Listen to the crowds cheering Sarah Palin, hear the hammerblows of another nail in the Constitution’s coffin

This transcript of Palin’s speech might not be accurate, but it’s all that I see at this time, the full Sarah Palin Tea Party speech posted at BuzzStation.  While much of this consists of the usual politician’s platitudes, some is chilling. But worse is the acceptance of this by the Tea Party convention.  A Constitution lives only the hearts of its people.  On 4 July 2006 I wrote Forecast: Death of the American Constitution.  I fear that recent news suggests that the forecast has come true.

No-knock raids (too-often on innocent people).   Assets seized without conviction of a crime.  Shoot to kill orders at Ruby Ridge.  Massive overuse of force at Waco.  Warrantless wiretapping.  Those were the first chapters to the new story of America.  Now government jails inmates indefinitely on vague evidence (not just people captured on a “battlefield”).  People cheer.  The government uses torture.  People cheer.  The government proudly announces that it assassinates American citizens without warrant or trial.  People cheer.  That’s the background for Palin’s speech.  She tells the crowd that not Constitutional rights don’t cover everyone on American soil.  The crowd cheers.  Another paving stone laid on the road, a road going we know not where.  I doubt we’ll like what we find there.

Here is what I found the most interesting passage from the speech.  More thoughts follow afterwards, plus links to other posts about our dying political regime.

Excerpt from the transcript; red emphasis added

And in that we spirit, we should acknowledge that on Christmas Day, the system did not work. Abdul Mutallab passed through airport security with a bomb, and he boarded a flight hell-bent on killing innocent passengers. This terrorist trained in Yemen with Al Qaida. His American visa was not revoked until after he tried to kill hundreds of passengers. On Christmas Day, the only thing that stopped this terrorist was blind luck and brave passengers. Really, it was a Christmas miracle, and that is not the way the system is supposed to work.

What followed was equally disturbing. After he was captured, he was questioned for only 50 minutes. We had a choice in how to do this. The choice was only question him for fifty minutes and then read his Miranda Rights. The administration says then, “There are no downsides or upsides to treating terrorists like civilian criminal defendants.” But a lot of us would beg to differ.

For example, there are questions we would have liked this foreign terrorist to answer because he lawyered up and invoked our U.S. Constitutional right to remain silent.  Our U.S. Constitutional rights. Our rights that you sir [PALIN ADDRESSES MALE VETERAN IN AUDIENCE] fought and were willing to die for to protect in our Constitution. The rights that my son, as an infantryman in the United States army is willing to die for. The protections provided — thanks to you sir [PALIN ADDRESSES MALE VETERAN IN AUDIENCE] — we’re going to bestow them on a terrorist who hates our Constitution and wants to destroy our Constitution and our country? This makes no sense because we have a choice in how we’re going to deal with the terrorists. We don’t have to go down that road.

There are questions that we would have like answered before he lawyered up. Like “Where exactly were you trained and by whom? You’re bragging about all these other terrorists just like you. Where are they and when and where will they try to strike next? The events surrounding the Christmas Day plot reflect the kind of thinking that led to September 11th. That threat then . . . as the U.S.S. Cole was attacked . . . our Embassies were attacked . . . It was treated like an international crime spree, not like an act of war. We’re seeing that mindset again settle into Washington. That scares me for my children and for your children. Treating this like a mere law enforcement matter places our country at grave risk. Because that’s not how radical Islamic extremists are looking at this. They know we’re at war. And to win that war, we need a commander-in-chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern!

Some observations and thoughts about Palin’s speech

Her paean about the Constitution shows near-total imcomprehension of what it says.  As in “we’re going to bestow them {rights} on a terrorist who hates our Constitution.”

What does the last line mean?  To me it evokes the need for general, not a politician or elected leader.  A common sentiment, but found most often among dying republics.

My complements to her speechwriter.  Few in American are so fluent in fascism.

That Palin speaks with such fear about the underwear bomber — and the crowd appluads — suggests that I am wrong about America (see Are Americans easily panicked cowards? I think not, but many experts disagree.).  If so, we will sacrifice our liberties in vain.

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
— Benjamin Franklin, February 1775 (source)

For more information from the FM site

To read other articles about these things, see the FM reference page on the right side menu bar.  Including About the FM website page. Of esp relevance to this topic:

Posts about the Constitution:

Afterword

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41 thoughts on “Listen to the crowds cheering Sarah Palin, hear the hammerblows of another nail in the Constitution’s coffin

  1. They’re beginning to look like modern day version of the cult of tyrannicides. It’s a very dangerous development in the history of your country I think. The irony of their position would be worthy of mockery where it not so serious. Before a “John Wilkes Booth” decides to act because of the hate Palin and the others have been nuturing.

  2. From FM: “Her paean about the Constitution shows near-total imcomprehension of what it says. As in “we’re going to bestow them {rights} on a terrorist who hates our Constitution.” What does the last line mean? To me it evokes the need for general, not a politician or elected leader. A common sentiment, but found most often among dying republics. My complements to her speechwriter. Few in American are so fluent in fascism.

    From a review of Robert O. Paxton’s “Anatomy of Fascism”, “‘The Anatomy of Fascism’: The Original Axis of Evil“, at the New York Times, May 2, 2004, by Samantha Power:

    Paxton leaves his readers with a working definition of fascism:

    ”A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”

    Yeah, that actually seems to fit pretty well. The biggest question to me is exactly how “mass-based” i.e. popular are Palin &/or her fellow travellers capable of getting?
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    FM reply: Political movements can grow like bacteria under the right circumstances. The NAZI party got 2.6% of the vote in the May 1928 elections (9th place). In January 1933 Hitler was appointed Chancellor. In March 1969 the US began bombing Cambodia (Operation Breakfast); the Khmer Rouge were perhaps 4,000 fighters in the hinterlands. On 17 April 1975 the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh. These do not imply any similarities with the Tea Party movement, but do illustrate how rapidly political movements can spread.

  3. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It’s mostly standard boilerplate, which at some point dares to criticize the Community Organizer in Chief for the way the crotch bomber was handled. He was not a common criminal, he was an enemy combatant, and the appropriate set of rules is the Geneva Convention. The last line isn’t a call for a military dictator, it’s a call for someone who has a clue.

    I understand that Sarah Palin will never be forgiven for having put McCain up in the polls for a week, or whatever it was. I also doubt that she will ever be elected President(I see no evidence if her putting together the kind of staff and organization that a campaign would require, and I doubt she could organize a successful campaign), but if such were to happen I don’t think it would spell the end of the Republic.
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    FM reply: Every step has its justification, however specious. No-knock raids fight drugs. Ruby Ridge attacked on evil militia. Waco was for the children. Warrantless wiretapping prevented another 9-11. Assassination of America citizens fights terrorists. Now the underwear bomber is so horrifying that foreigners committing crimes on US soil warrants ignoring the Constitution. The disproportion between these threats and the steps taken by the government are irrelevant. Only your fears matter, stroked and fed by the government.

    I am confident that when this process runs to an unpleasant conclusion that you will explain that it was somebody else’s fault. How could you have known? You were frightened; they offered to help –in exchange for some old document that nobody cared about.

    “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry”

    I suggest tears. They will come, eventually, before this cycle works itself out. However good or bad.

  4. I don’t dispute the concern over constitutional decline. To lift out a line from a Palin speech in this fashion is interesting. To put this post in the context of a century of Progressivism are downright funny.
    The power and control have been drained into DC, and you want to go after Governor Palin for this? Tee hee hee, FABIVS: tee hee hee.
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    FM reply: The post explicitly does not ” go after Governor Palin for this”, but says the opposite: that this is another step in a long process. Try re-reading the opening paragraphs.

    “put this post in the context of a century of Progressivism”

    During the past 3 decades the Republicans have dominated the Presidency. Two terms for Reagan, one for Bush Sr, two for Bush Jr = 20 years. Vs. two for Clinton and one year for Obama – 9 years. The same is true for the 4 decades going back to 1968.

  5. From the speech:

    Treating this like a mere law enforcement matter places our country at grave risk. Because that’s not how radical Islamic extremists are looking at this. They know we’re at war. And to win that war, we need a commander-in-chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern!

    One thing that’s been lost in all the panic over the underpants bomber, is that the “wimpy”, rights-protecting tactics used by the authorities, have actually worked: (“Underpants bomber talking to US authorities“, AM Program on ABC Australia, Kim Landers & Shane McLeod)
    excerpt:

    SHANE MCLEOD: The man accused of trying to blow up a US plane on Christmas Day has reportedly begun talking to his FBI interrogators again. It was thought that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had clammed up after being read his rights shortly after the botched terrorist attack.

    Senior US officials say the alleged bomber has been cooperating with interrogators after members of his family were flown to the US.

  6. From #3: The last line isn’t a call for a military dictator, it’s a call for someone who has a clue.

    But, that’s just the problem. The people investigating Abdulmutallab apparently do have a clue (see my post #5). Which leads one to suspect that the efficacy of their tactics is not what bothers Palin. Rather, she seems to be angry that a terrorist suspect is treated as any other criminal would be, and his attempted crime is being investigated with respect to Miranda rights. That’s the red meat, apparently.

  7. You’ve accomplished a neat trick of superimposing Palin’s legitimate point — whether terrorists should be treated as criminal suspects or combatants subject to the laws of war — with examples of rampant, out-of-control government not in the context of terrorism. (“No-knock raids (too-often on innocent people). Assets seized without conviction of a crime. Shoot to kill orders at Ruby Ridge. Massive overuse of force at Waco.”)

    No-knock raids and asset seizure are reprehensible tactics mostly used in the destructive drug war. Ruby Ridge and Waco were examples of the out-of-control federal government war against guns, not Jihadists. Who can defend this overreach?

    But using these to just trash Palin for making a reasonable and arguable point is fundamentally dishonest. Who is afraid of the boogeyman now?

    It’s amazing to me that you don’t seem to relate the problem of this same out-of-control federal monster with attempts to nationalize banks, the car industry, and the medical system. I guess the physical harm and loss of liberty that goes along with these usurpations are excusable because of their laudable goals. Tyranny seems to be OK when you agree with its aims.

    Your PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome) is showing again.
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    FM reply: Perhaps throwing away key Constitutional safeguards differs from bailout of an auto company. Perhaps imposing military law on US soil is a big step. Having the FBI handle terrorism cases after 9-11 worked for Bush. Having the military get involved in domestic law enforcement, as Palin wants, is a big step. Esp with no evidence that the FBI has handled this poorly, or that the military would have done better.

    “Ruby Ridge and Waco were examples of the out-of-control federal government war against guns, not Jihadists. Who can defend this overreach?”

    I disagree with this framing. These are all expansions of government power, using whatever was the currently acceptable excuse. It appears that this process will run to its conclusion, as there is always some group of bad guys that justifies the next step to the fearful sheep we’ve become.

    BTW, IMO the problem was that we did not follow FDIC standard procedure and nationalize banks (i.e., close, seize, sell-off). Instead we just gave them lots and lots of loans and (even more valuable) guarantees.

    “Your PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome) is showing again.”

    IMO that’s a silly rebuttal. Schoolyard name-calling. As for “again”, my previous post about Palin discussed her specific acts and statements. You may consider this PDS; I find that reaction to be sad.

  8. From #7

    You’ve accomplished a neat trick of superimposing Palin’s legitimate point — whether terrorists should be treated as criminal suspects or combatants subject to the laws of war — with examples of rampant, out-of-control government not in the context of terrorism. (“No-knock raids (too-often on innocent people). Assets seized without conviction of a crime. Shoot to kill orders at Ruby Ridge. Massive overuse of force at Waco.”)

    As far as I was concerned in the 1990s, the folks at Ruby Ridge and at Waco were terrorists exactly because they collected a bunch of weapons and made pronouncements about “resisting the hated federal government”, etc. I was very far from being the only one thinking this.

    Fabius identifies this as being a starting point in a slide into fascism. He may have a point… I’m personally unsure about it. The important point to realize here is that “terrorism” has vastly different meanings to different people. As far as I am concerned, anyone who sets out to use violence or the threat of violence, to achieve a political end, fits the bill.
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    FM reply: I have a different framing for this. Low-level violence has been endemic in America. Against Blacks, unions, communists, civil rights activists, universities, defense contractors, loggers and sawmills, animal researchers, etc. By the KKK, businesses, leftist revolutionaries, right-wing militia, animal rights groups, greens, individual loons, jihadists, etc. Much of this is “terrorism” in some sense. What’s differernt has been the government’s increasing use of these activities to increase the scope of its power, in a fashion with few precedents in US history.

  9. FM wrote: “Every step has its justification, however specious. No-knock raids fight drugs. Ruby Ridge attacked on evil militia. Waco was for the children.

    Just to be clear, I’m as horrified by those things as you are. I don’t think that treating the crotch bomber according to the Geneva Convention would be an abrogation of the Constitution. As for “assassinating” American citizens, all I can say is that these people were either levyng war on the United States or standing next to someone who was the Hellfire got them. Actions have consequences. See Confederate history for more on this.

    One final note. One reason I take the Palin speech less seriously than you is that I really don’t believe that the tea party is a hobby horse she can ride to the White House. I’ve been wrong before, and maybe I am this time, but I don’t see Air Force One in her future. I gather that there are tea party members who are less than thrilled to have her as their poster girl. This is, pardon the pun, a tempest in a teapot.
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    FM reply: IMO you have incorrectly assessed the significance of these events.

    (1) “all I can say is that these people were either levyng war on the United States or standing next to someone who was the Hellfire got them. Actions have consequences. ”

    Government officials clearly state otherwise. (a post later this week will review the revelations)

    (2) “I really don’t believe that the tea party is a hobby horse she can ride to the White House”

    I agree. Which is why I said the worrisome aspect is the crowd, not the speaker. Other, more competent, politicans will take notice of this movement. I suspect the results will be more difficult to ignore.

  10. File this under: Desparate People Take Desparate Measures

    Fact is most of these people believe that the state of the union is dire. The nations finances are clearly not sustainable for more than a generation, we are beset by people who seek to use our own fair-mindedness against us, and political solutions to these problems seem more distant than ever. Perhaps these tea partiers would support more reasonable political solutions. Have any credible ones been offered them?
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    FM reply: I agree. This is fear and desparation. But fearful, angry, desparate people have little or no interest in rational, measured solutions. Or rational measured leaders. Our problem is us. As seen in our behavior, electing empty props to high office. Actors: Reagan, Sonny Bono, Fred Thompson, Arnold The Terminator (President, Mayor, Congressman, Senator, Governor). A wrestler: Jesse Ventura ( Governor). Empty suits who look good but lack experience, like Carter and Obama. We could have laughed these people off the stage, and instead choosen one of the competant if less exciting alternatives available.

    When we accept responsibility for the Republic we will have taken the first step to real reform.

  11. Anthony ‘Hub’ Hubbard: Come on General, you’ve lost men, I’ve lost men, but you – you, you *can’t* do this! What, what if they don’t even want the sheik, have you considered that? What if what they really want is for us to herd our children into stadiums like we’re doing? And put soldiers on the street and have Americans looking over their shoulders? Bend the law, shred the Constitution just a little bit? Because if we torture him, General, we do that and everything we have fought, and bled, and died for is over. And they’ve won. They’ve already won!

    The Siege (1988 film)

  12. Anthony ‘Hub’ Hubbard: [to General Devereaux] You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to a fair trial. You have the right not to be tortured, not to be murdered, rights that you took away from Tariq Husseini. You have those rights because of the men who came before you who wore that uniform. Because of the men and women who are standing here right now waiting for you to give them the order to fire. Give them the order, General.

  13. Palin is a joke. I read the first chapter of her book and had to give it away. It was so stupid. And I believe in the philosophy of conservatism very much. But even though she claims ‘rogue’, she is not an individualist. She only appears that way because she stands alone. But in reality, she wants to take an even less measured stance than the neo-conservatives.
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    FM reply: Perhaps. But she’s tapping real anger and ignorance of many Americans. That’s the important signal here. We ignore it at our peril.

  14. From FM reply to #8

    Low-level violence has been endemic in America. Against Blacks, unions, communists, civil rights activists, universities, defense contractors, loggers and sawmills, animal researchers, etc. By the KKK, businesses, leftist revolutionaries, right-wing militia, animal rights groups, greens, individual loons, jihadists, etc. Much of this is “terrorism” in some sense. What’s differernt has been the government’s increasing use of these activities to increase the scope of its power, in a fashion with few precedents in US history.

    Yes, we’re in substantial agreement there. The “War on Terror” idea is a little new for the USA. “Fighting Terror” isn’t really the same thing as fighting terrorism, which is mostly boring dull unsexy police work as far as I can see. Jack Bauer is a TV agent, not a real agent.

    What it has taken me years to understand is, the way the “War on Terror”-type rhetoric is being used, not only is it powerful and dangerous, it is rather Mythical, or Mythological. I don’t exactly mean Mythical is a bad thing, or stupid, despite my handle ‘atheist’. But it is like some kind of religious sense is being born, and used. Or more accurately they are tapping into people’s very real spiritual needs, altering their sense of who “The West” is, what “America” is. There is a definite Mythical aspect to the whole ‘War on Terror’, ‘Axis of Evil’, etc. etc. That shit is powerful and I don’t exactly know how to fight it, except by trying to fight it with a sense of Universal Humanity, “We are the world”-ness. It sounds cheesy but honestly when spirit meets reason, reason usually loses. Or reason without spirit loses… something like that.

  15. I don’t think it’s fair to cast the tea-party movement as one born of ignorance. Of course, there are plenty of ingnorant followers, as there are of any movement. But the core is, it seems, to me, made up of people who are frustrated at the unwillingness of the major political parties to offer any real solutions to the problems we face. This sense that our current field of politicians are evidently incapable of realistically dealing with these looming problems is not an ingnorant one, it is a correct one. They may be casting about for the answers themselves, and stumbling on some bad ideas in the process, but it is a search born not of ingorance but a dawning realization of the seriousness of our situation. People who were content to remain ignorant and not make a fuss so long as everything seemed to work itself out are growing increasingly concerned, but the political establishment remains strangely unserious.

    I admint I don’t understand your attitude toward the tea partiers, FM. On the one hand you clearly recognize the failure of leadership that exists and excoriate the masses for abdicating their responsibility to govern themselves. But now that a group of these citizens attempts to get involved and challenge the failed leadership, your words drip contempt. You want people to take control of their republic, but won’t give them the benefit of the doubt as they seek effective ways to do this?
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    FM reply: I believe my posts about the Tea Party have been specific about my objections. The lack of clear program esp makes this more of an emotional outburst than helpful development. Exactly the opposite of taking responsibility, as I have explained at some length.

  16. FM reply: “I agree. This is fear and desparation. But fearful, angry, desparate people have little or no interest in rational, measured solutions. Or rational measured leaders. Our problem is us. As seen in our behavior, electing empty props to high office. Actors: Reagan, Sonny Bono, Fred Thompson, Arnold The Terminator (President, Mayor, Congressman, Senator, Governor). A wrestler: Jesse Ventura ( Governor). Empty suits who look good but lack experience, like Carter and Obama. We could have laughed these people off the stage, and instead choosen one of the competant if less exciting alternatives available. When we accept responsibility for the Republic we will have taken the first step to real reform.
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    Good, no good-and-necessary Post FM. And fine quick “REPLY”. To me it is very clear where we are headed and clear from some REPLIES here many do not understand what is at stake nor evolving right before our eyes.

    Ms Palin offers: “…we’re going to bestow them on a terrorist who hates our Constitution and wants to destroy our Constitution and our country?”

    Listen lady it is NOT about him it is about “US”, how we operate in our Country. Once you allow yourself to suspend just a tiny bit of belief in the Political Class and the “reports”/Analysis one gets in the MSM….go with it. Look Consider

    The pump has been primed for years (and any chance at a Progressive Voice being heard since LBJ now being wasted by the current Incompetent we have put in Power), it is no wonder that the Fascistic voices will ring even louder in the months to come.
    “HOMELAND”?
    “WAR on TERROR”?
    “ENHANCED INTERROGATION”?
    …what type of deranged mind can invent such distorted words and actions?

    Get ready, folks…..many of you will awake and wonder WHAT the heck happened here.

  17. Did the American Constitution provide equal voting rights to everyone? Including “African-Americans”? In what year? 1975?

  18. Indian Investor: technically, (“The 15th Amendment to the Constitution“) the 15th Amendment to the US constitution, which was ratified in 1870, guaranteed sufferage to all regardless of race. Realistically, most Americans would agree that direct attempts to disenfranchise African Americans continued at least to the mid 1960s (“Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution“), and I would argue they continue today what with attempts to smear groups like “ACORN”, for instance.

  19. Your apparent point about the imperfect nature of constitutions is well-taken, but it does not follow that because constitutional law is as political and fraught as any other kind, that constitutions mean nothing, or are unimportant. Constitutional law has had some success at doing what it is meant to do: stop the worst kinds of legal abuses from happening, and force the government to explicitly state what are and are not the appropriate powers of the state.

  20. What I find most troublesome is the perverse notion of our “U.S. Constitutional rights” — as if we Americans somehow deserve these special rights, in contrast to all others. Our Declaration of Independence is not a governing document, but surely it sheds light on the understanding that shaped our Constitution. We read:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

    Can anyone infer from this that the Bill of Rights is meant to confer special privileges on American citizens? Our Constitution establishes a framework of principle defining a limited government bound to respect the intrinsic rights of mankind. It declares how we, as a nation, shall behave, not merely a list of considerations and privileges we expect to receive.

    It is well established that we are not slaves to the Constitution in time of emergency. Were there good cause to believe an immanent threat to the security of our nation might be thwarted by suspending the usual requirements of the Constitution within a limited time and scope (a possibility I neither support nor contest here), our executive and our military would be empowered and expected to act appropriately. But the notion that our government might properly act without constitutional restraint because of who the accused might be contravenes our most basic principles.
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    FM reply: This makes no sense to me. The Declaration is poetry issued during a war to build support. The Constitution is a contract by the American people, stating our rights and responsibilities. BTW, you last paragraph is not strictly speaking correct. And if the government can just decide that some threats warrant suspending the Constiution, it’s dead.

  21. I listened to the NPR Ombudsman today on the Kojo Nnamdi show here in the DC area defend NPR’s non use of the word torture today. Her claim was that torture was clearly illegal and that since the government did not charge anyone for water boarding prisoners during the last administration then she agreed with the NPR policy. Water boarding had now become just controversial, not illegal. (here is the show’s website)

    I think that the country has become one large lunatic asylum administered by a confederacy of dunces (with apologies to John Kennedy O’Toole, see Wikipedia). Cheers

  22. It would be nice to meet Palin in a ladies’ confidential situation , such as when patching up the makeup in the ladies loo , or waiting on a delayed train , so as to find out whether she was genuine or just someone’s stooge .

  23. Telegraph article from the UK: “The Tea Party, Sarah Palin and mutiny“, Alex Spillius, 8 February 2010 — “The ‘Tea Party’ movement has given a powerful voice to the US Right’s protests.”

    And this for a giggle: “Sarah Palin caught with crib notes on her hand“, Daily Telegraph, 8 February 2010 — “Sarah Palin mocked President Barack Obama as ‘a charismatic guy with a Teleprompter’ during a speech only to be photographed with crib notes written on the palm of her hand.”

  24. Treating these people as buffoons can prove very very very dangerous. Consider the statement above that Palin is “a joke” and change it slightly. What do you get?

    Something almost identical to the derisive chatter that went around German cocktail parties in the early 1930s…

    “[That German corporal] is a joke. I read the first chapter of [his] book [Mein Kampf] and had to give it away. It was so stupid. And I believe in the philosophy of conservatism very much. But even though [he] claims [to be a] ‘rogue’, [he] is not an individualist. [He] only appears that way because [he] stands alone. But in reality, [he] wants to take an even less measured stance than the [Hindenberg nationalists].”

  25. FM you decry and I agree, the blank-eyed and slack-jawed manner in which we Americans have allowed both party’s politicans to erode our constitution.(considerably more by the Republicans I think). In other words by the elites and oligarchs who now for all practical purposes control the country.

    Yet a Mrs Palin arrives, and who is obviously a total outsider to the same elites, who have led the attack on our constitution, and you get your pants in a knot drawing a parallel with her and the Khmer Rouge and Adolph Hitler ( a little “over the top” don’t you think). Quite out of character for you. She is a remarkable woman in many ways.

    I have come to believe part of her growing political strength comes from the irrational and totally biased manner in which “old media” and people such as you attack her. She becomes stronger after each wave of attacks. It must truly be frustrating for you. Damdest phenomena I’ve seened in 38 years of dabbling in electoral politics.
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    FM reply: I disagree with much of this.

    (1) “you get your pants in a knot drawing a parallel with her and the Khmer Rouge and Adolph Hitler”

    That’s a typo, which should have read “These do not imply any similarities with the Tea Party movement”. Thanks for catching this.

    (2) “who is obviously a total outsider to the same elites”

    It’s not obvious to me. In fact, I suspect it is not true. These outsiders (e.g., Carter, Schwarzenegger, Obama) are usually carefully crafted persona to inflame people’s imaginations — fufilling needs which authentic and competent leaders would otherwise fill. Much like releasing sterilized bugs with which other bugs can mate.

    (3) “irrational and totally biased manner in which ‘old media’ and people such as you attack her”

    This is par for such comments, few of which provide examples of “irrational and biased” attacks. Most of these are in fact her own words, actions, and lack of substantive background.

  26. #24 “It would be nice to meet Palin in a ladies’ confidential situation , such as when patching up the makeup in the ladies loo , or waiting on a delayed train , so as to find out whether she was genuine or just someone’s stooge .”

    No she is the real deal; just like she offers “herself”. Listen these guys looked far and wide and FOUND her; I can imagine the incredible relief when they discovered what they perceived to be the “perfect” accompaniment to John McCain. These are samrt guys; thye know fully well we do not elect the Ideas…heavens, no—we go for feelings, rare emotions we rarely allow ourselves to indulge in, fantastical possibilities. The stuff psychotherapists glean from a session and jot in their notepads! They dressed her up, nice-like, recall? She was a little unmanageable but what the heck.

  27. I’d just like to reply to some comments .. Ron Paul.

    A Libertarian, honest and honourable. You know the the old US. Like those who (in my opinion the US’s finest hour) nailed Nixon, showing to the World that no one was above the Law and the Constitution. Boy did that cause a wave of revolution around the World.

    Ok I don’t agree with a lot (though I agree with a surprising number) of his economic policies. But I bet everyone here agrees with his human rights position or his foreign policy position. But who would you trust more to get the US out of its wars .. with all the massive economic savings that would be made (fix the pie then argue about the slices later).

    As for ‘Tea Parties’, loved by some, abhored by others, corrupted by some. But this is important .. ordinary people have to get INVOLVED. Disagree with those done to date .. organise your own equivalent.

    Aussie terms “stop whinging” and “pull the finger out”. And do something. It’s your country to save.

  28. Ms. Palin and much of the Tea Party compatriots she spoke to last Weekend are rather obviously symptomatic of the inherent, self-evident troubles in modern American Political discourse AND actions.
    Big troubles. When less than 40% of Americans are even engaged in voting and fewer still actively write/call Reps or speak to their neighbors and freinds about the daily situations, what we generally see is sheer ADVOCACY. LOBBYING! …from small and large sectors.

    PUBLIC GOOD? …what is THAT?

    E.G. We see very little other than advocacy behind the incoherent cargo of conflicting complaints that makes up Tea Party doctrine — like “keeping the government’s hands off our medicare!” Nothing good comes out of such grasping other than MORE claims on the Public Trough. Visit any major State and watch the wrangling over the declining revenues in the Public Coffers and you will see nothing but clamoring for MINE—OURS…more demands by advocates for the largese of the Political Class.

    Public Good? This will end when the producers simply have had enough and the profligate grifters have spent it ALL!

  29. Mikyo,

    Nice clip as usual.

    I’m beginning to think part of the reason Sarah Palin generates this IRRATIONAL response from her detractors is that, she is indeed a woman. There is some weird psycho-sexual thing going on here. I mean,”my God she is not even a member of the club, she has bigger cajones than we do, she is a woman, and a good looking one to boot!Plus she actually likes Israel probably JEWS too!

    She might even be the hero! Hell,for an awful lot of the effeminate, ineffective men who now control the nation, that has to be disturbing.

  30. It’ not Palin I’d be worried about – it’s the people that are using her and the people that could take over the movement.

  31. Mike

    I was just at a meeting at which a large contingent of “Tea Party” people and their leadership were in attendence. I took the opportunity to talk to them and try to develop a feel for the potential of the organization.

    Just like they say in Texas,”all hat and no cattle”.

    They are a weak version of the “Christian Coalition”. And just like the Christian Coalition at the end of the day this “NEW VERY THREATNING MOVEMENT” will be much ado about nothing. They are just barely beyond a disorganized rabble.

    If Mrs Palin is depending on the Tea Party crowd, you Palin Haters can relax. She will be going nowhere. RELAX….IF SHE IS AS INCOMPETENT AND CLUELESS AS FM THINKS. WELL HELL,SHE’LL SOOM JUST DISAPPEAR.POOF! ANYBODY WANT TO TAKE A BET THAT SHE DOESN’T GO AWAY.

  32. #28 . If she is the Real Deal this may be a good thing . I havent heard her speak , not having a TV or sound on my computor . Real Deals are rare . I felt our Maggie Thatcher was one ; possibly your Reagan . (Probably you all know otherwise) .

    Real Deals can be hoodwinked , not understanding the deviousness of their brothers ; but they cannot be corrupted or bought . Because their mindset is clear and simple , we have a good chance to predict which way they will jump in a novel situation. Therefore we and the world have something to base our plans on , business or foreign policy .

    The Hitler comparison is valid and a worry , and an example of his Svengali influence still acting on us – are we learning from experience , or still stuck in our minds fighting the last war ?
    .
    .
    FM reply: One of my nightmares is that history says that Hitler was not wrong, just early.

    Or perhaps we can only defeat Hitler for our time, not forever. From Len Deighton’s “Funeral in Berlin” (1964), two secret policement talking:

    Colonel Stok (Russian): “These Germans, sometimes I wonder how we managed to beat them.
    Vaclav (Checkoslovakian): “The Nazis?”
    Stok: “Oh, we still haven’t beaten them. The Germans, I mean.”

  33. Colonel Stok (Russian): “These Germans, sometimes I wonder how we managed to beat them.
    Vaclav (Checkoslovakian): “The Naxis?”
    Stok: “Oh, we still haven’t beaten them. The Germans, I mean

    Been to Germany lately? The military ethos is gone. The strongest remaining cultural component is the beer. There is not going to be any new 1,000 year Reich anytime soon. Any new Hitler they produce would be focusing on a good Gay Pride Parade.
    .
    .
    FM reply: I thought that analogy was clear, but obviously not. Stok said that they defeated Germany, but not fascism — which is now a part of western culture, or perhaps an endemic disease of western culture (which can break out at any time).

  34. From #34 — “If Mrs Palin is depending on the Tea Party crowd, you Palin Haters can relax. She will be going nowhere. RELAX….IF SHE IS AS INCOMPETENT AND CLUELESS AS FM THINKS. WELL HELL,SHE’LL SOOM JUST DISAPPEAR.POOF! ANYBODY WANT TO TAKE A BET THAT SHE DOESN’T GO AWAY.

    As I think FM already stated (see reply in comment #9), the real worry is not actually Sara Palin per se. It is the way the “Tea-Party” movement appears to feel desperately alienated from their society, and to want an easy, authoritarian solution to it all… a strong figure who will do away with laws and simply get rid of their perceived problems and enemies. The incoherence of their economic ideas is another danger, which might be connected to their authoritarian outlook.

  35. I thought Hitler’s original call for war was based on a desire for expansion of territory , to gain assets and land for the Aryan race . Is there a parallel race today ?

    Obama’s speech in Cairo was posted on some blog ( darn it I cant remember which – something to do with empire ? end of empire ?) followed by a pre-war speech of Hitler’s to an international audience . Maybe they were chillingly similar. Maybe the blogger had done some sneaky cut and paste . Who knows what to beleive on the internet .
    .
    .
    FM reply: I doubt the speeches were “chillingly similar”. That sounds like moonshire to me. As for Hitler, we’re speaking of his early years — in which German was the success story of Europe. Germany’s economic growth while other nations withered created the disproportion of power which led to WWII.

  36. Anyone who thinks the tea party is some sort of nascent brownshirt movement is smoking a bit too much medical pot. Palin is never going anywhere. People do not like losers or quitters, and she has done both. She will have her time in the sun but she is never going to be elected to anything again. The visceral reactions of many, especially those obsessed with her young child’s parentage, are far more intersting. Perhaps it is her tone of voice?
    ,
    ,
    FM reply: What is this ” tea party is some sort of nascent brownshirt movement”? Can you cite anyone of significance saying such a thing? Sounds like a strawman attack to me.

    “Palin is never going anywhere.”

    As has been said several times on this thread, it’s the movement that’s of interest. Not Palin.

  37. Some people find a Fargo type voice irritating, just like how Fran Drescher (Wikipedia) grates on some people.

    Easy solutions? Yes. Authoritarian ones? Not so much. While that is always the possibility in the future I don’t think it is a forgone conclusion. Instead of bashing the tea party movement, what about looking for areas of common ground? If they are economically ignorant, educate them.

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