Pitiful Punditry

Sarah Palin is an exciting celebrity/political figure, and constructive to the GOP as a promoter of conservative positions. Unfortunately, she seems to have no interest in public policy - or, even mastering the rudimentary talking points that would allow her to pretend to care.

Last night on O'Reilly, Bill pressed her on what she would do with the "12 million" people in the country illegally after securing the border. By the look of it, she seems never to have thought the problem this far through before.
O’Reilly interrupted again. “So no amnesty. But what do you do with these folks? Do you make them register with the federal government? Do you tell ‘em they have 60 days to get out of here before we put you in jail? What do you do with them?” Now Palin had an answer. “Do we make them register with the federal government? Yes, we do.”
This is not complicated stuff. But it is intriguing for those who care about policy, and the sort of debate that those who are tuned in entertain on a regular basis.
“And if they don’t register with the federal (government)? Say you give them 60 days to register with the federal government… Say they didn’t do it.” "You deport ‘em," Palin said.
But even if Sarah has no personal interest and would never debate the issue with Levi Johnston, she has access to the best minds in the country. She has an obligation, even if her goal is to be nothing more than a conservative celebrity, to be prepared to recite some easy talking points.
So O’Reilly asked what she would do with those who do register. “Then what? Do you give them green cards to work right away? What do you do with them?” Palin obviously had no idea. “You know, there has to be that expectation that they will work and that they will contribute.” Then, she changed the subject by saying, “Bill, it makes me uncomfortable that we’re even going down that path...” O'Reilly shot back, "You have to go down the path because it’s gonna come up."
The answer really isn't complicated, and Palin should be ready. "First, Bill, once we do a comprehensive border crackdown, millions of illegals will be leaving the country on their own, just as we hear they're fleeing Arizona now. Once there's a secure border, and a serious move to enforce existing immigration law, this problem largely takes care of itself."
Palin, in her condescending, schoolmarm tone, lectured, “American citizens who are here lawfully, they need to be the ones with the first shot at getting these jobs. We cannot make it easy on those who have chosen to be illegally here." But O'Reilly was not going to be lectured by her. "They’re here and we can’t starve ‘em to death… This is where it gets very complicated, Governor."
"It's not really difficult, Bill," she should continue. "The reason we're in this mess is because the Democrats want illegal immigration to continue and are doing their best to undermine our laws. Those who come here illegally know they have a major political party determined to support them, and that provides lots of encouragement. Remove that encouragement, block them from working, and the incoming flow is replaced by a reverse flow."
Palin pursed her lips even tighter. Don’t tell me she wasn’t piqued. “Then we won’t complicate it any more. Let’s keep it simple and let’s say no. If you are here illegally and if you don't follow the steps... to somehow allow you to work, if you're not gonna do that, you're gonna be deported."
And the closer? "If there are a few left over after we've blocked them from lawful employment, Bill, then let's deport them." Sarah should be ready. She will fail as a presidential candidate if she won't even learn basic talking points on the critical issues.