Archive for July, 2010

Is Sarah Palin Really This Clueless?

Published July 8th, 2010 by tcarpenter

Sarah Palin has already acquired a reputation of being George W. Bush or Dan Quayle in a skirt.  In other words, there is a suspicion that there isn’t a lot of activity between her ears.  Her latest comment on the bloated U.S. “defense” budget won’t dispel those suspicions.

Palin has made it her mission to dissuade Tea Party activists from making the $700 billion military budget a candidate for cuts to reduce the enormous federal budget deficit.  Even though the United States now spends as much on the military as the rest of the world combined, Sarah regards it as shockingly unpatriotic to think that the Pentagon might be able to get by on a mere $500 billion or $600 billion a year.

During a recent speech, she quoted Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who had questioned the need for some of the U.S. Navy’s expensive weapons systems, including maintaining 12 aircraft carrier battle groups.  Noting that destroyers cost as much as $6 billion each, submarines $7 billion, and aircraft carriers $11 billion, he asked: “Do we really need [even] more strike groups for another 30 years when no other country has more than one?”

It was a very good question that deserved a serious, thoughtful answer.  But what was Palin’s brilliant response?  ” Well, my answer is pretty simple: Yes we can and yes we do, because we must.”

So, no possible enemy that the United States faces–now or in the foreseeable future–can match even a small fraction of our conventional military power, America’s free-riding allies in Europe and East Asia are slashing their already anemic defense budgets (thereby expecting the United States to bear an even greater share of the burden for global order and security), and we’re running a budget deficit of more than $1.4 trillion this year, but we can’t cut even a dime from our military budget.  Right.

The best thing the Tea Party movement could do is to show the door to Sarah Palin and anyone who thinks the way she does.