To her great credit, Sarah Palin is absolutely right on target in her insistence on maintaining a strong defense. Yesterday's Washington Post featured a little report about how Palin is "waging a battle inside the "tea party" movement to exempt defense spending from the group's small-government, anti-deficit fervor." Good for her. The GOP Class of 1994 in Congress had too many members who did the same thing Palin warns against: letting their admirable enthusiasm for lower deficits/balanced budgets get in the way of a commitment to putting national defense first. Palin rightly warns against abandoning the central part of the Reagan belief system that insisted that freedom at home is dependent on a strong, unmatched military -- firmly under civilian control, of course, and fully answerable to the need for efficiency and effectiveness, but not subject to arbitrary budget limits. Palin even directly took on that extremely disappointing Defense Secretary, Robert Gates: "Secretary Gates recently spoke about the future of the U.S. Navy. He said we have to ask whether the nation can really afford a Navy that relies on $3 [billion] to $6 billion destroyers, $7 billion submarines and $11 billion carriers. He went on to ask, 'Do we really need . . . more strike groups for another 30 years when no other country has more than one?' " Palin said. "Well, my answer is pretty simple: Yes, we can and yes, we do, because we must."
Hear, hear. Praise for Palin. Conservatives, and all Americans, should listen.
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