/2010 @ 1:55 pm

  8. From Slansky:
    Palin took great umbrage at Rahm Emanuel’s use of the phrase “fucking retards,” then excused Rush Limbaugh’s subsequent reference to a “retard summit” as “satire.” She snarked to the Tea Partiers about President Obama’s use of a teleprompter, then was caught during the Q&A sneaking peeks at her hand, where she had pathetically scribbled crib notes in the idiotic belief that no one would notice them. (”Energy,” “Tax,” and “Lift American Spirits” — she was afraid she’d forget those deep thoughts?) And, of course, there was, “How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya?” which, in all my years of watching politics, is the most viscerally nauseating utterance I’ve ever heard. And these are just from the past week.

    After a year and a half of exposure to this virulently toxic presence, the question on the table is: In our lifetime, has there ever been a worse human being in American politics than Sarah Palin? For all the morons and criminals and bigots we’ve been subjected to, has there been anyone else who has combined all of the fetid qualities — the proud ignorance, the sadistic viciousness, the shameless hypocrisy, the arrogant laziness, the congenital dishonesty, the unctuous sanctimony, the bilious resentment, and whichever others I’m forgetting for the moment — that this morals-free harridan so relentlessly displays? (Not to mention that atonal bray with which she communicates it all.)

    Absolutely amazing. Palin scribbles a couple of words on her hand while Obama takes his teleprompter to a press conference and the left thinks the president comes out better in that comparison?

    Holy shit.


    Comment by DEO — 2/10/2010 @ 2:45 pm

  9. Actually Palin’s crib notes are a pretty good summation of conservative fiscal policy: cut taxes, mention but do nothing to decrease spending, and crow about how fiscally responsible you are while the national debt skyrockets.

    Kirk’s Principles are not an accurate statement of how conservatives actually are, but they’re a great statement of how conservatives like to think of themselves.

    Comment by Aaron — 2/10/2010 @ 4:46 pm

  10. Just a little oddness here:
    “I daresay that an African American’s America is slightly different than the America of a conservative southern Christian.”

    So there are no Southeren African American conservitive Christians? What about up North, or out West?

    As to Palin writing on her hand… If she had some precise details in there ($86.43 million or July 14, 1936) written in there then I’d think it is fine, and shows she wanted to get the right info out there. But when it is vauge terms… She could’t remember energy, tax and budget cuts? She had to read those words to answer questions?

    Comment by KenGirard — 2/10/2010 @ 5:05 pm

  11. Good summary Rick.What I hear from a number of conservatives is “we love her because she drives the liberals crazy.”So they love her because she helps make the country more polarizing?Wow. I too believe she is too lazy to make a run in 2012.And can we now stop the mularkey about the tea parties not being a gop entity.The gop has fully incorporated them. Most of the teapartiers are conservative republicans, the gop leaders will just abuse them like politicians of both stripes abuse the voters.If Sarah wasn’t attractive, would we even be talking about her?

    Comment by Joe — 2/10/2010 @ 6:42 pm

  12. Give the lady some credit. She ran a town and she ran a state.

    The only thing “The One” has ever run is his big mouth.

    Comment by CZ — 2/10/2010 @ 8:16 pm

  13. Rick,

    Nice analysis. Palin is a difficult person to discuss with her admirers. To me the bottom line is why replace one amateur with another. It is her lack of depth that turns me off.
    I think in the end she will choose not to run. Primarily because I think the people with the money to back a presidential run won’t see her as a good bet.
    I’ve given up on trying to discuss her on some sites. Hotair in particular and Patterico to some degree have too many posters who meet legitimate criticism with “As compared to Obama you libtard” or other such meaningful retorts….

    Comment by brad — 2/10/2010 @ 8:24 pm

  14. That was Todd CZ

    Comment by BellWeather Bill — 2/10/2010 @ 9:48 pm

  15. So, Reagan was wrong, but Nixon and Ford were right, to grow the regulatory state to new heights. That is the premise behind Ambinder’s commentary who has gotten little right this year. Is it so reactionary to consider a retrenchment of the welfare state, because we can afford it.
    We are supposed to wear every flaw and there have been some
    like a hairshirt and endlessly flagelate ourselves before Salafi soldiers and terrible tyrants like those in the siloviki and the PLA.

    Comment by narciso — 2/10/2010 @ 9:58 pm

  16. While my opinion of Palin hasn’t changed since it became clear that her depthless intellect and lazy habits of mind made her extraordinarily unready for national office, the more I see of her, the more I want to understand her appeal - and figure out what drives the left nuts about her.

    You want to understand her. You appreciate that the left despises her. This is a crucial step. You move away from despising her as much as the left does. You establish distance between your feelings for Palin and theirs. You halve the distance between you and Palin by differentiating yourself from the despised leftists.

    Basically ignorant not because she is stupid but because she is lazy, the half formed opinions that spout from her during her speeches may be enough to satisfy her legions of worshipers but, as we are finding with President Obama, translate poorly into a governing philosophy.

    Two uses of the word “lazy,” a characteristic that may be corrected over time with hard work. The qualifier “Basically.” The assertion that she’s not stupid. Equating her with Obama which of course allows you to move to the next stage which is to see her as a necessary evil, a counterbalance to Obama.

    I’ll stand by my prediction: 3 months until you roll over for Palin.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 2/10/2010 @ 11:42 pm

  17. I love the “city on a hill” reflection, especially when people refer it to a time in America that was simpler. Yes it was, in a place that became a refuge for people seeking religious freedom, who in response basically limited religious freedom. The Puritans were hard working and opened up Massachusetts, but in doing so drove out anyone who was different in belief. Not sure that is the America I want to be remembering.

    You have some good insights about Palin, and I wish I could take your stance about her, but something in my gut just doesn’t like her. But then I have that response to many of the politicians that have come out there, Obama is quickly getting on that list with his own missteps. I think Palin is going to milk this cash-cow for as long as she can, keeping the hope out there that she will do something then finally bring the stick down in some fashion.

    Comment by Boy 0 — 2/11/2010 @ 3:35 am

  18. @kenGirard:

    “As to Palin writing on her hand… If she had some precise details in there ($86.43 million or July 14, 1936) written in there then I’d think it is fine, and shows she wanted to get the right info out there. But when it is vauge terms… She could’t remember energy, tax and budget cuts? She had to read those words to answer questions?”

    This. I don’t care if her notes are on an expensive teleprompter or scribbled on the back of a napkin* . . . the issue is WHAT she wrote as notes.
    She needed a note to remind her that she was for tax cuts? Was she going to forget?
    Even that isn’t the most disengenuous thing about the incident. She had three things written down . . . and they were referenced in response to a question that asked what three things needed to happen once the conservatives took power. Clearly, the Q+A was staged. Fake. A sham. She knew the questions. She wasn’t “answering” them . . . she was giving more engineered speeches. And she was doing this while decrying the falseness of other politicians, the ones who just don’t talk directly and honestly and openly with the American People. I would expect people there to be outraged . . . but then again, I am pretty naive.

    *(although, to be fair, her glancing in her hand for her notes was friggin’ hilarious. Just the visual.)

    “Give the lady some credit. She ran a town and she ran a state.
    The only thing ‘The One’ has ever run is his big mouth.”

    Yeah. Oh, and the Country. That’s hardly as impressive as quitting during your term as Governor, I’ll give you that. Boy, you sure showed Obama and everybody that thinks Palin is incompetent! Well done.

    Honestly, I think that the Palin demagoguery stems from the campaign. When she was unveiled, she was hailed as the Second Coming, and questions and criticisms were immediately and aggressively attacked. The Palin Defense League made her a genius, rogue, down-home, pit-bull tenacious, careing, Grade A politician. Every time a question was raised, the defense force fired back.

    Since she has never faded into the background long enough for passions to cool down, there are too many people that simply aren’t going to be able to go back on what’s been said:

    “Palin’s awesome! She is just what this country needs! You’re a commie for even questioning her! She’s my idol! . . . Hang on . . . y’know, she’s charismatic and all, but clearly unqualified to be President. My bad.”

    Political opponents would never let that slide. “What does my opponent think? Well, remember they wanted you to vote for somebody they now admit is incompetent and a danger to the country, and when we pointed that out they attacked us for being right . . . just like they’re attacking us now. Think we should listen to them again?”

    That slow quiet tacit admission (which we’ve been seeing slowly creeping along) is the only “face-saving” path out for her camp . . . but since she refuses to go quietly into that good night she keeps them locked into their same rhetoric, causing them more and more damage. Shame.

    Comment by busboy33 — 2/11/2010 @ 3:59 am

  19. Yes, the campaign that gave us Joe Biden, who has been meticulous in his stewardship of the stimulus, who tried to take credit for the operation in Iraq, that he tried to sabotage with the partition plan, who told us we need not worry about an AQ attack in the near future. Yes I know he’s a dunce, but he was put one heartbeat away from the Presidency.

    Comment by narciso — 2/11/2010 @ 9:11 am

  20. @narciso:

    When did Biden say america didn’t need to worry about an AlQ attack? And which operation in Iraq did he claim credit for?

    Comment by busboy33 — 2/11/2010 @ 9:56 am

  21. She could’t remember energy, tax and budget cuts? She had to read those words to answer questions?”

    Remember that she crossed out “budget” and wrote in “tax”.

    I don’t know why she did it, but it seemed emblematic of the GOP these days. Talk about the need for fiscal responsibility while ruling out any substansive cuts to already indebted programs. Hence the Tea Party motto: “Gov’t handouts for me, but not for thee”.

    Comment by libarbarian — 2/11/2010 @ 11:56 am

  22. If I view Palin through my wife’s eyes, I would speak of instant hate! No analyzing Palin’s words, no listening before reacting, but simply total rejection up front. Those that vilify Palin are absolutely right to do so in her opinion! But then, the wife is quite left-leaning, so perhaps I have a small insight into why all of the negativity: irrational reaction to a woman with her attributes standing up to the nation and speaking her mind.
    Never mind what she says, it is that she says it at all that seems to count.

    Then they dig a bit to find reasons for their visceral reaction; and there are some, but not actually fatal ones. The biggest complaint is that she resigned her governorship. If I am properly informed, she faced almost certain bankruptcy if she didn’t quickly make some money to pay off a half million dollars of debt. Her salary wouldn’t come close, and there were several years yet to go in office.

    Meanwhile, she was besieged by reporters and lawyers at every turn, vilified in the MSM, and probably knew in her heart just how unprepared and intellectually thin on the ground she was for national office at that time. Calling time out may have been correct for her. I cannot walk in her shoes.

    I strongly suspect that her appeal will take her far, but in the end she will still be intellectually thin and not able to cope adequately with the pressures of running for president. Plus, the stigma of her resignation will stick to her. She would be a good person to have in support, however, for her vote-getting power. This just may be her real strategy: make herself necessary to the 2012 GOP ticket as VP once more(without saying so, of course).

    Meanwhile, she is driving my wife crazy, to my huge amusement!

    Comment by mannning — 2/11/2010 @ 1:37 pm

  23. “And which operation in Iraq did he (Biden) claim credit for?”

    It seems Biden thinks the Obama administration should take credit for all of it. As he stated on Larry King on Wednesday Night:

    “I am very optimistic about — about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration.”

    You just can’t make this up!

    Comment by SShiell — 2/11/2010 @ 2:56 pm

  24. On Larry King live, and he opposed the Petraeus counter
    insurgency strategy, as did Obama even if it would
    have worked, and he can’t figure out why Afghanistan and not Pakistan gets most of our money.

    Comment by narciso — 2/11/2010 @ 4:05 pm

  25. This another glance at Joe’s wisdom


    Comment by narciso — 2/11/2010 @ 5:16 pm

  26. @narciso (and Sshiell):

    So in regards to Iraq, he’s trying to say that good results that happen during this Administration are to the credit of this administration? Okay, a somewhat fair criticism I guess. True, its hardly 100% accurate, but every administration and politician does that (as they blame every other administration for anything bad that happens on their watch) so I’m not too plussed about it.
    I don’t think that’s quite the same thing as “[Joe Biden] tried to take credit for the operation in Iraq”, but fine. Saying “this administration is starting to bring the troops home, and thats an achievement” is hardly the insane and dilusional ramblings of a madman . . . since it IS sort of true. Is it exclusively, 100% all the doing of the Obama admnistration? No. Is it 100% to the credit of the Bush administration? Hell no.

    The “America has nothing to fear from an AlQ attack” comment? Is that what you linkewd to in comment #24? You mean this:

    “Vice President Joe Biden said it is unlikely the United States will see another terrorist attack of the proportions of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, but that the nation could still be the target of more ’small bore’ attacks.
    ‘The idea of there being a massive attack in the United States like 9/11 is unlikely, in my view,’ Biden said Wednesday night on CNN’s ‘Larry King Live.’ ‘But if you see what’s happening, particularly with al Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula, they have decided to move in the direction of much more small bore but devastatingly frightening attacks.’

    How in the hell do you get from that to “[Biden] told us we need not worry about an AQ attack in the near future.” He stated the exact opposite. Explicitly. I’ve quoted it right there above.

    If you can read “AlQ is focusing on smaller but devistatingly frightening attacks instead of mass-casualty attacks” and somehow hear “America has nothing to fear because AlQ isn’t going to try and attack us anymore” . . . well respectfully you’re having a bit of trouble with your reading comprehension.

    Comment by busboy33 — 2/11/2010 @ 10:11 pm

  27. That contradict the view of Panetta, Blair, Napolitano, Brennan (who has to misrepresent the facts,) also a nuclear Iran is not a problem,

    Comment by narciso — 2/12/2010 @ 10:14 am

  28. Wha?

    Biden’s opinion contradicts the view of Brennan . . . who misrepresented the facts. So Biden disagrees with someone who misrepresented the facts, and that is a strike against Biden?

    There are two completely different issues here, and you are mixing them up. The first is whether AlQ is going to launch large-scale (9-11 style) attacks. The second is did Biden say that America has nothing to fear from AlQ. You claim he said that, and he clearly did NOT say that.
    Now, is he right that AlQ is going to focus on small-scall atacks rather than massive attacks? I don’t know. Nobody does. But just to play Devil’s advocate . . . since 9-11 what attacks have been launched against America? Shoe Bomber. Underwear bomber. Any others? If that’s it, then AlQ has launched nothing but small scale terror attacks, and no large-scale attacks — which is what Biden said they were focusing on. So just based on the evidence, he appears to be backed up.
    Does that mean that there will never, ever, ever, be another massive attack? No. Did Biden say that? No.

    This misrepresentation is again evident in your other statement “that nuclear Iran is not a problem”. He didn’t say that. Again, from the exact same article you linked to in comment #24:

    “In terms of threats to stability abroad, Biden said Iran becoming a nuclear state was ‘a real concern, not an immediate concern.’”

    Do you honestly read the words “a real concern” and somehow hear in your head “not a problem”? I doubt it. But since you’re certain he is stupid/evil/dangerous, then regardless of what he says you are hearing some nonsensical exageration.
    It is absolutely your right to do that — but it makes your comments meaningless. Biden (or Obama, or Pelosi, or Reid) could drag an orphan from a burning building and you’d say “see? they are child molesters!” I have to assume that you don’t have any actual criticism, just pathological dislike. Again, that’s fine. But also worthless from a discussion standpoint.

    Comment by busboy33 — 2/12/2010 @ 2:18 pm

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