Op-Ed: Notes on Sarah Palin, Phil Robertson, reading and Russia

Posted Dec 27, 2013 by Marcus Hondro
There are numerous comments from Sarah Palin seemingly uttered without her having thought them out. Recently Palin uttered a defense of Phil Robertson without having read the comments that Robertson made which she felt worthy of defending.
For some it doesn't matter, she defended his right to free speech, they say, so not having read his comments is okay. They, however, miss 2 points: 1) no one took away his right to free speech, his anti-gay and lesbian comments were published and subsequent comments from him have also been published; and 2) not having read the comments she didn't know the magnitude of his words, she didn't know what she was defending.
At any rate, one thing about Palin is that she keeps entertaining. Often not so much in the way of logic comes out and sometimes not much in the way of anything comes out, period. But she has a lot of courage to get back into the fray despite her mistakes and it is nice that the right to free speech doesn't pass her by. We should be grateful for Sarah Palin and there are a plethora of Palin remarks that show us why.
Sarah Palin: Free to put foot in mouth
As TMZ noted in a story this week, the fact she did not read Robertson's remarks brings to mind an exchange she had with Katie Couric. This one is entertaining to a degree but somewhere along the way it gets cringe-worthy and you start feeling a little sorry for her.
As seen in the video clip above, she alludes to all the newspapers and magazines she reads but when asked to be specific about which ones she was able to publications. She tried but it would seem she's not a big reader so, in an effort to get the heat off of herself, she obfuscates by going off on a tangent on Alaska.
It also brings to mind one of her most famous comments, the one known now as 'I can see Russia from my house.' Now she did not actually say she could see Russia from her house, 'Saturday Night Live' coined that misnomer by having her say those words in a sketch performed by Tina Fey with Amy Poehler.
But what she said also had entertainment value. Again it was Katie Couric and, as with the clip on newspaper and magazine reading, it was during the 2008 election. Here Couric asks her how living in a state next to Russia enhanced her foreign policy experience; she'd claimed that it did. She rambled and was unable to offer anything of substance.
Palin keeps ringing those bells
Finally, here's a comment she made on Paul Revere she should have spent time thinking out before making: "He who warned, uh, the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells, and um, makin' sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed."
A little hard to get through, that one.
There's a glaring error of history there - the bells were in fact being rung to warn America's forefathers the British were on the way - and she gets tongue-tied, as she often does. But as with so many of her utterances, it brings to mind the fact that whether she reads about the subject she's talking about, or reads at all, her right to free speech has given her the right to entertain us.
I would be most willing to defend her right to do just that.