We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“To anyone who pays more attention to Ben Bernanke than Ben Affleck, walking away from a prime gig like Palin’s was virtually incomprehensible, signalling either imminent scandal or incipient dementia. To the rest of America, Palin’s move made perfect sense, firmly cementing her status as perhaps the one politician who truly feels our ennui. First she cheerfully admitted that she had no idea what the vice president actually does all day (just like me!) Then she stared blankly when asked to reveal her thoughts on the Bush Doctrine (the what?) Then, after earning even higher Nielsen ratings in her first big prime-time showcase than the American Idol finale, only to return to Alaska and the dull reality of mulling over potential appointees to the Board of Barbers and Hair Dressers, she bailed. Sorry, politics, she’s just not that into you.”

Greg Beato.

He’s talking about how the media/political establishment was befuddled by Sarah Palin’s resignation from the Alaska governorship a few months ago.

34 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • bgates

    That’s a remarkably stupid quote. Palin wasn’t “cheerfully ignorant” in the manner of a John Edwards or a Greg Beato. She was offered a very open-ended job, which could in the past year be described correctly as either “the stuff Dick Cheney does” or “the stuff Joe Biden does”, and she wanted to know what she would be asked/expected/permitted to do.

    Charles Krauthammer, the first guy to publicize the phrase “Bush Doctrine” – and not a Palin fan – said “There is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine. In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration — and the one Charlie Gibson cited is not the one in common usage today. It is utterly different. ” When Palin was asked about it, she didn’t stare blankly like Greg Beato trying to remember which set of squiggles on a door denotes “Men’s Room”, she asked, “in what sense, Charlie?” The same answer I’d expect you would give if Charlie Gibson asked if you were a liberal. And then Charlie Gibson and Greg Beato and anyone else who didn’t know or didn’t care that prominent “liberals” like John Howard and Barack Obama have very different ideologies could laugh at your ignorance.

  • Verity

    Thanks, Jonathan.

    A writer in The National Review, with whose name I am not familiar and so have carelessly forgotten, although doubtless googling Palin and National Review would bring it up, has a credible theory about this.

    In a nutshell (his piece was infinitely better argued), by resigning, she freed herself from the Alaskan legislature to play a bigger, ongoing role in national politics. Republican voters love her and she can attend rallies and fund-raisers and draw the crowds for Republican candidates all over the country, whether it’s for Congress or governorships. In other words, she can spend the next three years gathering markers. All of which she can call in when she begins her campaign for 2012.

    This gal is political to her fingertips, and she’s an operator.

    By the way, when I first began reading Jonathan’s piece, I thought he was referring to Michael Palin and was absolutely baffled. It was only when I got down to “her status” that I realised that the subject was Sarah Palin.

  • bgates

    Besides which, she didn’t just “bail”, she was hounded from office. It turns out regulations set up to ensure good governance could be perverted by miscreants. Apparently this is news to a poster on Samizdata. Palin was the subject of numerous groundless ethics complaints, on the level of asking whether wearing a windbreaker bearing the name of one of her husband’s sponsors on it constituted an inappropriate government endorsement (not making that up). There was even a claim that she was improperly trading on her position as governor by having a legal defense fund to defray the cost of defending her from frivolous ethics complaints.

  • Andrzej

    If Mrs Palin didn’t treasure the neocon foreign policy as much as she apparently does, then she would have made an interesting counterpart to Ron Paul, I think. Still, I’d be happy to see the current Republican Party wither before it can be resurrected as a true conservative force; purged of all the false friends, Trotskyites and bloodlusting psychopaths, for starters…

    Whether Mrs Palin choses to be part of a potential Republican renaissance is up to her, of course, but I doubt anyone would blame her for shunning politics altogether (I wouldn’t).

  • Verity

    Andrzej – If you take a look at Sarah Palin’s cv, you will see that she is a competitor to her fingertips. She gets into the fray and competes.

  • Kevin B

    Yet another in a very long line of “let’s create a straw Sarah Palin and attack it” pieces. What is it about her that scares people from all dimensions of the political compass so much?

  • RRS

    Given the condition of traditional U.S. “parties” in this era, the political forces are more an issue of “movements” taking dominance in what has been a formal party, and setting the objectives for any particular election or organized legislative or public effort.

    The Democrat party is currently dominated by a more diverse (and fragmented?) coalition, becoming overweighted with public sector interests.

    The Republican is “up for grabs” by the best (and simplest) consolidators who can frame the objectives to capture the unease of “independents.”

    That is probably the reason that i n these early days Sarah Palin is in a statistical dead heat with Romney to head one of those groups of consolidators.

    Thus Sprach RRS.

  • bgates, who is a rather rude prick judging by these comments (suggesting a certain insecurity of attitude rather an ability to craft a compelling argument), does not quite understand the purposes of a SQOTD. And as he is a rude prick, I feel no urge to enlighten him.

  • roy.batty

    Illuminatus, there was nothing wrong with either of bgates comments, he covers all the salient points in the right order and the result is to correctly describe this Beato quote as the joke it is. It’s a weak clueless piece of writing, it’s a shambles, either due to the author’s fundamental ignorance or worse, their wilfull, but failed attempt at deception or distortion.

    Either way, it in no way warrants or deserves any recommendation.

    But if we are in the market for rude pricks, your reply certainly satisies, you need spanked. Behave yourself in future.

  • llamas

    ‘It’s the smart move. Tessio was always smarter . . . ‘

    Look at it from her point of view. If she has ambitions in 2012, why would she slog away at her post as the Governor of Alaska for 4 years, building nothing but a track record for her opponents to pick over and use against her? She doesn’t need the money anymore – one good book about the ’08 campaign would set her up for life. And being Governor of such a small and faraway state makes the job of preparing for 2012 politically-and logistically-more-difficult.

    It’s simple – she quit her day job to train for a better career. Being Governor of Alaska has already given her all the political benefits that it can – why keep doing it for nothing but downside?

    ‘It’s the smart move. Tessio was always smarter . . .’



  • Verity

    Llamas – Alaska is even bigger than Texas, and has more oil. Dduh.

  • llamas

    Verity wrote:

    ‘Llamas – Alaska is even bigger than Texas, and has more oil. Dduh.

    Well, gwash-an-golly-gee, I did not know that . . . . . .

    Who gives a sh*t how big it is? It is the 47th state in terms of population. It has the same population as the city of Charlotte, NC. WGASA about the mayor of Charlotte, NC? Is that a well-worn stepping stone to the Presidency, would you say?

    Who gives a sh*t about how much oil it has – since nobody (except Governor Palin) apparently has the stones to get the drills turning, and she had no power to achieve that as Governor?

    In fact – what do your observations have to do with anything that is being discussed here?

    Her last job did all that it could do for her on the way to her next job. Staying in that office (even allowing for the fact that it would appear that she would do an excellent job at it, as she already has) simply does nothing for her future plans. The smart move was to leave gracefully, and early. Which is what she did. Dduh.



  • Millie Woods

    The day I realized Sarah Palin was one clever woman was the day she signed on with Transcanada Pipelines for transmission of gas from the new Alaskan fields to the lower 48 thus effectively neutralising all the enviro objections waiting in the wings to block her coup.

  • Millie Woods

    The day I realized Sarah Palin was one clever woman was the day she signed on with Transcanada Pipelines for transmission of gas from the new Alaskan fields to the lower 48 thus effectively neutralising all the enviro objections waiting in the wings to block her coup.

  • Verity

    Llamas – I have been consistent in my admiration for the ex-Governor and her strategy for running for the Presidency in 2012, as I noted in my post above. I don’t know what your gripe is.

    In my post above, I said essentially what you have said here – except for the hostility against Alaska. I have been gung ho for Palin since she first emerged. I think she has planned this well. This gal is a competitor down to her toes.

    I am hoping that Bobby Jindal will have raised his profile enough by 2011 to realistically become her running mate. That would be such a winning team, I can’t stand it.

  • Paul Marks

    Why Sarah Palin resigned as Governor of Alaska is well known – and it had nothing to with whatever stuff Greg Beato is talking about.

    Sarah Palin was being hit by endless legal actions – and is not wealthy.

    Most of her time was spent either defending herself against, TOTALLY FALSE, “ethics” charges – or raising the money to fund her defence against charge after charge.

    In Canada (and one of Palin’s real problems is that she sound Canadian – as many Alaskians do) this could not happen – as the “loser pays principle exits.

    Actually in some American States it would not happen either – as the judges would just toss out the baseless charges without all this nonsense.

    But in Alaska the judges are not freely elected – nor does the Governor really appoint them (as the Governor has to appoint people who are approved by a board controlled by the Bar Association).

    True the (leftist) judges never convicted Sarah Palin of anything – but they were not just tossing out the ethics charges as the B.S. they was (as would happen, for example, in Texas).

    No – Palin had to defend herself (at endless expense and using up most of her time).

    So Palin gave up being Governor – because she was not really Governor anymore (as she was using most of her time in her defence). The left (the people behind the complaints) could have carried on this on for ever.

    It is very simple – but it seems “clever” people like Mr Beato either do not understand (or do not want to understand).

  • otpu

    Sarah Palin’s farewell address to the Alaskan people was not an “I quit” statement but more of a “I shall return” declaration.

    And speaking of MacArthur and farewell addresses, she ain’t old, she ain’t a soldier, and she damn well ain’t going to fade away.


  • veryretired

    Kevin–Palin’s an attractive, conservative woman who disdains many of the tenets of political feminism. She has energy, and stirred up a large, enthusiastic following during a very lackluster campaign by the republicans and their lead candidate.

    I’m not a big fan of hers, although I certainly respect her accomplishments, but even I can see that the attributes she brings to the conservative message and the way she energizes the faithful would be very worrying to the left/liberal crowd.

    This is nothing new or unusual on the left’s part. You should have seen the venom they unleashed on Jeanne Kirkpatrick for much the same reasons.

    Any time someone from one of the protected classes goes off the reservation, the response is utterly vicious. It’s a betrayal in their eyes, you see, like a form of treason. There is no mercy or forgiveness, which is why the attacks even went at her family and children.

    The same people who thought nothing of making up the most bizarre and slanderous attacks against her, her daughter, and their babies, are the same ones who claim the right to plan and control most every aspect of life in this country.

    But, of course, any opposition to this campaign of conquest is racism. I mean, what other possible motive could there be?

  • Verity

    Very retired, applause!

  • PersonFromPorlock

    I suspect Palin’s great charm for conservatives is that, like Reagan and unlike our present Establishment, she sees America as a solution, not as a problem.

    And, of course, that’s why she’s anathema to the Establishment.

  • veryretired


    pfp–Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have that on my tombstone: “Here lies the old fart who was anathema to the Establishment.” Perpetual bliss.

  • Kevin B

    v-ret, nicely put, but my question was largely rhetorical. Yes, that is some of what drives leftys mad, but why do people from all the other points of the political compass stuff all their most hated things in a Sarah shaped straw man and then proceed to make themselves look utterly ridiculous by madly kicking it.

  • but why do people from all the other points of the political compass stuff all their most hated things in a Sarah shaped straw man and then proceed to make themselves look utterly ridiculous by madly kicking it.

    Because they belong to all these points of the political compass only in name/self-description, and are really lefties at heart. Cases such as Palin’s serve as useful litmus tests in that regard.

  • Verity

    Very Retired, above, makes the point that any time a member of the protected classes wanders off the reservation, it drives the left into a spitting frenzy.

    As a young man, Thomas Sowell, who is black, saw his opportunity in joining the US military, where he performed with honour. On leaving, he took his GI payoff to university, where he got an undergraduate degree, saw that he had an aptitude for learning and went on to get his Master’s and then a PhD. Today he is a Fellow of the Hoover Institute and a national (conservative) journalist.

    His political columns (well worth reading, if you’re not familiar with Dr Sowell) appear daily in Town Hall Magazine. It must drive the left into a spitting frenzy. Tee hee.

  • jdm

    are really lefties at heart

    Perhaps this reason encompasses more than I read into it, but I think the primary problem presented by Ms Palin is that she walks, talks, and acts like an un-elite – which is, in fact, also her primary attraction.

    I think that a class system has manifested itself in the US that overlaps but is somewhat different from the traditional. In this regard, I think Ms Palin is looked down upon and looked up to for the very same reason: she represents a class that the elites and their wannabes in the US thought they “ruled”. The Tea Party movement and the reactions to it is the same thing writ large.

    She and they represent literally an existential threat, Of course, the elites and their wannabes (especially) are angry and dismissive and spiteful. Look at the quote above: it is written by a Good Little Elite Wannabe. Ms Palin became a political celebrity and almost the VP and avoided all the dues paying (including the personal compromises, ass-kissing and all the other humiliations) required by the elites of their wannabes.

    In other words, Sarah Palin almost got to be VP of the fraternity without having been a pledge!

  • jdm

    It is an amazingly egregious mistake to not have read the the article linked to via the quote’s author before commenting. I thought I might in trouble when I saw it was from Reason and not, say, Slate or Atlantic.

    I see now that I, in some ways, was merely rephrasing what Mr Beato wrote. Apologies.

  • Verity

    I think that Very Retired and jdm are saying the same thing: the Left cannot tolerate individuals from the condescended-to class having the insolence of getting a bucket and some concrete and paving their own road.

    It goes against the natural order of the universe as prescribed by Gramsci.

  • Jacob

    Imagine what would have happened to the Washington Tea Party, which drew between a 1/2 and a million people, if Sarah Palin had announced that she would attend and speak. Why didn’t she? may the next time.

  • Jacob, if she indeed still has such political ambitions as I hope she does, then it’s just too early in the game. The iron is not hot enough yet.

  • Paul Marks

    The left have a special reason for hating Thomas Sowell – he knows what Marxists are, because he was one.

    The standard left response (or one of them) when anyone they admire is accused of being a Communist is to say the accuser is a mindless bigot who does not know what he is talking about.

    So Sowell is hated on two grounds – he is black (so “racism” is a hard charge to throw at him – although they do try “Uncle Tom”) and he does know what he is talking about as regards Marxism, as he was one.

    Of course I do as well.

    Father – active in the Young Communist League in the 1930’s.

    Half brother – life long Marxist.

    It is not just theoretical knowledge with me either – not that I have anything against theoretical knowledge, but experience is useful also. Especially when dealing with the “how would you know” crowd.

  • Paul Marks

    Of course I also know how someone who has really rejected Marxism talks and acts.

    And they do not talk and act like, Van Jones, Jeff Jones, Bill Ayers, or Barack Obama.

    These people, and their Comrades, have NOT changed.

  • Jacob

    “Thomas Sowell – he knows what Marxists are, because he was one.”

    Not exact. Thomas Sowell wasn’t outright a communist or a Marxist. In his youth he was interested in the subject, and somewhat sympathetic. But then, being curious, pedant and scholarly he actually studied Marx and read Das Capital, in German. He became an expert in Marxism. That cured him permanently of any sympathies he felt toward it. His studies at Chicago School of Economics turned him into a free-market advocate.

  • Paul Marks

    True – if did not take long for Thomas Sowell to see Marxism for the series of falsehoods that it is.

    For some people it takes many years to break with Marxism.

    And some people never do.

    I repeat – there are clear signs when someone who was “sympathetic” to Marxism has turned against it

    And Barack Obama shows none of those signs.

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