“On Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel, she said his comments calling liberal groups ‘f-ing retards’ was “indecent and insensitive” and cause for his dismissal.

“But the former governor went to great and sometimes awkward lengths to insist that when conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh used the same exact term to describe the same exact group, it was simply in the role of political humorist.

“‘They are kooks, so I agree with Rush Limbaugh,’ she said, when read a quote of Limbaugh calling liberal groups ‘retards.’ ‘Rush Limbaugh was using satire … . I didn’t hear Rush Limbaugh calling a group of people whom he did not agree with ‘f-ing retards,’ and we did know that Rahm Emanuel, as has been reported, did say that. There is a big difference there.'”

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“Sarah Palin didn’t give a tea party speech last night. She gave a partisan Republican address. It was a purely political speech designed to position her for a presidential run in 2012 or 2016. Period. She wasn’t there to celebrate the organic nature of a movement she had nothing to do with creating. She was there to co-opt the name and claim the brand as hers. And she did…

“These weren’t the people who were out protesting. This weren’t regular folks. This was the same old network of conservative hacks, flacks, publicists and hangers-on. This was Conservative Inc…

“The tea party I’m familiar with was concerned more about the collusion of big business and big government than the War in Iraq. The tea party I’m familiar with was more concerned about rejecting the bailout of Wall Street while looking for ways reinvigorate the economy of Main Street than looking for Al-Qaeda. The tea party I’m familiar with seemed more concerned about restoring the Republic at home than Democracy abroad.

“Almost from start finish, Sarah Palin outlined an agenda that either ignored or de-emphasized the issues and the spirit that the tea parties were founded on.”

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“While I suspect that mine is a minority view among the leadership of conservative activism and journalism (and I am often reminded in a jocular sort of way that my view of Palin is a minority among my colleagues at The Examiner and The Weekly Standard), I believe Palin is miles ahead of every other national figure in understanding where the country has been in the last year and what the Tea Party movement means about the future course of American politics.

“That doesn’t mean I think Palin is or even should be a candidate for president or any other elective office in 2012 or any other time. What it does mean is I believe Palin has a unique insight into the state of things and is moving systematically and intelligently in concert with that insight. Where that leads, nobody, including Palin, likely knows at this point.”

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Click the image to watch.

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