Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sarah Palin is an idiot

You know, I predicted that Palin would be McCain's VP pick on my radio show, before anyone else was talking about her.

At the time, I was even a little excited about the pick. She seemed different, interesting, a game-changer.

Then she opened her mouth.

She reads all newspapers and magazines! She doesn't know enough to even bluff about the Bush Doctrine. The only Supreme Court case she could name was Roe v. Wade (at least Bush Jr. mentioned Dred Scott once or twice.) I probably know about foreign policy than she does. Her resignation speech was a rambling mess.

Most of the people commenting on Peggy Noonan's excellent column about Palin only point out Joe Biden also says stupid things. Fair enough. You don't need to convince me that there's a double standard out there that works against conservatives and people on the right more generally.

Sure, the media was mean to her. It's almost always mean to conservatives, or anyone perceived to be on the "right." You deal with that by being smarter than everyone else. By having the truth on your side. By never, ever making a mistake.

When I was on my internship in Washington, D.C., I published an op-ed in the Washington Times. Not very prestigious, but I was pleased. In preparation for submission, I gave it to one of the women I worked for so she could edit it. As a wannabe academic, popular writing is still difficult for me.

The woman (we'll call her L) liked the op-ed. But she also asked: did you triple check everything in this piece? Are all your ducks in a row? Check again!

After extensive experience in Washington, L gave me some advice: conservatives (and libertarians, by implication) have to be better. If a liberal makes a mistake, other liberals are likely to make excuses for him or her. If a conservative makes a mistake, it will be given the worst possible interpretation. Errors of fact get turned into outright lies. Poor phrasing becomes evidence of malign intent. And so on.

The solution is not to whine about the media or the left-wing establishment, as Palin has done. The solution is not to make mistakes in the first place. Make your arguments, make them clear, with accurate premises and impeccable logic, and you reduce the risk of misinterpretation.

I kind of wish someone had given Palin that advice.

But, personally, I don't think Palin's only problem is the media. I think she's genuinely stupid, and too stupid to even know how to feign intelligence when the situation calls for it. Too stupid to know how ignorant she is. Too stupid see the benefit of cracking a textbook.

I've met the type before. People like Palin are usually between 17-22 years old. When they arrive at college, they think they know everything, or at least more than they need to know. When it comes to studying, they avoid it, and rely on charm to placate their instructors and their parents. This rarely works over the long run.

I have no idea how Palin made it this far without growing up, like Peter Pan in a pair of stiletto heels. The Republicans need to ditch her and find an adult to lead their party out of Nevernever land.

1 comment:

Rufus said...

The problem with the type is that they believe it's always someone else's fault. Even if they fail dramatically, they blame the unfair people who are 'against them'. The boss shouldn't have fired them- it wasn't their fault they forgot to call in sick instead of just not showing up for work. The landlord shouldn't have kicked them out- it's not their fault they couldn't find a job in this economy. Their girlfriend shouldn't have dumped them- it's not their fault they slept with that girl at the bar since they were drunk. Since it's always someone else's fault, there's always unresolved anger at the world that never cuts them a fair break. With Palin, you get the sense that she's got an enemies list the size of the phone book.