I watched the conservative Tea Party’s anti-Senate-Majority-Leader-Harry-Reid rally at Searchlight, Nevada on the weekend. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin addressed a crowd of several thousand receptive fans. Palin’s definitely getting better at this, smoother and less halting in her delivery. But I have to say she still doesn’t resonate as a future president of the United States of America.
There is an immaturity to Palin that I cannot get past. Like when she tries to poke fun at President Barack Obama by mocking his use of a teleprompter to deliver his speeches. She claims she prefers “a poor man’s teleprompter” and shows notes written on the palm of her hand. I’d say Obama uses the modern teleprompter rather expertly, and I can’t find anything amusing about it. I’d have been more impressed had she had your lines committed to memory, not written on your hand like a school-girl might. This hokey stuff neither impresses nor amuses me.
Sarah Palin gets cheered by thousands as she plays to the rightmost elements of the American conservative/Republican movement; David Frum gets sacked or forced to resign from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a powerful Republican think-tank. And thus the fissure in the conservative movement widens between moderates and those who support Tea Party activism. Republicans are increasingly being forced to pass rigid purity tests on key issues—only pure laine conservatives need apply.
At the rally, Palin said Harry Reid is “gambling away our future,” and got some digs in about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “big-government, big-debt spending spree,” saying “You're fired!”
She praised the Tea Party movement and mocked and criticized the policies of the Obama administration. But was short on specifics of her own.
She referred to the new health care bill as “European-style health care,” and called it “Obamacare.” Of course, she ignored its similarity to Romneycare, the health care legislation passed in Massachusetts by the GOP’s current front runner in the 2012 presidential contest and former Republican governor of that state.
Palin also never criticized the fact that, for the eight years preceding the Obama administration, the Republicans ruled the United States and yet never repealed that other bit of “European-style health care” known as Medicare.
Glib, yes, but not particularly insightful and still avoiding inconvenient truths.
Some weeks ago, Sarah Palin asked of President Obama and his supporters, “How’s that hopey, changey thing working out for ya?”
Fresh off a stunning legislative victory in the form of an historic health care bill, and the signing of a hugely important, even if mainly symbolic, arms reduction treaty with the Russians, I’d say President Obama might quite rightly answer, “Just fine, thank ya fer askin’.”
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© 2010 Russell G. Campbell
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