By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Sarah Palin’s disgraceful tweet

The last thing I thought I’d be writing about this morning was Sarah Palin. But there are times that the former Alaska governor is so out of touch with reality, and so self-righteously obnoxious about it, that she needs to be called out.

Here’s why. On Sunday, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel appeared on ABC News’ “This Week.” As you might expect, Emanuel had some fun at the expense of U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, who had apologized to BP chief executive Tony Hayward for the $20 billion “shakedown” to which President Obama had subjected his poor, suffering company. Republican leaders later forced Barton to apologize for his apology.

Emanuel told “This Week” host Jake Tapper that Barton, far from being an outlier, was expressing mainstream Republican thought:

That’s not a political gaffe, those are prepared remarks. That is a philosophy. That is an approach to what they see. They see the aggrieved party here as BP, not the fishermen.

Fair? Good lord, yes. Because even before Barton planted his foot firmly in his mouth, the Republican Study Committee, comprising 115 House members (about two-thirds of all House Republicans), had referred to the fund as “Chicago-style shakedown politics,” as Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne and many others have pointed out. (Here is the committee’s full statement.)

In other words, you will not find a stronger case of a politician’s nutty utterance being tied to the clearly expressed views of his party.

Which is where Sarah Palin comes in. Here is what she wrote on her Twitter feed:

RahmEmanuel= as shallow/narrowminded/political/irresponsible as they come,to falsely claim Barton’s BP comment is “GOP philosophy”Rahm,u lie

What Emanuel said on Sunday, based on anyone’s reading of the evidence, was as fair and as true as anything he has ever said. And Sarah Palin is a disgrace.

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  1. I am convinced that Sarah Palin is this generation’s Andy Kaufman. It’s all one big performance art piece, and she will be shown for the genius comedic artist that she really is.

    Nobody could do this seriously.

  2. BP Myers

    I listen to nutjob right-wing Reagan-genuflecting radio host Mark Levin most every evening, and it appears to me that whatever he says the night before is the next day’s Republican talking points. It was him I first heard refer to the BP deal as a “Chicago-style shakedown.”

    He still hasn’t given up on the idea of using a bunker-buster bomb on the oil spill, and until such time as that is used (for him anyway), the President has not done “everything possible” to stem the flow of oil.

    • Dan Kennedy

      Don’t know what it is about Sarah Palin, but the anti-Palin comments are rolling in — yet almost none of the commenters are using their real names. Too bad. I would have enjoyed posting them.

  3. Brad Deltan

    Sarah Palin’s continued relevance…inexplicable to most sane people as it may be…is a cause of joy for myself. For only through total scumball wackjobs like her will the system corrupt itself so completely that it just totally implodes. Palin alone won’t accomplish that, she’s nowhere near bad enough…but she’ll do a good job moving things along to that goal.

    Why do I view this as a “good” thing? Because the system we have now is hopeless. There is no point trying to fix it; it is unfixable. But unless and until a few million people starve to death in the streets, this country won’t ever remember what’s really important.

    We often cite FDR as the person who told activists: “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.” Lest we forget, Palin is saying the same thing – just from the opposite side of things.

  4. Neil Sagan

    But there are times that the former Alaska governor is so out of touch with reality, and so self-righteously obnoxious about it, that she needs to be called out.

    Is there a time when she is not? (…more on the Dunning-Kruger effect.)

  5. LSDupret

    I have to disagree with you Steve. Andy Kaufman was a true comedic genius; Palin, on the other hand, probably thinks she is a genius as she spews vitriol, discord and dissent. Her appeal will eventually lessen and she won’t have the sense to know what a joke she truly is.

    Palin is a tool and is a jealous, self-serving, and uneducated fool at that. She is a liar with a deficit of critical thinking skill who doesn’t have sense enough to think for herself because she has a brain the size of a pea.

  6. Karen Johnson

    One of these days Sarah Palin — the jumped-up housewife, small town mayor of 2 terms (the only job/position she has EVER not quit), and fox-cunning grifter governor-in-name-only — is going to go too far in her hateful, badly aimed, usually fact-mangled Tweets and Facebook maunderings, and she’s going to insult or vilify someone who will not give a damn that she’s a woman BECAUSE she’s so hateful/vindictive, etc.

    And they will destroy her politically and socially — by revealing, with proof in hand — all of her lies, corruption, grifting, and vendettas.

    Perhaps, then, the mainstream media will finally do their job and report honestly what is making this delusional woman tick, instead of portraying her as the “victim” of the outraged responses to date reacting to her “mean girl” attitude.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Karen: Seems to me her “lies, corruption, grifting and vendettas” have been exposed repeatedly. I can’t say no one cares — she is the most unpopular national political figure in the country, according to every poll I’ve seen. But her groupies and media enablers certainly don’t care.

  7. L.K. Collins

    I find it amusing that the liberal continues to foam at the mouth over Palin.

    She is a caricature, and like all caricatures she embodies a grain or two of truth.

    And the liberal rises to the bait.

  8. Neil Sagan

    She does bait – that’s her best political skill – and she can be caricatured quite easily because she is a simpleton.

  9. Sean Griffin

    She’s the GOP’s Al Sharpton.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Sean: Palin = Sharpton is an even better way of thinking about the differences between the two parties than you may have intended.

      Palin was chosen by the Republican presidential candidate to be one heartbeat away from the presidency. She is still widely touted as a presidential candidate in 2012. She is the subject of glowing stories by the mainstream media.

      Sharpton? Invited on to cable news shows. Generally seen within the Democratic Party as a problem to be ignored when possible and dealt with when necessary.

  10. Mike Benedict

    @Sean Griffin: Was her great-grandfather also a slave owned by noted segregationist/hypocrite Strom Thurmond’s great-great-grandfather?

  11. Sean Griffin

    Meanwhile, if you look at what really happened, BP suggested the $20 Billion fund, several GOP congressman backed it (including La. Rep. Joseph Cao and Ariz. Rep. Trent Franks) and White House accepted it and then shrewdly took credit for it.

  12. Sean Griffin

    You are right about that, Dan. And you don’t come across many liberal concern trolls railing against “Sharpton Derangement Syndrome.”

  13. C.E. Stead

    “…as she spews vitriol, discord and dissent….”

    Reading the comments on this thread, that is absolutely rich as crtiicism of Governor Palin.

    Palin isn’t the Sharpton of the Right – she’s the Hillary Clinton. Attracts the same kind of why-ain’t-she-barefoot-in-the-kitchen criticism that Clinton gets – “jumped-up housewife”, for example. That same kind of cheap sexism.

    I’ve always thought Palin gets this reaction from liberals because she is a ‘unicorn’, a creature that obviously doesn’t exist – a pro-life, pro-gun, elected, conservative woman. The Womyns’ movement cannot tolerate such apostasy when they’ve promised to deliver that monolithic bloc – women – to the Democrats.

  14. Mike Benedict

    @C.E. Stead: Palin is a unicorn, and those who (mis)place their faith in her are Gabriel’s Hounds.

  15. Sean Griffin

    But what about the tweet, C.E.?

  16. C.E. Stead

    @griffin – yes indeed, what about it? Kind of got lost in the visceral esponse, didn’t it?

    I dislike Palin’s style for the same reason I dislike Mike Huckabee’s – I’m not a fan of sound bites over discussion, and while bomb throwing is great fun it can be counterproductive in the long run. But her comment was correct.

    Rahm Emmanuel would be the first to whoop with dudgeon if Cynthia McKinney’s statements on 9/11 truth were presented as official Democrat doctrine. A party is a spectrum of thought, and Rahm was merely throwing a little Kibble to the base by saying that one Rep. spoke for all.

    There’s an element of Pot dissing Kettle here, but I agree with her tweet overall.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @C.E.: You’re right. Barton wasn’t speaking for all Republicans. Just the overwhelming majority of Republican members of the House. What a terrible thing that Emanuel didn’t make that clear. He should resign.

      Huckabee and Palin share a number of unattractive qualities, but Palin’s pathological lying is all her own.

  17. Sean Griffin

    Why didn’t you write that the first time, C.E.? Seems like you are suffering from PDSDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome Derangement Syndrome).

  18. C.E. Stead

    @Sean – becasue I was commenting on the reaction, not the Tweet itself. You also mentioned how accurate the content of her tweet was when you mentioned Cao and Franks as examples of how Emmanuel was hyperbolic in his remarks.

  19. BP Myers

    @C.E. Stead said: Rahm Emmanuel would be the first to whoop with dudgeon if Cynthia McKinney’s statements on 9/11 truth were presented as official Democrat doctrine.

    Hilarious. I consider myself a pretty well-informed person, but I had no idea she’d ever made any comments and had to go out and Google them.

    Then again, she didn’t tweet them out to the whole world, or say them live on national television in the middle of an important Congressional hearing. She didn’t apologize to a foreign corporation in front of the whole world on behalf of the United States of America.

    And frankly, considering that a month before the attack, the President’s daily security briefing was titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” and specifically mentions using airplanes as weapons of mass destruction, I don’t find the questions she asked that far off the wall at all.

    But you really gotta be LOOKING for things to get up in a high dudgeon about to point to this.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @BP: Cynthia McKinney also has not been a Democrat for many years. But whatever.

  20. BP Myers

    @Dan: Hilarious.

    I confess when I saw her name brought up, my first thought was about Morrie, that toupeee guy from “GoodFellas.”

    “Nobody listens to what he says. Nobody cares what he says, he talks so much.”

  21. Heather Tracy

    You’re right. There is no other way to put it – she’s a disgrace. By waging a continual rhetoric war against the Obama (winning) administration, Palin reveals her own deficiencies time and time again. Her pedestal has begun to crumble, but not fast enough in my opinion.

  22. Sean Griffin

    Always happy to do your research for you, C.E.

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