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Palin on Fox News Sunday: Says Name-Calling "Unnecessary, It's Inappropriate" -- But Just Seconds Before, Calls Liberals "Kooks"

Reported by Julie - February 7, 2010 -

Holy, moley, has this weekend been action-packed or what? First, we got the privilege of hearing $100,000 worth of talking points when Sarah Palin spoke at the Tea Party Convention in Nashville -- broadcast live on Fox, and re-broadcast on Fox, and today (2/7/10), I think re-re-re-broadcast on Fox. And also today, the event we've all been waiting for with nervous anticipation: Palin braved Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. (She probably would have been on sooner, but she washed her hands a few times and all her crib notes for the interview vanished. Took her some time to re-work writing "common sense solutions" on her palm seven times.) I imagine she thought it would be an interview like, say, Greta's interviews -- but Chris Wallace actually had some "gotcha" questions for her. The problem was that he accepted her pat answers and responses that were actual lies, and did no real follow-up. Some highlights: She mixed up Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, whom she supported, and Ron Paul. We can all see how that could happen. She gave Rush Limbaugh a pass on his "retard" comment because it was just "satire." She made up a new word: "Laxadaisical" -- just a typical Palinanity, the result of a lazy, uneducated diction. Oh, and husband and First Dude Todd didn't really send any e-mails to officials while she was Governor of Alaska, he just "forwarded them on." Grab a nice, hot cup of coffee, smoke 'em if you got 'em, and let's roll. With video.

Wallace's first question was about the Tea Party Movement, and he asked Palin what's wrong with the Republican Party that the TPM had to "go outside" the Republican Party. Palin answered in one of her more imaginative bits of mixed metaphors and nonsense: "The GOP has some very strong planks in the platform that build a platform that I believe is best to build a strong safe prosperous nation. When the GOP strays from the planks in the platform a peoples' movement like the Tea Party Movement is invited in to kind of hold these politicians accountable again and remind them of their Constitutional limits there on the federal level . . . ."

Wallace next addressed the "controversy" about Palin endorsing Rand Paul for the Senate primary in Kentucky, mentioning that even her top admirer, Bill Kristol, was upset with her about that. Wallace noted that Paul wants to close Gitmo, send detainees to Afghanistan, repeal the Patriot Act, and do away with any federal role in gay marriage or drug laws, basically leaving those things to the states.

Palin answered, "Nobody's ever gonna find a perfect candidate, there are things that I don't agree with, with Ron Paul . . . he wants a limited government . . . I'm proud to support him, again, never finding a perfect candidate . . . ." Well, if you're going to support him, might behoove you to remember that his name is RAND, not RON.

Wallace asked her what she thinks of Barack Obama's presidency so far.

Palin right away talked about the "misguided decisions that he is making" and that he is expecting people to "sit down and shut up and accept . . . ."

Wallace interrupted her, protesting, "Wait wait wait, where's he saying sit down and shut up?"

Palin backtracked a bit, saying, "In a general . . . just kind of his general persona . . . when he is up there at, I'll call it a lectern, when he's up there and he is telling us basically, I know best, my people here in the White House know best . . . ." Gosh, can you imagine? The President of the United States, elected by the citizens of the United States, actually having the audacity to think that he and his advisers know best? Can you believe the nerve of that man?

"Instead of lecturing," Palin lectured, "He needs to stop and he needs to listen."

Palin began to talk about President Obama's approach "on national security, this perceived 'laxadaisical' approach that he has . . . ," but was interrupted by Wallace.

"Let's talk about national security," Wallace challenged. "During the campaign, you said this: [Wallace played the infamous clip of Palin's comment that President Obama sees American as "imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists."]

Wallace noted that President Obama has escalated the war in Afghanistan, launched more drone attacks in his first year than Bush did in eight years, and asked Palin if she would now take back the comment about "palling around with terrorists."

"No, I don't," Palin arrogantly replied, "Because his association with Bill Ayers and with others . . . he never really has . . . addressed why in the world he would have a relationship with a type of person like that who had such disdain for America . . . ." In a follow-up failure, Wallace neglected to ask Palin about her own husband, Todd's, disdain for America by virtue of his membership, until 2002, in the Alaska Independence Party, a radical group that advocates for secession from the United States. (By the way, here's an excellent article by a Chicago writer, Michael Sweeney, on Bill Ayers, and his remote connection to President Obama.)

Wallace pressed Palin on the national security issue, asking, "Hasn't he done a good job in protecting the country?"

Palin, certain that, lectern or not, she knows best, said, "He kinda went there fully with the Commanders on the ground asking for more reinforcements . . . kinda went there . . . there are many things that he is doing today that cause an uneasiness in many, many Americans . . . who look at the way that he is treating the trials of these terrorists . . . kind of as . . . a crime spree . . . These are acts of war . . . we need to treat them a little bit differently than an American who is worthy, an American being worthy of our U.S. Constitutional rights . . . I don't think the terrorists are worthy of our rights . . . ." Wow, so she's basically saying that Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, Sirhan Sirhan, John Hinckley, Jr., and the like are "worthy" individuals? I'm not sure about you, but I'd feel less at risk if KSM escaped in my community than someone like Ted Bundy. And that is, in fact, the point of our Constitution: Some very unworthy individuals are entitled to due process and all attendant Constitutional rights.

I forgot from time to time that I was actually watching Fox, because Wallace continued to press Palin on some fairly difficult issues. He noted that, with respect to the economy, unemployment fell to 9.7%, and the growth rate of the economy was 5.7% in 4th quarter, and he asked her whether Obama deserved credit for those improvements.

Palin noted the "miniscule decrease" in the unemployment rate, but couldn't bring herself -- as one who knows best -- to give President Obama credit where credit is due, saying instead,"We have lost millions and millions and millions of jobs as we have incurred greater debt and deficit . . . millions of jobs have been lost because, I think, Chris, what's coming from the White House is just a fundamental difference from a lot of conservatives and our belief that government is not the answer . . . no, it is free enterprise, the innovation and work ethics of our small businesses . . . empowering them to be able to keep more of what they earn . . . and then be able to create jobs . . . free market/free enterprise based . . . ." I again remembered I was watching Fox as Wallace failed to follow up and ask her what she attributed the improved economy to, if not President Obama's agenda. Wallace also failed to point out that, according to recent statistics, President Obama is "creaming" former President Bush when it comes to jobs. As this chart demonstrates, the number of lost jobs steadily decreased during President Obama's first year -- reversing the upward trend of Bush.

Wallace also challenged Palin on her anti-choice position, and talked about her passage in "Going Rogue" where she talked about her pregnancy with Trig.

"It was the right choice for you -- why not allow all women to make their own choice?" Wallace asked.

Palin saw no irony in the fact that, if she had her way, her "choice" to bear Trig would not have been a choice at all, but a mandate.

"I believe," she said, "That these babies in our womb have the right to life and that's what I stand on . . . I can understand the sensitivity of the issue because I've been there . . . why that fleeting thought would enter a woman's mind . . . maybe think that a problem could just be swept away . . . ." Yes, in fact, that is one problem that can, if a woman so decides, be "swept away."

"But," Wallace pressed, "Can you understand where some women, some people would say, I applaud your choice, let me make my own choice?"

Palin got a little testy, and replied loudly, "And that's why I wrote about it . . . I want to empower women though . . . I want women to know that they are strong enough and they are smart enough to be able to do many things at once . . . giving that child life and then perhaps if they're in less ideal circumstances . . . giving that child life which it deserves and then perhaps looking at adoption . . . but not snuffing out the life of the child." In Palin's world, empowering women means denying them the right to choose whether they become mommies or not. And in Palin's world, women are "strong enough" and "smart enough" to bear an unwanted child, but apparently not "strong enough" or "smart enough" to choose not to.

Wallace next addressed Palin's resignation as Governor of Alaska with 17 months left, noting that she had called herself a "lame duck" in a state "being paralyzed" because of lawsuits.

"Didn't you let your enemies . . . drive you from office?" Wallace asked.

"Hell no . . . ," Palin smirked, "What we did was, we won . . . The state today, it's not spending millions of dollars to fight these frivolous lawsuits . . . little piddly, petty things . . . costing our state millions of dollars. . . we picked our battle . . . we're gonna get out there and we're gonna fight for Alaska's issues . . . on a different plane and we're not gonna let you guys win . . . ."

Well, about that whole winning thing -- and I want to help Wallace out, here, because although he asked some good questions, he got a little forgetful when it came to the follow-up -- in fact, the state was not spending millions of dollars to fight the lawsuits. In fact, the Alaska Personnel Board estimated the cost at less than $300,000. And Troopergate wasn't exactly a "piddly, petty" thing -- in fact, she was found to have violated ethics in that one. There's also the little issue of an ethics violation for billing travel expenses for her family -- and as part of the settlement, she was forced to pay the money back.

Finally, about that whole fighting for Alaska's issues "on a different plane" -- I must have missed the part of the "Going Rogue" book tour when she publicly fought for Alaska's issues. I haven't heard her doing a lot of fighting for Alaska's issues as a Fox contributor, either. Her $100,000 speech at the teabagger thing in Nashville didn't include a call to Alaska's issues. I'm pretty sure campaigning for lower 48 GOP candidates didn't seem to include too much about Alaska. Oh, but you know, I must have missed the fight for Alaska on her Twitter or Facebook sites (probably because I don't follow her on Twitter and we're not F/B "friends" -- and here I thought all this time that all she did on Twitter and Facebook was pick fights and criticize her criticizers).

Wallace argued, "They're gonna think they won 'cause you're no longer governor . . . ."

Palin made up some more stuff about "fighting for Alaska," saying, "Now we get to talk about energy independence . . . those things that are important to Alaskans . . . ."

Wallace veered toward Reagon politics, noting that President Reagan was a political inspiration for Palin, and a "formulative figure." He pointed out that during Reagan's entire second term as California governor he was a "lame duck" who was "sharply attacked" by anti-war radicals, but, Wallace asserted, "Ronald Reagan would never have quit."

It's always different when it's Palin, as she noted, "It's a big difference between just getting political potshots fired your way . . . got more of those this morning . . .millions of dollars, a paralyzed administration . . . adversaries were continuing to obstruct [those pesky people who believe a Governor should have ethics] . . . I love Alaska too much to put 'em through that . . . hand the reins over to the Lieutenant Governor . . . we can all get on with life."

Wallace next addressed the fact that NBC has hundreds of e-mails in which Todd exchanged views with state officials on a judicial appointee, appointments to various state boards, and a labor dispute: "Was what he was doing appropriate?" Wallace asked.

"Absolutely," Palin asserted (would she feel the same way if it were revealed that Michelle Obama were involved so deeply in the Obama Administration?), claiming that there are so few people "that someone like me" can trust.

"I'm gonna bounce things off Todd, nothing confidential . . . Todd never circulated anything that was confidential and hadn't already been circulated . . . he certainly had the right to express his opinion . . . ."

"But it's one thing to advise you," Wallace challenged, "He was also sending e-mails to state officials."

"He was forwarding on e-mails . . . ," Palin dissembled, then launched into a totally nonsensical explanation, saying, "Todd and I being in some cases thousands of miles apart . . . I'm telling Todd, hey Todd, print this out for me . . . for practical reasons it helped too. Todd helped as Alaska's First Dude . . . he helped with workforce development issues . . . people out there in the real world with Carharts and steel-toed boots and hard hats . . . trying to build this country . . . ." Again, Wallace failed to ask Palin how Todd's names got on e-mails around issues he was addressing with state officials if all she was doing was using Todd as her personal secretary. He also failed to rein her in when she took a challenge on one more ethical issue and turned it into a back-patting session on God and country. Most importantly, he failed to hold her feet to the fire in the bald-faced lie on the confidentiality of the e-mails. As newser.com reported, "He [Todd Palin] also received background checks on a corporate CEO, and passed financial information marked 'confidential' from the oil company that employed him to a state attorney."

Wallace next spoke words that no doubt struck fear in Palin's heart, telling her they were going to do a "lightening round," which means quick questions and quick answers. In response to a question about whether AG Holder should step down, she said, "sure," mainly because he is allowing terrorists to use our Constitutional protections "when they do not deserve them," and took it one step further to include Rahm Emanuel, who she said has some "indecent and insensitive ways of being." Palin said DADT should not be repealed right now, and considers the President's attention to it a waste of time.

About Rahm Emanuel's use of the word "retarded," Palin asserted, ". . . I am not politically correct, I am not one to be a word police . . . ." Whew, that's a relief -- I personally don't want a word police who uses made-up words like "laxadaisical" and can't string a sentence together without consulting her palm.

Wallace pointed out that Rush Limbaugh "weighed in this week and he said this: 'Our politically correct society is acting like some giant insult's taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, retards'."

"He was satirical in that!" Palin defended him.

When asked if Rush Limbaugh should apologize, as she called on Emanuel to do, Palin argued, "Rush Limbaugh was using satire," but backtracked a bit by saying, "Name calling by anyone is just unnecessary . . . speak to the issues and again let's move on." If that's true, then she should be accepting Emanuel's public apology and should not be calling for him to step down.

Wallace noted that people have said that, when it's a political adversary, such as Rahm Emanuel, she calls him out, but when it's a political friend, such as Limbaugh, it's satire. Palin again said there was a "big difference" -- without really explaining what that difference is -- but again backtracked by saying that name-calling by anyone is "unnecessary, it's inappropriate." Hmmm . . . run the clip back -- yes, indeedy, she did just call liberals "kooks." Are we getting the drift yet?

Wallace got a little condescending, saying, "You are a Fox News analyst . . . take off the political player hat and put your analyst hat on and really try and do your best job . . . ." This seemed to offend Palin just a bit -- maybe the notion that she had to be told to do a good job?

She said she had "no idea" who the GOP front runner is for 2012. She mentioned Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, but when Wallace mentioned Romney and Huckabee, Palin fell back on her old "any of them, all of them" response, saying, "I could name a whole lot of 'em but we don't have a whole lot of time . . . I'm very impressed with many of the characters . . . can't wait to see who rises to the circus . . . ." Yes, she said "circus."

Palin derided the poll that showed her leading the 2012 race by 5 points over Romney, saying poll numbers are "fickle." She said she would run for President ". . . If I believed that was the right thing to do for our country and for the Palin family, certainly, I would do so . . . it's gonna be . . . a lot of time to be able to make such a decision . . . ."

Palin commented that she is "looking at other potential candidates . . . in a position of having kind of this luxury of having more information at their fingertips right now . . . current events that we're talking about today . . . ."

"You're basically saying you will consider it," Wallace stated.

"I think it would be absurd to not consider what it is that I can potentially do to help our country . . . ," Palin answered. "I won't close a door that perhaps could be opened for me in the future . . . we don't know what the future holds."

Contradicting herself from moments before, when she said other candidates had the "luxury" of more information at their fingertips than she did, Palin admitted that she gets daily e-mail briefings from advisers in DC on domestic and foreign policy issues.

". . . Good people contributing . . . advisers, yes, firing away e-mails to me every morning . . . you need to be aware of this . . . I'm just appreciative of having some good information at my fingertips right now." It's probably her Facebook, Twitter and blogger watchers, who advise her daily of all the negative press she's getting so she knows what sort of blasts to send out on any given day. If it's policy advisers designed to make her more knowledgeable . . . well, she might want to consider a new group of advisers.

Winding it up, Wallace asked Palin how hard it would be to defeat President Obama in 2012.

Palin considered, saying, "Say he played . . . the war card . . . decided to declare war on Iran or . . . support Israel . . . that changes the dynamics . . . if the election were today I do not think Obama would be re-elected . . .."

"You're not suggesting that he would cynically play the war card," Wallace quickly challenged.

Palin responded, "If he did, things would dramatically change . . . people would perhaps shift their thinking a little bit . . . there wouldn't be as much passion to make sure that he doesn't serve another four years . . . ." That passion . . . you mean the, like, 33% teabaggers? Face it, President Obama's job approval is still -- depending on what poll you look at -- between 48-50%. That doesn't exactly translate into a "passion" to get him out of office.

However, Palin asserted, if he continues on this path, "Then he's not gonna win . . . that's what a lot of Americans are telling him today and he's not listening . . . we have a representative form of government in our democracy . . . that's what the Tea Party Movement is about too . . . it is the people saying, please hear us . . . Congress, you have constitutional limits . . . free market principles . . . Mr. President, we want you to remember those . . . look back on successors in history like what Reagan did . . . and could you repeat those things because they are proven to succeed." Again, Wallace didn't point out to Palin -- clearly a scholar, still -- that our "representative form of government" is in the form of elections, and that our "representative form of government" put President Obama in the White House, by a landslide. He also failed to note that Reagan tripled the deficit.

Another "gotcha" question from Wallace, about whether it's true Palin is getting $100K for the speech.

A classic case of Palin dissembling: "I'm not getting it - they're writing a check, a $100K check . . . I'm turning right around and being able to contribute it back to the cause . . . ."

When Wallace asked if she will use her PAC and and contribute to candidates, Palin responded airily, "I don't know if it's gonna go to the PAC or some non-profit . . . Tea Party Movement, I'm giving the money back to the cause."

Palin summed up her role -- aside from her mommy role, which I haven't seen her playing a lot lately while jetting around on book tours and sashaying into Fox' studios -- is, "I'm gonna fight the elitists . . . the elitists have tried to make people like me . . . feel like we just don't get it . . . I want to speak up for the American people and say, no, we really do have some . . . common sense solutions . . . ."

I can't fault Chris Wallace for the questions he asked -- he had some zingers. But I'm going to assume for the record that the questions were given to Palin in advance, and she had a little time to study them. Clearly, Fox has a motivation for not making her look like the uninformed idiot that she is -- it just hired her as an "analyst." So, if we give Wallace the benefit of the doubt, we can say he asked some good questions but just got weak in follow-up. Or, we can look at Wallace as another Fox News mouthpiece, and assume he asked the questions -- worked out in advance -- so he could claim "fair and balanced," but chose not to do follow-up because that would expose Fox' newest analyst/contributor/rock star as the dishonest, arrogant, hypocritical pile of nonsense that she is. I've watched Fox for a while, and one segment of tough questions does not "fair and balanced" make -- especially when the lame answers are allowed to stand -- so I'm going with the latter. In either event, Fox has its work cut out for it trying to rehabilitate Sarah Palin's image from the Gibson-Couric mess to a coherent "analyst" worthy of clearly enunciating Fox News' misguided but often well-spoken bias.