Sarah Palin Plays Madlibs

Is there anything funnier than asking Sarah Palin a specific policy question and listening to her babble incoherently trying to fashion an answer out of a string of buzzwords and platitudes? This is what convinced people in 2008 that she’s a moron and she hasn’t gotten any better at it. Asked by Matt Lauer what alternative she would propose to the Affordable Care Act, this was her answer:

“The plan is to allow those things that had been proposed over many years to reform a health-care system in America that certainly does need more help so that there’s more competition, there’s less tort reform threat, there’s less trajectory of the cost increases, and those plans have been proposed over and over again,” Palin said…

“And what thwarts those plans? It’s the far left,” she said “It’s President Obama and his supporters who will not allow the Republicans to usher in free market, patient-centered, doctor-patient relationship links to reform health care.”

My buddy Don Reese, who co-hosted my radio show for a while, used to say that whenever he heard George W. Bush speak it sounded like he was a 16-year old trying to explain to his dad how the dent got in the car. With Palin, it sounds like a dumb high school student trying to fudge an answer to the teacher’s question when she has no idea what she’s talking about.

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  • Pierce R. Butler

    C’mon, she used five four syllable-words!

  • sinned34

    Whenever I hear Palin struggle to answer even the simplest policy questions, I`m reminded of Kang’s political message from the Simpsons:

    My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball; but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!

  • Modusoperandi

    To be fair, it’s nice that she’s for reducing the tort reform threat.

  • unbound

    Whenever Sarah Palin talks, I think of Pitch Perfect:

    Yeah, that’s not a thing, and you aren’t the boss of me.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    Well, those all are certainly words in the English language. I’m not so certain they mean anything when pushed together like that though.

  • Raging Bee

    With Palin, it sounds like a dumb high school student trying to fudge an answer to the teacher’s question when she has no idea what she’s talking about.

    And how many colleges did she go to before she finally graduated?

  • smrnda

    Political speech seems to often drift in the direction of meaningless babble made up of buzzwords and phrases that seem cut and pasted together at random. Journalists need to start asking ‘what does that mean?’ to point out this is all rubbish.

    Another issue is the idea that deploying ‘big words’ makes your argument better, which could be a fault of how the English language works (large vocabulary with many redundant words, some having more status tan others) and how writing gets taught (‘advanced’ writing substitutes the simple word for the advanced one) and the fact that this trains people to use words they barely understand in order to appear smart. I find most good communicators don’t do this, but like was said, it’s a way a high school student fakes an essay answer.

  • Melvosh

    Last I checked, the health care market is free market. In fact, I’ve been constantly told by conservatives for the last decade at least that this is a good thing, because the free market will make sure the health care costs will balance themselves out. Funny how I could not afford an individual health care plan until the ACA.

  • Geds

    My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball; but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!

    Abortions for some, tiny American flags for others!

  • marcus

    In a fit of self-abuse I read a few pages of Palins ‘defense’ of ‘traditonal’ Xmas screed Good tidings and Great Joy. As silly as it is (very) it is, however, suspiciously coherent.. I posit that she utilized professional help., which is good, she should get some help.

  • greg1466

    I think she sounds like a contestant in the question segment of a beauty pageant. Oh, wait…

  • eric

    Whatever this magical GOP healthcare plan might be, ACA doesn’t thwart it. Put it on the exchange, let people buy it. If it’s really that good, people will take it.

    Ooooh, that’s right, their proposals aren’t so much an actual health care plan, as they are the statement “no health care for you.”

  • Michael Heath

    I’m surprised it took to my post @ 13 to note that Palin’s effectively arguing for a solution that’s equivalent to Obamacare.

  • lpetrich

    “Patient-centered”? Republican pollster Frank Luntz coined it as a way to attack Obamacare.

    “Patient-Centered Health Care” (Salon)

    But the Republicans have yet to explain how their schemes are patient-centered and not insurance-company-centered and not otherwise big-Republican-campaign-contributor-centered.

  • Moggie

    You kind of expect a politician to fudge answers to obscure policy questions: do you support the protests by Bangladeshi garment workers? What’s your opinion of the Yamamoto row in Japan? Where do you stand on melon farmers? But health care is so central to US political debate, and so much has been written on the subject, that any politician who is not 100% prepared to field questions on the topic should be laughed out of the running.

  • suttkus

    Sarah Palin, as presented on The Daily Show’s Moment of Zen last night:

    Palin: “Yeah, Hillary Clinton was mistreated when it came to appearances… superficial things that the men don’t ever seem to hear much about but a woman candidate will.”

    Interviewer: “Governor Christie hears about his appearance.”

    Palin: “Well, that’s because his is extreme!”

    And she was SO CLOSE.

  • Modusoperandi

    Michael Heath “I’m surprised it took to my post @ 13 to note that Palin’s effectively arguing for a solution that’s equivalent to Obamacare.”

    No, it’s not. It’s every idea the Republicans have pretended to be for that the Democrats haven’t tried to enact yet.

    In any event, a system of state-based public exchanges of private healthcare insurance with a federally run one for states who won’t or can’t run their own, coupled to an Individual Mandate creating an insurance pool large enough to cover those with pre-existing conditions while simulateously minimizing the Free Rider problem of the uninsured, and cost-bending/modernization oversight and expertise to reduce the disproportionate growth of healthcare costs, increasing quality without sacrificing care is totally different than Obamacare.

  • Area Man

    Palins word-salady attempt at an answer is boilerplate Republican health care policy, if you imagine her capable of saying it coherently. It’s definitely not anything to do with Obamacare or in any way compatible with it.

    While the basic idea behind Obamacare is that everyone should have health insurance and that this should be comprehensive enough to keep people from falling into bankruptcy, Republicans believe that people have too much health insurance and that costs would be lower with less demand. To that end, they have a grab-bag of policies that either have people paying more out-of-pocket for everything (so you ask yourself, do I really need that triple bypass?) or are anti-consumer in orientation (so the providers ask themselves, can’t we cut a few corners here and there, or maybe just deny benefits?).

    None of these policies would do anything to help the uninsured, and no health care experts think they would have a significant impact on costs. But there are plenty of fringe benefits; for example, tort reform will defund trial lawyers who give money to Democrats.

  • Moggie

    I’m just impressed she doesn’t think tort reform is about Austrian pastry.

  • busterggi

    I don’t know about you but I always find it helps after listening to one of Palin’s rants if I shout “BLUE MEANIES!”.

  • Synfandel

    Well, she does mention the most crucial element of any alternative to the ACA: “less trajectory of the cost increases”. Trajectory is the worst!

  • Sideshow Bill

    Sadly her sentence runs on too long for the automatic sentence diagrammer:

  • cptdoom

    @14 lpetrich – actually the phrase was stolen from a real concept – the patient-centered medical home, which is a model of care where the primary care physician acts as the central medical coordinator for the patient. The model was created in the late 60s but has more recently become the standard of care, especially with the increased availability of electronic medical records. Ironically it was the stimulus that provided significant $$ for EMRs and the ACA that funded a lot of work to promote the medical home model, including three contracts I’m managing for my company. So Ms. Heath (I refuse to recognize her “marriage” to Todd as valid) is in fact proposing Obamacare as the replacement for Obamacare. That’s about par for the course for her intellect.

  • freehand

    If I were a reporter there, I would ask her “What the Hell does ‘there’s less trajectory of the cost increases’ mean?”