During an appearance with Greta Van Susterin on Fox News, Sarah Palin criticized Obama for referencing Sputnik during the State of the Union, because she believes that Sputnik brought down communism. She said, “Yeah, they won, but they also incurred so much debt at the time, that it resulted in the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union.” Yep, Sarah confused the space race with the arms race.
Here is the video from Media Matters:
When asked about Obama’s Sputnik reference, Palin said, “That was another one of those WTF moments that when he has so often repeated the Sputnik moment that he would aspire Americans to celebrate. He needs to remember that what happened back then with the former communist USSR and their victory in that race to space. Yeah, they won, but they also incurred so much debt at the time, that it resulted in the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union, so I listen to that Sputnik talk over and over again, and I think we don’t need one of those.” (In some bizarre word association, Palin referenced a coffee shop in Washington state and claimed we need a Spudnut moment.)
It seems that Sister Sarah doesn’t actually know what Sputnik was. She knows Sputnik relates to the space race, which is good, but Palin claimed that debt from the space race brought down the Soviet Union. Yes, Sputnik was so damaging that it was launched in October 1957, and a scant 34 years later, which is a blink of an eye really, the Soviet Union was no more. I think Palin needs to study her Republican Reagan mythology a little bit more closely. She has confused the space race with arms races.
There is not a historian in the world who believes that the space race brought about the downfall of the Soviet Union. The Soviet economy was already on the verge of collapse before Ronald Reagan and Star Wars, but Republicans always give Reagan credit for ending the Soviet Union, even though the actual end occurred during George H.W. Bush’s administration. Even if Sarah would have used the the Reagan explanation, at least that would have been understandable, but how can Sarah Palin ever be taken seriously as a presidential candidate, when she knows so little about history, that she claims that the space race ended the Cold War.
Her criticism of Obama’s use of Sputnik was completely invalidated by the fact that she got the history completely wrong. Even on the show of her best friend Greta Van Susteren, she couldn’t hold it together and carry off the illusion of potentially being a serious candidate for even 20 minutes. We can now add US history to growing list of things that Palin knows nothing about. Palin definitely speaks for a part of America, the part of America that flunked the 5th grade.