Spudnut vs. Sputnik -- a delicious debate

Say what you want about Sarah Palin, she sure can draw a crowd.

Comments posted on tricityherald.com regarding Palin's recent reference to Richland's Spudnut Shop attest to her star power.

Add the comments attached to Herald reporter Kathy Korengel's article, Andy Perdue's blog and Michael J. Nordstein's letter to the editor, and the number approaches 200.

One reader probably has it about right -- the postings more closely resemble a shouting match than a conversation.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on the nation to aspire to a "Sputnik moment."

In response, Palin said the country could use some more "Spudnut" moments. In other words, America needs more "hard-working, patriotic Americans" like Spudnut Shop owner Val Driver and her employees.

Obama was referring to America's commitment to win the space race after the Soviet Union's 1957 launch of the first satellite into orbit.

Palin was referring to the sort of individual initiative that drives America's entrepreneurs.

It's not such a bad way to frame the argument. The tug-of-war between right and left largely is about the proper role of government in shaping the economy.

As an editorial board, we're not united on the answer, but as Americans we relish the debate.

As Tri-Citians, we're delighted to find a favorite local business at the center of a national conversation.