Monday, November 8, 2010

How Much Does Sarah Palin Know About Monetary Policy?

There's always a danger in underestimating one's political rivals. Successive generations of Democrats ridiculed the intelligence of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, only be defeated by them time and again. So I don't want to make the mistake of thinking Sarah Palin is dumb. Still, there's a real "the lady doth protest too much" quality to this Wall Street Journal op-ed:

"The former Alaskan Governor showed sound political and economic instincts by inveighing forcefully against the Federal Reserve's latest round of quantitative easing. According to the prepared text of remarks that she released to National Review online, Mrs. Palin also exhibited a more sophisticated knowledge of monetary policy than any major Republican this side of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan."

Wait. Really?

The Journal adds: "Misguided monetary policy can ruin an Administration as thoroughly as higher taxes and destructive regulation, and the new GOP majority in the House and especially the next GOP President need to be alert to the dangers. Mrs. Palin is way ahead of her potential Presidential competitors on this policy point, and she shows a talent for putting a technical subject in language that average Americans can understand."

To be fair, I'm not certain that deep knowledge of particular subjects matters in a potential president so much as their ability to get a good team around them, and to process and synthesize new information effectively. And it's possible that Palin has been deeply, deeply disserved by her "I read all the papers" reputation.

But the Journal is trying to sell Palin as one of the smartest Republicans around. It's a picture at odds with, well, just about everything on the public record about Palin. Somebody's lying.

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