Sarah Palin launched her online Sarah Palin Channel on July 27, allowing conservatives or any other fans of the former half-term Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate to have direct access to Palin’s views on a wide range of issues at a subscription cost of $9.95 per month — or $99.95 for a full year.
But on Friday, the Sarah Palin Channel drew widespread attention for Palin’s attempted response to Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren — herself considered a possible 2016 presidential contender — who recently stated her “11 Commandments of Progressivism,” a recent speech delivered by Warren at Netroots Nation, an annual convention of liberal activists.
Most of Palin’s responses to Warren’s “commandments were boilerplate bromides about the evils of “government.” For example, in response to Warren’s statement, “We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt,” Palin responded:
“We believe that students learn to not make decisions that result in a lot of debt. And we believe that schools need to be more accountable for the insane increase in tuition… and their insane curriculum — many of ’em. It’s no accident, Elizabeth, that the rise in tuition corresponds with the rise in government intervention. More government isn’t the answer.”
While even that response required some parsing — the “decisions” to which Palin appears to refer seem to be the decisions to go to college at all — it was when Palin reached Warren’s fifth “commandment” that she descended into what one prominent political news site referred to as “word salad.”
Warren in her speech said, “We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them.”
That concept appeared to short-circuit Palin as she delivered a response the Chicago Sun-Times called “incoherent.”
“We believe — wait, I thought fast food joints — hrm. Don’t you guys think that they are of the devil or something? Liberals, you want to send those evil employees who would dare work at a fast food joint that you just don’t believe in — thought you wanted to send them to purgatory or something until they all go vegan! Wages and picket lines, I dunno, they’re not often discussed in purgatory, are they? I don’t know. Why are you even worried about fast food wages?”
As MSNBC online blogger Steve Benen noted, “let’s also not forget that this clip, as awful as it seemed, wasn’t live. Palin, on her own channel, could have filmed this as many times as she wanted, making sure it turned out exactly right. This, in other words, was Palin’s best take.”
After the bizarre diatribe, Palin appeared to collect herself and stated that conservatives “believe in America where minimum-wage jobs are not lifetime gigs. They are stepping stones to a good job with sustainable wages. It teaches work ethic.”
Fast-food workers are paid an average of $9.09 per hour making them the lowest-paid class of workers in the country, while CEOs of fast-food corporations are among the nation’s highest paid executives, averaging almost $27 million per year.
In addition to their low pay, a study released this April found that a staggering 89 percent of fast-food workers have been victims of “wage theft,” that is, employer practices that deprive workers of pay to which they are entitled, such as requiring off-the-clock work, overtime work without additional pay, delayed or bounced paychecks and employers’ failure to pay for all hours worked.
Sarah Palin blamed “top-down, bloated, big-government” for the conditions endured by fast-food workers.