A Word About Cheerful Ignorance

Larison, after once again going through Palin’s gaffes from last night and her atrocious record as Mayor and Governor that for whatever reason has right-wingers all giddy, tells it like it is:

I rehash all of this not to dwell on Palin’s problems, which are increasingly irrelevant as McCain heads towards defeat, but to implore conservatives to stop ignoring reality just because they happen to like a candidate’s personality and biography. Besides being bad for the quality of conservative thought, it embraces the caricature that conservatives are indifferent to knowledge and have no use for expertise, which has become an all too legitimate critique of how conservatives have responded to the misrule of the Bush administration. That was not always the case, but if conservatives insist on making elaborate arguments that understanding and knowledge are not significant criteria when choosing our top elected officials they will lose whatever credibility they may still have. More than that, they will be crippled by their embrace of cheerful ignorance when it comes time to oppose the policies of the Democratic administration that is surely about to be elected.

Good luck with that- they are busy making their own reality. Although I will say this, as I watched CNN last night during the debate, they had that annoying meter thing going, but every time Palin tried that folksy nonsense she was just hammered with a huge downward spike. I am beginning to think people are seeing through the nonsense.






63 replies
  1. 1
    pessullivan says:

    OK, so she spoke in complete sentences. However, when she put those completed sentences together, the paragraphs made no sense.

  2. 2
    Dustin says:

    One step at a time?

  3. 3
    Foxhunter says:

    ….they are busy making their own reality…..

    reminds me of this:

    "We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

    We’re studying, dood, you betcha’.

  4. 4
    SpotWeld says:

    Right now the US is at, or getting near the bottom of a economic and socio-polticial trough. Both McCain and Obama represent change from the current status quo (Obama much more so than McCain, but let’s face it McCain isn’t a total twit.)

    In the 4-8 years following this upcoming election the US will have to improve in some areas (fingers crossed), but if there are no "good an loyal" voices saying things are good, a huge section of right wingers will sit in the corner, sucking thier lemons, loudly proclaiming how everything has been screwed up becuase the nation has stepped away from whatever buzz word they are using to call "Bush Values".

    So the question reamains, how to we keep the incoming administration activly tied to reality.

  5. 5
    Donna says:

    I think it’s too late for the Republicans or maybe that’s just optimism on my part. I sincerely hope that the majority of americans have or will wise up before november 4.
    I understand, but don’t have to like, that 30% of our population will always be astoundlingly dimwitted or otherwise unable to grasp that they’re being bamboozled. We need a second party (or 3) in this country not the league of lobbyists for the rich that we’ve been stuck with.

  6. 6
    Svensker says:

    The choice the Republicans have to make, it seems to me, is between cheerful ignorance and surly ignorance. Anyone who’s not ignorant has either been kicked out of or left the Party.

  7. 7
    D. Mason says:

    However, when she put those completed sentences together, the paragraphs made no sense.

    OMFG talk about moving the goalposts. You sexist liberals are never satisfied. First you expect complete sentences so the poor woman works hard for 5 weeks learning to constrain her brilliance within the boundaries of academias ridiculous structure. Now you demand for her to form technically correct paragraphs?!?!? There really is no pleasing the elite power structure of the fanatical left wing.

  8. 8
    Comrade Nixon Hailfire Palin says:

    Could we have increased contrast or underlining for the links, please? My aging eyes sometimes have trouble spotting them, and it’s a pain to wave the mouse around looking for it. Or perhaps someone knows a browser tweak (I use Firefox). Thanks!

  9. 9
    SGEW says:

    . . . implore conservatives to stop ignoring reality . . . .

    This is the principle issue. It is, in fact, central to our point.

  10. 10

    That was not always the case, but if conservatives insist on making elaborate arguments that understanding and knowledge are not significant criteria when choosing our top elected officials they will lose whatever credibility they may still have.

    As much as Democrats talk about hating the circular firing squad, the truth is that it’s our willingness to criticize our on leadership that leads to it, and if that’s the price I have to pay, then so be it. I never want to be the kind of person who justifies the kind of shit that Republicans have justified for King George the Lesser.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    comrade scott says:

    I respect conservatives like Larison.

    They’re the kind of guys who, politically, you can work with in a bipartisan manner. Like back in the old days.

    It’s no wonder guys like you bolted. We Dems sure as shit ain’t perfect and if our party were hijacked in a parallel manner, I’d bolt as well.

  13. 13
    Keith says:

    I was pretty surprised to see how low her CNN metrics plummeted when she was non-responsive to answers as well. One of the early ones (before the 1/2 hour point where you could see her hit a mental exhaustion point) had her say in response to Biden, "I’d like to instead go back to the topic of energy". That meter had spiked just a tad from midway when it went to her, and then just hit the floor, and it took a good 30 seconds for the position to recover.
    It did me good to see that pundits were tracking voters who think there are issues important beyond "awesomeness" and can also recognize when someone is full of BS.

  14. 14
    Shinobi says:

    I wish I could get ahold of the data from those knobby things. I am dying to see if there is a strong correlation between the "folksy crap" and pure hatred. I know when she winked at the TV it was all I could do not to throw shit at the TV. (That may also be because I am a woman and therefore immune to the manipulative winks of attractive women.)

  15. 15
    SGEW says:

    Also, re: "Cheerful Ignorance," I suspect that Malkin et. al. are not actually cheerful at all. They’re faking it; huddled over their laptops in their dyspeptic, squalid, lightless lairs and dry humping themselves, wincing at the ass burn as their ergonomic desk chairs chafe away at their flabby thighs; somehow managing to squeeze out another husk of a faked orgasm onto their crusted screens while they silently weep over the failure of their political dreams.

    . . .

    At least, that’s how I picture it. Was that too restrained an image?

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Arachnae says:

    but to implore conservatives to stop ignoring reality just because they happen to like a candidate’s personality and biography.

    Heh. I blogged something very similar in Educating Sarah.

    We have to hope that the infatuation with unlikely Cinderella Stories will soon yield to an increasing harsh reality.

  18. 18
    D. Mason says:

    I am a woman and therefore immune to the manipulative winks of attractive women.

    Being immune to manipulative winks from attractive women is sexist btw.

  19. 19
    r€nato says:

    I think modern history has shown us that a suddenly out-of-favor political party has to get repeatedly hammered in election after election until the message sinks in. Good news for us, it means it will take the GOP at least another 8 years until they realize that reality has a nasty habit of piercing reality distortion spheres, sooner or later.

    As much as Democrats talk about hating the circular firing squad, the truth is that it’s our willingness to criticize our on leadership that leads to it, and if that’s the price I have to pay, then so be it.

    Well, you know, one of the beautiful things about evolution is that a species becomes better able to adapt and compete for survival by constantly being tested and tried.

    Yet everywhere you look on the right, they do their best to insulate themselves from reality and criticism. They only watch Fox News, which only tells them soothing lies and disinformation. They talk to each other on blogs which rigorously enforce a ban on any dissenting commenters. So help me, some of them even get their ‘facts’ from Conservapedia, because Wikipedia‘s facts have a well-known liberal bias.

    You can only keep the animal in the bubble for so long, and the longer it stays there, the less prepared it is to survive in the real world. What else should we expect from a bunch of folks who don’t believe in evolution?

  20. 20
    malraux says:

    @pessullivan:

    OK, so she spoke in complete sentences. However, when she put those completed sentences together, the paragraphs made no sense.

    In fairness, the completed sentences individually often made no sense before they even got to the paragraph.

  21. 21
    liberal says:

    SpotWeld wrote,

    Both McCain and Obama represent change from the current status quo (Obama much more so than McCain, but let’s face it McCain isn’t a total twit.)

    Huh?

    Yeah, McCain represents change, insofar as he’s likely to be even worse than Bush. The only issue that he might not be as bad on is the environment.

    And on getting us into needless, dangerous wars, he’s possibly worse than Bush.

    With the recent events in Georgia, I never worried that Bush would quickly get us into a shooting war with the Russians. (Long term, there’s the worry that someone will press for NATO membership, of course, which IMHO would be a disaster.) But McCain, who knows? I could see him doing it.

    I think he’s a clear and present danger to the US in a way Bush never was.

  22. 22
    Billy K(hrushchev) says:

    I am beginning to think people are seeing through the nonsense.

    Say it ain’t so, John! There ya go agin!

  23. 23
    ninerdave says:

    Rich Lowry at the corner:

    I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can’t be learned; it’s either something you have or you don’t, and man, she’s got it.

    Wow.

  24. 24
    jrg says:

    but to implore conservatives to stop ignoring reality just because they happen to like a candidate’s personality and biography.

    Sully brings us the NRO, on Queue:

    I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America.

    Republicans don’t care about Palin’s "personality and biography", they want to bone the hell out of her.

  25. 25
    D. Mason says:

    I think he’s a clear and present danger to the US in a way Bush never was.

    I bet that in mid 2007 you would have never imagined writing that. Kind of surreal isn’t it?

  26. 26

    There’s a certain amount of irony here, as the neoconservative project, as envisioned by the likes of Irving Kristol, started as a cry for the need for more knowledge-based interventions to social and political problems. The problem, as they saw it, was that liberals governed from the gut and ideological purity, not reality-based, results-oriented policy.

  27. 27
    tripletee (formerly tBone) says:

    somehow managing to squeeze out another husk of a faked orgasm onto their crusted screens while they silently weep over the failure of their political dreams.

    Please stop writing things than I can never un-read. kthx

  28. 28
    tripletee (formerly tBone) says:

    Republicans don’t care about Palin’s "personality and biography", they want to bone the hell out of her.

    Or at least, that’s what they tell each other while they’re strapping on the wetsuits in airport bathrooms.

  29. 29
    Original Lee says:

    What last night’s debate gave us was another dot on the Palin Egoist Chart. I’m collecting these so I can draw a lovely straight line to the "Dictator in Waiting" portion of the graph and show it to some of my friends and family who think Palin is the greatest thing since cell phones. Her insistence on turning the debate into a series of stump speeches on topics of her own choosing underscores her "Whatever I want to do or say must be right because God is with me" attitude, which will seriously annoy a lot of people who think that she can make up her knowledge deficit by January.

    Can anybody here help me fill in more? These are the ones I have:
    1. Built an unaffordable stadium on land the city didn’t own.
    2. Pursued a vendetta against her sister’s ex-husband, using the power of her office.
    3. Accepted federal funding for a bridge she never built and spent the money elsewhere, not necessarily for transportation projects.
    4. Got on a plane for an 11-hour flight away from home when she was 8 months’ pregnant, against her doctor’s orders, and then flew back to Alaska WHILE IN LABOR despite being in a city with one of the best NICU units in the world.
    5. Refused to honor a promise to testify about #2 before the state legislature.
    6. Added a whole new level of tap-dancing to the typical politician’s portfolio of nonanswer blather by giving answers to questions that were only on her notecards during her debate with Biden.

  30. 30
    mantis says:

    Well this didn’t take long. After shouting from the rooftops that Palin won and is the best debatah evar, donchaknow, they have shifted tactics:

    We had questions on the bailout bill, the subprime lending meltdown, taxes, promises the candidates will not be able to keep because of the cost of the bailout, the bankruptcy bill, climate change, capping carbon emissions, same sex benefits and gay marriage, an exit strategy for Iraq, whether a nuclear Iran or an unstable Pakistan is a greater threat (although according to the transcript, Ifill said ‘an unstable Afghanistan’ at one point), Secretaries of States’ comments on engaging our enemies, what has the administration done right or wrong on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, what should be the trigger for using nuclear weapons, putting troops on the ground in Darfur (maybe her best question), how the potential vice presidents would differ from their running mates, past comments expressing disinterest in being vice president, and when have you been forced to change a long-held view in order to accommodate changed circumstances.

    It’s interesting that energy, Palin’s signature issue, never came up in the form of a question; she mentioned it in relation to questions about climate change and carbon emissions. As Ace noted, it’s interesting that abortion never came up, nor guns. Nothing on earmarks, government waste, or much on the budget.

    Since Ifill blended in with the scenery and they lack even any fake grounds on which to attack her (a la Charlie Gibson: Did he have to glower?), Geraghty-who will surely be followed by others-decides she didn’t ask the right questions. The right questions, of course, would have been exactly what Palin wanted her to ask. No questions on the economy or the war please, just focus on how Palin stared down the oil companies (ha!), baby-killers, guns, and earmarks. Forget that for the most part none of these issues are remotely important to most Americans in this election, and the topics Ifill did raise are, Ifill was dishonorable for not treating the debate like the Hannity/Hewitt interviews of Palin.

  31. 31
    uila says:

    @Original Lee:
    7. Installed a tanning bed in the governor’s mansion

  32. 32

    @cleek: Hahaha, I was VERY glad to see that Stereolab thing come up the other day!

  33. 33

    I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me."

    Jesus H. Christ on a stick with a side of pickles dipped in hot sauce, Rich Lowry deserves to have the life slapped clean out of his pale, flabby body. Or at least to have his genitals tasered until he pees blood and promises to never, ever write something again.

  34. 34

    @SpotWeld: You’re correct. Johnny Drama is a not twit. He’s a self-centered, under achieving EPIC FAIL of a human being. Had he not been the son and grandson of great Naval Officers the maverick would be wearing a paper hat and a name tag or a blue vest with a name tag.

  35. 35

    @mantis: So asking about climate change and carbon caps and clean coal doesn’t count as asking about energy? Does Ace wear clothes that come with zippers and buttons, or is he still in the velcro stage?

  36. 36
    uila says:

    8. Conducted government business on a non-secure (and unarchived) Yahoo email account… cc’d her husband on seemingly everything

  37. 37
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    The ice skating in Hell must be great today: Krauthammer picks Obama

    It’s not an endorsement, more a recognition of McCain’s weaknesses and Obama’s strengths. The closing graf:

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. famously said of Franklin Roosevelt that he had a "second-class intellect, but a first-class temperament." Obama has shown that he is a man of limited experience, questionable convictions, deeply troubling associations (Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Tony Rezko) and an alarming lack of self-definition — do you really know who he is and what he believes? Nonetheless, he’s got both a first-class intellect and a first-class temperament. That will likely be enough to make him president.

  38. 38
    Brachiator says:

    Besides being bad for the quality of conservative thought, it embraces the caricature that conservatives are indifferent to knowledge and have no use for expertise, which has become an all too legitimate critique of how conservatives have responded to the misrule of the Bush administration.

    "Quality of conservative thought is a contradiction in terms. The GOP Spin Machine has exploded into a Whirling Dervish of Incoherence and Contradiction.

    Half the election cycle, the GOP Goons and their enablers have insisted that Obama is not presidential because he is not as experienced as McCain. The other half of the election cycle, they have insisted that Palin’s lack of experience does not matter because she is just so aw shucks hockey mom grounded in common sense, small town values and the loving gaze of the baby Jesus.

    Bush/Cheney, of course, set the standard for the perpetual motion rationale machine — we had to invade Iraq to find WMDs, depose Saddam, bring instant democracy to the Middle East, fight al Queda over there instead of over here, or because it was an essential stop in the forever war against terrorism.

    Larison wants to try to pretend that the right’s irrational embrace of the obviously unqualified Palin is some aberration. But Hugh Hewitt, one of Palin’s biggest cheerleaders, previously made a fool of himself in a NY Times op-ed piece whining about conservative opposition to Bush’s choice of an obviously unqualified Harriet Miers to be a Supreme Court justice:

    Now, with the withdrawal of Harriet Miers under an instant, fierce and sometimes false assault from conservative pundits and activists, it will be difficult for Republican candidates to continue to make this winning argument: that Democrats have deeply damaged the integrity of the advice and consent process….

    George Will denounced as "crude" those evangelicals who thought Ms. Miers’s faith was a good indication of character in a nominee and a hopeful sign on issues involving the unborn. She was labeled a crony before lunch on the day of her nomination by scores of commentators. Attacks on her competence within the White House followed immediately. She never had a chance, really….

    The center of the Miers opposition was National Review’s blog, The Corner, and the blog ConfirmThem.com, both with sharp-tongued, witty and relentless writers. They unleashed every argument they could find, and the pack that followed them could not be stopped. Even if a senator had a mind to urge hearings and a vote, he had to feel that it would call down on him the verbal wrath of the anti-Miers zealots.

    Conservatives abandoned any belief that knowledge and understanding were desirable qualities in political candidates a long time ago. And the GOP base has been whipped into a "conservative ideology uber alles" frenzy by Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly, Medved, Hewitt and other conservative pundits and talk radio goons, and so they will never allow Republican politicians to step back from the abyss of ignorance.

  39. 39
    jnfr says:

    I don’t want a VP who winks at me.

  40. 40
    phobos says:

    Yeah, It would be nice if there were more Larisons on the right.

    Conservatives for the most part have become so obsessively paranoid about "the liberal media" that they have confused communal reinforcement with objective reality.

    It leaves them hamstrung and unable to react quickly when things go badly for them, as is happening now.

  41. 41
    uila says:

    9. Opposed funding of rape kits as mayor due to the inclusion of emergency contraception, despite Alaska having one of the highest incidences of violence against women in the country; the state had to pass a law to force Wasilla to change their policy

    Sorry, I can’t do any more. I’ve already spent far too much time contemplating this politician, it’s time to purge her from the memory banks as I suspect (hope) her 15 minutes are just about over.

  42. 42
    Brachiator says:

    Besides being bad for the quality of conservative thought, it embraces the caricature that conservatives are indifferent to knowledge and have no use for expertise, which has become an all too legitimate critique of how conservatives have responded to the misrule of the Bush administration.

    "Quality of conservative thought is a contradiction in terms. The GOP Spin Machine has exploded into a Whirling Dervish of Incoherence and Contradiction.

    Half the election cycle, the GOP Goons and their enablers have insisted that Obama is not presidential because he is not as experienced as McCain. The other half of the election cycle, they have insisted that Palin’s lack of experience does not matter because she is just so aw shucks hockey mom grounded in common sense, small town values and the loving gaze of the baby Jesus.

    Bush/Cheney, of course, set the standard for the perpetual motion rationale machine — we had to invade Iraq to find WMDs, depose Saddam, bring instant democracy to the Middle East, fight al Queda over there instead of over here, or because it was an essential stop in the forever war against terrorism.

    Larison wants to try to pretend that the right’s irrational embrace of the obviously unqualified Palin is some aberration. But Hugh Hewitt, one of Palin’s biggest cheerleaders, previously made a fool of himself in a NY Times op-ed piece whining about conservative opposition to Bush’s choice of an obviously unqualified Harriet Miers to be a Supreme Court justice:

    Now, with the withdrawal of Harriet Miers under an instant, fierce and sometimes false assault from conservative pundits and activists, it will be difficult for Republican candidates to continue to make this winning argument: that Democrats have deeply damaged the integrity of the advice and consent process….

    George Will denounced as "crude" those evangelicals who thought Ms. Miers’s faith was a good indication of character in a nominee and a hopeful sign on issues involving the unborn. She was labeled a crony before lunch on the day of her nomination by scores of commentators. Attacks on her competence within the White House followed immediately. She never had a chance, really….

    The center of the Miers opposition was National Review’s blog, The Corner, and the blog ConfirmThem.com, both with sharp-tongued, witty and relentless writers. They unleashed every argument they could find, and the pack that followed them could not be stopped. Even if a senator had a mind to urge hearings and a vote, he had to feel that it would call down on him the verbal wrath of the anti-Miers zealots.

    Conservatives abandoned any belief that knowledge and understanding were desirable qualities in political candidates a long time ago. And the GOP base has been whipped into a "conservative ideology uber alles" frenzy by Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly, Medved, Hewitt and other conservative pundits and talk radio goons, and so they will never allow Republican politicians to step back from the abyss of ignorance.

  43. 43

    @jnfr: I do. But only if that VP is John Cole.

  44. 44

    @Brachiator: I would argue that is not true. Conservative thought is worthy of consideration. Edmund Burke was an intellect not to be trifled with. Andrew Bacevich and Daniel Larison are worthy opponents. Unfortunately the current flavor at the GOP is a disgrace to all thought–conservative and otherwise.

    I would also argue that this country requires the liberal v. conservative debate to remain healthy. The fair exchange of ideas is a founding principle of this great nation. Sadly, the GOP is now a vessel for semi-literate jingoism and Christianists.

  45. 45
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    Great post by Larison.

    By the way (and John, I’m spamming this on several threads, but it’s to make things easier for your posters), I downloaded a FF 3 add-on called BBCode which has 3 custom codes you can program in as well as other code features and all I have to do now is right click and paste my blockquote cite code in now. ;)

    [I’m using {blockquote cite} text {/blockquote} (the cite in the close tag always screws up the code) – { and } substituted for code brackets of course.

  46. 46
    Brachiator says:

    Arrgh. Getting formatting right in this new Balloon Juice is as difficult as getting the Submit button to work in the old button. In comment #42, the sentence about "anti-Miers zealots" is part of the Hewitt op-ed piece.

    I would also argue that this country requires the liberal v. conservative debate to remain healthy. The fair exchange of ideas is a founding principle of this great nation. Sadly, the GOP is now a vessel for semi-literate jingoism and Christianists.

    There is nothing real or necessary about the division of thought into "liberal" vs "conservative." It’s kinda like 17th Century Europeans arguing that Protestants vs Conservatives was the only way to divide the world. But aside from that, Larison and his defenders are just dead wrong when they try to argue that GOP anti-intellectualism is either current or exceptional. Rather, it is an inevitable consequence of Republicans embracing the extremes of the Evangelical movement, and allowing Limbaugh and other intellectual gasbags encourage a worldview which demonizes anything which is not simple-minded conservative thought as unpatriotic.

  47. 47
    Rick Taylor says:

    …but to implore conservatives to stop ignoring reality just because they happen to like a candidate’s personality and biography.

    That’s certainly good to hear. Eight years too late of course, but good to see there are still a few people who call themselves "conservative" who have some sense. I honestly wonder what they mean by the word though.

  48. 48
    gex says:

    Can we please stop using the word "caricature"? It is, like, really *hard* to say.

  49. 49
    Rick Taylor says:

    As much as Democrats talk about hating the circular firing squad, the truth is that it’s our willingness to criticize our on leadership that leads to it, and if that’s the price I have to pay, then so be it. I never want to be the kind of person who justifies the kind of shit that Republicans have justified for King George the Lesser.

    I agree completely. The way most conservatives have reacted to Palin has been an eye opener. I don’t believe liberals would behave the same way if Obama had chosen a VP candidate manifestly unfit for the job.

  50. 50
    jake says:

    I rehash all of this not to dwell on Palin’s problems, which are increasingly irrelevant as McCain heads towards defeat, but to implore conservatives to stop ignoring reality just because they happen to like a candidate’s personality and biography.

    So sorry. If you have to tell someone Palin and the rest of the God’s Will, Adam & Eve Rode Dinosaurs, Bedroom Monitoring, Convert the Mooslims, Fetus Fetishist creeps are Bad News, you are not addressing a conservative, you are addressing a radical. Please direct your energies to something more productive, like using a sieve to fill a bath tub.

    I feel bad for the guy. He’s in The Invasion of the Body Snatchers but doesn’t quite realize he’s the only human left.

  51. 51
    Cris v.3.1 says:

    @phobos:

    Yeah, It would be nice if there were more Larisons on the right all sides.

    Seriously. That level of analysis is what I want to see regardless of political orientation.

  52. 52
    Anne Laurie says:

    The choice the Republicans have to make, it seems to me, is between cheerful ignorance and surly ignorance.

    You forgot "defiant rejection of unpleasant realities". Sarah Palin is the crumb-smeared three-year-old in soggy training pants tearfully insisting that the ‘Democrat Party’ stole all the cookies, broke the cookie jar, and left a puddle of urine & half-digested-cookie vomit on the kitchen floor. She ain’t the most dignified figurehead, but she’s all the fReichtards, Talibangelicals, and Robber Barons still have on their side.

  53. 53
    D. Mason says:

    I honestly wonder what they mean by the word though.

    I can honestly only speak for myself, but when I call myself conservative(not to be confused with republican) I mean that the government should operate in a frugal way, covering the functions for which we established a government(filling the gaps between what people can do for themselves) without wasting excessively. That scenario would naturally mean much lower spending and as a result of that, lower taxes for rich and poor alike, if done well it could mean no taxes at all for some of the lower existing tax brackets. They should enable states to provide better services by providing a framework. Obviously the government would provide for a military but not the waste-centered largess we’re used to seeing from "conservatives", which is absolutely ridiculous to anyone who actually believes in responsible government. And the crowning jewel of my idea of conservatism would be government staying the fuck out of peoples lives.

  54. 54
    numbskull says:

    The word that was used to describe Palin early on was promising, and so she was,

    Uh, John, with "thinking" like this, I don’t see Larison as the towering intellect that you do. In fact, he’s pretty weak beer. On what planet was Palin EVER promising as a veep candidate? Literally within 12 minutes of Johnny Drama’s announcement of his choice, I had researched enough of Palin to know that she was not only woefully unqualified for veep, but that she really isn’t much of a governor, wasn’t a great mayor (left the city in terrible debt), and was already facing corruption charges.

    Tell me, as I don’t want to give his dreck site any more traffic than it deserves, does he ever describe why he thought Palin was "promising" as a veep candidate?

  55. 55
    gex says:

    @29 – she also leaned on the unemployment agency to deny UI for the fired official.

    Probably went to his house to kick his puppy too – because she’s a compassionate conservative.

  56. 56
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    Say it ain’t so, John! There ya go agin!

    Well, Biden thought that was funnier than hell. I loved his laugh when she came out with that.

  57. 57
    Anne Laurie says:

    On what planet was Palin EVER promising as a veep candidate?

    Well, she promised to respect them in the morning…

  58. 58
    Fulcanelli says:

    "if conservatives insist on making elaborate arguments that understanding and knowledge are not significant criteria when choosing our top elected officials they will lose whatever credibility they may still have"

    This ship of fools sailed around the time Newt Gingrich entered Congress. Who names their fucking kid "Newt"? Is that a Southern thing? Bet he never made it to school with his lunch money or his shirt tucked in.

  59. 59
    Г-жа demimondian says:

    I can honestly only speak for myself, but when I call myself conservative(not to be confused with republican) I mean that the government should operate in a frugal way, covering the functions for which we established a government(filling the gaps between what people can do for themselves) without wasting excessively.

    That’s really not what conservatism has stood for at any point in my lifetime, you know — and I was born just a couple of weeks before John Kennedy was elected president.

    I’ve watched conservatism veer from paranoid anti-Communism and xenophobia (the John Birch society) to paranoid anti-Communism and xenophobia (Goldwater-style opposition to civil rights) to paranoid anti-Communism and xenophobia (Nixon) to paranoid anti-Communism and xenophobia (Reagan) to paranoid anti-Communism and xenophobia (Bush II). There is a difference — the communists were gone by the time Bush II started opposing them.

  60. 60
    Lesley says:

    I am trying to figure out what any of them saw in the "personality" of Dick Cheney. Or are they all bottoms?

  61. 61
    Comrade Trotsky's Magic Pony says:

    Uh, John, with "thinking" like this, I don’t see Larison as the towering intellect that you do.

    Uh, numbskull…I don’t think the quote you mentioned means what you think it did.

    Yeah, Larison and I would have our domestic policy disagreement to some extent, but he doesn’t carry water even for mavericky GOPers like Palin.

    On foreign policy…that guy knows his stuff like no other. Everyone should be reading this guy. You really will learn something.

  62. 62
    Original Lee says:

    Thanks for the suggestions, but except for maybe the tanning bed, I don’t think they fit the meme I was striving for – I’m looking for examples of stuff Palin has done because she was getting something out of it or she simply wanted to do it, even if it was unethical or illegal or inadvisable. For instance, I didn’t include the rape kit fees because these were implementing policy reflective of her POV, not directly benefiting her, AFAICT, unless she has rapists in her family.

  63. 63
    numbskull says:

    Uh, numbskull…I don’t think the quote you mentioned means what you think it did.

    Larison seems to be saying that at some point Palin was a promising veep candidate. If you don’t think that that is what his words mean, what is your interpretation? What does he mean when he writes that

    The word that was used to describe Palin early on was promising, and so she was,…

    According to your masthead, you’ve only been wrong since 2002. I’ve been wrong since the early 60s. I’m used to it, so don’t be subtle – tell me your interpretation.

    :)

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