Dan Drezner Cuts To The Chase

Dan Drezner, after watching the Palin interview, asks a question:

Question to other GOP policy wonks: is it possible to support a candidate that campaigns on the notion that expertise is simply irrelevant?

The depressing thing is that this has been the GOP platform for years now. Expertise is overrated. Gut instincts, being “tough,” and being “decisive,” and not “blinking” are all far more important than actually knowing things.

Look at the thorough disdain for science the GOP has displayed for the past few years. Amorphous morals trump reason and science, and then those morals are conveniently discarded or altered when it becomes inconvenient for the GOP (see: family values, David Vitter).

The funny thing about all this is that the new savior of the GOP, Sarah Palin, is the one who is finally waking everyone up to what the Republican party really is all about. They are not serious about foreign policy (Fallows is just brutal). They are not serious (or honest) about scientific policy. They are not serious about economic policy (other than cutting taxes). They are not serious about an energy policy (just drill, baby, drill).

They just are not serious about, well, anything.

And Sarah Palin is the distilled essence of wingnut. She has it all. She is dishonest. She is a religious nut. She is incurious. She is anti-science. She is inexperienced. She abuses her authority. She hides behind executive privilege. She is a big spender. She works from the gut and places a greater value on instinct than knowledge.

And most dangerous of all, she is supremely self-confident to the point of not recognizing how ill-equipped she is to lead the country. This from last night stood out for me:

Charles Gibson, the interviewer, asked her if she didn’t hesitate and question whether she was experienced enough.

“I didn’t hesitate, no,” she said.

He asked if that didn’t that take some hubris.

“I answered him yes,” Ms. Palin said, “because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can’t blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can’t blink. So I didn’t blink then even when asked to run as his running mate.”

George Bush in a dress. The Palin interview should be a gut-check for Republicans and conservatives who think the last eight years has been a perversion of conservative principles. I am betting most of them will not even put down their pom-poms, though.






85 replies
  1. 1
    Mary Jane Leach says:

    A good question to ask the voters is if our country can afford any “Heckuva job, Sarah” moments.

  2. 2
    cleek says:

    They just are not serious about, well, anything.

    they are serious about beating liberals. and that’s all they care about. policies, positions and principles are flexible, they are means to an end, not ends in themselves; all can be, and are, shaped and combined to form whatever weapon the GOP thinks is necessary to slay the evil liberals.

  3. 3
    r€nato says:

    Question to other GOP policy wonks: is it possible to support a candidate that campaigns on the notion that expertise is simply irrelevant?

    It’s depressing this even needs to be asked of them.

    Mrs. Palin, hubris is NOT a good thing.

    Ignorant fuck. It’s like the GOP has gone from using 1984 as a manual to governance, to using Idiocracy as a blueprint for our society.

  4. 4
    PMB says:

    The Republican party has become the party of crackpots. Social policy, economic policy and foreign policy as propagated by the republican party is little more than the musings of crackpots.

  5. 5
    john b says:

    He asked if that didn’t that take some hubris.

    “I answered him yes,” Ms. Palin said,

    i don’t think palin knows what the word “hubris” means

  6. 6
    r€nato says:

    Those questions by Charlie Gibson will likely be characterized as ‘gotcha’ by some if not most rightards, but really they were very basic. They were not obscure trivia, unless you are a hockey mom who shouldn’t be expected to know the minutiae or at least basic facts of major treaties and alliances.

    We have a right to expect that our leaders know this stuff well enough to at least discuss it intelligently, rather than recite talking points they crammed for in the last week.

    Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations.

  7. 7
    Chuck T says:

    True story: had a discussion with an acquaintance about L’il Sarah Palin, and her supposed reinvigorating of the GOP last weekend. He said, without irony, that she is exactly what the country needs after 8 years of George Bush being too inarticulate to clearly express his thoughts, therefore having to cave to the liberals who have ruined America.

    It is impossible to get these people to listen to reason. If they see George Goddamn Bush as someone who not only listened to other people, but fucking caved to them, why would you expect them to see the truth of Bush 2.5 (Now with Longer Hair!)?

  8. 8
    Teak111 says:

    Honestly, Rove has a real grasp of what a certain group of people want in a leader. Palin is full of self-righteous self confidence just as Bush. Bush in a dress is a great description. The GOP is in full circus mode now and honest conservatives should be in full retreat mode now. Being a dem comes with lots of problems (Pelosi and Reid come to mind), but at least our candidates are serious.

  9. 9
    The Moar You Know says:

    Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations.

    That only counts when you’re trying to make the case that Republicans care more about Scary Negroes than Democrats. Otherwise, trying to shoehorn a clueless small-town hack into the nation’s number two slot isn’t “low expectations”, it’s using a hack film script as a battle plan for your campaign.

    And it’s working. If that wrinkled-up shitbag and his failed high-school cheerleader get into office, it will say something about the intelligence of this nation that I’m not sure I can face.

  10. 10

    […] John Cole at Balloon Juice (which is, like, the most awesomest blog ever) ties Sarah Palin’s Vice Presidential bid into the larger Republican worldview: The depressing thing is that this has been the GOP platform for years now. Expertise is overrated. Gut instincts, being “tough,” and being “decisive,” and not “blinking” are all far more important than actually knowing things. […]

  11. 11
    reid says:

    Sort of in Palin’s defense , I don’t think she was answering yes to the hubris question, as some people seem to have interpreted it. The “yes” was to McCain about being his running mate. I’d say there’s a good chance she doesn’t know what hubris means and just blew right by that, continuing to explain why she accepted.

    On the other hand, what the fuck is this nonsense about a “mission”. What a load. She had her “mission” beaten into her over the last 10 days.

    And yes, it really is okay, maybe even a good idea, to blink a few times and think about these sorts of life-changing decisions. Maybe ask yourself if you’re really qualified….

  12. 12
    Jon H says:

    The depressing thing is that this has been the GOP platform for years now. Expertise is overrated. Gut instincts, being “tough,” and being “decisive,” and not “blinking” are all far more important than actually knowing things.

    Which basically just means “The Republican party prefers to run ignorant, personable, easily manipulated rubes whose actions and policies will be dictated by unaccountable think tank ideologues who favor policies the country would think insane if discussed openly.”

  13. 13
    boonagain says:

    Well, on the View, I guess, McCain ,Senator Honor himself, actually accuses Obama of calling Palin a pig with the lipstick remark. He also stated, HIMSELF, that the Sex Ed ad was fair.

    I wonder if Matthews and Carville can still deny that he’s scum.

  14. 14
    GSD says:

    Her presumptuousness and self assuredness will lead to nothing good should she ever grasp the golden ring.

    Nothing good can come of this.

    A nation that would put such a person within arms reach of all of the levers of power is inviting disaster with a theocratic certainty.

    -G

  15. 15
    chopper says:

    well, she sure knows how nato operates, that’s a plus. like her assertion that georgia should be in nato, even though by all rights the country doesn’t meet some basic qualifications.

    then again, she thinks she’s presidential material even though she doesn’t meet some basic qualifications.

    seriously, i don’t know if gibson’s nato question was supposed to be a trick question. but it was – anybody who knows anything about nato would not let themselves get caught up in an impossible hypothetical that ends with a full-scale war with russia. stupid, stupid.

  16. 16
    NonyNony says:

    If that wrinkled-up shitbag and his failed high-school cheerleader get into office, it will say something about the intelligence of this nation that I’m not sure I can face.

    Always remember – by definition, half the people in this country are below the national average for intelligence.

    It starts to make the both “50+1%” strategy that the GOP has been using for the last few decades and their acceleration towards the bottom this decade make a lot more sense once you internalize that factoid.

  17. 17
    Rick Taylor says:

    My general opinion of conservatives has just about hit rock bottom. I was reading the Volokh conspiracy where I thought people were reasonable, and I couldn’t believe it. You’re candidate for the vice presidency, someone who may be President of the United States some day, has just said we should admit Georgia to Nato, and shown a shocking lack of qualifications for the position of most powerful person on the planet, and what’s really on your mind right now is that Gibson asked unfair questions????? I don’t understand these people, I really don’t.

  18. 18
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    I don’t think palin knows what the word “hubris” means

    Hehe good point.

  19. 19
    Brian J says:

    As I’ve said many times now, it’s not that she’s not an expert and/or has lots of experience. Obama isn’t an expert. Neither was Hillary Clinton, not Mitt Romney, nor Fred Thompson, nor John Edwards. I could go on, but you get the idea.

    The problem is that she has spent about as much time researching these issues, consulting people who know what the hell they are talking about, and developing a platform as I have spent studying for the LSAT in the month of September. That is, almost no time at all. I don’t expect her to be able to talk about the history of Russia and Georgia or nuclear arms control in the same way a PhD candidate would. It’s impossible to know everything; that’s why we have advisers. It’s just that, when prodded just a little, it looks like she doesn’t have any sort of depth. The Bush Doctrine could be described in a number of different ways, but if she can’t say the word “preemptive,” I have to think that she’s either way too literal about one description or simply ignorant of what’s been go on for the last eight years. I’m much more of a domestic policy guy myself, but even I could go into more detail than her.

    But I see where you’re coming from with your comments, even if I draw a line between expertise/experience and a certain level of depth for someone who hasn’t spent a career in a particular area. This is one reason why I’m voting for Obama. He’s a roll of the dice, yes, but I can’t see him appointing completely unqualified hacks to positions of importance in the Justice Department or the rebuilding of Iraq’s infrastructure. To me, this alone is enough of a reason to vote for him.

  20. 20
    Tsulagi says:

    George Bush in a dress.

    Pretty much.

    When I did a quick skim of the interview transcript, I thought she did fairly well. From the Pub base point of view. Sure, she obviously had no clue what the Bush Doctrine was. You would think being on the front lines with the Russians she’d be a little more familiar with what has been our national security and in large part foreign policy for the past six years. Also, holding a view war could be a “task” from God we should dutifully carry out is definitely not something I want to see in a potential president. A few other things too, but measured against the GW bar of excellence used by the patriots, thought she did okay.

    But then saw the two video excerpts this morning. Can now see one reason why the McCain camp would prefer Palin be at rallies with canned lines acting the hockey mom part to cheers instead of doing question and answer interviews.

    While she wasn’t green-screen pitiful in those vid excerpts, she was completely flat. One of the few times saw her animated with some excitement in her voice was over the prospect of war with Russia. Yeah, let the fun begin. God has his popcorn ready.

    The impression I got from the two vids was not that of the tough, resolute hockey mom with lipstick. Mine was far closer to Lincoln Chaffee’s characterization, a “cocky wacko.” With lipstick. But no matter how much lipstick you put on a cocky wacko, you still got a cocky wacko.

  21. 21

    The interesting thing is that the media is learning that the Republicans are not honest crooks like them.

    The media stays bought- but their buyers aren’t staying bought in turn. It was supposed to be a cozy little arrangement with BBQ and lots of fluffing, but the Republicans aren’t prepared to have any give-and-take.

    You’ve got to leave the media a LITTLE room to not look like complete idiots. They’re in the media, for Christ’s sake, they have an idea of how things are gonna ‘play’, better than you in fact.

    You can’t turn around, hand them something impossible to spin, and then get mad at them. They WANT to help you. They are good crooks and they WANT to stay bought. But you are just asking too much…

    The risk, of course, is that they’ll turn on you when they figure you can’t prevail. But they’ll be real nervous about it, because what if they are wrong about that?

    In practice all this works out terribly Machiavellian. We’re basically talking about a crowd of hired pundits who are simply being driven too hard and not listened to. The question is not whether they will get smart and ‘realize’ how ludicrous this all is. The question is whether they figure they have enough cover to turn on McCain and his people without punishment, because they are clearly sulky and rebellious.

    They know better than you what’s too much to swallow. Their JOB is walking that line for you. If they’re carping, you have to listen, because they’re your damn PR infantry.

  22. 22
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Those questions by Charlie Gibson will likely be characterized as ‘gotcha’ by some if not most rightards, but really they were very basic.

    The Bush Doctrine might be correct, and it might be bulls**t. But how the heck do you run as a Republican vice president and not even know what it is?

  23. 23
    Napoleon says:

    You’re candidate for the vice presidency, someone who may be President of the United States some day,

    And that day could be January 21, 2009, which is only 131 days from now.

  24. 24
    Joshau Norton says:

    i don’t think palin knows what the word “hubris” means

    Of course she does. It’s that stuff you can get in Greek Restaurants that’s made of ground up chick peas. Assuming she ever went to a Greek Restaurant – or heard of chick peas. Maybe in Alaska they serve Moose-aka?

  25. 25
    GeneJockey says:

    Well, John, as McLain says in ‘Die Hard’, “Welcome to the party, pal.”

    This is the world we Dems have been living in for a couple decades now – a world where it doesn’t matter whether something is true as long as it’s effective; a world where gut reaction and unthinking pigheadedness is a GOOD thing and studying and understanding a complex problem is a BAD thing; a world where a prominent political figure can argue one week that a longtime mayor of a city of 200,000 and governor for 3 years of one of the more populous states is not experienced enough to be VP, and the next week that the former mayor of a town of 6700 and 1 1/2 year governor of one of the LEAST populous states IS experienced enough; where investigating someone’s political record and debunking their lies is attacking them; and where the more lies a campaign tells, and the larger and more easily debunked those lies, and the more times those lies are repeated, the better that campaign does.

    Palin demonstrates the absolute moral emptiness of the GOP. In any reasonable world, the idea that she should be VP would bring hoots of derisive laughter from all corners. She tells lies with no apparent guilt, she abuses power – even the miniscule power of a small-town mayor – and worse, like Bush, she thinks BELIEF is more important then KNOWLEDGE.

    This is every campaign since 1980, writ larger and in more obnoxious colors. It will work yet again, if Obama doesn’t get off his ass and do something.

  26. 26
    Cris says:

    by definition, half the people in this country are below the national average for intelligence.

    Ha ha and all, but “by definition” half the people in this country are below the national median. And nobody ever gives the median enough attention.

  27. 27
    NonyNony says:

    My general opinion of conservatives has just about hit rock bottom.

    You’re standards are lower than mine, then. Mine hit rock bottom when I was arguing with people (family members and friends) over the fact that George W Bush wasn’t even close to being qualified or temperamentally suitable for the office of the President. That was during the Republican primaries when I was trying to convince them to vote for McCain (disclaimer – 2000 was my last election voting Republican – I voted McCain in the primary and I’ve been voting straight ticket Democrat in every election since because the selection of GWB finally opened my eyes to just how unserious the whole Republican apparatus was).

    Anyway, since they hit rock bottom for me in 2000 they’ve been drilling through the rock ever since. I can’t even get a coherent response to my questions about how Palin is qualified – I just get accused of being “sexist”. I guess having my delusions that my Republican family members actually voted intelligently in 2000 has helped me get over this current farce…

  28. 28
    AkaDad says:

    George Bush in a dress with lipstick.

    FTFMyAmusement

  29. 29
    Paragon Park says:

    Have we still not figured out that calling people stupid and posing, and I do mean posing, as intellectually and morally superior to them is (how shall I say this politely?) well, not exactly the sort of tactics that inspire a belief in the actual intelligence of those who are doing the insulting and pretty certain to alienate further people whom we need to win.

    If y’alls just way too smart and hip like to be lumped together with them idiots and rubes, I guess y’all can spend the next 4 years snidely laughing at the morons they elect and brainstorming some more really cool things to say in the 2012 election when we’re running against an incumbent.

  30. 30
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Here’s a new anti-Palin ad that will supposedly be running. Warning: there is some disturbing footage in it.

    Link

  31. 31
    liberal says:

    Brian J wrote,

    It’s impossible to know everything; that’s why we have advisers. It’s just that, when prodded just a little, it looks like she doesn’t have any sort of depth.

    Exactly.

    Related is when Atrios essentially made the point that a large fraction of people in this country who didn’t have the “experience” or “qualifications” to be president, but would have been a much better president than Bush.

  32. 32
    jhaygood says:

    This joke is proving more & more true every day:

    What’s the difference between Sarah Palin and George Bush?

    Lipstick.

  33. 33
    demer says:

    Perception beats the shit out of reality, dude.

    If repubs actually said what they plan to do then no one would vote for them.

    Thus, talk about your “guts”, “grit”, “instincts”, etc.

  34. 34
    Dreggas says:

    Her next interview will be with Sean Hannity so we can all rest assured that tough, hard hitting questions will be asked.

  35. 35
    gbear says:

    Well lets see now. If reason prevails and Obama is our next president, there is going to be a group of pissed off radical conservatives who will never be able to accept his presidency. They will make Palin their mother superior. The Palin clan will return to Alaska to re-energize the recessionist movement. Pissed off radical conservatives in lower 48 adopt the movement and relocate to Alaska. Secession demanded, secession granted (after removing all nukes from the state). Wingnutistan becomes independent nation. Polar bears, caribou, wolves, permafrost and ice are fucked.

  36. 36
  37. 37
    Norquist says:

    If y’alls just way too smart and hip like to be lumped together with them idiots and rubes,

    I know I don’t want to spend a lot of time associating with home spun hicks who can’t even write a sentence without sounding like someone who’s family portrait includes 2 hound dogs and a pickup truck.

    Y’all….

    If “elitist” means you’re not the dumbest mumbling shithead in the room, then so be it.

  38. 38

    Palin’s willingness to go to war with Russia says more about her unfitness than anything else so far. There was a reason why for sixty years both nations bent over backwards to avoid all-out war: there would be no winner. Notorious softy Nikita Khruschev once observed that if there was a nuclear exchange “The living would envy the dead.”
    Palin seems ignorant enough to believe that Nuclear Winter is followed by the bounty of Nuclear Spring and the balmy warmth of Nuclear Summer.

  39. 39
    r€nato says:

    Have we still not figured out that calling people stupid and posing, and I do mean posing, as intellectually and morally superior to them is (how shall I say this politely?) well, not exactly the sort of tactics that inspire a belief in the actual intelligence of those who are doing the insulting and pretty certain to alienate further people whom we need to win.

    I’m pretty fuckin’ tired of lowering myself to the least common denominator.

    It’s one thing to look down your nose at someone who doesn’t understand quantum physics or tensor calculus. That’s just straight-up intellectual arrogance.

    I really don’t think it is condescending to expect the average person to tell when someone is fluffing their resume and bullshitting their way through an interview because they don’t possess the integrity to say, “I don’t know.”

    It’s this relentless dumbing-down which has led to the bar set so low that average people actually think it is a good idea to vote people into office who aren’t smarter than they are.

  40. 40
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    In Palin’s quote there, replace every instance of blink with think.

    It seems to flow much better that way.

  41. 41
    capelza says:

    His mission, if it is to control energy supplies, also, coming from and through Russia, that’s a dangerous position for our world to be in, if we were to allow that to happen.”

    From the interview…

    Can someone tell me what they think this means?

  42. 42
    Fe E says:

    Bloomberg leaves a mark

    I doubt it’ll sway the truly crazified, but the Republicans have lost the media.

  43. 43
    Brachiator says:

    The depressing thing is that this has been the GOP platform for years now. Expertise is overrated. Gut instincts, being “tough,” and being “decisive,” and not “blinking” are all far more important than actually knowing things.

    The brilliance of the GOP Smear Machine is that they always get away with having it both ways.
    Dubya was “tough” and “decisive,” but when his intelligence was questioned, his defenders would point out that he went to Yale and had a Harvard MBA, and had better grades and SAT scores than John Kerry (but not Al Gore, a fact they always downplayed).

    So now, they flip again and Legally Bland Sarah Not-So-Plain and Tall Palin is the antidote to all those pointy-head resume thick elitists who inhabit Washington.

    She is clearly ignorant with respect to foreign policy, despite the cram session with designated advisors, and yet she is being sold to voters as a “common sense” straight shooter.

    I haven’t seen the full Gibson interview, but I heard the clip where she acknowledges that if Georgia were a NATO member, the US might have to go to war with Russia. Did Gibson ask whether she understood that this might result in nuclear warfare between the two countries?

    Bonus Question One: I know that Joe Lieberman was one of the foreign policy experts tutoring Palin. Does anyone know who the others were?

    From some of her answers, it sounds as though they were members of Bush’s neo-con lunatic fringe (apart from McCain’s Georgia lobbyist buddy). If this is indeed the case, it undercuts McCain’s argument that he is running independent of Bush and his policy. Democratic Party strategists should pay attention to this.

    By the way, a counter to all the saber-rattling the Republicans love is a little piece of an interview with former Soviet leader Gorbachev in the current issue of Esquire Magazine (the one with Tom Brady on the cover). The interview was clearly conducted before recent events concerning Russia and Georgia, but can be seen in the context of McCain’s tough talk.

    The politicians in America sometimes act in a way that seems disrespectful toward our country and our people. The Russians are people who value their dignity. You better not mess with that.

    You have to consider that Reagan was twenty years older than I was. He was the age of my mother. So there was a generation gap. During one of our talks, he tried to lecture me and moralize. I said to him, “Mr. President, you are not my teacher, and I am not your student. You are not a prosecutor, and I am not a defendant. So let’s not subject each other to lectures. Let’s talk frankly and address the issues. If you want to lecture, we might as well wrap it up, because there’s really nothing to talk about.” He got a little upset. Not long after that, he said, “Why don’t we go on a first-name basis? You call me Ron and I’ll call you Mikhail.” That was an important step.

    Neo-cons and evangelicals both seem to feel that they have a special duty to punish Russia not only for its imperialism but for its past as a godless Commie nation. They discount the idea that Russia might have any legitimate national interests.

    Dreggas Says:
    THe Ladies of the View just demolished McCain

    I managed to catch a piece of this. On The View, McCain emphasizes how he is pro-life and against Roe v Wade (implied in his desire for “strict constructionist” judges).

    Bonus Question Two: As president and commander-in-chief, would McCain strive to make sure that a female soldier raped and impregnated by an enemy soldier be forced to continue her pregnancy?

  44. 44
    Brandon says:

    Renato–
    The phrase is “smart guilt”. Ever heard of “white guilt”? This is a similar thing, except that it’s used by the Republican party.

    “Smart guilt” says, hey, not everyone can be interested in politics and stuff. Not everyone can be all diligent and actually listen in school. Regular ‘muricans are C students who can’t get into fancy-pants UNIVERSITIES like those elitist folk in D.C (at least based on merit. Daddy can help them though.)

    Who are you to flaunt your fancy state-university educated newsweek reading self, talking about investments and economics and shit?

    This is parody, but it’s not far from the truth. Of course, Republicans don’t seem to recognize that the reason “white guilt” is viewed as legitimate is because it recognizes innate deficiencies in the upbringing of minorities. Whereas “smart guilt” depends on guilt over deficiencies that are a result of a frivolous, uncaring, uncurious personality like that of George W Bush.

  45. 45
    Dave S. says:

    I beg to differ with the assertions of Republican unseriousness. The GOP is deadly serious about taking and retaining power, and we will see its seriousness turned up to 11 as November gets closer.

  46. 46
    liberal says:

    capelza wrote,

    Can someone tell me what they think this means?

    People taking an uncharitable view say she thinks we should challenge Russia’s control of the fossil fuels coming from Russia and being piped out across other countries.

    You could more charitably say she worries about Russian control of pipelines containing, say, Azerbaijani oil.

  47. 47
    Tony J says:

    Second time of posting. WordPress Error, don’t eat me now.

    “I answered him yes,” Ms. Palin said, “because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can’t blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can’t blink. So I didn’t blink then even when asked to run as his running mate.”

    Mmmmm. Now, imagine for a second that a Democratic candidate for Vice-President had said that in an interview.

    What are the odds that the deafening howl of wingnut bloggers insisting that “ZOMG!! Democrat calls for war to ‘reform’ the country. Suggests that she accepted the Vice-Presidential nomination because she’s ‘wired’ to complete her ‘mission’.” would have measured +bajillion on the Richter Scale and caused C.E.R.N to become self-aware, but a little shy?

    Cue the MSM gleefully running the campaign into a cul-de-sac with question after question about what “the mission” is, and who, exactly, “the war” to ‘reform the country’ is against, until declaring that moderate voters are bound to be turned off by such bellicose and threatening rhetoric, regardless of how the campaign tries to spin it.

    But as she’s not a Democrat, but a Republican….

    crickets

    And this is the British MSM I’m talking about here, all of whom have spent the last week or two breathlessly relating how Palin obviously guarantees that white, working-class and female voters will go for McCain, because, y’know, someone in Washington DC gave them five minutes of their valuable time over a cup of lukewarm coffee and told them so.

    Really, as shitty as your Media is, it’s all relative

  48. 48
    DragonScholar says:

    I have come to this conclusions.

    In modern conservatism, actions and goals are the same thing. Tax cuts (an action) are always to be done – and thus a goal – no matter the result. War (an action) is to be done as much as possible – and thus a goal – no matter the result.

    Modern conservatism is a checklist of to-dos.

    No matter what happens, the checklist cannot be wrong because the actions and goals are one. You have to do the checklist.

    Of course people suffer and die, the planet heats up, wars start. Officials that follow the checklist can lie, cheat, steal, and be completely incompetent. But as long as the checklist gets done, it’s all good.

    The end result of course is modern conservatism achieves nothing to help people. It attracts the corrupt (who get positions by doing the checklist) and it attracts the ignorant (who find the checklist easy to do).

    There’s no “there” there. Just a list.

  49. 49
    Bill says:

    My generalization on the right from my back and forths with them is they tend not to let facts get in the way of their opinions.
    And when confronted, they ignore your points and change the subject or try to put words in your mouth.

  50. 50
    Swami says:

    Excellent analysis. And “Bush in a dress” is a fair assessment.

  51. 51
    bluegrasser says:

    All her talk about “not blinking” sounds a little too much like “resolute” and “stay the course” for me. This is all a joke, right? Or else I’m having the weirdest dream about a Republican VP selected by lottery…

  52. 52
    zuzu's petals says:

    Glad John posted the Fallows piece. Absolutely spot on.

    An amazing observation from an AEI guy, of all people:

    Norman J. Ornstein, Resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute:
    . . .
    She had me at hello Charley– had me scared to death. Not a single doubt that she is ready to be president– everyone, no matter how experienced, should have doubts about the ability to take that job. A combination of utter inexperience and utter arrogance is about the worst possible combination I can imagine. Not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is would be bad enough, but saying unequivocally that Georgia should be in NATO– meaning we would now perhaps be in a state of war with Russia– and then without a beat saying that military action should be the last resort– shows a series of knowledge and logic gaps that ought to shake every foreign policy specialist, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, to his or her roots. Maybe they can force feed her enough facts to skate through a debate, and maybe her self-confidence will still play well with many voters, but this first cut performance underscores our worst fears.

    Politico: The Arena

  53. 53

    […] Conservatives question Palin’s lack of expertise […]

  54. 54
    zuzu's petals says:

    My last comment “awaiting moderation” …

    Uhm, what’d I do? No multiple links or funny punctuation.

    Just curious.

  55. 55
    Hawspipe says:

    Wow, John Cole lost his mind at some point. I hadn’t visited this blog in a few years and now I see he’s completely lost it. He’s an Andrew Sullivan who can’t write.

  56. 56
    Brachiator says:

    Tony J Says:

    And this is the British MSM I’m talking about here, all of whom have spent the last week or two breathlessly relating how Palin obviously guarantees that white, working-class and female voters will go for McCain, because, y’know, someone in Washington DC gave them five minutes of their valuable time over a cup of lukewarm coffee and told them so.

    Yep. Here’s a piece from a Times of London pundit about how women just love Palin (“She’s one of us”: Palin wins over Obama women):

    Stephanie P —, 23 – a single mother puffing on a Marlboro menthol cigarette in Mount Clemens’s Main Street – voted for Mr Kerry and had been drawn to Mr Obama. “Palin’s made a big difference. I think she’ll do us great. She’d be awesome. What she stands for is fantastic.” What does she stand for? “I couldn’t tell really. But I love her.”

    And I thought the PUMA crowd was nuts.

  57. 57

    Did someone say subpoena?

    http://www.adn.com/palin/story/524038.html

    The abuse of power investigation against Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, took a potentially ominous turn for her party today when state lawmakers voted to subpoena her husband.

    Republican efforts to delay the probe until after the Nov. 4 election were thwarted when GOP state Sen. Charlie Huggins, who represents Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, sided with Democrats. “Let’s just get the facts on the table,” said Huggins, who appeared in camouflage pants to vote during a break from moose hunting.

    Needless to say, the conclusion of the bit I’ve just quoted is one of the greatest things ever. THERE’S your moose hunting.

  58. 58
    tBone says:

    An amazing observation from an AEI guy, of all people:

    Norm Ornstein is a centrist who’s been bashing the Bush admin for years. He’s good friends with Al Franken and used to appear on his radio show all the time. I have no idea how he ended up at AEI.

  59. 59

    […] [Hat-tip to kos for posting it…] Balloon Juice Sarah Palin is the distilled essence of wingnut. She has it all. She is dishonest. She is a religious nut. She is incurious. She is anti-science. She is inexperienced. She abuses her authority. She hides behind executive privilege. She is a big spender. She works from the gut and places a greater value on instinct than knowledge. […]

  60. 60
  61. 61

    Palin seems to encapsulate the decline and fall of the GOP. She has no concept of fiscal responsibility, spouts hollow rhetoric about “family values” is profoundly ignorant about international affairs and more concerned about vilifying liberals than formulating good policy. Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt, Goldwater and Reagan must be rolling in their graves..

  62. 62
    Ann M P says:

    Well…………..if it is of the Lord you guys can’t do a thing about it. If it is not of the Lord, then wait……it will all work out in the end. I seriously think though, this is the working of the Lord.

  63. 63
  64. 64
  65. 65

    […] Former Republican John Cole on Sarah Palin: Sarah Palin is the distilled essence of wingnut. She has it all. She is dishonest. She is a religious nut. She is incurious. She is anti-science. She is inexperienced. She abuses her authority. She hides behind executive privilege. She is a big spender. She works from the gut and places a greater value on instinct than knowledge. […]

  66. 66

    […] Nej, det værste er den stadig appel til den laveste fællesnævner. Til ølkassen og et-par-på-kassen, til eleverne fra skolens rygeskur, som nu er avanceret til deres egen skurvogn, til dem, der bor i en by med 18 indbyggere eller har født 18 børn, til dem, der begrænser deres viden om verden til International House of Pancakes, og til tungetalere, småracister, elgjægere, snescootere, scooterstøvler og konspirationsteoretikere. Eller som den tidligere republikaner, bloggeren John Cole, skrev fredag: […]

  67. 67
    shmo says:

    He asked if that didn’t that take some hubris.
    “I answered him yes,” Ms. Palin said …

    Maybe she thought he said “huge ones” …

  68. 68
    The Raven says:

    I say, Nehemiah Scudder in a dress. Just remember, all moral authority flows from home-makers. Caw!

  69. 69
    Beej says:

    Reagan is not rolling in his grave, though Eisenhower and T. Roosevelt may be. Reagan started the modern GOP on the course from which it has not veered in nearly 30 years. His main qualification for the office of President was that he was extremely likeable and a good “communicator”. He had a small number of simple talking points and he repeated them so many times that the vast majority of voters began to take them as fact-i.e. if you cut taxes on the rich, the prosperity will “trickle down” and everyone will get richer, the media has a “liberal bias” (although Nixon and Agnew had already made use of that one.)

    I could go on, but you get the idea. The sole difference between Reagan and Bush was that Reagan was at least smart enough to know that there was a whole lot about governing that he DIDN’T know and to listen to the people around him when they gave him advice.

  70. 70
  71. 71

    […] Former Republican John Cole had this to say: […]

  72. 72
  73. 73

    […] We now know enough about Sarah Palin to draw some conclusions. The estimable political blogger John Cole summed it up well: Sarah Palin is the distilled essence of wingnut. She has it all. She is dishonest. She is a religious nut. She is incurious. She is anti-science. She is inexperienced. She abuses her authority. She hides behind executive privilege. She is a big spender. She works from the gut and places a greater value on instinct than knowledge. […]

  74. 74

    […] A design flaw in democracy? September 13, 2008 From a comment on John Cole’s site: Always remember – by definition, half the people in this country are below the national average for intelligence. […]

  75. 75
    joe says:

    weird!!

    *Tracey Schmitt, spokeswoman for biotech startup Emergent Biosolutions, is joining Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s team as her press secretary. Schmitt was a former Republican National Committee spokeswoman.

    Her first task? Address a Washington Post story the Republican vice presidential nominee billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own house, charging a daily allowance typically used for business travel.

    “This is part of her job and it’s only reasonable her travel expenses — which were reduced dramatically from the previous administration — would be covered,” Schmitt told the AP.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.c.....ek_in.html

  76. 76

    […] John Cole: The depressing thing is that this has been the GOP platform for years now. Expertise is overrated. Gut instincts, being “tough,” and being “decisive,” and not “blinking” are all far more important than actually knowing things. […]

  77. 77
    Gubfro says:

    by definition, half the people in this country are below the national average for intelligence.

    Ha ha and all, but “by definition” half the people in this country are below the national median. And nobody ever gives the median enough attention.

    IQ (intelligence) is a normal distribution, so the average and median are the same number. Either works

  78. 78
    Mo says:

    They don’t blink because they feel they’re entitled to everything. If it occurs to them, it’s right. If they do it, it’s perfect. If they sat through it, they’re experienced. Not blinking – like a ‘bot.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    Jesper - Europe says:

    To us here in Europe the development of US foreign policy have been a nightmare since Mr. Bush became President.

    Bush seems only to be able to see foreign policies as either black or white – friend or enemy. There seems to be are absolutely no advanced views upon – nor wish for – a stabilization of the the international diplomatic situation.

    It seems like the US force are the Republicans primary foreign diplomats.

    Republican voters all over Europe look upon Bush’s foreign policy as a “Hillbilly policy”.

    But to us it seems like the Americans live in their own isolated world. It seen like Americans think bullets are better than diplomatic negotiations.

    This is why the world is hoping for the election of Mr. Obama.

    A LOT of people all over the world think Mrs. Palin is THE symbol of American ignorance and isolation.

    A LOT of people all over the world look upon Palin with a scare of her possible position as THE representative of future US foreign policies.

    It’s simply not possible to respect an international “diplomat” like Palin – and by choosing her Mr. McCain has shown HIS lack of political judgement.

    If McCain and Palin are going to be elected – and they continue Bush’s foreign policies – then the US will loose the last chance of a foreign respect.

    In either way the US aren’t the center of the world anymore.

    Regards from Europe…

  81. 81

    […] By stark contrast, Palin is a blank slate — not just in terms of what we know about her, but worse, in terms of what her beliefs are. Outside of a few discrete issues of interest to her (drilling for oil and opposition to environmentalism), and aside from some deep religious fervor and trite right-wing slogans that have been implanted in her brain during these last several weeks, she doesn’t really appear to have any actual thoughts about most political matters. As John Cole put it: “Sarah Palin is the distilled essence of wingnut. She has it all. She is dishonest. She is a religious nut. She is incurious. She is anti-science. She is inexperienced. She abuses her authority. She hides behind executive privilege. She is a big spender. She works from the gut and places a greater value on instinct than knowledge.” […]

  82. 82

    […] I said Bush in a dress a while back about Palin, I had no idea how accurate a statement it […]

  83. 83

    […] John Cole: And Sarah Palin is the distilled essence of wingnut. She has it all. She is dishonest. She is a religious nut. She is incurious. She is anti-science. She is inexperienced. She abuses her authority. She hides behind executive privilege. She is a big spender. She works from the gut and places a greater value on instinct than knowledge. […]

  84. 84
    Vote! says:

    […] freaky how much they have in common – scary, hot-tempered older guy with stupid, malleable younger person who’s basically a neocon Manchurian […]

  85. 85
    Tommy says:

    “If Palin were exactly what her critics believe she is — the distillation of every right-wing pathology, from anti-intellectualism to apocalyptic Christianity — then she wouldn’t be a terribly interesting figure.” –Ross Douthat, July 6, 2009

    I wonder if he got the “distillation” figure of speech from this Balloon Juice posting.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Vote! says:

    […] freaky how much they have in common – scary, hot-tempered older guy with stupid, malleable younger person who’s basically a neocon Manchurian […]

  2. […] John Cole: And Sarah Palin is the distilled essence of wingnut. She has it all. She is dishonest. She is a religious nut. She is incurious. She is anti-science. She is inexperienced. She abuses her authority. She hides behind executive privilege. She is a big spender. She works from the gut and places a greater value on instinct than knowledge. […]

  3. […] I said Bush in a dress a while back about Palin, I had no idea how accurate a statement it […]

  4. […] By stark contrast, Palin is a blank slate — not just in terms of what we know about her, but worse, in terms of what her beliefs are. Outside of a few discrete issues of interest to her (drilling for oil and opposition to environmentalism), and aside from some deep religious fervor and trite right-wing slogans that have been implanted in her brain during these last several weeks, she doesn’t really appear to have any actual thoughts about most political matters. As John Cole put it: “Sarah Palin is the distilled essence of wingnut. She has it all. She is dishonest. She is a religious nut. She is incurious. She is anti-science. She is inexperienced. She abuses her authority. She hides behind executive privilege. She is a big spender. She works from the gut and places a greater value on instinct than knowledge.” […]

  5. […] John Cole: The depressing thing is that this has been the GOP platform for years now. Expertise is overrated. Gut instincts, being “tough,” and being “decisive,” and not “blinking” are all far more important than actually knowing things. […]

  6. […] A design flaw in democracy? September 13, 2008 From a comment on John Cole’s site: Always remember – by definition, half the people in this country are below the national average for intelligence. […]

  7. […] We now know enough about Sarah Palin to draw some conclusions. The estimable political blogger John Cole summed it up well: Sarah Palin is the distilled essence of wingnut. She has it all. She is dishonest. She is a religious nut. She is incurious. She is anti-science. She is inexperienced. She abuses her authority. She hides behind executive privilege. She is a big spender. She works from the gut and places a greater value on instinct than knowledge. […]

  8. […] Former Republican John Cole had this to say: […]

  9. […] Nej, det værste er den stadig appel til den laveste fællesnævner. Til ølkassen og et-par-på-kassen, til eleverne fra skolens rygeskur, som nu er avanceret til deres egen skurvogn, til dem, der bor i en by med 18 indbyggere eller har født 18 børn, til dem, der begrænser deres viden om verden til International House of Pancakes, og til tungetalere, småracister, elgjægere, snescootere, scooterstøvler og konspirationsteoretikere. Eller som den tidligere republikaner, bloggeren John Cole, skrev fredag: […]

  10. […] Former Republican John Cole on Sarah Palin: Sarah Palin is the distilled essence of wingnut. She has it all. She is dishonest. She is a religious nut. She is incurious. She is anti-science. She is inexperienced. She abuses her authority. She hides behind executive privilege. She is a big spender. She works from the gut and places a greater value on instinct than knowledge. […]

  11. […] [Hat-tip to kos for posting it…] Balloon Juice Sarah Palin is the distilled essence of wingnut. She has it all. She is dishonest. She is a religious nut. She is incurious. She is anti-science. She is inexperienced. She abuses her authority. She hides behind executive privilege. She is a big spender. She works from the gut and places a greater value on instinct than knowledge. […]

  12. […] Conservatives question Palin’s lack of expertise […]

  13. […] John Cole at Balloon Juice (which is, like, the most awesomest blog ever) ties Sarah Palin’s Vice Presidential bid into the larger Republican worldview: The depressing thing is that this has been the GOP platform for years now. Expertise is overrated. Gut instincts, being “tough,” and being “decisive,” and not “blinking” are all far more important than actually knowing things. […]

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