Palinism (PAY-lin-is-um) — n. A response to a question that exposes the speaker’s lack of knowledge through the confabulated, improper, and preprogrammed use of seemingly-related catchphrases.


KATIE COURIC: Why isn’t it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries; allow them to spend more and put more money into the economy instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

SARAH PALIN: 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, helping the — it’s got to be all about job creation, too, shoring up our economy and putting 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’ve got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, scary thing. But one in five jobs being treated in the trade sector today, we’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.

It reminds me a little bit of pro per litigants who come into Court and say things like “He frauded me! He asked me to sign that oral contract and I wouldn’t do it so I want punitive damages for all the stress he’s put me through.”

Gov. Palin’s response to the rather simple question of “Why do we need this bailout?” was utterly incoherent. It borders on being as painfully incoherent as Miss Teen South Carolina’s response to a question about maps. What happened here is that Gov. Palin has been briefed on a number of issues by the GOP handlers on how to field “economics” questions and while she has absorbed the phrases she does not seem to have listened for content. Syntax is sacrificed in favor of the sound-bite. Maybe some of these buzzphrases work well at the gubernatorial level. But in response to a question about financial policy, Palin responds with a rambling laundry list of words that have little to do with one another.

Seriously — how do you blow an interview with Katie Couric? Somehow, Sarah Palin found a way.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.