April 28, 2014

"Not only is this woman, putatively a Christian, praising torture, but she is comparing it to a holy sacrament of the Christian faith."

"It’s disgusting — but even more disgusting, those NRA members, many of whom are no doubt Christians, cheered wildly for her."

154 comments:

tim in vermont said...

Oh cripes! Concern of non Christians duly noted.

David said...

Ok I'll defend her (and will assume in the defense that water boarding is torture.)

She was not praising torture. She was saying that she would use water boarding to combat terrorism. It was hardly a nuanced statement, with no suggestions of what she would see as the conditions under which she would approve it.

I surely hope there are still circumstances under which our leaders would ignore the restrictions we have placed on ourselves on how we get information from captives. Problem is, the very highest leaders have insulated themselves from the process. If this is to be done, the decision to do it will be made by someone lower in the power structure. The "leaders" will have no direct responsibility.

To the extent that she is actually willing to take that responsibility, I praise Sarah Palin.

tim maguire said...

Does she agree that waterboarding is torture? Or is it that we have to agree because certain liberals find it useful to take that position?

chickenlittle said...

Palin's rhetoric was over-the-top but was intended to confront the sort of mollycoddling treatment of terrorists championed by, for example, Erich Holder who would rather tongue bathe than waterboard. If you're the sort who favors drone-killing without trial, do you have the higher moral ground?

Alex said...

Palinemic: Shock and Terror, film at 11.

Rick in Oregon (ex-Chicagoan) said...

Palin told a joke, film at 10.

I read thru the first 2-dozen comments, expecting to see someone say it's just a joke. But neither side seems able to detect a joke when it involves Palin and Christians.

But she told a pretty good joke.

hawkeyedjb said...

The outrage, it is strong in this one.

Brennan said...

Ms. Palin is the Janine Garofalo of the right. Must we listen?

MayBee said...

I don't believe there are more than 5 people on this earth who truly believe waterbaording is torture.

But what Palin said is dumb. It's not true, it doesn't really make sense, it doesn't belong at an NRA meeting, it's not topical, it's not clever, and it's unnecessarily divisive

She's losing her touch.

Brando said...

Rod's taking her too seriously. This is like when everyone got mad at that rodeo clown who wore the Obama mask--except a rodeo clown is probably more likely to have something insightful to say than Palin.

So Palin makes a glib, jokey remark about a subject as serious as state-sanctioned torture. Is this really a departure from her other empty-headed rantings and trollbait? I'm just waiting until she outs herself as a liberal performance artist who has been doing a years-long impression of a caricature of a right wing know-nothing. Because that has to be what all this is about.

dbp said...

It's. A. Joke.

File under, people who take things too seriously.

john said...

I don't know, but perhaps in some sects baptism really is a punishment.

Michael K said...

She really make their heads explode. Good for Sarah !

AReasonableMan said...

tim in vermont said...
Oh cripes! Concern of non Christians duly noted.


Rod Dreher is one of the more devout Christians writing today. Might want to get your facts straight.

TreeJoe said...

Here's a thought: Palin became a celebrity personality because she became a celebrity. She was actually a pretty good centrist governor of Alaska - a fairly non-partisan state at the end of the day.

However, she's taken on the role of the partisan and she enjoys it. She has joins the ranks of Limbaugh, Coulter, and others who say outrageous things because it builds her cachet within a certain niche.

These are carefully orchestrated speeches and talking points. These are not spur of the moment thoughts, contemporaneous speech, or spontaneous dialogue - these are things said to get exactly these types of articles printed.

And these other outlets respond exactly as expected. It's rather unexciting...

Bill Crawford said...

I remember hearing of protests many years ago about naming a nuclear submarine Corpus Christi. The name derived from the city of course.

AJ Lynch said...

I thought it was a funny joke. Too bad, Tod Dreher, the reknowned go-to source for the librul Christian slant, did not as well.

Rumpletweezer said...

Lighten up, Francis.

Robert Cook said...

"Oh cripes! Concern of non Christians duly noted."

Is Ron Dreher a non-Christian?

Do you think the point made can be so glibly dismissed? In fact, the point is dead on, and any purported Christians cheering on the torture of others reveal they are liars, (not to mention sadists).

Leave the question of Christianity aside altogether: as Americans, we should be appalled at any public figure encouraging criminal acts--the use of torture--as official policy.

Edward Lunny said...

How many of these same people belly ache and whine while the "religion of peace" routinely slaughters Christians by the hundred. Turning the other cheek is a nice platitude, the reality is much less pleasant. Some 3000ish innocent people weren't given the opportunity of the "other cheek" 13 years ago. And, the Kenyan coward wants to surrender us to the acolytes of that cult of hatred known as islam.

EDH said...

Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.

The prime reason why I support preserving the availability of enhanced interrogation methods is the use of the unknown during interrogation, rather than the widespread use of the technique.

I've always thought that was the de facto Bush policy.

You explicitly take those methods off the table and every enemy interrogatee can be trained to know no fear of that unknown.

Seems to me she was actually making the argument you don't tip your hand or categorically take options off the table.

Skeptical Voter said...

Well Palin would waterboard. Obama, when he can't get his hands on an American citizen in the Middle East simply blows him up with a Tomahawk missile. Occasionally, for variety, he'll use a Hellfire missile.

No indictment, no torture, no trial--just an exploded alleged terrorist.

You can dry your face; but it's tough to reassemble a body incinerated in an explosion.

Brando said...

"How many of these same people belly ache and whine while the "religion of peace" routinely slaughters Christians by the hundred. Turning the other cheek is a nice platitude, the reality is much less pleasant. Some 3000ish innocent people weren't given the opportunity of the "other cheek" 13 years ago. And, the Kenyan coward wants to surrender us to the acolytes of that cult of hatred known as islam."

Some of us think we can aggressively fight actual terrorists while maintaining some standards of humanity, such as not torturing mere suspects, avoiding collateral damage where possible, and maintaining the rule of law for our own citizens. While Obama has been a failure in a lot of other areas, I'm really not sure where you get this idea that he has been weak on the war on terror or selling us out to our enemies.

Aught Severn said...

Bill Crawford said: I remember hearing of protests many years ago about naming a nuclear submarine Corpus Christi. The name derived from the city of course.

I guess that's why it finally ended up being named City of Corpus Christi rather than just Corpus Christi. Rather unfortunate, though, as it lead to all sorts of wonderful jokes (speaking of jokes...) for those that had orders to her such as: "oh, so you're joining the rest of the seamen in the big, black CoCC?"

MayBee said...

Having criticized Palin, I will say:
This is one thing I hate about the current political climate. Now everyone has to sit around and be outraged and denouncey at something we did not go to see and really don't need to take any interest in.

We have to criticize Palin, be outraged by a guy under sniper watch on his own land because he's racist, and demand a man lose his business because he said racist things in private to his gold digging girlfriend.
Just to consider ourselves to be part of polite society, we have to be outraged at other people's business, 24/7.

Clayton Hennesey said...

I think Rod did the prudent thing he and his colleagues at TAC are quite well known for: wet his index finger, extended it upward into the breeze, and rotated it until he found a prevailing sentiment.

rhhardin said...

It's too late for snowboarding.

garage mahal said...

Does she agree that waterboarding is torture? Or is it that we have to agree because certain liberals find it useful to take that position?

In the Spanish Inquisition, waterboarding was called "tortura del agua." Where are the strict texual constructionists when you need them?

holdfast said...

Lighten up Francis!


And how many Dems have gleefully said "and GM is alive and Osama Bin Laden is dead"? Lots. So killing is fun and celebration-worthy but a little harsh interrogation is horrible? Call a whaaambulance.

holdfast said...

Has Althouse just become the new forum for the dissection of the Dem/MSM outrage de jour?

m stone said...

I suggest reading the Old Testament: especially Exodus, Kings and Judges. Better to read it all in context and see God's judgment and how it is executed. Harsh, yes, but it is just when you consider what the godless did to merit punishment.

That punishment was usually executed by God's people at His command.

Palin's suggestion is puny in comparison.

Julie C said...

Rod Dreher is a born again Catholic IIRC. He also wrote a book about so-called Crunchy Conservatives (he eats organic and goes to church, basically).

I've read some of his stuff and he comes across as fairly humorless. Sarah Palin loves a good zinger and she knew this would get people talking ...

Bob Ellison said...

Rod Dreher is not a serious conservative. He's a free-thinker who dabbles and fidgets. He did the "Crunchy Cons" blog for a while at National Review. Now he's on the David Brooks trail.

What's the category for these people, who would include the late Christopher Hitchens, and the non-late Andrew Sullivan and the weird littlegreenfootballs guy? They seem perpetually convinced of their own perfection of philosophical thought, and they tend to be good writers, but they waver like flags in a storm.

Revenant said...

Sarah Palin was unfairly criticized many times back in 2008. Therefore, nothing she says may be criticized, no matter how imbecilic. Rod Dreher would do well to remember that.

machine said...

Torture is so funny!

SeanJ said...

"What Palin said was dumb"... Dumb? Seriously? It was fucking moronic.

Ralph Hyatt said...

I've never thought that Palin is the idiot the left makes her out to be, but I have to agree with Dreher.

In Lutheranism there are only two sacraments, Baptism and Communion.

Speaking lightly concerning either one is at best in extremely bad taste. In this case it is sacrilegious.

Consider fellow Christians, we are force feeding prisoners in Gitmo. How would you feel if she referred to that as "the terrorists' communion?"

Zeb Quinn said...

"Rod Dreher is one of the more devout Christians writing today. Might want to get your facts straight"

So's Rev Wright. And it's axiomatic that they're both outliers in the extreme amongst that cohort, which they've opted into.

Patrick O said...

Michael Servetus was not available for comment.

Kelly said...

Water boarding is horrible because the terrorist lives. I prefer drone strikes that kill terrorist outright. That way I don't have to listen to liberal angst that "we aren't that kind of country" regarding torture.

Oso Negro said...

Sarah Palin - Favorite politician since Winston Churchill. I wish she would have run in 2012 simply to drive establishment Republicans and progressives absolutely batshit crazy. Really, she is like kryptonite to those people.

chrisnavin.com said...

Beastly. Beastly, I say.

**Red Robert, thanks for the concern trolling.
See you at the People's Rec Center for Tuesday Trotsky Trivia Night.

I'm still trying to figure out a way to avoid the corporatist bastards at Kinkos and Frito Lay, but until the revolution, we persevere with printouts and chips.

boinky said...

she was making a joke. Hyperbole? Sarcasm? Irony? You know...humor?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

My working definition of torture is something I wouldn't be willing to have done to me on a drunken bet.

Waterboarding doesn't make the cut.

commoncents said...

WATCH LIVE STREAM: Life Threatening Storms Ahead


http://commoncts.blogspot.com/2014/04/watch-live-stream-life-threatening.html

Robert Cook said...

"I don't believe there are more than 5 people on this earth who truly believe waterboarding is torture."

What you believe doesn't really matter.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Left Bank of the Charles said...

It's not a gaffe unless its true. Didn't the Spanish Inquisition invent waterboarding?

Dr Weevil said...

Did the Spanish Inquisition call their water-torture 'waterboarding'? I don't know, and I bet garage mahal doesn't either. Whatever they called it, was it the same thing the U.S. has used on a few terrorists? I'm quite certain the answer is 'no'. There are at least three different procedures that have been called 'waterboarding' in the last century. Two of them cause permanent damage and often death. The third is the one the U.S. has used, and appears (the authorities are rather cagy about the details) to cause only pyschological pressure. Is causing prisoners to panic torture? Some will say 'yes', but there are complications. What if being interrogated by women, women whose eyes and hair and ankles are visible, causes panic in some prisoners? Would that make it torture? Should we violate all the Equal Opportunity laws and exclude women from interrogation teams?

Saint Croix said...

Okay, this is the first time I've seen the video, and I think its a) sacrilegious to joke about waterboarding as a baptism and b) bad politics to even joke about making this a religious war.

I think she is trying to joke here--Palin often tries to be funny--and sometimes jokes go awry.

Here's Mollie Hemingway...

I’ve long defended Palin against the offensive treatment she’s received at the hands of a blatantly biased media, a media that collectively lost its mind the moment she entered the national stage. But that hardly means she must be defended at all times. … This is a perfect example not just of civil religion but also how civil religion harms the church. Civil religion is that folk religion that serves to further advance the cause of the state.

She's not being respectful of Christianity to joke this way.

And it's not good politics, either. Combining waterboarding with religious symbols reminds us of the Inquisition. Why would you want to remind people of one of the uglier periods in Christian history?

Rusty said...

Blogger machine said...
Torture is so funny!


Only when clowns do it.

n.n said...

I wonder if people are more offended or excited by the prospect of catching someone that they hate in a minor faux pas.

It's an interesting puzzle. The secular meaning of baptism is to immerse or dip in water. The Christian practice of baptism requires full immersion. Its religious significance is a trial which imparts the grace of the Holy Spirit. A basic tenet of Christianity is that the faithful cannot lie to each other. Baptism is a metaphor for water boarding, which has a purpose to embrace the truth.

The Godfather said...

Palin's joke wasn't funny.

Waterboarding is not "torture". What Phillip IV did to the Knights Templar, now THAT was torture.

n.n said...

tim in vermont:

It's not clear how "conservative" the "The American Conservative" (TAC) is. For one, they rank abortion/murder low on the scale of personal concerns. A definitive aspect of American conservatism is a fairly innovative acknowledgment of an unalienable Right to Life from Creation. TAC seems to be more libertarian than conservative.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Thank God our Secretary of State didn't just say something antisemitic on Holocaust Remembrance Day. This way we can all get our panties in a wad over some stupid joke told by a nobody.

Ann Althouse said...

"It was a joke" is no answer at all. She joked about torture and she used a Christian sacrament for the purpose of telling a joke.

I can't offhand think of a worse joke.

Ann Althouse said...

And by "worse" I don't mean less funny. The badness isn't on the funny-not funny continuum.

Freeman Hunt said...

Sarah Palin was unfairly criticized many times back in 2008. Therefore, nothing she says may be criticized, no matter how imbecilic. Rod Dreher would do well to remember that.

Heh.

Palin makes a lot of jokes. Some of them are funny. This one wasn't. In fact, it was awful.

Maybe she'll have a better joke another day.

bgates said...

So Palin makes a glib, jokey remark about a subject as serious as state-sanctioned torture. Is this really a departure from her other empty-headed rantings and trollbait?

At his Arizona State University commencement speech last Wednesday, Mr. Obama noted that ASU had refused to grant him an honorary degree, citing his lack of experience, and the controversy this had caused. He then demonstrated ASU's point by remarking, "I really thought this was much ado about nothing, but I do think we all learned an important lesson. I learned never again to pick another team over the Sun Devils in my NCAA brackets. . . . President [Michael] Crowe and the Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS."

"The Jonas Brothers are here. (Applause.) They're out there somewhere. Sasha and Malia are huge fans. But, boys, don't get any ideas. (Laughter.) I have two words for you -- predator drones. (Laughter.) You will never see it coming. (Laughter.) You think I'm joking. (Laughter.)" -- Barack Obama at the White House

jr565 said...

If we talk about training programs that train SERE cadets are we also praising torture?

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:

Leave the question of Christianity aside altogether: as Americans, we should be appalled at any public figure encouraging criminal acts--the use of torture--as official policy.

Damn right. She should speak up about our hellish SERE traiing program!

EDH said...

"We came, we saw, he died. Ha Ha Ha."

He was a terrorist, after all.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

I didn't think the offensive part was the waterboarding part, as it's clear that we will, in fact, waterboard terrorists.

The offensive part, and it was really offensive, was bringing baptism into it. "Ha ha! Forcible conversions!" "Ha ha! We'll torture you as a Christian sacrament!"

It would be hard to come up with something in worse taste.

n.n said...

A worse joke? Pro-choice. That ranks at the very top. I'm impressed by how many Christians have indulged their minds with that linguistic linguine.

jr565 said...

garage mahal wrote:
In the Spanish Inquisition, waterboarding was called "tortura del agua." Where are the strict texual constructionists when you need them?

IN officers school it was called "Training". Where was all your outrage when it was done on Americans?

gadfly said...

So Sarah is wrong when she is wrong and wrong when she is right.

Not even her supporters will be silent when they disagree. But Katy-bar-the-door if the left wants to blame her for everything from being responsible for Gabby Giffords' shooting to malfeasance as governor. Never mind that she has not been found guilty - the tactic is to ruin her reputation so that her popularity doesn't suddenly result in her candidacy.

holdfast said...

@bgates

Yeah, but that's funny because the Dems would NEVER sic the IRS on their political opponents . . . .

Oh wait, never mind.

garage mahal said...

I wonder why Dreher assumed NRA members are Christians?

jr565 said...

Here is the torture on display.

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=sere+training+waterboarding&FORM=VIRE2#view=detail&mid=3FC2816B780211C0498D3FC2816B780211C0498D

Does it shock your consciousness anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

jr565 said...

The video I linked to has a guy who waterboards another guy. What to do? Should we charge him with war crimes?

Mark said...

I am happy that she put the idea in the Taliban's minds that part of being captive by the USA is forced conversion to Christianity.

Welcome to Gitmo, time to get baptized.

What a wonderful image to bring to mind internationally, what wonderful historical connections.

Meanwhile, all these same people criticize how things Obama says are taken internationally but forgive the idiocy of their poster girl.

Henry said...

What exactly is Sarah Palin's role in public life these days other than to rile people up? Does she have any coherent political philosophy? At best she seems to play a kind of caricature of herself, like William Shatner after Star Trek.

Jason said...

Oh, fuck those god-damned libtard hypocritical shits.

The big, fat, 800 pound gorilla of the Progressive Movement, William Jennings Bryan, was most famous for standing up at the Democratic convention, extending his arms like Christ on the Cross, and yelling "You will not crucify man on a cross of gold!!!!"

This is not only not sacrilegious to the libtard - it's one of the great, shining moments in American rhetoric!!!

Libtards will grant any exception to their fellow lib. Sarah Palin must be attacked and destroyed.

Fools! Hypocrites! Brood of vipers!

n.n said...

jr565:

It's a philosophical difference. Torture implies participation without consent. The training you cite could be considered masochistic; but, it is not torture. Then again, there is a fine line between torture and masochism. It seems that everything must be graded on a curve, even abortion/murder, or perhaps its rationalization, which is self-evidently sadistic.

That said, I wonder what are the philosophical implications of replacing water with fire (e.g. missiles, bombs), or sanctions, or psychological coercion, in order to gain concessions. Nothing is ever settled. It's always purposeful.

chickenlittle said...

Nice retort @4:46 EDH, but that joke was at Caesar's expense, not the church's. It's funny what different people laugh at or not.

I wasn't bothered by Palin's remark. As I said earlier, I think it was intended to needle the sort of people who would mollycoddle terrorists or kill them outright without trial.

jr565 said...

Here's the thing. If its torture, then we've been torturing our cadets for decades. I would think it would be permissable there since it doesn't rise to the level of shocking your consciousness. It's certainly harsh treatment, but does it rise to the level of torture (in the context of SERE training) I don't think so. Otherwise, we couldn't do it, even in the context of training our troops. And if the goal of said "torture" is simply training our troops, I can't imagine and that doesn't shock us to our core then weigh that against using it to potentially stop an attack. Were that attack to go through, woudn't the people suffering suffer far worse than waterboarding? ie. the people at the marathon caught in the bomb had limbs blown off. And so, I weigh what limits we can go when trying to stop attacks and compare it to what limits we go to when we train our troops. If it wasn't too far in trainig, then the terrorists can handle it. AND it won't shock my consciousness were it administreted to a KSM. Sorry, but the guy had it coming.
If he were caught by any other govt agency he'd get a lot more than waterboarding.
In fact Obama is continuing the outsourcing of people we capture (if we don't just blow them up with drones) to those states so that THEY can torture them while we pretend we have clean hands. Only, if the torture is worse, then why are we somehow absolved of responsibility simply because we sent the job elsewhere.

dbp said...

I found the joke funny because it works on so many levels:

1. Baptism is often used as a metaphor, such as in the military, "baptism of fire" So, she could be referring to water boarding as essentially an ordeal.

2. Baptism as a sacrament: I think a widely held view of it is that you become a Christian upon baptism. In this sense, she heightens the threat of water boarding since it not only is unpleasant, it might convert you into an infidel!

3. Finally, the implication she makes is that rather than being done sparingly, it will be done to essentially all terrorists that fall into our hands. This is the kind of over-the-top retort humor of the kind: "The beatings will continue until morale improves".

Bear in mind that Palin is a pundit now. As a politician she would have to be more bland to stay viable.

n.n said...

Mark:

Only one or two terrorists were interrogated using that technique. There is no need to exaggerate for effect.

Obama is the president. He does more than talk. His actions have mortal effects, and they have not been limited to torture, from Tripoli to Damascus to Kiev. Involuntary immersion is the least of people's concerns.

Saint Croix said...

The Christian practice of baptism requires full immersion.

Not in my church.

Its religious significance is a trial which imparts the grace of the Holy Spirit.

I think of it as a cleansing, a washing away of our sins.

Baptism is a metaphor for water boarding, which has a purpose to embrace the truth.

Christianity does not simulate drowning. It does not, in my experience, make you feel bad, make you feel like you're choking or dying.

n.n said...

Well, if nothing else, this incident has sparked a religious revival in America. I wonder how far it will progress, before introspection will tamp it down. It seems that our society has become secular not by choice, but by necessity.

jr565 said...

I'm sure some will argue that what happens in SERE trainig is different because there the context is trainig, and they know they aren't going to die.
I would argue that waterboarding is waterboarding. And it's either torture across the board or it isn't.
And we woudn't be allowed to get away with torturing our troops simply by calling it "training".
Ergo, its not torture when we use it as an enhanced interrogation method. The issue is, is it justified to use the same thing in both contexts. And I would say YES but not always. On a low level jihadi. Probably not. On KSM mohammad who we know is KSM absolutely.
A bunch of people tried to subject themselves to waterboard so they can say it was torture. My guess is, any rough interrogation would be considered torture. And they wouldn't subject themselves to real torture to prove that the action was torture. How many people for example who subjected themselves to waterboarding would subject themselves to having their fingernails pulled out?

More importantly, if you want to make a distinction between trainig and how that waterboarding is NOT torture, versus interrogatoion water boarding and how that water boarding is, you immediately run into a flaw in the logic.

Because, the argument goes, the people who are going through training know they are going through traininig and so there isn't that fear that a person who was a captured terrorist would go through. But those who let themselves go through waterboarding in front of a camera also knew that it was demonstration of waterboarding and that they would not die. So then how could they call it torture? But they did. And so, you'd have to also call SERE training torture, despite those undergoing it knowing that they are going to survive. But you don't.

Revenant said...

I wonder how many times a person has to hit his head against a hard surface before Rod Dreher starts to look like a less-serious Christian conservative than Sarah Palin. And how many additional hits before Dreher starts to seem like a "libtard".

Judging from this thread, there are a lot of people who could answer those questions for me.

bgates said...

Meanwhile, all these same people criticize how things the President of the United States says are taken internationally but forgive [a joke from a private citizen].

Ralph Hyatt said...

I agree with the Professora, some things are not for joking.

"Christian baptism, as now practiced, is a sacred ordinance of evangelical grace, solemnly appointed by the risen Christ, prior to His entering into the state of glory by His ascension, and designed to be a means, until His second coming, for admitting men to discipleship with Him. Mt 28:18-20 and its parallel Mk 16:15,16 are the principal texts of Scripture on which the church in all ages has based every essential point of her teaching regarding this ordinance."

http://classic.net.bible.org/dictionary.php?word=Baptism%20(Lutheran%20Doctrine)

Talking about Baptism as Palin did defiles it. It takes something sacred and profanes it.


Bruce Hayden said...

The offensive part, and it was really offensive, was bringing baptism into it. "Ha ha! Forcible conversions!" "Ha ha! We'll torture you as a Christian sacrament!"

I didn't think it offensive, because, historically, forcible baptism was done as a part of religious war. Muslims have done worse - converted much of the land they control by the sword. You either converted, or you died.

And, we are engaged in a religious war - except that only one side will admit it. Militant Islam is killing Christians at a level not seen for many hundreds of years. Christian communities, that date from the century after Christ, and have spent maybe 1300 or so years under Muslim rule, are being wiped out. Churches are being burned, and their members either killed or driven out.

But, we can't talk about it, because that would be politically incorrect, and would offend the sensibilities of CAIR and Islamic militants, both in this country, and around the world. Remember, Islam has no capacity to accept giving up Islam. Barack Obama II is likely still considered Muslim by their definition, because his father was Muslim, and he was raised Muslim for awhile. And, Spain is still considered by them to be a Muslim country, under temporary Christian control.

Just like Clive Bundy was considered beyond the pale by pointing out that the plight of Blacks in this country was primarily a result of progressive policies enacted by Dems, starting with LBJ, so Sarah Palin is now considered such, by pointing out that a worldwide war against Christianity is going on, and we are ignoring it to remain politically correct.

traditionalguy said...

Baptism is a recreation of the Jews passing through the waters of the Red Sea safely followed by the Egyptian Army that gets wiped out to a man. It is also used as a dead man being buried in the sea ( the Egyptian killers) and a saved man combining out alive which is a picture of death and burial of our Old Man in Christ's death followed by a New Man in Christ's resurrection.

So Palin is right again.Baptism is a judgement of death on God's enemies.

The Catholic Tradition of the baptism sacrament being a sweet sprinkling of a new baby by an old priest at a Holy alter is ignorance of scripture.

Æthelflæd said...

The joke was in bad taste and bordering on sacrilege. Since I can't say I've never made a joke in bad taste before, I'm not too stirred up about it. If it becomes her new standard,though, well I guess I'll turn in my pro-Palin membership card.

dc said...

It's been a good week for the perpetually outraged.

dc said...

It's been a good week for the perpetually outraged.

Robert Cook said...

"The third is the one the U.S. has used, and appears (the authorities are rather cagy about the details) to cause only pyschological pressure. Is causing prisoners to panic torture? Some will say 'yes'...."

And they are correct, because, under the laws against torture, causing psychological torment is included as being among those things that are considered torture, and are therefore against the law: criminal acts. In fact, one of the most powerful aspects of torture is the psychological fear and panic it causes.

Moreover, physical torture does not, to be torture, have to be mutilating destruction to the body such as we imagine when thinking of medieval methods, (not all of which were as dire as others). In fact, most torture today is designed not to leave permanent marks of physical torment--the better to conceal the truth of it--and many victims of torture walk the earth today, whole of body, if not necessarily of peace of mind.

n.n said...

Saint Croix:

Traditions vary from one church to another, but this was the original standard.

Washing away of sins by trusting God and inviting the Holy Spirit.

Not the Christian act of baptism, but baptism also has a secular meaning, which predates its Christian adoption, and other than drowning, serves a similar purpose in principle.

I'll leave it here, and avoid torturing this argument more. The return is, ironically, but predictably, ambiguous.

In any case, I am curious about the philosophical and semantic implications that this incident has exposed. I consider it a minor faux pas, but clearly others do not.

I consider the value and validity of of interrogation and torture separately. There is a fine line between justified and hypocritical, especially in the course of a mortal conflict. What is the Christian standard?

Robert Cook said...

Aptly Named said:

"My working definition of torture is something I wouldn't be willing to have done to me on a drunken bet.

"Waterboarding doesn't make the cut."


Well, it's a good thing your standards of what you would be willing to have done to you on a drunken bet don't have any bearing on the law.

And, until you've been bound against your will by people who hate you and who subject you to waterboarding to make you suffer...how can you know it wouldn't make your "cut?"

Revenant said...

Militant Islam is killing Christians at a level not seen for many hundreds of years.

Hundreds of weeks, perhaps. Hundreds of years, no.

Robert Cook said...

"If we talk about training programs that train SERE cadets are we also praising torture?"

Ah! The inane "how can it be torture if we do it to our soldiers in training" rationale.

I don't know where you get your verb "praising," but certainly when we talk about SERE training we're talking about torture, yes. After all, the whole point of the training is to (try to) inure the cadets against possible future torture inflicted on them, insofar as this is possible. If it wasn't torture--and torturous to endure--what would be the point? (That said, there may still be a psychological difference between being subjected to physical--or mental--torture by one's fellows as training and being subjected to it by enemies who hate you and want to make you suffer...and who won't stop just because you say "uncle.")

AReasonableMan said...

Bob Ellison said...
What's the category for these people, who would include the late Christopher Hitchens, and the non-late Andrew Sullivan and the weird littlegreenfootballs guy? They seem perpetually convinced of their own perfection of philosophical thought, and they tend to be good writers, but they waver like flags in a storm.


Thoughtful non-ideologues?

Dr Weevil said...

Robert Cook:
If you're going to respond to my comment, respond to the whole thing. I specifically mentioned the claim that anything that makes the prisoner panic must be 'torture' by adducing the example of interrogation by a woman. Is that or is that not torture? How about if the interrogator is a Jew? That would certainly make some Islamist fanatics panic. Does that make it torture?

Chef Mojo said...

Yep. I'm pretty much with the "lighten up, Francis" people.

The outrage machine gets wound up and let go, wheeling around on clumsy legs and flung out arms, chattering, "Outrage, outrage!"

Because that's what outrage machines do.

What's significant about all this is the rate of outrage output happening around us. It used to be a daily outrage, but now it seems almost hourly. Oh my! How will we ever keep up expressing out outrage?!? Because, we must, after all - MUST - express our outrage! I predict a new psychological disorder based on people not being able to keep up with all the continuous, never-ending outrage. Outrage Dissociative Disorder. ODD.

Perhaps at the next rally Palin attends, the Outraged™ can take off "Palin" t shirts, throw them on the floor, and pour water on them! Bonus points if they toss a cross on top of the whole outrageous pointless symbolic gesture.

phx said...

I thought it was Tina Fey doing a parody.

Revenant said...

The semantic games over whether or not waterboarding is or is not technically "torture" are a distraction. The relevant fact -- which is not open to debate -- is that waterboarding inflicts suffering on another human being. That's why we did it to suspected terrorists. That's we expect enemies to do it to us, and try to train some of our troops to avoid it.

Wanting to inflict suffering on an enemy -- joking about inflicting suffering on enemies -- is normal human behavior. It is also indisputably un-Christian and sinful. That is why Christian conservatives who take their religion seriously took offense at Palin's little baptism joke.

Yes, it was an attempt at an edgy joke, but what of it? If "I'm just being edgy" was an excuse widely accepted by Christians, there wouldn't have been a backlash against "The Last Temptation of Christ".

Michael K said...

" Is this really a departure from her other empty-headed rantings and troll bait?"

Says the Obama voter

Michael K said...

Blogger Robert Cook said...
"I don't believe there are more than 5 people on this earth who truly believe waterboarding is torture."

What you believe doesn't really matter."

Spoken like a leftist who doesn't really deep down believe it either. Killing is so much cleaner.

chickenlittle said...

@Dr Weevil: Robert Cook only believes in playing nice with our enemies. End of story.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
I don't know where you get your verb "praising," but certainly when we talk about SERE training we're talking about torture, yes. After all, the whole point of the training is to (try to) inure the cadets against possible future torture inflicted on them, insofar as this is possible.

Yes, INSOFAR AS IT"S POSSIBLE. Without torturing them. You can't legally say something that is torture isn't and call it "training". IF the military were in fact torturing people, and it was deemed as such, they'd be required to stop torturing people. Because torture is torture.

Bob Ellison said...

"Thoughtful non-ideologues?"

An oxymoron. People who think carefully, but don't adhere to any ideology?

That seems to be popular these days. There's the No Labels group and all that. Their mantra seems to be "I don't really believe in anything." Thoughtless, not thoughtful.

Fen said...

"Rod Dreher is one of the more devout Christians writing today"

He needs to change his panties.

With all the issues christians are facing today, globally and domestically, do we really need to clutch our pearls over such an innocuous statement?

Way to give the libtards ammo Rod. Did the Establishment Party (E) pay you to whore yourself out to them?

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
And, until you've been bound against your will by people who hate you and who subject you to waterboarding to make you suffer...how can you know it wouldn't make your "cut?"

We came upon an Al Qaeda torture manaul in one of the wars and what was in the manual makes waterboarding look like childs play. So, if we had troops captured by Al Qaeda I would LOVE if all they did was waterboard our troops. I'd still be pissed, surely, but at least they woudn't be doing what was in that actual manual.
For an example of what they might do think back to poor Nick Berg. Zawahiri sawed his head off while he was screaming in agony. Not cut it off cleanly. Sawed it off.
Meanwhile the guy who was the mastermind of 9/11 gets no worse then we give our own troops.

If I knew that Nick Berg was going to have his head sawed off tomorrow and we had a prisoner who we knew was aware where nick Berg was and wasn't cooperating I would have no problem if we waterboarded him to get the location so we could potentially save Nick Berg from his fate.

BrianE said...

"It was a joke" is no answer at all. She joked about torture and she used a Christian sacrament for the purpose of telling a joke.

I can't offhand think of a worse joke.- Ann Althouse

You're incensed about a joke but fine with abortion?

I think your outrage is misplaced.

phx said...

An oxymoron. People who think carefully, but don't adhere to any ideology?

They're called pragmatists. And just because you prefer to adhere to ideology doesn't mean that they're thoughtless.

Revenant said...

With all the issues christians are facing today, globally and domestically, do we really need to clutch our pearls over such an innocuous statement?

Of course not. With all the issues Christians face today, your obvious priority should be loudly supporting has-been TV personalities who use Christianity as material for tasteless jokes. You just have to ask yourself "what would Jesus do", and the obvious answer is "joke about how waterboarding terrorists is a holy rite".

Revenant said...

They're called pragmatists. And just because you prefer to adhere to ideology doesn't mean that they're thoughtless.

Pragmatism *is* an ideology.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Why don't you cry about it Althouse.

Enjoy your perpetual outrage.

phx said...

Pragmatism *is* an ideology.

There you go.

chickenlittle said...

Michael K said...

Spoken like a leftist who doesn't really deep down believe it either. Killing is so much cleaner.

Wrong. Cook is on record here deploring drone killing as well as waterboarding, so at least he's consistent. I think the sticking point for him here is that he really doesn't believe Al Qaeda is an enemy. He has consistently espoused over the years that we are the enemy.

MathMom said...

If Fox reporter Steve Harrigan can be waterboarded for a news report and be ok to discuss it in minutes, it's not torture.

Colonel Bud Day's wife and children went to my Lutheran church while he was a prisoner in Vietnam. When he was released, he came to church and told us about the treatment he received while a prisoner. One time an interrogator broke his arm because he wouldn't talk, and told Day if he wouldn't talk at least he would never be able to pilot a plane again. He set the arm at a 45-degree angle so that it would heal and be useless. He was in agony, and would be permanently disfigured and crippled.

When he returned to his cell his cellmate picked and chipped the cast off, pulled the arm straight (more agony, but in an attempt to make Day whole) and then wrapped it so it would have a chance to heal properly. Col. Day told us that ever since that day, he has referred to his cell mate as Dr. John McCain.

That is torture. Waterboarding is not.

I am a baptized and confirmed Lutheran. IMHO Palin's joke is not sacrilege, any more than a person referring to some ordeal as a "baptism by fire". I didn't even think about "forced conversion", and don't think Palin had the intent of saying we would force Muslim terrorists to convert.

Merriam-Webster defines baptism first in the religious sense, and definition #2 is:

2: an act, experience, or ordeal by which one is purified, sanctified, initiated, or named.

An example the dictionary gives is Covering the disaster was a baptism by fire for the young reporter.
— often used figuratively


No matter what you think about waterboarding, when done by US interrogators, the waterboardee lives. When Obama's drone finger gets itchy, the target does not.

Nichevo said...


Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...
"I can't offhand think of a worse joke."

How about this one?
"Should the opposite of miracles count against sainthood?"
4/28/14, 4:47 PM


Let me mansplain it to you. Palin's remark is inconsistent with her values, because she believes in that hillbilly Jeebus stuff. Ann is perfectly consistent, because she is an atheist except inasmuch as she hates God and wants him to die. So of course mocking God makes perfect sense. Don't censor me, Meade, let her refute it.

As for baptism, waterboarding, whatever. Do anything it takes. Electricity and the best drugs (which combination I assume is the answer, really). Cut off their own damn heads with butter knives. Put their daughters to a farm animal. Send their dads home one piece at a time. Whatever.

Any of that, if it works and makes them surrender, quit, betray, submit, is better than nuking a billion of them off the face of the earth.

And 'ensuring the Arabic language is spoken only in hell' is far, far preferable to letting them win.

Baptism as a threat to make them talk? Genius!

And no, our waterboarding is not the same as the old Schwedentrank (sp?) , Inquisition- or Jap-style forms. Please don't be stupid.

Phil 3:14 said...

What Palin said was wrong. Hopefully a fellow Christian that she knows and respects challenges on the comment.

Phil 3:14 said...

PS Dreher was wrong in putting in the "putatively a Christian" comment

Smilin' Jack said...

I don't see what's un-Christian about praising torture. God sends sinners (i.e. people He disapproves of) to Hell, doesn't He? Praise the Lord!

traditionalguy said...

Funny how big a threat baptized Christians are to the Red Chinese Party. They are now being accused of growing too fast and being out of the Government's control. So their beautiful new churches are being demolished, while
the same day the Archbishop of Canterbury says that public worship by Christianity is dangerous in England because we live in a post Christian age...in the Queens a Monarchy Land.

It seems they need more evangelical preaching of the Gospel in England. Maybe the Chinese can send missionaries to London.

Big Mike said...

"It was a joke" is no answer at all. She joked about torture and she used a Christian sacrament for the purpose of telling a joke.

I can't offhand think of a worse joke.


Most times I'm pretty glad to be an atheist. This is one of them. I about laughed my *ss off when I heard the joke.

It would be nice of everybody could unclench their pearls, unknot their knickers, take a deep breath, and let go of their anger.

But it's Sarah Palin so they won't.

Edward Lunny said...

" Some of us think we can aggressively fight actual terrorists......"
The threat, the possibility of being the recipient of abhorrent treatment is every bit as effective a strategy as the application of said coercions.
Syria, Iran, Crimea, etc.
The president is more likely to attack those whom have the audacity to disagree with him and the press to ignore those attacks , than he is to forcefully confront tyranny and tyrants abroad. He'd rather be tyrannical to his fellow Americans than confront the Putins, Assads, etc. Meanwhile he and his ilk demean and denigrate us on the world stage, surrender control and influence that benefits all free peoples to the hatreds and vagaries of such esteemed freedom protectors as, again, Putin, the U.N. and the like.

Henry said...

Sarah Palin is doing for conservativism what Al Gore did for global warming: Milk it and discredit it at the same time.

Revenant said...

Funny how big a threat baptized Christians are to the Red Chinese Party.

Squirrel!

Steve said...

Palin, Bundy, and Sterling all made comments that expose their ignorance. None of them concern me as much as the Christians who agree and defend them.

hombre said...

BFD. While the Democrats destroy the economy, our healthcare system and the military, we're supposed to hyperventilate over what Republicans and conservatives say.

What a crock we have become!

n.n said...

MathMom:

The use of "water boarding" constitutes torture; but, unlike conventional "water boarding", the form used by the American government was non-lethal, and non-injurious, at least physically. It is a form of enhanced psychological manipulation designed to facilitate confession. The question is how it compares to other forms of interrogation in the same class.

Mark said...

Henry nailed it.

And this is lady some wanted in the White House, just to start an official holy war with Islam.

Because that is something we have money and desire to do in is country. Palin about the only thing worse than Obama, thankfully we elected the better of two terrible choices.

tim in vermont said...

"'It was a joke' is no answer at all. She joked about torture and she used a Christian sacrament for the purpose of telling a joke."

I suggest then that she be burned at the stake for blasphemy!

My original comment stands after reading this thread, concern of non-Christians duly noted.



tim in vermont said...

Or better yet, shunned, Hutterite style.

Brando said...

I don't really see how anyone can argue that waterboarding is not a form of torture. If it's not torture, then what is your low bar for what constitutes torture?

That aside, I notice a number of straight up torture supporters here, generally using the argument that we are in war against a vicious enemy and need to use any means at our disposal. I'll agree about our enemies, of course, but I'm wondering if you'd draw the line anywhere. I mean, if the justification for torture is that it's effective in getting information--a point that is debatable--then is it also okay to torture or even murder the subject's loved ones in front of him to force information out of him? Because surely a martyr who is ready to die for his cause will be far likelier to break once you up the ante to bring his loved ones into it.

And for that matter, as anyone who doesn't automatically assume our government is always right about everything should agree, there are going to be times where a suspect in custody doesn't actually have the info we need or may even be completely innocent (I know, hard to imagine the gang implementing Obamacare could get something wrong!). What standard are we using to determine who gets tortured and who doesn't?

Now, maybe there is an argument that in some extreme instances--the "ticking time bomb" scenario--we have enough confidence in our government's information gathering techniques that we can determine (a) that the person we have in custody has information; (b) the information this person has will enable us to save lives; and (c) our torturing this person will in fact get us this information in time to save the lives. Perhaps it is worth discussing what those standards would be, and how we determine the reliability of those judgments, safeguards against abuse, etc., or on the other hand whether we can never determine such things, or if such things simply cannot be contemplated and the cost of future terrorist attacks is the price we're willing to pay to ensure that our society never becomes one that enables torture. This is the debate worth having.

But for Palin and her adoring fans it seems much easier to toss such moral quandries off as "weakness" because of course a failed VP candidate and walking embarassment to the GOP is really one to pass judgment on anything. The sooner her speaking engagements are reduced to supermarket openings the better. What a disgraceful human being.

Robert Cook said...

Blogger Robert Cook said...
"'I don't believe there are more than 5 people on this earth who truly believe waterboarding is torture."

What you believe doesn't really matter.'


"Spoken like a leftist who doesn't really deep down believe it either. Killing is so much cleaner."


A non-sequitur spoken by someone who isn't even trying to make sense.

Robert Cook said...

"As for baptism, waterboarding, whatever. Do anything it takes. Electricity and the best drugs (which combination I assume is the answer, really). Cut off their own damn heads with butter knives. Put their daughters to a farm animal. Send their dads home one piece at a time. Whatever.

"Any of that, if it works and makes them surrender, quit, betray, submit, is better than nuking a billion of them off the face of the earth.

"And 'ensuring the Arabic language is spoken only in hell' is far, far preferable to letting them win."



Hoo boy! This blog post has really brought the termites out of the woodwork!

Robert Cook said...

"You can't legally say something that is torture isn't and call it 'training.' IF the military were in fact torturing people, and it was deemed as such, they'd be required to stop torturing people. Because torture is torture."

You forget...America has discovered a magical power...it can make anything be not what it is by calling it something else! SERE "training" is training; ergo, it's not torture. "Enhanced interrogation" is just stronger interrogation; ergo, it's not torture! (The Nazis discovered this same magic power and used the same term to make their torture be not torture.)

You also forget that we torture and kill anyone we please with impunity, so why would the military have to cease torturing our own soldiers?

Robert Cook said...

Bravo to Brando @ 6:48 a.m. for making a nuanced comment.

Nichevo said...

I'm not ashamed of any of that, Cook. For a better phrased statement, see Richard Fernandez's Three Conjectures. we didn't beat the Axis with your notion of principles (I suppose, you half-bright,you don't recognize Halsey), nor did your heroes the Soviets. War is hell. To absurdly compare hell to a wound, do you rip off the bandage or do you tug it away one hair at a time?


You go ahead, state the contrapositive as best you can formulate, and defend away. For instance, you might resent if I said you would rather submit to Islam than to do whatever was necessary to defeat it; or, you would rather kill a billion Muslims than torture a few. So you say it. Go ahead, own those.

Or as is your wont, interpose a mythical third option that sadly is not available, not achievable, and not to be defined by you.

Insect, forsooth!

traditionalguy said...

Blaming Sarah for starting a war with Islam is 1400 years too late. That war was started by the Franks in 732 AD when they attacked peaceful Muslim pilgrims 70 miles south of Paris.

And remember June 4, 1942, the day on which Chester Nimitz let Raymond Spruance sneak attack a fleet of peaceful Japanese ships near Midway Island, and thus got us into WWII.

Nichevo said...

I agree Brando seems less insane than you. An ordinary partisan perhaps, but but there's "i can date that supermodel" crazy and then there's "i am a fried egg" crazy. You are the latter.

Robert Cook said...

Nichevo,

Who says we're trying to defeat Islam? Who says we can?

Rather, we have used the acts of a band of stateless criminals as an excuse to invade the middle east, supposedly in a "war on terror," (sic), but more accurately, a gambit to sew up our domination of the world.

mrs.e said...

It is confounding that someone could read the story of Christ and still think that torturing a human being is okay.

Nichevo said...

I knew you didn't have the guts. Not in a million years. You're like Cedarford, you have enough native cunning to shut up when you know you're going to lose. Actually you are not as smart as he, he fades entirely, you have to stick around dancing on a hotplate, but you know not to stop because the truth hurts.

Just stay in your hole and let the men do the work while you spit on 'em.

Robert Cook said...

"...there's 'i can date that supermodel' crazy and then there's 'i am a fried egg' crazy. You are the latter."

You're wrong. I am a poached egg.

Nichevo said...

Yes, yes you are. You have me there.

Nichevo said...

Hey Mrs E,

Missed the part where if you have no sword, sell your cloak and buy one, did you?

Why WILL people sell Jesus as a wimp?

Browndog said...

That war was started by the Franks in 732 AD when they attacked peaceful Muslim pilgrims 70 miles south of Paris.

Well, not exactly.

That's not "exactly" when the war started..

The muslim invasion force defeated by Charles Martel were not "exactly" peaceful muslim pilgrims.

Browndog said...

That war was started by the Franks in 732 AD when they attacked peaceful Muslim pilgrims 70 miles south of Paris.

Well, not exactly.

That's not "exactly" when the war started..

The muslim invasion force defeated by Charles Martel were not "exactly" peaceful muslim pilgrims.

Unknown said...

Late to the table, but I seriously object to the line in the post-title "...she is comparing it to a holy sacrament of the Christian faith." I realize it's a quote, but it's a really stupid quote. Palin (of whom I am not particularly a fan) was not comparing waterboarding to Baptism any more than "Baptism by fire" is comparing an introduction to a stressful situation to a religious sacrament.

It's just a pun; like all puns, it's a distasteful use of English (is there a category similar to puns in other languages?). Seems like there was this very religious and wealthy man who prayed that God would in fact let him take something when he goes. As he approached his final day, he heard very clearly the message that he could, indeed, take something to heaven. So when he showed up at the pearly gates with a suitcase in two, St. Peter in no uncertain terms told him leave earthly things behind and the man told him he'd been cleared, it was OK. After a short conversation on a conveniently located intercom handset, the man was waved on through. On request, the man opened the suitcase for St. Peter to see the contents, and the St. incredulously asked, "You brought pavement?"

Unknown said...

Smilin' Jack said...
I don't see what's un-Christian about praising torture. God sends sinners (i.e. people He disapproves of) to Hell, doesn't He? Praise the Lord!

Now that statement, THAT's offensive. God offers choices, end up with Him or not, and Not-God is hell. Kind of like the unalienable right of association (yours). Your exercise of your right to make a choice is not God's fault. Or your parents'. Or your boss's. Like the wreck you earn while blowing through a stop sign.

However, I'm not God and neither one of us condemns you for your irreverent joke. Your deliberate inability to take responsibility for your personal choices will not affect the consequences.

Unknown said...

You just have to ask yourself "what would Jesus do", and the obvious answer is "joke about how waterboarding terrorists is a holy rite".

I don't pretend to KNOW what Jesus would do, but He WAS a bit of a jokester from a tradition of jokesters. "Hey, you professional fishermen, I know you've been working all night but I need a platform -- let me preach from your boat for a while. Hey , I know you professionals didn't catch ANYTHING all night, I know fish don't school here in the day, I know you're beat, I know you've already cleaned the nets, but just for kicks, drop them in one more time."

Lot of more obvious examples, (some kind of irreverent for His day) like Matt. 7:6; 23:24; Mark 4:21

And some of these are kind of irreverent for His day

Paul said...

So when Joe Biden and Howard Dean says all kinds of violence will be handed down to Republicans and the Tea Party that is ok, but when Sarah wants to stick it to the terrorist that is just the horrors.

Brando said...

Paul, it's possible for Joe Biden and Sarah Palin to both be douchebags saying wildly inappropriate or offensive things. Ripping on one of them doesn't mean having to excuse the other.

Nichevo said...

No, but you will. Excuse, justify, rationalize, deny, whatever it takes.

Brando said...

I'm excusing Biden now? I can't stand the man. But I suppose in your zero-sum world, a critic of Palin must automatically love Obama and his minions, right?

Nichevo said...

I am-you're new here aren't you?-reading you as leftish, yes. If you feel I should relook you, fine.

I'm a little not for the on the one hand on the other hand bs myself, but I guess its a way to be. Personally I am tolerably happy with Sarah Palin and I - is it appropriate to say I don't enjoy a lot of the criticism she gets?

She's not perfect, nobody's perfect. I like her aggressiveness and not pussyfooting around. If she doesn't talk like a real State Secretary of State (ie as opposed to Kerry or Hillary!), well, I'm not looking for her to be Secretary of State.

I think of Reagan and they lose we win type stuff. I'm really not looking to kiss anybody's ass. I don't want to be afraid of the Russians and the Chinese and the Muslims, I want them to be afraid of us. I want them to go to sleep at night saying, what does the United States want, let me figure it out what that is and give it to them so that they don't hurt me. that is if the choices that or the opposite. If everybody would fuck off and act decently obviously that would be ideal. Don't hold your breath.