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 Saturday, September 27, 2008


  Read here article by Ezra Klein


The fact that Palin's responses to questions are becoming increasingly incoherent rather than rapidly more polished is interesting. Rote memorization should have all but eliminated the overlay of nonsense in her answers by now.

Matt Yglesias offers a decent hypothesis, saying, "It’s possible that all this cramming is causing Palin to become less coherent — instead of just parrying questions she knows she doesn’t have good answers to, she’s trying to remember canned lines but it’s too much all at once to actually get right."

It fits the facts. increasingly, Palin's worst answers are not on the questions she isn't expecting, but those that she's got to be prepared for. Russia and Alaska, for instance.

Or this Dadaist trainwreck on why it's better to spend $700 billion on financial bailouts than broad-based economic help.

The question was simple. The answer came from some dreamscape I've never visited.

"That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, were ill about this position that we have been put in. Where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy.

Um, helping, oh, it's got to be about job creation, too. Shoring up our economy, and getting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade -- we have got to see trade as opportunity, not as, uh, competitive, um, scary thing, but one in five jobs created in the trade sector today.

We've got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation."

Try to parse that. The bailout helps health reformers by bankrupting the government? We need to accompany our tax reductions with reduced taxes, and pair that with tax relief for Americans?

How does the bailout connect to trade, or to job growth?

And even the syntax is falling apart: She corrects "help" to "helping," but "helping" doesn't make sense in that paragraph.

These aren't lies she's telling. It's not misdirection, or deception. It's just nonsense.

It exists in a realm beyond where truth is a relevant concept, more akin to the utterances of sleeptalkers than to the prevarications of politicians.

I always figured that Palin's trouble on the trail would come when she was exposed to the obscure questions of governance: Queries on drug policy and Afghani tribes and Medicare reimbursement.

But instead, she's collapsing on the BIG questions, the issues that she should be able to dispatch with a memorized soundbite.

What's going on?

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