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Sarah Palin's bad fishing advice for the GOP

Way back when, I would go fishing with my (former) stepfather. Don't get me started on the agony of baiting the hook. And I possessed no ability to cast the line far enough without falling out of the tiny bass boat or hitting the other folks on board. So, I would just drop my hook off the side and hope the fish would find it. Besides, why else would we be in that spot if there weren't fish there in the first place? That was my logic. And it was pretty dumb. Which leads me to Sarah Palin.

The best-selling author, sought-after speaker, popular political commentator and former Alaska governor told an audience in Rosemount, Ill., yesterday that Republican candidates shouldn't bother to move to the center to attract voters. Instead, they should wait for the electorate to come to them.

“Some Republicans have evidently thought that they have to kind of move to the left of the center or move to the middle in order to win,” she said. Rejecting that bit of conventional wisdom, Palin offered, “You win by letting the middle move to you.” She added, “You win by letting the middle of the road know that your ideas -- based on time-tested truths -- are the right ones for the country.”

Pray tell, what are those time-tested truths? Palin's assertion that "the overwhelming majority of Americans agree with us when it comes to reining in Washington’s reckless spending” is snicker-worthy when not backed up by detailed proposals that the public can examine, ponder and chew on. Perhaps they'll come when the "Commitment to America" is finally revealed. I wonder how many fish that hook will attract.

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 13, 2010; 3:23 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

What are those time tested truths? First of all I congratulate you Jonathan for asking this question. It is the first step in the long process of curing you of the hideous disease of liberalism which blackens your soul (yes, you have one).

So here are some truths:

1. The Constitution is not a "living, breathing" document.
2. Any statement that begins: "Congress shall make no law..." means "Congress shall make no law".
3. The Commerce clause does not give the government the justification for any moronic scheme (see Healthcare) it desires.
4. The 10th amendment means something.
5. The 2nd amendment means something.
6. America is, has been, and despite the best efforts of the current administration, will always be the greatest nation on earth (move this to number 1).
7. Hurt feelings are not a protected right under the Constitution.
8. Capitalism is good.
9. The vast majority of people in this great land are willing to help the helpless but not the clueless.
10. I know you and your liberal, progressive or whatever you call yourselves today - fellow travelers think Sarah Palin is a shape shifter - but she is not. But I am not so sure about Pelosi (the part about Pelosi is an opinion so please don't count it as a "time tested truth".

God Bless You and God Bless America.

Posted by: manbearpig4 | May 13, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Let's see:

John McCain and Al Gore ran as "moderates" and both lost their elections.

Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were both unabashed conservatives and serve full terms in office.

People are drawn to clearly defined ideas, not middle of the road, half-assed muddling.

Posted by: antonydupuy | May 13, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Was it McCain's "moderateness" or the fact that Sarah Palin would be a heartbeat from the presidency that caused their rout?

Posted by: jglasgow1 | May 13, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

It never ceases to amaze me how people like manbearpig only act like there are two Amendments to our Constitution (the 2nd and 9th). Here are a few other self evident truth:

- The 4th Amendment means something (see the Patriot Act.)
- The 9th Amendment means something (not the inkblot that Scalia and others believe)
- The 14th Amendment means something (equal protection; privileges and immunities)
- The 5th Amendment means something (see Miranda rights, and if you need to know how Miranda is connected to right against being a witness against yourself, look it up)
- Congress declares war (see every armed conflict since WWII)

I could continue but the point is that there is more to the Constitution than those on the right claim and their claim to be some sort of heir to our Founder's vision is a joke. The Constitution is not static and idea that you interpret the Constitution as how our founders would have (again, explain how that works with the 14th Amendment) is meaningless since our Founders were not this monolithic group of people who all believe the same thing (look at the battle of the National Bank, and the passage of the Alien and Sedition Act)

Posted by: egalite522 | May 13, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Egalite522 you have made Mister Capehart feel better because you have proven to be even less informed than he.

To start:

1. I did not "act" like there were only 2 amendments to the Constitution. I happened to use those 2 as illustrations for my point...which I made so very, very well.
2. The 4th amendment is wonderful but I must point out to you it a)only covers citizens of the US - like the rest of the Constitution and b) the Patriot Act is Constitutional despite the mischief of a few tragically stupid left wing judges. (Pssst...your really cool, really hip President extended it...and his is supposed to be a "Constitutional Scholar"
3. The 9th amendment delegates "limited power" to the government. Now I know you think "limited" means lots of great big government programs...but it does not.
4. The 14th amendment deals with citizenship. It's pretty clear and I like that one.
5. Finally, not sure what your point is about the 5th amendment but you probably should not have posted because you have incriminated yourself by clearly demonstrating that your are a liberal pantwaist.

Love,
MBP

Posted by: manbearpig4 | May 13, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

MBP, the Constitution doesn't just apply to US citizens. Some provisions apply to people just because they are human beings. Sometimes the actual text hammers this home. The 5th Amendment starts with "No person shall ..." Similarly, the 6th Amendment starts with "In all criminal prosecutions ...." To take an extreme example, the 13th amendment surely outlaws slavery for people who aren't US citizens.

Posted by: jackharllee | May 13, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

There may be some merit to the Constitutional citations that manbearpig4 makes, but wading through his chin deep pomposity and snideness exhausts me too much to bother rereading any part of the Constitution and trying to craft a considered reply. Liberalism is no more a "hideous disease" than conservatism or libertarianism or whatever you call yourself today. Few political philosophies are as distasteful as MPB's self-righteous puffery. I congratulate egalite522 and jackharllee for having much more patience than I do.

Posted by: wilsonjmichael | May 13, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

What an idiotic message. The Constitution, (like the Bible) is an ambiguous, cryptic document subject to many different interpretations when applied to different facts. Which is why we have the judicial system.

Do you really think the drafters of the Constitution had Uzi machine guns in mind when they drafted the 2nd Amendment? Did they have the internet in mind when they drafted the 1st Amendment?

The idea that the Constitution provides clear guidelines for the governance of the United States is a joke. It provides general principles, to be applied and adapted to the times as contemporary justices see fit.

Only people of low intelligence (like Sarah Palin) think like manbearpig4.


"What are those time tested truths? First of all I congratulate you Jonathan for asking this question. It is the first step in the long process of curing you of the hideous disease of liberalism which blackens your soul (yes, you have one).

So here are some truths:

1. The Constitution is not a "living, breathing" document.
2. Any statement that begins: "Congress shall make no law..." means "Congress shall make no law".
3. The Commerce clause does not give the government the justification for any moronic scheme (see Healthcare) it desires.
4. The 10th amendment means something.
5. The 2nd amendment means something.
6. America is, has been, and despite the best efforts of the current administration, will always be the greatest nation on earth (move this to number 1).
7. Hurt feelings are not a protected right under the Constitution.
8. Capitalism is good.
9. The vast majority of people in this great land are willing to help the helpless but not the clueless.
10. I know you and your liberal, progressive or whatever you call yourselves today - fellow travelers think Sarah Palin is a shape shifter - but she is not. But I am not so sure about Pelosi (the part about Pelosi is an opinion so please don't count it as a "time tested truth".

God Bless You and God Bless America."

Posted by: pj5106 | May 13, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Why don't we include these "time-tested truths?"

1. Republican governance leads to massive corruption and deficits, and inevitable economic collapse (see 1929 and 2008).

2. Tax cuts do not pay for themselves. This is one of the greatest lies ever spawned on the American people, and led to the entitlement mentality that you can have things like Social Security and Medicare without paying for them.

3. You get what you pay for. Elect an idiot like George Bush or Sarah Palin, and you get idiotic governance.

Posted by: pj5106 | May 13, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

manbearpig4:
Doesn't the fact that there are ammendments to the Constitution point to the reality that it is in a state of flux, albiet slowly, and therefore it is a living breathing document?

Egalite522 / pj5106: take an "Amen!" from across the pond...

Posted by: AussieCraig | May 14, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

manbearpig4:
Doesn't the fact that there are amendments to the Constitution point to the reality that it is in a state of flux, albeit slowly, and therefore it is a living breathing document?

Egalite522 / pj5106: take an "Amen!" from across the pond...

Posted by: AussieCraig | May 14, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

People are drawn to clearly defined ideas, not middle of the road, half-assed muddling.

Posted by: antonydupuy
___________________________________________

Amen to the above posting........
The uttering s of Palin is still stupid. I like the fact she made $12 M for being dumb, not one dime came from me. Amen !!!!!!!!

Posted by: lindarc | May 14, 2010 2:50 AM | Report abuse

If we go with original intent, the the right to bear arms would mean only those arms that were available in 1789 when that amendment was written. No preloaded ammo, only muzzle loaders, knives, swords, bludgeons, etc.

Posted by: Arce1 | May 14, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

MBP's idealism is useless hyperbole. That kind of idealism won't solve many problems. The sneering rigidity and incivility surrounding his post tells how little influence or effectiveness he will ever have in solving problems of governance. He knows nothing of governance, deliberation, or compromise. He will continue to satisfy his need to feel superiority and little else until he grows up.

Posted by: rowens1 | May 14, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

The gods, Palin thank is telling spewing her 83 IQ inanities!
She's an idiot, but a wonder to the democratic party, hardly a week goes by when she doesn't spout a "great job Brownie" type statement.
She thinks spellcheck is a chess move

Posted by: rosenfan1 | May 14, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone please tell me one idea other than the usual Republican talking points that Sarah Palin has brought to the table? So far the only thing that I can recall coming from her is criticizm. Has she ever said what she would have done differently to deal with any of the many complex problems that we face today?

Posted by: chalkranger | May 14, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the arc of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did beyond amendment...Let us follow no such examples, nor weakly believe that one generation is not as capable of taking care of itself, and of ordering its own affairs.."

There's one man's commentary on whether the constitution is a "living, breathing" document. That man happening to be Thomas Jefferson.

Posted by: lizgwiz | May 14, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for your column Jonathan. I join you in asking what the time-tested truths are. When Palin was asked simple questions during the campaign she folded like an old card table and then tried to blame the liberal media. She is as empty as a suit can get.

Oh and George W Bush a conservative? Is that why the national debt doubled in his eight years? Or why the federal governmnet had the largest expansion since LBJ? Or does wrongly invading a country on false intelligence count as conservative?

Posted by: phoaglan1 | May 14, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

At what time did Obama actually "move to the center?" I missed that. Obama won because Teddy Kennedy abandoned Hillary and stamped Obama as the liberal favorite. Obama won because of the economic crisis, where all he had to do was sit tight and pose as savior. As for Palin, everyone could see that whatever life there was in McCain's campaign was owing to the huge crowds the Palin drew to events. Do her detractors not see that the foundation of her huge success in the last year was laid in the campaign? McCain events without her drew a corporal's guard; those with her looked and sounded like football pep rallies.

Posted by: RobbyS | May 14, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I,m sorry, but I don,t get it. Why will Obama not release his birth cert.? Would Dem.'s or main-stream media begin an outcry if G. W. Bush refused to release anything? Why won't Obama release his grad. thesis? Why does the news media not care?

Posted by: denniswilson37 | May 14, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Knock, Knock, Denniswilson37.
Who's there?
This is Reality calling...

The birth certificate issue was settled in 2008 when it was posted on the Obama Campaign website.

It has been verified as authentic by the State of Hawaii and has been requested by so many anencephalic birthers as to have caused a major diversion of manpower in the Hawaiian State Government. That is why the Republican Governor of Hawaii just this week signed a bill allowing State employees to ignore further repeated requests from the same small band of delusional birthers for even more copies of said birth certificate.

Please, get a life and move on to another issue. You are an embarrassment to Homo sapiens.

Posted by: wilsonjmichael | May 14, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Leave Palin, please.

She can't help it if she's a quitter.

Posted by: HillRat | May 14, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The odd circumbstances of a losing presidential bid causing a liberal republican to search out an ingenue put Ms. Palin out there and the reflexive unfair attacks, hatchet jobs, and jounalistic ambushes she endured have shown she has courage and pluck and has a gift in turning a phrase. Her political advice is based on her experience watching McCain loose in a predomenantly conservative country running as a light conservative. She would do well to run well right of him but I hope for a Senatorial or Congressional spot.
Presidential candidate only after a bit more seasoning.

Posted by: almorganiv | May 14, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

What are those time tested truths? First of all I congratulate you Jonathan for asking this question. It is the first step in the long process of curing you of the hideous disease of liberalism which blackens your soul (yes, you have one).

So here are some truths:

1. The Constitution is not a "living, breathing" document.
2. Any statement that begins: "Congress shall make no law..." means "Congress shall make no law".
3. The Commerce clause does not give the government the justification for any moronic scheme (see Healthcare) it desires.
4. The 10th amendment means something.
5. The 2nd amendment means something.
6. America is, has been, and despite the best efforts of the current administration, will always be the greatest nation on earth (move this to number 1).
7. Hurt feelings are not a protected right under the Constitution.
8. Capitalism is good.
9. The vast majority of people in this great land are willing to help the helpless but not the clueless.
10. I know you and your liberal, progressive or whatever you call yourselves today - fellow travelers think Sarah Palin is a shape shifter - but she is not. But I am not so sure about Pelosi (the part about Pelosi is an opinion so please don't count it as a "time tested truth".

God Bless You and God Bless America.

Posted by: manbearpig4
=====================================
1. The Constitution is the highest law establishing the court to interpret same. It allows itself to be amended.
2. Shall make no law is followed by a subject and then conditional parameters.
3. The Constitution allows Congress to tax and pass laws, don't want to pay a health care tax, get the insurance exemption or another.
4. The 10th and 14th meant nothing in the Gore 2000 decision.
5. The 2nd amendment allows you to arm yourself as part of a state regulated militia. The weapon you have must be used in a militia. Different states regulate their militias differently with non state areas under the Federal Court regulation of their militias.
6. Until the vast riches are exhausted by unsustainable balances of trade and unsustainable deficit spending on entitlements.
7. Conservatives lost the election and have done nothing but cry and delay. A platform of no was all that was left after the president took House conservatives to the woodshed on their idea of health reform.
8. Unbridled capitalism is always bad, 1907 run, 1929 crash and today's major recession. One where Wall St. and Main St. rise in tandem (50 years from WWII) is the best system.
9. Conservatives consider the EIC a handout. It happens to go to only working people.
10. Kill grandma is not making cuts, drill baby drill did not work out in the Gulf, a useless Polish missile defense is a waste of money and manpower. Attacking Iran sends oil over $150. A people's movement does not have candidates backed by Freedomworks type organizations being backed by corporations. Palin is why McCain lost by such a large margin.

Posted by: jameschirico | May 14, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

What are those time tested truths? First of all I congratulate you Jonathan for asking this question. It is the first step in the long process of curing you of the hideous disease of liberalism which blackens your soul (yes, you have one).

So here are some truths:

1. The Constitution is not a "living, breathing" document.
2. Any statement that begins: "Congress shall make no law..." means "Congress shall make no law".
3. The Commerce clause does not give the government the justification for any moronic scheme (see Healthcare) it desires.
4. The 10th amendment means something.
5. The 2nd amendment means something.
6. America is, has been, and despite the best efforts of the current administration, will always be the greatest nation on earth (move this to number 1).
7. Hurt feelings are not a protected right under the Constitution.
8. Capitalism is good.
9. The vast majority of people in this great land are willing to help the helpless but not the clueless.
10. I know you and your liberal, progressive or whatever you call yourselves today - fellow travelers think Sarah Palin is a shape shifter - but she is not. But I am not so sure about Pelosi (the part about Pelosi is an opinion so please don't count it as a "time tested truth".

God Bless You and God Bless America.

Posted by: manbearpig4
=====================================
1. The Constitution is the highest law establishing the court to interpret same. It allows itself to be amended.
2. Shall make no law is followed by a subject and then conditional parameters.
3. The Constitution allows Congress to tax and pass laws, don't want to pay a health care tax, get the insurance exemption or another.
4. The 10th and 14th meant nothing in the Gore 2000 decision.
5. The 2nd amendment allows you to arm yourself as part of a state regulated militia. The weapon you have must be used in a militia. Different states regulate their militias differently with non state areas under the Federal Court regulation of their militias.
6. Until the vast riches are exhausted by unsustainable balances of trade and unsustainable deficit spending on entitlements.
7. Conservatives lost the election and have done nothing but cry and delay. A platform of no was all that was left after the president took House conservatives to the woodshed on their idea of health reform.
8. Unbridled capitalism is always bad, 1907 run, 1929 crash and today's major recession. One where Wall St. and Main St. rise in tandem (50 years from WWII) is the best system.
9. Conservatives consider the EIC a handout. It happens to go to only working people.
10. Kill grandma is not making cuts, drill baby drill did not work out in the Gulf, a useless Polish missile defense is a waste of money and manpower. Attacking Iran sends oil over $150. A people's movement does not have candidates backed by Freedomworks type organizations being backed by corporations. Palin is why McCain lost by such a large margin.

Posted by: jameschirico | May 14, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Palindrone -- a speech that sounds equally incoherent whether you read it backwards or forwards.

Posted by: jb777 | May 14, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I am so sick of hearing tea totaler whine about the constitution I could just puke. It is almost as bad about the 20th century conservative republicans who went on and on about the freakin' bible. (Thank god all the christians have finally disappeared)

Posted by: jb777 | May 14, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

IT IS TIME FOR TRUE CONSERVATIES TO RISE UP AND SPEAK THE TRUTH!!!!! REPEAL ALLLLL AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION! ABOLISH ALL LAWS ENACTED AFTER 1860 WHEN THE ROYAL DICTATOR US GOVT ILLEGALY CONQERED THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, THE TRUE VISION OF WHAT OUR SACRED FOUNDERS HAD IN MIND. ANYTHING LES IS LIBTARD SOCIALIST TRICKERY.

Posted by: Mac27 | May 14, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

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