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Remembering Reagan, Palin Paints A Dark Picture Of America’s Future

Speaking last night at one of the many unofficial events marking Ronald Reagan’s Centenary, Sarah Palin painted a dark picture of America’s future in marked contrast to the optimism that was the signature of the man she was remembering:

Sarah Palin opened a celebration of Ronald Reagan this weekend by declaring that the United States was lurching toward a “road to ruin,” saying the nation had become so weighed down by debt and excess government that a new direction was urgently needed in Washington.

(…)

Ms. Palin, a former Alaska governor and the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee, spoke here on Friday night to about 200 people at a banquet of the Young America’s Foundation, a group that now owns Rancho del Cielo, which served as the Western White House in the Reagan administration. The foundation is not affiliated with the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, which is also holding tributes to the former president, who would have turned 100 on Sunday.

(…)

In her 30-minute address, Ms. Palin reprised themes of Reagan’s 1964 speech “A Time for Choosing,” which he gave two years before being elected governor of California. She reminded her audience that he, too, was “mocked, ridiculed and criticized” before his conservative vision became accepted Republican doctrine. But she stopped short of casting herself explicitly as his heir.

“No, there isn’t one replacement for Reagan, but there are millions who believe in the great ideas that he espoused,” Ms. Palin said. “There’s a whole army of patriotic Davids out there, across this great country, ready to stand up and to speak out in defense of liberty.”

You can watch the whole speech here if you want, but my thoughts are about the same as they’ve been when I hear a lot of people on the right speak about Ronald Reagan anymore. The Ronald Reagan I remember was an optimist who spoke of America as being the “shining city on the hill,” and who, even if in the depths of  the Carter Malaise believed that the country’s best days were ahead of it, a sentiment that appeared throughout his major campaign speeches in 1980. One of the reasons Ronald Reagan was successful was because he brought that message of optimism at a time when the American public was becoming increasingly pessimistic.

Modern-day conservative rhetoric, especially as practiced by the Palin’s and Glenn Beck’s of the world, seems to have thrown that Reagan optimism overboard in favor of a philosophy that seems to find enemies around every corner, and conspiracies behind every event. I don’t know what you call that, but it sure as heck isn’t Ronald Reagan, which just makes the efforts by such people to claim Reagan’s legacy as their own all the more pathetic, a point which was brought home with a vengence recently thanks to comments from Reagan’s youngest son:

Sarah Palin may think she’s the political heir to Ronald Reagan, but one of his actual heirs says she’s got it all wrong.

Ahead of weekend celebrations marking the late president’s 100th birthday, his youngest son, Ron Reagan, is speaking out against the former Alaska governor and onetime vice presidential candidate, who is keynoting a Young America’s Foundation gala, honoring the president Friday.

“Sarah Palin is a soap opera, basically,” Reagan told The Associated Press. “She’s doing mostly what she does to make money and keep her name in the news.”

(…)

Reagan made similar comments in 2008, soon after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) chose her as his running mate. “Sarah Palin has nothing in common with my father, a two-term governor of the largest state in the union, a man who had been in public life for decades, someone who had written, thought and spoke for decades about foreign-policy issues, domestic policy issues, and on and on and on,” he said in September of that year.

Ron Reagan’s comments don’t decide the issue, of course, but they do bring home the rather sad fact that there really isn’t anyone in the top tier of GOP “leaders” that comes close to being another Ronald Reagan, which is why Palin and the rest of them are so desperate to wrap themselves in his legacy in the hope that nobody will notice.

Photo via Politico

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. ponce says:

    The Eeyore Republicans have a pathological need to hear Obama is dooming America.

    And Palin’s just the ass to tell them.

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  2. As someone who identifies with Eyeore’s fatalism, I resent being lumped in with the likes of Sarah Palin!

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  3. anjin-san says:

    I love the equivalence Palin is constantly trying to draw between herself and Reagan. Problem is, love him or hate him, Reagan was a finisher. Finished his two terms in California, Finished his two terms in the White House. Getting shot did not stop him. His illness did not stop him.

    Palin, on the other hand, is a quitter who turned her back on her sworn duty. I think we all know what Reagan thought about quitters.

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  4. george says:

    >I love the equivalence Palin is constantly trying to draw between herself and Reagan. Problem is, love him or hate him, Reagan was a finisher. Finished his two terms in California, Finished his two terms in the White House. Getting shot did not stop him. His illness did not stop him.

    >Palin, on the other hand, is a quitter who turned her back on her sworn duty. I think we all know what Reagan thought about quitters.

    Yup, I expect Reagan would have had little use for Palin. Like anyone, he had his strengths and his weaknesses, but quitting was not one of them. And I agree that one of his strengths was his optimism, which inspired many people. Palin seems very unlike Reagan in almost every important way.

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  5. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    “The Ronald Reagan I remember was an optimist who spoke of America as being the “shining city on the hill,” and who, even if in the depths of the Carter Malaise believed that the country’s best days were ahead of it, a sentiment that appeared throughout his major campaign speeches in 1980.”

    Fair comment. My compliments.

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  6. Pete says:

    Anjin, I suspect you don’t like the way Palin dresses, wears her hair, pronounces certain words and orders her eggs. Using the “quitter” meme is childish. Why don’t you just say you don’t like her political philosophy.

    You get very petty with your remarks sometimes and it doesn’t reflect well on you as a person.

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  7. ponce says:

    “Using the “quitter” meme is childish.”

    Yeah, Ted Bundy was an upstanding Republican too if you can just ignore the whole rapey, stabby, killy thing.

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  8. anjin-san says:

    Pete,

    Actually, I find Palin to be fairly stylish and overall, a very attractive woman. I have no doubt she can be quite charming in person.

    > Using the “quitter” meme is childish

    Discussing the character flaws of Presidential aspirants is childish? How exactly? Finishing what one starts seems like a core American value to me. If I was an Alaskan who had supported Palin, I would be furious with her. The fact that her numbers in Alaska have tanked suggest a lot of folks do feel that way.

    > Why don’t you just say you don’t like her political philosophy.

    Has nothing to do with calling her a quitter. Look, you probably know I despise Cheney’s political philosophy. But that does not mean I don’t have any respect for him. A smart, savvy and very capable guy. How many heart attacks has he had? 5? Did not stop him from serving out his 2 terms. An all-around formidable SOB. I sure as shit would not want to butt heads with him.

    if you can show where I have been unfair to Palin, ever, please do.

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  9. Janis Gore says:

    And he never had split ends. Girl needs a trim.

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  10. Rock says:

    Anjin-san, What is Cheney’s political philosophy?

    What is yours?

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  11. Jay Tea says:

    if you can show where I have been unfair to Palin, ever, please do.

    Challenge accepted.

    You insist on calling her “quitter.” By your pejorative tone, and inferring from your other comments, you think less of her for resigning as governor. That implies that you think she should have stayed in office.

    Which can only mean you don’t either understand the circumstances of her resignation, or don’t care.

    I’ll presume the former. Palin had been subjected to about 18 ethics complaints. She was found innocent on all of them save one, where she denied any wrongdoing, but paid the disputed amount when she calculated it was less than the legal defense bill would be. But defending against each of them had run up legal bills in excess of half a million dollars — double her family’s annual income, and 40% of her then net worth.

    And things were escalating. The bullshit complaints were now being filed against her top aides, forcing them to start running up legal bills. Under Alaskan state law, there is no penalty for filing a bullshit complaint, no penalty for violating the “complaints must remain confidential” law (which means that half the time the harassers would file the complaint, then hold a press conference to announce them), and the accused is liable for any and all legal bills.

    Then the final straw — a complaint that Palin couldn’t use a legal defense fund, but would have to pay all of it purely out of her own pocket. She had a perfect record at that point — not a single finding of wrongdoing — but couldn’t risk wiping out her family financially if this one went through. So she resigned.

    You call her “quitter.” You highlight Cheney’s not resigning in contrast. So, then, I presume you have a solution that would have let her remain in office without bankrupting her family, and protected her closest aides from the same? One that she could have taken, but didn’t?

    Personally, I think she pulled an Obi-Wan here. Her enemies totally screwed the pooch with this “bullshit ethics complaints” tactic. If they’d left her alone, she’d have gone back to being governor and been tied down to the state. By driving her to resign, it freed her to speak out and travel a hell of a lot more. By hounding her from office, especially in such a scumbaggy way, they made her a more potent force than she could have been as a sitting governor.

    Smooth move, assholes. Way to go.

    But back to the topic at hand. Reagan’s optimism was never cockeyed and divorced from reality. He recognized the huge mess we were in — largely but not entirely due to Carter — and never said that things were just fine and dandy. He always spoke about how we could get out of the mess, but didn’t downplay the mess we were in.

    Kind of like Palin here, it seems.

    J.

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  12. ponce says:

    It’s funny how the Palin cult members have absolutely no idea how despised she is by a large majority of Americans.

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  13. anjin-san says:

    > Which can only mean you don’t either understand the circumstances of her resignation, or don’t care.

    Your right. I don’t care. Somewhere in Afghanistan, sometime soon, one of our guys is going to get an order. And he will know if he follows it, he will probably be killed. But he will do his duty, and he may well die. And the next guy in line will do his duty, in the face of any danger, or hardship. And the next after him. As it always has been, and hopefully always will be.

    I have friends who’s fathers served in the Battle of the Bulge. On Guadalcanal. In the face of kamakazi attacks (this man still wakes up screaming “incoming”, all these years later). My uncle was at Frozen Chosin. I don’t think they faced that kind of danger and hardship so that public servants could walk away from a sworn duty when things got tough.

    So no, I am totally uninterested in what hardships Palin may, or may not have faced. You put your hand on the Bible, or over your heart, and you swear to do your duty. Then you do it. If you are not up to it, don’t take the oath. There is no loophole that says “If it gets hard, you can bail”.

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  14. anjin-san says:

    > Anjin-san, What is Cheney’s political philosophy?

    What is yours?

    Rock, It’s not relevant, and I am not going to get into it. My point is that I can dislike, even despise someone politics, but it does not mean I cannot have respect for them or will deny them credit when credit is due.

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  15. Janis Gore says:

    I don’t despise her.

    She’s just another “Yadda, yadda.”

    I’ve left off the litany when the sons drive off across country, Now I say, “Be careful. Yadda, yadda.”

    If they call in for some reason I say, “You missed a yadda.”

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  16. Jay Tea says:

    Shorter anjin: Sarah Palin had to stand there and let his ideological comrades bankrupt her, her family, and her top aides with bullshit charge after bullshit charge that had no purpose whatsoever but to bankrupt her, or the Nazis/Japs/Commies would win.

    Pity she didn’t have the Obama option open to her: don’t do the job, just collect the paychecks and occasionally pop in vote “present.”

    J.

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  17. anjin-san says:

    Jay,

    Politicians deal with this kind of crap all the time. It comes with the territory. Do a little reading on the war the right waged against the Clintons for years. It happens at the federal, state and local level. If you think what Palin when through was somehow unique, you have led a very, very sheltered life.

    If she lacks the toughness and political scrapping skills to handle something like this, it’s one more reason she does not belong within a country mile of the White House. I mentioned Cheney earlier. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that everything you say is true, and Palin faced all sorts of bogus charges designed simply to ruin her and her family.

    If someone tried that on Cheney, tried to destroy his family, you had better believe he would make grease stains out of them, not cut and run. I may think he is an evil bastard, but I won’t deny for a moment that he is tough enough to sit at the big desk.

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  18. Eric says:

    “You insist on calling her ‘quitter.’ By your pejorative tone, and inferring from your other comments, you think less of her for resigning as governor.”

    I find it rather amusing that the same group of people who have no problem calling our current president a socialist and insinuating that he’s a dirty Muslim and un-American; who have no compunction about implicating him in every conspiracy theory their crazy minds come up with; and who entertain every scurrilous rumor about him are suddenly up in arms because someone accurately called their preferred candidate a “quitter” for–wait for it!–quitting her job.

    In the 2008 election, two issues came up repeatedly: character and experience. Seems to me that quitting your job for which you were duly elected because of a slew of ethics complaints is germane to both, whether you like it or not.

    I’m sorry, but the fact that Palin quit her job is very much fair game and is hardly childish. Considering the rhetoric leveled against the current President, Palin is getting off easy only being called a quitter.

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  19. PJ says:

    Jay Tea, don’t let all the talk about Sarah Palin being a quitter change your mind. Please do your part in getting the republicans to elect their Mondale, Sarah Palin. I hope I can count on you.

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  20. george says:

    >If she lacks the toughness and political scrapping skills to handle something like this, it’s one more reason she does not belong within a country mile of the White House. I mentioned Cheney earlier. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that everything you say is true, and Palin faced all sorts of bogus charges designed simply to ruin her and her family.

    >If someone tried that on Cheney, tried to destroy his family, you had better believe he would make grease stains out of them, not cut and run. I may think he is an evil bastard, but I won’t deny for a moment that he is tough enough to sit at the big desk.

    My question for Palin: if the pressures of being governor are too much, if you’re going to stand aside because you come under attack there, how in the world are you going to handle the pressures of being President?

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  21. Jay Tea says:

    I find it rather amusing that the same group of people who have no problem calling our current president a socialist and insinuating that he’s a dirty Muslim and un-American; who have no compunction about implicating him in every conspiracy theory their crazy minds come up with; and who entertain every scurrilous rumor about him are suddenly up in arms because someone accurately called their preferred candidate a “quitter” for–wait for it!–quitting her job.

    Stereotype much, Eric? Can’t blame you, it’s easier than thinking.

    J.

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  22. Jay Tea says:

    Back to the topic at hand… how would folks categorize this statement?

    many Americans seem to be wondering, searching. . . feeling frustrated and perhaps even a little afraid.

    Many of us are unhappy about our worsening economic problems, about the constant crisis atmosphere in our foreign policy, about our diminishing prestige around the globe, about the weakness in our economy and national security that jeopardizes world peace, about our lack of strong, straight-forward leadership.

    And many Americans today, just as they did 200 years ago, feel burdened, stifled and sometimes even oppressed by government that has grown too large, too bureaucratic, too wasteful, too unresponsive, too uncaring about people and their problems.

    J.

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  23. wr says:

    “An Obi-Wan move.” Yes, that’s the keen political thinking and sophisticated knowledge system of the Palnista at work: Star Wars, Atlas Shrugged and Animal Farm. Anything else is for “elitists.”

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  24. anjin-san says:

    > My question for Palin: if the pressures of being governor are too much, if you’re going to stand aside because you come under attack there, how in the world are you going to handle the pressures of being President?

    The tea party plan for America. Take a woman who could not cut it in Double A ball and have her start game 7 of the World Series.

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  25. Steve Plunk says:

    The NY Times and Ron Reagan? You expect a fair assessment from them? Why not quote Michael Reagan? Too conservative I suppose so let’s let a liberal newspaper and the liberal son of Reagan make the call.

    Things are much worse today than they were in Ronald Reagan’s time so I expect a little more pessimism is in order. Just counting the $14 trillion debt and the unfunded public pensions is enough to make all of us somewhat like Eeyore.

    I don’t back Palin for office but once again I find attacks on her unwarranted and petty. Still looking for a little more common decency at OTB.

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  26. Janis Gore says:

    Many Americans may be. But I’m from Oak Cliff, south of the Trinity River, in Dallas, Texas, which now holds 400,000 people according to the most recent census.

    It’s a large urban neighborhood of blacks, gays, Mexicans legal and not, and white folk. I doubt that she could even represent the community, much less the city.

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  27. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Ron Reagan’s comments don’t decide the issue, of course, but they do bring home the rather sad fact that there really isn’t anyone in the top tier of GOP “leaders” that comes close to being another Ronald Reagan, which is why Palin and the rest of them are so desperate to wrap themselves in his legacy in the hope that nobody will notice.”

    Oh Wonderful; Ron Reagan is now a paragon of impartiality. LMAO. Another far left zealot given credibility on this blog. Of course, you woudn’t like Gov Palin – You’re a visceral Palin Hater to your fingertips on par with zealots like posters at DailyKOS & Democratic Underground. The left wing flamers posing as commenters who flock to your posts tell me all I need to know about how far on the fringe you have moved.

    Btw, Obama is sinking again in Daily Gallup down to the 45% again. Last week you were suggesting he was a shoo in for reelection with bogus, Dem packed CNN & PPP approval ratings in the Mid 55% range. Now that he has fallen back to Earth and people have forgotton that phony performance in Tucson, you are eerily quiet on his sinking approval ratings. Time for you to pump out some more “Obambi is Great” posts and give Gov Palin a break.

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  28. anjin-san says:

    > I don’t back Palin for office but once again I find attacks on her unwarranted

    She quit her job in Alaska. How exactly is pointing out a fact an “unwarranted attack”?

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  29. Smooth Jazz says:

    Michael Reagan? Too conservative I suppose so let’s let a liberal newspaper and the liberal son of Reagan make the call.”

    Of course, a Liberal blogger is going to agree with NY Times and Ron Reagan versus Michael Reagan. That’s what Liberals do; They all drink the Kool Aid and sing Kumbaya together. What gets me about this blogger is not he continually claims he is not a Liberal, yet all he does all day is bash Repubs and push leftist memes. It’s easy to see in his posts where he stands.

    Perhaps most revealing are the commenters that follow him around and cheer on everything he posts. People like anjin-san, wr, sam and a few others that follow Doug around post some of the most vile, left wing stuff around and would be at home at some of the most hateful leftist sites. You would NEVER see commenters like these hang around any middle of the road or right of center poster. The fact that they hang on this blogger every word and cheer him on as he posts hateful comments on Gov Palin and other conservatives tells me all I need to know.

    If it walks like a duck, it IS a duck. And if a blogger argues in favor of left wing themes 100% of the time, bashes Repubs everyday, and has hateful left wing commenters follow him around in support of what he says all the time, He IS a left winger no matter what he claims.

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  30. michael reynolds says:

    I was always wondered if there was anyone jaw-droppingly dumb enough to really buy Palin’s ludicrous explanation for quitting her job. I mean, I thought even among her fans — not exactly a brain trust — they had to know it was pure essence of bullcrap. I assumed they were just playing along because they wanted Palin to get out of the governorship and save the nation by doing reality TV.

    But, nope! There are actually people who believe what she said is true. Wow.

    Just, wow.

    Thanks, Jay Tea. Eye-opening.

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  31. Rock says:

    “Sarah Palin is a quitter,” the bitter Liberals whine. It’s not surprising that the Liberals get bitter. They cling to their arugula and union cards or antipathy toward conservatives who aren’t like them or they cling to their pro illegal immigrant sentiment or anti-gun sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

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  32. anjin-san says:

    Rock,

    I am an executive with a Fortune 500 company. I have never belonged to a union. I own a number of guns, and I am a good shot. I do not approve of illegal immigration, I simply think it is impossible to stop, and my compassion for another human being does not end because they were desperate enough to leave their home and break the law by coming here. I do like arugula, and am in fact a vegetarian.

    Hate to pop your bubble, but I am not bitter at all, I have a wonderful life :) If it makes you feel better to spout nonsense, have at it, though you might want to find more useful ways to pass the time.

    Palin is still a quitter. One more reason she is not qualified to be President. There are many more.

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  33. Gustopher says:

    Pretty cheeky of her mentioning debt and Reagan at the same time.

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  34. anjin-san says:

    Poor Jay. A man standing on a chair screaming “I do not have a single original though in my head”, yet wondering why he is not taken seriously…

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  35. Jay Tea says:

    You’re welcome, michael. It’s a very advanced, very challenging technique called “listening.” I heard what Palin said in her resignation statement, verified that what she said was true, and took it from there.

    Fact: 18 ethics charges against her.
    Fact: 16 dismissed as unfounded.
    Fact: 1 settled by payment with no admission of guilt.
    Fact: 1 outstanding challenged her right to a legal defense fund.
    Fact: over $500,000 in legal bills for 16 “not guiltys” and one “no contest” where the cost of the penalty was less than the legal bills would have been.
    Fact: Ethics charges against her top aides that started them piling up legal bills.
    Fact: There was not only no end in sight to the bullshit ethics charges (from YOUR ideological compatriots, michael), but they were increasing.
    Fact: Despite her perfect streak, a finding that she couldn’t use a legal defense fund would guarantee that your ideological compatriots would keep going and bankrupt Palin’s family, her top aides, and continue to cost the state millions for an absolutely bullshit political vendetta.
    Fact: Introducing a correction to the ethics law being exploited would have been blocked by the Democrats in the legislature AND prompted a flurry of new bullshit ethics complaints that Palin was trying to change the law for her personal benefit.
    Fact: the ONLY way to stop the assholes was to resign. As a private citizen, she’s immune from the flawed ethics law.

    And here I thought the liberals were into nuance and details, while the conservatives were the simple-minded absolutists who see things only in black and white, and can’t grasp complexities… thanks for disproving that stereotype, michael.

    Well, you had help from anjin, but it was a good effort anyway.

    J.

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  36. bains says:

    Just curious Doug, did you actually listen/view to the speech?

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  37. Jay Tea says:

    anjin, I save my original stuff for my own blog… this is pretty much entertainment. Laughing at you is very soothing.

    J.

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  38. Janis Gore says:

    I flipped through it. It didn’t help that a Palin-wanna-be spent seven minutes introducing her.

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  39. Pug says:

    Anjin-san, haven’t you heard that Democrats and liberals don’t work? It’s one of them right-wing witicisms that I hear all the time. The “libs” are all just looking for a hand out.

    I happen to know, though, that even down here in Texas the upscale folks eat arugula, and they like it. They’re mostly a pretty nutty brand of Republican, too.

    It must drive Republicans nuts that Reagan’s son is a liberal. His daughter Patty is as well.

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  40. anjin-san says:

    Gosh Jay you have a blog. What a rare achievement. Well, Palin needs shills, I suppose. But if you are going to call what you do here “entertainment” do try to entertain. So far all you have contributed is the prattle of the dead…

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  41. Jay Tea says:

    anjin, I think I’ve written half a dozen or so pieces about Palin. She just doesn’t fascinate me enough.

    Others’ obsessions of her, and the self-delusions they construct about her to rationalize their obsessions, though… far more interesting.

    And you and michael… damn, you two are magnificent in it. Doug’s even better, he’s an enabler.

    J.

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  42. anjin-san says:

    > She just doesn’t fascinate me enough.

    Yet you contribute frothing defenses of her here pretty much on a daily basis. Nice try skippy.

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  43. steve says:

    Why havent other governors been driven out by BS ethics charges? Sounds like a really easy thing to do if we take these stories at face value.

    Steve

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  44. ponce says:

    “But, nope! There are actually people who believe what she said is true. Wow. ”

    I think you misunderstand America’s fringe right, Michael.

    It’s not that they “believe” Palin’s laughable excuses for abandoning her post.

    It’s that they’ll take any silly story and use it to lie to themselves rather than face the truth.

    It’s the same thing with any fact that calls into question they’re dogma.

    For instance take this inconvenient fact: Communist China’s economy has outperformed Capitalist America’s economy for the past 30 years.

    Silly story they’ll use to lie to themselves: China is now a Capitalist economy!

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  45. Jay Tea says:

    Why havent other governors been driven out by BS ethics charges? Sounds like a really easy thing to do if we take these stories at face value.

    Confluence of events, Steve. Pathological hatred of Palin coupled with Alaska’s so-easily exploited ethics laws.

    J.

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  46. Alex Knapp says:

    @Jay –

    Alaska’s so-easily exploited ethics laws.

    Would those be the same laws you’ve previously lauded Palin for enforcing when it meant clearing away political opposition for her to take the governor’s seat?

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  47. [...] (Or Does She?) Posted by JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief in At TMV, Politics.Feb 5th, 2011 Our political Quote of the Day comes from Doug Mataconis who looks at Sarah Palin’s comments about Ronald Reagan and concludes that yes, she remembers [...]

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  48. anjin-san says:

    > Would those be the same laws you’ve previously lauded Palin for enforcing when it meant clearing away political opposition for her to take the governor’s seat?

    Game, set, match. All in one post.

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  49. G.A.Phillips says:

    Yeah yeah, Reagen was all sparkly fairy wands and sweet smelling unicorn farts…….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do0x-Egc6oA&feature=related

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  50. JKB says:

    Well, Reagan to had to tell the harsh truth about a failing Democrat administration. Right now, the hard part is getting people to pull their heads out of their…no, let’s say the sand and face reality. Then if she announces, she’ll need to offer an optimistic future for America. Or some other Republican candidate will. Now the magic bean moment will be if Obama can sell the young and the dumb a optimistic future under him.

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  51. anjin-san says:

    > optimistic future for America

    Sure. Like the frigging train wreck the GOP gave us last time around…

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  52. michael reynolds says:

    Jay T:

    So, summarizing: Palin had to quit because people were mean to her.

    Therefore she should be the President of the United States, the lone superpower.

    I have to admit: it makes perfect sense.

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  53. anjin-san says:

    > Pretty cheeky of her mentioning debt and Reagan at the same time.

    Yea, I actually liked Reagan, but he was pretty much the Godfather of Debt.

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  54. JKB says:

    “… the Godfather of Debt.”

    Speaking of “investment” as in going into debt for investing in the future, I’d say bankrupting a mortal enemy and existential threat so as to transform the world and free millions from the communist boot was a pretty good investment. It has, as they say in capitalist circles, paid dividends beyond the wildest dreams.

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  55. anjin-san says:

    JKB… I give Reagan full points for realizing that the Soviet Union was rotten and ripe for a fall. But to say the Reagan deficit spending was simply a case of him spending for that single purpose is a massive over-simplification of what actually happened, and is just not correct.

    It’s also easy to argue that Obama’s deficit spending was a successful investment in keeping us out of a real and true depression, which is where Bush left things. As someone who had the best financial year of his life last year, I am kinda happy we are not in a depression. As difficult as things are for millions of folks, they could still be a hell of a lot worse. Can you imagine the consequences of a depression? Cash heavy China could buy our country out from under us. It is worth noting that Saudi Arabia and other OPEC states bought about 10% of our financial system on the cheap not so long ago, providing the liquidity needed to stabalize our banking system.

    I do give Bush credit for decent crisis management in Sept of ’08, even as I damn him for leading us to the brink of disaster.

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  56. Jay Tea says:

    Nope, Alex. She wasn’t the governor when she broke the Resources Board scandal. The ethics law that sunk her governorship was one she backed. Its flaw was that no one fully gamed it out beforehand, and no one asked “what would happen if a group of assholes with a personal vendetta against an elected official filed bullshit complaint after bullshit complaint against that official? What protections are there in the law for that official?”

    A few examples of how it could have been fixed:

    1) The law says that complaints are confidential, but there’s no penalty if the complainant makes them public. Suggested fix: if the complainant holds a press conference to announce the complaint, it’s immediately dismissed with prejudice.

    2) The state will not compensate an accused official for their legal expenses related to the accusation. Suggested fix: if the complaint is found completely without merit, the state will pick up the accused’s legal tab.

    3) There is no penalty for filing a completely specious complaint. Suggested fix: nothing really fair comes to mind, apart from publicizing the bullshit artist’s name and declaring them a state-certified official asshole.

    The flaw in the law was that no one actually considered the worst-case scenario, and didn’t imagine just how many people would completely lose their shit and do anything they could in the name of… what’s that phrase from the 1990s… oh, yeah, “the politics of personal destruction.” It was an error of naivete; the law was written by reasonable people for reasonable people. It presumed a level of sanity and decency that didn’t take into account just how batshit twisted a good chunk of the left would go.

    For example: if you take Palin out of the equation, most anyone would look at the law and its consequences, and say “whoa, that’s frakked up” and agree that it needs to be fixed. And they’d agree that the assholes who exploited it ought to be… I dunno, what’s an appropriately Alaskan metaphor… stuck on an ice floe and shoved out into the Arctic Sea.

    But since it’s Palin, bitch deserves what she got and was a whiny c*nt for not sucking it up and bankrupting her family and her staff to keep a job she couldn’t even do effectively because she was spending more and more of her time defending herself against bullshit charges, and her staff was becoming useless because they were paranoid about being bankrupted themselves, and the state was spending millions addressing these bullshit charges.

    There’s a part of me that hopes that Alaska gets a Democrat governor real soon, so some Alaskans who’ve taken careful note of how Palin was driven out can start playing the very same game and drive him or her out of office in the same way. There’s a part of me that is tempted to move to Alaska myself, just to do that.

    That’s a part of me I don’t like very much.

    J.

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  57. RickPatel says:

    Always slender, smart, & stylish, Gov. Sarah Palin is always right on the issues, right for America. She is the logical & legitimate political heiress fo Eisenhower, Goldwater, & Reagan.

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  58. john personna says:

    My friends of friends in Alaska say it was a nervious breakdown that made Sarah quit. You can discount that kind of local reputation, but don’t expect everyone to. It’s kind of basic, which is better, a pol that quits or one that doesn’t?

    It’s not like you can argue Sarah’s quitting was in the national interest .. or even the best interest of the Tea Party. It increased the flake factor you have to apologize for.

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  59. john personna says:

    SP is an example of post baby boom self-entitlement. Why should someone of that generation think that serving with distinction is even required before moving on and up?

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  60. Jay Tea says:

    john, your friends tell you what you want to hear? How astonishing.

    And I like how you’re clinging to your moronically simple thesis: “she quit, so she’s bad.” You can’t trouble your mind with the facts surrounding that decision, so you wave your hand and they don’t count. You’re ignorant and you’re not only proud of that, but you’ll fight like hell to preserve that ignorance.

    Continue to embrace your inner idiot, john.

    J.

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  61. steve says:

    @Jay Tea- How is that much different than what was done to the Clintons who racked up huge legal bills? It strikes me that this is a very old tactic. Alaska’s laws must truly be unique. Do you have any links to legal blogs, preferably Volokh, analyzing it?

    Steve

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  62. george says:

    Hm, lets see. Reagan came under attack because of Contra-gate. Didn’t quit. Clinton came under attack because of Whitewater and Lewinsky. Didn’t quit. Bush came under attack because of the Iraq war. Didn’t quit.

    Presidents are going to come under attack. How would Palin react as President when that inevitably occurred? Be careful in choosing her vice-President, because that person would be President before her term was up?

    Seriously, how can quitting ever be seen as acceptable for a Presidential candidate? Even if its understandable in normal terms, for President you want someone tougher than normal.

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  63. sam says:

    @Doug

    which is why Palin and the rest of them are so desperate to wrap themselves in his legacy in the hope that nobody will notice.

    Can anyone, anyone, imagine Ronald Reagan ever saying something as goofy this?

    “Nobody yet has explained to the American public what they know,” Palin remarked, “and surely they know more than the rest of us know who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and I’m 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.” [Source]

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  64. john personna says:

    So, what the heck do you actually ask of your leaders Jay?

    Just that they are able to tweet-snark? Is that the requirement for post-boomer Presidency?

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  65. Rock says:

    I think that Client Number 9, Gov. Eliot Spitzer of NY set the standard for the Democrats – don’t get caught hanging out with high maintenance whores. Grin and skin it and get a gig on CNN.

    And Gov. James E. McGreevey of New Jersey surely set a new standard for the Democrats. He even threw his wife and family under his bus on the way out the door.

    They both should have never quit. Right?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/13/nyregion/13mcgreevey.html

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  66. narciso says:

    It is something in keeping with what Candidate Reagan what have said in 1978, as opposed to what Romney did, which was urge Mubarak out the door, no one paid attention to him. Her
    legal defense fund, was dissallowed, in a spurious interpretation of said ethics code, the fact that there were three ethics complaints by the same filers, after she announced she would resign, gave the game away.

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  67. john personna says:

    If the world were fair Spitzer and the like would be reduced to living out life in quiet reflection …. sort of like GWB!

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  68. george says:

    Rock, sometimes quitting is the right thing to do. But anything serious enough to quit over disqualifies you for President as well … or would you like Spitzer and/or McGreevey as a President?

    The issue isn’t quitting per se, its quitting and then going for a higher office.

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  69. Rock says:

    George, I think that Spitzer and McGreevey would make fine Democratic candidates for President and Veep in 2012. But I would not allow White House interns within a mile of Spitzer after the election.

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  70. Rock says:

    Where is it written that resigning as Governor or any other office is disqualification for higher office? Where? On the other hand, I believe that every politician should be required to resign their current office before running for another public office. Period.

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  71. narciso says:

    Spitzer I fault more for his vendetta against Ace Greenberg, that decapitated AIG, and left Willemstad in place, giving Cassano, a free hand, McGreevey was a disaster all around

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  72. Jay Tea says:

    @Jay Tea- How is that much different than what was done to the Clintons who racked up huge legal bills? It strikes me that this is a very old tactic. Alaska’s laws must truly be unique.

    Well, the Clintons had a legal defense fund that picked up their tab — which Palin was threatened with being denied (the gist of the final complaint, and the only one left unresolved when she resigned).

    Here are a couple of links I just dug up:

    http://www.adn.com/2009/07/21/872192/palin-legal-fund-may-violate-ethics.html

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Alaska+AG+proposes+sweeping+changes+to+ethics+law-a01611958285

    http://newsminer.com/view/full_story/10563878/article-New-ethics-rules-in-Alaska-to-take-effect-Dec–22?instance=home_news_window_left_bullets

    That last one, thank heavens, kind of puts a damper on my earlier notion to move to Alaska…

    J.

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  73. anjin-san says:

    Jay,

    Considering Palin does not really interest you, you are posting pretty obsessively about her.

    > But since it’s Palin, bitch deserves what she got and was a whiny c*nt

    Where has anyone in this tread (or any other on OTB) described Palin thus? Only you have bubba.

    > And I like how you’re clinging to your moronically simple thesis: “she quit, so she’s bad.”

    No, we are saying “she quit, so she’s a quitter”.

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  74. anjin-san says:

    Rock,

    Spitzer & McGreevey resigned under pressure when it became known they had affairs/consorted with hookers. They are pretty unpopular in Democratic circles. Palin was under no pressure to resign from her constituants and is worshipped on the right. Sorry, no equivalence, but it is easy to understand why you would wish to change the subject.

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  75. Jay Tea says:

    Making the point for me, anjin. It wasn’t a scandal or wrongdoing that drove Palin from office. She had done nothing wrong, but still was facing bankruptcy if she didn’t get out from under the (now changed) law. Thanks for the backup.

    J.

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  76. anjin-san says:

    Jay,

    Waiting for you to show were someone (other than you) in this referred toPalin a bitch or a whiny c*nt.

    As for Palin’s resignation, no, she was not hounded from office, you are quite correct. Her job was getting hard due to the economy. She has a long record of not liking to do things that are hard. Millions in TV work and speaking fees were waiting for her outside of office. So she quit. Pretty simple really.

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  77. John Malkovich says:

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/an-open-letter-to-my-colleague-doug-mataconis/

    Malcovich/Knapp in 2012 ??????

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  78. wr says:

    So Jay — Now you’re saying Palin back these ethics reforms, maybe even fought for them to be enacted. What, did she not take the five minutes to read through them and realize there was a problem? Or was it just that her adversaries were so much smarter than her that only they could have figured it out?

    Now some people would say that a politician who backs a set of laws without understanding them in the slightest really doesn’t deserve to be president. Not so much for you, I’d guess…

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  79. An Interested Party says:

    “George, I think that Spitzer and McGreevey would make fine Democratic candidates for President and Veep in 2012.”

    Umm, yeah…that’s like saying that Newt Gingrich and Mark Sanford would make fine Republican candidates for President and Veep in 2012, with your same restrictions applying to interns…

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  80. Rock says:

    Barack Hussein Obama, resigned from the Senate, did he not? I guess some resignations are more important than others. I think the country would be better off if he had stayed in the Senate. Hell, I’m sure of it.

    Yep, Interested Party, you are correct. Apparently most politicians are liberal from the waist down. Newt and Mark need to go hide or get a gig on CNN also.

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  81. anjin-san says:

    > Barack Hussein Obama, resigned from the Senate

    Sure. To become President of the United States.

    Not to become a reality TV star.

    Run along Rock. Go play with Sarah, Khloe, Snooki and the rest of that crew.

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  82. [...] As I said yesterday, one of the primary reasons for Reagan’s political success then was the fact he told Americans that this wasn’t the way it was supposed to be: The Ronald Reagan I remember was an optimist who spoke of America as being the “shining city [...]

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  83. john personna says:

    lolz. you don’t “resign to run” until you “resign and announce.”

    It goes together. You don’t separate the two by years!

    See also whatshisname, the Manchurian candidate. He waited until he was ready to launch.

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  84. An Interested Party says:

    Here’s a little clue for you, Rock…having a working libidio and a sex drive that causes one to do foolish and/or disloyal things is neither conservative nor liberal…thanks for playing, though…

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  85. [...] By the time the 1980 election rolled around, America was, in many ways a demoralized country. As I said yesterday, one of the primary reasons for Reagan’s political success then was the fact he told Americans that this wasn’t the way it was supposed to be: [...]

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  86. matt says:

    Rock : You do realize that you’re comparing Sarah’s scandals/situation to those that were caught red handed in their own scandals? You really think that helps your case?

    Basically you said “Look here two Democrats caught in scandals who quit because they were guilty!! just like Sarah”…

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