Palin Watch III: Dumb and Getting Dumber
As she faced the formidable Katie Couric in her second big time interview, Sarah Palin was palin’.
By Mary Beth Crain
First of all, I’d like to get something clear. Sarah Palin is not a moron. Neither is she an idiot.
For the record, a moron is defined as “a person of mild retardation, having an intelligence quotient of between 50 and 70.” An idiot comes from the Latin idiota, or “ignorant person,” and is clinically defined as a "severely retarded individual, with a mental age of no more than three, or a stupid, foolish person.” An imbecile is “a person with retardation more severe than a moron, but not as severe as an idiot.”
It’s true Palin is about as ignorant as they come. It’s also true that she’s stupid and foolish. But I think she has a higher IQ than 70. Therefore, I would classify her as an imbecile.
I’m basing my judgment on Sarah’s latest big interview. This time it was CBS’s Katie Couric who was lighting up the grill. And before long, we could smell the Palin burgers sizzling.
Sarah was, as usual, painfully uninformed and just as painfully flippant about it. The most celebrated segment of the interview went like this:
COURIC: You've said, quote, "John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business." Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?
PALIN: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie - that, that's paramount. That's more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.
COURIC: But he's been in Congress for 26 years. He's been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.
PALIN: He's also known as the maverick though, taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he's been talking about--the need to reform government.
COURIC: But can you give me any other concrete examples? Because I know you've said Barack Obama is a lot of talk and no action. Can you give me any other examples in his 26 years of John McCain truly taking a stand on this?
PALIN: I can give you examples of things that John McCain has done, that has shown his foresight, his pragmatism, and his leadership abilities. And that is what America needs today.
COURIC: I'm just going to ask you one more time--not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.
PALIN: I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you.
Let’s pause and reflect. If this had been an oral exam at, say, Matinuska Sitbacka U, or wherever it was that Ms. Palin did a portion of her undergraduate work, she’d probably have passed, especially if she batted those cutsie eyelashes and showed off those enviable legs. But if she’d done her orals at Columbia, or Harvard, or Princeton—alma maters familiar to the opposition—and gave answers that either parroted the examiner’s questions or flipped him off with an “How about I get back to you later on that?”…Gee. Do you think she’d have gotten her degree?
That Sarah Palin is totally outclassed by Barack Obama and Joe Biden is a moot point. That she’s somehow gained the confidence of a lot of the populace is a moose point, I guess. As she continues to give clueless responses to serious and valid questions, and as the McCain campaign continues to segregate her from the media as much as possible to prevent further exposes of intellectual vacancy, the question remains: will the voting public finally get it? Or will they simply stand behind her no matter what, believing what they want to believe and tuning out the rest?
The other night I was at a Baptist church barbecue. Mind you, I am not a Baptist, nor do I ever aspire to be one. But I have some lovely friends who belong to this particular church, and they invited me along. Anyway, as I sat at the long picnic table, enjoying the company of a lot of nice people, the conversation turned to the election. And one by one, all of these nice people began extolling Sarah Palin.
“I never watch the news,” said one of them. “Well, I mean, I don’t watch anything except Fox. And I just like her so much!”
Everyone heartily agreed that Sarah Palin was just wonderful. When I asked them why, they replied the way 45% of the populace is responding. “She’s just like us.”
Here we go again. Sure. All the people at my table were conservative, working class, flag-waving Christians. Not one was a college grad. Their shared activities are church, hunting, fishing, quilting, church, pie baking, tailgating, church, bible study, youth group, church…They don’t read anything but the local paper, so they’d never have seen, say, that recent, terrifying New York Times piece about Ms. Palin. They don’t watch anything except the Fox channel, aka America’s Al Jazeera, so they’re not getting anything approximating balanced news—not that they’re the least bit interested in balanced news. They feel oh, so comfortable because Sarah Palin is completely uninformed—just like them. Ergo, she’ll act in their best interests.
It’s just how George Bush got elected, not once but twice. And now, as the economic sky is falling, and the country is crumbling into a heap of failed promises and shattered dreams, and the dim, flickering light of the future is about to go out for millions of Americans, we might just vote for him again—in female clothing. Because we don’t get it. Someone just like the uneducated, ignorant sector of our population isn’t going to fix anything, because they’re just too stupid. Period.
The people who will vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin are complete narcissists. They’re looking in the mirror and preening at themselves. And we can say, as we did with Bush, that they’ll get what they deserve if the next deadly duo is elected.
The only problem is, I won’t deserve the consequences of their ignorance. And neither will a hundred million other Americans, not to mention the world.
It was Winston Churchill who observed that the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. And he wasn’t even at that Baptist barbecue.
Comment on this review here.
Senior editor Mary Beth Crain's last piece for SoMA was Palin Watch II: Secrets and Lies.
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