Governor Sarah Palin has a reputation of being a very nice person.Most people who meet her really like her. So it was quite unnerving to hear her give such a tart speech at the Tea Party Convention on Saturday night. Although towards the end of her speech she talked about the need for stability and constructive debate the major part of her speech was filled with jabs at President Obama and the his administration.
In fact, most of the speech was chapter and verse criticism of the Obama administration. It was worrisome how much of her speech was a broadbrush attack. She did not manage to get to specifics till the end.
She went after reading the Miranda rights to the Christmas Day bomber but at the same time she kept mentioning the Constitution and the law. In fact the reading of Miranda rights to non-American citizens was defined by our courts, our system of law, and not by the current Obama administration. However, when you are giving red meat in a red state that is the buckle of the Bible Belt it does not matter that reading of the Miranda rights has been defined by law. It matters more that you are going to be giving a crowd-pleasing moment.
Palin hit hard on a strong national defense, seeming to suffer from a quick memory lapse given that our defense budget is almost more than all the rest of the world put together and that our Secretary of Defense is a hold over from none other than the Bush administration. It seemed that the Tea Party convention crowd forgot that as well.
Governor Palin does not understand that not all people in the Tea Party movement are conservative, and they do not necessarily buy into the entire conservative agenda. Some are Democrats that have real problems with our government having bailed out Wall Street and not having bailed out the guy next door who lost his job and can’t pay the mortgage.
My eyes got wider with a couple of her other statements. One was to jump start energy projects and the other was that children with special needs should be welcomed. Last time I looked jump-starting energy projects was part of a big government and welcoming children with special needs has been helped on a local level with money given through our Department of Education. Some things really can’t be accomplished without big government.
She's right about a few things; the way we are currently spending makes us beholden to foreign countries and is generational theft. The problem is that no one, including the Republicans whose party she represented as their V.P. candidate, have taken on the issue of Medicare and Social Security. Our non-discretionary spending and our war spending are a drop in the bucket compared to what we are required to lay out for those programs. I would have liked to have heard Governor Palin address those spending issues. Now, that would have been a Tea Party speech even this liberal would have wanted to attend.
Ellen Ratner is Washington bureau chief for Talk Radio News Service and a Fox News contributor.