Saturday, July 11, 2009

POSITIVE SPIN. Legal Insurrection has a post today called "If Palin Were President Now." I expected the next line to be, "She would quit." Alas, the professor who runs the site, launched unto internet fame by his obsession with President Obama's mustard, is not joking. But neither is he serious. Among his assertions:
If Palin were President, we would not have:
  • A debt and deficit rising so far out of proportion to historical norms as to threaten the near-and-long term viability of the country's ability to service the debt without destroying the value of the dollar, and passing on to our children and grandchildren unsustainable burdens.
  • A stimulus package filled with pork and giveaways to political constituencies, pushed through under false and fraudulent claims of job creation, and exaggerated claims of immediate economic disaster which themselves hurt the markets, in a process so disgusting that not a single Representative or Senator read the bill before voting.
There are within these and his other points numerous links, mostly to other Legal Insurrection posts, all of them about Obama's malfeasance and none of them about what Palin would do to correct it, though at the end he bothers to tell us that Palin does not have a "Master of the Universe complex" like Obama, and that "at least Palin understands how to put the brakes on government power," an assertion which could hardly be extrapolated from her record. So the general argument is that Palin would be better than Obama because Palin is Palin and not Obama.

The professor's lack of positive arguments is understandable. It is difficult to say how the governor of a state largely dependent on revenues from oil, corporations, and federal largesse would apply that experience to the economy of the United States. As for the foreign policy angle (Palin would not pursue "a foreign policy which strong-arms allies such as Israel and Honduras, while paying deference to enemies such as Hugo Chavez and Mahmood Ahmadinejad," the professor says), his proposition is so muddled with mischaracterizations of Obama Administration policy that he might as well say that Palin would not bomb Tel Aviv and claim that as an advantage.

It's also understandable that he would offer something with at least the form of a positive argument. Nearly all the arguments being made on Palin's behalf have to do with her spunkiness, the loyalty she engenders among rightwing Republicans, and above all her alleged victimization by mainstream media outlets (which she nonetheless floods with access), talk show hosts, and the guy who knocked up her daughter.

The professor may have perceived that some readers would not be satisfied with qualification by complaint, and come up with a title that promises a positive case for Palin. If the words that appear under it constitute nothing but further complaints, so what? Maybe someone will see the title and remember that the case has been made, by somebody and in some way, as they return to barricades to denounce Conan O'Brien or Charlie Rose or whoever the next target of outrage is.

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