Friday 9 April 2010

The START Treaty: An intellectual anaysis by....errr uhh.... Sarah Palin.... Hmmmmmm

Yesterday 'Letter from America' Danny mentioned to me that superstar politician and president in waiting, ex-Governor Sarah Palin had commented on Mr Obama’s landmark signing of a further START treaty with President Medvedev of Russia (you know, the one Sarah can see from her bedroom window if she hangs out far enough and wiggles a bit to the left… or rather she could if she ever spent any time in Alaska now that she gave up being governor mid term, to concentrate of making serious money as a comedy act at tea parties, and other places where loopy people gather…)

Anyway, I’d been thinking of writing something about that, but needless to say I managed to convince Danny that he should do the writing… and he has.

Once again thanks Danny for your insightful comments on American affairs.

Sarah Palin as Nuclear Policy Analyst

Both of our countries are in the throes of an election season. Readers of 'Munguin’s Republic' will remember Sarah Palin, the helicopter moose hunter, Vice Presidential (and Presidential) wannabe, and Fox News contributor.

On Wednesday, she took time off from book signings and after dinner speeches to appear at a political rally for Minnesota Congresswoman… and seriously deranged right wing nut case… Michele Bachmann.

Then Palin and Bachmann appeared on Fox News for a televised interview. It occurred just days after media reports of a new policy of the Obama administration, which would generally not permit the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear nations…and as President Obama and Dmitry Medvedev had signed the START treaty in Prague which will cut nuclear weapons stockpiles.

Sarah then gave us her soccer mom analysis of Obama’s nuclear policy, reducing it to something that we ignorant voters can understand.

You see, it’s like kids on a playground who are ready to fight. "It's unbelievable,” she said, “no other administration in America’s history would I think ever have considered such a step. Mr. Obama is like a kid on the playground who says, 'Go ahead, punch me in the face, and I'
m not going to retaliate.'"

When asked to comment on Mrs. Palin’s remarks, Mr Obama delivered a delightfully understated smackdown. He said: “I really have no response. Because when last I checked, Sarah Palin's not much of an expert on nuclear issues.”

He went on to say: “If the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff are comfortable with it, I'm probably going to take my advice from them and not from Sarah Palin."

A rather nice “no response” response from the President about Sarah, the soccer mom and part-time nuclear policy analyst.
Danny sent the following Youtube clip, and I'm too dim to upload it, so here's the link:


  1. "US-Russia nuclear pact means UK can delay Trident renewal, analysts say"

  2. She puts me in mind o' Lorraine Kelly, but even mair nuts. Can ye imagine? Nothin' against Lorraine, so long as she stays where she is, oan breakfast telly. Somebody should gie Sarah Palin a job oan breakfast telly.

    Naw, even that's too much power.

  3. Thanks for that link Scunnert.

    It's fantastic news, but if Brown is Prime President in a few weeks' time, we know that his attitude to experts is that he knows better.

    The other one is an unknown quantity. I doubt he'll be keen on listening to experts either.

    I rather liked this comment form the Times article, from David Perry, who I hope will not object to me pasting it here:

    "Who is the UK nuclear "deterrent" supposed to deter?

    The "old" nuclear powers know that the UK is now irrelevant in world terms, the "new" nuclear powers don't understand the concept of deterrent, and terrorist griups would welcome the opportunity to become martyrs.

    The UK nuclear "deterrent" is an irrelevant waste of money."

  4. Breakfast with Sarah? Ewwww, don't think she's work well with porridge.

    Not at all.

  5. Of course ah' jist havin' a laugh at Sarah's expense and ah shouldnae, she's nae laughin' matter.

    That woman and the Tea-Pot bampots would be scary enough in the backwoods, but if the Republican Party feels like jumpin' intae bed wi' them then ye've got tae put yer foot doon. She might win the Presidency by accident, start a war wi' one o' her funny turns, an' where would we be then?

    Oh aye, ah forgot. We've got Trident.

    That'll keep us safe.

  6. She does have a telly job on Fox News in America. I think that this so-called news organization refers to her as a "contributor." Just a small step I suppose from "contributor" to nuclear policy analyst.

  7. PS....I should have remembered that Mrs. Palin prefers to style herself as a "hockey mom" rather than a "soccer mom".....what with ice hockey being popular with the kids in ice-rich Alaska. That actually makes some sense....unlike most of Sarah's views.

  8. Hardly any difference Danny. Just a half day course I think.

    Thank goodness we have erm.... Trident then Sophia, we can always count on it... well, we could, but I think we have to get the codes for it from the American President And I dount Sarah could cope with that sort of thing. They sold us the gear but they didn't let us have the code you have to have make them go bang.

    Still, what the hell, we're rich, whats £100 billion to the likes of the Brits. We'll just buy some more. There's all that oil in the North Sea!

  9. What they called in Alabama and Mississippi then Danny?

  10. What the sophisticates on the Eastern Seaboard and the capitals of the EU fail to realize is that Sarah is, like it or not, the authentic voice of the North American backwoods. They reject intellectualism and authoritative academic analysis, preferring instead "common sense" and self reliance. They don't trust others with their futures or their lives and if they feel threatened they will bring down Obama's administration.

  11. .....And then send over a nuclear missile to take out Iran and North Korea and, well, whatever else it hits on the way ...just because they had a bad day or the PMT is giving them trouble. (And that's the men too.)

    Palin and Bachmann are scary scary people... and what's even more scary is that the English Prime Minister will be totally in their pockets if they ever get any power.

    At least though Bush was thick, there was an element of intellect of some sort in Wyoming's own Darth Vader. Or if not, at least he had his agenda, it it wasn't best served by blowing up half the world.

    The odd thing is that all these hicks are so anti this thing when it was started by and was the dream of their very own religious nutcase Ronnie Regan, who probably wasn't quite as mad as he came over.

  12. We should have kept the codes when we bought the Tridents, and kept them in an envelope in the top drawer in the sideboard, along wi' the receipts an' the operatin' manual. Ah've got aw ma receipts for hoovers, an' elctric washin' machines, gaun back tae under auld Queen Mary.

    Ma drawers are stuffed right enough. Ah'm takin' an awfy time tae lay ma hauns oan things these days. Whit if they come tae ma door, lookin' fer the instruction manuals fer thae Trident missiles, an' ah cannae find them? Ah think a put them in alongside the instructions for that vibratin' facial massage thing ah ordered oaf the telly? Ah thought that was the nearest. That thing wis nae use. Broke the first time ah used it. Blew up in ma hand.

    Thank God ah'm no Sarah Palin.

  13. Ah've had a rummage in a ma drawers.

    Not a thing.

  14. Yes, you're right there Sophia, it is best to keep these things by you. You just never know when they will come in handy.

    Yoiu could be plastering about one day, minding your own buiness, and then... BANG.... Sarah Palin lets one off just across your left bow, and where would you be then?

    It's serious stuff!

  15. Ah... that's a pity. Never mind, someone will have them somewhere... don't you worry. I'll get my hands on them.

  16. Not sure what the political moms are called way down south Tris. No ice hockey there, and I suppose that even soccer balls would likely be lost in the swamps....LOL.

    There's no doubt Scunnert that she delivers a populist message to a passionate group of supporters on the right who reject the Washington establishment and the liberal elite. Her supporters care not one bit that the woman is ignorant as a stone and delivers (with a wink of her eye) nothing but political soundbites. Obama and the Democrats would ignore this at their political peril.

    But it seems that Palin is being viewed more and more as a mere political celebrity, who seems not to be doing the homework necessary to become a viable candidate among a broader constituency. It seems likely that a more serious candidate will emerge to carry the right wing Republican banner in 2012.

  17. Ah think ah'm gaun tae have tae get ma tent oot again an set up a camp somewhere, tae protest. it'll be murder polis fer ma arthritis but ye've got tae make a stand. Is Greenham still open?

    Many's a night we've spent under the stars in a field in the middle o' naewhere, claimin' that an electric pylon was pairt o' some dastardly micro-wave secretive military-industrial network, aw taut an' zingin' wi' messages o' threat, jist hingin' in the air, threatenin' to snap! an' bring doon big mushroom clouds aw ower the shop, blawin' oot shopfronts an' knockin' ower prams in the street, afore we aw died o' bleedin' gums.

    An' we would sit in the cauld, singin' auld hippy songs like 'Blawin' in the wind' an' 'Ur ye gaun tae Scarbrough Fair', aw the guid yins, an' drink straight fae the bottle. Somebody wid set fire tae an auld anorak an' we toasted oor baps. Then some o' the lassies wid go oaf climbin' fences, or knockin' a rise oot o' the polis, but ah wid usually go tae ma bed.

  18. Reagen and Gorbachev - My memory of the Reykjavik summit was that Reagan had agreed to get rid of all nuclear weapons and had to be brought to heel by his advisers as that wasn't the US goal. The US had relied on nuclear forces as a deterrent against the Soviet's overwhelming superiority in conventional forces and weren't about to give away that deterrent.

    Here's an interesting link:

  19. Ah mind once, ah chained masel tae the railin's at the Ideal Homes Exhibition oan Princes Street tae mark ma displeasure at Harold MacMillan singin' the chitty fer the Polaris submarines. Three weeks it wis afore the Evnin' News noticed.

    Even the scaffies jist swept roond me.

  20. Ah Sophia....I love your vivid description of protesting in the Scottish backwoods.

  21. Danny, I would have thought that the Republicans would need someone serious as a candidate for 2012. It was a shock in 2000 that Bush was chosen to stand, given his lack of intelligence, rather than intellect (as must have been back in the 80s when they chose Ronnie). Surely the idea that Sarah, whom we must remember thought that a grasp on foreign affairs meant that she could see Russia from her window and she’d flown over Canada on her way to somewhere in the lower 48 is just some sort of scare thing?

    It’s a given that the Republicans have a wide range of rednecks and religious fanatics, but somewhere in congress there must be intelligent serious GOP members that would make a decent president.

    Of course it is no business of anyone but Americans who they chose for their President, but it is (as it is becoming more and more with China) very important to people all over the world, as what these men say, think and do affects all of us. It is even more frightening for Brits, whose de facto President in so in thrall to the president of the USA.

    If not for other reasons then surely for the simple electoral fact that intelligent people would surely never vote for a nut job like Palin, there must be a more credible contender. Intelligent people would never vote for her, would they?

    When we had Thatcher, who was no way as stupid as Palin, it is said that Mitterrand (France) and Kohl (Germany)used to wrap her round their fingers, although of course she was at home with Ronnie. Can you imagine what Presidents Hu or Putin (whom I imagine will be back at the top by then) would do with Palin....?

  22. Ah think Reagan an' the eminces ahint him were aware o' where Russia was headin' by the time Gorbachev came along, an' it wis in naebody's interest tae hae Russia truly crumble under the weight o' the Cauld War. It wis heavy enough o' a fall as it wis. America was in the lead in the Pepsi Wars anyroads so Reagan could be generous.

    An' Ronnie wisnae a well man mind.

  23. She's a one, isn't she Danny.... Are you coping with the language? I could do an English traslation if you want

    Thanks Scunnert will have a look at that now.

    What I read today was that Regan's own goal was complete destruction of the nuclear arsenal. I think that he hated their power and the Christian in him had a problem with the awfuloness of them. There are some good pieces on Regan and the talks on MSNBC

  24. Scunnert....Reagan did indeed become a convert to nuclear disarmament, and threw the American delegation into turmoil at Reykjavik when he apparently proposed total nuclear disarmament....contrary to American and Nato war plans.

    Reagan's support of nuclear disarmament will be an argument advanced by the Democrats as they advance the ratification of the new START treaty in the senate, requiring a 2/3 majority vote for ratification.

  25. Tris....I'm proud to say that I can understand quite a bit of written Scots. (The closest I will ever come to being bilingual.)

    There are surely responsible Republicans who I feel will somehow manage to avoid a Palin candidacy in 2012. But right now, it seems that they just don't know what to do with their wacky right wing base. The Tea Party people have the passion and the anger, and they can be depended on to turn out and vote in a solid Republican bloc come election day. Surely there is someone on the right wing who has a lick of sense, and can still deliver the votes of the party base. But it's not at all clear right now who that will be. I agree that a Palin candidacy....much less a Palin presidency....would be quite literally unthinkable.

    Her prominence and celebrity is simply a fluke of course, based on whatever it was that McCain was thinking (thinking?) when he chose her as his Vice President on the 2008 Republican ticket.

    Actually the candidacies of Reagan, and even Bush, (neither of them towering intellects) made some political sense. Reagan had been a popular and successful two term Governor of California, America's largest state (by population). And in 1994, Bush surprised the Republican establishment by defeating a very popular incumbent, Ann Richards, for Governor of Texas, the second largest state. In 1998, he won reelection for Texas Governor by an unprecedented 69% of the vote.

    So Reagan and Bush were political stars, proven vote getters, who had run America's two largest states. Sarah Palin simply cannot claim anything like such a political record. And especially after Bush, one hopes that responsible Republicans might feel that some degree of intelligence would be a good thing to have in a President.

  26. In the words of Henry Root: "it's alwasy best to deal with the big smell at the top" I think that applies here don't you?

  27. Danny. I see your point. Two terms as governor of California, or Texas doesn't really equate in any way to half a term as governor of Alaska, the second half of the term given up becasue, having become a "star" there were many more money making opportunities within reach.

    She'll be a millionairess now. Not the kind of thing that normally happens in Wassila perhaps.

  28. There's a lot of big smells at the top Munguin.

  29. Can we say President Obama has "socialist policies"?

    Is free healthcare [at the point of need, not free in essence] really 'socialist', no, of course it isn't. Is achieving a global cut in the nuclear stockpiles of the two countries which hold 95% of all WMDs 'socialist'? No, of course not, it is patently common sense.

    Thanks Danny for your usual updates, but your Republican Party [which really isn't republican at all anymore, except for Ron Paul] is not funny, it is damn dangerous to the health of the rest of us.

    Another reason for a United Federal Europe no?

  30. Hi Dean:

    The right wing in America is calling him a communist... and that's among the nicer things they are saying.

    Healthcare available to all and free at the point of delivery is just common decency Dean. That need not belong exclusively to socialism.

    The ridding of the world of nuclear wepons was started by Ronnie Reagan and continued by george HW Bush, neither of them known for left leaning sypathies. President Obama is following in their footsteps.

    The Republicans in the States are a little like Labour in Scotland. The oppose for the sake of opposing without any regard to common sense or the good of the people.

    What a wicked way to play politics. I think Mrs Palin does it for money.

    I don't think she will stand, but at the moment she gets paid vast suims of money compared with what she would be earning in Alaska. She's just a money grubbing dimbo.

  31. Excellent comments, Dean and Tris. The problem for the mainstream Republicans right now is deciding what the modern face of the Republican Party is, and will become. And in some ways it's a debate about those political labels. Labels for the Republicans themselves, and labels assigned to the Democrats by a radicalized Republican right wing as they try to define (and demonize) their opponents.

    Obama is sometimes criticized for "swinging DOWN" at his opponents. Historically, Presidents are supposed to ignore the minor political opponents sniping at their heels. He should ignore Sarah Palin, we are sometimes told.....and surely ignore the noise machine of radical right wing talk radio, which has become so much a part of American political "discourse." But the trouble is that ignoring them just hasn't worked. The White House tried that last summer during the Congressional recess and watched their opponents define and then savage Obama's signature political issue (health care), and, for that matter, him and his party itself. (The pictures and rhetoric of Obama as Stalin, Hitler, and Mao....a Communist, a Marxist, YES....a Nazi, in his crazed quest for political power and an utterly transformed far left America.) It was political trickery in the extreme. But the political silliness dominated and crippled the public debate. And there were no effective political surrogates approaching Obama's status to come to the President's, and the party's, defense. So today, Obama is in the thick of the fight...even as it means mixing it up with the likes of Sarah Palin and her crowd.

    But to your points, Dean and Tris. I agree wholeheartedly that there is nothing funny about the Republican Party these days. And much of the political fight is surely about those labels.....perhaps the very NICEST one being "socialist." Whatever the truth or falsehood about that label in terms of modern political reality, it's a really dirty word in American politics. After the swing to the right in the Reagan days, and the emergence of the right wing as the Republican "base," Democrats found it politically inconvenient to even use the term "liberal," which had defined the left wing of their party since the days of FDR and the New Deal. Today, very few Obama Democrats will self identify that way. "Progressive" now seems to be the label of choice.

    Whatever the mainstream Republicans are, or wish to become, they are going to continue to pander to their base. Tactically, the plan is to oppose every major Obama initiative, and hope for the very WORST, as they go into the mid terms this November. A sharp improvement in the slowly recovering economy for example is a nightmare scenario for the Republicans.

    And now we have a Supreme Court vacancy, setting the stage for what has become the bloodiest fight in American politics -- the Senate ratification of a Supreme Court Justice -- a person with life tenure who has the power to define the meaning of the Constitution itself. The Senators are already issuing press releases, warning about a major fight ahead. It will be another hard summer for the Obama administration in this election year.

    Sister Sarah will doubtless have much to say about it in her role as commentator on constitutional law. OH LORD!!!!!

  32. LOL Danny... Is there anything on which that woman isn't an expert?