Friday, September 25, 2009

And They Say It Isn't Racism

Grotesque, Unprecedented, Bizarre, Unbelievable.

You guessed it. I'm talking about Sarah Palin. Those words were used to describe her "speech" in Hong Kong by attendee Robert Fisk.

"There'll be one or two self-deprecating remarks, a reference to healthcare, taxation, out-of-control spending and a poorly told joke,"

To prove her shining Republicanism, Sarah quoted Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. She quoted Lincoln. She quoted Thomas Jefferson. History and common sense were not on the side of liberalism and "utopian pipe dreams". But there'd been progress. In the past, we had the "horse and buggy business", she said, then Ford came along with the motor car and the kids sat singing in the back, but now the kids have headsets. And what happened to the Reagan legacy? "Many Republicans in Washington gambled it away."

She talked, of course, about the infamous "death panels" – a big smirk here from Sarah – and "market-friendly responsible ideas" (this must have been the speech-writer) and offered slippery advice: "We can responsibly develop our resources without damaging the environment."

She spoke too fast. She gabbled her words. Scatty was the word for it. We slalomed between the fall of the Berlin Wall, the break-up of Yugoslavia and 9/11. Then it started. The war on "vicious terrorism", the war against "violent fanatics who wished to end our way of life", our battle against "radical Islamic extremists" with "twisted vision". This was not a clash of civilizations but "a war within Islam". We slalomed again. Asia – "what an amazing place!" – was at its best "when it was not dominated by a single power".

What on earth was happening? Had Sarah just looked up from her podium and seen China? Addressing what was surely the neo-conservative wing of the Republican party, she could not "turn a blind eye" to Chinese policies that created "uncertainty", which supported "questionable regimes" and "made a lot of people nervous". America wasn't going to impose its values on other countries, but America was going to have to "ramp up" its defence spending.

I would have run screaming from the room, blood pouring from my ears. But there is this last tidbit from Mr Fisk: "Then family again. "I have a husband," she said. "I think I could have used a wife. He's awesome." This really floored the Chinese. Poor Todd."