Sarah Palin is no asset to the Republican Party. Behind the image of no-nonsense folksiness she so likes to project, the former Alaska governor hides no intellectual depth whatsoever. She owes her popularity to her fierce criticism of the Obama Administration which has propelled her into the position of something of a spokesperson for the tea party movement. Republicans may applaud her right now, but they mustn’t forget that so far, Palin hasn’t revealed much of a political philosophy besides responding to every Democratic initiative with a nagging “no, no, no!”
What’s more, although she ran for vice president in 2008, Palin hasn’t showed herself capable of principled leadership yet. She resigned as governor for purely political reasons and went on to smear Democrats and Democratic plans alike with half truths and a fearmongering paralleled only the likes of Fox News television host Glenn Beck.
This Monday, Palin attacked President Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel who, “although known for his caustic, crude references about those with whom he disagrees,” had went to far this time by referring to liberal activist as “retarded”. That, according to Palin, was a “sick and offensive tactic.”
She denounced “Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities” while citing “a patriot” from Massachusetts who had a child born with Down Syndrome and demanded an apology. “This isn’t about politics,” the man told her, “it’s about decency.” He said he wanted to live in a country “free from mindless prejudice and discrimination.”
The Massachusetts man might not have written Palin for political reasons, but that is exactly why she posted his message. The truly “sick and offensive tactic” here is Palin’s use of children and parents struggling with a disability in order to get her name in the spotlight again.
Of course, calling people “retarded” is offensive and of course, a White House official shouldn’t be using such language but it’s hardly enough of an insult to fire someone over it. Indeed, it’s hardly enough of an insult to dedicate a column to the subject. Unless you’re Sarah Palin and you’re willing to say anything to score political points.
Palin appealed to the president, writing, “you can do better, and our country deserves better.” I say, the Republican Party can do better than Sarah Palin — and the country definitively deserves better.