Well Said

I have a frustrating relationship with the Corner: I can’t stop reading them entirely, but NRO’s authors have a tendency to drive me up the wall. Kathryn Jean Lopez is one their worst offenders, but I’ll be damned if she isn’t right on the money here:

Anyway, I guess I’ve heard the script and would like to see her [Palin] tell a little more of her story — of why she’s a conservative and how she’ll influence the ticket from that perspective. I’d love to hear more about what she did in Alaska and why she believes that makes her the perfect addition to the ticket. I’m curious what kind of influence she’d like to have on the Republican party’s future.

Hot damn, girl! As someone who is tentatively encouraged by Palin’s reformist tendencies, I couldn’t agree more. Even by our attenuated standards, the vacuousness of the Hannity interview is astounding. Here, for example, is Palin on the economy:

“Through reform, absolutely. Look at the oversight that has been lack, I believe, here at the 1930s type of regulatory regime overseeing some of these corporations. And we’ve got to get a more coordinated and a much more stringent oversight regime…government can play a very, very appropriate role in the oversight as people are trusting these companies with their life savings, with their investments, with their insurance policies, and construction bonds, and everything else.

Palin on the roots of our current crisis:

I think the corruption on Wall Street. That’s to blame. And that violation of the public trust. And that contract that should be inherent in corporations who are spending, investing other people’s money, the abuse of that is what has go to stop.”

On reforming the system:

“Yes it is gridlock and that’s ridiculous. That’s why we don’t have an energy policy, that’s why there hasn’t been the reform of the abuse of the earmark process. And real reform is tough, and you do ruffle feathers along the way. But John McCain has that streak of independence in him that I think is very, very important in America today in our leadership. I have that within me also. And that’s why John McCain tapped me to be a team of mavericks, of independents coming in there without the allegiances to that cronyism, to that good ole’ boy system. I’m certainly a Washington outsider and I’m proud of that because I think that that is what we need also.”

Hannity’s no scholar, so perhaps Palin was constrained by the venue’s limitations (I can imagine her handler’s pre-interview brief now: “Try to keep your word choice at three syllables or less, repeat variations of “maverick” and “independent” whenever possible, praise “Main Street” etc. etc.). But I’m still left in awe of the sheer meaninglessness of it all. What does “1930s type regulatory structure” even mean, and how do you propose to fix it? Are bad investments really “a violation of the public trust?” To me, at least, that suggests a pretty broad conception of corporate responsibility. What exactly does that entail?

But this line takes the cake: “John McCain has that streak of independence in him that I think is very, very important in America today in our leadership. I have that within me also. And that’s why John McCain tapped me to be a team of mavericks, of independents coming in there without the allegiances to that cronyism, to that good ole’ boy system.”

Growing up, one of my favorite science fiction novels was Isaac Asimov’s Foundation. The book follows the efforts of a small group of scientists to preserve civilization amidst the decline and fall of the Galactic Empire. When the outer provinces lapse into barbarism and declare independence, the scientists (who live on the fringe of the Milky Way) are abruptly cut off from Imperial protection. They seek assurances from a foppish Imperial envoy, Lord Dorwin, that the Empire will continue to defend their planet. Dorwin, who turns out to be a preternaturally skilled diplomat, proceeds to allay their fears of Imperial abandonment. After he departs, the scientists review Lord Dorwin’s comments and belatedly realize that the canny envoy avoided making any firm commitment to their defense. Lord Dorwin, in short, was a master of saying nothing.

After reading the Hannity transcript, I can only wonder if Palin is a closet Asimov fan.

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Filed under Conservatism, Economics, Presidential Politics, Science Fiction, The Media

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