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Watch What I Say, Not What I Do

I’m thrilled to introduce you to the newest front-page blogger at The Confluence, sandress. You know her as our frequent commenter, Sandra S. and she also blogs at New Agenda Report as Sandra.

Sandress, I’m so excited to welcome you — Thank you for this wonderful post! — katiebird

It’s no shock to any of us here at The Confluence that Obama’s popularity is finally tanking. Apparently people don’t like incompetence in their leaders during a massive ecological crisis. Who knew? The media has tried to spin this as voters demanding tears and emotional outbursts, which Obama has thus far failed to deliver. But the fact is that people want Obama to have a Plan, and now that he doesn’t have the smart girl to crib off of, he’s got nothing. And we all know what that means: A MAGIC SHOW!

Actually, it means someone is getting thrown under the bus, and since Obama is running out of members of his inner circle to sacrifice, that can only mean one thing: we need a woman to burn in effigy! Hillary is already in trouble, what with standing apart in the McChrystal scandal, and being talked up by Sally Quinn as Biden’s replacement. I’m fairly certain we’ll see some solid anti-Hillary sentiment stirred up unless Obama can find a way to take credit for her good work. But no, I think Sarah Palin is going to bear the brunt of this particular witch hunt. After all, this is the woman who champions drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife National Refuge. Who would make a better target for progressive ire while Obama fails to make gains combatting the devastating Gulf Oil Spill?

As we gear up for another fun round of Pin the Blame on the Scapegoat, we’ll all be reminded over and over again that we only know what They want us to know. The average voter, and the average opinionated blog-stalker, has no idea what Obama’s actual voting record was, and certainly none of them have any idea about what Palin was actually like in office.

So here’s a quick quiz, just to brush up. Heck, use it to challenge the most politically savvy people you know. (Note: Since Obama chooses to be judged on his words rather than his actions, I’ve leaned heavily on rhetoric in the quiz)

The All-New Obama/Palin Quiz

  1. Who said “I have repeatedly said that I think it’s entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother. Now, I don’t think that “mental distress” qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term. Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we can prohibit late-term abortions.”
  2. Who said “I’m pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues”?
  3. Who said “I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order to be equal, and I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles”?
  4. When asked if s/he would support an abortion ban in their state if Roe v. Wade were overturned, who responded: “It would be up to the people… to discuss and decide how we would like our society to reflect our values”?
  5. Who more than tripled funding in their state for an organization providing programs for homeless, runaway, and pregnant youth?
  6. Which political figure appointed a notably anti-choice and anti-contraception woman to a prominent position in charge of health-related funds?
  7. Who responded to the aftermath of a major ecological disaster by saying: “The oil companies are our partners in a sense, in that they do hold the leases, the rights to develop our resources, but it’s our duty… to make sure that we have… sound, responsible oversight… that there are the commitments by industry to safely and responsibly develop our resources… We will make sure that something like this does not happen again”?
  8. In 2007, who wished to impose sanctions on Iran and its allies, and to designate the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group?
  9. When asked about increasing state-funded faith-based initiatives in 2006, which major political figure responded that current levels of funding were adequate?
  10. Which political figure is responsible for the assertion that the prosecution of warrantless wire-tapping represents “exceptionally grave harm to national security”, and that the United States government possesses “sovereign immunity” which allows them to use surveillance violating federal privacy statues and not be sued?
  11. Who said “If we’re going to end genocide and stop the scourge of HIV/AIDS, we need people of faith on Capitol Hill talking about how these challenges don’t just represent a security crisis or a humanitarian crisis, but a moral crisis as well”?
  12. When asked about Thomas Jefferson and the Separation of Church and State, who replied “His intention in expressing that was so that government did not mandate a religion on people. And Thomas Jefferson also said never underestimate the wisdom of the people. And the wisdom of the people, I think in this issue is that people have the right and the ability and the desire to express their own religious views, be it a very personal level, which is where I choose to express my faith, or in a more public forum”?
  13. Who said “To say that men and women should not inject their ‘personal morality’ into public policy debates is a practical absurdity; our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition”?
  14. Which political figure was willing to compromise on the mandated reporting of leaks at nuclear energy plants?
  15. Who cited a trip abroad as a college student as foreign policy experience in 2008?
  16. Bonus Question: According to Frank Llewellyn, national director of the Democratic Socialists of America, who is more socialistic, Obama or Palin?


  1. Obama
  2. Palin
  3. Obama
  4. Palin
    Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006
  5. Palin
  6. Obama
  7. Palin
  8. Obama, who co-sponsored the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007
  9. Palin
    Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006
  10. These points come directly from Obama’s Department of Justice
  11. Obama
  12. Palin
  13. Obama
  14. Obama
  15. Obama

Bonus: Palin! In 2008, Palin raised taxes on oil companies in Alaska, and sent energy rebates to all Alaskan residents.


90 Responses

  1. Welcome to the Front Page!!! Great start!!!

  2. The quiz is so interesting — I struggled with a couple of the questions and I follow this stuff!

    • I know … it really made me think.

    • The important thing for me was being able to cite all of this stuff. I remember being told endlessly “Check the Website!” and “I read on HuffPo that…” when half the time it was the Comments being referenced. I wanted actual sources for this stuff.

  3. Yay, Sandra!! Congratulations, you are so awesome!!!

    I’d forgotten #3. I genuinely think I could throw up now.

  4. Yay, great job and welcome!!

  5. I got them all and the bonus, lol.

    Welcome Sandra!

    • So did I Wonk and it’s kind of depressing.

      Welcome Sandra and thank you very much!

  6. This was a great compare and contrast study in these two political figures and I think a lot of people would be surprised at the correct answers. The difference, for me at least, is that Palin stands behind her beliefs, whereas Obama’s beliefs are chimerical, depending on political expedience.

    Great post, as was your post at TNA. I look forward to reading more!

    • For me, the stunning thing is the huge difference between what pols say and what they do, and then between what they say and what gets reported as being their position. Obama mouths Republican tropes and votes Republican votes and gets lauded as a Progressive savior and insulted as a crazy Socialist? Seriously? And Palin is a deliberately centrist, populist, responsive to the constituents Governor and gets talked up and sold as a Hard Right Ultra-Conservative?

      I get that they have to position themselves for their bases to get elected, but does the media have to play along so GLEEFULLY?

      • Soundbytes and stereotypes are easier for TV audiences to process. The dumbing down of America, huh? And I’m just as guilty. Until the Dem primary I had little to no interest in politics and a generalized loathing for politicians. Now I’m interested, but really, really disenchanted with it.

        • In some ways, being a political junkie is like having PTSD. It’s not that you LIKE this stuff, it’s more that you’re just unintentionally hyper-aware of it.

      • And Palin is a deliberately centrist, populist, responsive to the constituents Governor and gets talked up and sold as a Hard Right Ultra-Conservative?

        Not to distract from your larger point about the treatments of Obama vs. Palin– which I’m in complete agreement with–but I’m not seeing Palin as a centrist. Palin’s governing record was more iconoclastic reformer and intriguing, but I’d classify her political brand as populist rightwinger.

        • Possibly, but I think I see her as more centrist, I agree with Sandra. I’d say Obama is much more right wing than she is, and he isn’t a populist. He bailed out bad banks and she raised taxes on oil companies. I don’t agree with a lot of her positions on the issues but that is borderline socialist and kind of awesome.

          • I’d say Obama is much more right wing than she is, and he isn’t a populist. He bailed out bad banks and she raised taxes on oil companies. I don’t agree with a lot of her positions on the issues but that is borderline socialist and kind of awesome.

            I agree. O is a closet conservative and nothing populist about it. I just don’t think that makes Palin centrist by comparison. If we define the center around where Obama and Palin stand relative to each other, I think that’s allowing the political spectrum to keep sliding to the right. Palin’s a conservative, albeit a populist one with a governing record that shows practical instincts. But, those practical instincts were about local issues. We’re starting to see the rest of her politics emerge. I can make educated guesses about the difference between her actual political instincts and her throwing red meat to the base, but at the end it’s a guess. To me the Clintons were where the political center was last seen and should be restored.

        • Well, I think she’s centrist in the context of the current American political spectrum, which is much further right than it was during the Clinton years. She certainly doesn’t govern as far right as Huckabee or several of her other Republican colleagues. Centrist depends on where you locate the center.

          Iconoclastic, populist, right-winger are all accurate though.

          I think Hillary is far-left idealist, but who governs as a centrist pragmatist. I think Palin has personal politics that are far right, but feels obligated to govern according to the views of her constituents. Both of them seem fundamentally fair-minded and concerned with governance as being about the will of the people. Different people, but “the people” nonetheless.

          • I agree Sandra. Both Clintons were always center left politicians who sometimes had to compromise in order to be pragmatic, same with Palin all though her politics, from what I see and from what Wonk sees, are center right. But both Clinton and Palin are sincere populists , and Obama is a corporatist.

            And to be fair, today’s political spectrum makes Obama a centrist and Clinton and Palin wild eyed liberals.

          • I think Palin was a centrist in governing, but I am not sure about her recent expressed views. She is becoming a political force, and part of her effectiveness in that lies in her affirmation of many far right, and frankly crazy talking points. She wouldn’t be the first politician who swang like a pendulum to right and left as appropriate.

            Palin is a very effective politician, and despite her view, I really like her giving the BO machine and the press a really good run for their money. Despite many of BO’s shortcomings, he is a talent as a politician (something he shares with W). But Palin has picked many battles with WH, which she has won, and candidates she has endorsed have done really well. Her popularity is fairly low, but she might be able to do a ‘Hillary’, and change minds about herself later on.

            Meanwhile, media is jumping from narrative to narrative in their quest for finding a way to ‘burn the witch’.

          • ghost,

            I think she’s doing what any smart pol does: getting her base behind her. If she does that before the primary and then swings centrist during the general, she stands a good chance (if she can bounce back from all the vicious smears).

            Honestly, her picking up the support of the Tea Partiers and then using it to promote other female GOP candidates is Smart. She’s building power, and then she can use that to bring home the rest of the party. She doesn’t ever Have to win over the progs.

          • I just think she’s an unanswered question thusfar and prefer to leave the “center” label out of it until it’s earned. Her record in AK tells us some things, but it doesn’t tell us everything. We’re continuing to find out more about her national politics and see it evolve.

      • To be fair though, alot of that is because of who she hangs with and what she allows to be said. I mean yu can’t seriously believe Michelle Bachman is a sane person, share the stage with her and expect to be lauded as centrist(It’s almost as nauseating as Obama pretending to be pro choice or pro same sex marriage after sharing the stage with people anti choice or with people who believe gay is an afflictioon). The people ypu choose to surround yourself with are often a reflection of who you are or who you aspire to be and frankly, whoSarah pals around with is as scary to me as who Obama pals around with(although not nearly scary enough for me to give my husband’s hard earned money to the DSCC). Frankly, the Democraqts can gostraight to Stupakistan on that one. I’m done choosing between bad and worse. I’m going third party. They certainly can’t do much worse than what the two major parties have done.

        • She’s certainly maneuvering. But I draw a distinction between an opportunist sharing a stage with some nutbar and being an empty suit who’ll BELONG to any nutbar for the right price. Until I see otherwise, I’m assuming Palin is the former. We already know Obama is the latter.

          But then, I find her centrist-right platform bad enough. Anyone espousing a small government loses me right away. Although she doesn’t appear to be a vicious supply-side economics fan (unlike basically every other Repub and most Dems), so that’s a bonus. That said, I still like her better than Obama, but I’d prefer total integrity. Not too many pols can pull that off, though.

          And while a third party can’t do worse than the Dems and Repubs, they also can’t win. So there’s that.

  7. The giveaway on “who said” in the quiz: If it took 15 sentences to say the same thing that could be said in a single sentence, it was said by Obama. Everything he says has to have a dozen qualifying statements around it.

    • And, “I have repeatedly said” is a total 0-ism, along with, “I’ve said many times, as I’ve said before, and, I’ve made it perfectly clear…”

      Great quiz, great first post!

      • The “Now, I don’t….blahblahblah” is a giveaway too as he drones on. Great quiz, I forwarded it to friends who always send me the anti-Palin emails.

      • “frankly the notion that somehow ……..”
        Is my most unfavorite Obama verbal fart.

  8. Great! I knew some of the answers, I guessed the others by going for the reversed expectation.

    • I actually figured this quiz might be too easy for this crowd, but I wanted to get it out where people could see it and refer to it during the next wave of Palin-hate.

      • Very interesting list. Thank you for posting it and, welcome!

      • To have this on record and in archives will be helpful to me.
        Sandress, you did good!

        I am always looking for the argument with my hopeless
        Obambi family. They have a deer in the headlights look these days, but some family gatherings are coming up and I need good facts like this. Some how, they adopted the Republican talking points against Hillary in 08 and completely ignored the fact that O is an empty suit….and a liar. I like to twist the knife a bit and remind them of some things!
        BTW I agree that the TC people know most or all, but it is great to review and to see the actual quotes.
        Thank You!

  9. Welcome, Sandress, and I’m really curious. Did McChrystal and his aides not diss Hillary but did everybody else?

    • From what I could tell, she was one of very few people who went uncriticized in that article. I’d have to go back and check if there were others, but if there were, there weren’t many.

      • Well, I guess he’s not a complete moron, then.

      • I may sound naive, but I actually think Hillary doesn’t “play politics”.She serves her country. She seems selfless. That is a beautiful place to be.
        She is Woman and makes me proud.

        Hill has deep and profound philosophy. It centers her and she speaks from that. I don’t ever doubt her sincerity.
        I do not agree with her all the time. ( flag burning), but she is one of the very few politicians that is also a states(wo)man

        • She is the only thing that keeps me from descending into total cynicism. I really believe that she is motivated by the desire to help.

        • That’s just it though. Hillary is a very practical pol. Hillary’s flag burning bill *was* a political maneuver to prevent a flag burning *amendment* and give cover to Dem pols who needed it on the issue. The bill never passed.

          • She is not only motivated by a desire to serve, but she’s also smart and pragmatic about it. She does keep me optimistic about the necessity of politics. She is one of those rare politicians who uses politics as an art to make what seems impossible, possible. I hope I’m half the woman she is one day.

        • she did NOT vote for the flag burning ammendment. She voted for a law (not a constitutional ammendment) that makes it illegal to burn a flag in a large crowd of people. Seems like a pretty sensible compromise to me and one that kept that stupid ammendment from being passed.
          Or do you believe that it’s a good idea to light up a flag where there are lots of people who could be hurt?

    • Gates was also not dissed.

  10. This is a great first post, sandress! I’ve already bookmarked it for future reference.

  11. Fun quiz, Sandra, thanks, and welcome!

    I was amazed to get 100% on it.

  12. Amazing, Sandra. I’m posting it on my FB! I’ve always loved your comments and I’m so glad you’re on the front page. Now we just have to start bullying Seriously into posting ;P

    • I was just thinking that this morning, that Seriously should post…

      • I know, she’s so smart! I tried getting her to post on Liberal Rapture with me but she said “no” and that I should ask you. I could never find you on the threads when I needed you though… and now, look Katiebird stole you from me.
        I vote we both start badgering Seriously to blog until she gives in. You get her arms, I’ll get her legs!

  13. Isn’t the answer to the bonus Palin? She’s the one who distributed oil royalties among the people of Alaska, after all.

    • Yeah, it is. That was a formatting error. Technically there are SIXTEEN questions. But the answer for the bonus question got a carriage return instead of a number. Oops.

  14. Admiral Thad Allen Announces the Deaths of Two Oil Cleanup Workers

  15. Gillard Australia’s first female PM

    Good news from Down Under! Another female PM under the Southern Cross.

    Julia Gillard has become Australia’s first woman prime minister after Kevin Rudd stood down from the position during a Labor Party leadership spill.

    Ms Gillard has been elected unopposed to the position and Wayne Swan will become deputy prime minister.

  16. Welcome to the front page Sandra! Great post.

    And I have something to add. Who recently said that while h/she didn’t think marijuana should be legalized, people should be able to smoke pot at home in private and that the police have better things to do than monitor what people are doing in their own homes?


  17. OT–The criticism Obama is getting from the military in Afghanistan is very similar to what he’s getting from the Gulf. The complaints are that Obama has only been to Afghanistan once, he doesn’t really seem to care, he’s not engaged, he doesn’t understand what it’s like on the ground.


    • The man is consistent. Obama is what he was, and is what he will be: detached and incompetent.

  18. I would also like to welcome Sandress!

    I, for one, am glad to see documented talking points that put Sarah Palin in more realistic perspective.

    I remember very well when she was found to be more socialistic than Obama.

  19. Welcome Sandress. We’re a bunch of fair minded people who seem to agree on only one thing: Obama is an empty suit.
    I must read too much junk. I got 100 percent. But then, as Erica noted, Obama’s comments can be picked by his usual: “I have repeatedly said; I’ve said many times; as I’ve said before; I’ve made it perfectly clear; I never said;” and other lies.

  20. Welcome Sandra! It’s so frustrating that actual facts and content are unknown or ignored. Easier to glorify and demonize than actually debate the truth.

  21. Welcome, welcome…Sandra! 🙂

  22. Welcome! Scary good quiz. Love the Penn & Teller clip too.

  23. “I’m fairly certain we’ll see some solid anti-Hillary sentiment stirred up unless Obama can find a way to take credit for her good work.”

    Your prediction has already come true.

    The Smirking Chimp just published a weird anti-Hillary, anti-Clinton blog, filled with the usual smears.

    Fool that I am, I jumped in and defended the Clintons, and seem to have been banned for my trouble. It’s just like old times!

    I understand the Chimp is having trouble meeting their pledge goals. If anyone here can do anything legal or ethical to screw things up for The Smirking Chimp, please do so. Thanks.


    • I had heard The Smirking Chimp had kool aid detoxed some what ….but it seems to me in many cases , the kool aid virus can’t be cured , only occasionally it will appear go doormat,…for a short spell . Failing Palin news, they default to Hill….but I’m sure you are right about there being a connection between Hill getting praise in the RS article….there’s a type that cannot bare a vastly superior woman . Cannot. The Smirking Chimp use to be good back in the day. I left when they treated Kerry like a Dem hero long after it was obvious he mailed it in for his skull and bones pal….so I thankfully missed the Obama Love Train era. It’s sad

  24. Great quiz Sandy!!!

  25. Great post, Sandra!! Welcome, and keep it up!

  26. Thanks for the post Sandress. And the quiz was icing on the cake.

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