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Is Sarah Palin America's Baghdad Bob?

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Smart v. Stupid

Is Sarah Palin America's Baghdad Bob?

Palin greets environmentalists with bullets and shoes

  • Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf aka Bagdad Bob
    Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf aka Bagdad Bob
  • wikimedia/J.delanoy

I’ve never written or cared much about Sarah Palin. Even though her pattern of endorsements indicates she’s running for president, she is basically unelectable. So who cares? But her recent Twitter offensive blaming “Greenies” for the Gulf oil spill - this, an attempt to defend her signature line “Drill Baby, Drill!” - got me thinking about how much she reminded me of another public figure.

You may not remember the name Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, but I’m betting you remember Baghdad Bob. Who can forget the iconic CNN footage of the Iraqi government spokesperson standing on a roof in Baghdad saying, "There are no American infidels in Baghdad? Never!" All the while, bombs exploded on camera - even causing him to check his back at least once.

Once we got to know Baghdad Bob, he amused us with dozens of other pronouncements including, “We will welcome them with bullets and shoes,” and “I triple guarantee you, there are no American soldiers in Baghdad.” Baghdad Bob’s career as Iraqi Minister of Ridiculousness can best be summed up by another of his quotes, “Lying is forbidden in Iraq. President Saddam Hussein will tolerate nothing but truthfulness as he is a man of great honor and integrity.”

Over here, we have Sarah Palin.

Outside of Alaska, political junkies first heard of Wasilla Sarah when she flogged the famous “Bridge to Nowhere” like a wet sled dog. Later, most everyone else met her when she was tapped by former-maverick (and now never was) John McCain to be his VP. Looking back at video of that announcement, it becomes clear that baby Trig and his blanket were being used as props to cover up the baby inside daughter Bristol.

Soon after, we all learned that Palin – as she claimed it – “told the Congress ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ on that ‘Bridge to Nowhere’.’’ In now characteristic deception, though, she’d really only changed her position after Congress told her “Thanks, but no thanks.” And we learned that Bristol, a product of abstinence-only education, had been pregnant for some time. The baby turned out to be the product of a union with a boy who’d “rather be hunting.” I’ll admit I can see why. Mom's kind of a, well, you know . . .

Wasilla Sarah used her public office to try to get her ex-brother-in-law fired, then denied it. She told Alaska secessionists to “keep up the good work,” then denied it. And she famously blamed reliably friendly interviewers Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson for asking “gotcha questions” These included what she reads and if she supported the Bush Doctrine. The nerve of those guys!

Most recently, on May 28 at 1:36 AM, Wasilla Sarah went on a 72 hour offensive, Twitter-style…

  • • "I never say drill,baby,drill" Ahh, that's much of the problem,Mr.President;Drill ANWR&unlock land for safe onshore devlpmnt/energy securty
  • • C'mon., Extreme Greenies-who-lock-up-our-lands
  • • “Extreme Greenies:see now why we push"drill,baby,drill"of known reserves&promising finds in safe onshore places like ANWR? Now do you get it
  • • “Extreme Enviros: Drill, Baby, Drill in ANWR – Now Do You Get It?

The last one leads to a Facebook screed that blames environmentalists for the Gulf oil spill and calls them “hypocritical,” “greedy,” and “liars” who “file lawsuits.” (Wasilla Sarah loves those forms of communications where you can delete the comments, don’tcha know.)

It ends with this text-book example of language co-opting, “Radical environmentalists: you are damaging the planet with your efforts to lock up safer drilling areas. There’s nothing clean and green about your misguided, nonsensical radicalism, and Americans are on to you as we question your true motives.”

Baghdad Bob, meet Wasilla Sarah. She’s you – on steroids.

Jimmy Zuma splits his time between Washington, D.C. and Tucson. He writes the online opinion journal, Smart v. Stupid. He spent 5 years in Tucson in the early ‘80s, when life was a little slower, swamp coolers were a little more plentiful, Tucson’s legendary music scene was in full bloom, and the prevailing work ethic was “don’t - unless you have to.”

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