Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jennifer Rubin is Confused

Jennifer Rubin, the new "conservative" columnist for the Washington Post, has taken the time to write another condescending piece about Governor Palin. This would be Rubin's second anti-Palin article in her first eight days since joining that publication. This time she dedicated her space to ranting about a tweet Governor Palin sent on Wednesday. Actually, it was two tweets but that's of no consequence. Rubin writes:

The problem with conducting a public policy debate on Twitter is that issues don't have 140-character solutions. Moreover, by relying on Twitter to pronounce on major issues, one runs the risk of being misunderstood or not understood at all.

Sarah Palin tweets:

Obviously Obama is so very, very wrong on the economy & spins GOP tax cut goals;so fiscal conservatives: we expect you to fight for us &......America's solvency

What is she talking about? It is obvious that an extension of the Bush tax cuts is wrong? Or is it obvious that Obama is adopting ideas that were once Republican positions? If the latter, it should be a good thing, one would think. This is Palin at her worst -- reflexively anti-deal making, grandstanding, imprecise and unreasoned. If she has a specific policy argument -- e.g. the payroll tax "costs" too much for too little job growth -- then you'd think she, who has been accused of being light on policy knowledge, would want to spell . . er . . . tweet that out.

Let me first start off by saying that Governor Palin was not conducting a full public policy debate on her Twitter account. Nobody does. It's Twitter. Those 140 characters provided for each tweet pretty much ensure that you get only a portion of any debate recorded at once. It's simply a way to state a shortened opinion and maybe provide a link with more detailed information to your followers.

She says, "by relying on Twitter to pronounce on major issues, one runs the risk of being misunderstood or not understood at all." Speak for yourself, Jennifer Rubin. How is it that I understood at the time what Governor Palin meant, and you did not? Perhaps that's because I read all of Governor Palin's tweets. You see, as with any person's Twitter timeline, context can be found within a strand of tweets.

Which would have answered the next set of questions she asked, had she looked. She writes, "what is she talking about? It is obvious that an extension of the Bush tax cuts is wrong? Or is it obvious that Obama is adopting ideas that were once Republican positions?" Uh, no and no.

On Governor Palin's Twitter timeline, just below the tweet about Sue Aikens, the governor "retweeted" Jedediah Bila who posted:
Thank you, @ - DeMint comes out against tax deal, says GOP must do ‘better than this’ -
And below that, she retweeted Amanda Carpenter who wrote:
Full transcript of DeMint's interview with Hewitt is available here:
If Jennifer Rubin would have viewed these tweets and clicked on the links, there should have been no question what the Governor Palin meant. Since there was confusion on Rubin's part, I'll go ahead and help her out by dissecting the governor's words for her.

Governor Palin starts by saying:
"Obviously Obama is so very, very wrong on the economy"
Do I really need to dissect that part? Fine... I'll do it with two words - Keynesian Economics.

Next, the governor writes:
"spins GOP tax cut goals"
This very important part is the key to what left Ms. Rubin so confused.

A permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts, for every tax bracket is what was originally sought by republicans. However, after meeting with the president, the republican leadership in Congress gave in on many counts. They allowed for another deadline to be imposed on the tax rates, which will only allow the uncertainty investors have to continue. They also accepted an extension of jobless benefits for the 9.8% (so far) of unemployed workers. This creates all kinds of problems for our nation's economic health in both the short and long term. I think Michael Ramirez did a good job illustrating this issue in his latest cartoon for Investors Business Daily.

The last part of Governor Palin's tweet(s) said:
"so fiscal conservatives: we expect you to fight for us &......America's solvency"

She was simply asking "fiscal conservatives" in Congress to stand strong and fight for their ideals. To not give in to demands that may cost the nation dearly, for the sake of 'going along to get along.' To not take part in the dangerous Washington habit of back-scratching and cocktail drinking, in the name of "bipartisanship" that only leads to the detriment of the country through big government "solutions." Which are never really solutions and always bring about more problems that need more of their "solutions." That is the nature of government largess.

Jim Demint, who was cited both by Jedediah Bila and Amanda Carpenter above, went into further detail about the problems with the tax deal and standing strong on principle, during his interview with Hugh Hewitt:

HH: I’ve got some quick questions for you. The first is if the deal reached between the President and the Republican leadership yesterday makes it to the floor of the Senate in substantially the same form, will you vote for cloture to allow a final vote on it? And would you vote for it on that final vote if it cleared cloture?

JD: No.

HH: On both counts?

JD: On both counts. I’m glad the President recognizes that tax increases hurt the economy. I mean, I guess that’s progress. But frankly, Hugh, most of us who ran this election said we were not going to vote for anything that increased the deficit. This does. It raises taxes, it raises the death tax. I don’t think we needed to negotiate that aspect of this thing away. I don’t think we need to extend unemployment any further without paying for it, and without making some modifications such as turning it into a loan at some point. It then encourages people to go back to work. So there’s a lot of problems with it. I mean, and frankly, the biggest problem I have, Hugh, is we don’t need a temporary economy, which means we don’t need a temporary tax rate. A permanent extension of our current tax rates would allow businesses to plan five and ten years in advance, and that’s how you build an economy.

If Jennifer Rubin wanted to debate the deal made between republicans and the president on taxes, she had a whole column to do so. Instead, she was reflexively grandstanding, in that familiar condescending tone we hear and read so often from the Washington establishment. She may be correct that you cannot have a full public policy debate in 140 characters. Nonetheless, it is recommended that if you are confused by a particular tweet, to check the timeline and maybe click on the links provided. They may just answer your questions, and stop you from wasting perfectly good Washington Post column space to voicing your own bewilderment.

No comments:

Post a Comment