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Sarah Palin’s Fifty Nifty

I’ve been trying very hard not to pay attention to Sarah Palin, and for the most part I’ve been good, only mentioning her briefly once or twice in the last few months. But Jimmy Kimmell is just too funny:

It’s a regular epidumbic! I’ll have to remember that.



  1. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    Funny, and frightening. I’ve been saying for years now that one problem with America is that we are actively seeking “average joe” officials for election. How mind-blowing is that?

    Imagine if you had a brain tumor that was buried deep inside your skull, killing you. A doctor could get it out and save your life, but even the smallest mistake could leave you brain dead. Would you want the average joe neurosurgeon? The one who got his C-average degrees from Jim Bob’s School of Head Cutting? A guy you would really like to go out and have a beer with? No. You’d be looking for the top notch, grade-A, medical elitist with 19 degrees hanging on his wall from the best schools in the country.

    But when seeking people to guide our country in the right direction……..SMARTER IS WORSERER!

    Friday, July 23, 2010 at 5:18 am | Permalink
  2. Richard wrote:

    “You’d be looking for the top notch, grade-A, medical elitist with 19 degrees hanging on his wall from the best schools in the country.”

    Unfortunately, that top notch guy or gal might make a mistake and amputate the wrong foot.

    I agree, I don’t want Palin or anyone like her in power, but the people in power are not all that competent either, they’re just incompetent for different reasons.

    Friday, July 23, 2010 at 5:26 am | Permalink
  3. tenthirtytwo wrote:

    Indeed they might. That is a true statement. However your unwritten conclusion (“since anyone can make mistakes, qualifications are irrelevant”) is not.

    Consider this example: I want to modify a load bearing wall in my house. I could hire an engineer or architect in order to take my modifications and design a wall that will still carry the load. As you say, it is possible that they could make a mistake and the wall will come tumbling down some day, possibly injuring people or worse. This is a true statement.

    Your unwritten conclusion would be that because of this, I could just let my 10 year old nephew to draw plans for the wall with crayons and be just as well off. This is not true.

    Qualifications do not guarantee that mistakes won’t be made. That was not my point. My point was that nobody seeks “average” when looking for someone to perform an important operation. They seek the best of the best. Why do we, as Americans, not require those same standards when looking for elected officials? Why are we looking for an average joe? Why are we looking for the guy next door?

    Friday, July 23, 2010 at 9:16 am | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    TenThirtyTwo, I understand your point, but I think the counterpoint is that many people don’t want some elite expert telling them what to do. Governing (and getting elected) is about people skills, and is not the same as engineering a proper load-bearing wall. People want someone like themselves in power.

    On the other hand, I think Republicans (and others in power) have taken that grain of truth and perverted it so they can get their puppets elected. Me personally, I’d much rather have someone smart in power (like Obama). Obviously smart people make mistakes too, although anyone who thinks Obama is making more mistakes than Dubya did is an idiot and a tool.

    Friday, July 23, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink
  5. Richard wrote:

    To take IK’s point a bit further, if Obama, as smart as he is, listens to Geithner, another smart but politically unsmart guy, and doesn’t appoint Elizabeth Warren to head the new consumer protection agency, how smart are these two smart guys?

    No doubt Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber and George W. Bush represent the dumbing down of America but smart people make mistakes too, just different ones.

    It’s not a zero sum question, there are people who are smart, worldly, yet also represent more of a populist view. I think Elizabeth Warren may very well be that kind of person.

    Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 6:35 am | Permalink
  6. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    IK I think you sort of made my point in your counterpoint! But I do agree with the premise.

    I think that ‘getting elected is about people skills’ is representative of who is doing the voting, which really falls back on my original statement about what Americans want. A 3rd grade election for a class leader is going to be unilaterally about popularity. Desperate people stranded in the desert picking a group leader is going to be about responsibility, survival skills, threat management, ability to maintain group cohesiveness, etc. In other words, if American voters were more concerned about qualifications, we’d see more qualified candidates and more qualified people getting elected.

    I think that people skills will always be a part of voting and it likely should be. We don’t want our president to be someone with no social skills because part of his job is a representative to other countries. Elected officials have to be able to work together toward a common goal (though this has become somewhat of a joke as of late). However (at least in my opinion) we have swung entirely the other direction where many people are not only seeking average at the polls, but your intelligence/education is seen as a black mark against you. Too often lately it seems like elections hinge on how average you can make yourself out to be while making sure people know you were in the military. Maybe my view is jaded coming from the Bible Belt. 😉

    Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 9:35 am | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    I think the other issue is that it is easier to create (using PR techniques) the appearance of likability than it is to create the appearance of competence.

    When I was in junior high school, our family moved from one of the top-rated school districts in the country to a medium-sized city in the rust belt. I was shocked that showing any signs of intelligence would instantly make you a social pariah. So I think some of this has to do with social attitudes towards intelligence in some parts of the country.

    Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink
  8. Laurie wrote:

    No one can know everything & with so much information flying in every direction it’s vital to be able to trust your advisors, no matter your intellect.
    I would feel best knowing that my leaders, surgeons etc are endowed with WISDOM & DISCIPLINE…. neither possessed by Mrs Palin.
    And I’d like to hear her refudiate that!

    Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 11:49 am | Permalink
  9. patriotsgt wrote:

    Good points by all. I have known many intellectuals that did not necessarily possess the same amount of common sense. While they could explain the physics involved woth driving a nail through a board, they could not understand why it kept splitting the wood. A little practical expereince an common sense reveals that if you flatten to point on the nail it will not split the board but compress the fibers outword allowing them to uncompress firmly gripping the nail.
    There is book/classroom smarts then there is the experince gained from doing. I’m not sure how much experience our president has in leadership or actually running a complex organization. I do appreciate his fresh (untried) ideas and the eagerness with which he pursues them.
    For anyone who has served in the military will tell you. Behind every good officer, is a wise old non-com who applies a measure of common sense to the officers thinking that he may not have considered.

    Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Permalink