Stupid Is As Stupid Does
Wednesday, September 03, 2008 | Author: Mad Typist
McCain ad: Palin more qualified than Obama

Now, this article is just one of many hilarious "talking points" the McCain campaign has been trying to push. I keep coming back to the same two thoughts:
  1. How stupid do they think we are?
  2. Just how stupid are we?
The Republicans think they can just keep repeating the same blatant lies over and over again, until people start to think they're true. If they just stick to the "talking points", eventually people will just accept them as facts. And the scary thing is, I think it may work. This election is a test of whether the American people are capable of seeing past the lies and distortions and voting with their heads, not their guts.

The Republicans are really pushing the limits of reasonable thought with the Palin experience question. I've heard several of them say, with a straight face, that Palin's stint as a small hamlet mayor and her 20 months as governor make her more qualified than Barack Obama to serve at the highest level of the executive branch. Now they've gone even further and are suggesting that she is more qualified than Joe Biden. That's just insane.

Let's catalog some of the more outrageous claims that the Republicans have been floating:
  • Palin has served as the commander of the National Guard. Okay, technically the office is empowered to direct the Guard when it comes to state level activity (i.e. emergency relief). But Palin has never ordered the Alaska National Guard to do anything in her tenure as governor.
  • Palin has fought government spending, including, in her own words, "saying thanks, but no thanks" to the Bridge to Nowhere. Except that's not true at all, and in fact her own running mate specifically named her when talking about ridiculous earmarks. She even hired lobbyists to bring more federal funds into Wasilla, even though lobbyists had never been used there before.
  • The fact that her state is close to Russia means she has "foreign policy experience". I've heard several people mention this. Frankly, this is so stupid, I'm not going to bother rebutting it, because if you don't get why this is a bullshit argument, you're probably too stupid to process the rest of what I'm saying.
  • From McCain himself:
    "She's been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America's energy supply ... She's responsible for 20 percent of the nation's energy supply. I'm entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America."
    Yes, largest in terms of land mass. But Alaska is sparsely populated, and has few of the problems that test governors of larger states (and thus make them experienced in terms of what they may address as president). Alaska is awash in natural resources, only has a part time legislature that serves 90 days a year, and has a strong libertarian streak.
I watched parts of her speech last night, and was struck by several things. First of all, it was a partisan attack speech designed to appeal to the traditional right wing base, not one designed to present her viewpoints to independent voters. That was strange. She's already got the love from the base - the problem is how to appeal to the swing voters. Does presenting a sarcastic, nasty speech really paint the right picture? Will swing voters fall for the blatant lies she told in her speech?

Second, I'm surprised by the praise many people are heaping on her, with headlines saying things like "Palin goes on the attack." Let's be clear here - McCain's people had a speech ready before a VP nominee was even picked. Now, yes, they had to re-write once Palin came along, but only because the tone was too "masculine". So to suggest that the speech's content had anything to do with who Palin truly is as a person is a bit much. The only thing it showed was Palin's ability to speak in public and to read a prepared speech that was handed to her. So congratulations, Sarah Palin - hooked on phonics worked for you. But let's be clear here - the message was written before the woman ever came along, and the rest is all smoke and mirrors and one big political ad. The message was predetermined - Orbitz gum is ALWAYS going to make mouths happy, choosey moms are ALWAYS going to pick Jif peanut butter, and Sarah Palin was ALWAYS going to "go on the attack."
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