04 Oct 2008

Sarah Palin Is Not Dumb. Evil Perhaps, But Not Dumb

All Posts No Comments

Over at the second best blog in the universe, I have been arguing with Woody about Sarah Palin. He posted a “best of Sarah Palin” compilation (first one below). In response, I posted Obama’s absolutely stomach-turning performance (second one below), and then another compilation including some Biden gaffes and Obama’s piece de resistance where he deliberatively says he had been to 57 states, with one left to go (third one below).

Now that I’ve watched the videos below a few times, I have some general observations:

(1) By far the single stupidest statement is Obama’s on the states. If Palin had said that, it would have been considered BY FAR the dumbest thing she had ever said. Saturday Night Live would have been beside themselves that this bimbo didn’t even know how many US states there were.

(2) Arguably the second stupidest statement was Biden’s on FDR going on TV to reassure Americans about the stock market crash. Again, if Palin had said that, I think it would have been considered her most ignorant comment to date. There would have been all kinds of spin offs Tina Fey would use, like Gerald Ford emailing every American to celebrate Neil Armstrong’s moon walk.

(3) When Sarah Palin does something boneheaded, it is always (a) when she is trying to evade a trap by Gibson or Couric and (b) when she is ignorant on something that any VP candidate really ought to know. Just because you are ignorant on politics doesn’t mean you are stupid. Note the difference between Palin on the Bush Doctrine vs. Biden on the Great Depression: Biden volunteered that, and was talking with confidence. Palin, in contrast, was caught off guard and then did her best to bluff her way out of it.

Or take Couric’s questions about newspapers. Do the “Palin is a Plain Bimbo” people really think Palin couldn’t think of a single newspaper? C’mon, obviously she could’ve said “the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.” But the reason she didn’t, I believe, is that she thought Couric might innocently follow up with, “Not to belabor the point, Governor, but can you name just one columnist you read in the NYT or the WSJ?”

What people are not fully appreciating is that Palin was on super defensive mode, especially after the Bush Doctrine landmine. Rather than deer-in-the-headlights, “Duh, what the heck is a newspaper?” I think rather she was looking two moves ahead.

If you watched Palin’s debate performance, you know that she is not an idiot. Rather, she is incredibly ill-informed on politics. She has clearly not followed world events at all up until about 3 months ago.

This is very scary, in fact scarier than if she really were a bumbling fool. But in my opinion, it is a complete misreading of the situation to dismiss her as an idiot. She is in a very awkward position, and is doing really the only thing she can to spin her way out of it. E.g. her nonsensical answers on the bailout, bridge to nowhere, and pork barrel spending don’t show that she’s dumb, they rather reflect the fact that McCain reversed himself on the bailout, and that she did some things politically in the past that now she has to disavow. Yes she sounds like a fool about Russia, but again, they had to give her some “experience” in order to keep alive the main McCain argument against Obama. She probably was told that that was her position (i.e. she deals with Russia as governor of Alaska), and then–given that that is the asinine position she has to defend–what the heck else can she do except try to charm her way out of the predicament?

Her attempted defenses on all of these issues are not nearly as absurd as Obama’s next-day reversal on whether Iran poses a threat, or Biden’s quick reversal on whether the ad attacking McCain’s age should have been approved.

To conclude, Sarah Palin is not dumb. Evil perhaps, but not dumb.

Comments are closed.