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Trumka shows how Palin sells

AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka gives a lot of speeches about social justice, fair wages, dangerous working conditions and, of course, the role of unions in building the middle class. I also doubt you’ve ever seen much, if any, media coverage of those speeches. But when Trumka released the prepared text of the speech he planned to give Thursday night in Anchorage, Alaska, in which he went after Sarah Palin, his words exploded across the media even before he uttered a single word.

Here’s some of what Trumka said:

she’s hanging out on cable TV, almost a parody of herself, coming out with conspiracy theories about Obama and his “death panels….” Talking about “the real America.” Talking about building schools in “our neighboring country of Afghanistan.” Writing speech notes to herself on her hands.

Sometimes – about Sarah Palin – you just have to laugh…. But it’s not really funny. In this charged political environment, her kind of talk gets dangerous. “Don’t retreat… reload” may seem clever, the kind of bull you hear all the time, but put it in context. She’s using crosshairs to illustrate targeted legislators. She’s on the wrong side of the line there.

She’s getting close to calling for violence. And some of her fans take that stuff seriously. We’ve got legislators in America who have been living with death threats since the health-care votes.

Down in Tyler, Texas, she’s talking about -- and I quote -- “union thugs.” What? Her husband’s a union man. Is she calling him a thug? Sarah Palin ought to know what union men and women are....

But using the term “union thug.” That’s poisonous. There’s history behind that rhetoric. That’s how bosses and politicians in decades past justified the terrorizing of workers, the murdering of organizers….

To me, it just doesn’t seem okay to go where she’s going…. It sits wrong with me…. The Mama Grizzlies, Sarah Palin says, just sense when something’s not right. Well… I wonder if those Mama Grizzlies can sense something’s just not right with her.

Quite frankly, America works because lots of people contribute lots of ideas -- that’s good -- even when some of them are just plain wrong. But people need to come to the table in good faith. That’s not Sarah Palin. She’ll go down in history like McCarthy. Palinism will become an ugly word.

Palin responded through her medium of choice, her Twitter account, which is much easier than facing reporters and answering their questions. Here’s what Palin said: “Know our hardworking union friends (esp from my days as an IBEW sister, Todd IBEW & USW brother) aren’t sheep, they’ll ask: Trumka’s motive? Think Trumka’s frustrations r w/Obama, not me (high unemplymnt, deals w/Obama&his subsequent broken promises) so understandable Rich’s ticked”

It’s good and useful that Trumka called Palin out on some of her more outrageous statements, particularly the “don’t retreat, reload” line, which does carry a whiff of threatened violence.

But this is also a commentary on the media. It’s hard for progressives to get any coverage when they talk about falling wages or unequal incomes. Yet the mere mention of the former governor of Alaska sets everyone in the media, well, atwitter. “Palin” is a magic word on the Web, drawing big time page views both from her staunch supporters and from her many critics. Maybe if Trumka turns himself into one of Palin’s leading public adversaries, his substantive comments will start getting attention. I would not, however, bet a field-dressed moose on that.

And you betcha: I’m fully aware that this blog item will get above-average attention because it contains the magic word.

By E.J. Dionne  | August 26, 2010; 11:36 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Comments

The word is only "magic" because you and all the lefties still talk about her. Her 15 minutes of fame ended long ago. Most of her current followers like her because she ticks off you lefties so much.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Posted by: flyover22 | August 27, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

...even at that Palin makes more sense Trumka. Unions made the middle class? Growth in the economy allowed more American into the middle class. A weak economy shrinks the middle class.

Posted by: flyover22 | August 27, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

"which is much easier than facing reporters and answering their questions. "

EJ. Hate to break this to you...Sarah holds no office...she's actually your "pundit" colleague .When was the last time you stood in front of "reporters" (ideologues?) and answered questions...you hide behind your "pundit" rights..right?

Well actually it looks like your comment is directed at the President..right? Looks like he's abandoned meeting with the Press...even though they really were his shills.. Hey EJ honey..when was the last time you asked our President or our Senate Majority Leader or our Speaker of the House..you know..the Democratic Party leaders of this country a "hard question"?

Posted by: wjc1va | August 27, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse


Richard Trumka has betrayed all American workers.

Trumka promises to deliver Card Check legislation so that all American workers can be organised into unions.

Now 2 years into Obama administration, with Trumka allies Democrats controlling the White House, over 50 seats majority in the House and a filibuster-proof Senate in 2009, where is the Card Check Bill ? Has Trumka forgotten his promise to all American workers ?

Instead Trumka and his union leader buddies continue their fine dining and wining at the expense of all American hardworking union members while completely ignoring their livelihood and hardship.

Trumka even flies all the way to Alaska to dine and wine at the expense union members' fees so that he can make personal attacks and serve his politcal buddies in DC. Where is Trumka's pride, dignity and conscience ? Trumka, stop talking and start delivering !

Richard Trumka is a Judas to all American workers.

Posted by: cxyehonala | August 27, 2010 2:00 AM | Report abuse

Dionne has sunk to a new low supporting union thug Trumka's criticism of Sarah Palin. Trumka who took the Fifth Amendment rather than tesitify at trial of his former union boss, Ron Carey. Trumka who regularly pillories Wall Street even though his annual pay package if over one million dollars. Trumka who wants to make unions even less democratic and more powerful by having his buddy President Obama enact Card Check. Unions are an anachronism as is their wholly owned subsidiary the National Democratic Party with its back to the future agenda of 1930's style socialism.

Posted by: jkk1943 | August 27, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Hey Dionne, why didn't you bother to post Palin's actually response to Trumka:

Union Brothers and Sisters, Join Our Commonsense Cause!by Sarah Palin

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=423051013434

Posted by: gatshanson1 | August 27, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

It is bizarre how she draws sparks.

Posted by: MikeMcLamara | August 27, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I have yet to read anything written by Mr. Dionne that has ever been critical of the AFL-CIO or of its president Mr. Trumka.

He does, however, take every opportunity, convenient or not, to say things critical of Mrs. Palin.

Why is that?

It is also interesting the amount of attention that Mr. Dionne and his ultra-liberal colleagues to a person who they deem to be irrelevant to political America.

Is it because that person is actually articulating what the American voter is thinking and that Mr.Dionne, et al, are fighting hard to appear relevant themselves?

I wonder...

And by the way, Mr. Dionne, how's that hopey-changey bit doing these days?

Not sure how the really poor economic numbers play into "making progress", but I am sure that you will spin up something for us.

Posted by: Crmudgeon | August 27, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Guys like Dionne always leave out Dick Trumpkas' CRIMINAL RECORD. Gosh. A Union Boss was in the Penitentiary? I believe it was for MONEY LAUNDERING.
But, no matter. Sarah Palin is stupid, and we should all listen to Dionnes' Felon Buddy - The Convicted CROOK - Richard Trumpka. And if you ever get the chance, you might wanna check out another one of E.J.'s heroes....The IMPEACHED RAPIST/SERIAL MYSOGENYST, who exposed his GENITALS to a woman he didn't even know, in a Hotel room, and used a 20 Year Old Fat Intern for a Cigar Humidor in the Oval Office. Bill Clinton.
E.J.'s got lots of friends. They just all happen to be FILTH.

Posted by: GoomyGommy | August 27, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Pretty amazing how many Palin, Fox News, and AM talk radio fans seem to love to bash labor unions. If you're a working person, you wouldn't have most of the workplace rights, protections and benefits you enjoy, without the labor movement of the last 100 years or so. But then, to know that, you'd have to know a bit about history, and I doubt that Prof. Beck will cover that in his "Fractured Fairytale" history lectures.

Posted by: bienefes | August 27, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Trumka is right about Palin. And EJ is right about the media being pretty much in the tank for Palin.

Look. Palin is like Limbaugh. Both are cowardly. She hides behind her infantile little Titter acount, Limbaugh hides behind his silly Golden EIB Microphone. Neither has the courage to face even this most sycophantic of a mainstream press that never seems to get enough of the crap they both preach to their dumbed down flocks.

Palin and Limbaugh are microbes, media creatures. Neither has even the barest scintilla of a workable governing philosophy. What they offer is a mind numbing repetition of old 50-style McCarthyite rhetoric. And oddly both have this annoying manner which--let's face it--comes off a pretty juvenile. One of the reasons neither of them likes to subject themselves to public media scrutiny is, not that the media treat them unfairly, far from it, but rather that given sufficient probing and followup (which never comes) they are both revealed to be profoundly ignorant of even the most basic issues and incredibly shallow in their understanding of those issues.

Posted by: jaxas70 | August 27, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

These critical comments are SUCH thin gruel.

Oh, sure you can criticize unions and unionism. I was not in love with the OCAW Union back in the day when I worked at Helena Rubinstein. Work rules were childish and unhelpful.
But I will never pooh-pooh unionism's contributions to creating and maintaining the middle class. Thank the unions for not only a 40 hour week, but weekends (WEEKENDS!) and restrictions on child labor.
Yeah, I know these are talking points but at least Liberal talking points are true.

And we're don't have leaders and candidates (like Sharon Angle) that literally run from critical questions.
The Pundit-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named walls herself off from the non-Fox world because she lives in Cloud Coo Coo Land, a land that abhors Federal spending while it is is completely dependent on Federal largess, a socialist paradise that pays each man, woman and child more than a grand each year for ... what? Buying into the great lie?

Sure, retaining tax cuts for the rich and nothing else will create jobs and restore the American economy.
Only in Cloud Coo Coo Land.

Posted by: bobwatts | August 27, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Look. Palin, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity--these people succeed because they recognize one, major, undeniable fact: The American people are cattle. They are naturally ignorant. They like to think of themselves as the "common man". It never occurs to them that "common" usually means they don't know their ars from a big deep stinking hole in the ground.

H. L. Mencken deliciously described the average American: "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American voter". Upwards of a third of them still believe that Sadaam Hussein was the mastermind behind 9-11 even though Bin Laden and Hussein were mortal enemies. A majority of them believe that the Apocolypse will occur within their lifetimes. A goodly chunk of them actually believe that just prior to that event they will be magically whisked off the planet in a process called the Rapture and believe the LEFT BEHIND novels are nonfiction.

And let's face the truth here. The right wing depends on these cattle to get elected. And just like cattle being herded to the slaughter, they willingly herd to the polls and elect or re-elect the very people who have cause the misery they are presently in.

Quite honestly, I have no sympathy for the predicament Americans find themselves in. The Founding Fathers bequesthed to them a Republic if they could keep it. And for most of the generations since the Founding they stayed pretty true to that. But not this one. This herd of cattle will march to the slaughterhouse this November and punch the card for their own destruction by voting to the dictates of their slave masters on talk radio and television. And they deserve it for being so proudly ignorant.

Posted by: jaxas70 | August 27, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

If Sarah Palin decides to run for the presidency in 2012, her facebook page and tweets will be no more. She will be forced to answer the tough questions and we all know what happens when she has to answer questions. There will be no handwritten notes(literally), no ghostwritten speeches and no teleprompters. I consider her someone who fills a tight skirt but has an empty head.
She and Glenn Beck will be an awesome pair at his rally in Washington tomorrow. All I foresee is a couple of nut jobs who talk utter nonsense. I hope she does run for president, gets her butt kicked and heads for the hills of Alaska leaving us in the lower 48 alone.

Posted by: marnie249 | August 27, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

EJ, there is a real problem with the media and it is really harming this country.
The obsession on tabloid, controversy and ginning up little things while ignoring facts, truth and real information that is important for the public.
So now we have a growing ignorance in our country and our politics have become a trivial soap opera.
thing the public needs to know about are not addressed because our media is too busy watching Palin's Twitter and Facebook pages 24-7.
there is a huge problem when nothing is explained or even noted while the press goes breaking news over whatever gibberish Palin posts.
Honestly, EJ, there needs to be a wholesale cleansing of the profession and how it operates.
this is why newspapers are losing readers. No one knows what is real and along with the misinformation on the internet we have the press also filling people's heads with cotton candy nonsense and nontruths.
It's reached a critical condition when no one is informed of real facts of health care or the stimulus or TARP but, the public is fed a steady diet of the press's unfathomable obsession with Palin.

Posted by: vwcat | August 27, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

EJ, there is a real problem with the media and it is really harming this country.
The obsession on tabloid, controversy and ginning up little things while ignoring facts, truth and real information that is important for the public.
So now we have a growing ignorance in our country and our politics have become a trivial soap opera.
thing the public needs to know about are not addressed because our media is too busy watching Palin's Twitter and Facebook pages 24-7.
there is a huge problem when nothing is explained or even noted while the press goes breaking news over whatever gibberish Palin posts.
Honestly, EJ, there needs to be a wholesale cleansing of the profession and how it operates.
this is why newspapers are losing readers. No one knows what is real and along with the misinformation on the internet we have the press also filling people's heads with cotton candy nonsense and nontruths.
It's reached a critical condition when no one is informed of real facts of health care or the stimulus or TARP but, the public is fed a steady diet of the press's unfathomable obsession with Palin.

Posted by: vwcat | August 27, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

flyover22 has it right. Palin's main attraction is her ability to make the MSM commentators drool with anger and contempt.

Beyond that, her persona, family, values, and worldview are much more in line with the majority of Americans than those of E.J. Dionne or Richard Trumka.

That may be what they hate most about her!

Posted by: pilsener | August 27, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

jaskas70 wrote: "Look. Palin, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity--these people succeed because they recognize one, major, undeniable fact: The American people are cattle. They are naturally ignorant."

Typically leftist drivel.

The New York Times this spring after a year of Tea Party bashing... surveyed the Tea Party crowd and found them broadly representative of America, moderate (e.g. generally supportive of Social Security and Medicare) and most surprisingly... better educated than the average American !

Who knew ?

Posted by: Petras123 | August 27, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Palin would be the most hilarious president of all time.

and probably the last President of all time.

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | August 27, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Unions did make the middle class -- is wasn't a good economy that created it. Until unions were formed in the early 1900s, the elite, rich company owners were staying rich by underpaying workers and providing no benefits. There was essentially no middle class. Obviously the economy would improve when workers were finally being paid a living wage. Some of the commenters here obviously didn't learn this in American history.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | August 27, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

way to go Rich! and thanks Mr. Dionne for inserting some rational thought into the public debate

Posted by: scratchycactus | August 27, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"Palin" does mean "backwards" in Classical Greek.

Posted by: Itzajob | August 27, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Ej - Please ask Trumka what is his annual compensation and then we'll talk about middle class, you idiot.

Posted by: Veridico | August 27, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

to Jaxas -

your comment:

"Quite honestly, I have no sympathy for the predicament Americans find themselves in. The Founding Fathers bequesthed to them a Republic if they could keep it. And for most of the generations since the Founding they stayed pretty true to that. But not this one. This herd of cattle will march to the slaughterhouse this November and punch the card for their own destruction by voting to the dictates of their slave masters on talk radio and television. And they deserve it for being so proudly ignorant."

was right on point ...

and for all of you who dissagree i recommend watching the documentary "OUT-FOXED" about the lies and intentional missleading "fox-missinformation-propaganda-for-republicans network" ... it's available on netflix

Posted by: scratchycactus | August 27, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I have this odd method of how to pick a candidate to support. I listen to a stump speech, I watch a debate and during that time I will record it and when I play it back I will close my eyes to truly listen not just to content but how the content is presented.

After listening to Hillary - while not a supporter I was pretty proud that someone of my gender was intelligent, presented her plans and ideas in a rational and powerful way. Hillary set the standard high and I thought then it would raise the bar for future MALE AND FEMALE candidates. Then Sarah was introduced to America and I ignored the hype, the winks that reminded me of the group in highschool that never studied, never tried but got by on sex (real or implied). This was a woman running for the second highest office, someone running with an elderly man with health concerns so I listened. I have a degree in English and History, I love the printed word, the spoken word and I love knowing what happened in the past and how it affects present day. About 5 minutes into Palin's speech I thought there is no pattern, no unity of thought, it's slogans strung together and emphasized so the ignorant masses hear the phrase and clap like seals. I passed it off as first major speech and waited but nothing changed. Then I listened to the debate and that's when I decided the woman was dangerous but dumb enough that soon her corporate handlers would find another mouth to move. Her first statement -- she would not answer the questions the moderator posed - she would answer questions she felt were important. Now that ticked me off -- a woman of limited intelligence running for high office and she is not bound by the same rules as anyone else? So when she was defeated I was glad.

She has revealed herself to be a grifter - out for the money to anyone would is attracted to the bright shiny surface that hides a shallow and empty shell. Why should she shut up and learn about the world, about the conflicts of today that are rooted in wars that go back generations? Why should she promote unity in her own country -- it doesn't pay her salary but discord does. I look at past public figures who lost or are out of office. The ones who build homes for non-profits, who establish foundations to help the truly needy instead of establishing companies that "consult" and continue to churn up hate and money in their pockets. I'm not a big union person but I do appreciate their work has made my life easier and so when it comes to who to listen to - I'll pick the one that speaks clearly, concisely and backs up statements with facts -- that isn't Palin, never has been, never will be.

Posted by: Lemon7221 | August 27, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

seriously, everyone should watch the documentary "OUT-FOXED" to see how the cattle are being intentionally mislead ... catch it instantly on netflix if you have an account ... until i saw it last night i was unaware of the EXTENT to which this network has worked as a mouthpiece for the REPUBLICAN PARTY

Posted by: scratchycactus | August 27, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't like language like "reload"; that is like yelling fire in a crowded theater. She is talking to people who stomp around angry and uninformed. Some are the kind that will take her advice and violence will result.

Posted by: withersb | August 27, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't like language like "reload"; that is like yelling fire in a crowded theater. She is talking to people who stomp around angry and uninformed. Some are the kind that will take her advice and violence will result.

Posted by: withersb | August 27, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Sir, please have yourself and all liberal elites keep repeating to yourself, "Palin bad, kool-aid good, Palin bad, kool-aid good." Amazing the drivel you try to pass off as responsible writing.

Posted by: jjlj | August 27, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

seriously, everyone should watch the documentary "OUT-FOXED" to see how the cattle are being intentionally mislead ... catch it instantly on netflix if you have an account ... until i saw it last night i was unaware of the EXTENT to which this network has worked as a mouthpiece for the REPUBLICAN PARTY ... Goebbels would be proud

Posted by: scratchycactus | August 27, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I wish the union haters here could have been at the Triangle Shirt Waist Fire of 1911...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangle_Shirtwaist_Factory_fire

or witness the panache and style with which Henry Ford dealt with union organizers in the 1932 Ford Hunger March...

http://www.forgottenshow.net/TheFordHunger.html

Or how about this? I wish columnists like Dionne would remember.

The wealth of this country comes from many sources. Innovation. Free speech. Somewhat reliable institutions. The value of your word. The freedom to travel anywhere in this nation. But also on the backs of exploited workers and ripped off consumers.


Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | August 27, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post or a comparable media outlet needs to hire Lemon7221 as a new columnist. Although I don't agree with everything she says (I was never a fan of Mrs. Clinton) Lemon's views are intelligent, reasonable and well-articulated.

I nominate her to replace the breathless drivel of Maureen Dowd over at the NY Times.

Posted by: ViejitaDelOeste | August 27, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

jaskas70 wrote: "Look. Palin, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity--these people succeed because they recognize one, major, undeniable fact: The American people are cattle. They are naturally ignorant."

Typically leftist drivel.

The New York Times this spring after a year of Tea Party bashing... surveyed the Tea Party crowd and found them broadly representative of America, moderate (e.g. generally supportive of Social Security and Medicare) and most surprisingly... better educated than the average American !

Who knew ?

Posted by: Petras123 | August 27, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

And then these above average inteligent people who support Medicare and Social Security are attending rallies in support of people who want to eliminate medicare and social security. I believe the point was about ignorance. How did this help your point?

Posted by: kchses1 | August 27, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The lady in question sometimes represents underlying emotions... that are there. Much like with the Confederacy in the 19th century. ... In her case though, it's more like dividing the GOP. Ahem, the Constitution documents are not selective, to be taken out of context by decree. ... She'll learn, like we all do.

Posted by: deepthroat21 | August 27, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Let's see more coverage of why Palin matters. She was a disgraced losing candidate, bringing down a very strong Presidential candidate. She had a failed governorship. Ten of 13 endorsements have lost. She is now purely a media personality like Rush Limbaugh, not a serious politician. She polarizes and excites a fringe and potentially dangerous movement, but the coverage of her is hugely outsized compared to, for example, Rich Trumka. The same new coverage should ask why the "anti-incumbent" meme so dominated an election cycle so dominated by re-election of incumbents.

Posted by: dcnyhunter | August 27, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Neither side of the Palin controversy gets it. It's not about persona, style, rhetoric, it's about doing things. Even Palin supporters never mention the things that I'm about to mention here.

1. Democrats forget when Palin was the Darling of the Democrats, because as soon as Palin took the Governor's office away from a fellow Republican and tough SOB, Frank Murkowski, she tore into the Republican's "Corrupt Bastards Club" (CBC) and sent them packing. Many of them are now residing in State housing and wearing orange jump suits The Democrats reacted by skipping around the yard, throwing confetti and singing, "la la la la" (well, you know how they are). Name another governor in this country that has ever done anything similar.

2. Now with the CBC gone, there were fewer Alaskan politicians to protect the huge, giant oil companies here. So she constructed and enacted a new system of splitting the oil profits called "ACES." Exxon (the biggest corporation in the world) protested and Sarah told them, "don't let the door hit you in the stern on your way out." They stayed, and Alaska residents went from being merely wealthy to being filthy rich. Of course, the other huge international oil companies meekly fell in line. Again, give me the name of any other governor in the country that has done anything similar.

3. The other thing she did when she walked into the governor's office is she got the list of State requests for federal funding for projects, known as "pork." She went through the list, took 85% of the m and placed them in the "when-hell-freezes-over" stack. She let locals know that if we need something built, we'll pay for it ourselves. Maybe she figured she could use the money she got from selling the previous governor's jet because it was extravagant.

Maybe she could use the money she saved by dismissing the governor's cook (remarking that she could cook for her own family), giving back the State vehicle issued to her, maintaining that she already had a car, and dismissing her State provided security force (never mentioning - I imagine - that she's packing heat herself). I'm still waiting to hear the names of those other governors.

4. Now, even with her much-ridiculed "gosh and golly" mannerism, she also managed to put together a totally new approach to getting a natural gas pipeline built which will be the biggest private construction project in the history of North America. No one else could do it although they tried. If that doesn't impress you, then you're trying too hard to be unimpressed while watching her do things like this while baking up a batch of brownies with her other hand.

5. For 30 years, Exxon held a lease to do exploratory drilling at a place called Point Thompson. They made excuses the entire time why they couldn't star

Posted by: Straightline | August 27, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

It’s good and useful that Trumka called Palin out on some of her more outrageous statements, particularly the “don’t retreat, reload” line, which does carry a whiff of threatened violence.
***********

you've...got to be kidding me.

Posted by: dummypants | August 27, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Deepthroat 21 I fear you are missing something important with Ms. Palin. Many people know that they are intellectually lacking in certain areas - I can watch Through the Wormhole and marvel but I cannot understand how to write a formula to explain the mysteries of the universe. Others feel inadequate if they do not "know it all" and will avoid the topic others speak loudly and repeatedly - noise equals knowledge in their world.

Example - Faux had no problem with the "Community Center" near WTC until their political arm decided it would be distraction that Republicans have no ideas on jobs, economy, health care and now it is "everyone's business" instead of the city of NY and other parts of the country are openly invalidating the 1st amendment and proud of it. What bothers me is I recall hearing real hate about Catholics in the 60's and I'm betting there was real hate toward Germans and Japanese in the 40's - and didn't we learn anything? The easily frightened are being led but isn't the worst sin those that are directing the hate?

So while many people want to learn Ms. Palin has no interest in doing so. She has gotten where she is without needing any curiousity of the world around her and sees no reason for changing. She does not write her books, she does not do her twitter and feels the need to attack anyone who dares to question her. Again learning is not something she feels a need for so there will be no changes. If you made millions being a mouthpiece for Fox and the right wing would you rock that boat? She is unintelligent not stupid.

Posted by: Lemon7221 | August 27, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Yes, o yes, E.J.
It sucks, doesn't it? Only celebrity rules apply to Palin, which is why she can act like a weird unschooled diva and still somehow have political credibility.

We need to understand that Sarah is no longer the "real" Sarah, but has morphed into her own mythological maverick character. Sarah is the new Reagan, an amiable dunce surrounded by viscous handlers and hard-ball pros who will manipulate her like a marionette.

There is no accountability for the Palins. Which is why even the WAPO doesn't have to truthfully analyze what she says. She is the burden of the next generation. P.T.Barnum is smiling knowingly somewhere. World without end.

Posted by: roboturkey | August 27, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Palin responded through her medium of choice, her Twitter account, which is much easier than facing reporters and answering their questions."

Write what you will but Tweeting takes a little more effort than simply saying, "We're off to buy shimp (or Moose Burgers), guys."

Posted by: Bjartur | August 27, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

@flyover22:

Exactly. It is exactly that sort of sneering, unfriendly, un-American brand of rudeness that allows someone to label well-meaning people they do not know as 'lefties.'

It's become very fashionable in this country to a bully. Flyover22, helpfully, proves this point.

Trumka's real point had nothing to do with politics, where someone stands on the issue of organized labor or even whatever it is that Mrs. Palin stands for.

Trumka's point is the bullies are feeling pretty bold these days. They swagger. They call names. They apply labels like 'lefties.'

And they talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and never say anything other than, and this is a nutshell, "I'm fed up, I don't know who to blame, I'm certainly not going to put any responsibility on myself, and I think I'll just act like Sarah Palin does until I feel like acting differently."

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | August 27, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

She probably just needs a translator when she speaks publicly. ... Sort of like a Palin-bonics specialist. ... and Hey! There's a job. Quite a few on that staff I would imagine.

Posted by: deepthroat21 | August 27, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Palin is a bully. Her defenders are cowards who defend a bully.

Palin appeals to that tiny minority of Americans who think they have manners, but are actually just pushy loudmouths.

Unfortunately for the productive members of American society, pushy loudmouths do not like to be ignored.

And when pushy loudmouths are ignored, they get indignant and self-righteous, and louder.

And when a productive, common, decent person stands up to an indignant pushy loudmouth, the pushy loudmouth either wises up and backs off, or starts to make threats.

Threats changes the deal. An indignant pushy loudmouth making threats finally cannot be ignored. But by that point there's no point listening to them, because they don't want to be listened to -- they want to dictate.

And no common, decent, ordinary person is going to let an unproductive, indignant pushy loudmouth dictate to them.

When this happens, either the pushy loudmouth sees how they are out of line, or they go too far.

And when they go too far, the productive, common, decent person has to stop their work, and deal with it -- the pushy loudmouth has become a bully. Bullies are aggressive people.

And, if American history teaches one less, aggression can not be ignored. You are forced to deal with it.

Pushy loudmouths ought to think again about whether it wise to be a pushy loudmouth. That is a bad path. Your mother told you so.

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | August 27, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Palin is a simpleton and the more people who expose that the better. She only appeals to other simpletons.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld1 | August 27, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

So Dionne posts virtually all of the Palin-hatred spewed by a left-wing Labor leader Trumka... and than criticizes Palin for not appearing before reporters ? to answer it ?

Palin is a pundit herself... out-of-office at least until 2012...

This is journalism ?

When has the President of the United States - a failing unpopular man last appeared before an increasing critical media ? spoken with reporters ?

Dionne has no answer... and indeed fails to even ask that question. Shameful.

Posted by: Petras123 | August 27, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

someone said:

The New York Times this spring after a year of Tea Party bashing... surveyed the Tea Party crowd and found them broadly representative of America, moderate (e.g. generally supportive of Social Security and Medicare) and most surprisingly... better educated than the average American !
*******************************************
And always willing to lie about their circumstances to win an argument.

Posted by: dnahatch1 | August 27, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

A union thug like Trumka gets a full page on Dionne's space. E.J's columns are sinking to a new low week.

Posted by: NoWeCant | August 27, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

So the burning question is if the media is partially to blame for the fact that the only way to get the media's attention these days is to mention Sarah Palin?

And the question is posed at the end of commentary about a speech that only came to your attention because it mentioned Sarah Palin?

I guest the short answer to the question is, "Duh!"

Posted by: exco | August 27, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

good afternoon,

Three questions: What is the membership total of the AFL-CIO, and how is that number trending? And, who takes special interest in the views of AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka?

take care

Posted by: LulingRanchers | August 27, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Palin is a watered down combination of Ted Bundy and Adolf Hitler; attractive, energetic, charismatic and offers simple soundbite solutions to complex issues at a time of great political and economic turmoil. However, she does not have Bundy's intelligence and wit (he could at least speak in clear, crisp sentences and had a self deprecating way about himself) or Hitler's actual interest in policy heavy lifting.

Her claims have all been debunked. This can be verified by just a cursory glance at FactCheck, PolitiFact and even Alaska media.

The NY Times Tea Party survey was less than 2,000 adults. Furthermore, it did not clearly differentiate between supporter and rank and file Partiers. Much of money support is from big business and lobbyists-Koch Industries, dontGo, FreedomWorks, which are funded by insurance and energy companies. It would be natural that such "supporters" are more educated and wealthier. However, the rank and file tend to come from small or rural areas (just look at some of the signs at a rally sometime). Much like the original Beer Hall ruffians, corporate interests and former regime hangovers stir up rural, socially conservative elements against some "other" boogeyman. In Germany, it was not that they lost the war but that the Jews stabbed Germany in the back. Here, it is not that Obama and Dems won election; "their" country was "stolen" by ACORN and SEIU (code for blacks, minorities). Educated people and urbanites are sub-human scum and rural, white evangelical areas are "real America" and the "pro-America parts of the country." Naturally, their elite finaciers want low taxes and less regulation and they sell these buzzwords to lesser educated people by appealing to prejudices, fears and distortions. After all, there was no Tea Party when Bush ran up deficits, debt and got people killed needlessly. Why? Corporate elites like Halliburton & Koch benefitted greatly from those policies. Now that there has been some (minor) revisions to those policies, they fear they won't get to have an extra mistress or yacht. Now, they want to cry foul but they need the working class to buy into their agenda, so they dress it up in a mirage of distortions (he's getting away from America's ideals; socialism; he's a Muslim; birth certificates) for people who cannot read between the lines and also, because of their lack of education, need someone to look down on, so they call smart people pointy headed elites.

Eerie similarities to Germany in the 1920s and 1930s.

Posted by: Handsome19781 | August 27, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse


Straightline: Your comments are the reason the left go after Palin so hard. They are afraid of her. She's the real deal. She HAS a proven record. Notice during the campaign the liberal media never mentioned her accomplishments as Governor.

Compare her accomplishments as Governor (while simultaneously running for VP) against the failings of Obama. His accomplishments, if you can call them that, Health Care and Financial Reform bills are going to bankrupt this country. AND we still don't know what's in these bills.

After her endorsed candidates winning the other night, the liberal MSM (i.e., Dionne), have been going after her full throttle.

Maybe they got a call from the White House and Democrats? And you notice Trumpka comes out with this after Palins endorsed candidates won Tuesday? "White House calling Trumpka."

And Dionne you wrote: "It’s hard for progressives to get any coverage when they talk about falling wages or unequal incomes."

Dionne to earth - The liberal/progressive MSM dominate the news coverage. Where have you been?

Posted by: janet8 | August 27, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Trumpka supported the clowns who are giving us 9.5% unemployment and a double dip recession, triple the debt of Bush.

In return the unions get pay offs by the boat load.

Palin calls them on their failed, crony capitalism.

The MSM lapdogs never will.

No wonder they hate her.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | August 27, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I have promised myself that I won't say another bad thing about Palin, but I just can't resist saying that I wouldn't let my son marry one of her daughters or my daughter marry one of her sons. Now, that wasn't too mean was it?

Posted by: GrannyAnnie | August 27, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

A short fat little Union Hack idolized by a diminutive writer for the Washington Post.

Who would have thought.

Posted by: robtr | August 27, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Well I'm a working woman and a single mother too
I got a full time job, it seemed the only thing to do
Now I work five days, it's a 40 hour week
And here's my life, come close and take a peek

It's $1200 a month before the SSI and tax
The take-home pay is $900 and 1/2
And the rent takes half of that, leaving $475
With a hundred for the groceries to keep us all alive

From the $375, take out $50 for the heat
And $50 for the lights and phone, utilities complete,
From the $275 take my public transport pass
To get me to and from this job, for which I bust my ass

But I haven't finished yet, no, my babies are so young
That one is not in school yet, he has not yet begun
So I pay $200 to a mom who lives near me
So she can spend ten hours a day with him -- instead of me
So she can spend 10 precious hours with him - instead of me

And add to that the clothing bill, the cleaning bill, the shoes
Prescriptions and medicine, birthday gifts and Brownie dues
And take all of that from the sum of $75
And your guess is as good as mine just how we stay alive

But the system is so thoughtful and the bankers are so kind
They've given me some credit cards for when I fall behind
So I make my monthly payments, a mere 29 to go --
Just looking at this nightmare makes me want to stay at home

They're trying to get welfare mothers into full time jobs
If we aren't thrilled to leave the home, they call us lazy slobs -
Offer minimum wage, no benefits, and no childcare, naturally
So more can join the weary ranks of working poor like me

Oh I'd like to take each potbellied pol who talks that way
And let him try to take a walk in my shoes for a day,
He'd be screaming and crying and begging and irate
To raise the living wage now, before it is too late

For I'm a working woman and a single mother too
I left my full time job, it seemed the only thing to do
And until that happy day that the living wage is raised,
I'll do odds jobs, stay with my kids, and home is where I'll stay
This rich land can afford it, we have got to find a way
We've got to raise the living wage -- we've got to find a way

Rush ain't the way
Beck ain't the way
Pailin ain't the way
Republicans ain't the way
The boss ain't the way

Organize - that's the way!
Join the union - that's the way!
Fight the bosses - that's the way!
Get on the picket line - that's the way!

Posted by: apspa1 | August 27, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Boo hoo.

Meanwhile gov't employees make 40% more than private sector workers and public employee unions are crushing state and local economies with their unfunded mandates.

Gold plated benefits they expect to collect forever paid for by peopel who don't enjoy anythingnear.

Cry me a river.

Bring on November!!!

Posted by: drjcarlucci | August 27, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget who inflicted Palin on us to begin with. If John McCain hadn't plucked her from obscurity in a desparate, cyincal bid to bolster his sagging presidential campaign, she would have spent her days mismanaging the state of Alaska, and then fading away. Instead, we've got the hustler from Wasilla roaming the country, attracting the ignorant and swaying elections.

The thing that the Palin phenomemom highlights is the glaring ignorance of a large part of the population. In an age when everyone has the vote, it's disturbing to realize that so many don't have the ability to properly use it.

Posted by: arena-of-ideas | August 27, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"Down in Tyler, Texas, she’s talking about -- and I quote -- “union thugs.” What? Her husband’s a union man. Is she calling him a thug? Sarah Palin ought to know what union men and women are...."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
EJ - do you throw out this ignorant drivel to tease or irritate??? ALL union mmembers are not Thugs!! And Palin does know the difference!! If you don't - you should read up up before you spout off!
Taking away the union members' secret vote is thuggery!! It puts pressure on the union members in an unconstitutional way.
When "protecting" the workers brings companies down EVERYBODY loses!
Government Motors, Federal Banks, Federal Healthcare, Federal Mortgage are not what we want! You can call yourself progressive but it's Socialism.
We the People are not buying it. Palin is just one of the leaders against your stupid attempts to yank us there!
You will get the message soon!!!

Posted by: thornegp2626 | August 27, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget who inflicted Palin on us to begin with. If John McCain hadn't plucked her from obscurity in a desparate, cyincal bid to bolster his sagging presidential campaign, she would have spent her days mismanaging the state of Alaska, and then fading away. Instead, we've got the hustler from Wasilla roaming the country, attracting the ignorant and swaying elections.

The thing that the Palin phenomemom highlights is the glaring ignorance of a large part of the population. In an age when everyone has the vote, it's disturbing to realize that so many don't have the ability to properly use it.

Posted by: arena-of-ideas | August 27, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse
__________________________________________

Arena,

McCain initially wanted Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge. He also considered Lindsay Graham.

However, the RNC actually believed that the PUMA movement was actually a true groundswell when it was simply a very vocal minority of Clinton backers and they also wanted to counter Dem narrative of a black man running for President with a white woman for VP (1984 DNC called. They want their campaign back). Plus, they needed a big upshot at convention; only boost was if McCain picked a total stranger.

The RNC mistakenly believed Palin to be a Republican Hillary Clinton who could tap into the frustrated Clinton voters. However, they could not be more different in all categories-education, policies, positions, understanding, etc.

Because of the RNC and McCain's unwillingness to live up to his "maverick" claim and tell the RNC to get lost, we now have this low information sociopath who injects herself into every issue and tries to sway the debate w/o actually debating. In herself, she is a joke. However, the same was once said about Hitler; art school reject who was not even German. He only got 37% of 1932 presidential vote; Nazis only had 1/3 of Reichstag seats but were largest single blog (unity, discipline; like GOP) and the rest is history. Her supporters are the scary ones. The nutcases ALWAYS get out to polls. Too many moderates and independents stay home because both parties are in pocket of special interests.

Because of Holocaust, the Jews say Never Again. The legacy and history of that horror should motivate rational Americans to say Never at All.

Posted by: Handsome19781 | August 27, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Rush on stupid people… who think Palin is stupid…

I have lost my temper a couple of times with people in my own home, because I'm listening to people complain about Democrats, complain about Obama, complain about liberals -- that they fully understand Obama is the worst thing that could happen to America in terms of our economy, traditions and so forth -- and then Palin's name comes up and they say, "Well! (snort) We can't have her! She's not smart enough, she's not bright enough."

I look at them and say, "Compared to WHO? Compared to Joe "gaffe-a-day" Biden ?

Compared to Harry Reid "light-skinned Negro who speaks without an accent" supporter ?

Who's she dumber than? Would you rather have Obama ?"

"Well, no, but I want somebody that can win."

"Well, tell me who it is. You tell me who packs arenas more than Palin does right now." "Who's creating more excitement among Republicans, in an electoral sense, than Palin is ?"

Really who are the dummies out there ?

Posted by: Petras123 | August 27, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

The dummies out there are anyone who believes that Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, et. al. are really looking out for them, the average american.

Who they represent are the mega-rich. Because that is who really calls the shots for repubs.

If you decry unions and say they had nothing to do with the creation of the middle class, you do not know history. I graduated high school and recieved two degrees from universities thanks to the AFL-CIO. My father could have never been able to afford to help, let alone feed, his two sons without a decent-paying job.

I am today, by most every standard, wealthy. An American success story. On the other hand, I suspect most of you Palin-drones will learn the hard way that the big money boys, by and large, don't give a shoot if you starve. Sarah, Glenn, and Rush are bringing that day closer and closer to you.

Posted by: BigBambu | August 31, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

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