Rogue's Gallery

So many stories about Sarah Palin, so few about her fans.


"The term personal magnetism is frequently used, as if charismatic figures had a force that aligned followers like so many iron filings caught in their field of force. I would not want to deny that instances of charisma along those lines exist, but the complete surrender of personal will to a figure of power is, I believe, a comparatively rare and marginal phenomenon….As sociologists are fond of pointing out, the relational character of charisma means that one 'has charisma' only to the extent that others confer it upon one; it is their attribution of charisma that establishes the relationship." —James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance

The release of Going Rogue has set off another Palinpalooza in the press. Most of the coverage is frustrating, focused as it is on the woman whose name is on the book rather than the readers who are purchasing it. Sarah Palin's views and goals may be a significant story, but they're not nearly as significant as the views and goals of the people projecting their hopes onto her. When the serfs revolt in the name of the czar, the czar's platform should not be the first topic of concern.

Oh, there have been the obligatory reports from the crowds lined up to see her on her book tour. But Palin almost always dominates those stories as well. Even when reporters probe past her personal appeal and start asking questions about her audience's own opinions, the topic tends to circle back to Sarah.

Take Norah O'Donnell of MSNBC, who went searching last week for interviewees at a Palin stop in Michigan. She settled on a 17-year-old whose shirt said, "The U.S. Government handed out $700 billion towards the wall street bailout and all i got was this lousy t-shirt." Reading from notes, O'Donnell informed the young woman that Palin had actually supported the bailout.

Now: The fact that someone wore an anti-TARP message to a Palin event is interesting, isn't it? It should make you wonder how many other Palinphiles disagree with the Alaskan about the bank bailouts and other contentious issues, foreign and domestic. The teen in the T-shirt turned out to be unaware of Palin's position on the bailout, prompting O'Donnell to announce, "I think there's some confusion about Sarah Palin's policies." And I'm sure there's plenty of confusion to go around. But these people are fans, not followers. It's entirely possible that many of them have disagreements with the former governor, are entirely aware of those differences, and yet admire her anyway. They might not even plan to cast a ballot for her: They're lined up to have their books signed, not to vote. You can't write them off as confused or as dupes without first taking the time to discern what they believe.

Give credit to Kate Zernike of The New York Times, one of the few journalists covering the Palin tour who seems to have made an effort to talk policy with the people in line. (Here again you see some deviation from the standard Republican platform, when an Indiana firefighter expresses his opinion about Afghanistan: "Either man up and fight the war to win it, or get out.") Among Palin's critics, you can give some credit to Chase Whiteside and Erick Stoll of New Left Media, who entered a line of Palinistas outside an Ohio Borders and let them speak for themselves. The resulting video may be edited to play up the interviewees' areas of ignorance—at any mass event like this, regardless of its political flavor, you're going to find a lot of areas of ignorance—but at least you get a sense of what hopes and fears are bubbling in that corner of the cauldron pot.

More typical was the Associated Press, which syndicated a story full of Michiganders saying why they like Palin ("She could be your next door neighbor") but only once quotes someone speaking about his own ideological outlook ("I like that she's pro-life"). Reporting from the same event, USA Today gives us no political content at all.

Why does this matter? Because the GOP isn't just undergoing a tug of war between the party leadership and the party base. There are several competing visions within that base, particularly when rank-and-file Republicans, outraged by the bailouts and uneasy about the recession, start regarding Wall Street with the same wary glare they have for Washington. There are, roughly speaking, three forms this wariness tends to take, personified by Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, and Lou Dobbs. Huckabee, the socially conservative progressive, thinks the state can be a counterweight to corporate power. Paul, the libertarian, sees big business and big government as mutually reinforcing allies; to reduce the power of the former he would reduce the power of the latter. And Dobbs, the nationalist, looks abroad for the sources of our troubles at home. If you listen to the people who go to tea parties, enjoy talk radio, and, yes, buy Sarah Palin books, you're apt to hear elements of all three worldviews sloshing around, sometimes inchoately and sometimes as well-defined worldviews. They're all parts of the grassroots right. (And not just the right. During the presidential primaries last year, the leftist writers Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair dismissed the Democratic frontrunners and suggested their ideal candidate would be a blend of Paul and Huckabee.)

Huckabee, Paul, and Dobbs all opposed the Wall Street bailouts. Palin, as O'Donnell will be quick to tell you, did not. Despite some early hints of heterodoxy, the politics Palin expresses now are pretty much standard-issue Red Team talking points. Her only significant break with the party establishment this year came with the congressional election in New York, when she endorsed the Conservative Party candidate over the GOP nominee; and in that case several other prominent Republicans joined her.

Yet her persona still appeals to people who hate the bailouts, distrust the Republican leadership, and are willing to use the phrase "or get out" when describing America's options in Afghanistan. We don't know how widespread such variant views are within her base of support, nor how such supporters regard the differences they have with the former governor. And until a news organization sends 11 reporters into the Palin fan culture to cover that story, all we're going to get are hints.

We do know that Palin has a gift for appealing to people's feelings of resentment—toward the government, the media, "the elites." Matt Taibbi made the point most starkly, writing in True/Slant that Palin "doesn't really have any political ideas" but "is on an endless crusade against assholes." If the assholes who bug you bear a family resemblance to the assholes who bug her, you just might find Palin appealing, even if her views and yours aren't entirely aligned.

For Taibbi that's a sign that her fans have been duped: that "she is the perfect patsy for our system, designed as it is to channel popular anger in any direction but a useful one." In 2009, though, it's far from clear where this particular wave of anger will allow itself to be channeled—particularly when it comes to Palin, a woman who has proven much better at rallying opposition to a controversial bill than at getting herself elected to national office. So yes, I'm interested in learning what Sarah Palin wants to do with her fans. But the more compelling question is what those fans intend to do with Sarah Palin.

Jesse Walker is managing editor of Reason magazine.

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  1. Fuck off and die, Sarah Palin.

    1. We do know Palin supports jury nullification.How are the other leading potential GOP candidates politicians of any stripe on that?

    2. Nah, she is a great litmus test for spotting retarded fetuses.

      Her enemies and their seizures are value enough. She is worth her weight in gold for showing how utterly retarded they are.

  2. say gangpalinpalooza fast three times.

  3. These Palin articles are becoming as common as hardons in a strip club.

    Can we go back to Krugman, or maybe find an equilibrium between the two?

  4. I agree with Hazel. Fuck off. She claims to have policies, but she’s never explained any of them in anywhere near a rational manner.

    1. You just hate her because she refused to abort trig. Also, you are an effete member of the liberal elite who hates her accent. When John sees this thread, he will set you right. Oh, he’ll set you right alright!

    2. You got to decode the poems man!!

    3. What do you want to know about, Jeff?

    4. You are just mad she didn’t come to your house and visit.

      From what I’ve seen, she has consistent policy positions and stuck to them better than the current empty-suit-affirmative-action-fuck-bag in the Whitehouse.

      Compared to Obama, she is brilliant.

      Granted it’s a low bar, but that’s to be expected when Obama zombies vote a retarded fetus into office.

  5. …spending so much time reviewing the opinions of Sarah Palin…

    Pot, kettle. It’s like People magazine and Paris Hilton around here.

    1. I resemble that remark.

  6. Ya’ know, I really hadn’t given Sara Palin much thought other than liking the Tina Fey/sexy librarian look. I might buy her book now.

    The vitriol she raises is amazing. Palin is Yang to Obama’s Yin. Palin is attacked for so little, while Obama was praised for so little.

    Sara Palin is laughing her way to the bank. She’d have never sold as many books as she will if there wasn’t this total unhinging in the press and the free advertising. If for some reason Palin ends up being anything but a tiny footnote in American political history ? quick who was the Democratic Party VP candidate in 1956 ? it will be because of those with Palin Derangement Syndrome promoting her into a major player.

    1. quick who was the Democratic Party VP candidate in 1956

      Kefauver. No, I didn’t have to look it up. He had his own commission, dammit!

      1. Plus Estes Kefauver was used as a code word in a season 1 episode of “Mad About You”.

        1. It warms my heart that you remember that, Johnny.

          1. Your show sucked ass.

            1. George … I taped Mad about You. … Are you gonna come watch it?

              1. Hey, I went to high school with Heidi Swedberg.

  7. An anti-asshole crusade is a “political idea.” What it’s not is policy.

    If you want to know what kind of Palin’s anti-asshole crusade would produce (and I know you don’t), you can look at what she did when she was governor. The picture that gives is of pragmatic constitutionalism, more like Paul than like Huck or Dobbs, but more like Jefferson (who talked much better than he walked) than like any of them.

    To make it “national,” add the standard war, crime, and big-business-handout stuff any R or D candidate gives you, no matter what they say they’ll do, and there you go, theoretical President Palin.

    It’d be a slight policy improvement over anyone else who could possibly win, and assholes would be thrown into years-long raging fits of sexy-mom-image-induced madness. Sounds fine.

    1. Sarah Palin has that certain je ne sais milf-wah about her, for sure, and I do appreciate how she handles an elephant gun. Nevertheless, she has nothing over my 2012 write in candidate, McCain’s daughter.

      1. Meghan has a great potential internet-ready campaign slogan.

        Tits or GTFO.

    2. Palin may have been a fairly restrained governor, but her brief stint on the national stage makes it clear that her opinion of herself is vastly out of proportion to her abilities. She’s also a fucking idiot who is easily manipulated. I don’t want her as a leader or as a representative of anything I’m associated with.

      1. “her opinion of herself is vastly out of proportion to her abilities. She’s also a fucking idiot who is easily manipulated.”

        Sounds like a female Obama

      2. Would you rather have Obama?

        Comparatively, she seem much more libertarian.

        Then again, I guess all someone needs is a Harvard tramp stamp and the hordes line up to suck his dick.

        1. The bad thing about Palin is that when she, like Bush, departs from sound free market policies capitalism will get blamed and not government.

          I could have possibly gotten behind her if she had seemed intelligent and hadn’t just repeated talking points while being only opportunistically opposed to things like the bridge to nowhere.

          When she bashed wall street in the debates without really mentioning the roles things like the GSEs and loose monetary policy playing a role in the crash she lost me.

          1. She took on the corrupt Republican establishment in her state and won. That alone earns her points.

            There are things I like about her, but she shouldn’t run for President. VP is a better spot until she gets more experience. However, Obama had a lot less experience and is a much bigger moron than Palin.

            1. Palin is headed for pundit land. Count on it. She was a TV personality before she became a governer, and she’s going back to TV land.

              1. She cited nasty politics and the media assault on her family as reasons she quit as governor. Higher office would bring her more of it. I think you’re right.

          2. Tim, you’re totally right on this. Anyone who thinks Palin has some sort of coherent ideaology or political philosophy is kidding themselves.

            If she governed in a vaguely libertarian manner, it was purely by accident. Not because she has any principles she isn’t willing to abandon at the first opportunity.

        2. Reading your posts, you sound like a first class dicksucker, so I’ll take your word on that.

          Palin is a complete dipshit. Her comment about the Iraq invasion being “god’s will” is not only bullshit, but completely laughable. She reminds me of someone who read the Cliffs notes version of an Ayn Rand and started quoting it. Then again, so do you.

          1. Another retarded fetus exposed.

            She is great for that. Go back to bending over for Obama.

            1. It’s clear that where you come from, “retarded” means being able to read and reason through complicated information. Being nearly illiterate is a mark of genius in JB upside-down land. Or maybe these are parody posts. If so, great stuff; you had me convinced you were a braindead dittohead of the statist right.

  8. She’s the most interesting space alien in the world.

    Jesse, were you looking at your wife’s pussy cat when you pulled that Matt Tabbi name out of your sleeve?

    How about who is not a Sarah groupie, Shilpa Shetty. Sarah punches bullet holes through cute furry animals like tabbi cats and polar bears. Shilpa thinks that’s a shetty thing to do.

    As long as she eats the meat, I don’t mind.

    1. You write like a drunkard and reason like a duck.

      1. No offense to drunkards or ducks.

    2. So it would be OK if she punched bullet holes through you so long as she ate your meat? There’s far easier ways to get as little slob on the knob than that, son.

  9. We do know that Palin has a gift for appealing to people’s feelings of resentment?toward the government, the media, “the elites.”

    Palin’s “fans” (the word itself is telling) are grasping at something that they haven’t the intellect or education to clearly and objectively articulate on their own. They “feel” that something is terribly wrong with America, and they grasp at someone–anyone–who shares their angst. That this person is a bubbly airhead without a legitimate claim to a single original thought is both funny and tragic.

    1. Obama’s “fans” (the word itself is telling) are grasping at something that they haven’t the intellect or education to clearly and objectively articulate on their own. They “feel” that something is terribly wrong with America, and they grasp at someone–anyone–who shares their angst. That this person is a bubbly airhead without a legitimate claim to a single original thought is both funny and tragic.

      Works pretty well, doesn’t it?

      1. Congratulations on your ability to copy and paste my idea.

      2. What’s funny is that you seem to believe that those two versions are in any way mutually exclusive.

        (Although a vastly greater number of Obama fans can at least articulate his/their positions, as wrong or stupid as they may be.)

        1. “We are the change we’ve be waiting for.”

  10. I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt. I’m still wondering how you expect a VP candidate to openly disagree with her running mate weeks before the election. Is the columnist that dense?

    1. The election was over a year ago. What has she done since to answer the charge that she’s an intellectual lightweight? Memorizing prepared talking points doesn’t count; anyone can bait a hook or fire a rifle. But to be fair, she isn’t running for anything. She’s cashing in on an unexpected opportunity. Good for her. She and America deserve each other.

      1. “anyone can bait a hook or fire a rifle”

        Since most Leftists can do neither, can we agree they aren’t people?

        1. You’ve obviously never been to Oregon.

    2. Palin defended TARP in her book as well.

      1. I’m still curious about that assertion.
        I haven’t read her book and the only thing I can find about TARP in there is the excerpt in Weigel’s article.

        [T]he House of Representatives rejected a Bush-backed economic bailout plan in a vote in which two-thirds of Republicans voted no. The impression this made on the electorate was not helpful to our cause. Millions of Americans were poised to go bankrupt or lose their savings, and the perception was that Republicans had failed to respond.

        If the “cause” she is referring to is getting McCain elected then Damn right it hurt him. The Dumbass had gone all in on the unpopular bailout before it passed.I don’t read that as a continuing endorsement of TARP by Palin. I’d like to see the context as we all know Weigel got the shrieking vapors over her as he posted here immediately after her RNC speech.

        If she actually supports TARP fuck her.That puts her in Romney RINO territory at best.If she opposes it and is remaining silent/non-committal out of some continuing loyalty to McCain that is a fatal political mistake

        1. You HAVEN’T read her book but “all you can find in it about TARP” is that passage? Astonishing SIV!

          1. Well MNG, Weigel is trying to find the most damning passage and that is all he came up with.That is likely(certainly) what Jesse is referring too.

      2. “Palin defended TARP in her book as well.”

        So in some ways she is a mainstream politician? Get your smears straight, Jesse.

        1. “In ways I choose to ignore, Sarah Palin is a leftist.”

          1. You are telling me that most mainstream politicians are leftists who like to spend tons of money?!

            Thanks for the news.

        2. and one who can’t even name one newspaper or magazine she reads. What’s not to love?

          1. She could’ve earned so much geek cred by saying “Figaro-Pravda”. Slipping an Alphaville reference into a national interview would have been tres cool. She also could’ve used the generic “USA Today”. Oh well.

          2. That was a gotcha question, but she should have answered better. Personally, I would have answered that I read none; I get my news from the internet.

            Palin has many faults, but she is better than many pols on a host of issues. Guns, taking on corruption, etc.

            1. That’s a gotcha question for a toddler, not a person running to be VP.

  11. It strikes me that Palin, like Obama, has a cult of personality in support and a shrieking response in opposition. And both cults can’t understand the fascination/deprecation of the other.

    It’s almost like a Star Trek episode, except there’s no writer to blame for the stupidity.

    1. “I am black on the right side.”

      “I fail to see the significant difference.”

      “Lokai is white on the right side. All of his people are white on the right side.”

    2. Andrew Sullivan will be happy to explain The Trouble with Trig.

  12. Did anyone else watch that video? I grew up in Dayton, about and hour west of Columbus, and I am utterly embarrassed. I was laughing out loud about the guy with the Steelers jacket – according to him, she’s the most “conservatist.”

    Didn’t Jay Leno or someone go on the street and ask people about Obama’s views? Didn’t a bunch of them get it totally wrong?

    I bet you wouldn’t see this stupidity at a Ron Paul book signing.

    1. I bet you wouldn’t see this stupidity at a Ron Paul book signing.

      How much?

      1. I agree with Agent, though I have much confidence in Paul himself. Try questioning one of those truther nutters you found popping up at his speeches–I’m sure they couldn’t have told you even one of his positions (yes, even his 9/11 position).

      2. Any amount would be fine because I’d win. Palin supporters (and she herself) as a whole seem to be less intelligent than Ron Paul and his supporters.

        1. True,Palin supporters don’t debate the melting point of steel reinforcing rods and beams as much.

          1. With Palin supporters, it’s more of what material makes the best quilts and how can we get schools to quit teaching Darwin’s theories.

    2. I’m pretty sure the guy in the Steelers jacket was drunk.

    3. Did you see Oprah in Grant Park on election night?

      1. Wasn’t she behind the podium on her fat knees?

  13. “If the assholes who bug you bear a family resemblance to the assholes who bug her, you just might find Palin appealing, even if her views and yours aren’t entirely aligned.”

    Actually, the assholes who bug me bear a family resemblance to her. In most of the run-ins she recounts with Steve Schmidt, I tend to sympathize with him and view her as the asshole.

    For example, when she claimed that Todd didn’t know what the AIP was, and it didn’t advocate secession, and then cc’ed her emails to her entourage in an effort to bully Schmidt into helping her create public drama over it, he basically told her: “Look, even you’re smart enough to know that’s self-serving bullshit, and the press will be all over you like flies on shit if you make an issue of it. Period, end of sentence. Now grab yourself a big bowl of SHUT THE FUCK UP and go choke on it.”

    Unfortunately, Palin does remind me of some regular folks I’ve known; but they’re the kind of people with just the right mix of stupid and mean that they’re always into it with somebody over some idiotic thing–and it’s always the other person’s fault. And every time she gets caught up in the drama over (as Taibbi put it) what’s within five feet of her own straw-filled head, she comes across like Vicky Pollard on Little Britain.

    She’s all too typical of the most shameless climbers and self-promoters I’ve known in my life–a living illustration of the old saying that the higher a monkey climbs, the more you see its ass.

    But other than that, I like her just fine. 🙂

    1. I’m offended.

  14. ‘that the higher a monkey climbs’


  15. Sarah Palin’s fans are all left wingers, Jesse, just like you.

    1. Edwardddddd. Edwardddddddd.

  16. McCain is an apostate on the far right for having basically the same general positions as Caribou Barbie on TARP, immigration, and everything else.

    Palin fans are drawn to the cult of personality at least as much as Obamabots.

  17. Paul, the libertarian??? Anti-immigrant, pro-robust Christian nation–some libertarian. Just a run-of-the-mill left/right winger, right, Jesse?

    1. STFU, Edward.

  18. When it comes to Sarah you folks are friggin’ clueless. I’ve magnanimously doped it all out for you so you don’t have to furrow your brows in unproductive thought.

    She’s smarter than she lets on. She’s tired of real work. Selling books and hosting a talk show beckons.

    The End.

  19. J sub D has it right! She’s cute and she will help somebody get the next Republican Presidential nomination. There will be a talk show. Don’t be surprised if she winds up on the Oprah Winfrey Network!
    I submit that she has much more in common with Obama than his fans (this definitely includes the press) let on. If she could (or would) read a tele-prompter as well as Obama, she could beat him in an election.

  20. Much as I can’t stand Palin, I doubt her disciples are any stupider than the American mainstream. Obama has fans who like him because he’s supposedly repairing the civil liberties damaged by Bush, and when Bush was at the helm I occasionally indulged in some sadistic fun by talking to my rabidly pro-gun-control friends — who were also anti-Bush — and say “Uh huh. So Bush and Cheney are turning this country into a fascist dictatorship, and you want them to confiscate everyone’s guns as soon as possible?”

    Rare indeed is the modern American who seeks consistency of thought or even considers the implications of what they claim to stand for. And I get very sad when I see my friends’ adorable children and contemplate the hellhole of a country they’ll have upon reaching adulthood.

    We are all so utterly screwed. Happy fucking Thanksgiving, everyone.

    1. Thanks for your vote Jennifer.I didn’t get as much “libertarian” support as I would have liked but you were there for me.

      1. As I read your words, I heard your impressive voice, Barack. You are so good for us right now, so very good for us.

        It kinda makes me hard when you speak, like you are talking right into me; your strong words confidently thrusting into my willing and pliable brain, over and over, until a feeling of pure pleasure engulfs me as your words spray like melted butter all over my mind.

        And to think people say your popularity is a cult, Ha! They just don’t get it, Barack. They just don’t get it like I do.

  21. Happy fucking Thanksgiving to you and yours as well, Jennifer.

  22. We didn’t bother buying a whole turkey, because the two of us would be stuck with leftovers through Christmas, so we just got two drumsticks and two thighs, and for that I am truly thankful.

    I am also thankful that the solid block of ice with turkey parts in it that fell out of the refrigerator when I opened the door this morning missed landing on my foot.

    1. Thanks for these details about you personal life, Jennifer. Radical self-centerdness is a style.

      1. STFU, Edward.

  23. “And I get very sad when I see my friends’ adorable children and contemplate the hellhole of a country they’ll have upon reaching adulthood.”

    Buck up, Jennifer. Look on the bright side. You don’t have a fucking clue what you’re talking about, and your friends’ kids will be just fine.

    1. Buck up, Jennifer. Look on the bright side. You don’t have a fucking clue what you’re talking about, and your friends’ kids will be just fine.

      Wow, Morris, you are so kind. Why not just chop off her feet?

      Jennifer has plenty of reason to be concerned for the state of affairs for hers and their descendants. Only the misguided collectivist who sees humanity as the wrong to make right welcomes the sort of creeping statism evident in all the dishonest spin about ‘helping us’.

    2. Also, STFU, Edward.

  24. Of course they’ll be fine, Morris. The six-year-old already knows to take off her shoes and jacket at the airport without even being told, and the ten-year-old is very excited because her (public) school now requires students to carry and show school-issued IDs on them at all times … she feels so grown-up! She has her own ID!

    1. Congratulations, citizen! Your child’s socialization is on schedule! In no time at all, you will proudly see the armband and color-coded cellphone signifying her enrollment in the Adult Reporting Program adorning her sector uniform.

      Remember, citizen: Perfect performance is performance perfect!

      1. Work hard, increase production, prevent accidents and be happy.

        1. Blessings of the State, blessings of the masses. Thou art a true believer in the Divine State. Buy More! Buy More Now!

  25. Oh, I missed Morris’ threaded comment. Are you Edward’s latest incarnation?

    1. Edward=Morris=Lefiti is pretty much the consensus around these parts. Of course its possible that we are visited by three totally distinct authoritarian collectivist trolls.

      1. Hugh, Jesse Walker stated on one thread that the IP addresses of Edward /Morris /Lefiti were the same. That’s why the little bitch now has such a raging hard-on to get “right-winger” Jesse.

        Previously, his favorite target was Sullum, for whom he’d quote Torah or Talmud passages against weapons (on gun threads) or drunkenness (on drug threads).

        1. strawman sockpuppet

    2. Are you Edward’s latest incarnation?


  26. Did she read the “autobiography” that someone wrote for her?

    1. Did Barack?

  27. I don’t understand these people who are so damn obsessed with Sarah Palin! Assuming she did have a shot in hell at becoming President, what would it matter? This country has taken on such a horrifying amount of debt and while it’s happening we actually debate on making it twice as worse with health care reform, two wars and possibly a third, and adding on to an already bloated government. Does it really matter if Palin or Obama or anybody is the one in charge of it? The best we can hope for is gridlocked government so as little can be done as possible.

    1. Like the “gridlocked” Democratic Congress and Republican president that traded domestic spending bills for war spending bills?

  28. I don’t care what Sarah Palin looks like (though to me, she resembles Peggy Hill from King of the Hill – especially in the illustration). Looks aren’t policies or abilities. And I know little about her policies or abilities. Except she’s pro-gun (yay!) and hunts from an aircraft (boo! – on the “from an aircraft” part, not the hunting).

    I just know, if I had to listen to that irritating voice every day for four (or eight) years straight, I’d probably volunteer to be a bullet-catcher at my local shooting range. 😛

    1. No shit! She sounds like the mom in that old Bobby’s World cartoon Howie Mandel used to have! Fuck, it’s annoying!

      1. Agreed. It’s annoying for me too. I don’t watch television for news and only read the funny paper to discern The Agenda. Coverage of personalities like Sarah Palin is just noise in the signal.

      2. Would you rather listen to Squeaky Sarah for 20 minutes or the nasally drone of Deborah Wasserman Schultz? Personally, I’d opt for waterboarding.

  29. Here’s what pisses me off about Palin: she’s a main representative of the opposition and yet appears to be a fuckin’ neanderthal who can barely read her own name. Palin and her ilk can set back any serious opposition a generation or three.

    1. Actually, I should change my comment ‘main member of the opposition’ to ‘main member of the fake opposition’ since she’d most likely not do too many radically different things from a Democrat (like Bushonomics) and be in favor of a lot of other kinds of Republican style nose-in-your-medicine cabinent-and-bedroom asshole statist policies. She’d be just as statist as the next Dem and maybe more in other ways regarding civil liberties, yet the opposition would label her as a retarded radical libertarian (and only the first part would be even close).

      1. I myself wonder what her take is on the Defense of Marriage Act or the PATRIOT Act. Ya see, since the GOP promoted those ideals, it’s un-American to consider them statist.

        1. Or Medicare Part D.

          But you don’t hear much about the creation of the EPA or Title IX when talking about Nixon either.

  30. “So yes, I’m interested in learning what Sarah Palin wants to do with her fans. But the more compelling question is what those fans intend to do with Sarah Palin.”

    That is only a really compelling question if these people have real power. I am very sorry to say that there is an obvious answer to that.

  31. and one who can’t even name one newspaper or magazine she reads. What’s not to love?

    And she rails against the “activist judges” but is unable to name a single court decision she has a problem with.

    But, plain and simple, what puts her beyond the pale with me is the fact that she believes in witchcraft. No one like that can be trusted with any kind of power.

    Until I found that out I was generally willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

  32. Yeah, that’s it Isaac, she believes in witchcraft. Someone that supports her believes it = she believes it. Nice contribution to the site. You must be one of the assholes she rails about…

    1. Dude, she comes up to the front of the church to receive the incantation to protect her from witchraft, bows and raises her hands during the entire incantation. It’s not like some person who gave her money said this away from her actual presence. I guess it doesn’t indicate she herself necessarily believes in witchraft, but it does indicate that she felt fine with going to a nutty church getting a nutty “endorsement” from this nut that day.

      The hilarious thing for me is how they pray for god to send her “finances and personnel.”


      IB is a conservative, but not pure enough for a doofus like you BJ I guess. This is a big reason why Sarah and her cult are so stupid. It’s not about ideas, it’s about her, loving her and protecting her, identifying with her because you hate those who hate her. Pathetic.

      As a liberal I’m a huge supporter of Palin. I hope I can vote for her in the 2012 GOP primary. I hope she can indeed overcome all withcraft and hinderances of the Enemy to become the standard-bearer of the GOP in 2012! All liberals need to get on board with this.

      1. I’m not a liberal, but you are 100% right about her and a GOP ticket for 2012. I just wish we could convince her supporters to back Ron Paul. Sadly, that won’t happen.

  33. Jesse Walker is trying to seem less of a right-wing hack by being mildly critical of Sarah Palin. It isn’t working, Jesse.

    1. Eddddddddward. Edddddddddward.

  34. Big John,

    The logical conclusion one draws from a woman who enthusiastically receives a blessing from a self-proclaimed witch hunter and later gives speeches giving the blessing credit for her political success is that she believes in witchcraft.

    So which is worse BHO’s association with a minister who uses hyperbolic language referring to the well documented abuse of the members of his race or Palin’s association with aone who continues to preach one of the most barbaric beliefs in human history and incited a mob to drive an old woman in Kenya from her home?

    If SP does not believe in witchcraft she needs to repudiate Rev Muthee the same way BO denounced Rev Wright. If I missed her doing that and you can point it out somewhere I’ll consider taking her any more seriously.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think Palin is stupid but I do think she’s intellectually lazy and incurious.

    Oh, and MNG, thanks for the backup, but I’m a libertarian, not a conservative.

    1. Yeah, sorry, after I posted it I realized I had fell into the “left-right” dichotomy…It would have been better to say “IB is no liberal, yet you instantly classify him with them because he is skeptical of Sarah.” Then the rest of my post applies…

  35. Just to be clear, she supported the TARP Bailout when she was John McCain’s VP running mate. That was her job at the time, to support the head of the ticket, whether or not she would have done so on her own. It’s called loyalty & all that.

    Has someone asked her recently what she thinks on the subject – that I would like to know

    1. It’s called shameless opportunism and all that. Or it’s called, “I’m a fuckin’ statist Republican stooge too and all that.”

    2. Why didn’t she just go rogue or mavericky?

      1. McCain does not tolerate people who go maverick against HIM. All good GOP voters were supposed to dutifully go and vote for McCain because he had an “R” after his name.

    3. “””Has someone asked her recently what she thinks on the subject – that I would like to know”””

      Well, it’s easy to be against something after you were for it. You know, like John Kerry and the Iraq war.

      1. Of course, remember that Sara Palin was for the “Bridge to Nowhere” before she was against it.

  36. Maybe Palin supporters like her because she makes liberals so angry. Mention her and it’s like Abbott & Costello’s Susquehanna Hat Company.

    Plus she doesn’t talk about them behind their backs.

  37. We won’t have long to wait to see what she’s going to do. The 2010 election cycle picks up in a few months.

    I suspect she’ll be out boosting candidates she likes during the primaries. I hope she’ll be pushing a strong Government reform agenda.

  38. I think this line of political inquiry is interesting in general. However, my bias when I see articles like this–unique angles of sight–on Palin, I wonder why I have not seen similar articles on other politicians before. My “prior” is the thought process was designed for her.

    I would find a study interesting which explained why Palin is the one who repeatedly is the one who gets these interesting angles of sight.

    For what its worth, I would like to see more original analysis generally—but when I see it applied just to Palin, I assume it just fits the author’s predetermined narrative.

    I could be wrong on the bias angle of course—but that is my impression.

  39. You’re right Mike. It’s people like Isaac and MNG that like to focus on the minutiae of her life and anybodys that is associated with her.

    Yeah, that’s what she is all about, witchcraft.

    And “well documented abuse of the members of his race” is becoming an annoying whine of the far left. Life is not about “RACE”, regardless of how often African Americans and the liberals use it as a crutch. Man, you libertarians are turning into racists…

    1. We just got finished with one president who was incurious, self-involved, and who smugly dismissed knowledge, especially knowledge about life beyond our borders, as some sort of egghead stuff. We don’t need another one. And I don’t know why libertarians could get behind someone who would obviously be a big government president in at least some sectors of her policy. When we get these types in government, who weirdly get labeled with the libertarian tag (like Bush or his policies sometimes were) it makes it so much harder to advance libertarian interests. But judging by some of these posts, it appears some “libertarians” don’t really care about that; what’s important is just throwing someone out there who opposes the Democrats and/or Obama, even if it means they will either follow similar policies or will reject some of those policies while legislating away our rights in other areas, advancing foreign wars, etc. And like Bush, this will again be accompanied by a self-satisfied illiterate attitude. Why would any libertarians crave this association or defend this sort of political creature? Or perhaps you will don’t want to advance libertarianism; because if you did, you’d stop supporting ignoramousess like Palin and get behind intelligent, literate individuals who don’t try to make cretinism into a virtue.

      1. Um, there seems a general libertarian ambivalence toward Palin. That’s what Big John was complaining about. Even though there are some things to defend her on, I don’t see many libertarians declaring her the great hope for Future Libertopia.

        1. Um, read some of these posts by JB, Big John, and others.

          1. I have. JB’s a good commenter some times, but (no offense to him) he could clearly stand to take some time and effort to gain some social graces/be more gentlemanly. I don’t even know who this Big John character is.

  40. By Dewie Whetsell, Alaskan Fisherman.
    As posted in comments on Greta’s article referencing the MOVEON ad about Sarah Palin.

    The last 45 of my 66 years I’ve spent in a commercial fishing town in Alaska. I understand Alaska politics but never understood national politics well until this last year.. Here’s the breaking point: Neither side of the Palin controversy gets it. It’s not about persona, style, rhetoric, it’s about doing things. Even Palin supporters never mention the things that I’m about to mention here.
    1- Democrats forget when Palin was the Darling of the Democrats, because as soon as Palin took the Governor’s office away from a fellow Republican and tough SOB, Frank Murkowski, she tore into the Republican’s “Corrupt Bastards Club” (CBC) and sent them packing. Many of them are now residing in State housing and wearing orange jump suits The Democrats reacted by skipping around the yard, throwing confetti and singing, “la la la la” (well, you know how they are). Name another governor in this country that has ever done anything similar.
    2- Now with the CBC gone, there were fewer Alaskan politicians to protect the huge, giant oil companies here. So she constructed and enacted a new system of splitting the oil profits called “ACES.” Exxon (the biggest corporation in the world) protested and Sarah told them, “don’t let the door hit you in the stern on your way out.” They stayed, and Alaska residents went from being merely wealthy to being filthy rich. Of course, the other huge international oil companies meekly fell in line. Again, give me the name of any other governor in the country that has done anything similar.
    3- The other thing she did when she walked into the governor’s office is she got the list of State requests for federal funding for projects, known as “pork.” She went through the list, took 85% and placed them in the “when-hell-freezes-over” stack. She let locals know that if we need something built, we’ll pay for it ourselves. Maybe she figured she could use the money she got from selling the previous governor’s jet because it was extravagant. Maybe she could use the money she saved by dismissing the governor’s cook (remarking that she could cook for her own family), giving back the State vehicle issued to her, maintaining that she already had a car, and dismissing her State provided security force (never mentioning – I imagine – that she’s packing heat herself). I’m still waiting to hear the names of those other governors.
    4- Now, even with her much-ridiculed “gosh and golly” mannerism, she also managed to put together a totally new approach to getting a natural gas pipeline built which will be the biggest private construction project in the history of North America. No one else could do it although they tried. If that doesn’t impress you, then you’re trying too hard to be unimpressed while watching her do things like this while baking up a batch of brownies with her other hand.
    5- For 30 years, Exxon held a lease to do exploratory drilling at a place called Point Thompson. They made excuses the entire time why they couldn’t start drilling. In truth they were holding it like an investment. No governor for 30 years could make them get started… This summer, she told them she was revoking their lease and kicking them out. They protested and threatened court action. She shrugged and reminded them that she knew the way to the court house. Alaska won again.
    6- President Obama wants the nation to be on 25% renewable resources for electricity by 2025. Sarah went to the legislature and submitted her plan for Alaska to be at 50% renewables by 2025. We are already at 25%. I can give you more specifics about things done, as opposed to style and persona Everybody wants to be cool, sound cool, look cool. But that’s just a cover-up. I’m still waiting to hear from liberals the names of other governors who can match what mine has done in two and a half years. I won’t be holding my breath.
    By the way, she was content to return to AK after the national election and go to work, but the haters wouldn’t let her. Now these adolescent screechers are obviously not scuba divers. And no one ever told them what happens when you continually jab and pester a barracuda. Without warning, it will spin around and tear your face off.. Shoulda known better.
    You have just read the truth about Sarah Palin that sends the media, along with the democrat party, into a wild uncontrolled frenzy to discredit her. I guess they are only interested in skirt chasers, dishonesty, immoral people, liars, womanizers, murderers, and bitter ex-presidents’ wives.
    So “You go, Girl.” I only wish the men in Washington had your guts, determination, honesty, and morals.
    I rest my case.
    Only FOOLS listen to the biased media.

  41. Life is not about “RACE”, regardless of how often African Americans and the liberals use it as a crutch. Man, you libertarians are turning into racists…

    Huh. That’s a novel twist on the libertarians=teh racists meme.

  42. Interesting read, Dewie.

  43. You know what would be cool? If she would run on the stuff Dewie said rather than whatever hairbrained schtick she has decided to make her persona.

    (And it’s *she* that’s creating it, not the ‘biased media’).

    1. I agree. Some strategist probably told Palin that the Republican “base” values folksiness, and I think Palin makes a deliberate effort to exude that sort of persona. I agree with the commenter who said earlier that she’s smarter than she lets on, and I wish she’d use and project her more analytical side more.

  44. After reading these comments, it’s quite clear that Libertarians hate each other.

    A Reason magazine subscription should come with a bottle of Zoloft.

    1. Wow, I’m surprised you read the comments. I thought you just glanced over the article and then chanted some Team Blue Talking Points?

  45. Thanks Dewie.

    ACES – http://gov.state.ak.us/aces/
    Taxes on corporations to fund state programs…not sure how that aligns with her stated positions.

    Pork – Her first year in office, Alaska state requested $550 million in federal earmarks – one of the highest rates per citizen in the nation.

    Point Thompson – http://www.ktuu.com/Global/story.asp?s=8795784

    On renewable energy…no problem with her goals, but not sure how it is fair to compare to the national energy system.

    I agree, people should form opinions based on what she has done in the past. She reminds me VERY MUCH of Bill Richardson.

    1. In the sense that both are very ambitious, self-serving but pragmatic politicians who recognize that getting stuff done is the best job security. No ideology involved. Just picking popular programs and pushing them through.

      It doesn’t take a lot of smart…just a lot of ambition.

  46. My God.. one more stupid uninformed article about Palin after another.

    I mean geez.. would it kill any of these writers to have listened to her interviews with

    Rush Limbaugh – radio
    Mark Levin – radio
    Greta – FNC
    Hannity – FNC
    OReilly – FNC

    If you want to know about her “policy” she talked about it for hours with them… and yet these writers give no evidence that they have the slightest clue that they took place or what she said.

    This passage is especially dumb:

    “Now: The fact that someone wore an anti-TARP message to a Palin event is interesting, isn’t it? It should make you wonder how many other Palinphiles disagree with the Alaskan about the bank bailouts and other contentious issues, foreign and domestic. ”

    Well Mr Smart Pants Editor…. I’m sure you know as a VP Candiate , she certainly couldn’t go around disagreeing with the Pres Candidate about that purported savior of a bill that was goign to salvage the United States from.. something.

    Here’s her opinion about it, btw

    From Barbra Walters interview:

    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.”


    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


    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


  47. 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…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets.

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

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