Really, Sarah?

Former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin recently appeared on FOX News with Bill O’Reilly to discuss immigration in the United States. O’Reilly posed this question: If Palin were president, could she solve the immigration problem?

O’Reilly then goes on to “interview” Palin, though most of the segment is the host providing the guest with GOP talking points to which she can then agree. O’Reilly, to his credit, does push Palin to move beyond the utterly vague and thus ridiculous “I’ll do whatever it takes to secure the border” meme. He asks her what she would do if she held in her hands the fate of 12 million people, the estimated number of undocumented people in this country.

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The half-term governor’s answer is typical, unintelligible Palin-speak, moving from one incomplete idea to the next without ever offering even a glimpse of a single coherent thought. She says that she would ensure that all the undocumented register with the government (a sort of census first suggested to her by O’Reilly). Then in the same breath she says all illegal immigrants should be deported, followed immediately by the claim that they all must work. Basically the Palin Immigration Plan is this: build a giant fence; send “however many troops it takes” to patrol the new fence; make all undocumented people register with the government; deport all newly registered people; and then make them work (in the U.S.? I don’t know).

Clearly the Governor was less than prepared for this segment, so perhaps she should be cut some slack. But she just released a new campaign-style ad. In the spot, her words are admittedly more polished, yet she still offers no substance (unless you count the bizarre promise of angry mamma grizzlies and stampedes of pink elephants descending on Washington as substance). With this ad, the blogosphere is excitedly contemplating whether Palin is laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign. Some consider her the frontrunner. Her financial filings show that she has serious fundraising potential. With this in mind, her words are deserving of special scrutiny. Her utter lack of thoughtfulness and original ideas with regard to immigration is troubling, especially if she really is a contender for the GOP nod. Our country faces serious challenges, immigration is one such challenge, and we deserve serious leaders. Sarah Palin is neither serious nor a leader.

Michael O'Loughlin

 

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Beth Cioffoletti
7 years 5 months ago
They say that critiquing this woman just makes her more popular, but I am somewhat comforted that critical minds are examining just what this woman is about.  Hitler rose to enourmous popularity and power by playing on the supposed "hurt feelings" of the Germans. 
7 years 5 months ago
That is the problem with these politicians.  They try to pull this hopey changey stuff on us.  But don't you worry.  We Jesuit-trained Catholics won't fall for this!!!
7 years 5 months ago
I just watched the interview and maybe I didn't see all of it.  But what is represented in this opinion here is not what took place in what I saw.  The author leaned over backwards to make Ms. Palin look bad.  I could make similar judgments about our current president who essentially had not done anything in his life before coming president.  


I am not saying that Sarah Palin had the most enlightened discussion I have seen on this because there has never been an enlightened discussion on this topic.  Certainly not by anyone here or in any of the press that I have seen.  I keep on asking and no one can give an answer, why are there so many illegals when there is such high unemployment?  The highest unemployment is amongst the poorer and less educated, just exactly who should be competing with illegals for jobs.  It is not because of wages because I understand a high percentage of the illegals make good wages.


Bill O'Reilly gets credit for posing the necessary questions.  I gave up watching TV news and commentary several years ago and based on this interview O'Reilly is more focused on what has to be looked at then anything I have seen elsewhere.

Sarah Palin will not be president but she is a very interesting person and her speech at the Republican convention in 2008 was fantastic.  I wish her well and hope she continues in what she is doing as she has the ability to galvanize people. 
Pearce Shea
7 years 5 months ago
The snark only makes us look tacky and desperate to score points. Minds were made up on Palin ages ago and the opinion polls, even among her "base" aren't too favorable. 
Michael Kelly
7 years 5 months ago
Readers do not have to accept O'Loughlin's misrepresentation of Sarah Palin's appearance on O'Reilly's show.  The video and a transcript are here: 
http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/oreilly/transcript/how-sarah-palin-would-tackle-illegal-immigration?page=1
O'Loughlin's claims that the interview was ''typical unintelligible Palin - speak moving from one incomplete idea to the next without ever offering even a glimpse of a single coherent thought.''   In fact, the disjointed back and forth between Palin and O'Reilly resulted from O'Reilly's annoying interview style.  (In the video, Palin's frustration with O'Reilly's constant interruptions is evident.)   
O'Loughlin writes that Palin said ''she would ensure that all the undocumented register with the government … Then in the same breath she says all illegal immigrants should be deported, followed immediately by the claim that they all must work. Basically the Palin Immigration Plan is this: build a giant fence; send “however many troops it takes” to patrol the new fence; make all undocumented people register with the government; deport all newly registered people; and then make them work (in the U.S.? I don’t know).''
In fact, Palin advocated deporting only those who do not register or who, having registered, do not ''cooperate'' with immigration reform:  if the latter ''don't follow the steps that at some point through immigration reform we're going to be able to provide, and that is to somehow allow to you work. If you're not going to do that, then you will be deported. You will be gone.''
Curiously, O'Loughlin refers derisively to Palin as the ''half-term governor'', claims she ''offers no substance'', and asserts that ''our country faces serious challenges, immigration is one such challenge, and we deserve serious leaders (and that) Sarah Palin is neither serious nor a leader.'' One does not have to be a supporter of Palin's presidential ambitions to see the stunning hypocrisy of Palin critics who themselves voted in 2008 for an incredibly inexperienced, non-substantive, platitudinous, intellectually dishonest candidate for president who since his election is proving to be as incompetent as he is divisive and who is using illegal immigration as a political football.
(On the last point see ''Obama's Immigration Fakery'' by William McGurn, WSJ, 7/12/10.)
Helena Loflin
7 years 5 months ago
The WSJ is nothing more than TeaParty-TV in print.

Michael O'Loughlin and Norman Costa both nailed it about Palin.  Like all carnie barkers, Palin just needs to fool enough of the people enough of the time.
James Lindsay
7 years 5 months ago
Some members of the Tea Party still love her and she is a serious contender, however vapid.  Obama supporters are hoping she is the GOP nominee, as are Independence Party members.
Brian Pinter
7 years 5 months ago
I hope the Republicans do nominate her in 2012 and then every fours years for as long as she lives - that way they will be sure to lose every presidential election.  I think she is dangerous because she stands for the "dumbing" of America.  She is the patron saint of mediocrity.  She glorifies being uninformed, inarticulate and unsophisticated.  She tells gun-living, biblical literalists that all of their problems are caused by people who read the NYTimes and eat sushi or are illegal immigratns.  If Americans elect her to anything then they more than deserve her.  P.S. Someone ask Palin to explain why there are two Koreas.  See how she does with that one...
7 years 5 months ago
If I was so inclined I could provide a long litany of stupid things our current president has done since he became president and during his campaign.  And I cannot think of one positive thing he did before he became president and I can think of lots of negative ones.


So those who go after Sarah Palin, should realize that if she is dumb as you say, then it could equally apply to the current president and those who elected someone with zero experience to this job.  We could have a real contest as to who is most inept.
Tom Maher
7 years 5 months ago
This article badly underestimates Sarah Palin's strenghts and abilities.  The article badly misanalizes Sarah Palin's recent political efforts where she is demonstarting great and growning poliitcal influence paritcularly in her support of primary candidates most of whom have won their primaries. 

It can be said that Sarah Palin better than anyone understands and is shaping current American politics.  She is not only a leader but one who has very significant stratergic thinking ability.  She understand the essentials of a problem and is able to respond decisively as when she calls for the securing the border with Mexico.

By the way there are tens of millions of people who agree with her assessment of things.   She is certainly not lacking political support  and has great and growing political influence.   

How is it possible to dismiss the fact that she successfully held a series of elected officers including Governor of Alaska?   One can not fairly dismiss her stand on issues including immigration.  

It is surprising how few Catholics notice her courage of  conviction in welcoming into the world her 2008 newborn baby who is disabled.  She as a women and mother has consistantly  practiced as well as advocated  her strong pro-life beliefs.  She has demonstrated courage that matches her bold advocay.   This is called character which is rare and can not be so easily dismisssed. 

Palin is now demonstrating powerful political leadership ability but one has to be less partisan than the author to notice.

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