So Sarah Palin went on Greta Van Susteren's show last night and one of the "questions" was about what she thought of President Obama's reference to America's "Sputnik moment" during his State of the Union address.

Just about everyone knows that the phrase "Sputnik moment" refers to America's response to the Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite and how it galvanized the nation to make the scientific and technological advantages that allowed us to go to the moon and beyond, but not Sarah Palin.

To Palin, the Sputnik moment was a bad thing for America and the fact that President Obama "would aspire Americans to celebrate" it represents a "WTF moment." Why? Because, she says, Sputnik "resulted in the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union."

Of course, the collapse of the Soviet Union had nothing to do with to do with more than just Sputnik (and does Palin really think its collapse was a bad thing?), but the point of President Obama's speech wasn't that we should emulate the Soviet Union -- it was that we should emulate our own history and our own response to Sputnik. Palin obviously didn't understand that, which makes for a truly remarkable 45 seconds of television -- quite possibly the stupidest 45 seconds of babbling by a potential presidential candidate in American history:


GRETA: Governor, last night there was a lot of discussion about the Sputnik Moment the President wants us to have. Do you agree with him? Is this our moment?

PALIN: That was another one of those WTF moments, 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 and that race to space, yeah, they won, but they also incured so much debt at the time that it resulted in the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union so I listen to that Sputnik Moment talk over and over again and I think, no we don’t need one of those.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:26 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos Classics.

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