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Archive for the ‘Sarah Palin’ Category

“Just think about that for a second”

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My last post focused on Sarah Palin’s completely preposterous claim that US President and African American man Barack Obama wants to return the US to an era of discrimination reminiscent of that which existed pre-Civil War.

Since then, I have been unable to shake that comment. If you too are struggling to conceive of just how AMAZING that idea is, I recommend Palin: The First Black President Wants to Revert to Pre-Civil War Society, by David A. Graham over at the Atlantic.

Graham does a quick but thorough job of explaining why Derreck Bell, and college Obama, are not actually scary black racists:

Bell wasn’t a violent revolutionary but an academic theorist and campaigner for equality; there’s no evidence that Obama was a zealous apostle of Bell’s critical legal theory; and Obama’s term in office, whatever other criticisms one may make of it, hasn’t been characterized by radical black nationalism…She suggests that by taking part in a protest of the near-total lack of senior faculty of color at Harvard Law School in the 1990s, both Obama and Bell wanted to restore apartheid in the United States. Keep in mind, they weren’t black nationalists calling for blacks to separate themselves, which might give some credence to her charge: they were advocating greater assimilation.

and looks at the problem of discussing racial inequality:

What Palin is expounding is a belief that has become common among conservatives. Almost all conservatives (like almost all liberals) agree that racial equality is the ideal toward which the United States ought to move. But many on the right have adopted the view that the only way to address racism is to pretend it does not exist. Thus, anyone who talks about race or acknowledges race or makes mention of the fraught American relationship with racism must by definition be a racist. Clearly, that makes Barack Obama and Derrick Bell racists. It also makes Juan Williams, a center-right commentator, a racist when he points out that Newt Gingrich is using “food stamps” as code for “black.”
Of course, if not talking about race were the solution, Harvard might have had a racially diverse faculty by 1991, rather than lacking a single tenured female professor of color. (And remember that Bell was the first tenured black professor, so he knew whereof he spoke.) And though Harvard Law has made gains in that area, there’s still a discrepancy — so the more quiet discussion of the topic in the last two decades doesn’t seem to have closed the gap.
Palin is right that the promise of America is that we “have equal opportunity to work hard and to succeed and to embrace the opportunities, the God-given opportunities, to develop resources and work extremely hard and as I say, to succeed.” But it is a masterpiece of doublespeak to say that standing up and asking society to deliver on that promise undermines it.

I don’t quote this at length to imply that Graham is right in everything he says–but I think his case is pretty strong that Palin is very, very wrong.


Written by Christopher ZF

March 12, 2012 at 13:55

Palin, Obama, and Pre-Civil War inequality

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Let me get this straight.

Sarah Palin thinks that Barack Obama is trying to bring the United States back to an era similar to that   which existed pre-Civil War? Um. Why would he want to do that? Ms. Palin, does that accusation not seem a bit, well, stupid?

He is bringing us back…to days before the Civil War, when unfortunately too many Americans mistakenly belived that not all men were created equal,” she said. “What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days when we were in different classes based on income, based on color of skin.”

For the record, Ms. Palin. I don’t know anything about this radical professor that Obama embraced as a Harvard Law Student. I’m personally not particularly concerned about the first black president of the Harvard Law Review giving a cordial endorsement and hug to the first black professor of law at Harvard. You however seem pretty confident about the proper behavior of a young black law student in 1991, so I’ll let you judge. It sounds like Dr. Bell was fairly controversial, so maybe I’m not giving this its proper concern. Or maybe a 20 year old hug is a 20 year old hug.

But when you say, pejoratively, that Obama agreed with “the radical agenda of a racist like Derrick Bell who believed that white men oppress blacks and minorities,” I’m curious what you mean. Do you think that the white men did not oppress blacks and minorities? Because, you know that the United States has a long history of white men in fact oppressing blacks and minorities…right? And that history is in no way erased from our nation.

Anyway. I feel confident that I can safely say that the first black President of the United States does not want to return America to an era of pre-Civil War racial discrimination.

Written by Christopher ZF

March 9, 2012 at 14:25

That wasn’t a great idea last time, but, I guess you never know

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There are many reasons to oppose the very idea of “President Gingrich.” But if you have been searching for another one, well, here you go:

Written by Christopher ZF

January 18, 2012 at 16:09

the legacy of Palin on the GOP

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I find it an interesting coincidence that on the day after the death of Steve Jobs, when the world is mourning the loss of a titan of innovation and business, the world is also writing another form of obituary: the death of the political career of Sarah Palin. So TRC will engage in this also.

Chris Christie is not running for president, as he repeatedly said he would not. His future remains in politics. Unlike another candidate who wasn’t a candidate and who was never going to be a candidate, but who decided to lay to bed any rumor that she would become a candidate. I am talking of course about Sarah Palin, the once-and-never face of the Republican Party.  Palin has made it official: She will not join the 2012 race for the Presidency.

Here’s David Frum on PalinPalin will never become a party elder stateswoman. Over the past three years, it became apparent to all but a handful of cultists that her only interests were money and celebrity. She had no concept of public service, and no capacity to serve even if she had wished to do so. 

And Ta-Nehisi CoatesI’m left to wonder how in the world people ever saw in Sarah Palin, who showed no willingness to work, the makings of a gifted politician.

What is the legacy of Sarah Palin for the GOP? Or what will it be when she finally accepts she will be a TV personality and not a politician?  I don’t know. But I do have some thoughts on the woman who never was a national politician, but got the media attention warranted by only the highest of offices.

Sarah Palin never spoke for the GOP at large. She was never going to win a national election. She did not drive a single policy or platform or issue for the national Republican Party. Sarah Palin is lazy, and does not want to do hard work to build a career or record that might show people she was serious about politics, policy, or even business or market issues. None of these are even criticisms of a life. These statements are true of 99 percent of the US population. The problem with Sarah Palin is that she made a lot of money letting people think these things were not true, when they always were.

But these are the less interesting details about Ms. Palin. It is worth thinking less about the end of the Palin as Party Statesman and Christie as a Nominee and more about the the Party after Palin and 2012 without Christie. The national Republican Party stands a turning point, as cliche as that is, and this nominating process might decide where the party’s heart will be for the next decade or so. At one end of the spectrum, in my opinion was Chris Christie, and at the other end was Sarah Palin. It seems there is a real choice between a Herman Cain or Rick Perry Presidency and a Mitt Romney or John Huntsman Presidency. The difference is not so much ideological as it is how these individuals would represent political difference to the nation; their politics aren’t terribly far apart, but how they would hold the office of the presidency might be. No one is moderate in national politics today, but some seem more likely to attempt to bridge a gap for the good of the country. Maybe.

Or maybe nobody wants to bridge gaps for the good of the country. Maybe Sarah Palin just made obvious what the rest of the political world keeps hidden. But I’m not yet pessimistic enough to believe that’s so.

Over at The Hill, there is another option for Palin’s GOP legacy. And it would be that she despises the Republican Party as much as the they despise her. So much in fact, that she could play spoiler with a 3rd party presidential run in 2012. To wit:

In short, Palin doesn’t claim loyalty to the GOP, and in fact loathes the party establishment. There’d be no greater blow she could strike to the GOP elite than to run as an independent and siphon off votes from the Republican nominee. Party bigwigs would either fawn over her, trying to coax her out of the race, or attack her mercilessly as they try to discredit her among conservative-minded voters. Either way, Palin would once again be the center of attention. 

It’s not nice to tease President Obama with such prospects.

Written by Christopher ZF

October 6, 2011 at 11:19