Sunday, April 11, 2010

I Don’t Think I Can Ever Vote for Sarah Palin (Again)

From Palin’s speech to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference on Friday:

Meanwhile, this administration alienates our friends. They treated Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai poorly and acted surprised when he reacted in kind. And they escalated a minor zoning decision into a major breach with Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East.

Folks, someone needs to remind the President: Jerusalem is not a settlement. Israel is our friend.

You’re right, Sarah. Jerusalem is not a settlement. Gilo, Har Homa, Maale Adumim, Ramot Allon, and Ramat Shlomo are settlements. And they are strangling the future Palestinian state, and with it, any hope for Middle East peace or the survival of the Jewish state, in the crib:


Sarah Palin to ABC’s Barbara Walters, 11/17/2009:

“I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don’t think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand.”

As anyone remotely familiar with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can tell you (and anyone who wants to be president should be remotely familiar with it), 1) there have been no major immigration waves to Israel since the fall of the Soviet Union, 2) if there was such a wave coming up, there’s plenty of room in Israel. The issue with the settlements is that they are built on occupied Palestinian land. And 3) the United States gives $3 billion a year to Israel. That – besides international law - is what gives us a right to ask them to stop building on occupied territory.

As for the rest, I cannot believe she is blaming Hamid Karzai’s psychotic-authoritarian break on Obama. I don’t know what she means when she says Obama treated Karzai “poorly,” but I can’t imagine it was bad enough to force Karzai to rig his country’s presidential election, refuse any international involvement in the next election, and threaten to join the Taliban.

And then there’s Sarah Palin on Obama’s decision to openly declare that the United States will never use nuclear weapons on a nonnuclear country that is abiding by the Non-Proliferation Treaty:

“You know, that’s kinda like getting out there on the playground, a bunch of kids ready to fight, and one of the kids saying, ‘Go ahead, punch me in the face and I’m not gonna retaliate.’”

Is this folksy, main street, plain-speaking analogy supposed to comfort me? As an average, non-elitist American, am I supposed to relate to this justification for maintaining a standing threat to annihilate millions of people?

(Besides, that’s exactly what my parents told me to do on the playground. What is she trying to teach our kids???)

Is it cliche for me to pick on Sarah Palin? Perhaps, but consider:
1) I found the transcript of her SRLC speech from the blog of the Weekly Standard, which speaks for the mainstream of the American right if any magazine does.
2) I’m a lifelong conservative. A year and a half ago, I voted for her to be a heartbeat away from the Oval Office. If she’s lost me, that’s pretty significant.

I take no pleasure in ripping on Palin, but she is the embodiment of the American left’s caricature of the American right, and the fact that so many American conservatives have embraced that caricature drives me nuts.

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