Sarah Palin has written an “Open Letter to Republican Freshmen Members of Congress” telling them what they should support in the upcoming legislative session. The letter is clearly directed towards those congressmen who are believed to be associated with the tea parties. Her advice on foreign policy is pretty much a straight neoconservative interpretation – not at all surprising since that is who is advising her and providing her with her talking points. Her bumper sticker jingoism maintains that “We are the most powerful country on earth and the world is better off because of it.” She calls for finishing the job in Iraq and Afghanistan, whatever that means, opposing Iran’s nuclear ambitions “using whatever means necessary,” saying “no to cutting the necessities in our defense budget,” and standing “with allies like Israel, not criticize them.” She is clearly ignorant of the fact that Israel is not an ally of the US in any legal sense and that it in fact pursues policies that damage American interests. Nor does she seem concerned about the $3 billion a year that Israel receives from the US taxpayer in spite of her exhortations for fiscal austerity, a sum that the Obama administration has recently sweetened with an extra $400 million plus an offer of $2.75 billion more if Bibi Netanyahu agrees to a 90 day partial settlement freeze. And Sarah repeats the neocon meme that “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, not a settlement.” Neocons always come back to the subject of Israel, which is dear to their hearts. Palin also opposes trying “dangerous, evil terrorists in the US,” wants to keep Guantanamo open, and believes fighting terrorism is a military rather than a law enforcement problem.
Palin might be surprised to learn that many tea partiers are tired of the types of solutions that she proposes. A review of a couple of tea party internet sites reveals that she has attracted considerable negative commentary over her foreign policy prescriptions. She might also be shocked to discover that the midterm election was not an affirmation of George Bush’s foreign and security policies any more than it was an endorsement of the continuing war in Afghanistan. Her Manichean vision of the world is a guarantee of endless conflict not to mention bigger government and huge deficits, which the tea parties oppose. She constantly cites the constitution but has apparently not read the part about war powers.
If the United States ever has to suffer through a Sarah Palin presidency it would be an unmitigated disaster, driven by half baked ideas and simplistic solutions to complex problems. That Palin is taking seriously by many is an indictment of our system of selecting office holders, where celebrity is more important than values and experience.