Palin can’t tell satellites from doughnuts


You can tell by the dates I’m not following this closely — it’s a Sarah Palin thing, after all, and we all hope it will go away.

Spudnut Shop, Richland Washington, Tri-City Herald photo by Kai-Huei Yau

Baking doughnuts before dawn at the Spudnut Shop, Richland Washington, Tri-City Herald photo by Kai-Huei Yau

Palin wasn’t content to just screw up the history of the phrase “Sputnik moment,” as noted earlier.  Oh, no, she had to go deeper in dumb, and talk about Spudnut shops.  If you’re not from Salt Lake City where the Spudnut HQ sign adorned Interstate 15 for many years, you may never have heard of Spudnuts, doughnuts made with potato dough.

If you’re wondering what in the world Spudnuts have to do with Sputnik, you’ve got more sense than Sarah Palin.

After screwing up the history, like a blind squirrel, Palin blundered on to talk about a vestige Spudnut shop in Richland, Washington.  She found something we all applaud, a good doughnut shop.   On one hand fans of the doughnut are happy to know of one of a tiny handful of such shops left.  Plus, it’s great to boost a small shop in a small Washington town.

On the other hand, doughnuts, even Spudnuts, don’t come close to the movement to improve American education inspired by the Soviet launch of Sputnik.  From just getting history horribly in error, Palin came close to ridiculing American business with her idea of meeting the challenges like space exploration, with doughnuts and coffee.  Doughnuts and coffee will not lift student test scores, nor are they the answer to lifting our economy today and keeping the U.S. competitive and on top, in the future.

Others covered the topic better than I.

Yes, that is what we need to get the economy back on track.

A bakery.

Not more expertise in math and science, engineering, technology, and developing enterprises that will allow us to compete with the rest of the world. A bakery, full of Real Americans.

Do you realize how this sounds? This is like if I were to say, “Hey, I think we need to take a course to familiarize ourselves with what actually caused the Soviet Union to collapse!” and you were to respond, “Anything can be solved with Hard Work, donuts, and the American Way!” It’s as if I were to say, “Let’s study geometry!” and you were to respond, “Let’s study Gia Spumanti, the red-blooded American protagonist of ‘A Shore Thing.'” “Those two sound similar, but are in no way comparable,” I would point out. And that’s what this is. It’s the kind of bizarre semi-sequitur that has always been a hallmark of your speaking style.

Stromberg got serious for a moment, and makes the case against Palin’s claims:

But in claiming that the Soviets incurred their consequential debts long before Reagan was president, Palin ends up arguing that the Gipper wasn’t nearly that responsible for the USSR spending itself to death. If a reverence for Reagan’s anti-Soviet spending inspired her narrative in the first place, then this is incoherent. If she’s just making this all up, then she’s really also claiming that the Reagan-brought-down-the-USSR narrative is overstated.

Palin appears to be lazily checking a lot of Fox News boxes. She wants to criticize Obama’s State of the Union address, so she grabs hold of the Sputnik line. She wants to make a point about debt, so she invents a history in which the USSR had a debt crisis decades before this inference could have made much sense. Even better — her argument sounds like an implicit vindication of Reagan, but that really just makes it either self-contradictory or hostile to Reagan’s legacy.

Even worse, it seems that Palin planned her rhetorical disaster, as she goes on to discuss the “Spudnut Shop,” a bakery in Washington State that’s succeeding without government support. Yet more evidence that her judgment in both what she says and who she has vetting it is pathetic. It’s not even cleverly manipulative. It’s just dreck.

Zeno provides the horrifying evidence that Palin’s stupid is leaking out, and may be contagious.  Zeno caught Brian Sussman at the formerly-august KSFO talking to a woman who would fail the Sputnik issue even by Texas standards.  In Texas, in 11th grade U.S. history, students need to know a half-dozen dates, turning points in U.S. history.  1957 is one of those dates, for the launch of Sputnik.  Oy, what does it say when a San Francisco radio station is dumber than Texas’s weak and skewed social studies standards?

More:

Tip of the old scrub brush to Oh, For Goodness Sake.

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10 Responses to Palin can’t tell satellites from doughnuts

  1. . . . Doughnuts and coffee will not lift student test scores, nor are they the answer to lifting our economy today and keeping the U.S. competitive and on top, in the future. . .

    Like

  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Ed, probably because people usually say, “Queen of Romania.” I don’t believe that many are familiar with Mrs. Parker today.

    “You might as well live.”

    I didn’t sound that despondent, did I?

    [If you’re not in on the Parker verse, see here.]

    Like

  3. Jim says:

    This is your problem, Mr. Barton. You regard hate speech as “disagreeing with conservatives or fundamentalists”. To you, hate speech is saying, “I’m sorry Ms. Palin. But you’re wrong.” Here’s a little primer on hate speech for you, and I’ve made it as bi-partisan as possible, off the top of head. Admittedly, there are more examples of hate speech coming from the right, but I put some lefties in here too. And yes, their speech disgusts me as much as that of conservatives. So look over the list, Bobbo. THIS is hate speech. Not what Ed shared.

    “I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it” Glenn Beck

    “Why do you think she lost? You wanna know what led to the loss? Israel. The Zionists. You. Put on your yarmulke and celebrate.” An aide to former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who herself is a hateful liberal

    “Presbyterians are the spirit of the Antichrist.” Pat Robertson in “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy”. The televangelist has made similar statements about United Methodists, Lutherans and Episcopalians.

    “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert their people to Christianity.” Ann Coulter

    “Hey Willie, take the bone out of your nose and call me back.” Rush Limbaugh to an African-American caller who challenged him on an issue

    “Here’s your answer, you ungrateful whelp: [audio sound of 4 gunshots being fired.] Just try it, you little b*stard. [audio of gun being cocked].”
    Liberal radio host and Air Force veteran Randhi Rhodes in responding to George W. Bush’s proposal for privatizing SSI.

    “Who would be protected? A pedophile, someone who considers themselves gay, someone who considers themselves transgender, someone who considers themselves a cross-dresser? That is who is protected.”
    Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R-Mn.) equating human beings who happen to be gay with pedophiles

    “To entertain her daughter, Michelle Obama loves to make monkey sounds.” — Photo caption on conservative blog, Free Republic.

    Now, Robert — I am fully prepared to say that I find the comments of Cynthia McKinney’s aide and Randhi Rhodes truly disgusting. I was extremely quick to jump all over both Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton for saying hideously anti-Semitic things about New York City. And if conservatives bludgeoned them for it, I say, “Good!”

    Will you do the same, sir? Will you condemn the rivers of filth that pour from the mouths of TV preachers, right wing talk show hosts and even some elected officials on the right?

    Or do you share their views, Robert? I think we can best determine if you are simply a thoughtful man with whom we happen to disagree…or someone who is truly dangerous and hate-filled by having you answer a simple question?

    Do you believe the Tea Partiers who called for the assassination of President Obama were right or wrong to do so? Please don’t play games now. Don’t try to say they didn’t. I attended two tea party rallies — one here and one in Virginia — and saw the signs in person. I also saw people interviewed — even on Tea Party-friendly Fox — where they held signs calling Obama a tyrant and signs saying the Tree of Liberty must be refreshed with the blood of tyrants.

    So please Robert, show some balls.

    Do you agree with them? Or are you, like me, ashamed of people who share your overall view (conservative or liberal) and who use violent hate speech? I’m just dying to meet one conservative who will NOT make excuses for them.

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  4. Ellie says:

    Ed, probably because people usually say, “Queen of Romania.” I don’t believe that many are familiar with Mrs. Parker today.

    “You might as well live.”

    Like

  5. Ed Darrell says:

    Well, if you’re quoting Dorothy Parker, you can’t possibly be in error! My apologies.

    (Where did I get the idea the line was different?)

    It just shows how uncultured I am. And you know what Dorothy Parker said, “You can lead a horticulture . . .”

    But I digress.

    Like

  6. Ellie says:

    Ed, I was quoting Dorothy Parker.

    Oh life is a glorious cycle of song,
    A medley of extemporania;
    And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
    And I am Marie of Roumania. (Comment, 1925)

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  7. Ed Darrell says:

    I think the phrase should be, “Marie, the Queen of Romania.”

    I could be in error, of course. Usually not, but could be. JMHO.

    Like

  8. Nick K says:

    So, Robert, conservatives should be allowed to do and say as they please even if its the stupidest things? And we liberals should just cheer them on?

    Sorry, what you apparently think is “Lets all get along” is what can be more accurately termed one sided surrender.

    But please…don’t let that stop you once again proving that the right thinks they’re the eternal victims.

    When your side says or does something stupid its going to get called on it. When your side wants to start acting civilly and acknowledging diversity instead of painting anyone who disagrees with them as somehow anti-American, unAmerican, or a socialist or a communist or somehow immoral then we’ll be quite happy to return respect with respect.

    I would suggest starting with acknowledging the fact that fascism and Naziism belogns on the far right side of the political spectrum instead of pretending its the province of the far left.

    Until then, Mr. Barton, and I say this with all due civility…bend over and kiss your…well you get the idea.

    Like

  9. Ellie says:

    Yes, indeed, Mr. Barton. Pointing out that Sputnik and doughnuts have very little in common is certainly “hate speech.” And, I am Marie of Roumania.

    Like

  10. Boy, talk about hate speech! Sure am glad you guys are on the “embracing diversity” and “let’s all get along side. Not like us “God fearing, gun toting conservatives”. Give me a break!

    Like

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