Archive for July 6th, 2009

Ross Douthat: Hooray For Stupid!

I will never understand the conservatives’ fetishization of stupidity.

Palin’s popularity has as much to do with class as it does with ideology. In this sense, she really is the perfect foil for Barack Obama. Our president represents the meritocratic ideal — that anyone, from any background, can grow up to attend Columbia and Harvard Law School and become a great American success story. But Sarah Palin represents the democratic ideal — that anyone can grow up to be a great success story without graduating from Columbia and Harvard.

(…)

Sarah Palin is beloved by millions because her rise suggested, however temporarily, that the old American aphorism about how anyone can grow up to be president might actually be true.

First of all, I really don’t care if someone went to the “right” school – I care about whether or not they’re a blithering idiot (I would also parenthetically point out that this is why Palin’s scant resume was so much more of an issue than Obama’s –  Bill Kristol still seems a little confused by that).  Although, that being said, bouncing between five different colleges is more of a red flag than a badge of just-folksness.  Not to mention uncannily apt foreshadowing for recent events.

Second of all, I continue to be both mystified and terrified by the way conservatives cherish stupidity in their leaders, as if the supposed relatability or “democratic ideal” is more important than competence or even sanity.  I sure as hell don’t want the government run by people who are as dumb as I am who just somehow lucked or hustled their way into power – I want it run by people who rose to the top because they’re so smart it’s scary.  I don’t want my president to be someone I can have a beer with, I want him to be someone who makes me feel like a mental midget.

Because I really have no desire to hang out with the president, or even to imagine that hanging out with the president would be a pleasant experience (on what planet does that have anything to do with the ability to run a country?).  I want a president who is brilliant and amazingly competent, and not a complete asshole.  Yes, it’s an unattainable ideal, but I would much rather measure candidates against an unattainable ideal than an all-too-attainable one like “I want my president to be an obnoxious dumbass.”

4 comments July 6th, 2009 at 09:11pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Palin,Politics,Republicans

Monday Media Blogging

Here’s a subgenre you don’t see very often: Gymnastics comedy.

Fun times.

July 6th, 2009 at 06:10pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging

Unfortunate Word Choice Of The Day

From < responding to Gregg Easterbrook’s clean coal cheerleading:

Any United States energy policy for the next 50 to 100 years needs to include a strong dose of nuclear energy.

Um, I think that’s what we’re trying to avoid, actually…

July 6th, 2009 at 11:19am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Energy,Environment

The Absurdity Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Exhibit 267

“I am gay” gets you discharged immediately, but “I am autistic” doesn’t.

Also: Epic Recruiting Fail.

(h/t La Lisa)

July 6th, 2009 at 07:33am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Teh Gay,Wankers,War


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