Oh, Sarah Palin. You cringe-inducing, Chiclet-brained troll. Every time you open your mouth, you prove to the world exactly why you should never be allowed anywhere near the White House, or any elected office, ever. Not only are you way, way out of your depth — even as a reality show grifter — but every time you step behind a podium, you invariably say things which you might think are really clever but which anyone with an intact frontal lobe recognizes as authentic frontier gibberish. Put another way: outside of a fringe gaggle of sexually repressed far-right pervs and reactionaries, the rest of the world is laughing at you, not with you.
Therefore it makes perfect sense that the most offensively ridiculous thing Palin has said so far was delivered at the National Rifle Association’s “Stand And Fight” rally over the weekend. Known for its own syllabus of bumper sticker slogans, each one about as deep as the adhesive-backed paper it’s printed on, the NRA and Palin are a natural fit, like an old married couple that finishes each other’s sentences.
Say what you will about Wayne LaPierre, but at least he authors his apeshit speeches using cohesive sentence structure, punctuation and noun-verb agreement, unlike Palin whose speeches could generously be described as having been dictated into the worst speech-to-text app via an iPhone that was accidentally dropped into a bowl of pudding, then translated into Korean using Google Translate, then translated back into English, then recited by marble-mouthed InfoWars goon Dan Bidoni back into the crappy speech-to-text app, and voilà! A Palin speech.
What’s especially egregious about her speeches is that she’s clearly nowhere near self-aware enough to realize how truly incomprehensible they are, or, for that matter, how awkwardly they’re delivered. Honestly, six years later I’m still trying to decipher what in the blue blazes Palin said back in 2008 about the role of the Vice President: “Thankfully our founders were wise enough to say we have this position and it’s constitutional — vice president will be able to be not only the position flexible, but it’s gonna be those other duties as assigned by the president. A simple thing.” Not to belabor the point, but the actual role of the vice president is very much “a simple thing,” which is why her inability to accurately repeat it (“vice president will be able to be not only the position flexible”) should’ve summarily forced her off the Republican ticket.
Anyway, back to it. During her “Stand And Fight” remarks to a literal stadium filled with tens of thousands of NRA members, Palin treated the crowd to a thumbnail of what she would do as President of the United States. [shudder] Sorry about that. I probably should’ve warned you that the words “Palin” and “President of the United States” were coming up in the same sentence. Blurting it out like that was not unlike one of those prank videos — the one where you stare at a static image for 30 seconds then The Exorcist face unexpectedly pops up and makes you lose bowel control. My apologies.
Here’s how Palin said she would handle, yes, waterboarding and terrorists.
“C’mon! Enemies who would utterly annihilate America, they would obviously have information on plots. They carry out jihad. Oh, but you can’t offend them. Can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”
Again, this is exactly why she should never, ever, ever, ever, ever times a gazillion be in charge of anything. Several other points here:
–This is nearly the exact same thing Ann Coulter said ten years ago — how we should invade the Arab world and convert everyone to Christianity. Palin is suggesting not only that all terrorists are Muslims (they’re not, what with domestic terrorists, the KKK, the Basque ETA, the IRA, abortion clinic bombers, etc, etc), but that they should be forcibly converted to Christianity using waterboarding. Because Jesus, who was himself tortured, would’ve approved of such methods, yes?
–Waterboarding and other forms of torture are ineffectual methods of extracting information. This debate concluded years and years ago. If Palin is at all interested in, you know, learning, she should talk with Ali Soufan, the FBI agent who successfully interrogated Abu Zubaydah without the use of torture. She should also speak with interrogators Eric Maddox and Matthew Alexander. She should learn a thing or two about the Informed Interrogation Approach. But, sadly, she won’t.
–Perhaps Palin can tell us who said this: “It is true that some information that came from normal interrogation approaches at Guantanamo did lead to information that was beneficial in [the capture of Bin Laden]. But it was not harsh treatment and it was not waterboarding.” That’d be Donald Rumsfeld who admitted that waterboarding had nothing to do with the eventual capture of Bin Laden.
–If a would-be President Palin [shudder again] decided to forego the highly effective Informed Interrogation Approach and resumed waterboarding, there would be more, not fewer, terrorist attacks since waterboarding doesn’t produce actionable intelligence.
–And finally, Sarah Palin famously supported the #StandWithRand filibuster against drones. So somehow she’s opposed to killing terrorist targets using drones, but she’s all in favor of waterboarding them.
Oh well. There I go again trying to deconstruct nincompoopery using logic and reason. There’s only one legitimate explanation here: Palin has no blessed clue what the hell she’s talking about, and only came up with this myopic line as easy red meat for the NRA’s annual cotillion for ignorant tight-asses and gun-fetishists.
While, sure, it won her a massive applause break, the long-term effect is that it’s further marginalized her from the few remaining thinking adults in the conservative movement. At the same time, the enthusiastic reaction from the NRA members in attendance spoke volumes about how off the rails that organization has become — cheering for an illiterate dingus who thinks it’s a sensible course of action in this or any other universe to baptize terrorists by waterboarding them. This is the group, the NRA, that almost entirely controls Congress when it comes to new firearms legislation — out-influencing popular opinion while marching with Sarah Palin into the war on terrorism and winning the gun debate.
One last [shudder].