March 20, 2010

Really, it doesn't get more sublimely idiotic than it did last night on Greta Van Susteren's Fox News show, when she brought on Sarah Palin to attack the imminent passage of health-care reform.

Why oh why wasn't this a bipartisan bill? Van Susteren wondered. In a rational world, the simple answer would be obvious: Because Republicans have found it more politically expedient to simply oppose every step taken by President Obama. But of course in Palintopia, it's all President Obama's fault:

Palin: It really reflects a lack of experience of President Obama's, which -- it was warned about during the campaign that Candidate Obama didn't have executive experience, he hasn't been an administrator or a manager of anything. So to jump into this huge -- hugely important responsible position as President of the United States without the experience to know how to work across party lines, and to know how to administer and to manage a team to get policy through that makes sense, that's supported by the people -- it's a bit, um, it's a bit over his head, if you will. And, uh, things aren't going well, and the public is really voicing their frustration.

Of course, hearing Palin talk up her "executive experience" as somehow superior to Obama's is always occasion for low mordant chuckles, if not outright guffaws.

In the course of carefully examining Palin's public record as an administrator -- particularly her stint as Mayor of Wasilla -- for the investigative piece Max Blumenthal and I co-wrote for Salon in October 2008, I happen to be intimately familiar with just what kind of issues and decisions Sarah Palin dealt with on a daily basis.

Primarily, Palin was involved with such vital issues as which streets to pave in town, whether to put a levy for a sewer bond, and issuing proclamations of support for the Iditarod. Probably her most difficult issue involved construction of a new sports-activity center -- a project that turned into a gigantic financial headache for her former constituents.

So when she talks about cramming bad ideas down people's throats with deceptive tactics, she knows whereof she speaks.

But the notion that Palin's "experience" compares to Obama's background crafting legislation that affects the health and well-being of millions of Americans -- well, let's just say the guffaws are well earned.

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