Respectful Insolence

Geez, it’s getting ugly. When FOX News reports this about Palin, you know she was bad:

Of course, it’s possible, even likely, that McCain campaign staffers are trying to make Palin the scapegoat for the failure of their candidate and them, but there’s abundant other evidence that Palin was pretty ignorant about a great many things–far too ignorant to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Regardless of whether this report is true or not, that makes it easy for the knives to come out, now that the election’s been lost.

Comments

  1. #1 dochocson
    November 8, 2008

    I’m no fan of Sarah Palin, and I don’t think she’s the sharpest crayon in the box, but I find the Africa claim implausible.

    I also think that the people making the claims need to step up, identify themselves and provide some documentation. Show some spine or shut the heck up.

  2. #2 Phoenix Woman
    November 8, 2008

    Doc, this is the woman who says she can see Russia from her house. While I personally find it unlikely that she really doesn’t know that Africa’s a continent, it’s not something that can be discounted.

    That being said, the rather unseemly efforts of the McCain camp and their friends in the RNC’s top echelons to make her the scapegoat for his epic failage are actually among the first shots in a war for the soul — and direction — of the party. McCain and the institutional Republicans (along with such names as Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Tom Ridge, and Joe Lieberman) are lined up on one side; Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is the darling of the TheoCons, and also of the majority of the right-wing bloggers out there: They’ve apparently given up on waiting for handouts from the same conservative-welfare system that sustains the favored sheltered-workshop “think tanks” and are instead sucking up to the TheoCons in hopes of paydays.

  3. #3 RAJ
    November 8, 2008

    The Republicans have marginalized themselves into a regional, religious and white people’s party. The Wall Street Republicans and religious zealots are engaging in a civil war that Carville described with great glee as ‘the eggheads vs the dittoheads’.

    Thanks have to go to such Republican icons as Tom Tancredo (round up the Latinos and bus them back to Mexico) who have ceded the Latino vote to the Democrats for a generation, just as the 1964 Civil Rights Act ceded the South to the Republicans for a generation (LBJ). Thanks go to Tancredo and of course Lou Dobbs for handing the southwest (New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada over to the Democrats for a generation. Virginia and North Carolina both to Obama, how great is that.

  4. #4 BillO'Really is a douch
    November 8, 2008

    The big thing about this clip isn’t Sarah Pallin’-Around, but Billyboys lame attempt to sweep it under the rug.

    “What was the problem with the Couric interview?”

    Huh ????!??!

    Are you effing kiddin’ me?!?!?!

  5. #5 Rev. bigDumbChimp, KoT
    November 8, 2008

    This is but one of the recent examples of the McCain campaign and the GOP throwing her squarely under the bus.

  6. #6 D. C. Sessions
    November 8, 2008

    Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is the darling of the TheoCons

    I love the neologism!

    My take (where can we have some coffee and kick it around?) is that what I’ve been calling “team Goldwater” and “team Falwell” are headed for a showdown. Team Falwell is necessary to get the Republican nomination (thus McCain’s makeover this time around) but poison for general elections. Now that they have a taste of power, they won’t let go; at the same time, pragmatists who are more interested in ruling than in doctrinal purity can’t stay under those terms.

    Now they’re looking at purging the Party of heretics, which will just accelerate the leakage of fiscal conservatives and libertarians (in other words, “team Goldwater”) out of the GOP. Seems strange, doesn’t it, that the Democratic Party should be the refuge of fiscal conservatives who aren’t welcome in the GOP.

    I don’t see that as being a long-term stable situation. Will the GOP split, will team Goldwater take over the Libertarians, will the Democrats’ new coalition fragment once they don’t have any more external opposition worth mentioning? Stay tuned.

  7. #7 King of Ferrets
    November 8, 2008

    Well, if the GOP comes apart, we might manage to get more than 2 major parties by the end of it. That would be nice. In my opinion, just having 2 major parties kinda sucks.

  8. #8 MW
    November 8, 2008

    Those who are interested in the victory of the left-wing progressives (i.e. Democrats) over the right-wing progressives (i.e. Republicans) and why it can’t be reversed might like to read M. Moldbug’s latest essay about the election and the history of the ascension of the left here:

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2008/11/president-obama-with-little-perspective.html

    It should be noted, in case you miss it in the intro, that Moldbug supported Obama in the election and has no use for Republicans. Example quote: “You know the only problem with my Christian-biker plan, dear conservatives? It can’t possibly succeed, because your enemies aren’t as stupid as you.”

  9. #9 Richard Simons
    November 8, 2008

    I’m no fan of Sarah Palin, and I don’t think she’s the sharpest crayon in the box, but I find the Africa claim implausible.

    I find it very plausible for someone who was unable to identify her source of news. Here in Canada I’ve met similar people who did not realize that Africa consists of many countries. I’ve also been asked by an African student if Canada was in Europe. Many people have only the haziest notions of geography.

    That said, I think she is being used as a scapegoat. I have not been closely following the goings-on, but I get the impression that the attitude is ‘Why are people not getting our message?’ rather than ‘What is wrong with our policies?’

  10. #10 Joseph
    November 8, 2008

    In fairness, a lot of people don’t know, for example, that America is the name of a continent, composed of North America, Central America and South America. And that the country named The United States of America is part of North America. The abbreviation ‘America’ for ‘United States of America’ is technically incorrect.

  11. #11 Scott Belyea
    November 8, 2008

    Phoenix Woman:

    Doc, this is the woman who says she can see Russia from her house.

    Palin did not say this; she said that you could see Russia from Alaska.

    The “…from my house” was a SNL elaboration.

  12. #12 D. C. Sessions
    November 8, 2008

    I’m no fan of Sarah Palin, and I don’t think she’s the sharpest crayon in the box, but I find the Africa claim implausible.

    In politics, perception is reality. In the end, it doesn’t matter whether Sarah Palin is really an illiterate backwoods Moose Mama or just plays one on television; that’s the persona she’s sold to the American people.

    It’s totally believable that that Sarah Palin doesn’t know that Asia isn’t a separate land mass from Europe — in fact, knowing that Africa is a continent might not be a luxury she can afford.

  13. #13 Luna_the_cat
    November 8, 2008

    I’ve met Americans who genuinely did not know that Africa was a continent of many different countries. (I’m not saying Americans are the only ones stupid about geography, don’t get me wrong, but there ARE a lot of Americans who have only the haziest possible idea of what the world beyond America consists of, what is there and where it is.) World geography is not a required subject in many public schools, and we already know that she didn’t ever travel outside the US at all until a few months ago. We certainly have no evidence that she was particularly well acquainted with world news or issues. Given that it is possible for someone of theoretically normal intelligence, who just never paid any attention, to genuinely think that the sun goes around the earth rather than vice versa (I’ve met one of them, too), why is this so implausible?

    It doesn’t require that she be a genuine imbecile, just that she be ignorant and completely apathetic towards learning. And our evidence that she is not this is…what?

  14. #14 Russell Bynum
    November 8, 2008

    I think it was clear from what was known about her that Palin was not qualified for the White House and perhaps not even her current position. Still, these reports do seem more finger-pointing than anything. It is easy just to conclude that she just might be dumb enough to be this dull but one must reserve judgment per the nature of the reports. Still, the very fact that these can even come up as possibilities says something of the lady. It also says something of her 2012 supporters, not to mention those in Alaska who voted for her. Stereotyping is not wise for judging an individuals; but they don’t exist in a vacuum either. There is a reason they exist in the first place and often those reasons are not pretty.

  15. #15 bigjohn756
    November 8, 2008

    Sarah Palin is the Sherrie Shepherd of the Republican Party.

  16. #16 David Marjanovi?
    November 8, 2008

    Well, if the GOP comes apart, we might manage to get more than 2 major parties by the end of it. That would be nice. In my opinion, just having 2 major parties kinda sucks.

    Unfortunately, you can’t have more than 2 major parties without massively overhauling the Constitution. That’s because the president is the head of government and the government (the administration) does not depend on the parliament (Congress). This means that elections for a new government are elections for a new president — elections for a single person. And that makes it hard to avoid that only two candidates have a serious chance of winning. Then, each of these two candidates accrues a party behind themselves for support… makes two major parties.

    Where I come from, there are currently four major and two second-tier parties; two of the major parties will probably form a coalition government, and the rest will stay in opposition. President is a different job with mostly representative tasks.

    It doesn’t require that she be a genuine imbecile, just that she be ignorant and completely apathetic towards learning.

    And once again the joke strikes true…
    Q: What’s the difference between Bush and Palin?
    A: Lipstick.

  17. #17 Thony C.
    November 8, 2008

    Joseph wrote:

    In fairness, a lot of people don’t know, for example, that America is the name of a continent, composed of North America, Central America and South America.

    In fairness, Joseph doesn’t appear to know, for example, that America is two continents North America and South America! ;)

  18. #18 T. Hunt
    November 8, 2008

    I suppose that jumping on Sarah Palin now is the accepted thing to do; someone has to be blamed for the loss and she is an easy target. But who picked her in the first place? Those are the people responsible for John McCain’s loss. Sarah Palin is who she is and could not possibly have transformed herself into something radically different in the few short months of the campaign, even with tutoring and extensive interview prep.

    As someone said, even McDonalds requires 3 interviews before making a hire. Couldn’t John McCain’s campaign have done a better job of vetting her before they announced her as the VP? Of course they could have and the fault lies there, not with Sarah Palin.

    Her church affiliation was common knowledge in Alaska and her dealings with the ASP in trying to get her ex BIL fired were there for the finding, if only someone had taken the trouble to look. And I don’t think that she was chosen because she wrote the most letters to McCain asking for the position. John McCain picked her.

    So it’s John McCain’s judgement that should be called into question. Or the people he had chosen to advise him should be taken to task for letting him down. But ultimately, it was JM’s decision to choose her for whatever perceived value she would bring to the campaign. That she had no value to bring rests squarely on the shoulders of the candidate himself.

    And when people went into the voting booth, they had to make a value judgement. What will I get? Who has the better ideas? Who am I most afraid of? What will either man bring to the office of the president? John McCain failed, on the one hand, to make people fear Barak Obama enough, and on the other hand, to persuade voters that his ideas were better.

    So let Sarah Palin go back to Alaska and be governor there. Let the people of Alaska decide if she’s right for them. I would not have voted for her for governor and I didn’t vote for her as VP. But it’s not her fault McCain lost the election. John McCain will meet that person every morning in the mirror.

  19. #19 Luna_the_cat
    November 8, 2008

    Read your history, folks. America has tried to have three major parties on multiple occasions. It just doesn’t work all that well in the American climate, though.

  20. #20 Sam Thornton
    November 8, 2008

    I think Sara Palin is being scapegoated to conceal McCain’s not knowing Africa is a continent.

  21. #21 Pen
    November 8, 2008

    Joseph and Thony C.

    According to my kids school materials the definition of a continent can be hazy. They claim that in Europe, America is sometimes considered one continent, but that in America it is considered two: N. America and S. America. Personally, I was never taught this, but I was taught that I live on the continent of Eurasia, which frankly is much more logical than splitting it arbitrarily into Europe and Asia, as same school materials do.

  22. #22 D. C. Sessions
    November 8, 2008

    Read your history, folks. America has tried to have three major parties on multiple occasions. It just doesn’t work all that well in the American climate, though.

    In previous rounds (largely thanks to distractions subsequent to the Civil War) the take-no-prisoners theoconservatives [1] were rather conveniently divided between the yellow-dog Democratic South and the Republican Midwest, which kept them from taking either party hostage.

    [1] Love that word!

  23. #23 Nemo
    November 8, 2008

    I too have met people who didn’t appreciate the fact that Africa is made up of many countries. I’d like to think that such a person could not be elected governor, even in Alaska; but who knows? Maybe someday the African Union will solve their problem for them.

    As much as I’d like to see the Republican coalition break up, I don’t think it will happen, because neither arm can win a majority on its own, and I don’t think that either would really be welcome in the Democratic party (although the overtures to evangelicals this election cycle were disturbing).

  24. #24 Bronze Dog
    November 8, 2008

    Throwing in my love for “TheoCon.”

    Definitely would love to see the Republicans throw them out of the party. I’d much prefer they work on making their case on fiscal conservatism, small government, etcetera, rather than have the TheoCons scream about how free speech is unpatriotic or something.

  25. #25 Davis
    November 8, 2008

    Well, if the GOP comes apart, we might manage to get more than 2 major parties by the end of it. That would be nice. In my opinion, just having 2 major parties kinda sucks.

    The two-party system arises naturally as an equilibrium point due to the electoral college. With three or more viable candidates, it becomes more likely that the candidate most preferred by the electorate will lose (cf. Jackson and the election of 1824), so in that sense it’s not really more democratic. And on a multiple-election timescale you will see either alliances between parties to increase power, or voters from the most marginalized of the three parties re-aligning to whichever of the two powerful parties most closely reflects their values.

  26. #26 Joseph
    November 8, 2008

    In fairness, Joseph doesn’t appear to know, for example, that America is two continents North America and South America! ;)

    True, Central America is not considered a continent in itself. It’s part of North America. But it’s considered a region of America (or The Americas if you prefer).

  27. #27 Landru
    November 8, 2008

    While McCain’s and Palin’s camps are clearly twisting about trying to throw each other under the bus, she really and very clearly is that stupid, at least in some respects. Her own comments on the Africa story highlight its plausibility–something to the effect of remembering discussions with her handlers about “Africa the country versus Africa the continent.” You don’t have to shop a lot to find evidence of her utter lack of qualification for political office. Which is not to say that she isn’t shrewd enough to obtain it.

    As to a massive constitutional overhaul being required to enable more than two parties…uhm, the commenter might try re-reading the Constitution, which did not contemplate a parliamentary style of government (because we’re not a freakin’ constitutional monarchy or a non-monarchial parliamentary democracy, which even our Founders recognized, well before the time of such things, as a nonworkable model for an America of…uhm, mavericks–sorry), but very obviously did contemplate the possibility that a presidential candidate would not achieve a majority in the Electoral College, and set up a legislative mechanism for handling that event (which has occurred in our history–at a time when there were three “serious” candidates for President).

    It’s quite a leap of logic to get to “new government equals new President.” The separation of powers is quite clear, at least in the Constitution, if not in the minds of some of those who’ve inhabited the Executive Branch over the last 220 years or so (or, in some eras, those who’ve inhabited the Legislative).

    It really drives me batty when non-Americans try to tell me how my government functions, especially at a theoretical level. Which is not to disagree with the commenter on President Bush’s cross-dressing tendencies.

  28. #28 wolfwalker
    November 8, 2008

    I don’t expect you to acknowledge you might have been wrong about Palin, Orac, but are you at least willing to admit there might be another side to the story?

  29. #29 Blake Stacey
    November 8, 2008

    The Constitution says basically nothing about political parties. (Or the Federal bureaucracy: Originally, there was some language about the President receiving reports from the heads of the Executive departments, and that was about it. After the Kennedy assassination caused the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to be put in place, the Cabinet finally got a Constitutional job to do — deciding if “the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”.) The Federalists and the Jeffersonian Republicans, who later became the Democrats, didn’t form until Washington’s presidency, well after the Constitution had been ratified.

    Arguably, the existence of political parties undermines the separation of powers and the system of checks and balances. I mean, what else would you expect from organizations which reach across at least two of the three branches of government?

  30. #30 Neil B
    November 8, 2008

    It’s a funny commentary on the way media images influence the public, that someone upthread thought Sarah Palin actually said she could see Russia from her house. No, she never said that. It was Tina Fey on SNL, not quoting the real Sarah (but TF sometimes did to great effect.) Real Sarah said, Russia can be seen from certain parts of Alaska (islands, true, but hardly relevant.)

    She still wasn’t a good choice, and if you want to know how disturbed her fans have become, google for “operation leper”. BTW, she wasn’t McCain’s first choice, she was pushed by Kristol-meth and other neo and theo cons.

  31. #31 Orac
    November 8, 2008

    I don’t expect you to acknowledge you might have been wrong about Palin, Orac, but are you at least willing to admit there might be another side to the story?

    I thought I did in that I pointed out that this might be the McCain campaign scapegoating Palin.

    It doesn’t change the fact that Palin was a very poor choice.

  32. #32 Cleo
    November 8, 2008

    First let me say I did not vote Democratic or Republican. I don’t feel that either of them have a plan for the financial disaster coming our way. They are either ignorant, in denial, or lying.

    Palin has come out and said that the information you have posted about her is not true. People that have worked with Palin have said she is very intelligent and has photographic memory. She has been running a state. I’m sick of all the sexist comments about her and people calling her stupid. Many of them have never met or talked to her in person. I doubt they have seen her IQ test. Plus they are picking on her about some clothes that she bought, as if that is news at all. There is no mention of how much any of the male candidates spent on clothes, or where that money came from.

    I seen a video where Obama said he had been to 57 states. Could you imagine it Palin said that? I’m trying to figure out when the “magical thinking” about Obama is going to wear off. In my opinion, the change coming is financial collapse of the country caused by bad decisions on the part of both parties over many years. The social security account has been raided, and is now empty. It is a complete ponzi scheme. I have heard that the new plan may be to dump the 401K’s into the social security account, to keep the ponzi scheme going a little longer.

    Since the news media is only interested in propaganda, I will share some real news with you. David Walker, the former Comptroller General and head of the Government Accountability Office quit recently because he said we are going to fall like Rome:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS2fI2p9iVs

  33. #33 David Marjanović
    November 8, 2008

    something to the effect of remembering discussions with her handlers about “Africa the country versus Africa the continent.”

    Wow. Just… wow.

    As to a massive constitutional overhaul being required to enable more than two parties…uhm, the commenter might try re-reading the Constitution, which did not contemplate a parliamentary style of government

    That’s exactly what I’m saying! It’s because the USA are a purely presidial and not a parliamentary democracy, with no separation of president and government and instead a separation of government and parliament, that the two-party system is inevitable in practice. I know full well that the Constitution says nothing whatsoever about parties; unfortunately it doesn’t need to to produce a two-party system anyway.

    a non-monarchial parliamentary democracy, which even our Founders recognized, well before the time of such things, as a nonworkable model for an America of…uhm, mavericks

    Why isn’t it workable?

    but very obviously did contemplate the possibility that a presidential candidate would not achieve a majority in the Electoral College

    So what? The Founding Fathers failed to foresee that parties would form at all (and indeed, as mentioned above, they only started forming during Washington’s presidency); you probably know better than I how much they disdained “factions”. That’s of course no surprise — they had next to no experience with democracies; nobody had at that time. (And parties did indeed not form in the Iroquois democracy — but then there was AFAIK nothing comparable to a president there either.)

    It’s quite a leap of logic to get to “new government equals new President.”

    By “government”, I meant what Americans call “administration” — the cabinet –, not “government” as in “three branches of government” or as in “the whole public bureaucracy together”. I tried to use international terms in order to make general points, as opposed to US-specific ones.

  34. #34 David Marjanović
    November 8, 2008

    The social security account has been raided, and is now empty. It is a complete ponzi scheme.

    Hah. If absolutely nothing is done, it will be empty in 2043, last time I checked.

    we are going to fall like Rome

    Rome fell because of too high taxes (as soon as people got the opportunity, they all wanted to be barbarians). The US taxes today are ridiculously low. So… that’s not going to be it.

  35. #35 Cleo
    November 8, 2008

    David Marjonovic – Have you read what David Walker has written about this problem? Look it up. Are you saying he’s lying? Do you know more than the head accountant for the United States about the financial condition of the country? You are in denial. There is no money in the social security fund. They have been using the extra money paid in for other things. Next year will be the first year that we are paying out more than what is being paid in. That is when the problems will start.

  36. #36 SLC
    November 8, 2008

    Re Cleo

    Governor Palin is not only a born again whackjob and a moron but a congenital liar as well. Conservative writer Andrew Sullivan has documented a total of 18 lies she has told after being selected as Senator McCains’ vice presidential choice.

    Incidentally, the notion that the Social Security Fund is empty is a pile of crap. Currently, the fund has 2.5 trillion dollars invested in Treasury instruments. As for David Walker, anybody who goes on nutcase Glenn Becks’ talk show to discuss anything is not to be taken seriously. See the attached link.

    http://scienceblogs.com/mikethemadbiologist/2007/11/the_reality_of_social_security.php

  37. #37 Cleo
    November 8, 2008

    OKAY! I won’t ask you for evidence of the financial stability that you claim is there. I really don’t care if you believe me or not.

    Watch the Obama 57 states video! It’s a classic! I’m sure he will be fixing ALL of our problems. lol

    Didn’t Gandhi once say that even if you are in a minority of one, the truth is the truth.

  38. #38 D. C. Sessions
    November 8, 2008

    Incidentally, the notion that the Social Security Fund is empty is a pile of crap. Currently, the fund has 2.5 trillion dollars invested in Treasury instruments.

    Ummm … if you say so.

    I’m afraid that I spent too much of my youth in physics, so I’m a “closed system” “black box” “conservation law” kind of guy. You’ll have to explain to me the practical difference between what you wrote above and “the cookie jar is empty.”

    As in, how is it different from “when boomers start to draw more out of SS than current payroll taxes are paying in, the Federal Government will have to raise the funds from somewhere.”

  39. #39 Azkyroth
    November 8, 2008

    That being said, the rather unseemly efforts of the McCain camp and their friends in the RNC’s top echelons to make her the scapegoat for his epic failage are actually among the first shots in a war for the soul — and direction — of the party.

    Traditionally, vampires are considered to be soulless.

  40. #40 SLC
    November 8, 2008

    Re D. C. Sessions

    By law, the only investment the SS Administration can make is in treasury instruments. The alternative is to put the money in a mattress. We can argue over how good an investment treasury instruments are as they generally pay less then, say, bank cds. Thus, the SS Administration is a creditor of the government, just like any other creditor holding treasury instruments.

    What Mr. Sessions is implying is that the Government will welch on its debts. Since that would probably cause a depression with unemployment running 50% or more, I would say that would be the last resort. It is more likely that it would just print more money, thus inflating the currency. That would also be bad but less bad then 50% unemployment.

    Re cleo

    I suggest that Ms. cleo read the post on the attached link before running her mouth and stop listening to assholes like Lawrence Kudlow, the cokehead.

  41. #41 SLC
    November 8, 2008

    Re cleo

    By the way, I would remind Ms. cleo that it was the current Rethuglican administration, along with the Rethuglican Congress that ran up massive budget deficits and placed the country in a position where the current economic crisis is much worse then it should have been. I would remind her, before she starts beating up on the incoming Obama Administration that the current administration inherited a budget surplus from its Democratic predecessor and squandered it on tax cuts for the top 5% of its citizens.

  42. #42 Cleo
    November 8, 2008

    SLC – I have no idea who Lawrence Kudlow is.

    I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like either party. There is plenty of blame to go around. I just hate to see Palin get picked on by a bunch of people that believe everything they hear on TV. She is running a state. That puts her in a higher position than most of the people on this forum. How did an “idiot” end up in a higher position than you?

    When Clinton left the office the national debt was 5 trillion dollars (Obama even said it in a speech recently). It is now 10 trillion dollars. If you add the social security and medicare promises it adds another 43 trillion to that number. If you added up all the money from every billionaire in the world, it only comes out of be around 5 trillion dollars. It has left me wondering where all that money is going to come from to pay for all the social programs. It doesn’t look like taxes alone will fix the problem.

    I have read the report from the Government Accountability Office that audits the official books. That is where I got my information. Are the official books wrong?

    I would love to see some information to make me feel better about the future. If you have information that I am wrong and all is well, please bring it forward. I would appreciate it.

  43. #43 D. C. Sessions
    November 8, 2008

    What Mr. Sessions is implying is that the Government will welch on its debts.

    Not at all. I merely ask you to distinguish the “trust fund” from an unfunded promise that at some future time retirees (which include me, soon enough) will be paid a pension from the combination of payroll taxes, general revenues, and new debt.

  44. #44 Azkyroth
    November 9, 2008

    How did an “idiot” end up in a higher position than you?

    Because there are a lot more idiots where she came from, and they vote?

  45. #45 Bronze Dog
    November 9, 2008

    That’s about how I’d put it, Azky.

    Intelligence isn’t a barrier to popularity.

  46. #46 TikiHead
    November 9, 2008

    And now for the answer Palin should have given the reporters who questioned her geographical knowledge:

    “Oh, darn it, next they’ll say I don’t know who the President of Antarctica is!”

  47. #47 Cleo
    November 9, 2008

    Azk – are you saying that Alaska is filled with idiots? Where is the proof of that? Do you have a link showing that the IQ in Alaska is substantially lower than the other states? The burden of proof is on you. This web site is supposed to be about facts. Let’s see them.

  48. #48 Cleo
    November 9, 2008

    Azk – I found some information on an estimate of IQ in all the states.

    http://www.sq.4mg.com/IQ-States.htm

  49. #49 SLC
    November 9, 2008

    Re cleo

    Azk – are you saying that Alaska is filled with idiots? Where is the proof of that?

    Yes, the State of Alaska just reelected a convicted felon to the United States Senate. That doesn’t sound like the folks up there are too bright to me.

  50. #50 Cleo
    November 9, 2008

    I think I’ve been a victim of sexism on this website. My last post was blocked for some reason. It went to the blog owner for approval.

    I should have known, anyone that would post a video based on anonymous sources isn’t really interested in the facts. He is interested in women bashing.

  51. #51 Abel Pharmboy
    November 9, 2008

    I’m not a Republican but I always had a soft spot for the John McCain of old, particularly after the Bush campaign’s 2000 primary smear campaign in South Carolina.

    My view of the Sarah Palin trainwreck is that the fault lies with those who felt that Palin was even teachable on issues of national and international importance. I honestly cannot grasp how a person of McCain’s stature and background could’ve initiated or approved this selection; that lack of judgment is alone cause for his defeat.

    A certain skill set and knowledge base is required for anyone to be expected to ramp up to the level needed to succeed in a presidential campaign – “knowledgability” is the word used repeatedly by the Fox News reporter. (It is indeed a real word that makes use of exactly half of the alphabet in its 15 letters.).

    To not recognize that Palin was incapable of or unwilling to is, IMHO, the fatal flaw of the campaign. But where knowledge is lacking, hatemongering can still be effective, a skill that Palin appears to have mastered quite well.

  52. #52 Orac
    November 9, 2008

    I think I’ve been a victim of sexism on this website. My last post was blocked for some reason. It went to the blog owner for approval.

    Don’t be such a moron.

    Your post was caught up by the spam filter, and, believe it or not, sometimes I’m actually away from the Internet for as long as 12-16 hours.

    I approved it.

  53. #53 D. C. Sessions
    November 9, 2008

    My view of the Sarah Palin trainwreck is that the fault lies with those who felt that Palin was even teachable on issues of national and international importance. I honestly cannot grasp how a person of McCain’s stature and background could’ve initiated or approved this selection; that lack of judgment is alone cause for his defeat.

    According to a rather detailed account in the New Yorker, he was persuaded against his own inclinations by his “handlers.”

    Now, I’m far from being a John McCain fan. Maybe it comes from being a native and having watched his brief stop in Arizona on his way back to Washington. However, I’ll grant that this campaign didn’t show the John McCain that I’ve grown to despise. It showed a completely different contemptibility that’s more compatible with his being “handled.”

  54. #54 Orac
    November 9, 2008

    Abel,

    I’m with you. I would have happily voted for McCain in 2000. However, his ambition seems to have warped him in the interim, to the point where he would do or say anything to get elected.

  55. #55 Landru
    November 9, 2008

    David Marjonovic: Yes, I’m Yanqui-centric. I don’t think that should be a problem here; we’re discussing the U.S. government in the context of a U.S. election.

    What I think you’re not acknowledging is the relationship between the Legislative and Executive branches in the U.S. government. Power is not exclusively concentrated in either. The momentum of power has historically fluctuated between the two branches, depending on their behavior and popular sentiment.

    Unfortunately, most of the answers I can come up with to your question about why a parliamentary style would not work in America reek of tautology. The answer goes to something about the American character and POV–it comes from the same place as why we can’t accept relegation (or draws) in professional sports, if that makes any sense. It goes to a desire for binary states, and to a bit of a tendency to decide that one thing is more important than all others.

    I’m not complaining about any of that. I chose “mavericks” in my earlier comment both as a joke and as an attempt to express what’s so different about Americans. “We’re just different” is a really lousy answer, but it’s surely a part of the answer.

    It is very likely that another political party (or two) will emerge, as America further factionalizes and people begin to focus more on whatever they think is The Most Important Thing.

    Your point about 18th-century inexperience with democracy is cogent. As circular as this is, it’s also part of why America is different. We are what we are, and it’s the system that works for us. Because it does. Ow.

  56. #56 Azkyroth
    November 9, 2008

    Azk – are you saying that Alaska is filled with idiots? Where is the proof of that? Do you have a link showing that the IQ in Alaska is substantially lower than the other states? The burden of proof is on you. This web site is supposed to be about facts. Let’s see them.

    By “idiots” I mean, as the commenter who first brought the word into the discussion meant, “a person conspicuously lacking in judgement and/or knowledge, as demonstrated by their stated positions and/or decisions.” Achieving any particular score on an artificial test of academic ability is irrelevant to this, moving the goalposts like that is dishonest, and being so obvious about moving them is cringibly amateurish.

  57. #57 Azkyroth
    November 9, 2008

    I think I’ve been a victim of sexism on this website. My last post was blocked for some reason. It went to the blog owner for approval.

    I should have known, anyone that would post a video based on anonymous sources isn’t really interested in the facts. He is interested in women bashing.

    So much for backing things up with evidence. How sexist is it to imply that criticism of a specific woman is somehow an attack on women as a group, or (as playing the gender card at the drop of a hat necessarily entails) that women should be immune to criticism simply because they’re women?

    Are women too weak-willed and intellectually incapable to have their decisions scrutinized like rational adults? I certainly don’t think so, and neither does Orac. Why do you?

  58. #58 Azkyroth
    November 9, 2008

    Unfortunately, most of the answers I can come up with to your question about why a parliamentary style would not work in America reek of tautology. The answer goes to something about the American character and POV–it comes from the same place as why we can’t accept relegation (or draws) in professional sports, if that makes any sense. It goes to a desire for binary states, and to a bit of a tendency to decide that one thing is more important than all others.

    Or the founders were trying to do something that had never been tried before and didn’t have the lessons of the last two centuries to draw on, and changing it now would require the major parties to vote against their self-interest. (I also note that, so far as I’m aware, many other countries don’t have a court that can actually invalidate laws of parliament on constitutional grounds…which I consider an indispensible American institution).

  59. #59 Cleo
    November 9, 2008

    Azk – Have you watched the video? Did you look at the title that Orac put on it? It implies that she doesn’t know Africa is a continent. She has said that it is not true. I think she should sue all the news networks that out to destroy her career. They are NOT talking about her policies. They are personally attacking her.

    Just asking the question is suspect. I think this funny video actually says it best:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=117466&title=The-Question-Mark

  60. #60 Azkyroth
    November 9, 2008

    Having the knowledge, and attitude toward knowledge, necessary to do the job, is a perfectly legitimate criterion when deciding whether or not to hire someone, which is what voting for a president amounts to.

  61. #61 Azkyroth
    November 9, 2008

    PS: does anyone sensible still take any politician’s word for it when they say “I did NOT say/do what my former associates are accusing me of, really, honest, I swear…”

  62. #62 Cleo
    November 9, 2008

    She has said that the information in this video is not accurate. Do you base your decisions on BS? I still haven’t seen any evidence that she is an idiot. In fact, I recently read a post from a Psychologist that IQ tests people for a living. That person said that it is “highly unlikely” that Palin has a below average IQ based on what she has accomplished in life and the position she holds.

  63. #63 Azkyroth
    November 9, 2008

    She has said that the information in this video is not accurate. Do you base your decisions on BS?

    What evidence would you offer that it’s likelier that this video, rather than her denials, is BS?

    I still haven’t seen any evidence that she is an idiot. In fact, I recently read a post from a Psychologist that IQ tests people for a living. That person said that it is “highly unlikely” that Palin has a below average IQ based on what she has accomplished in life and the position she holds.

    I believe I made it perfectly clear that on-paper IQ is irrelevant to the working definition of “idiot” we are using here, and that your attempt to move the goalposts was not fooling anyone. Now you’re doing it again. Are you an idiot too? Or just deeply dishonest?

  64. #64 Cleo
    November 9, 2008

    I think you really need to ask yourself if you hate powerful women.

  65. #65 Azkyroth
    November 9, 2008

    I think you really need to ask yourself if you hate powerful women.

    I think you really need to ask yourself who you think you’re fooling, and how many powerful, competent, decent women you’re insulting, by asserting that Palin’s numerous inadequacies should be given a pass just because she’s female.

  66. #66 Azkyroth
    November 9, 2008

    PS: answer the questions, please.

  67. #67 Cleo
    November 9, 2008

    I don’t think I am fooling anyone. What competent women am I insulting by asking that Palin is treated fairly and with respect?

  68. #68 Azkyroth
    November 9, 2008

    Palin IS being treated fairly, and with as much respect as her actions and attitudes deserve. Your petulant refusal to acknowledge this, and broken-record spurious and unsupported accusations of sexism every time someone criticizes her on her policies, views, knowledge, individual temperament, or other job qualifications, is difficult to interpret as anything other than a veiled assertion that women are incapable of being held to the same tough standards as men in positions of political power. Additionally, the fact that you’re yelling about “sexism” whenever your statements or Palin’s are criticized at all basically translates to “stop pickin’ on poor widdle us! We’s just WIMMENS, we can’t answer them tough questions!” which implicitly insults every woman who is intellectually competent and intellectually honest enough to face up to said tough questions and answer like a rational adult, without using gender issues as a crutch.

    Now, about those questions we’ve been asking…

  69. #69 Azkyroth
    November 9, 2008

    Let me rephrase: by equating any criticism of yourself (assuming, as the conversation implies, that you are in fact female) or Palin with “sexism” you are implicitly claiming that any criticism of a woman is “sexist,” or, in other words, that women should never be criticized – which is a claim either that women are naturally perfect and beyond reproach, or a claim that women are by nature less competent than men and just can’t help themselves. Either claim is sexist.

    By the way, I don’t recall mentioning MY gender…

  70. #70 D. C. Sessions
    November 9, 2008

    I think you really need to ask yourself if you hate powerful women.

    Did I miss the part where the poster you’re replying to identified hirself as male?

    On the internet, nobody can tell you’re a bitch.

    Besides that, what makes you think that being a “powerful woman” is the only possible reason one could disapprove of Sarah Palin? I can think of several quite powerful women who get along pretty well together and don’t have any use for SP. That would seem to indicate that you haven’t exhausted all of the possibilities.

  71. #71 Darlarosa
    November 9, 2008

    Ok, I’m a woman(believe me I’ve checked) and I believe Sarah Palin is grossly ignorant…well according to Bill Maher since she’s over 40 she’s stupid. Eh either way the woman is an idiot, she did not know Africa was a continent….1st graders know Africa is a continent actually my 4 year old niece knows that!

    As a woman I find her insulting to everyone with a vagina or from Alaska >.>

  72. #72 Cleo
    November 9, 2008

    Palin is not being treated fairly.

    You don’t think it is sexist when the news media makes a big deal about how much her clothes cost and who paid for the clothes? Why don’t we know how much McCain, Obama, or Biden paid for the suits they are wearing? Who paid for their clothes?

    If Sarah Palin had said she had been to 57 states (like Obama did) it would have been front page news and on Saturday Night Live. We heard almost nothing about it.

    Now comes “anonymous sources” saying she didn’t know Africa was a continent and it makes the news and this forum. Turns out it is not true, but who cares? Who is making this claim? Why won’t this person come forward?

    If you believe an anonymous source that won’t come forward, rather than Palin it tells me all I need to know about you. Where is the evidence that she actually said it? I have no interest in communicating with you anymore. There really is nothing more to say.

  73. #73 Azkyroth
    November 9, 2008

    You don’t think it is sexist when the news media makes a big deal about how much her clothes cost and who paid for the clothes? Why don’t we know how much McCain, Obama, or Biden paid for the suits they are wearing? Who paid for their clothes?

    Did McCain, Obama, or Biden run on a platform of being “just a normal American (parent) like all of you?”

    Also, we DID hear an awful lot about it when John Edwards spent $400 on a haircut. I don’t recall John being a woman’s name…

    Now comes “anonymous sources” saying she didn’t know Africa was a continent and it makes the news and this forum. Turns out it is not true, but who cares?

    Your evidence that it’s not true, unless I missed something, depends on the honesty of a politician whose reputation is on the line. Enough said.

  74. #74 Bronze Dog
    November 9, 2008

    Sarah Palin is a Young Earth Creationist.

    Sarah Palin doesn’t have any college degree as far as I’ve seen.

    Sarah Palin made fun of biologists for studying fruit flies.

    You can probably make a case that the media exaggerated her gaffes or other people’s not enough, but gaffes and instances of misspeaking aren’t at the core of this. You might want to focus on the cake instead of the icing if you want to argue that we’re sexist.

  75. #75 Bronze Dog
    November 9, 2008

    Correction: Seems she’s got a BA in Communications/Journalism. Doesn’t strike me as much.

  76. #76 D. C. Sessions
    November 9, 2008

    Correction: Seems she’s got a BA in Communications/Journalism. Doesn’t strike me as much.

    According to DarlingDaughter, Communications is the subject for those who can’t handle the academic rigor of primary education.

  77. #77 Cleo
    November 9, 2008

    Gandhi – even if you are in a minority of one, the truth is the truth.

    I don’t have a problem with ANYONE that wants to criticize Sarah Palin over real issues. I didn’t vote for her because I don’t agree with her on a lot of things. Her clothes, allegations of what she might have said by anonymous sources, her ability to parent while in office, and/or calling her degrading names have very little to do with real issues. You can pretend like they do.

    She has not been treated fairly. There are plenty of men and women that hate powerful women. My apologizes if anyone thought I was only referring to men.

  78. #78 DonM
    November 9, 2008

    Cleo,
    Maybe I missed it but I don’t recall her ever actually denying the “Africa thing”… I do remember her seeing her attacking the McCain aides for supplying the information/allegation to the media.

  79. #79 Azkyroth
    November 10, 2008

    Gandhi – even if you are in a minority of one, the truth is the truth.

    Being in a minority of one does not make fabrication truth.

  80. #80 Modusoperandi
    November 10, 2008

    Isn’t anybody’s irony meter pegging?
    1. If the Republican Party is throwing poop at Palin for her inadequacies, and
    2. Palin represents the Republican’s “base”, then
    3. The Republican Party is slagging themselves
    They are cutting off their own nose to spite their face.

  81. #81 Azkyroth
    November 10, 2008

    Given that the base is the main thing keeping them afloat, I’d say “their face to spite their nose” is more accurate.

  82. #82 BB
    November 10, 2008

    Cleo,
    [b]This[/b] woman is asking for sources citing Palin ‘s photographic memory. According to everything I’ve read, including the Wasilla paper and the Anchorage Daily News, she is shrewd but not intellectually curious (and a bunch of other adjectives that aren’t germaine here).
    As for why she was elected in AK, yes AK is different. A lot of people who work for Big Oil up there are pressured to register to vote IN AK and not their home states, and are pressured to vote for the GOP. Before you pooh-pooh this, let me tell you that in the 14 years I worked for pharmaceutical companies, I was pressured to vote GOP (not that I did).
    I don’t see any of this as woman-bashing, but as criticizing a sub-par VP candidate who acted less than worthy of the call to candidacy ($40,000 for Todd’ silk boxers and spray tanners- what was she thinking?)

  83. #83 marilove
    November 10, 2008

    Palin is an idiot, and anyone who voted for McCain after he chose Palin as his running mate is also an idiot.

    I was drunk AND stoned on Friday night, celebrating our win, and a friend decided to randomly quiz me out of nowhere: “Name some newspapers and other publications! GO!”

    I named 6 — local and national — before I got distracted by more booze.

    Palin couldn’t name one.

  84. #84 Natalie
    November 10, 2008

    Hey Cleo, I’m a woman too and I think you’re a raving lunatic.

    The clothes: The reason no one cares about how much McCain, Obama, or Biden’s clothes cost is that they weren’t spending campaign contributions on them. Palin didn’t just clothe herself with donated money, she also bought a bunch of crap for her kids and husband. Since when was that baby running for public office?

    Raising her kids: I haven’t heard much criticism of her for being in public office and having children. I do find it hypocritical for the religious right to embrace her, considering they have been loudly telling women with children to stay home for the last couple of decades. But criticizing that hypocrisy is far different than criticizing the woman herself.

    Calling her names: Some people show up to Obama rallies with rude t-shirts, ergo all critcism of Palin is sexist? If this isn’t your argument, please explain how it is relevant and how the racist people showing up at McCain rallies are not equally relevant.

    How are the allegations about whether she knows that Africa is a continent even remotely sexist?

    You keep flogging the “57 states” thing. I don’t know why I would expect you to figure this out, but it’s pretty damn obvious that Obama misspoke. I haven’t heard any suggestion that he actually believes there are 57 states. Candidates screw up all the time.

    McCain made a reference at one point to the border between Iraq and Pakistan. (They don’t share a border, they’re separated by Iran.) Everyone on the internet made a few stupid jokes for about 5 minutes and then let it drop, because it was clearly a misspeaking on McCain’s part. Why do you think Obama should be held to a different standard?

  85. #85 Jud
    November 10, 2008

    I would have happily voted for McCain in 2000. However, his ambition seems to have warped him in the interim, to the point where he would do or say anything to get elected.

    My own opinion is that McCain has had an overweening ambition to be President, and was willing to do pretty much whatever it took to get there, since well before 2000. His 2000 campaign was derailed by those who showed him what *real* overweening ambition looked like.

    McCain took exactly the wrong lesson from the 2000 campaign, in that his 2008 general election campaign was very much “fighting the last war,” in great part an attempted exercise in Rovian character assassination at a time when most folks were thoroughly fed up with that.

    True, he didn’t cross the Jeremiah Wright bridge, but that may have had as much to do with preserving his marriage as personal conviction. Cindy McCain by all accounts still maintains a healthy outrage at having the Bangladeshi orphan she decided to adopt smeared as John’s black love child by the Bush 2000 campaign. “Wright-baiting” by the McCain 2008 campaign might have struck too close to that memory for comfort.

    However, memories of 2000 did not keep McCain, at the start of his 2008 Republican primary campaign, from accepting an invitation to speak at the odious Bob Jones’ eponymous University. (Jones established a campus policy prohibiting interracial dating, then fought unsuccessfully, but with the Reagan Administration’s support, to keep from losing federal funding as a result.)

  86. #86 BillO'ReallyIs-A-Douch
    November 10, 2008

    Idk the tags for quotes, so
    Azk – are you saying that Alaska is filled with idiots? Where is the proof of that? Do you have a link showing that the IQ in Alaska is substantially lower than the other states? The burden of proof is on you. This web site is supposed to be about facts. Let’s see them.

    The link:
    http://icantseeyou.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/10/21/index.html

    yes, it’s from 2004, but still ….

    Please note that, while Michigan and Oregon SEEM to be lower ranked than some red states, they are in fact only ranked below Virginia, and that is NOW a blue state.

    But even in 2004, ALL red states were stupider than ALL blue states! Gives one pause.

  87. #87 BillO'ReallyIs-A-Douch
    November 10, 2008
  88. #88 Azkyroth
    November 10, 2008

    Interesting data, and not surprising, though I should reiterate that tested IQ values are a red herring in this debate.

  89. #89 Cleo
    November 11, 2008

    Here is the Palin interview from yesterday. She talks about the Africa allegation and the clothes.

    I’ve been told to “shut up”, been called a moron and a bitch on this website. The truth is the truth. That is all I have been asking for. I’m sure other people read this blog that knew it was a lie and didn’t bother to speak up. It tells me what kind of people hang out here. You can call me a whore now, I won’t be back.

    http://www.foxnews.com/video2/video08.html?maven_referralObject=3183296&maven_referralPlaylistId=&sRevUrl=http://www.foxnews.com/

  90. #90 marilove
    November 11, 2008

    The truth, Cleo, is that Palin is an idiot. Bush is also an idiot. There is no sexism about it. An idiot is still an idiot, vagina or penis.

  91. #91 MissyMiss
    November 13, 2008
  92. #93 Orac
    November 13, 2008

    It is a good hoax.

    Of course, it also doesn’t change the fact that there is abundant other evidence to conclude that Sarah Palin was woefully underqualified to be VP, intellectually incurious, and scientifically ignorant.

  93. #94 MissyMiss
    November 13, 2008

    Don’t worry Orac, I don’t doubt for a minute that she’s dumb as a post. There’s plenty of non-hoax evidence of that! But now I have a humbling reminder of how gullible I can be when someone’s saying something I want to believe – kinda woo-like!