I dont think I really need to add much commentary to this.
A brief conversation with Mary Fallin

Q: Creation or evolution?
A: I believe in creation.

Q: Science or religion?
A: I am a woman of faith, and my faith is very important to me. It’s a daily part of my life. So religion and preserving our freedom of religion is a very important value to me as a public official. That’s standing up for our Constitution.

A brief conversation with Jari Askins (Dem)

Q: Creation or evolution?
A: Creation. That’s just the way I was raised. When I was in school, the lessons in school did not conflict with the lessons I learned at home or in church.

Q: Science or religion?
A: I guess it depends on if you’re meaning it as what my ruling guidelines are. I would probably say religion, but I was good at science in school.

Dont worry, though. Theyre both as culturally illiterate as they are scientifically illiterate. Mary is definitely worse:

Q: “Mad Men” or “The Office?”
A: Are those TV shows? I actually have not seen either one of them. Wait, is “The Office” that show where everyone talks so funny? … That was on last night. I have watched “The Office.” I don’t particularly like it.

Q: “Twilight” or Harry Potter?
A: I don’t care for that Harry Potter at all. Twilight? Is that like “The Twilight Zone?”

Q: No, it’s more about vampires.
A: Oh, I don’t care for vampires, either.

Jari:

Q: “Mad Men” or “The Office?”
A: Neither. I think I’ve seen each once but not all the way through.

Best and the brightest, people. Best and the brightest. Or fucking morons, you know, whatever.

Comments

  1. #1 Mac
    October 20, 2010

    “Every country has the government it deserves” – Joseph de Maistre :)

  2. #2 Tommykey
    October 20, 2010

    So religion and preserving our freedom of religion is a very important value to me as a public official.

    Unlike trivial things, like say infrastructure maintenance, policies that promote job creation, providing social services, et cetera.

  3. #3 homunq
    October 20, 2010

    What’s wrong with not watching TV?

  4. #4 Poodle Stomper
    October 20, 2010

    I haven’t watched Mad Men or The Office, either. I guess I suck =’(

  5. #5 Phillip IV
    October 20, 2010

    In the 80ies there was that feminist quip that getting qualified women into high offices proves nothing – true equality would only be achieved once unqualified women reach high offices (as easily as unqualified men). Seems we are finally getting there.

    (Back then there was also that alternative idea that only qualified people, regardless of gender, should be in office, but I don’t know what happened with that. You never hear of it nowadays.)

  6. #6 ERV
    October 20, 2010

    There is nothing wrong with not watching TV, or not getting into popular book trends (Harry Potter, Twilight, Dan Brown, etc).

    I do think its a problem when people (especially people running for political office) are culturally illiterate, and lack the social grace to come up with cognizant responses to pop-cultural questions.

    Q: “Twilight” or Harry Potter?
    You know, I havent had the opportunity to dive into either one of these series, but I am a huge fan of Stephen King/Danielle Steele/trashy fun romance novels/anything!

    or:
    Q: “Twilight” or Harry Potter?
    You know, I havent had the opportunity to dive into either one of these series, but I am excited that both series have gotten a lot of kids excited about reading!

    or:
    Q: “Mad Men” or “The Office?”
    You know, I havent had the opportunity to dive into either one of these series. I am a huge fan of comedic authors like Douglas Adams, so I think Ill have to go with ‘The Office’! Everyone like a laugh!

    or:
    Q: “Mad Men” or “The Office?”
    You know, I havent had the opportunity to dive into either one of these series, but the style of ‘Mad Men’ reminds me of my favorite kind of art, pop-art. You cant beat Lichtenstein.

    Knowing that Harry Potter and Twilight are popular, knowing ‘The Office’ is a comedy, knowing ‘Mad Men’ is set in the 1960s, I think thats basic cultural literacy.

  7. #7 Pierce R. Butler
    October 20, 2010

    Wassamatta?

    Don’t you want the majority of Oklahoma voters represented in the governor’s office?

  8. #8 theshortearedowl
    October 20, 2010

    true equality would only be achieved once unqualified women reach high offices (as easily as unqualified men). Seems we are finally getting there.

    Lolz (then cries…)

  9. #9 Jon H
    October 20, 2010

    I’m guessing Fallin wins. Just a guess.

  10. #10 Sandbur
    October 20, 2010

    The Bible tells you how to go to Heaven, not how the heavens go.

  11. #11 stogoe
    October 20, 2010

    I’m familiar with the broad strokes of Mad Men and The Office, however they are both examples of television that I’m not interested in at all.

    Also, the show ‘Outsourced’ or whatever? Maybe I’m not the target audience, but I have no interest in watching “The Indian Subcontinent Stereotypes Hour” meets “Ha Ha, Loser! Your Job Got Shipped Overseas!”

  12. #12 Prometheus
    October 20, 2010

    Okay, let’s be Oklahoma gubernatorial candidates.

    Q:So do you like Rubicon?

    A: I’m a big fan of corned beef and sauerkraut on rye but I didn’t know there was a sandwich convention.

    Q:So what is your position on GMO’s?

    A:I get carsick easily so I prefer to ride up front.

    Next!

  13. #13 Fallsroad
    October 20, 2010

    The Creationism answer on the part of Askins doesn’t surprise me all that much. The tag line that appears in all of her TV advertising is: “A true Oklahoma conservative.”

    Yeppers.

    Not that it matters. Nate Silver has this one going to Fallin by a wide margin. With the legislature already in hand, the ride in our fair state ought to get a little wilder. Let’s practice by saying “interposition” and “nullification” early and often.

    http://elections.nytimes.com/2010/forecasts/governor/oklahoma

  14. #14 Ivan
    October 20, 2010

    Sorry, luv, TV ain’t culture.

    Still, it is pretty hard not to know about certain things, and I don’t doubt that they’re fairly culturally illiterate.

  15. #15 Divalent
    October 20, 2010

    “I think I’ve seen each once but not all the way through.”

    Yeah, right. And Bill didn’t inhale.

    These answers are good for only one thing: telling you what the voters of Oklahoma demand of their politicians (or at least what the politician think the OK voters demand).

  16. #16 vhutchison
    October 20, 2010

    Too bad about Jari Askin’s view. I once talked to her about evolution and legislative bills. She said that she knew very little about the controversy (obvious) and would like to know more. I said that we would be very willing to talk with her further. Now, if she becomes Governor, we MUST find a way of a follow up to educate her. She said she was good in science in school, but given the rural area where she was educated, she may have not learned anything about evolution. I have talked with her twice since, but had no real opportunity to cover the topic.

    The choice for Governor is not one we would wish, BUT, believe me, Jari is far better than Mattress Mary Fallin.If you must, hold your nose and vote for Askins. Those not familiar with the term ‘mattress’ see here:

    http://www.demookie.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=48537

  17. #17 vhutchison
    October 20, 2010

    Polls do show Fallin ahead, but Askins is closing. I was told that one poll two weeks ago showed her within four points just before the election, while others showed her down by double digits. Jari has never lost a political race. In the primary, all polls showed her opponent Drew Edmodnson ahead by as much as 16 points, but she won in a very close race.

    To get elected in Oklahoma, she has really pushed her conservatism to an extreme, at least as viewed by liberal Democrats, but it does increase her chances of winning in this reddest of states. Too bad that pragmatic politics here require such a conservative stance.

    During the past 11 years we have been able to stop creationist legislation in Oklahoma; two years ago it took a veto by the Governor. With Fallin there is little doubt where she would stand. Should Askins win, I think she is educable. Also, access to Jari for the science view would likely be easier. Given the choice, I have worked for Jari with signs, $$$, talk,etc., believing that the alternate was far worse in many ways, especially for pro-evolution in public schools.

  18. #18 Fallsroad
    October 20, 2010

    @vhutchinson:

    No worries, I will vote – I always do – and I agree the alternative is worse, especially when you take the legislature’s make up into account.

    I’d like to see those polls, as Nate Silver is rarely, if ever wrong, and he has the governorship here changing hands by a 99.7% chance margin. But if Askins is really closing in a reliable poll, I’d love to see it.

    The latest actual poll I could find (Sooner Poll referenced from that same link I posted above, just scroll down a bit) showed Fallin’s lead actually widening, to 54-38 (I don’t count the +26 in the Rasmussen polls, because they always track so far in favor of Republicans and rarely reflect the actual numerical outcome of actual elections).

    Polling in general elections at this level is far more stable than in primaries, where turnout is so incredibly low. Beating a 16 point deficit this close to the election is unlikely, to be kind.

    I should say that Askins is not only far more conservative than “liberal democrats” (as you put it) may like, but far more conservative than even most conservative democrats in almost any other state. She is easily more conservative than our current governor, who, in many other states, could easily win office running as a moderate-ish Republican (although not this year – “more right than thou” seems the name of the game).

    Fallin will win. That tracks with what has been going on in Oklahoma in recent elections. Askins may be educable, but she won’t be in office.

    Appreciate your work on her behalf and in support of defeating creationist crap wherever it rears it’s monstrously stupid head, but it appears to me the work you’ve been doing is going to get even harder.

  19. #19 Brian
    October 20, 2010

    Sorry, luv, TV ain’t culture.

    TV may not be good culture, but culture it is. At least in this country.

  20. #20 Jerry Coyne
    October 20, 2010

    Oh Jebus, Abbeh—does “cultural literacy” mean watching every dumb-ass t.v. show that’s popular? I’d much rather have my candidates know something about literature and art and poetry than television.

    Just sayin’

  21. #21 stogoe
    October 20, 2010

    I’d much rather have my candidates know something about literature and art and poetry than television.

    This is a BOTH/AND internet, Jerry.

  22. #22 Ivan
    October 20, 2010

    TV may not be good culture, but culture it is. At least in this country.

    I agree. Actually some TV is even pretty decent.

    I was objecting to the idea that TV equals culture or that we can use it as a shortcut to ascertain cultural literacy.

  23. #23 Prometheus
    October 20, 2010

    Sooner Poll is operated by a company that also sells calling bank time, historically to conservative candidates.

    For six grand they guarantee that the person bugging the crap out of the voters during dinner does not sound too foreign or ethnic.

    They have a big stake in fleecing repubs with poll results showing dems gaining on them.

    Both of the candidates make me ill.

    Fallin has been a monster since the get-go, so nothing surprises me about her.

    Jari however is Disciples O.C., so if she is guided by her religion she should be pro-choice pro-gay marriage anti death penalty and profess a position on evolution based on weighing reason against the demands of faith in her own conscience.

    She has given the finger to all of those positions this election and keeps sending love letters to the NRA.

    Everything she has ever achieved political has been from playing Igor to the teachers union lobbyists and now she is tea bagging HB744 and bitching about immigrants.

    WTF?

  24. #24 Joshua Zelinsky
    October 20, 2010

    The pop culture questions don’t bother me that much. But yes, both of these people come across as complete idiots.

  25. #25 Fallsroad
    October 20, 2010

    @Prometheus:

    Thanks for the info on Sooner Poll.

    I’ll still take Nate Silver’s odds on this one.

    I know nothing of D.O.C., but the Wiki page makes no mention of any of the political issues you mentioned, though it does appear individual churches and members seem to have a lot of latitude in developing their beliefs, as opposed to following a strict, top down doctrine. Don’t quote me, I spent less than five minutes on it, but I didn’t gather that membership in D.O.C. automatically translates to those particular positions you mentioned for Askins.

    As for Askins and nominally middle of the road Dems running to the right – they did this in 1994 ahead of the polling data and the electorate, faced with voting for actual Republicans as opposed to faux ones chose the ones with the capital “R” next to their names.

    Mix in a wrecked economy still not in recovery and the “throw the bums out” urge winds up affecting a lot of voters, energizing some, depressing others and definitely having an impact on incumbent parties, not just individuals.

    Conservative democrats are the most vulnerable Dems in this mid term, and the strategy of emulating right wingers seems to be failing for a lot of them where seats are being competently (and often, not so competently) challenged by the actual right.

    All of which is to say, her new “Oklahoma Conservative” moniker must have focused tested well, but in terms of actual votes, this will not even be close (barring a last minute epic scandal, and even then…). The trends in this state are running hard against her, regardless of the political persona she adopts and how odious her opponent be.

  26. #26 Prometheus
    October 21, 2010

    “….but the Wiki page makes no mention of any of the political issues you mentioned”

    They are position papers of their congregational assembly which is as close as they come to a global doctrinal body.

    Jari’s congregation in Duncan is middle-of-the-road and generally adopts those position papers whole cloth.

    In other words, she can’t blame her turn to the right on her religion, her upbringing or her past support.

    I agree that Fallin will win and as a result, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma will be restricted to the sole function of overturning unconstitutional legislation for the next decade.

    While the recent tremors have been blamed on geology I thing they can be more effectively be attributed to the recently deceased Justice Opala spinning in his grave.

  27. #27 Rhology
    October 22, 2010

    0h n0e5!!!!!1 Mary Foolin’ doesn’t know what Mad Men or Twilight are! Quick, move outta the state!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  28. #28 MacTurk
    October 22, 2010

    China is growing at over 10% per annum. Meanwhile, the USA is pissing its main advantage – its lead in science and technology – away by electing a collection of idiots who are actually proud of the fact that they are idiots, and whose impact on education and science policy can only be negative.

    Is the entire political establishment about to be taken over by a bunch of loons clinging to their sky-god myth?

  29. #29 Fallsroad
    October 22, 2010

    @Prometheus:

    I’m late returning to the party.

    Thanks for the additional info.

    The run to the right is pure, albeit long discredited strategy. Askins may blame/credit her religion (wrongly, as you point out) for her embrace of what are essentially the same views as OK right wing theocrats, but this is crappy focus group work and strategy in play. Mark Penn must be lurking about somewhere.

    How long the OK Supreme Court can or will have the make up to thwart the new Fallin regime is an open question. As I recall it (and continue correcting me as I get it wrong), some of the more odious anti-abortion legislation of the last two years was overturned not because the contents of said legislation were inherently unconstitutional, but because the format in which the bills were drafted violated a basic requirement that bills deal with a single issue at a time.

    That does not engender great confidence in me going forward.

  30. #30 Prometheus
    October 22, 2010

    You are correct in that they have used that basis to overturn a lot of junk.

    This usually comes into play when material been drafted by the legal crap weasels at the ACLJ. They barf out leg. templates for conservative states and brain dead former football players or preacher’s wives shove it through without editing.

    We are still a one issue state for the express purpose of keeping the books clean i.e. keep some ding dong from cramming in a last minute one liner.

    This leads to a lot of strangeness in statutory chapter and title headings.

    Example:

    The statute that prohibits sex offenders from driving ice cream trucks is under a chapter dealing with the misuse of laser pointers.

    I am fine with it however.

    Other states wind up with: A Proposed Bill To Revise The Statessota Summary Probate Code and Prohibit Formicophilia on the Sabbath.

  31. #31 Fallsroad
    October 22, 2010

    The statute that prohibits sex offenders from driving ice cream trucks is under a chapter dealing with the misuse of laser pointers.

    This cannot possibly be true. No doubt it is, but holy crap.

    Other states wind up with: A Proposed Bill To Revise The Statessota Summary Probate Code and Prohibit Formicophilia on the Sabbath.

    Oh shit. I think I just broke something laughing.

    You involved in politics/legislation/law in some way?

  32. #32 Prometheus
    October 23, 2010

    “You involved in politics/legislation/law in some way?”

    Up to my eyebrows, unfortunately.

  33. #33 Ivan
    October 23, 2010

    Statessota

    A fan of Moral Orel, I see. (Great show, but it got a little too weird towards the end.)

    formicophilia

    I did not need to see the definition of that word just now.

  34. #34 Shell
    October 25, 2010

    #comment 6: Absolutely right. I don’t watch those shows either, and I hated Twilight, but as an educator I try to have some sense of what my students like so I can relate to them, and I never talk down to them about their pop culture texts. (And, yes, television is culture.)

    My real question: Why do these people think they have grounds to put on airs about entertainment choices when they’ve just outed themselves as willfully ignorant about science?

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