Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Aug/11

16

Sarah Palin, not so topical

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I noticed today that Center-Left establishment tool Jacob Weisberg is still posting his “Palinisms” at Slate. I never read these because they never seemed as funny as the Bushisms. It seems likely that the George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush have some cognitive linguistic problem which results in the mangled syntax for which they became famous. Sarah Palin on the other hand just sounds dumb a lot of the time.

But my bigger thought is who cares? Here’s some Google Trends for the past 30 days:

Remember, Weisberg is the scold who was outraged by Peter Thiel’s plan to encourage some college students to take a few years off. Weisberg went to Yale, and has marched his way through establishment media outfits since graduating. Can’t he find something better to do with his time?

19 comments

  • Matt Foss · August 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Perhaps he’s just biding his time until enough Bachmannisms accumulate to be worth their own article. Though I tend to find Bachmannisms more frightening than funny.

  • RandyB · August 16, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    I thought the elder Bush sounded like a guy trying to speak below his vocabulary. The younger one would mangle stuff, because he just wasn’t interested in some the subjects he had to talk about.

    Sarah Palin sounds like a Valley Girl trying to give an orals final from a few key words she scribbled on a notecard.

  • Mark · August 16, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Yeah, it may be played out (unless she hops into the ring). There are so many other aspects of the GOP’s race to the bottom that he could riff on.

  • Paavo · August 16, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Did you hear that Michelle Bachmann confused Elvis’s birthday with the anniversary of his death!

    That news story is currently displayed rather prominently on the homepage of the most serious (and read) newspaper of Finland Helsingin Sanomat. Stories about Americans, and republicans in particular, doing stupid things are always topical.

  • Polichinello · August 16, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Can’t he find something better to do with his time?

    LOL, no.

  • John · August 16, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    I would not be surprised if George W was dyslexic, which, if true, would make me think more highly of him, not less, given that he became president.

  • Susan · August 16, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Palin speaks exactly the way her cult members want her to speak. As far as they’re concerned, anyone who speaks well, or even in complete sentences, is a Rino/elitist/Beltway/Ivy League/atheist/Commie/lesbian/babykiller/metrosexual.

  • Sean · August 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    “I would not be surprised if George W was dyslexic, which, if true, would make me think more highly of him, not less, given that he became president.”

    The willingness of the party machine to pre-annoint a dyslexic candidate via big money and big endorsements from party heavyweights on doesn’t impress me all that much. Honestly, is there a chance in hell that guy would have won the governorship without his name and lucrative connections? In this light, the dyslexia theory lend a wisp of credence to the “Bush as stooge” theory that’s been so much fun to entertain all these years. :-)

    I agree with you that it’s not surprising. And I don’t mean that in a mean-spirited way. There’s a connection between ADD and dyslexia, and I think I saw some ADDish behavior from him. (The way he lost his train of thought in the middle of the “fool me once” gaffe, for instance.) If his brain isn’t wired to stay on track, it isn’t wired that way. Maybe he should have been an artist.

    I suppose it does make me pity him a bit more, but Oliver Stone’s movie accomplished that much.

  • John Emerson · August 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    A lot of politicians speak in a jumbly way because if they speak clearly they will make some of their supporters mad and/or give their opponents an opportunity to ask probing questions. Eisenhower was famous for that. On top of that, in present culture war politics Republicans want to be attacked for not being educated enough, the same way that Richard Nixon wanted hippies to attack him.

    Palin and Bachmann both seem to live in a narcissistic projection world.

  • Susan · August 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Another advantage (for someone such as Palin) to speaking in word salad is that her followers can read anything into her speech that they wish.

  • Mark · August 17, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    “her followers can read anything into her speech that they wish”

    No wonder they are so fond of scripture.

  • RandyB · August 17, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    “[Palin’s] followers can read anything into her speech that they wish.”

    And the same was true of Candidate Obama, although he did it by mellifluously saying nothing. He’s an empty vessel into which listeners pour their idealizations.

    The fact that those two are their parties’ icons shows how vacuous politics has become.

  • Susan · August 17, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Palin and Obama are astonishingly alike in many ways. Certainly in terms of the kind of cult-like following they attract–and I think the rabidly devoted following of both (certainly Palin)has dwindled down to a hardcore band of cultists. Palin, like Obama, is the messiah to her followers. Both are referred to in quasi-liturgical terms. Palin isn’t Sarah Palin, she’s “Our Sarah,” or even “Our Lady Sarah,” the latter of which sounds very Catholic.

  • Polichinello · August 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I would not be surprised if George W was dyslexic…

    He flew F-101C Voodoos for the Guard. Yeah, it’s not the Thunderbirds or anything, but you don’t operate a supersonic century fighter with a learning disability. On top of that he has two Ivy League degrees. Yes, he was a legacy admit to undergrad school, but that doesn’t account for grad school or the fact that he got better grades than his 2004 alternative, John Kerry.

    The problem isn’t Bush’s intellect, which for presidents was middling to fair, it’s that he drank the same Kool Aid as 90-95% of the Beltway had. When you get down to it, there really wasn’t a huge difference in policy between Bush and his predecessor. Clinton was right of slightly left of center, and Bush was left of slightly right of center. The whole collapsed at the end of Bush’s term when it became untenable.

  • CJColucci · August 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Regarding Bush’s intellect, my take is similar to Polichinello’s: the problem wasn’t substandard mental horsepower (am I showing my age? should I be talking about RAM or processor speed?), but an apparent lack of desire to use what horsepower he had. He probably could think; he just never seemed to. Desire for factual information, interest in the views of people who actually knew the many things he did not or could not be expected to know, curiousity about the world beyond the limits of his experience did not seem to be part of his mental equipment. If anything, I’d say his failing was moral rather than intellectual.

  • John · August 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    To clarify, I don’t think Bush was stupid. Just to throw a number out of the blue, I’d guess his IQ is 128 +- 5. If he was dyslexic, he was smart enough to mostly overcome it, and I’d be willing to bet he had the best tutors money could buy.

    On economic issues, I agree that Bush and Clinton were at about the same place. Big differences in social issues and foreign policy though.

  • Polchinello · August 19, 2011 at 2:29 am

    On economic issues, I agree that Bush and Clinton were at about the same place. Big differences in social issues and foreign policy though.

    Clinton pushed DOMA, was actually to the right of Bush on immigration and supported other various social projects like school uniforms. His dick had an unfortunate habit of falling into various women, but I can’t find a whole lot of difference between the two’s social agendas.

    As far as foreign policy goes, Clinton was more than happy to intervene for the sake of spreading democracy, and Bush took that line of thought to its logical conclusion. In fact, both Clintons supported the war when it started. We can quibble about who was the better driver (Clinton, I have to agree), but they were on the same road, going in the same direction.

    Now that I think about it, Gore could have proved a larger break with Clintonian policy than Bush.

  • Sean · August 19, 2011 at 10:41 am

    “you don’t operate a supersonic century fighter with a learning disability”

    Were they testing for dyslexia back then? I doubt it. Also, Einstein was dyslexic and he was pretty smart.

    I don’t think many people have argued that GWB was particularly inquisitive–my take is that he thought he knew more than he did, and he considered “decisiveness” a good for its own sake, so didn’t spend much effort getting into the weeds on issues and, consequently, only had a simple understanding of them. Clinton was the polar opposite–he wanted to see every side of an issue and think about it for days.

  • Polichinello · August 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Were they testing for dyslexia back then? I doubt it. Also, Einstein was dyslexic and he was pretty smart.

    When you’re in a jet of that nature, you have to be able to adapt to changing situations quickly, or you die. Maybe Dubya got bizarrely lucky and was never challenged, but it’s not very likely.

    I think you’re on better ground with his overconfidence. THAT is constant with just about any fighter pilot. They’re self-confident to the point of excessive cockiness. You sort of have to be to do that job. The same is sort of true with politics, too, unfortunately.

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