One day after hijacking a veterans march on the World War II Memorial closed by the government shutdown her Tea Party has been demanding since 2011, Sarah Palin took to Facebook to lob another grenade at President Obama. Should Republicans succeed in blocking the debt ceiling increase required to allow Uncle Sam to keep paying his bills after Thursday, Palin argued, it will be President Obama who will be guilty of an "impeachable offense."
As it turns out, that's a pretty odd position for the former half-term Alaska governor to take. After all, when asked if she would support hiking the debt ceiling in the spring of 2011, Sarah Palin had a simple, two-word response:
"Hells no."If that adolescent temper tantrum sounds more like Juno than something uttered by a would-have-been Vice President of the United States, you haven't had the misfortune of stumbling upon Sarah Palin's Facebook page today ("Obama's Debt Default is on His Shoulders While We Shoulder His Impeachable Offenses"): Following the lead of noted constitutional scholar Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Palin explained:
Apparently the president thinks he can furlough reality when talking about the debt limit. To suggest that raising the debt limit doesn't incur more debt is laughably absurd. The very reason why you raise the debt limit is so that you can incur more debt. Otherwise what's the point?Leave aside for the moment that the debt ceiling does not represent what Sarah Palin thinks it does or that the Paul Ryan budget she supports would require multiple debt ceiling increases of its own. Her own past statements suggest President Palin would have insisted on her own impeachment.
It's time for the president to be honest with the American people for a change. Defaulting on our national debt is an impeachable offense, and any attempt by President Obama to unilaterally raise the debt limit without Congress is also an impeachable offense. A default would also be a shameful lack of leadership.
During the first GOP debt ceiling hostage-taking two and a half years ago, Palin in April 2011 responded this way to her Fox News colleagues on the question of boosting the limit as her party had done seven times for President George W. Bush:
"Hells no. I would not vote to increase that debt ceiling.Despite the fact that Treasury officials from Democratic and Republican administrations alike have warned that her shell game is both impossible and dangerous, Palin in June 2011 declared "I don't believe Tim Geithner as he cries wolf for the fourth time now, telling us that there is a drop-dead date and crisis will ensue, and economic woes will befall us even greater than they already are if we don't increase the debt limit." The next month, the hockey mom turned pit bull on the debt ceiling again:
It turns my stomach to hear this assumption articulated that we have to, despite the fact that we are raking in the federal government $6 billion a day," she said. "Take that money and service our debt first and pay down some of that debt. Make sure that we are showing the international financial markets and our lenders that we're serious about getting our debt and our deficit problems under control."
"We cannot default, but we cannot afford to retreat right now either," the former Alaska governor said. "Now is not time to retreat, it's time to reload."When in early August 2011 Congressional Republicans extracted the $1.2 trillion, decade-long budget sequester as their price for avoiding a default Speaker John Boehner acknowledged "would be a financial disaster, not only for our country but for the worldwide economy," Palin called it a qualified victory for the Tea Party:
She continued, "We reload with reality by giving facts and numbers to the American public so that those of us across the United States can start chiming in and letting our representatives know that we will not capitulate."
"It's not a 100% pure genuine victory. We just handed the most liberal president, I believe, in U.S. history a $2.4 billion debt increase."(Palin called it "appalling" when Vice President Joe Biden complained Republicans "have acted like terrorists." Apparently, she had no comment when former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill warned, "The people who are threatening not to pass the debt ceiling are our version of al Qaeda terrorists.")
As it turned out, even that deal was not enough to prevent Standard and Poor's from issuing what will rightly be recalled as the Tea Party Downgrade of 2011. As S&P senior director Joydeep Mukherji detailed, his ratings agency was stunned that "people in the political arena were even talking about a potential default."
"That a country even has such voices, albeit a minority, is something notable. This kind of rhetoric is not common amongst AAA sovereigns."No, such talk of default is not common amongst AAA sovereigns. But the unthinkable is now routine for Tea Party Republicans like Sarah Palin. Even if, she now suggests, President Palin would have to be impeached for it.