Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yeah, you go stand next to them, Governor.

It was obviously a slip, but Sarah Palin, who could easily gain her party's nomination in 2012, said when asked what we should do about the situation on the Korean peninsula that "we've gotta stand with our North Korean allies."

Now if I'm going to give President Obama a pass for thinking he visited fifty-seven states* then I'll cut Palin some slack on this one. After all, actor John Cusack made the same mistake, while in South Korea even... so I'll give Sarah Palin a pass since she can only see the Koreas from her house**.

But the pass is just for this one. Rack up too many slips like this and I start to wonder if you really know about the stuff you're supposed to know about.

My real beef is with the bogus image of President Obama she's putting forth with this quote in the same interview:
... We're not having a lot of faith that the White House is coming out with a strong enough policy to sanction what it is that North Korea is gonna do, so this speaks to a bigger picture that certainly scares me.
That is nothing but mindless pandering to an old idea that the Democrats look weak to our enemies (while the Republicans inspire fear, I guess). Clearly Sarah Palin is unfamiliar with One Free Korea's Joshua Stanton and his Plan B, a get-tough set of sanctions and actions with real teeth to them that even he admits Obama is clearly implementing, unlike his Republican predecessor or President Clinton.

Sarah Palin simply does not know what she's talking about. She is a good candidate, demographics-wise, and she is being coached and fed policy memos to turn her into less of a paper tiger. Surely the Republicans have someone better to offer than that.

*Which he doesn't. It's clear from the video that a groggy Senator Obama was thinking "fifty" in his head — our total number of states — when he started counting backwards to arrive at the answer "forty-seven," which came out "fifty-seven." I cannot excuse him, however, for mispronouncing espouse.

**Sarah Palin never said she could see Russia from her house. She said it was possible to see Russia from an island in Alaska (which is true), but the "I can see Russia from my house" was a line from Tina Fey's impression of her. And while we're at it, Al Gore never said he invented the Internet.


  1. Who knows?...Maybe she really doesn't know the difference between North and South Korea. Believe it or not, a LARGE majority of Americans don't even know the difference. I remember a friend who was going to a UC law school (very smart Asian American girl) who sent me condolences in a letter (no email back then) and asked how I was doing when Kim Il-Sung died in '94. I've never given Sarah Palin a "pass" on anything. She's proven time and time again she is not the sharpest tool in the shed. It's probably not that the Republicans don't have a more qualified candidate...I think it's because they don't have anybody as semi-attractive (cougarishly) as her. And we all know, that's the most important quality in a candidate.

  2. I'm going on a case by case, but I must admit I don't like the overall picture it paints.

    And the Los Angeles Times agrees with you.

  3. Mr. Kim,

    While I do agree with your sentiment that most Americans do not know the difference between the North and South, I believe most Americans know very little about Korea in general. A good portion of this phenomena is probably ignorance on the part of Americans in general, but I also believe that S. Korea does a poor job of advertising itself and it's products in relation to the "product origin". A lot of Korean products are just assumed Japanese, by default.

    A bit off topic, but possibly relavant in relation to mis-spoken words. Not that it excuses high profile politicians who in theory, should know what they're talking about.

  4. Yeah, Gore may have not invented the Internet, but he made millions off of global warming and does not practice what he preaches as he travels in his private aircraft, gas guzzler cars, and living in his mansions while expecting us little people to live in tiny foot print houses.

    As for the lala land times, come on, really? Even when I lived in the Southland, I wouldn't read that elitist rag. So, it's pretty hard to take anything from their opinion page seriously anywhere outside of the an area that the rest of the country sees as "out there" in more than one way.

  5. Kim, most Americans don't know the difference between the two Koreas because the South calls itself, Korea, instead of using the precursor word, South, in front of Korea. By not using this vital precursor word, most Americans associate the word, Korea, with the North as that is the Korea that gets most of the play in not only the United States, but also the world, due to the North's continued acts of aggression and thumb nosing at the South, the U.S., and the U.N.

    Sadly, the North does get all the (mostly bad) press. So, unless the South gets a better press agent or starts to realize that the rest of the world sees the South as South Korea and not "Korea," it's going to be a while before people can easily differentiate between the two.

    It also doesn’t help that the North uses the term, democratic, in their official title to further confuse things for us nonKoreans.

  6. Unsurprisingly, iheartblueballs had even more to say about Ms Sarah Palin:

    As I posted in another thread, anyone with a firm record of reasonable and knowledgeable discussion on the topic would likely get a pass. But Palin can’t really claim anything close to that record then, can she?

    In the days leading up to an interview with ABC News’ Charlie Gibson, aides were worried with Ms. Palin’s grasp of facts. She couldn’t explain why North and South Korea were separate nations and she did not know what the Federal Reserve did. She also said she believed Saddam Hussein attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

    In the context of her documented ignorance of the subject, it looks like a lot more than a slip of the tongue. Passes for gaffes are earned with a record of informed comments about said topic, and quite simply, she has no points in her column. On any topic.

    iheartblueball's is a very worthwhile comment, so be sure to read the rest on your own, after you exit the gift shop.


Share your thoughts, but please be kind and respectful. My mom reads this blog.