Word salads are a dish best served cold

WORD SALADS ARE A DISH BEST SERVED COLD…. Former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin (R) decided to weigh in on developments in Egypt yesterday, and her remarks are generating a fair amount of attention. They were, oddly enough, pretty interesting, in a head-shaking sort of way.

Palin gave a speech in California yesterday, but refused to answer questions from attendees or reporters. Instead, she chatted over the phone with a correspondent for radical TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, which asked for her thoughts on President Obama’s handling of the situation in Egypt. She responded:

“It’s a difficult situation, this is that 3 a.m. White House phone call and it seems for many of us trying to get that information from our leader in the White House it it seems that that call went right to the answering machine. And nobody yet has, nobody yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and … not real enthused about what it is that that’s being done on a national level and from D.C. in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt.

“And, in these areas that are so volatile right now because obviously it’s not just Egypt but the other countries too where we are seeing uprisings, we know that now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House. We need to know what it is that America stands for so we know who it is that America will stand with. And we do not have all that information yet.”

She’s quite a visionary, isn’t she? I’ve read this a couple of times, trying to understand what it is, exactly, Palin’s trying to say, but I can’t make heads or tails of it. She apparently prepped the “answering machine” joke — Palin’s humor is just so droll — not realizing that a coherent answer would need a little more substance. Indeed, when she says she’s “not real enthused” about “understanding all the situation there in Egypt,” I’m not even sure who Palin’s referring to.

She went on to say:

“Remember, President Reagan lived that mantra trust but verify. We want to be able to trust those who are screaming for democracy there in Egypt, that it is a true sincere desire for freedoms and the challenge that we have though, is how do we verify what it is that we are being told, what it is that the American public are being fed via media, via the protestors, via the government there in Egypt in order for us to really have some sound information to make wise decisions on what our position is. Trust but verify, and try to understand is what I would hope our leaders are engaged in right now. Who’s going to fill the void? Mubarak, he’s gone, one way or the other you know, he is not going to be the leader of Egypt, that that’s a given, so now the information needs to be gathered and understood as to who it will be that fills now the void in the government. Is it going to be the Muslim Brotherhood? We should not stand for that, or with that or by that. Any radical Islamists, no that is not who we should be supporting and standing by, so we need to find out who was behind all of the turmoil and the revolt and the protests so that good decisions can be made in terms of who we will stand by and support.”

It occurs to me that Palin probably has some advisers who’ve tried to help her make sense of developments in the Middle East. She’s very likely had some briefings and/or received some talking points from those who presumably have some kind of background in foreign affairs.

If so, the problem isn’t just that U.S. policy towards Egypt is complex; it’s that Palin is so conspicuously unintelligent, she can’t even understand the guidance she receives from her own team.