Friedman on Palin

Every now and then, Thomas Friedman gets it right. It's rare but it happens. After trashing Sarah Palin's assertion that it isn't patriotic to ask citizens to pay the taxes that need to be paid to fund two wars and a bailout (not to mention government in general), Friedman echoes what many of us have been saying for some time: Palin has no business holding the vice presidency, and John McCain's choice of Palin reflects his impetuous judgment.

How in the world can conservative commentators write with a straight face that this woman should be vice president of the United States? Do these people understand what serious trouble our country is in right now?

[more ...]

[P]utting the country in the position where a total novice like Sarah Palin could be asked to steer us through possibly the most serious economic crisis of our lives is flat out reckless. It is the opposite of conservative.

And please don’t tell me she will hire smart advisers. What happens when her two smartest advisers disagree?

And please also don’t tell me she is an “energy expert.” She is an energy expert exactly the same way the king of Saudi Arabia is an energy expert — by accident of residence. Palin happens to be governor of the Saudi Arabia of America — Alaska — and the only energy expertise she has is the same as the king of Saudi Arabia’s. It’s about how the windfall profits from the oil in their respective kingdoms should be divided between the oil companies and the people.

When even Thomas Friedman can see the truth, you know the truth is shining with a blinding light. What has become obvious to Friedman is now reflected in polls showing that the Palin bump has flattened. In a time of crisis, voters are looking for evidence of strong leadership. John McCain failed that test when he picked Palin.

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    Too bad (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:09:47 AM EST
    so many of the conservative pundits have a record of being not exactly feminists.  

    It just gives me another reason not to care what their privileged white male selves think.

    Too bad (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by nemo52 on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:43:56 PM EST
    So many of the "progressive" pundits have a record of not being exactly feminists!

    Yeesh. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:50:45 PM EST
    Don't remind me.

    Of course, I don't think any "progressive" pundit did a column on how more women should start families earlier.  (David Brooks, IIRC)  


    Fabian (none / 0) (#21)
    by cal1942 on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 04:34:42 AM EST
    you should really read the Friedman column.  Feminism has nothing to do with the subject.

    It deals with a remark that Palin made in the debate.  It was Palin's most loathsome remark, a remark that thoroughly disgusted me.


    Yeah, but some pundits (none / 0) (#24)
    by Fabian on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 06:35:47 AM EST
    have little standing with me.  Dowd, Friedman, Brooks.  

    I think they are just mad than McCain went for a wild card instead of the next Dick Cheney.  How dare McCain not consult them!

    I don't like Palin either but at least she's not my party's VP pick and I can snigger quietly instead of puffing up in outrage.


    I don't like Friedman (none / 0) (#25)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 01:20:30 AM EST
    but this particular column was actually very good and about a subject near and dear to me.  So good in fact that I actually saved it.

    A first.  Something I never thought could happen.

    It's been a strange year.


    He's right, but his first comment (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by No Blood for Hubris on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:35:23 PM EST
    is, of course, sexist.

    "How in the world can conservative commentators write with a straight face that this woman should be vice president of the United States?"

    It's not about "this woman," Tommy, it's about "this person."

    Oh well.

    At least he got the main idea.  That's a step forward.  I guess.

    London Times on Palin (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by wurman on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:37:17 PM EST
    At his very best Friedman is still less than impressive.  Here's a REAL Palin smack-down.

    From The Times October 7, 2008

    Shallow, fake... Sarah Palin is beyond parody
    The kid-glove treatment of the Republican vice-presidential candidate is an insult to women

    Tina Fey doesn't parody on "Saturday Night Live"; she quotes!!!

    exactly so. (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by cpinva on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:35:07 PM EST
    Friedman agreeing with you means
    you ought to reconsider your position (outside his one area of expertise, the IP problem).

    right now, the only thing keeping the anti-war movement from blowing up in bush's and the republican's faces, is the lack of a draft, which they've strenuously fought against. they know full well it would be the death knell of the republican party.

    those who style themselves fiscal conservatives, touting adam smith as their guru, and unrestricted, free-market capitalism as their dogma, tend to be neither conservative or true followers of smith.

    that would be the "progressives", who heeded smith's warnings regarding total laissez faire capitalism, completely untethered from any form of government regulation or control.

    smith recognized the danger inherent in allowing this; that the market was not absolutely self-correcting, and that greed would overcome any concerns regarding the approbation of their peers. hence, it was sometimes necessary for government to step in, and, by regulatory authority, temper the excesses resulting from the natural self-interest of men.

    being an inconvenient truth, "conservatives" tend to ignore that part of smith's thesis.

    Which is why (none / 0) (#17)
    by jondee on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:41:15 PM EST
    P.J O'Rourkes book purportedly about Adam Smiths ideas, reads like a 150 pg transcription of a speech Reagan gave to the Rotary Club.

    What Adam Smith would've said if he'd been fronted by the Scaife Foundation.


    Conservatives (none / 0) (#22)
    by cal1942 on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 04:39:01 AM EST
    also ignore Smith's view that the rich should pay heavy taxes.

    Supposed Conservatives.... (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:59:52 AM EST
    abandoned the one of the few things I strongly supported in their worldview...that you keep governemt as small as possible and pay as you go. If you go to war or play occupier, you raise money to pay for it, by tax increases or other spending cuts if necessary.

    If we were actually forced to pay for our wars and occupations, instead of borrowing in our names and being given standing orders to go shopping with the Visa as a form of patriotism (lol)...it would be even less popular than it already is, if you can imagine that.

    I don't (none / 0) (#5)
    by WS on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:37:53 AM EST
    think small government and fiscal responsibility are one and the same.  

    Lets kick Republicans to the curb!  They are failures.  


    They are not... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:03:21 PM EST
    I just happen to believe in both, conservatives (as the label is used today) do not.

    Liberals should take up the torch...lots of people who believe in both small government and fiscal responsibility, who are quite liberal on social issues, are left with no one to vote for without feeling dirty.


    Agree with you on (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by WS on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:07:35 PM EST
    the fiscal responsibility part but I like a strong government with economic matters and make a difference in people's lives.

    And liberals like fiscal responsibility.  Don't let anyone tell you any different.  


    Well (none / 0) (#15)
    by CST on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:31:35 PM EST
    The "tax" part of the "tax and spend" liberal is about fiscal responsibility.

    As for small government, I believe government should be small with regards to social issues (as in it is none of their business what I do with my personal life), but I do believe in big government with regards to financial issues.  Mainly because we see time and again what happens when people have too much freedom to do whatever they want with their money.  Like back in the day when employees weren't allowed to unionize and monopolies abounded.  I don't think that's good for the economy or the country.

    And I do think we need a safety net for those at the bottom.  Like health care and food stamps and the like.  I also think they need a ladder to climb out of the bottom - like education funding.  Those things are worth it for me to pay more taxes.  Not so much for dropping bombs though, or for that matter the dea.


    Unfortunately... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:56:38 PM EST
    they don't tax enough to cover the spend...and boy can they spend!

    I just feel like the regulations we have don't work as intended...instead of protecting the individual worker and small business, they do the opposite, rig the game in favor of monolith corporations.  Try suing a corporation that has caused you harm, but is within government regulations...you will lose, regardless if you were truly harmed or not, thanks to the regulations.

    I'm curious as to whether a true free market would work, but we've never had one to know.  Granted, people would have to take a lot more responsibility for their own existence and be willing to fight tooth and nail for their rights, but what's wrong with that?  Has it ever really been any other way?

    I'm all for a safety net and providing for the sick, the old, the disabled...but maybe that can better be accomplished at a local level or state level.  Bigger is not better..more waste, more cracks to slip through, more corruption.  Look at the "too big to fail" crowd...that bigger wasn't better.


    I have a short political memory (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by CST on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 04:25:25 PM EST
    But Bill Cliniton managed to cover the spend.

    Also, the closest thing we've had to a true free market was the late 1800's when the industrial revolution was full blown and there were relatively few regulatory laws.  And that was a disaster for workers and small businesses.

    I guess my counter example to suing a corporation who is within government regulations would be try suing a company who isn't regulated AT ALL.  They can basically get away with whatever they want.  In fact, during the time period I refer to, workers tried to fight tooth and nail but the government often intervened on behalf of the companies, sending in the national guard, killing workers, and preventing unions.

    I think you are right about state level vs. federal level.  But often federal funds are used by the state to help implement those programs.  I think the programs should be run by the state, with help from federal funding.


    kdog (none / 0) (#26)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 01:26:57 AM EST
    small government benefits only the very rich and quick buck scam artists.

    Transparent big government is the only path to economic and social justice and shared prosperity.


    I want to know how (none / 0) (#23)
    by cal1942 on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 04:47:34 AM EST
    why some people believe that small government in a large, complex, modern nation is a good thing.  The whole notion of small government is ludicrous.  Small government benefits one class of people, the very rich and does so at the considerable expense of everyone else.

    Inasmuch as deficit spending is concerned, it depends on what the money is spent on.  If the money goes to needful, lasting projects then a deficit is not harmful. A huge deficit from tax cuts for the rich and squandered on damaging foreign adventures or worthless weapons (not consumed) systems is harmful.


    Friedman (none / 0) (#3)
    by koshembos on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:15:21 AM EST
    After a long hiatus I started to read Friedman again just a month ago. Actually, he is more decent and his columns are as bad than most of his awful media colleagues. He had two decent columns last month and this one is good.

    There is hope.

    When he's not being a shill (none / 0) (#4)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:18:56 AM EST
    Friedman can be readable.

    But when he's being a shill...omg.


    'decent' is a word (none / 0) (#9)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:45:14 PM EST
    Thomas Friedman uses with respect to his best expectations for Iraq.  At first, he wrote of swift victory and winning, and then, he went to hoping for just a 'decent outcome'.  His expectation for a decent outcome re-surfaces from time to time, although he has never defined what he means by the term---this comes in handy in that he can shoehorn his meaning of decent into whatever eventually happens and write a best seller about his wisdom that the earth is flat, after all.

    Friedman agreeing with you means (none / 0) (#11)
    by rilkefan on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:01:47 PM EST
    you ought to reconsider your position (outside his one area of expertise, the IP problem).

    At least since 1980 (none / 0) (#14)
    by jondee on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 03:18:55 PM EST
    the thugs havnt lost one minute of sleep worrying about their candidates being essentially hollow, cliche-spouting, go-along-to-get-along company men and women. As long as symbol-manipulating, fearmongering demogogues continue to dominate the airwaves and man the pulpits, a sizeable % of populace (large enough to be a "base"), will always be primed and ripe for the picking and ready to spring into action like The Manchurian Candidate at the mention of reality-gloss phrases like "Good vs Evil", "Victory vs Surrender", "hockey mom and Joe Sixpack", "They HATE our FREEDOMS" etc

    And, if the approach dosnt immediatly take with everyone, we're also told these days that too much thinking, analysis and informed decision making is for "elites" ie: let-em-eat-cake liberals who dont understand "real Americans".

    The thugs knew exactly what they were doing when they picked Palin -- and Dubya and the Gipper -- and they dont particularly give a sh*t how much you disapprove of their chosen celebrity spokespersons.

    Sarah Palin on the Stump (none / 0) (#20)
    by Inspector Watchdog on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:59:51 PM EST
    In my opinion,Sarah Palin and John McCain are bigots. For Sarah Palin to insight comments of "kill him" and "terrorist", then smile and continue talking, speaks volumes of the Republican Party, which I now view as "Whites Only"; and I have been a Republican for 44 years. We are on the verge of class war in this country, because John McCain is mad that he is losing the election. Sarah Palin is a White Elitist, and for that her level of acceptance is waning.  If you do not like Barack Obama, don't vote for him.  But to insight rhetoric that suggests "killing your opponent because you can not defeat him any other way" is sending the wrong invitation to public debate. This has to stop - right here and now. I will not vote for any Republican Candidates, whether local, state, or national - from this day forward. We are facing difficult times and frankly there is not room for hatred. The Republican Party - is the Party of Hate.