Could Sarah Palin be the 21st Century version of Adolf Hitler? While I personally have never been impressed by her oratory skill (except for her original acceptance speech in which I was fooled into thinking she could be a harmless place holder who was up on then current Republican talking points), I recognize that she is pleasing to the eye to most people, if not to the ear.
For his own devious and demented purposes, Hitler appealed to the German Volk, and for her own purposes (money and fame and perhaps some sense of politics and ideology), Palin represents herself as the representative of who she would describe as the hard-working and essentially self-sufficent folk who are the backbone of society and their defender against an evil and ever-expanding big government and socialism.
That aside, all available evidence so far indicates that Palin is a small-time player thrust on the national stage quite by accident or quirk of fate and she has the good sense to make the best of her opportunity. The evidence also indicates that while some of the sophisticated may have taken unfair swipes at her, that, in fact, she is to say the least rather ignorant of history and geography and national and world affairs and that her methods are always style over substance. It is hard to imagine her being able to hold her own and on her own in a serious discussion of policy.
An Arianna Huffington blog seemed to compare Sarah Palin with Hitler. She did not use the name of the little German mad man who came close to taking over the world, but I thought the implied analogy was clear. You see in a time of crisis, such as we are in, people are desperate and they don’t always listen to reason. They act out of fear and primal instinct. And while people like me tend dismiss her as somewhat insane, or at best, woefully ignorant and somewhat buffoonish, maybe that is dangerous — remember how they all underestimated that frustrated corporal with the Charlie Chaplin mustache.
And what’s with that BP oil spill that is supposedly all but shut off? Some say the pollution was not nearly bad as reported or feared while officially it seems to be going down on record as the worst oil spill ever. And some say or imply the effects may be minimal over the long run and others say it is devastating and will be with us for a long, long time to come.
And President Obama can’t seem to catch a break. He has Republicans and Democrats and folks of all political leanings unhappy with him and at the same time folks of various political factions happy with him or at least some of his policies. While I have not been wild about his performance or style, I have to think that if so many folks are mad at him he may be doing something right. That would indicate he is not doing the bidding of just one group. But I also have to believe that the Wall Street bankers (and some of the other high flyers) can’t be complaining too much after running things into the ground, getting bailed out by taxpayer money and then rewarding themselves and their cronies with bonuses and golden parachutes (thanks to trickle up from the taxpayers), and if they are crying it’s probably crocodile tears.
The no-win war in Afghanistan continues. I wondered in a blog about a week ago if the Wikileaks papers on Afghanistan might be equivalent to the Pentagon Papers back in the early 70s that signaled the end of the line for U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Opinion on that seems to be mixed.
But New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman hit the nail on the head when he wrote that the new leaks remind him of this sage old advice:
If you’re in a poker game and you don’t know who the sucker is, it’s probably you.
I read that and then I read an article in the Economist (published in Britain) that suggested the U.S. is probably currently carrying out the right strategy in Afghanistan. Apparently some Brits are in on the secret about the sucker (the U.S. being the one carrying the burden there). And we know the Pakistanis and the Taliban and Karzai know who the sucker is.
And I read a disturbing article about the details of the stoning to death methods used in Iranian justice. As bad as it was, saying what size stones could be used, among other things, it kind of reminded how we go into so much gruesome detail in our policies on capital punishment in the U.S., even though we certainly feel we are trying to be more humane. Killing is killing and dead is dead. I will say, though, that it seems a waste of time to even try to deal with societies that condone something like stoning someone to death. Some people suggest it is condoned in the Bible (not sure about that — I think it’s more like it’s mentioned).
This just in — Mitch Miller of Sing Along with Mitch (late 1950s, early 1960s TV) has died.
Today’s busy and jaded and technological frenzied and mind warped and attention deficit disordered world would have no time for him and his light-hearted family oriented or maybe square-oriented (not as bad as Welk) music (as I recall it to have been).