Palin and Obama Spar Over Nuclear Weapons

Ken AshfordElection 2012, Obama Opposition, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

It all started yesterday when Obama was asked to respond to Palin's comments.  Specifically, George Stephanopoulos of "Good Morning America" asked Obama this:

STEPHANOPOULOS:I want to get to some of those broader issues [of nuclear proliferation]. Because you're also facing criticism on that. Sarah Palin, taking aim at your decision to restrict the use of nuclear weapons. Your pledge not to strike nations, non-nuclear nations, who abide by the nonproliferation treaty. Here's what she said. She said, "It's unbelievable, no other administration would do it." And then she likened it to kids on the playground. She said you're like a kid who says, "Punch me in the face, and I'm not going to retaliate." Your response?

OBAMA: I really have no response. Because last I checked, Sarah Palin's not much of an expert on nuclear issues.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But the string of criticism has been out there among other Republicans as well. They think you're restricting use of nuclear weapons too much.

OBAMA: And what I would say to them is that if the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff are comfortable with it, I'm probably going to take my advice from them and not from Sarah Palin.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But not concerned about her criticisms?


The insanely wingnut rightosphere came to Palin's defense with comments like this:

Palin’s view of nuclear weapons was shaped by her stint as the commander in chief of the Alaskan National Guard, our first line of defense against Soviet nuclear weapons. Obama has held his same views since he was a stoner college student and has showed no signs of maturing.

Riiiiiiight.  Because as "commander-in-chief" of the Alaskan National Guard, Palin did what exactly with regard to Russia's nuclear weapons?  (And by the way, there are no "Soviet" nuclear weapons, seeing as there is no Soviet Union).  And what could she have done — watch silently as the missles fly over head?

And this afternoon, Palin spoke in her own defense in the Southern Republican Leadership Conference:

And acknowledging Thursday's headlines, Palin couldn't resist a mocking jab at President Obama after he charged in an ABC News interview that she is "not much of an expert" on nuclear weapons.

"And President Obama, with all that vast nuclear expertise he acquired as a community organizer, a part-time senator, and a candidate for president, has accomplished nothing to date with Iran or North Korea," she said.

Well, we haven't had the same problems with North Korea that we had under Bush.  So Obama is doing something right. 

Secondly, I'm not sure a half-term governor really ought to cast aspersions on a supposed "part-time" senator.

But it's interesting to note that Palin didn;t — probably because she couldn't — speak to her credibility on matter of nuclear proliferation.  So she went for the cheap soundbite.  As for knocking Obama's nuclear expertise and experience, the "part-time" senator has tons more than her.

When I was about 10, I challenged Mike Reed to a game of tennis.  He was a couple of years older than me and a good tennis player.  I had barely even picked up a racquet.  But it looked easy, and I thought I could keep pace with him.  I mean, it was just hitting a ball, right?

He wiped the court with my sorry arrogant ignorant ass.  I was out of my league.

Somehow, this Obama-Palin sparring reminds me of that story.