I suppose it's no surprise that like a moth to flame, Sarah Palin would turn up in the media glare surrounding Texas Gov. Rick Perry's lunatic comments about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Perry, you will recall, said that if the Federal Reserve embarked on another round of quantitative easing, it would be the sort of thing which would cause Texans to "treat him pretty ugly." He added that, "Printing money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous—or treasonous." (And if you watch the video it's clear that he says "treasonous" as a correction for "treacherous," not as an addition or alternative.) [See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 GOP hopefuls.]
Treason, of course, is a capital crime. It is, according to the dictionary, "the offense of acting to overthrow one's government." So to be clear, Governor Perry doesn't simply disagree with the economic policy of Bernanke. Rather he posits that this Republican former aide to President George W. Bush (chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers) is not trying to save the economy, but rather is playing politics—presumably trying to stimulate the economy on Barack Obama's behalf … which would be bad because heaven knows we don't want the economy to get moving again—and in doing so is trying to bring down the government. [See editorial cartoons about the economy.]
(Actually, if one were to take Perry's remark to its logical conclusion, one could argue that he meant that Bernanke is trying to sabotage the economy through poor economic policy, thereby helping the GOP and bringing down the Obama administration. But somehow I suspect that wasn't quite what the goofy guv had in mind.)
Perry's caught flack for his remarks from a number of quarters, including not only former Bush aides but rival presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, who occupied by the oddball fringe before that became cool in the Republican Party. [See a collection of political cartoons on Sarah Palin.]
But don't count Palin, the half-term Alaska governor-turned-Fox pundit and full-time publicity hound, among the those questioning the wisdom of accusing Bernanke of a capital crime. Here's Palin appearing with Lou Dobbs on Fox Business (h/t Think Progress):
PALIN: [Perry] called it like he saw it and I always respect people for doing so. What Governor Perry is voicing concern about is something I wrote about on Facebook pages about ten months ago, this quantitative easing or monetizing our debt, essentially printing money out of thin air, which will eventually devalue our dollar and, I think, lead to inflation, in order to make it look like our debt isn't as bad as it really is, and Governor Perry was voicing great concerns that many of us share. He just used some more candid terms, I think, than some of us would have used.
DOBBS: Even you?
PALIN: Well, yeah, that's a good point. Perhaps I would have used similar terms. But I do share his concern though.
Again, you can be critical of Bernanke without questioning his motives. (And you can, for that matter, question his motives, without suggesting they extend to willfully betraying the country.) But it says something about the extremist rhetoric that both Palin and Perry trade in that tossing around notions like "treason" seems acceptable.