Friday, April 9, 2010

Understatement of the day

President Obama has been taking heat from the crazy sectors of American politics for his recent decisions on nuclear policy and nuclear treaties. And why not? It's rare that these people get a serious chance to concoct ill informed rants about nuclear hellfire and World War III what with the recent conversation tipping so much towards health care and financial regulatory reform. Riffing on Obama turning America into an irradiated wasteland where men have to do battle with atomic mutants because of the failures of liberalism is so much more visceral than trying to concoct a doomsday scenario around increased regulation for financial giants.

To that end, the President was asked about reaction to his nuclear policy, specifically from future gameshow host, wholesale wine spokesperson, and Expert About Everything, Sarah Palin. To his credit, the President didn't wet himself laughing. He just kind of slightly understated what her commentary means to him.

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?


Yes, she isn't much of an expert on nuclear issues, among a vast multitude of other issues most people like to categorize under the header "All the Issues." Wait, strike that, if teen pregnancy, quitting, and snowmobile maintenance ever become national issues, she'd clean up.

I know what you're saying "How is Sarah not an expert on this issue, given that the treaty is with Russia and given her oft stated foreign policy expertise/coastal sight lines with Russia?" Ahh, dear reader, she can see Russia, thus making her a general expert on it and a sworn protector of the mainland from Putin's influence, but she can't see any of their nuclear or missile launch facilities from Wasilla, so how can she know that much about them?

So thank you Mr. President for taking the understated, classy route. You could have yelled "The bitch is crazy", "What is it you in the media think she fucking knows about anything?", you could have laughed for so long that it started to make interviewer George Stephanopolous uncomfortable, or you could have just dead eyed George and asked him "Are you shitting me? Sarah Palin?", but you didn't. You just hinted she shouldn't be listened to about anything, noted that you have actual policy and military experts that you consult, and kept the sarcasm to minimal levels. Nicely understated.

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