Sarah Palin and the Decline of Conservatism

What happened to the party of Goldwater and Reagan?


The 19th century American writer Henry Adams said the descent of American presidents from George Washington to Ulysses S. Grant was enough to discredit the theory of evolution. The same could be said of the pantheon of conservative political heroes, which in the last half-century has gone from Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan to Sarah Palin. That refutation may be agreeable to Palin, who doesn't put much stock in Darwin anyway.

You can confirm all this by looking at what the three wrote. Goldwater, the 1964 Republican presidential nominee, made his reputation four years earlier with an eloquent and intellectually coherent volume, The Conscience of a Conservative, which laid out a blueprint for the policies he favored.

Reagan likewise made the thinking person's case for conservatism. Between 1975 and 1979, after he had finished two terms as governor of California, he did some 1,000 radio commentaries, most of which he wrote himself. They were later collected in Reagan, In His Own Hand, which provides the texts of his handwritten manuscripts and proves that, far from being the "amiable dunce" of liberal mythology, he thought hard and clearly about the issues of his time.

Palin? Her new memoir, Going Rogue, fills up 413 pages, but it has less policy heft than a student council speech. Where Reagan dove into the murk of arms control and Goldwater fathomed federal farm programs, Palin skims over the surface of a puddle.

Amid all the tales of savoring the aromas at the state fair and having her wardrobe vetted by snotty campaign staffers, she sets aside space to lay out her vision of what it means to be a "Commonsense Conservative." It takes up all of 11 pages and leans heavily on prefabricated lines like "I am a conservative because I deal with the world as it is" and "If you want real job growth, cut capital gains taxes."

But the priorities of Going Rogue are striking poses and attitudes, not making actual arguments about the proper role of government. The book is meant to create an image, or maybe a brand—folksy but shrewd, tough but feminine, noble but beset by weaklings and traitors, ever-smiling unless you awaken her inner "Mama Grizzly Bear" by scrutinizing her loved ones.

No one could be more pleased with her than she is with herself. Reading the book is like watching Palin preen in front of a mirror for hours on end, as she tirelessly compliments herself for courage, gumption, devotion to family, and maverick independence.

Who needs policy? In her world—and the world of legions of conservatives who revere her—the persona is the policy. Palin is beloved because she's (supposedly) just like ordinary people, which (supposedly) gives her a profound understanding of their needs.

That attitude used to be associated with the left, which claimed to speak for the ordinary folks who get shafted by the system. Logic and evidence about policy, to many liberals, were less important than empathy and good intentions. Now it's conservatives who think we should be guided by our guts, not our brains.

Palin is the embodiment of this approach, never imagining that knowledge and reflection might be of more value than instinct. When Oprah asked if she had felt any doubts about her readiness to be vice president—which requires the readiness to be president—Palin replied breezily, "No, no—I didn't blink. … I felt quite confident in my abilities and my executive experience and I knew that this is an executive administrative job." (The audience tittered.)

Contrast that with Reagan, who after learning of his victory on Election Night 1980 told his supporters, "There's never been a more humbling moment in my life." Palin doesn't do humble.

You could almost forget that for well over a year, Republicans have ridiculed Barack Obama as lighter than a souffle, an inexperienced upstart who owes everything to arrogant presumption and a carefully crafted image. But Obama wrote a 375-page book, The Audacity of Hope, that shows a solid, and occasionally tedious, grasp of issues.

It is hard to imagine Palin (as opposed to a ghost writer) producing anything comparable. Almost as hard as it is to imagine that modern conservatives would expect it.

Leaders who can think? That's so 20th century.


NEXT: Meep

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. They just cannot leave it alone, can they?

  2. Right now, Palin is about the only politician on the right who is expressing herself with any confidence in her beliefs? What Palin is selling is confidence that conservative ideas presented before the voters can win. Perhaps there is someone out there who will forcefully assert caonservative ideals and be acceptable to the "intellectual" worshipping pundits, but it's not obvious who they are yet.

    1. In their moments, Goldwater was considered a dangerous nut and Reagan a dolt by proper media types, what they had written was ignored at best.

    2. "Palin is about the only politician on the right who is expressing herself with any confidence in her beliefs"

      What beliefs? I haven't heard a single intelligible answer to any question ever asked of her. If she has beliefs she's doing a great job of keeping them to herself. I wish she'd do that with the rest of her existence.

      1. I haven't heard a single intelligible answer to any question ever asked of her.

        Have you tried Q-Tips?

        1. I did, and then all I heard out of her was more religious bullshit. Fuck these Creationists already. Fuck them all in the ass for making the US the laughing stock of the educated world.

          Religion is what killed conservatism. Goldwater himself warned against it. Motherfucking *Nixon* warned against it. Conservatism was murdered by baby Jesus over there with the blood on his precious wittle hands. Last time I tuned into a Republican Party convention I thought I'd happened across a showing of the documentary "Jesus Camp".

          Anti-intellectualism is what killed conservatism. Conservatives used to be highly educated and sought out academics to support their ideas (and found them, too). Now conservatism is Billy Joe Bubba Bob kicking the shit out of anyone spotted reading a book. Neoconservatives sided with the jocks and the bullies and became the Party of dumbshits and burger flippers and guys in "wife beater" shirts who have 1974 Impalas up on blocks in front of their trailers.

          1. Wow. You make atheism sound soooo intelligent. Why don't you go sue a small town for placing a cross on their crest.

            1. Likely because Churches have people stupid enough to give them money for campfire stories. Smart people figure out motions of celestial bodies and subsequently are put under house-arrest for "corrupting society".

          2. I assume you would deride the left with similar ad-hominim stereotyping?

          3. Typical response from someone who is afraid to discuss issues in a sensible and intelligent way. All this person can do is attack because of his or her fear and commitment to address issues constructively and understand issues in depth.

          4. Religion is what founded this country. Freedom from religious persecution. Which you are very good at.

            1. "Religion" and "freedom from religious persecution" are two very different things. If you did your homework, you'd know that the founders of this nation were highly suspicious of religion at best, and more likely completely atheist. (Deism is, as Dawkins' puts it, "sexed-up atheism)

              Hail Satan and shit.

            2. The wish for religious freedom among the laymen, purported by intellectua

              l deists, founded this country. Actually, tax revolt funded this country. Tax revolt based on giving money to creatures farther away than land never before seen by western civilization AND wishing for religious freedom, again purported by deists in a VERY religious society, founded this country.


          5. Thank you, Ginko, for representing your cause.

        2. Sarah Palin's answer to any question:

          "Well, yer know, by letting...by letting that happen you give government the chance to....git in there and... and screw everything up."

        3. Hopefully not. Q-tips push the wax further into the ear canal, making it harder to hear. They are only for cleaning the inner rim of the earlobe itself.

    3. Palin is one of the clowns chosen by the media so they can point to someone and say "See how dumb conservatives are?"

      She's not meant to have any depth -- or even ideas! She is the figurehead the Democrats need for their narrative about Republicans being "The Party of No".

      1. And who's fault is it for taking on this role with gusto?

  3. Contrast that with Reagan, who after learning of his victory on Election Night 1980 told his supporters, "There's never been a more humbling moment in my life." Palin doesn't do humble.

    Palin hasn't won yet either.

    1. She isn't even running for anything.

      1. She's running for the office of Celebrity.

        1. She has filled a vacuum, that's all. Our vapid culture may feed on her for months to come, but interest in her will die out eventually.

          Or...we'll finally get what we deserve. Who knows?
          Obama might only be the penultimate disaster.

        2. She already has taken the oath of office for that job. So has 19 year old Playgirl pinup Levi.

      2. That's right. She can't hurt anyone and yet, the atheists and lefties all hate her. Now Obama and the the rest of the Democrats, they have the power and all these people can do is cuss Palin.

    2. She won an Alaskan governor position.

      Then quit to write books? And this is still serious discourse? Who is being played here? Palin, us, or both?

  4. It's not the "LiberalEstablishmentMediaPundits" that have to be won over, but non-conservative voters, which are a majority of Americans. This idea that Palin is the only effective conservative voice is laughable. Just South of me Bob McConnell won a governorship by being a life-long conservative with credentials Palin cannot match, but he also made himself popular among independents. That's the kind of person conservatives should pick as their front runner.

    Luckily they ain't known as "the stupid party" for noting. Go Palin 2012!

    1. I don't get this. If Palin is unqualified for the presidency, by the same token, Obama, Clinton, Bush, Edwards, et al. are unqualified. We seem to only care about personality and not about substance, character, or, most of all, experience. If we keep voting for people with limited track records and no history of success, we're going to keep getting candidates like that.

      1. Qualification has nothing to do with being elected president.

        The last qualified presidential candidate was poppa bush.

        1. Yeah, the asshole who raised taxes.

          1. And that cost him re-election.

            But he was the last candidate with relelvant experience when he ran.

          2. He never acquired his son's penchant for credit cards.

      2. Clinton? Wasn't he governor like four times? And say what you will about W he was a two term governor of one of the largest states in the union.

        1. Arkansas is "one of the largest states in the union?"

          1. W was gov of Texas.

        2. 3x governor. 1x AR attorney general, and I think one term in AR house of reps.

          1. Neither Bush 2 or Clinton had any foreign policy experience, or even interest in foreign policy, which is more that 50% of the presidents job.

            Also, neither one had experience with national politics or policies.

      3. Palin is intellectually unqualified. As for actual job experience, being governor, even of a low population state, is typically considered enough.

        1. How are those intellectual qualifications working out for us so far this year?

    2. being from VA and witnessing McDonnell's campaign, under the big assumption that he ends up being a good governor, I wouldnt be surprised if he is someone who enters the national stage. He did exactly what you said he did. Though he is quite conservative, he was able to run on issues without using a label and he came off compitent and with a plan and won over independents.

      1. not to mention looking polished and being articulate

        1. you mean, you got the first mainstream Virginian who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy, I mean, that's a storybook, man.

          Hi Joe

  5. Palin, and to a large extent the Good Doctor, both go a long way to show the problem of conflating the ideology and the person. Both were extremely attractive to some people because, for a time at least, they appeared to be effective, national-stage advocates for small government ideas and policies, and we haven't had one of those for a LOOOOOOONG time. The GOP had done more to damage the small government brand than help it over the past decade, and Dr. Paul and Palin made it sound good to believe that government is, for the most part, very bad at anything it does.

    Unfortunately, the flaws of each came out, real and manufactured. Dr. Paul, as much as I think he's a good guy, had a less than perfect past. Add to that the way he was marginalized by the GOP establishment after his back and forth with Rudy over why Islamic terrorists hate us (although I still can't figure out why it's not perfectly acceptable to say that they hate us both because we're free AND because we've been rubbing our dicks in their faces for 80 years), and the unsavory elements that began to attach themselves to his campaign/cause (birthers, truthers, nativists) undid a lot of the good he might have done as an evangelist for liberty.

    Palin's problem was just that she doesn't know why she believes the things she does, and was embarassingly incapable of explaining to anyone WHY free markets and small government were a good thing. Her convention speech sounded goddamn good, especially if you've been grasping for limited-government crumbs for your entire adult life and coming up dry. Her instincts are right, but "I feel in my secret heart that small government is the way to go" is not a convincing argument. Yet, because she made the initial defense of those ideas, she ends up being associated with them, and dragging the rest of us down when she turns out to be unable to stammer out a coherent reason why free trade is a good thing.

      1. I agree.

        Palin's problem was just that she doesn't know why she believes the things she does, and was embarassingly incapable of explaining to anyone WHY free markets and small government were a good thing

        This absolutely nails it.

        1. I'd much rather have an incoherent president that believes in limited government, free markets and personal liberty than a charismatic socialist that lies at every turn so long as it advances his agenda of growing the state.

          1. Well if you want a limited government, then you certainly won't want Sarah Palin.

            Or I suppose more government interference in our lives is a GREAT IDEA when it comes to forcing children to pray at schools, changing the constitution to 'define marriage,' forcing schools to teach nonsense like creationism with no basis in fact, someone who would force her own morality on to people.

            If you think that is limited government, than you are clearly of limited intelligence.



            1. Forced prayer? You atheists are kooks........

    1. There is no comparison between Ron Paul and Palin. They could not be more opposite each other. Dr. Paul is a boring old fart whom people love because he is honest, courageous and not self serving. Palin is a media contrivance who is neither honest nor courageous and is specifically self serving. Palin's is a cult of personality which is being fed by the media. People love Dr. Paul for the ideas of liberty he champions in spite of the media having done all it can to marginalize them.

      1. +1. I don't get the insane amount of Palin-love around here, even factoring in her recent "book".

        1. At first I wasn't sure where you got the idea that there is an insane amount of Palin-love around here. Then I realized that "any at all" qualifies as "insane", so... no, I don't get it either.

      2. +1000000000000000

      3. Agree 100% on Dr Paul - cause that is exactly what he is, a genuine person who is out to do what is best for his country. I do not think, however, that Gov. Palin is a media contrivance. Her speach at the repub. convention galvanized conservative middle America and generates electricity wherever she goes.
        The MSM, for the most part, is out to destroy her. Norah O'Donnell interviewed some of her supporters at one of her booksignings and did a good job of making them look stupid. I'm pretty sure if you asked some of Obama's supporters you would get responses like Hannity did.(i.e.'we're here for some Obama money....)

        1. '...speech..' Sorry, a few German Bock beers and my bio-spellcheck shuts down. 🙂

    2. Given that Sarah Palin got her start in politics when she was approached by businessmen wanting to build a large facility in her home town financed by massive tax increases, I doubt very much she supports free markets at all.

      Frankly, she says she does, and then does whatever her handlers suggest she do. And all these people who should know better see an attractive face saying words that are content free but vaguely nice sounding, and they swoon. The messiah has arrived and she will lead us to the promised land!

      Frankly, we're having enough problems with our current crop intellectually vapid, vague, and incompetent politicians that we don't need any more.

      The sooner conservatives kick Palin to the curb, the better off they are. She will kill whatever little credibility they still have.

    3. Palin is a parrot. She can be taught many clever and entertaining words, but when you ask her why volition does not work automatically, or to defend her contradictory beliefs in both free will and "God's plan," she blinks stupidly and shits her cage.

      1. Oh, my. The false paradox between free will and destiny was solved many centuries ago. Now who's shitting their cage?

        1. Do you think Palin is capable of articulating that philosophical argument?

      2. "Palin is a parrot"

        My African Grey resembles that remark !

    4. Her instincts are right, but "I feel in my secret heart that small government is the way to go" is not a convincing argument.

      Perhaps living through 3 more years of the ideological opposite will give some people second thoughts.

      1. Considering people haven't ever really seen a true "small government" administration, I doubt it

        1. By 2012, FDR will be looked back on as a "small government" administration.

  6. I will also add to the comment count.

    1. Me too!
      400, here we come, yay.

      I hope in this thread people will tell us what they really think of Palin, cause after the last x^n, n-> infinite posts I'm still in the dark.

  7. I think Paul could have done more if he ran as an independent and broke off his affiliation with the Republican Party. Many Dem friends of mine thought he as at the least interesting and at the most a breath of fresh air when they heard some of what he had to say in the GOP debates, but they did not seriously consider voting for him because of that R in front of his name. Were he to go independent he would probably not lose those Republicans who supported him but he might pick up a chunk of Dems who find his principled stands to be refreshing.

    1. The R in front of his name is the only thing that got him any attention in the first place. He's not rich enough to bankroll his own national media presence like HR Perot was. In fact, we know for certain that a Dr. Paul without the R in his name gets no attention, because he WAS a big-L Libertarian from the mid 80's to the mid 90's, and he didn't get jack for press.

    2. If any of your "Dem friends" claim they would have voted for him if only he didn't have that dreaded R by his name, then they're blowing smoke up your ass.

  8. What happened to the party of Goldwater and Reagan?

    What happened to the party of ideas?

    Was it the evangelicals' God?

    (An agnostic myself, I believe that reason and faith can coexist if both are willing, but I am suspicious of contemporary evangelical Christianity in that regard. Especially after George Bush gave me the impression he thinks it's unnecessary to exert his capable mind.)

    1. The left trumps the right as far as personal liberty is concerned. This phrase explains it well: "Conservatives are accused of being obsessed with the activities that occur in your bedroom. However, liberals are concerned with the activities that occur in every other room."

    2. W had a capable mind? Seems like a strech to me...

  9. but they did not seriously consider voting for him because of that R in front of his name.

    If a single letter keeps them away from a candidate that they otherwise agree with, then they're almost-joe-level partisan hacks, and you can tell 'em i said so.

  10. If conservative leaders of the past were so wise, why didn't they do more to ensure that their ideological successors would be able to carry on the tradition? The liberal elite have made a fairly consistent and aggressive campaign to reach out and grab younger generations, even if it only amounts to a fresh coat of paint on the same rotting old ideas.

    1. Leftists have the cultural advantage because leftism is a political ideology based around increasing the power and status of articulate-intellectuals. This means that the overwhelming majority of articulate-intellectuals i.e. writers, journalist, academics in the humanities, educators etc are all overwhelmingly leftists. Leftists are in the main people with no other job other than to sell their political ideas in the form of writing, education and media.

      Non-leftists by contrast, dominate professions in which articulation and manipulation of others are not central to their success. You don't have be able to give a great speech in order to run a machine tool business. The lives of non-leftists are centered around things other than arguing about politics. This makes them and their ideas much less visible.

      1. Do you know where to find more leftists than among journalists? Academia. I'm not talking humanities or law (which is overall more conservative than average). Biologists, mathematicians, computer scientists chemists and physicists are overwhelmingly liberal. I don't have the survey handy but I could dig it back up if you don't believe me.
        Would you say those people are useless and/or in the business or selling ideology?

        1. In general teachers are useless, except you need the frigging degree to get the job so you can learn to do something useful.

          It's like getting into a guild without learning anything during your apprenticeship besides beer pong and buttering up teachers.

        2. "Biologists, mathematicians, computer scientists chemists and physicists are overwhelmingly liberal."

          Is this sarcsastic? Part of my pre-med included Calculus, Biology, Physics, and O-/Biochem. I don't remember a single liberal vibe from any of those professors.

          1. That's probably because they were busy teaching you Calculus, Biology, Physics, and Biochemistry and had little time remaining to fit their political beliefs in.

      2. Its worth spliting liberals from leftists - theres a real difference between the two - if in doubt about whether a friend is leftist or liberal find their position on Isreal and you have your answer generally.

      3. Good points, Shannon.

    2. Because republicans are corrupt party hacks. Their only core belief is that they should be the ones distributing the loot. This was proved beyond a doubt when they reps controlled congress and the presidency. They used their power to exponentially increase earmarks, deepen fed control of education and create a new intitlement program.

    3. So wisdom can be measured by how consistently and aggressively a group's "campaign" to "reach out and grab" children is?

      Just curious, since both the Nazis and the Soviets also employed the same method you appear to attribute to the wisdom of the "liberal elite."

      It would be difficult to argue the approach hasn't been effective to a degree, it's only whether it's indicator of wisdom within any cult leadership for merely coming to realization that unhappy messed-up individuals vulnerable to their psychological manipulations and exploitations don't occur in any society in significant enough numbers for them to either seize or hold absolute control, so they turn to the obvious solution: the massive scale manufacturing of useful idiots from empty minds.

      Shouldn't a "wise" being realize by now that a fundamentally flawed political ideology that renders the individual and liberty obsolete never has or will last, regardless how many idiots make it their religion.

      If inabilty to learn from past mistakes, or to believe the means is always justified by the desired goal, or even to successfully use the same simple techniques used by every cult leader from Charles Manson to Mao is what it means to be "wise," then being wise isn't much.

  11. Reagan likewise made the thinking person's case for conservatism

    Yes, but no non-conservatives circa 1980 thought so. Reagan was denounced as an idiot actor with simplistic ideas. The criticisms of Palin are exactly those leveled at Reagan. Reagan is well thought of today because time proved him right. At the time, all "intelligent" people thought he was an idiot who was going to blow up the world.

    The simple fact is that leftist automatically stereotype all non-leftists as idiots. This began when Eisenhower ran against the hapless Adlai Stevenson. Leftists gushed over Stevenson's college professor like demeanor and denounced Eisenhower as a befuddled old man with simplistic ideas. This pattern has repeated itself for every Republican politician since.

    Leftists cannot admit that anyone who disagrees with them is intelligent because their entire argument for power boils down to the claim that leftists are very smart people with all the answers. If highly intelligent and thoughtful people can honestly disagree with them, then they have no claim to political power.

    Palin is considered an idiot because of the group she belongs to. End of Discussion. Leftist can no more see any non-Leftists as intelligent than white southern circa 1910 could have seen any African-American as intelligent.

    1. The fact that the left could think a college professor like Stevenson was somehow smarter and more qualified to be President than Eisenhower says all you need to know about their values. They don't value being right. They value being a wonk and posing properly.

      1. This may be true, but it doesn't change the fact that Eisenhower would be a Democrat in today's political environment.

        1. In bizzaro world maybe. Eisenhower was very much a conservative. He was practical and he worked with a Democratic Congress to do things like create the interstate highway system. But, there is no way Eisenhower would allign himself with the self hating new left that runs the Democratic Party.

    2. Nail on the head. When was the last time anyone heard a lefty acknowledge that a conservative in power might not be an idiot? It just never happens. The core of their philosophy is "we're smarter than you are".

      Personally, I wish that the so-called "elite" lefties were half as smart as they think they are in their minds, because they run almost everything in America, and if they were things wouldn't be so damn screwed up.

      1. @Mike M.
        "When was the last time anyone heard a lefty acknowledge that a conservative in power might not be an idiot?"

        Let's see... Kissinger. No one, even the most left-wing, ever thought he was an idiot.

        1. Mostly because they were in awe of his ability to capture and manipulate power.

      2. Newt Gingrich was always generally considered to be pretty smart. Morally bankrupt, maybe, but very smart.

    3. Actually quite a few liberals took Reagan seriously, and many voted for him, helping him to carry 44 states in 1980.

      Sarah Palin is not considered an idiot because she is a "conservative" whatever that means today - but because she cannot speak beyond the level of bromides and cliches, with some moralizing thrown in.

    4. Yet another home run for Shannon! 🙂

      1. Home run?

        Shannon's comments are evident of severe mental retardation. There is not a single thing that she said that makes sense.

        Only a gibbering simpleton would say something like 'End of Discussion.'

        This word would be a much better place if people like Shannon would commit suicide.

        Sarah Palin is a great woman, but with imbeciles like Shannon defending her, she will never be elected. It is not Ms. Palin's words that turn of intelligent people, it is idiots like 'Shannon Love.'

  12. Hurry, John, hurry! Someone might bash your hero, and we all know by now how that cannot be allowed. Palin is just super duper groovy knowledgable and perceptive and all that neat stuff, you betcha'...

    Ugh. Enough with this Palin fungus.

  13. "But Obama wrote a 375-page book, The Audacity of Hope, that shows a solid, and occasionally tedious, grasp of issues."

    Leaving the Palin wars aside for a moment, that is an unbelievably stupid statement. You can't a grasp of the issues when you are dead wrong about them. Pat Buchanan wrote a 300+ page book about how the US and Britian were really responsible for World War II. Yes, it was long and had lots of big words that would impress Chapman. But it is absolute nonsense. I don't care that Obama wrote a thousand page book and descussed every issue known to man in detail, he is dead wrong in understanding of the economy and country.

    Chapman I think is infected with the idea of truth being relative and process being more important than results. Chapman is ultimately impressed and in love with Obama because he shows his work. It doesn't matter that he shows his work. It only matters what conclusions he comes to and what ideas he holds. And all of those are dreadfully wrong.

    I will take an idiot who has the right instinct and comes to the right conclusion for the wrong reasons any day over a genius wonk who, despite showing all his brilliant work comes up with the exact wrong answer any day.

    1. I will take an idiot who has the right instinct and comes to the right conclusion for the wrong reasons

      Ayn Rand wouldn't 🙂

      1. Rand would be wrong. Lots of smart people have constructed wonderfully justified views of the world that were dreadfully wrong. It doesn't matter how smart you are or how clever you articulate your ideas, if those ideas are wrong. Pat Buchanan is a very smart guy and a good writer. But, that doesn't mean that he knows jackshit about the second world war even though he wrote a book about it.

    2. Are we really sure that OBAMA wrote the book? We're talking about a man who can't even speak without using a teleprompter.

    3. John
      You live in the wonderful world where people who disagree with you on political issues are simply wrong, in the same way that people that say 2+2=5, and so you can comfortably dismiss any other signs that they are intelligent.

      It must be nice there. What color is the grass?

      1. MNG,

        Obama is wrong. People who believe in socialism and central control are wrong. It doesn't matter how smart they are. It doesn't matter how hard they work. If they come to the conclusion that central control is the right way to run a government, they are wrong.

        I don't care what Obama's IQ is or how well he did at Harvard. Cleverness is not wisdom.

        1. But you can't appreciate that some people you disagree with are more competent and smart than other people you disagree? Or more so than some you agree with?

          I can. I know plenty of people I disagree with that are more competent and eloquent than many I do agree with. And it does matter at times.

          1. If you have terrible ideas, you are not competant. As Shannan Love states better than I can below, most of what passes for "knowledge" in the political world today is just nonsense.

            And being eloquent means very little. In fact it is quite a dangerous skill. I know I am a lawyer. If your are eloquent and clever, you can convince people that you know more than you do and that really wrong ideas are correct.

          2. I think that the thought of Obama as smart is overblown. I'd put him as knowledgeable, but irrational. Simply having a great deal of knowledge doesn't make one logical, and I find that often there is an inverse correlation. Its one of the things that peeves me sometimes. I will get to talking about a subject that I know a great deal about, and someone or another will say I am smart. I always correct them and let them know that what I demonstrated was knowledge, but that reason itself is independent of knowledge. Knowledge informs the premises. Logic takes those premises and applies them.

            1. If he wasn't a man he would never have made it to the position he is in.

              1. I hate to point out the obvious, but if he wasn't black, he would never have made it to the position he is in.

                1. This will get you jettisoned from your position as a commentator from Monday Night Football, my friend. 😉

    4. GWB governed "from his gut" too. See how well that turned out?

      Without strong core principles, people just blow in the wind, picking whatever policies sounds good that day.

  14. It's not too late to kill Chapman and sell his organs.

    1. No its not. They just need to get the right connections in Mexico.

  15. The major reason that non-leftists ideas look "simplistic" compared to leftists ideas is that non-leftists ideas are usually nothing but statements about the limits of human knowledge.

    For example, all arguments for the free-market can be distilled to something like:

    "No human or group of humans has a predictive model of the economy. As such we cannot predict the consequences of economic actions especially those imposed by the violent force of the state. Therefore, the best policy in the overwhelming majority of case is to not attempt to use state violence to alter the economy because the we cannot predict the results and we are more likely to do harm than good."

    By contrast, leftist arguments are statements about the possession of knowledge by some elite group of human beings. The "complex" leftists arguments are detailed of elaboration of what they think they know in each particular case.

    By analogy, it is like to two doctors arguing over how to treat an illness. The non-leftists doctor says, "Nobody knows what causes this particular illness so any particular serious treatment is likely to more harm than good." The leftists doctor, however, claims to have a predictive theory about the cause of the disease and a course of treatment. It is immediately obvious, that the leftist doctor will have to produce a complex and detailed argument for why he thinks he understand the cause and treatment for the disease.

    However, the leftist doctor is not automatically right just because his argument is "complex" and as compared to the non-leftist's doctors simple statement of the lack of human knowledge about the disease. Indeed, the vast majority of novel hypothesis are wrong so in any particular case the "complex" argument is more likely to be wrong than the "simple" argument.

    As Will Rodgers said, "It's not the things we know that is the problem. It's the things we think we know that ain't so."

    In politics, it's more important that politicians understand the limits of knowledge and therefore the limits of state power than it is for them to impress all the other kids in the dorm with their encyclopedic knowledge of the leftist's intellectual fad du jour. An uneducated politician who understands that economics is not a predictive science will make better decisions than genius with an Ivy League degree who thinks it is.

    Understanding our own individual and collective limits is the very core of wisdom. Palin would make a much better President than Obama merely because she lacks his overwhelming intellectual arrogance. She will not attempt to make decisions based on the premise that she can micromanage every event in the world.

    1. Very good points. To put it another way, non-leftists tend to give the simple, hard answer to a problem. Leftists tend to give the clever easy answer. It makes them, on the surface at least, look both clever and like they have the answer to every problem. Non-leftists in contrast look like they are simple and don't have answers. Of course in reality, the non-leftist answer is usually the right one.

      1. John, do not break that news to John Stewart.

    2. Understanding our own individual and collective limits is the very core of wisdom. Palin would make a much better President than Obama merely because she lacks his overwhelming intellectual arrogance

      No she's has a completely different kind of arrogance. She (like a certain former president) has a steadfast refusal to acknowledge areas where her knowledge is lacking - and and stronger refusal to do the work to correct that deficiency.

      Maybe arrogance is not the word: she (and Bush 2) are intellectually lazy - and dangerously so.

      (BTW defending Palin by saying "well Reagan was considered a dimwit back in the day" completely insults Reagan)

      1. You are committing the same sign Chapman is committing. You are confusing wonkdom for wisdom. Obama is not an intellectually lazy person. Just the opposite. the problem is that he has all kinds of ideas and does all kinds of thinking and those ideas are almost always wrong.

        What is Palin's sin of being arrogant? If she is arrogant it is because she believes in small government and free market as a sollution. I happen to think that sollution is right. And it will remain right and we would be better off if we had a President who believed in that sollution regardless of whether they came to that conclusion by getting a PHD at Oxford or because God told them. I would prefer the PHD from Oxford, but I will take the right answer over the wrong answer over the wrong one regardless of the source.

        By yours and Chapman's standard we are better off having a PHD who has written a 100 books but is a communist. No thanks. I will take the guy who fixes my car and has enough common sense to know that the government has no business doing half of what it does. Fuck wonkdom and erurdition. I want right.

      2. "(BTW defending Palin by saying "well Reagan was considered a dimwit back in the day" completely insults Reagan)"

        I agree that this completely undersells Reagan. He was much more intellectually curious than this thing.

        1. How do you know? Have you met either one of them? Do you have any memory of Reagan when he was governor of CA or anytime before he was President? I don't and I am nearly 40 years old. Also Reagan had his bad moments to. Mondale destroyed him in the second debate in 1984. Reagan didn't prepare for it and hung out watching old movies at his ranch. Reagan had plenty of moments where he didn't look so good. We have forgotten them.

          But I am old enough to remember what they did to Reagan. And it was worse than what they are doing to Palin. You are correct, that doesn't mean Palin is Reagan. It just means that her critics are hacks. Time will tell how intellectually curious she is.

      3. She (like a certain former president) has a steadfast refusal to acknowledge areas where her knowledge is lacking - and and stronger refusal to do the work to correct that deficiency.

        She acknowledges that neither she not any other human being can micromanage the economy.

        What you fail to grasp if that the vast majority of "knowledge" in the political realm is simply gibberish. Just look at history at any one time and the disconnect with what all the best and brightest throught was going on at the time and what history eventually determined happened.

        Do you remember back in the 1970s how all the supposed intelligent educated people thought wage and price controls where a good idea. Do you remember how both Reagan and Friedman were mocked as idiots for claiming that the "energy crisis" was caused by nothing more than political interference in the petroleum markets?

        Neither Palin nor anyone else can educate themselves in an area in which real knowledge is lacking. I doubt Palin has read but a microscopic fraction of the hundreds of thousands of box written by Marxist about Marxism. Does that mean she is any sense uneducated? Certainly it would have meant that in the Soviet Union and even in big chunks of contemporary Europe. Should Palin or anyone else spend anytime or effort trying to understand Marxism when we know that 99%+ of it is nonsense?

        The idea that Palin is uneducated and uncurious is very much akin to the medieval idea that people who did not understand the minutia of Catholic theology (or insert the theology of the culture of your choice). All those theologies can't be right. Even though each one comprises a massive body or work created by the brightest minds of their eras, most of what they say is simply gibberish and the time spent studying them mostly wasted. Someone who spends time building a waterwheel did more good than the intellectual who spent years pouring over Biblical genealogy in order to calculate the calendar date of creation.

        All Palin can do would be to "educate" herself in the modern, secular, theology of leftist's ideology. Why should she bother?

        1. Great post. Said it better than I could. I doubt you will hear much in response from the peanut gallery.

          1. John, I assume I'm a peanut gallery occupant. I'll take a swing at it. A person that isn't knowledgable of their opponent is destined to lose. Politics is about the art of the sale as much as it is about the content of the product.(maybe more so these days) You can't sell your candidate to the undecideds by bashing the opposition. You have to eloquently point out the strength of your ideology in comparison to the opponent's. To do that effectively, you have to be knowledgable of the ideology of the opposition. You can't just stand toe to toe and scream, "But I'm right and you're stupid."

            1. Nice strawman there Ben. No one is saying that you should scream I am right. To win ellections you have to connect with people and get them to trust you. Eggheads have won very few elections in this country. You have to explain things in a simple terms that people will remember and understand. If you can't do that, you won't win. And the ability to do that is a genius some people just have. It have virtually nothing to do with how big your degree is. For whatever reason Palin seems to connect with a lot of people.

              1. I'm not sure where I hid the strawman John? Look through your own comments on this thread about Obama. You call him names and disparage him far more than you explain intellectually why he is wrong. That never wins a debate about anything. The point I made about gaining a working knowledge of your opponent was in response to Shannon Love's comment.

                1. That is, bingo for Johns' 12:15 post.:-)

            2. To be fair, Obama basically ran on the position "I'm not Bush" and wasn't really challenged on any of policies and therefore didn't feel the need to support them.

              But in general, I think you're right.

        2. Here's the problem: Yes, Marxism is 99%+ nonsense. Does Palin need to understand it on better than average level? Yes.

          Because despite Marxism being nonsense, it continues to raise it's head in modern day politics. It would do Palin loads of good, as a national political figure, to be able to accurately define Marxism, discuss it at length, and then soundly refute it in terms of modern politics.

          The are many comments discussing whether an intelligent person with the wrong ideas would be a better president than with the correct instinct who couldn't why he/she was right.

          I would say the person with correct instinct would be better. But this politician would never get elected because he/she wouldn't be able to demonstrate logical competence.

          1. I think getting elected has a lot more to do with your ability to connect with people and get them to trust you than it does in making smart arguments. If smart arguments won elections, Nixon would have beaten Kennedy and Alan Keyes would have been a serious player. Seriously, Alan Keyes is a fabulously smart debater. But, he is a nothing as a politician. They are two separate skills.

            1. I agree, communicating your arguments is a large part of it. But you have to have the arguments to communicate in the first place.

              So, a viable national political figure needs to 1) have the understanding of subjects such as Marxism to actually field logical arguments and 2) be able to communicate those arguments in terms that people who don't have a degree in political science can understand and digest.

              They are two separate skills, but both are desired in a politician.

              A presidential candidate will have to make it through numerous interviews and debates relatively unscathed to have a chance of winning. You can't do that by simply show up and saying "I believe in small government" and not being able to support it.

              At best you'll get the support of people who already think the way you do, but you won't be convincing anyone else of anything.

              1. "I agree, communicating your arguments is a large part of it. But you have to have the arguments to communicate in the first place."

                You're giving the electorate way to much credit.
                Consider the last 3 presidents.

                Clinton won because poppa Bush raised taxes and said "I feel your pain"

                Bush won because people were revulsed by Clinton-Lewinsky and
                said "I'm a campassionate consrvative"

                Obama won because people were sick of Bush and he was the "Hope and Change" candidate.

                All 3 were reactions to their predessor with a memorable but meaningless slogan.

          2. And does she likewise need a "better than average level understanding" of nuclear power, corporate accounting, labor law, residential real estate, criminology, counterinsurgency warfare and any other the thousands of other issues a President must deal with?

            No mortal human being can possibly have a working knowledge of every field that a President (or any politician) must deal with. At best, a President understands just one tiny area of specialization. The rest of the time they have to wing it.

            Given the importance of energy policy, wouldn't a knowledge of nuclear power technology be more important to a modern President than an understanding of gibberish Marxism? For that matter, wouldn't a knowledge of how business, espeicially small business operates be more relevant in times of economic crises than a law degree?

            What we see here with Palin is a social phenomena in which an entrenched elite created a mythology that it possess special knowledge that the rest of the population lacks. All the elites agree with one another that their special knowledge is absolutely essential to running society and they all agree that know one without that knowledge can possibly govern. Virtually every human civilization has had this myth and they've all been proven wrong.

            Palin is like Truman. She deeply threatens the elites because she attacks the very mythology on which their elite status depends. What's the point of having an Ivy League degree and making all the rounds of the Washington insider organizations when a failed haberdasher with a high school degree can do a better job than you can?

            1. You can't expect a person to be an expert in everything, no. Every election has a number key issues. For the presidential race in 2012, they will most likely be the banking crises, Afghanistan, terrorism, healthcare, etc. Yes, I would expect a presidential candidate to at the very least to have an opinion on each subject and appear to competently defend that position.

              A failed haberdasher with a high school degree may do a better job, but a failed haberdasher first has to get elected.

              If a the Ivy League graduate makes the haberdasher look like an incompetent idiot in one on one debate, then the Ivy League is probably going to win the election.

              Perception is everything. Looking like an idiot when confronted on your political beliefs is awful for a politician's perception.

              Having an understanding of the issue of Marxism vs. democracy would go a long way in justifying political policy. Why do you think Buckley was so good in debates? He understood political theory and government on a very fundamental level and was able to hold that over the heads of his opponents.

              One of the major criticisms of the libertarian/conservatism/anti-liberal movement is that no one can elevate the debate to an intellectual level and adequately put those arguments into terms people can understand.

              I agree the liberals try to establish that kind of myth. The problem is that no one opposing them on a political level has been able to dispel it.

              To some up, in order to do anything at all, you first have to get elected. To do that, you're going to have to take the "intellectual" head on and come out on top. To that, you're going to need a fundamental understanding of a variety of key issues and be able to display and communicate that understanding on a convincing level.

              Palin has yet to show that she has the chops to do that. If she does, she needs to stop fucking around with the winking, and start putting the liberals in there place.

                1. *sum up

                  effing homonyms

                2. Must be the Bock getting to ya?

              1. Libertarians have quite intellectual arguments in favor of limited government. Ever heard of Milton Friedman? F.A. Hayek?

                The trouble is that those opinions don't appeal to people's emotions, don't offer people free lunches, and often attack various third rails in American Politics. Such people tend not to get as popular as those promising a free lunch or a return to some simpler and more moral era.

                When you are pro gay marriage, pro immigration, pro capitalism and free trade, and against wealth redistribution there is something in there for everyone to hate on and demagogue about.

                Even then, there are plenty of people in the think tank world and on blogs that make limited government and conservative arguments with a good deal more intellectual heft than the average Ann Coulter book. Check out CATO, Classically Liberal, Positive Liberty, or places like Acton and Heritage on the right. There's also AEI, and the Goldwater Institute on the right as well.

                It's not like the arguments aren't out there, it's just that people primarily value "cleverness" or whatever you guys want to call it when it reinforces their opinions about one side. While those on the right in general tend to pay more attention to logical consistency and/or support often unpopular positions like increased immigration and free trade that harm them with otherwise conservative members of the base.

        3. So she can argue against it effectively?

          Like Goldwater, Reagan and thatcher?

          So she has more in her arsenal than simple populist posturing?

          I think all those are pretty good reasons to 'bother'. Would certainly help her pry independents away from the democrats and make the 'stupid' accusation harder to swallow for non leftists.

          I understand you and John's point, and I too would rather have a plumber with common sense as president than a Phd who has never worked in his whole life. But the woman simply needs to know how to sell ideas to people who are not fluent in conservative argot, which she seems utterly incapable of.

          1. Exactly, candidates from either party can't simply state the traditional party dogma and have enough votes to get elected.

            It all depends on how many of the on-the-fence people they can snare.

            1. Which requires fluency in argumentation, a personal touch and an ability to think outside the box to explain their positions and why they are right to all sorts of people, from people who know nothing about politics to the most hard core policy wonk and everyone in between of all different classes, literacy, and races.

              Goldwater had it but was controversial.

              Reagan definitely had it, he wasn't called the great communicator for nothing.

              Thatcher had it, too.

              Palin doesn't have it, plain and simple.

              Simple populist posturing and attitude may cut it to make her the conservative darling but can't make her good enough to run with the big dogs. Sorry.

              1. I'm 90% sure Palin doesn't have it. I'm 100% sure that's the popular perception of her.

                I'm hoping someone else steps up to challenge Obama. We've got another 3 years...

                1. If Palin had Dr Pauls' philosophical outlook and grasp on the issues - I think she would be astonishing.

    3. I completely agree. I don't pay enough attention to politics, and I haven't read Palin's book, so I don't know if she's as dumb or ill-informed as the incredibly dumb people in the media portray her. I don't know if she would be a good President at all.

      But in my heart of hearts I have a hard time believing that a President Palin would f--- this country up any worse than the current or previous President have. At this point I'd much rather have a President with few illusions as to his/her ability to create a paradise on earth. As opposed to yet another one of the narcissistic lightweights with messiah complexes that currently infest DC.

    4. Economics is a non-predictive science? You mean it does not and should make hypotheses which are falisfiable?

      Oh shit, you're into that Austrian bullshit where you wait until something happens and then explain it away according to the axioms you started with...

    5. It is no accident that left-liberalism, to the extent it is not explicitly hostile to even the idea of religion, tends to be receptive to gnosticism, if not largely synonymous with it.

  16. If a single letter keeps them away from a candidate that they otherwise agree with, then they're almost-joe-level partisan hacks, and you can tell 'em i said so.

    I agree.

    MNG: Xeones says you guys are nigh-joepboyle level partisan hacks.

    MNG'z friends: What's a Xeones?

  17. Come on, people! 500 comments or bust! John, i fully expect you to contribute at least half of them.

    1. Can't come through for you. Chapman is too easy of a target. Also, the appalling thing about the article is not his opinion of Palin, it is that Champan thinks that Obama, someone who has come to conclusions that Chapman ought to find appalling, has a "solid grasp of the issues" because he wrote a book with a lot of big words. Chapman makes Dave Weigel look like Russell Kirk.

      1. Don't stop now, you just hitting your stride.

        You can do it!!!

        1. YOU'RE instead of YOU

          Post ruined, arghh.
          EDIT BUTTON, please

          1. Disregard last post, you for you're, original ok.

            First was in ebonixs.

            500 here we come!

            1. Is that how you spell ebonix?

              1. I'm threadin' to nano.

                1. Oh here it is, so don't trouble yourselves.


  18. Art, i'm not worried about any confusion that might result from my statement. MNG doesn't actually have any friends.

    1. he goes shooting with Thoreau

  19. Isn't 'Going Rogue' meant to be a memoir? Reagan wrote an autobiography, Obama wrote 'Dreams of my Father', Goldwater wrote 'With no Apologies'. If and/or when Palin produces a book that is meant to outline her political philosophy, it will make sense to compare it to 'Conscience of a Conservative' or Reagan's political writing (or Obama's for that matter). Having not read the book that she did write I can't comment on how it holds up as autobiography, but comparing it to a serious political book is disingenuous at best. Saying that he 'can't imagine' such a book being produced says more about Chapman that it does about Palin, and the ghost writer canard is complete crap, implying that none of the other politicians mentioned ever used a professional writer to help them with their books.

    Shoddy article.

    1. Exactly. It is a memoir. It is not supposed to be the Road to Surfdom. It ought to be compared to other memoirs. But to do that would require a level of non-hackdom that is way above Chapman's pay grade.

      1. Charlie don't surf

    2. Exactly. 'Going Rogue' was a quick turn with one purpose: generate enough operating capital to give Palin options. Why does Chapman expect a manifesto?

      1. "Why does Chapman expect a manifesto?"

        Because he is an asshole.

        1. I'd be surprised if Palin knew the definition of the word.

        2. Brevity is the font of wit

  20. After viewing the original (G.W. Bush), why would anyone, especially libertarians, want to pick up the sequel (Palin)?

    1. How is she the sequal? What has she said that makes you think that? Has she said she wants compassionate conservatism? Has she said she wants to go out and solve the world's problems through faith based government actions like Bush did? I haven't seen where she has. And if she hasn't, how is she Bush II?

      1. You're right John, she's got a ways to go to catch up to W's ideological heft and coherence.

        1. Yes MNG. She is such an easy target that you can't seem to manage to say anything of substance about her. The more you throw invective instead of actually making any points, the better she looks.

          You don't know anything about her. You just know that insulting her is a way for stupid people to pretend to be smart.

          1. She has mediocre accomplishments in life (3rd runner up in Ms. Alaska). She performed badly in interviews ("all of them). She abused her power in office. She went to a church where they protected her from witches. She cowardly hid from the press during her vp run and cowardly backed out of her governor committment.

            What more substance do you need?

            1. And our President went to a racist black supremecist church for 20 years. And then said he could no more walk away from the racist preacher than he could his grandmother who raised him. And forget Obama, do you think she is any worse than Pelosi? Or Biden? Or Al, the center of earth is millions of degrees, Gore?

              We have the village idoit in the whitehouse. No one with a D after their name can say anything about anyone's intelligence.

              1. Sorry John, Obama strikes me as far more intelligent. He's got the creds to back it up, he doesn't cower from the press, and he comes off as knowledgable about things. Everyone who talks a lot makes mistatements, not everyone can hide from the press for weeks like Palin did after Couric handed her ass to her...

                1. He is brilliant. That is why he is trying to pass a trillion dollar socialized medical plan when we already have the largest deficit in history and are in the middle of the worst recession since the 1930s.

                  Again you confuse cleverness for intelligence. Being spoken doesn't mean anything if all of your ideas and sollutions are wrong. Obama's actions in office couldn't be any worse if he had an 80 IQ. Given that, what difference does it make that he was clever in school or can give a good speech?

                2. Again:

                  knowledge =/= reason.

                  knowledge informs the premises, reason applies them. He lacks the rationale to appropriately apply his knowledge, but in having the knowledge, he has enough arrogance to think he's right.

                  This is not to say that Palin is smart (she has not the knowledge, ergo has no informed premises upon which to base her reasoning), but is rather intended to say that Obama is not smart (or at the very least, not necessarily smart).

              2. And I don't think Wright's Liberation theology is an intellectually embarrasing as Witches.


                1. While his liberation theology isn't quite as embarrassing as witches (it's close), his anti semitism sure is.

                  Fuck that high yellow bastard

              3. John, you said this to somone about Reagan and Palin: How do you know? Have you met either one of them?

                You said this about Obama: Obama is not very bright. I ask you the same question you posed, How do you know, you ever met him?

                You said this to MNG: You just know that insulting her is a way for stupid people to pretend to be smart.

                Then said this about Obama:
                We have the village idoit in the whitehouse.

                How do you reconcile your double speak? Are you, to use your own words, a stupid person pretending to be smart?

                1. I will recognize it fine. We don't know that much about Palin. We haven't seen her actions enough to say how bright she is or isn't. As I told MNG below, I have said I would vote for her. I just like her and think her critics are jerks. Remains to be seen how smart or dumb she really is.

                  As far as Obama, I have got lots of actions to judge. Attending Reverend Wrights church was vile. And then trying to justify the ignorant bastard in Philidelphia was worse. That may not mean he has a low IQ, but it certainly means he has little judgement and questionable values.

                  Comeing into office and turning the stimulus over to Pelosi and Reid was stupid. Trying to get Obamacare while running up the deficit and doing nothing to lower the government burnden on the economy was stupid. If he had had an 80IQ he couldn't have done anything worse for the economy than what he has done.

                  Given that fact, what difference does his IQ make? He is a fool. He is may be a well spoken one, but he is a fool nonetheless.

                  1. John, Obama isn't doing anything different with the economy than he promised before the election. He stumped on passing a huge healthcare overhaul that would put the largest financial burden on the wealthy and big business. He promised lots of green jobs and make-work jobs that would be funded by the taxpayer. He promised government subsidy of green companies and green technology. He promised cap and trade as America was destined to lead the world in environmental sensitivity. He was an uber-left huge government fill every outstretched hand kinda guy. That was the message and if people were too busy hatin' on the republicans to hear it then they better listen closer next time.
                    The black liberation theology of Rev. Wright's church has a bit of crazy in it but for the most part it esouses the personal responsibilty and community supported charity (as opposed to taxpayer entitlements) that libertarians like so much.

                    As far as judging Palin goes, I will say it again. The only substantive things we have are her actions while she was on the city council and mayor of Wasilla and her time as Governor. Those actions were very much taxpayer burdening and government teat oriented as well as abusive of her power and position. Her past record makes her unlikeable as a conservative small govt person.

                    1. Ben,

                      Just because he is living up to his campaing promise to be a complete fool, doesn't make him less of a fool. You are right anyone paying attention should have known he was an idiot and a menace long before he took office.

                      As far as Palin goes, if she is not Catholic enough to be your Pope fine. I don't see it that way. I love how she is sticking it to the Republican establishment. And I will worry about how committed versus oportunistic she is if she is ever on a ballot. Until then, I will be happy to see her endorse conservative candidates and make the Washington Republicans do something besides steal. Oh and make liberals reveal themselves to be they hypocritical fools they are. If she can do that, she will do more than about any Republican since Gingrich retook Congress.

                    2. John, a substantial number of people (I did this time last year) believe that the way to prosperity and economic solvency in this country is through the government. That made Obama their guy. You can call them stupid and assume the same of Obama and dismiss it. That's your decision. But you ignore them at your peril and the peril of the nation's economy. IMO, the correct course of action is to try to understand why they think that way and present your beliefs in a rational argument that explains why your way is correct and in fact necessary to fix the economy. Then, as distasteful as it may be, you have to find a candidate that is eloquent and slippery that can get the message out to the masses. Libertarians have to realize that they have to play the media popularity game to take the national stage or they will always drift around in obscurity.

                    3. Ben,

                      I fully understand their positions. Why do think I don't? You completely miss the point I am making. The fact that their positions are thoughtful and can be eloquently put doesn't make them correct. And it doesn't make the people who take those positions anything other than fools no matter how eloquent and clever they are.

                      If we are ever going to stop this nonsense, we have got to stop assuming that anyone who can give a good speech and has the right academic pedigre knows what the hell they are talking about.

                    4. John: "Just because he is living up to his campaing promise to be a complete fool, doesn't make him less of a fool. "

                      It's called democracy. He ran on a program, he didn't hide it, and he's implementing it. Do you hate democracy?

                      Bush ran on a program of no nation-building -- he said it exactly as such! -- and proceeded to do exactly the opposite in less than a year in office. That's not very democratic. Do you like that better?

                      Palin has no program. (at best she's running in a pageant). Is that how democracy is supposed to work?

                      If you don't like democracy, just say it.

                    5. WTF are you talking about? The fact that he won an election doesn't make him right. He ran on a horrifically stupid and ill concieved platform. Winning the election doesn't change that.

                    6. I would argue simply that his platform was brilliant, and perfect for the time at which it was used. It got him elected to the office. If he ran on it today, he would never even get the nomination. You can disagree with his policies, but his campaign was very well run.

              4. "And our President went to a racist black supremecist church for 20 years"

                And in all that time he had no idea that Wright was a racist, never heard nuttin


                And he's the smartest president ever, such a quick study.

      2. Hard to say, John. Bush talked a great free-market, no nation building game when he ran in 2000 and we got what we got - a fucking liar. Palin could advocate small govt and free markets all she wants, but a lot of people see her as a sequel to Bush where she'll sign every bill the upcoming GOP Congress will send to her desk. I don't know enough to say these worriers would be proven correct, but I understand their concern.

        1. You never know what a politician will do when they get power. All you can do is hope for the best and expect to be disapointed.

          1. Use it to further petty personal vendettas and then cowardly back out of it?

      3. Because she has yet to demonstrate any more knowledge of economic affairs than the average high school Republican while pandering to anti business populism during the debates. Because she was for all kinds of pork and interventionism before she was against it. Because in general she comes off like an idiot?

        I'm not saying I admire the "intellectual heft" of the President, just that Palin isn't exactly who I want allegedly carrying the banner of limited government.

  21. I think it's futile to expect another Reagan or Goldwater to emerge in the near future. It's like asking for another Milton Friedman. Not because I'm a moderate that thinks we need to "evolve" the party, though. Perhaps Mark Levin's book and Beck's alarmism can channel into a better understanding of that for our youth for a better conservative base in the future? Our public schools have done such a terrible, or wonderful if you're a lib, job of washing away true independent thoughts when it comes to what freedom embodies, it's natural to see conservatism de-evolve into more base terms like you claim Palin has. At her core, though, she has confessed love of Reagan, quotes him a lot on Facebook and matches him in her explanations in condemning liberal policies, and has a policy past that's as close to that type of conservatism as we've seen out of any of the other questionable candidates like Romney (Romneycare?), Huckabee (spending/taxes?), or especially McCain.

    I think it's VERY important to remember that Going Rogue was intended to be exactly as you portray it: a biography of her persona and life. While I admit I haven't read them, my impression of Obama's books have been that they were specifically designed to be political stages to preach from w/his profile as a mere backdrop. The hope I have as a supporter of hers is that whether it's by her actions in the next two years or by written pieces, she begins to flesh out more evidence that her policies truly match Reagans. The disappointment I have in her detractors is that they damn her politically youthful transgressions of signing on to such a moderate campaign platform as McCain's or stumbling in a stupid Couric interview. Look at what she SAYS, what she DOES, and the candidates she BACKS to see who she truly is the next 2 years or so. Don't concentrate on the fluff they surround her profile with. And, incidentally, on her acceptance speech for nomination to VP, she DID say she was truly humbled to accept it.

    1. Ron Paul is the closest to Goldwater, ideologically. Keep in mind Reagan was an unabashed Evangelical who frequently invoked the religion in his speeches. Really, do you want more of that?

      1. I have to agree on the Paul / Goldwater comparison. I think Goldwater was quite a bit more pro-active on military issues. At least he spoke in a matter as such.

  22. "But Obama wrote a 375-page book, The Audacity of Hope, that shows a solid, and occasionally tedious, grasp of issues."

    We know this, how?

    1. It was long and it had lots of big words. And Obama went to Harvard. That is good enough for Chapman.

  23. You could almost forget that for well over a year, Republicans have ridiculed Barack Obama as lighter than a souffle


  24. Aaagh! Stop giving her worthlessness press time!

  25. I suspect that Palin has had some very good coaching on how best to flash her conservative cred in the months since she quit her job as gov of Alaska. I don't know if she is becoming conservative for real or if she feels that is what will sell her book the best. The only thing I have as evidence is her past performance. She was very heavy handed with the librarian in Wasilla for the sake of her church and its fight with another church over a book about homosexuals. She used her authority to have the state troopers harass her brother in law during a messy divorce. She saddled the city of Wasilla with massive debt to build a sports complex on the taxpayer's dime. She tripled the taxes on oil companies when she was governor and accepted with open arms every cent she could get from the American taxpayer. Until it became unpopular to fight for it.
    These are not the actions of a small government, free market conservative. She may be changing. I don't know. But for now, all I have to go on is her past performance. And it wasn't good.

    1. "She was very heavy handed with the librarian in Wasilla for the sake of her church and its fight with another church over a book about homosexuals."

      No she wasn't. She asked about it and did no more. That is hardly heavy handed. Further, I really don't care what is in or not in a public library. If you really want books, buy them yourself. If you want the government to pay for them, you can't whine when what books are bought become a poltical question.

      "She used her authority to have the state troopers harass her brother in law during a messy divorce."

      I have never gotten this one. Her brother inlaw was a shitbag cop who tazered his son. Only Palin could cause Reasonoids to defend a dirtbag cop.

      "She saddled the city of Wasilla with massive debt to build a sports complex on the taxpayer's dime. She tripled the taxes on oil companies when she was governor and accepted with open arms every cent she could get from the American taxpayer. Until it became unpopular to fight for it."

      Those in contrast, are legitimate criticism. It is too bad the media went so bizerk on the bullshit, that they never actually looked at what she did or did not do as governor. I would like to hear the full story behind that. But it hasn't ever really been published. More fun to talk about the soap opera I guess.

      1. Her brother inlaw was a shitbag cop who tazered his son.

        John, did you do any research on this at all? Do you know what really happened? The findings from all of the investigations into his behaviour are available as public record. The Anchorage Daily News online has links to it all. Palin's actions were that of a person completely comfortable using her authority for personal benefit in any situation she felt it necessary.

        1. I read the investigations and I see an idiot who should have been fired years before he was. Now, would he have been fired if he hadn't fucked with the governor? No. But that is only because it is damn near impossible to fire a cop in this country.

          I think your points about the debt in Wasilla and her tax policy are very valid and say bad things about her. But I couldn't care less that she fired some dirtbag cop. I really don't. We should all be so lucky if that is the worst abuse of power any politician ever does.

          1. We probably won't ever agree on some of this. I'm okay with that. I will agree with you on the media loving the soap opera instead of the substance. I Think McCain was an idiot in choosing her. She was completely unprepared for that stage. Had she turned him down, given a great speech at the convention, finished her term as governor and gotten more polished at interacting with the press, she would have been our first female president in 2016. I don't understand the fascination with her on both sides but suspect that a lot of the vitriol from the left is simply because she is the popular kid and leftys, in their feelings of inferiority and spite, can't stand it.

          2. Abuse of power is abuse of power. Civil libertarians believe in opposing government heavy handedness especially when some jerk is the object of it.

            1. Dems really care about abuse of power. They is why they put the Chicago machine into the whitehouse.

              1. It was a scary abuse of power, petty, personal and damaging to another human life. You're just shutting your eyes to it because of your bizarre hero worship.

                1. Eh, nobody's perfect, MNG.

                  1. Yes, nobody is all good or bad (you have to credit Palin for taking on her own party several times as governor). But on balance, the woman is unimpressive. Liking someone because of who hates her is lame.

                    1. I don't know that she is that impressive either. I think she is likable and holds a lot of the right ideas. I also think she has balls and is willing to stand up to people. That is pretty rare these days.

                      You are moving the goal posts. I am certainly not saying that she is another WFB. Or even that I would vote for her if she ran for President in 2012. I am just saying her critics are completely derranged and full of shit.

              2. Ouch - that was right on target.

  26. Next up Chapman tells us how Leo Trotsky, that brilliant orator and writer, had a solid if tedious grasp of the issues facing post imperial Russia. Fucking moron.

    1. But Trotsky, in fact, did have a better grasp of the issues facing post imperial Russia than just about anyone else in the Russian elite. The problem with Trotsky is that he had odious goals. Trotsky and Lenin managed to hold the Russian Empire together at a time when the other neighboring multi-ethnic Empires of the age collapsed. From a perspective that values national glory over individual happiness Trotsky understood the issues pretty well, and had real, if nasty, solutions. And Trotsky is also one of the great unsung military leaders of the 20th century. I doubt Obama has that skill.

      1. YEah, other than the fact that he was crazed murderous fuck who believed in the worst ideology in history, he wasn't a bad guy.

        1. John, is your maiden name "Dunn?"

          (took all frickin day for my feeble mind to give me that one)

  27. Chapman sucks hard again. First, I don't think Palin and conservatism are the same thing, though certainly Palin falls in a corner of conservatism, she is not the sum of it. Second, Palin is popular just not with the media. Third Obama's approval ratings are plummeting therefore it is beyond premature to count conservatism dying or in decline. It is actually REASON-able to think that conservatism is going to make a major comeback. Hopefully more people will catch on to libertarianism during this rebound.

    1. Uh oh I guess I need to modify my name so people don't get confused. There are two of us.

  28. 1. I'm not sure that Palin's record shows her to be anything but a social conservative.
    2. As much as we love small government and free markets, they still don't address even half of what a President does. Can you even imagine her addressing the US accidentally knocking a Chinese fighter plane out of the sky or having to reassure America on the morning after a terrorist attack?
    She wants to be a star. I say let her do it, but she is going to haunt conservatives for at least two more years.

    1. What is the worst that could happen? She could do a bow to the emperor of Japan that makes the Japanese think she is an idiot? Talk about how Austrians speak Austrian? Go over and beg the Olympic committee to give her hometown the Olympics? Give the queen a bunch of wrong code DVDs and a tape of her speeches?

      Honestly the thought of Obama doing any of those things you list scares the living crap out of me. I guess my tolerance for fear has gone up.

      Beyond that, she is going to do more than "haunt conservatives". She has a huge base of supporters. She will be able to kill any Republican she wants in the 2012 primaries. She will also be able to make anyone she wants into a major contender. Oh, and if she runs as a third party, the Republicans are doomed.

      If she is smart, she has the ability to run the fake big government Republicans out of the party and make the Republican leadership actually do something besides steal. That could be a very good thing.

      1. Oh Lord John you know how to make me happy! Let's hope she defines the party for years and years!

        1. Don't worry, Obama and Pelosi are busy defining the Dems.

          1. Can we let the Dems be defined by Obama and the GOP by Palin? Please, pretty-please?

            1. Sure. When unemployment is at 12% in 2012 and the dollar is worth as much as the Peoso and Obama's sollution to it is creating "green jobs" through cap and trade and raising the cost of everyone's health insurance, good luck with that.

              As Pro Liberate said yesterday, after four years of Obama, a well spoken duck will probably be able to beat him in 2012.

              1. Dude, stay off my thread. Your argument, Palin will be our Obama and that will somehow help us win in 2012, is for shit. The worst that could happen under Palin is a lot worse than could happen under a lot of other people you could spend your endless free time defending.

                1. Dude,

                  Learn how to read. When the hell did I ever claim that I want Palin to win in 2012 or that she will? Nowhere outside of the voices inside your head.

                  So fuck off. And I will post whatever the hell I want on your thread.

                2. Further, what is the worst that could happen? Really, what do you think she would do? Unless you can answer that question with specifics, shut the fuck up and let the adults talk.

                3. If you'll read his posts without bias, you'll notice that he is espousing a cautious, middle ground opinion. The only defending he's doing is against the vitriol of people that seem to think they know better than everyone else, how she thinks, how intelligent she is, and what her future holds, evidence not required.

      2. could do a bow to the emperor of Japan that makes the Japanese think she is an idiot

        Really? You're going to jump on that stupid bandwagon? Show me some evidence the Japanese think Obama's bow was stupid. Having lived in Japan for years, I doubt that very very much. There's plenty to criticize Obama for without jumping in bed with the morons and the mouthfoamers.

        1. You need to get off the stupid wagon yourself.

          From a Japn expert to ABC

          "Obama's handshake/forward lurch was so jarring and inappropriate it recalls Bush's back-rub of Merkel.
          "Kyodo News is running his appropriate and reciprocated nod and shake with the Empress, certainly to show the president as dignified, and not in the form of a first year English teacher trying to impress with Karate Kid-level knowledge of Japanese customs.
          "The bow as he performed did not just display weakness in Red State terms, but evoked weakness in Japanese terms?.The last thing the Japanese want or need is a weak looking American president and, again, in all ways, he unintentionally played that part."


          Obama is not very bright. To admit that doesn't mean you are racist. Lots of black men are smart. It is just that this black man isn't one of them.

          1. Well, I am a racist, as is anyone who thinks that human beings aren't immune to the laws of biology, which is why I conclude Obama is probably pretty intelligent. He has an intelligent white mother and a black father exceptional enough to get out of Kenya. The probability is high that the offspring of such a match will have above average intelligence. It may be that Obama, like Bush, has found it too easy to coast on his "natural" advantages (affirmative action for Obama, rich friends for Bush), and doesn't apply that intelligence productively.

    2. Obama did in fact have to address and reassure America after a terrorist attack just a couple of weeks ago with Ft. Hood, and it was one of the most bizarre and disconnected things I've ever seen in my life. It's hard to imagine how anyone could have done much worse.

  29. Personally, I can't stand Palin. Her faux folksy demeanor just turns me right off. Every time I hear the phrase "hockey mom" I want to punch someone.

    But I really think that too much is made of her and that a lot of her popularity is because of the extreme hate piled on her by many on the left. In reality, I think she is nothing more than a odd and poor VP candidate who is making the most of an opportunity to get national attention. She has made too many bizarre moves to really be a serious candidate for president. I suspect that she will either get a TV show or gradually fade away and be forgotten over the next year or two.

    1. Never misunderestimate the sheer ignorance and stupidity of American voters and our love of celebrity.

      1. Speaking as a white trash person I find it offensive that the media portrays Palin as white trash. I don't think anyone who has never wondered how they are going to feed and clothe their kids or keep a roof over their heads has earned the epithet "white trash".

    2. "She has made too many bizarre moves to really be a serious candidate for president."

      I'm a Ron Paul guy myself and I know EXACTLY what you mean about the hockey mom bullshit - it's like you read my mind. But you must respect Palin for her ability to draw attention to herself and her cause. She completed re-energized the GOP's ticket last year when she was announced as the VP candidate. To deny her charisma and leadership potential is simply not the truth.

      Sigh. If there was some way to bring her (and her supporters) to the liberterian side, I think 2012 would look much brighter. Sadly, I keep hearing "The invasion of Iraq was God's will" and other bullshit echoing through my head.

  30. her popularity is because of the extreme hate piled on her by many on the left

    Yup. The right is reacting to that hate. They're itching for their own messiah. You know who else elected a messiah? That's right: the Germans.

    1. That's a Godwin.

  31. Palin doesn't have a record. McCain wanted such a person to run as his VP.

    Souter didn't have a record when Bush selected him for the high ct. Bush wanted it that way after his failure to get Bork through.

    Be careful what you wish for folks- those of you are willing to go to bat for the clearly recordless.

  32. Art, i'm not worried about any confusion that might result from my statement. MNG doesn't actually have any friends.

    Oooh, burn!

    1. Xeones, don't make me get all Warty on your ass...

      Ewww, that sounds terrible...

  33. And this we-Republicans-can-run-a-recordless-candidate-named-Sarah-Palin-because-you-Democrats-ran-a-recordless-candidate-named-Barack-Obama one-upmans-ship argument is a pointless exercise.

    Sure the Left piled it thick on Palin to the point of shrill-shock. But that doesn't mean you have to go with her as a viable candidate in 2012. Oh! I'll show you! You Leftist bullies!

    Let's look for someone worth defending instead.

  34. I'll say this for Palin: she has exquisite taste in the people she chooses to drive batshit insane.

    1. And insulting her is a wonderful way for stupid people like Chapman and MNG to pretend they are smart. They really owe her a debt of gratitude.

      1. u mad?

    2. And draws support for no reason other than the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

      Look, to repeat a few things:

      Reagan was misrepresented by the press.

      Dan Quayle was misrepresented by the press.

      I'll even give you that Bush 2 is sort of misrepresented by the press (when they go for the untrue 'he's dumb' rather than the all too true 'he's lazy')

      But Palin? She is what we think she is. And you're letting her off the hook.

      I wish it were different. Prior to her being thrust on the public stage, the story of a libertarian leaning charismatic female governor was promising. Her resume was great. But she has utterly failed the interview.

  35. I'll say this for Palin: she has exquisite taste in the people she chooses to drive batshit insane.

    Spot on. If she's doing it on purpose, then she's a Great American for that only.

  36. Xeones, don't make me get all Warty on your ass...

    Ewww, that sounds terrible...

    Yeah, that's probably the worst thing anyone has ever typed on Hit'n'Run.

  37. Steve, if you're reading all these, well, you're a class act, because I don't think I would bother. But, anyway, Barry Goldwater did not write "Conscience of a Conservative." Brent Bozell did. Furthermore--are you sitting down?--JFK did not write "Profiles in Courage."

    As for Ronnie being humble, I'm sorry, but I have to class Ronnie with another world-class American sharpie, Ben Franklin, who said that, although never mastering the virtue of humility, he very well mastered the ability to project the appearance of it.

    1. For once I agree with you Venneman. Reagan was a lot of things, but humble wasn't one of them. No humble guy runs for Governor much less President.

      1. It should also probably be mentioned that for all of his principle, philosophy, and rhetoric, Reagan did hardly a thing to truly advance the cause of limiting government. When push came to shove, he was even willing to raise taxes. Other than taking on the Soviet Union, in the end he was almost all lip service. It would have been interesting to see what, if anything, Goldwater might have been able to accomplish had he become President.

        You could make a pretty convincing argument that in their own small way, Clinton and Gingrich did more to limit the government than Goldwater and Reagan combined.

        1. Reagan indexed the tax tables for inflation. He also so radically reduced the top income tax, it has never to this day approached what it was in 1980. He also let Volker run the fed and end inflation. And he also did the 1986 simplification of the tax code. Those are big deals. But he wasn't exactly the revolution liberals claim he was. He just held the line and kept the liberals from doing more.

          Also Regean was not that religous. He wasn't a Christian conservative. He tolerated evangelicals but he was never one of them and never really pushed their agenda.

  38. Yup. The right is reacting to that hate. They're itching for their own messiah. You know who else elected a messiah? That's right: the Germans Democrats.

    FTFY, ed.

    1. Odd, the only people I ever see calling Obama the Messiah are Republi...sorry...you call yourselves Libertarians now...

      1. It is libertarians who were buying and selling all that creepy Obamabilia last fall. No messiah complex there.

        1. all that creepy Obamabilia

          My personal fave is the 32oz. bottle of Obamaglide with the handy dandy pump in glamorous boudoir fuschia.

          1. My favorites are the "This is OUr TIME" posters and t-shirts where Obama looks suspiciously like Jesus.

        2. Good thing you couldn't get Palin merchandise anywhere...

  39. IMO, it really doesn't matter. The minute that Palin resigned as governor of Alaska early made her dead in the water. If she can't take the heat there, then how will she do it as president?

  40. Reagan tried to put Bork on the the Supreme Court, not Bush.

    1. And Bork was replaced by Kennedy. Bush gave us Suiter. Actually, a real villian out of those years is John Sununnu. That fucker torpedoed Ginsburg, the most libertarian nominee to the court in my lifetime, because Ginsburg once smoked pot with one of his law school classes. And he assured Bush that Suetor wasn't a liberal and got him chosen over Ted Olson.

  41. Shit, that comment was for jester.
    Fucking nested comments.

  42. Only 150 comments? What's wrong with everyone? Don't you care about Sarah Palin anymore?

  43. I am frequently amazed by the arrogance displayed in the media, and by people on this blog. I read many statements about how people know, beyond any reasonable doubt that Palin is an idiot. They don't present any evidence, they simply state it. The same people regurgitate the attack stories that were mostly wrong, taken out of context, or were only presented with all of the negative facts.

    Most people I know consider me to be fairly intelligent. Yet I'd likely have stepped down from governor, if I were in the same position as Palin was. I'd consider it my duty to my state to remove myself, and the various unavoidable issues that were plaguing me, and through me, my state, in order to allow business to continue, without the expense and roadblocks presented by my enemies. You can say she was a coward, with some small basis, but I'd argue that I could say she was courageous as well as self-less in that particular decision, with good reason.

    I don't personally have a strong opinion on her level of intelligence, or her suitability as a future president. I don't feel I have enough data to make an educated decision. Of course, if I just took what the media presents me as undeniable fact, I'd think she was an idiot also. Fortunately for me, I dig deeper, and attempt to reserve strong opinions for strong positions.

    1. You pretty much nail what I think.

      1. John, your attitude nauseates me.


    2. My point is that she will have those same issues as a presidential contener/president.

      If she thought stepping down as governor of Alaska is the right thing to do, then fine. But don't think you can quit the easy job, and then expect to get the hard one.

      Write all the books, and go on all the speaking tours you want. But don't think you are ready to lead the US, if you can't lead Alaska.

      1. She did lead Alaska. Her time in office is not trumped, in my opinion, because you think she forsook her responsibility when she left office. She pushed to have a law put in place to enable people to hold their government servants accountable, and it caused her downfall through bad faith, and vitriol. It's been quite a while since I've read up on it, but the number of complaints filled against her, were very significant. Most were entirely redundant, and a majority were filed by the same person. An investigator, charged with determining the validity of the complaints actually asked the complainant to stop. He alleged that all of her complaints were essentially the same, with very small changes simply to enable resubmission. These complaints were costing the government a large amount of money, and occupying a large amount of work hours. Were I an Alaskan, I would be happy with Palin's decision, as she, and many others who actually researched the issue think it was the best option for the state. Was it the best option for her? Clearly not, because of people like you. I'd guess that she probably knew she'd take a lot of flak for that decision, and placed her state over her own future.

        1. And that's fine, like I said, nothing wrong with leaving. Just don't expect to be president, after you quit as govenor.

          Do you think that being president will be easier, or less partisan? Any problems in Alaska will be multiplied 10 fold when she's down here playing with the big boys.

    3. I think she is plenty smart to be President, but she lost me when she stepped down. If you can't smack down the local yocals, you have no chance against Rahm Emmanuel.

    4. I have no proof that she's stupid. But I have even less proof that she be intelligent. Her talks and interviews are absolutely devoid of any meaningful content. Now I have to concede that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

      Oh wait a minute: she practised rituals to protect herself from daemons & witches. If that's not stupid, well, I have no idea what is stupid.

  44. Do some research before you assert Obama wrote his books.


    1. Your selection of sources is...interesting.

  45. I was beginning to think I was in The Twilight Zone when I had gotten nearly halfway through the Thread w/o a John Sighting. Whew! False Alarm.

    The risible idea that Obama is brilliant is priceless. During the debates Obama and McCain used 5th Grade Vocabularies to express their ideas. Contrast w/ the Douglas-Lincoln debates in which their vocabularies were at the collegic level. Which confirms two things:

    1- The American People have the understanding of a 12 yr old.
    2- That the Government does a bang up job educating the children.

    1. You seem to be the ideal judge. You even used a word that I had to look up. Unfortunately Google doesn't seem to have access to your advanced dictionary. I guess I'll simply have to assume that you meant something above a collegiate level. 🙂

    2. In fairness, the didn't broadcast the Lincoln Douglas debates on TV. They were talking to a different audience.

      But you are right about the dumming down of America. Listen to a speech by Eisenhower or if you are a Dem Truman or Roosevelt sometime. Or better yet, go read it. There is no comparison between that and how politicians speak now. Or if you really want to cry, go read a Joe McCarthy speech sometime. I am not kidding. He sounds like Seneca the Elder compared to your typical Senator today. We live in truly barbaric times.

    3. Oh and, just to clarify, I didn't disagree on any particular point. 🙂

  46. Audacity of Hope was ghostwritten, so there goes that paragraph. The contrast with Regan isn't compelling, as the two quotes are about different things, so there goes that. I get the feeling that even had this been a magnum opus of political and economic theory, Steve Chapman still would not have liked it. Oh, but it also wouldn't have sold nearly as many copies, and money was obviously a goal in this endeavor.

    Goldwater was portrayed as a dangerous lunatic who wanted to nuke little children. Regan was an amiable dunce who wanted to nuke everyone. Chapman is conveniently forgetting all of that.

    1. It's easy to sell a lot of copies when everyone's selling it at a deep discount, or given away free with each Republican magazine subscription/GOP cockring ordered

      1. Where can you order a GOP cockring? I still have lots of shopping to do!

        Now that you have attempted to be shocking, and failed, please explain how the book would make more money if it was aimed more at policy. Perhaps including a GOP elephant dildo with every copy? Oh my, I'm as edgy as you are now!!!!

        1. Please explain where I said the book would make more money if it was aimed more at policy.

          Now that you have attempted to be intelligent, and failed...

          1. I said that the idea was to sell more copies, hence making more money. You seemed to have a problem with that, or there is the alternative possibility that you were just waiting to type "GOP cockring" and took the occasion. If it's the latter, then I must admit that it's funny, if out of place.

            I simply am intelligent, it takes no effort or attempt.

            1. No, I had no problem with your idea that the goal was to sell more copies. Making money, well, that'll be difficult, considering the deep discounting that's going on.

              As for the cockring, well...it seems like you get her book free whenever you buy any other GOP subscription these days...that's just the next natural progression 😀

              1. Also...the cockring part was blatantly ripped off from the Napster Bad web cartoon from Camp Chaos.


              2. Yes, I will be sure to give you credit when I inevitably say "GOP cockring" in the future. That really is too damned funny.

                1. then never mind on that credit I was going to give!!!

                  1. Damn me for being honest!

  47. She is now officially a conservative "celebrity". She's set for life with her first of many books and years of personal appearances. Great article in the WSJ this week about her whining about being a victim. Even Joe Biden could have articulated which newspapers he reads to Katie Couric.
    Palin is a lightweight. The lefty media loves having her in the spotlight. It would have been great if they had given the same amount of scrutiny to Obama and Biden, but they like them. Bottom line: she's cashing in and the more she is vilified, the more the cash register jingles.

    1. Biden may have had no problem articulating what magazines he reads, however that isn't a fair comparison. Biden seems to have little of note floating around in his head at any given moment. This leaves him open to being able to answer a question like that quite readily. Plus Couric is on his side, hence no angle. Palin on the other hand was likely trying to figure out how Couric was planning on using her answer against her. Trying to figure out where the trap lies certainly slows the forward progress, don't you think?

      1. I expect at least as much of politicians I support as I do of myself.

        If someone ambushed you and asked what magazines you read, I'm sure you'd be able to come up with a title.

        That's not even a policy question. If Couric truly wanted to make her look bad, she'd ambush her with a complicated policy or political question.

        Quick! What's your favorite color?

        Blue?! No, Green!? No, Ahhhh!

        1. She likely did. There was about an hour of footage, if I remember correctly. But maybe Palin handled those questions to well to be shown? Unless you've seen the whole thing, uncut, you don't know, and neither do I.

          1. "She can't tell us what she reads, but she might have handled the question of her favorite color quite well."

            Am I summarizing that correctly?

            1. Yes of course you did. Who am I to disagree?

              If Couric truly wanted to make her look bad, she'd ambush her with a complicated policy or political question.

              1. Ohh...you thought THOSE were the ones she handled well.

                Now you're just delusional.

                1. You don't read well, do you?

          2. Ok really, if you like Palin as a politician, fine. But you've got to admit she made blundering mistake here.

            If you tell someone that you read magazines, and whoever you're talking to to asks which ones, that's small talk, chatting conversation. It's a logical follow up question.

            If Palin read any particular magazine on a regular basis, the name of it wouldn't be that hard to remember.

            1. I will readily admit that she didn't handle the exchange well. It is clear that she was thinking along different lines than this being small talk. In fact in her response she was defending Alaska, as not being cut off from the world of news events, and DC. Clearly, she thought that was where Couric was trying to corner her.

              So, I reject your reality, and substitute my own, one that seems to me to more fairly fit the facts.

    2. She's just another in a long line of Republican 'victims'.

      It's amusing that the 'party of personal responsibility' spends so much of its time on the cross.

      1. Damn. I went to the bathroom and missed the hand tag from John to aelhues. Did the referee at least catch it?

        1. I realize for some, it is difficult to imagine that there might be more than one person who espouses such foreign ideas, or actually questions the truth as presented by the media. I assure you however that, while we certainly aren't in the majority, there are more than even two of us. Sure would be nice if there were more.

          1. I've been saying for many months that now is your time. The folks are getting real weary of HUGE govt running their lives and their checkbooks. But to get anywhere you have to field a candidate that can make Ron Pauls talking points with Reagan's tongue and Obama's sincerity. Yeah, I'm serious. The voters are almost ready but you gotta have game. It is sad that it even matters. But I assure you, it does.

            1. I agree completely, however I see no one stepping up to the plate. Do you?

              1. I'm not quite ready for my closeup.

              2. It wouldn't really be wise to start a presidential campaign three years before the election.

                You risk losing your momentum too soon. Not to mention, you'd have to keep your head above water in the public eye for three solid years versus one.

                1. Also agreed. I'm not supporting a Palin bid for presidency. However I reserve the right to do so in the future. I'm hoping that someone better comes along. I'd prefer someone that most on the left would laugh at and ridicule for their ridiculous old fashioned ideas. I sure would love to see someone who will work to cut the federal role and budget by at least 50%. I know, not going to happen.

      2. I'm simply saying that she faced reality, and made the best decision based on the facts. Did you hear her whining about it? If she were the victim type she wouldn't have dropped out. She would have whined and complained to the press about how unfair they were all being. Restating the facts of a case does not make one a victim.

        1. The reason she gave was that she didn't see any reason to stay Governor, as she wasn't running for re-election.

          So if, through some absurd joke that God's playing on us, she's elected President, but loses in her re-election bid, is she just gonna go wandering off in mid-November?

          1. Ok, if you say so.

            Just ignore the focus of her speech then. Here is one quote from it, and there are more, that proves you wrong.

            Some Alaskans don't mind wasting public dollars and state time. I do. I cannot stand here as your Governor and allow millions upon millions of our dollars go to waste just so I can hold the title of Governor.

            1. Don't forget the victim part:

              I think much of it had to do with the kids seeing their baby brother Trig mocked by some pretty mean-spirited adults recently.

              1. Are you saying that's not true, or are you saying that mentioning that people were lying in order to hurt you makes you a victim? And by victim, I mean the characterless kind who, by my definition, exaggerates, or entirely makes up oppression and suffering in order to better themselves.

            2. That's a cute comment, coming from someone who had to pay back all that money she charged per-diem working from her home...

              1. I don't know the details of the law, or her or her staff's understanding of them, but hindsight is 20/20, right?

                From the Washington Post:Palin has spent far less on travel than her predecessor, former Gov. Frank Murkowski, who spent $463,000 on travel in 2006. Palin spent $93,000 last year, records show.

                1. ...mostly achieved by selling the plane.

                  Hindsight is 20/20...especially when your regret is "I got caught"

                  1. Not true. The numbers mentioned didn't include the plane. In fact, the ebay sale fell through, and they got significantly less for it. At least that's what the article I quoted said.

                    As for regret. Well I'm glad you can see into her brain, I haven't been able to master that skill yet.

                    1. IIRC, the plane was sold to a local contractor. I must admit my first thought was to wonder what connections the contractor had to get the deal he seemingly got.

    3. Way to play the victim card while acknowledging that Palin has no other card to play. It's not liberals' fault that she's a moron, sorry.

  48. On the Katie Couric Thing:

    It's all softball interviews anyways. Just because Bill O has the conversational skills of a deranged howler monkey doesn't mean his interviews are hard. When Chris Matthews is on camera resembling a fat kid that is so mad he could cry, that's not exactly make hardball. Although when Glenn Beck cries I keep waiting for him to give a prayer perfectly timed for the commercial break.

    1. I don't know why giving a good interview is the end all be all of intelligence. Everyone screams about the Couric interview and the Gibson one. Is it really the case that two interviews make an entire person? If she had gone on for two hours about the Bush doctrine and how she lovs the Wall Street Journal, would her haters really have a changed opinion of her? The only person on here who can give a coherent critique of the woman is Ben. And even he at best can point to some of her actions as governor. I mean your whole case against someone is based on two interviews, you are grasping for straws.

      1. John

        Are you actually Sarah Palin?

      2. When someone asks you what you read, and you flub the answer, if you say "Well, I flubbed the answer. She caught me flat footed", that's fine. It happens.

        Of course, she didn't do that.

        1. Yeah she sat there flat footed because she rightly concluded Couric was trying bait her and she was worried she would give the wrong answer.

          Do you honestly believe that she is so stupid she can't read a newspaper? There doesn't seem to be any evidence of that. And if not, who cares? It was on question and a dumb one at that. Again, if she is that bad, her critics ought to be able to come up with something better than that.

          1. Worried that she'd give the wrong answer over what she reads?

            That's just who I want one faltering heartbeat away from the Presidency...

          2. As for whether she's too stupid to read the newspaper, no...I doubt she's that stupid. However, coming off of eight years of lack of intellectual curiosity, I'd have to say it's a fair question to ask what kind of info a candidate takes in.

            1. You must be able to read her mind. You do offer a lot of insight into her thinking, without justification.

            2. Eight years of lack of intellectual curiosity? Why do say that? Bush is a huge reader. Guy reads all the time and pretty serious books to. You can say a lot bad things about Bush. But, the "he is not intellectually curious" is absolutely the dumbest thing you can say about it. It is just not true.

              1. Truth isn't important John, it's what the news tells you. If it's on the news often, it must therefore be true. So obviously, Bush was stupid, and not intellectually curious. In fact I'm pretty sure, a little ways back, there is a chimp in his bloodline.

                1. damn dirty evolutionist ; )

                2. Probably not, considering humans did not evolve from chimps. Evolution is hard!

                  1. Well duh! If they did, why are there still chimps around? Huh? Answer that one zoltan.

                    *end snark*

                    1. Oh, and your reply makes the assumption that Bush is fully human and not a human/chimp/steve smith hybrid.

                    2. Steve Smith has only been actively raping for about 20 years. His spawn are just getting out of high school. Much to young to be GWB.

                    3. Didn't 'Squatch have some kinda time portal on that Documentary series about that astronaut that wrecked and got rebuilt with bionic technology?

  49. Question, if McCain had won and died the day after being sworn in and Palin were President right now, how would the world be different?
    How would it be worse? And if you can't give a good answer to specifically how it would be worse, how can you say she is any less qualified to be President than Obama?

    1. Because she's a fucking ignoramus. Jesus Christ man.

      1. Way to give a specific response there Tony. Is your entire purpose in life to make liberals look like dipshits? If it is, you are wildly successful.

        1. What other reason do I need? She's a MORON. The right's anti-intellectualism has reached truly scary levels.

          1. Tony,

            Invective and name calling only count as argument in the leftists circle jerks and fart smelling contests you are used to participating in.

            We make a lot of allowences for you around here because we know you are retarded and all. But, you have got to start making a better effort.

            1. Who is 'we'? Are you under the impression that most people here are right-wing conservative Republican apologists with a boner for Sarah Palin like you?

              1. Sorry. Just sorry. I expected a better effort. No actually I didn't. You are totally incapable of having an intelligent conversation about anything.

    2. It's hard to say because Obama has done his level best to do what Wall Street tells him to do so really not much difference domestically. Would Palin have stopped the bailout? No. Would Palin have chosen not to bail out the auto industry? No. She would have the same inherent weakness as Obama - no experience, no real power base and people screaming "crisis! crisis!" at her, and then "wise men" like Geithner and Bernanke telling her to listen to them, they'll get her through it. She would have made gaffes overseas - and gotten crucified for it. Not her fault if the press hates her, but it doesn't make my life better if the foreigners hate the US for the wrong reasons, and Palin would start off with a major handicap internationally. On foreign policy Palin would be a disaster, she would make all the wrong choices on Iran, Israel, Afghanistan, and Iraq (i.e. all the neocon policies John loves that spit in the face of 200 years of true American conservatism and restraint). She would not have pushed for health care reform, true, but of course Obama is failing on that front anyway.

      1. So true. But there's that dreaded word the Republicans hate - 'neocon.' I was on TownHall or MichelleMalkin a while back and the folks on there were discussing what neocon meant. Some genius concluded that it was a new term that Dems recently invented to smear the GOP.

  50. Upon what basis do folks persist in holding that Obama is Palin's intellectual superior? Is it Obama's propensity to use filler language like umm....eh....aaah....you know....like, etc. He is not as verbally adroit as Palin.

    Sure, the ability to communicate sans filler language is not the sin qua non of measuring intelligence, but the point has to be made.

    What is not a valid measurement of intellectual capacity is one's alma mater. To the extent one contends that an Ivy pedigree is a valid measurement of intelligence, one admits that he is a few fries short of a happy meal.

    1. Some people assume that when he is filling pauses with umm and uhhh and similar things that he is pondering his answer on the subject at hand. It seems a bit more intelligent than blurting out the first thing that comes to mind while trying to avoid the nonexistant gotcha in a very simple question. Palin's interviews in the last few days have been much, much better. Had she spoken that well 16 months ago, things might be very different today.
      Whether or not Obama was as verbally adroit as Palin during the race last fall is a matter of preference and opinion.

  51. LOL, gottal love Governor Palin, she makes the progressive's (AKA the new Stalinists) heads explode.

    Not at all surprised to see the usual suspects are out bad mouthing Governor Palin, not to worry though, you ain't seen nothing yet. Palin the populist williwaw is about to be unleashed out of the northland like a force of nature upon the political world and, few in the lower 48 know anything about the most formidable and overwhelming power of a williwaw. On a calm sunny day, out of nowhere, it can wreak havoc and destruction upon the unwary, demasting their ships in thought to be safe harbors and heeling them over, to sink into a watery grave.

    Urinate off a liberal, sign up as a fan and supporter -(now over 1,030,000+ supporters, 20,000 new ones in last 24 hours, thanks a million Oprah)-on Sarah Palin's Facebook Page at: http://www.facebook.com/sarahpalin

    Pray for Obama ? Psalm 109:8

    And as Psalm 109:8 reveals, we all need to really, really, pray hard for Obama

    1. Psalms 109:8-Let his days be few, let another take his office.

      So Travis, you are praying for President Obama to die. Yup, I'm sure that is something Gov. Palin wants on her facebook.

      1. If Obama dies Joe Biden is President. And liberals have a martyr rather than an idiot who is going to ruin their party. I don't know about you, but I pray for his good health every day.

        1. I think we'd be FAR better off if Obama dropped dead this instant.

          Biden is no genius either, but I believe in his heart he is pro-American and doesn't want to bring the country low.

    2. As Daniel Larison says - support for Palin is objectively suppport for Obama. Liberals are pouring champagne at the idea that Palin could be nominated. She is a pure disaster for the GOP. But if you look at the caliber of politicians in general these days in the US it's shocking. The smartest most articulate Democratic senator is a washed up television comedy writer. Intelligent Republicans like Romney bend over backward to act stupid and cater to what they imagine is the lowest common demoninator. That's sad. I guess this is the triumph of the private sector over the public. I can't imagine Palin rising higher than an account manager at my company. Why Romney wants to deal with this crap is beyond me.

      1. If you honestly think Al Frankin is the smartest most articulate anything, you are just not a serious person. I know the Senate is pretty bad, but Al Frankin? Really? I dispise the Dems but surely there is someone better than him,

        And if the liberals were really so happy to see her nominated (and she hasn't even run) they wouldn't be going crazy. They would be killing her with kindness.

        1. They're happy because it's a matchup against an easy target. Why would they be nice to her if the point is to eventually defeat her?

        2. OK, John. Tell me which Democratic Senator is more intelligent than Al Franken. And I'm not trying to compliment Franken, believe me.

          But the liberals aren't stupid enough to kill Palin with kindness. They want her nominated, the only way this happens is by getting her base riled up, seems obvious.

          1. John is an imbecile who can't spell 'Franken'. Don't bother.

  52. This pretty much sums it up.

    1. Yes Tony. Link the Huffington Post. You really are retarded.

      1. The video has nothing to do with the site hosting it, if you are capable of getting over your fear of liberal cooties coming from Huffpost.

    2. Stewart is right that Palin is largely a right wing talking point machine, but so is the President with respect to the left. As a libertarian I'm not very impressed with either.

      1. To an extent, all politicians are. This is another example of a ridiculous false equivalence. Obama is clearly an educated person capable of nuanced thought, and Palin either is not or is pretending not to be.

        1. But they are both wrong. I'd don't care if the President has more clever yet false arguments. I'll admit that he is smarter than Sarah Palin and much of the American public, that's not saying much. So were most of the people I went to college with, and I don't want them running the country. Even then, how much of his education is actually relevant to governing? The President is offering any new ideas, just standard left liberalism in a shiny package. He didn't even win on those ideas, but on being sufficiently vague that the naive and uninformed could project their hopes and policy positions onto him.

          Its a horrible choice really, do I want some guy just out of college who thinks he knows everything in charge? Or do I want some idiot off the street with alleged lukewarm support for some polices similar to mine and believes in "common sense" in charge.

          Were I forced to choose between the two I would vote divided government and hope that each side prevents the other from doing something exceedingly stupid.

          I'm not trying to support or apologize for Palin, I'd much rather have someone like Ron Paul.

  53. I really like the idea of Reason interviewing Palin about all these issues that have been discussed.

    That should be the final word on the matter.

    1. So do I. Wish she would go visit Reason and do an extended interview on Reason TV. If Chapman and company think she is so stupid, then have at her. It would be great. It would also generate a ton of traffic for Reason. They should ask her. She is out pimping a book. She might say yes.

      1. You know, that's great idea. They could run the interview along with a new fundy-raiser and this time they could use a mount rushmore picture for the coloring progress chart. I could probably scrounge up a little scratch to donate for that kind of interview.

        1. They should also make her kiss a lobster.

        2. Taking a poll asking for questions from readers/commentators wouldn't hurt either...

  54. In B4 300

  55. Fuck missed it

  56. Steve, your article could not be more trite or worthless. "If you want real job growth, cut capital gains taxes." This IS policy, and brilliant policy at that. The fact that she has a shallow understanding of why it is good policy is of little matter. I would rather have simple correct ideas that politicians don't understand than complex foolish "policy" that politicians don't understand.

    We get it, the book sucks and Palin is dumb. This is not news. The only thing learned in this article is your passion for "policy."

  57. Whee! I just skied down this mountain of comments, keep em' coming, it was fast but I want 500 post fast.

    walking back to the top now.

  58. I would like to feel that Palin could be the Messiah of the right, but I get the nagging feeling that she is not up to the job of leader of the strongest (for now) country of the free world. As a much younger Republican I did not appreciate the vision/ foresight of Goldwater. The Republican party kept deteriorating until I finally got fed up and switched affiliation to Libertarian (quite a few years ago). I feel that this is the closest to the feelings and vision of the founding fathers. Am I wasting my vote? Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil and I do not expect the neo-con Republican party to return to true economic/ small government responsibility.

  59. What's wrong with the party of Reagan and Goldwater

    Could it be that they're stuck in a timewarp, seriously, the best thing you can say about the republicans up to the last election is they produced another miniscule Goldwater moment in the form of Ron Paul. Although hot and steamy to hear those words, thinking about it, it's rather depressing realizing republicans have only gone back in time. For the many decades since Goldwater, it isn't reward worthy that we're only back at this spot again. There's nothing to praise here.

    Yes, fumbling in front of a reporter isn't a sin, but thems the breaks. The onus is on here to prove her credibility, despite how hopped up her fan base is.

    This is the thing about reason, present Palin discussion excluded, why the habitual posts about Republican who are close to good enough, or maybe, just maybe, are libertarian friendly. Yuck, isn't this dance just a little bit old?

  60. """The onus is on here to prove her credibility, despite how hopped up her fan base is.""

    True, it is on her to prove them wrong.

    I like the humor, didn't the GOP hate the idea of a media superstar for President less than two years ago?

    1. "True, it is on her to prove them wrong. "

      Her critics of course.

  61. If it came down to Ron Paul or Sarah Palin for the GOP Prez candidate in 2012, who would you support? Who would have a better shot at winning?

    1. Ron Paul. Sarah Palin may make the correct decisions, but without know why, she'll never be able to explain/defend them to the public and will therefore never gain any respect and will be an easy target for the media.

      Very few people have the understanding of the economy that Ron Paul does. He's also a doctor, so he would have a good understanding of the healthcare system. He just needs to drop a few "radical" policies such as getting rid of Homeland Security. I'm not saying he's wrong, just that the country isn't ready for that yet, and it does a lot of damage to his credibility and reputation.

      1. I agree 1000%. however, I must say that Palin has an appeal that Paul just doesn't have. And, if it really came down to it in a primary situation, I'm not sure that Paul would win.

  62. The more I see of the situation, the more convinced I am that disdain for Ms. Palin is little more itself than a cultural pose. Ms. Palin exudes the image of the petit bourgeoisie, of the Wal-Mart. As a consequence, perhaps the easiest way for second-rate, pseudo-sophisticates to establish their credentials is by responding to her with a presumption of superiority.

    At the end of the day, she's a middling, politician with fairly successful record of accomplishments in office. While she's clearly traditionalist in outlook, most of the evidence is that she's distanced that outlook from the act of governance. If that doesn't merit the rabid devotion of so many of her supporters (and it doesn't), it certainly doesn't merit the sneers of contempt that seem a cultural expectation in so many circles.

    1. My sneers are directed at the Republican party and a country that could seriously entertain the notion of someone like Sarah Palin having the second highest position of power in the country.

      1. Hmmm...the response to my critique is an unsupported expression of a wholly unearned presumption of superiority. Why am I not in the least surprised?

        But don't worry, Tony, I didn't lose any respect for you as a result.

  63. John reminds me of the "useful idiots" who praised the Soviet Union.
    Perhaps one day he will realise that all Palin and Beck really care for is the money and attention.

  64. If Obama shows a grasp of the issues then why is it Palin who understands the importance of tax cuts?

  65. Obama's 2 autobiographies are just chock-full of cutting edge policy insights that advance teh satte of human understanding of complex issues?

    Give it a rest.

  66. From the Weekly Standard:

    She [Palin] commented on the trail of evidence linking the alleged Ft. Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan, to militant Islam. "There were such clear, obvious, massive warning signs that were missed," she said. "This terrorist, even having business cards" that identified him as an "SoA" or soldier of Allah. Palin blamed a culture of political correctness and other decisions that "prevented -- I'm going to say it -- profiling" of someone with Hasan's extremist ideology. "I say, profile away," Palin said. Such political correctness, she continued, "could be our downfall." If the upcoming investigations into the attack reveal bad decision-making on the part of senior officials, Palin continued, those officials ought to be fired.

    "Does KSM deserve constitutional rights?" I asked.
    Palin's response: "Not no, but hell no."
    And she went on: "That was an atrocious decision," she said. "And it makes a mockery of our judicial system." She focused in particular on the fear that "war criminals" like KSM and his accomplices will use the trial as a "platform" to denigrate America.

    From Newsmax

    In an exclusive Newsmax interview, former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Tuesday sharply criticized President Obama's deep bow to the emperor of Japan, and charged Democrats "purposefully" are holding back details on their healthcare reform proposals from the American people to avoid an open debate.

    On tour promoting her best-selling book, "Going Rogue: An American Life," the former Alaska governor also told Newsmax she was so embarrassed by a Newsweek magazine cover depicting her in running shorts that she sent an e-mail to her family saying "I almost feel like I have to apologize."

    Palin cited the contrast between Obama's comportment in bowing to Japanese royalty and the leadership style of former President Ronald Reagan.

    "There is where his steel spine strengthened our entire nation," she said of the Republican icon. "The leadership he provided, where he allowed us to believe in ourselves as a superpower ? not in an abusive way as a superpower, but as a power and a light and a hope for the rest of the world.

    "That allowed us to be a healthier, safer, and more generous nation to help other nations. So those things that Ronald Reagan did . . . he said on national security issues, he said you know: 'We win. They lose.' Leadership like that we need today. [It] allows a very clear path in front of us we'd be foolish not to follow."

    In criticizing the bow, Palin underscored the distinction between Reagan's view of American exceptionalism and President Obama's efforts to cast America as but one member of the community of nations.

    "That [bow] made me and many of us uncomfortable, and I don't think it was just an accidental breach of protocol


    Barbra Walters:

    The woman who was John McCain's running mate last year hails the tea party movement. She says that the McCain campaign was wrong to support the first bailout package.

    "That very first bailout, yes. Now we have learned, too, it didn't fulfill the promises that were made by Congress, and by the White House, that bailing out these businesses that were 'too big to fail,' " Palin said. "That did not put our economy back on the right track. So we learn from our mistakes. The tea party movement, beautiful. It energizes our country. More power to these people who are showing up there."


    RUSH: What are your thoughts on the congressional health care reform bills going through the House and the Senate?

    GOV. PALIN: Well, we don't really know, do we, what's in that Senate version, the Senate consideration? It will be soon but we have no idea of costs. We don't know how many will be insured. We're waiting to hear that. We don't know if the tax funding of abortions will be in this new version that's sitting over on the Senate side. We don't know if those who choose not to purchase this government-mandated level of coverage will face jail time as punishment. There are so many questions unanswered. I don't like the idea, in general, of the federal government thinking it needs to take over health care -- which essentially this is -- and control one-sixth of our economy. Not when there are commonsense solutions to meeting health care challenges in our country, like allowing the intra- and interstate competition with insurers, tort reform, cutting down on the waste and fraud that the Obama administration insists if we just did that we'll pay for this one-point-some trillion-dollar health care reform package. So lots of commonsense solutions that need to be plugged in before ever considering federal government taking it over.

    RUSH: You mentioned earlier you wanted to talk about national security, that you hoped it came up. Well, here it is: What do we face? What are our threats, and are we prepared, or not?

    GOV. PALIN: Well, I think domestically a threat that we're facing right now is the dithering and hesitation in sending a message to the terrorists that we're going to claim what Ronald Reagan claimed. Our motto is going to be: "We win, you lose." The way that we do that is allow McChrystal to have the reinforcements that he's asking for in Afghanistan. That sends that message to the terrorists over there that we're going to end this thing with our victory. We need to start facing Iran with tougher and tougher sanctions that need to be considered. We need to work our allies with the Iranian issues, like Britain and France and not allow access to favorable international monetary deals. That's a great threat that I think would kind of shake up Ahmadinejad and get him to listen. We need to look at halting Iran's imports of refined petroleum products. They're quite reliant on imported gasoline, and we need to use that hammer to wake up the leadership there, too. Those are two big challenges that we have right now, domestically and in naming those two countries, Afghanistan and Iran. Two big challenges there, too.

    RUSH: Thirty seconds: Immigration. Can you do it in 30 seconds before we have to go?

    GOV. PALIN: I can't do it in 30 seconds but just know that... You know, let me put it simply: Illegal immigrants are called "illegal" for a reason. We need to crack down on this. We need to listen to the border states where the governors there have some solutions and we need to get serious about that


    Yeah. that Palin... Conservativism will never recover.

  67. "But Obama wrote a 375-page book, The Audacity of Hope, that shows a solid, and occasionally tedious, grasp of issues"

    But Obama didn't write the book..he had a ghostwriter...Ayers. That's pretty certain.

    That demolishes part of the premise.

  68. Finally! A common sense conservative calls out the emptiness of the Palin cult! I couldn't agree more! Conservatives who rightly note Obama's lack of qualifications are utter and complete hypocrites if they don't also acknowledge Palin's lack of experience. You don't fight unqualified with EVEN MORE unqualified! If we truly want to win the White House back we need to support Mitt Romney in 2012!

    1. If we truly want to win the White House back we need to support Mitt Romney Ron Paul in 2012!


      however, I agree with what you said about the Palin cult

  69. I see from previous comments that Palin's cult followers are out in full force spinning more myths and lies about this great "conservative" woman. FACT: Sarah Palin ran and governed as a "reformer" which in conservative Alaska marked her as anything but a true conservative. Palin harassed Republican governor Frank Murkowski with the same bogus ethics complaints that her enemies used against her! In fact who authored and signed that "stringent" ethics law? None other than Sarah Palin! Talk about what goes around, comes around.

  70. Mr. Chapman obviously has his blinders off for Mrs. Palin but conviently puts them back on in respect to Obama and the present administration and probably Congress also. I am amazed at the loftiness that reporters such as Mr. Chapman put on brains that are misguided! Brains, with Common Sense and Experience with Integrity is what our country needs and Regan had all the above. It is unfortunate that we have not had a nomination of such a candidate since his tenure in office. Too bad we don't have but a handful of people in Congress like that also. Hence the need for term limits. We need people in office that look at it as a duty to service to protect this country and also our pocketbooks and our respect for our Constitution that every official that is elected swears to uphold and protect. I doubt that 95% or our elected officials (notice I left out the title "leaders") have read, studied and understand how important that document is to maintain and follow. Every citizen should read and study that document and fully grasp how important it is to hold to what the Founders of this Country laid out for us. If you have not read and studied the finest document to ever been assembled, may I suggest "The Constitution Made Easy" by Michael Holler. To order, I think you can go to ConstitutiooMike@aol.com.

    One more thing to consider in electing a Leader: Look at their experience as a business person who has built a business from scratch and have not followed on the coat tails of someone else. See if this person has truly knows how to financially build a business soundly and can parlay that experience and dedication in doing the same for this country. You must understand that the Founders of our country were business men themselves who had wife's who were dedicated also to the sacrifices personally to make something of "themselves". Not make others who are not willing to do what they have done in successes but to have a Republic that lays the basis for "those" who want to be self reliant and not have big government and big taxes to prohibit such an endeavor. That is what brought this country to be what it was, let's reclaim our Constitution, our self respect so we can respect others and help those who want to achieve the American Dream and not squash it! Let's get good leaders who serve the people and not treat the citizens as subjects and slaves with all their heavy taxation and rules and regulations that cover their incompetence and lack of true vision and protect their careers as a politician with all the perks that they keep for themselves and not for you and me! Don't go by the successes of Ivy League brains that have no substance, no experience, no integrity that get employed to run a business that was or is previously successful on the founder of that company who scraped, sacrificed and new how to build a business. They have the luxury to have that person's sweat and tears, failures and successes and experience to know how to financially build a business and have the knowledge of keeping a budget and building it responsibly. Don't get the brainy coattail rider and attorney who have no experience and the guts to go it alone and sacrifice to build a productive business. Find that individual that has done that, who is civic minded and will do the same as a servant to this country and get us back on tract with experience, integrity, self reliance, financially responsible, dedication to preserving and building this country. Hold those accountable in office right now and tell them to get off their hind ends and not pass ridiculous bills that will bankrupt this country that they don't even read that have been crafted by SEIU. Get this party bias out of the picture and protecting their re-elections and get this Country back on the radar screen!

    1. ConstitutionMike@aol.com is the correct e-mail

  71. My favorite criticism of Sarah Palin is that she speaks in cliches, as if that's unique to politicians.

    P.S. Barry Goldwater didn't write "Conscience of a Conservative." L. Brent Bozell did.

  72. Supposed to attack these head-on and you will find a deep sense of gratification thatwill fuel your happiness.

  73. How can Reagan, who radically escalated the War on Drugs and the Cold War, be considered libertarian? His true legacy was turning the GOP into neocons.

  74. Reading the article and especially the comments I now understand the vitriol aimed at Sarah Palin.

    It really isn't about her. It's about the people who support her and identify with her. That is who you all really can't stand. How dare these people who cannot match your glorious, scintillating and obviously superior intellect even begin to think they have any real place in the body politic other than to vote as they are instructed to by you?

    Tell me, oh glorious ones? How different are you from the elitist Left who have the same kind of disdain for the hoi poloi?

  75. What do you expect of a book of fiction? But Palin still ranks in same percentile as the number one candidates for president in 2012. And Rush Limbaugh says it's the most important (and probably the only) book on policy written--and 20 million people hang on his every word. These are just examples on the modern conservative movement. And if you don't believe it, just take a look at the quality of most of the comments written on conservative blogs.

  76. The only problem with this article is that he failed to mention that in practice, Palin has never governed like a conservative. I live in Alaska. Palin increased state spending and taxes (and bragged about it). She's also had lots of nice things to say about unions (opposes school choice and right to work legislation). She is no real conservative on domestic issues. She's not interested in intellectual debate. I doubt she reads Epstein or Sowell or Krauthammer. She's not only a cancer to the David Brook's of the world, but also to anyone who truly supports limited government.

    I usually call myself a Conservative Libertarian because I'm generally conservative on foreign policy and am pro-life. I'm straight libertarian on domestic issues. With who the conservatives are running to, I'm starting to shed that conservative part of the label more and more.

  77. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won't get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there's more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I'm not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It's just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight...the Bible's books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on.

  78. I agree that it not really about Sarah Palin. People should stop support her and identify with her.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.