“I’m not running for any office, but I’m more than happy to accept the dubious honor of being Barack Obama’s ‘enemy of the week’ if that includes the opportunity to debate him on the issues Americans are actually concerned about,” Palin wrote in a note on her Facebook page, posted late Monday. Palin was responding to a Web video fundraising for Obama that uses recent footage of Palin criticizing the president.
Palin also offered a challenge to Obama.
“I’m willing and free to discuss these issues with the President anywhere, anytime,” Palin wrote.
At some point while watching HBO’s absolutely smashing (and terrifying) movie “Game Change,” it occurred to me that Sarah Palin has ruined America. The movie has been scalloped out of the book by the same name and focuses on Palin, rather than on the entire 2008 presidential campaign. The decision to do so was absolutely correct. With her selection as John McCain’s running mate, American politics lost its way — and maybe its mind as well.
The movie portrays Palin as an ignoramus. She did not know that Queen Elizabeth II does not run the British government, and she did not know that North and South Korea are different countries. She seemed not to have heard of the Federal Reserve. She called Joe Biden “O’Biden” and she thought America went to war in Iraq because Saddam Hussein, not al-Qaeda, had attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. Not only did she know little, but she was determinately incurious and supremely smug in her ignorance.
At the same time, she was a liar. In the movie, she was called exactly that by McCain’s campaign chief, Steve Schmidt, who came to realize — a bit late in the game — that one of Palin’s great talents was to deny the truth. When confronted, she simply shuts down — petulant, child-like — and then sulks off.
Palin objects to this characterization — as does McCain — but the movie has been endorsed by too many of Palin’s top campaign aides to put its veracity in doubt. Some of them had come to revile the Alaska governor — enough to leak some awful facts but not quite enough to go public. Had the election been really close, I wonder if they would have run out into the street yelling that Palin — a heartbeat away from the possible presidency — was a monster. Everybody loves their country. Some people love their careers even more.
Now comes along SarahPAC, helpfully underlining that the people closest to Palin during the 2008 campaign publicly judged her favorably, while coming to know her for the addled ignoramus she is:
It also shows how hoodwinked the American public and political pundits can be by campaign operatives and fluff.
This is the brain of the woman who might have reached the White House:
And nobody yet has, nobody yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and no, not, not real enthused about what it is that that’s being done on a national level and from D.C. in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt. And, in these areas that are so volatile right now, because obviously it’s not just Egypt but the other countries too where we are seeing uprisings, we know that now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House. We need to know what it is that America stands for so we know who it is that America will stand with. And, we do not have all that information yet.
Brian Beutler: “Today’s GOP, unlike yesterday’s Democratic Party, pursued a purposeful and unprecedented strategy of blanket obstruction designed to damage the president.”
Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis illustrates a key difference between Reagan’s first term and Obama’s: the pliancy of the Congresses they had to work with. Despite the fact that it was controlled by Democrats, Reagan’s Congress was ultimately accommodative, and the result was significant fiscal expansion, which likely helped bring down the unemployment rate.
Despite presiding over a Democratic Congress, Obama enjoyed no such co-operation. Serial GOP filibusters limited the extent to which he could use deficit spending and temporary tax cuts to hasten economic recovery. Republicans bucked historically bipartisan policies to thwart the president. And when they took over the House in 2011, Republicans pursued an austerity agenda, and, separately, spooked credit markets by taking the government to the brink of default. All of these factors, combined with contraction at the state and local levels, offset the stimulative policies Obama secured at the beginning of his term. And that prefigured a significantly slower labor market recovery than Reagan enjoyed.