Governor Sarah Palin’s first ever policy speech should have been a slam-dunk. The topic of the speech? Funding for programs that address the plight of children with special needs. A subject that – if for no other reason, as the mother of a child with special needs – should be well within the wheelhouse of subjects upon which she can speak in a rational and relatively informed manner.
Instead, it served as further proof that she does not possess the basic knowledge, common sense or well-rounded experience required to deliver a simple policy speech, let alone to hold the office of the Vice President or to take over the duties of the President should the need arise.
In that speech on October 24th, Sarah Palin once again showed an unparalleled and unapologetic ignorance of the subject matter, making the following misinformed statement regarding funding projects centered on fruit fly research:
“…You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not…”.
No, Governor Palin – we kid you not. Fruit flies and the aforementioned research are basic, fundamental building blocks of scientific research into human genetics. For decades now, fruit flies have served as a standard scientific model for studies into neural diseases, cancer, and…wait for it…birth defects and possible genetic factors associated with autism.
It would stand to reason that a woman claiming to be such a champion of causes related to children with special needs would have been aware of that. Governor Palin clearly was not. I am, admittedly, not a scientist. Nor am I a mother of a child with special needs. I was, however, aware in a most general sense that fruit flies have played an integral role in scientific research for decades.
Say it ain’t so, Joe…say it ain’t so. Oh, but it is so, Sarah…it is so. Though, I suppose someone who completely dismisses evolution in favor of blindly accepting the baseless, fact less notion of creation, despite indisputable evidence to the contrary, obviously has little use or respect for the fundamentals of science.
Am I suggesting that Sarah Palin truly knows nothing about publicized and documented scientific research as it relates to a cause for which she claims to be a staunch supporter? No, I’m not suggesting that. I’m stating unequivocally and without reservation that Sarah Palin absolutely proved – beyond a shadow of a doubt – that she knows nothing about publicized and documented scientific research as it relates to a subject she claims to be such a strong supporter of and champion for.
Just out of curiosity, does she have a scientific advisor? Did the McCain campaign and/or the GOP spend so much on her wardrobe and makeup over the past 8 weeks that it rendered them unable to afford one? No matter how well dressed, neatly coiffed and impeccably made-up Palin is, this latest gaffe is simply a testament to her near unbelievable ignorance of a subject the McCain campaign would like us to believe falls within her areas of expertise. She put that notion to rest with four simple words: “I kid you not.”
This is simply the most recent in a long line of uninformed and utterly ignorant comments that have led me to believe that Sarah Palin is unfit to occupy the office of the Vice President, and certainly not qualified to be a mere heartbeat away from the most powerful leadership position in the world.
From her staggering lack of information regarding the specifics of the Bush Doctrine – which essentially rewrote the book on US foreign policy, claiming that this nation had the right to engage in a preemptive war based on nothing more than a perceived threat – to her extreme, right-wing, evangelical beliefs and her ties to the Alaskan Independence Party, the notion that Sarah Palin possesses the knowledge or experience required of a Vice President is laughable.
Yet, this is no laughing matter. The reality is that Sarah Palin IS the Republican candidate for Vice President and her being elected to hold that office is not outside the realm of possibility. She is incredibly attractive and presumably qualified, at least first glance…she is a governor, after all. The easily manipulated, highly impressionable, Bible-beating masses flock to her like moths to a flame – thanks in large part to her seemingly disarming demeanor, status as a self-proclaimed “every woman” and “hockey mom”, and winks from behind her “Tina Fey glasses”.
I knew nothing of Sarah Palin before John McCain selected her as his running mate. As such, I had no opinion on his selection initially. Since then, my concerns about her true beliefs, intent and questionable associations with fundamental extremists and right-wing evangelicals have continued to mount.
My true opinion of Sarah Palin began to form as a result of the nonsensical statement, “…the Vice President is in charge of the Senate…”, which she continues to spout, despite its complete and total inaccuracy. At first, I gave her the benefit of the doubt…I chalked it up to a simple mistake – a “bad choice of words”, rather than a statement completely devoid of basic Constitutional understanding. Since then she has said it over and over again, as if her repetition of it will somehow make it true. That, in and of itself, should be enough to disqualify her.
In the real world, not being able to accurately describe the basic duties associated with a position would render you unfit to interview for it – let alone fill it. I am not running for Vice President…and yet, in comparison to Palin, I appear to be somewhat of a Rhodes Scholar, in that I have read and fully understand the duties of the Vice President as set forth by the Constitution.
At rally after rally, she proudly promotes the incendiary notion that Barack Obama “pals around with terrorists” and encourages further division of our nation by labeling their supporters “real Americans”, thereby insinuating that those not in support of the McCain/Palin ticket are somehow less than American. All the while simultaneously hiding her own continued affiliation with an organization whose primary goal is to secede from the United States. If secession from the nation doesn’t fall within the realm of “Un-American”, what does? She addressed the Alaskan Independence Party Convention as recently as this year.
This is no longer simply about Sarah Palin’s lack of experience with regard to foreign policy. My concerns about her fitness to hold office now go far past that. She is blatantly and unapologetically ignorant of the facts. She presses on, turning a blind eye to the clear and present danger that her message and her Vice Presidency would pose to the future of this nation.
She continues to either refuse to recognize or simply not care that the “pals around with terrorists…” and “real America…” claims not only aren’t working, but are a cancer to the very spirit and continued cultural evolution of this nation. Those divisive and fear mongering statements serve only to incite violence by pandering to the worst and most barbaric souls among us.
NOTE TO SARAH: Your actions throughout this campaign, Governor Palin, are simply reprehensible. Not only are they morally objectionable, they are no less criminal than yelling “FIRE!” in a crowded theater or “BOMB!” on a crowded plane. Yours are the acts of a desperate woman who would seek to divide a nation solely to realize her own selfish desire to win an election she never should have been a part of in the first place – and it appears you are willing to do so by virtually any means necessary.
From your disregard of the facts to your blatant and malicious misquotes of brilliant and upstanding women like Madeline Albright, your campaign will be forever remembered as one of the most fear mongering, dishonorable and despicable campaigns in United States history. You are an embarrassment to intelligent, reasonable and compassionate women everywhere. You should be ashamed of yourself, Governor Palin…just as I, and hoards of other women in this nation, are ashamed of you.
McCain has dementia and Sarah Palin is the proof of that. That is all I can say. It is a sad state of affairs. Until this election I was a Republican voter.
October 29th, 2008 at 5:39 pm
You’re not alone, Bud…you’re not alone. A lot of traditionally Republican voters feel just as you do.
I commend you for understanding that allegiance to the nation is more important blind allegiance to a political party.
I consider myself an intelligent person, but I did not know fruit flies were being using in scientific research for diseases. I do know flies can cause diseases. I do not have a college education, but do consider myself to be well read. I do research on my own for topics that interest me. In defense of Gov. Palin, perhaps she has not had the extensive time she needs to do the research about fruit flies. She just had her baby a few months ago, so this is all new to her. Are you saying every mother of a child with needs is stupid for not doing research?
Also in defense of Gov. Palin and her wardrobe, are you aware that years ago one Hillary Clinton needed help in dressing and makeup? She also had to be “taught” to dress for success.
This is all my opinion. I won’t argue the point, but I do feel you are not giving anyone a chance to defend themselves. P.S. I am blond..does that qualify me for being an ignorant person?
Rosies last blog post..Washing windows
October 29th, 2008 at 6:45 pm
I, too, am blonde. Hair color does not render a person ignorant. One’s actions and lack of understanding of the subject being discussed, however, does. I also do not have a college education, so if that was an attempt to label me an over-educated elitist, you may want to reconsider.
As for your supposed defense of Governor Palin, it only serves to illustrate my point that she is in no way, shape or form prepared to hold the office of the Vice President. If she can’t find the time to do a little research into children with special needs and the corresponding research that impacts them – when she is in fact the mother of one – how exactly can she be expected to find the time to fulfill her duties as Vice President?
The Vice Presidency is not a place to educate oneself. It is an office that should be held by the most brilliant, well-educated, highly informed and well-rounded individuals that this nation has to offer. It is not a place for an “every woman” or a “hockey mom”. Period.
Not only is it inexcusable to make such a dismissive statement regarding scientific research and the scientific community in general, it serves as a perfect example of her true level of naivety on that subject, as well as her lack of commitment to educating herself or spending even a few minutes doing research before attempting something so simple as to deliver a speech.
Had the notion of funding fruit fly research have struck Governor Palin as odd, she should have taken a moment to visit Google and type in “fruit fly research”. Within the first 5 results she’d have seen a publication from Science Daily entitled “Fruit Fly Research Set To Revolutionize Study Of Birth Defects”. Perhaps then she would have understood the basic fundamental contributions that fruit fly research have made to the field of genetics over the past few decades and promptly removed that condescending and totally inaccurate statement from her speech. She chose not to do that. She didn’t do it because she already believes herself to be informed. And nothing is more dangerous than one’s own delusion that he or she “knows what is important” regarding a given subject.
The fact that she couldn’t be bothered to take the 30 seconds to learn the facts before renouncing the research and stating without reservation that the projects “have little or nothing to do with the public good…”, is absolutely unbelievable and indefensible. I would hope that if you were the mother of a child with special needs, that researching the subject and the corresponding science would be “of interest” to you. In Sarah Palin’s case, it appears she had no such interest in reading up on the subject. To answer your question directly: yes, any mother with a special needs child who chooses not to research the subject IS, in fact, stupid for not doing so.
A Vice President most certainly is not expected to know everything, but they absolutely and without question must surround themselves with people who, on a collective basis, can advise and inform him or her according to the subject matter at hand. Failing to seek out that advice from those who are more knowledgeable than you are is indicative of a massive ego and lack of commitment to gaining a basic command of the subject matter.
I hesitate to even give your completely unrelated comment regarding Hillary Clinton credence by responding to it, but I simply must. The problem is NOT with the wardrobe or even the expense itself. The real issue here is the hypocrisy of claiming to be “every woman” and simultaneously parading around in thousand dollar jackets while your 7-year-old daughter totes around a Louis Vuitton handbag paid for by campaign dollars. I’m guessing those who contributed to the Republican party didn’t anticipate their money going to clothe the vice presidential candidate, her husband and her gaggle of children in tow.
The real issue is the hypocrisy of John McCain having previously damned campaigns spending money on “tuxedos” while standing idly by as the GOP spent over $150,000 on his running mate’s wardrobe. The issue is that with that $150,000 the McCain campaign, who supposedly understands and will fight the good fight for “the little guy” could have bought the house that “Joe the Plumber” lives in and still have $23,000 left over. The issue is the overwhelming hypocrisy and fraudulent claims that make up the McCain/Palin campaign.
For the record, “years ago” our economy was not on the verge of total and utter collapse. “Years ago” spending a little dough to dress up a candidate’s wife as part of a political campaign did not fly in the face of common sense and decency. Today people wonder if they’ve got enough money in their checking accounts to fill their gas tank. “Years ago” millions of Americans didn’t wake up every morning wondering if this was the day they watch whats left of their retirement accounts and life savings literally flushed down the toilet as a result of malicious and unethical business practices.
Today spending $150,000 is outrageous and an insult to the American people on many levels. Their attempts to pass Sarah Palin off as “the hockey mom next door” simply do not match up to the price of her wardrobe. Had they never tried to make such a nonsensical claim, the price of Palin’s wardrobe would not be an issue. If they didn’t claim to be a couple of “Maverick Reformers” whose character and integrity are above reproach, the money they’ve spent crafting the image of Caribou Barbie and selling it to the mindless and easily manipulated among us wouldn’t be an issue.
No, having blonde hair doesn’t make you ignorant, Rosie…but your defense of Sarah Palin most certainly does.
November 2nd, 2008 at 11:52 pm
I wondered if it was just we Brits who were shocked and horrified about this walking, talking embarrassment to the world, but thank goodness I can find excellent sites like this. It is a total pleasure to read your articulate writing.
Polly Bathes last blog post..Just Another Flood
October 29th, 2008 at 7:54 pm
How many times does Palin have to prove that she has no idea what she is talking about?
Name a Supreme court decision.
Who is Hamas?
What does the Vice President do?
Now criticizing funding of scientific research, without even understanding what she is criticizing.
I’m not saying that she’s a bad person. I just don’t think she is qualified for the job. It’s not only about ignorance. Ignorance can be overcome. Bad judgment, however, is a better indicator of what kind of leader someone will be.
In my opinion, mocking something that you don’t fully understand, shows bad judgment. Spewing everything that is fed to you by the RNC also shows bad judgment (or at the least, a lack of your own opinion and unwillingness to go against RNC).
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I live over in Australia and, from my perspective, it seems like a really important event is being overshadowed by the sheer stupidity of Palin. All we hear in the news over here is her latest and greatest blunder, when the focus should be on the importance of the election itself.
I really hope America votes right and avoids an epic fail.
And I didn’t know about the fruit flies either… but you’d think that there’d be some kind of research allowance available for her to do her homework right?
October 30th, 2008 at 12:04 pm
It’s good to get an international perspective. I think (hope) most people here feel the same way.
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Well it’s fairly clear when she’s questioned that she has a very loose handle on the issues. All the interviews I’ve seen over here show her reciting buzzwords or policy statements but not answering the question. When she does go “off-script” you get comments like the fruit-fly one above. Yes, I agree Aly, that is worrying for someone who is a heartbeat away from being president.
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I have a son with special needs, he has autism. I have a brother with Cerebreal Palsy. My father passed away from Muscular Dystrophy. Mother passed away from lung cancer. Brother passed away from HIV/AIDS.
I know about the importance of medicinal research and the DIRE need of government (local/state/federal) funding to address these and many more diseases probably more than most people in this world. Bottom line: I wouldn’t trust her to put in place any potentially helpful science based initiatives to further advancements beyond suggesting that we keep reading the Bible. Hell, I wouldn’t even trust this woman to sit on the toilet straight let alone perform in the best interests of anyone outside of her immediate circle.
The very idea that this woman even gives 2 flying figs about anything more than her own political advancement is laughable at best. She got picked to “energize the base” because frankly she was to be touted on her looks and sex appeal. Well that backfired nicely now didn’t it? As soon as she opened her mouth, David Duke might as well had fallen out…
People, never forget what this election is REALLY about. It’s not about Sarah. It’s not about the McCain. It’s not about Barack or Biden for that matter. It’s about fixing our country and healing wounds we have made around the world through war, financial market gaming and environmental destruction and who we think can at the least listen more than the monkey we’ve had in office for the last extremely long 8 years. NOW GO VOTE!!
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October 30th, 2008 at 5:49 pm
I couldn’t agree more. This is about restoring the world’s faith in America to stand up for what is right and rebuilding the trust we’ve lost over the past 8 years of a Bush/Cheney administration. Well said!
Damn well said! One of the things about Obama that I like is the fact that if he found out about the fruit flies, he would probably go look it up, educate himself and then base an opinion on thoughtful reasoning. Oh shit!…That’s what everyone does! Sorry I forgot!
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