Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 14, 2010

WHAT PALIN AND BART SIMPSON HAVE IN COMMON.... About 12 years ago, there was an episode of "The Simpsons" in which Bart was supposed to deliver an oral report on Libya. Bart, of course, hadn't done his homework and had no idea what to say. He stood up, cleared his throat, looked at the blank page in front of him, and winged it.

"The exports in Libya are numerous in amount," Bart said earnestly. "One thing they export is corn, or as the Indians call it, maize. Another famous Indian was Crazy Horse. In conclusion, Libya is a land of contrast. Thank you."

None of this made any sense, but Bart couldn't just stand up and say, "I have no idea what I'm talking about because I'm unprepared." He had to say something, so he made up some silliness and got the ordeal over with as quickly as possible.

Every time I hear Sarah Palin try to answer any question on any subject, it immediately reminds me of Bart's classroom presentation. Take yesterday, for example, when Glenn Beck asked Palin, "Who's your favorite Founder?"

This isn't the former half-term governor's best subject. Palin did, after all, boast not too long ago that the Founding Fathers wrote the Pledge of Allegiance. But like Bart, she couldn't just take a pass, so she told Beck, "You know, well, all of them, because they came collectively together with so much ... so much diverse and so much diversity in terms of belief, but collectively they came together."

She eventually said, "And they were led by, of course George Washington." I kept waiting for her to say, "Or as the Indians called him, George Washington."

If "all of them" sounds like a familiar response, it's because Katie Couric asked Palin about which newspapers she reads. "Um, all of them," she replied.

I realize right-wing activists adore the former governor, but her conspicuous unintelligence should be obvious to anyone above the age of 4.

Steve Benen 10:45 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (83)

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I realize right-wing activists adore the former governor, but her conspicuous unintelligence should be obvious to anyone above the age of 4.

Sadly, most right-wing activists have a mental age somewhat lower than 4.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on January 14, 2010 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Another thing: conspicuous unintelligence is one of Palin's major strong points to many (most? all?) on the right.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on January 14, 2010 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

You would expect a trick question like that from Katie Couric, but that was pretty low of Beck to put her on the spot like that.

Posted by: qwerty on January 14, 2010 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

I thought the Simpsons too! But I thought of Homer's "Moe is their leader" line, and she liked Washington because he was their Moe.

Posted by: ScottC on January 14, 2010 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

The left's continuous attacks on Governess Palin is getting very old, very fast. She named George Washington. I doubt that most Americans could name another Founding Father, except, perhaps, Abraham Lincoln.

Posted by: Al on January 14, 2010 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Bart: Fellow students, prepare to be dazzled! Well, as Mrs. Krabappel already mentioned, the name of the book that I read was Treasure Island. It's about these.. [looking at the book jacket] pirates. Pirates.. with patches over their eyes.. and.. shiny gold teeth.. and green birds on their shoulders [pause]. Did I mention this book was written by a guy named Robert Lewis Stevenson, and published by the good people at McGraw Hill? So, in conclusion, on the Simpson scale of one to ten, ten being the highest, one being the lowest, and five being average, I give this book.. a nine. Any questions? [hands go up] Nope? Then I'll just sit down.

Mrs. Krabappel: Bart, did you actually READ the book?

Bart: Mrs. Krabappel, I am insulted. Is this a book report or a witch hunt?

Posted by: norbizness on January 14, 2010 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

As cringe-worthy as this, like so many other Palin comments, is, I think unintelligent may not be the best word choice. Unsophisticated seems more accurate. How about anti-intellectual?

Posted by: independent thinker on January 14, 2010 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

I love Al so much I want to marry him.

Posted by: shortstop on January 14, 2010 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

I think the Republican strategy is this: they're as terrified as the rest of us of Palin's monumental ignorance and stupidity. But they can't say that because she's the American Idol of their right wing base. And she's very useful in driving liberals crazy. But when push comes to shove in the next election, they're betting that another candidate of relatively normal intelligence (Mittens or Huckleberry) will seem so brilliant by comparison to Caribou Barbie that the majority of voters (whom they fully expect to be disgusted with Obama and Democrats) will flock to that candidate in droves. What they never take into account is how many Americans are horrified they'd even consider running Palin.

Posted by: dalloway on January 14, 2010 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Al,

Why do you insist on doing our work for us? In your attempt to bash "liberals", you claim Lincoln is a founding father? It would be comical if it wasn't so depressing.

Posted by: Josh on January 14, 2010 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Oh no
Evil Sarah Palin strikes again

Posted by: SPWBT on January 14, 2010 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Shortstop & re: Al - I would at least start with a drink and see what that leads to. HAHAHAA. As snarkers go, Al's the snarkiest!

Posted by: sduffys on January 14, 2010 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

''unintelligence'' is too silly. ''Ignorance'' is the word — her conspicuous ignorance. That's a word even the ignorant understand. As for me, I'm proudly wearing my *Palin in 2012* button. She's the saxifrage that will split the GOP rock asunder.

You Go, girl, GO!

Posted by: buddy66 on January 14, 2010 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

I've always thought that Palin's answer about which newspapers she read ("all of them") was a dodge. She didn't want to name "liberal" publications like the NYT or WaPo that would alienate conservatives, but also didn't want to appear that she wasn't up to date with current events or totally in the conservative coccoon.

Her answer was clumsy, but it was the typical effort of a manipulative politician dodging a perceived "trap" question, not an indication of her intelligence.

Posted by: danimal on January 14, 2010 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

You elitists get soooooo upset whenever a real American like Sarah Palin gets the opportunity to rise to a position of power and influence among the, um, elites.

Posted by: Tea Bagger Jones on January 14, 2010 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Josh, why do you take Al seriously? Are the batteries in your snark detector dead?

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on January 14, 2010 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Al is a parody troll folks. Please don't feed the animals.

Posted by: citizen_pain on January 14, 2010 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Wait 'till she figures out that Washington and Jefferson were not Christians, and Madison, who wrote the Constitution, was an Atheist.

Posted by: Glenn Beck's Appendix on January 14, 2010 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

I dunno about you, but I've known people like Palin, and she's not stupid. She's just very ignorant, rather lazy, and probably an undiagnosed narcissist. Not to mention that she's a very able opportunist. It's a combination that often presents as stupidity, but isn't, exactly.

She has a certain basic cunning, and has been plenty smart enough to parlay her modest advantages into millions of dollars and national fame. Truly stupid people generally aren't capable of that.

While I would trust her to take my trash to the curb without messing up the job, or to clean my bathroom--as long as she had some Tilex to use--I'm not sure I'd trust her beyond that for basic competency. She's an interesting study, that's for sure. American history is littered with people like her. They've done almost nothing but damage...and part of the reason they've been allowed to get away with it is because too many people who might have stopped them thought they were too stupid to be a big problem.

My hope is that Palin is so drunk on fame and money--her drugs of choice--that she'll stop there..and I suspect she will.

Posted by: LL on January 14, 2010 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Imagine joining Couric and Beck, and then imagine a question about which of the Federalist Papers she'd read ...

Posted by: K in VA on January 14, 2010 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Republican politicians in general remind me of my attendance at Boy's State, a citizenship conference for high schoolers sponsored by the American Legion.
You run for various offices, and elections are held.
The maturity level of Republican politicians seems not much advanced from that to me.

Posted by: bob h on January 14, 2010 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

The leadership of the Republican party is making The Same Old Mistake that European right-wing parties made in the twenties and thirties. They think-- "Palin/Beck/TeaParty could never actually come to power, and when they fail, we'll just slip right in." This should be Politics 101.

Posted by: MattF on January 14, 2010 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

her conspicuous unintelligence should be obvious to anyone above the age of 4.

As Groucho said to Chico in Horsefeathers, "You've got the brain of a four year old child, and I bet he was glad to get rid of it." Someone should say that to Sarah Palin.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on January 14, 2010 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

responding to Al:
"The left's continuous attacks on Governess Palin is getting very old, very fast. She named George Washington. I doubt that most Americans could name another Founding Father, except, perhaps, Abraham Lincoln."
Your kidding, right? Did you even watch the clip? She clearly scrambled to come up even one name...and while while Abraham Lincoln was clearly an important figure in our nation's history, a giant, in fact...but he was the 16th President of the United States and not a factor in the creation of the nation and the question clearly referred to those individuals who were instrumental in the creation, or in other words--founding--of the country.

Further, I personally want people running for national office with enough sophistication to name Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, etc. without having to scramble.

Posted by: independent thinker on January 14, 2010 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Al is a parody troll folks. Please don't feed the animals.

Hey, I'm not feeding him/her. I'm giving due credit for wit. When Al's in top form, s/he's really on.

Posted by: shortstop on January 14, 2010 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

I've also often been reminded of a student who's been caught unprepared and tries to wing it. But, just like Bart Simpson, the issue isn't that she's stupid; she has considerable political skill or she wouldn't be where she is. The issue is that she's totally ignorant, and willfully so; she just doesn't think that knowing anything about anything, other than how to manipulate an audience, is worth bothering with. So, she's stupid on purpose, because being that way has always worked for her.

Posted by: Joe Buck on January 14, 2010 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Obviously the subtlety of Sarah has sailed over your heads. Because he agenda is NOT to win the Presidency, nor become a talking head on Fox. No, her real goal is to de-throne Jon Stewart. . .

Posted by: DAY on January 14, 2010 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

There's a much tighter Simpsons reference than Bart's book report. When the Germans ask Homer what safety initiatives he, as Safety Inspector, had been responsible for, Homer stammers, "Um.... all of them?"

Posted by: Tresy on January 14, 2010 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know what's the matter with you all. I for one couldn't be happier. This is going to be a never ending source of entertainment. As Steve pointed out she can't stop herself. Matching wits with Beck , Hannity, O'Reily... The Daily show writers will have to retire , this shit writes itself.

Posted by: john R on January 14, 2010 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents,
more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.
On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land
will reach their heart's desire at last and
the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

Posted by: edr on January 14, 2010 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

None of this made any sense, but Bart couldn't just stand up and say, "I have no idea what I'm talking about because I'm unprepared." He had to say something, so he made up some silliness and got the ordeal over with as quickly as possible.

I love it when Steve explains comedy. We need to know why we laugh at Palin.

Posted by: Jay Leno on January 14, 2010 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

"Al,Why do you insist on doing our work for us? In your attempt to bash "liberals", you claim Lincoln is a founding father? It would be comical if it wasn't so depressing."

Al, thank you for doing our work for us? you claim Lincoln is a founding father: It would be depressing if it wasn't so comical. And it may also be depressing. I wonder how many Palin fans would see a problem with Al's answer. Of course they may denigrate Lincoln as being such a left wing founding father- including founding such a left wing political party that most Afro-Americans voted for it for a century.

Posted by: Johnny Canuck on January 14, 2010 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

OK...I haven't been here in a while and fell for the the brilliant work of Al the troll....LOL...I shall pay closer attention in the future ;P

Posted by: independent thinker on January 14, 2010 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Well, if she HAD said Alex Hamilton she would have offended the landowners. If she had said Thomas Jefferson, she would have offended the business people. If she had said Benjamin Franklin she would have offended the religious people. If she has said James Madison, she would have offended the states rights people (Hamilton wrote the Constitution and there are still people -- many of them in Arizona -- who like the Articles of Confederation better. Yes, nobody remembers James Monroe. If she had said John Adams she would have offended everyone (he was "obnoxious and disliked" according to the musical 1776). And if she HAD said George Washington, the most obvious choice, she would have offended ... well ... perhaps the Royalists amongst us?

So the safe choice was to dodge the question and look uninformed or be unable to think on her feet.

Posted by: Kurt on January 14, 2010 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

From Screamin' Demon: Josh, why do you take Al seriously? Are the batteries in your snark detector dead?

Trust me, it went off as soon as I posted....

Posted by: Josh on January 14, 2010 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

"The left's continuous attacks on Governess Palin is getting very old, very fast. She named George Washington. I doubt that most Americans could name another Founding Father, except, perhaps, Abraham Lincoln."

Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, Franklin

All the above would be acceptable answers ; Lincoln - NOT!

Posted by: drinksforall on January 14, 2010 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

My favorite founding father is Jesus.

Posted by: Trigg Palin on January 14, 2010 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

LOL, Palin's new gig is going to provide endless entertainment, she simply can't help herself. I'm just glad that someone else is watching so I don't have to.

As for me, Alexander Hamilton was always my favorite, even more so after reading the excellent comprehensive biography by Ron Chernow.
I believe a couple of the founders were true geniuses, but I think Hamilton was the most brilliant of them all. I still don't think that he gets as much respect as he deserves.

But geez, even most teabaggers could name Jefferson and know that he was the one who favored limited government. Palin's ignorance is truly impressive.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on January 14, 2010 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Tweedledee and Tweedledum

Sat in expensive clothes and chairs,
Before expensive cameras...
And ruminated expansively
And profoundly...
On our body politic.

And this fatuous bullshit...
Was considered by conservadum and liberaldee...
To be must-watch teevee...
In the greatest democractic empire gone to dust and dreck and dirt.

God save the Queen!

Posted by: koreyel on January 14, 2010 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

p.s. For the one billionth time--Al is a parody troll. I think the editors could save a lot of comment space by posting that info at the top of the main page.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on January 14, 2010 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Dude. You're being very harsh on Bart with this comparison. That was just one day at school he had to flub a little, happens to everyone. He was probably too busy helping Homer patch a leak at the reactor. Comically, of course.

Palin. She's like that all of the time.

Posted by: jsacto on January 14, 2010 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

That Al,
calling Abraham Lincoln a founding father!!!

I would have named Alexander Hamilton and Raymond Burr.

Posted by: James on January 14, 2010 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Al is a parody, folks.

I realize it's hard to tell parody from reality when it comes to the wingnuts, but he's been doing this for years. Enjoy it. :-)

As far as Palin goes, I almost expect her to come out one of these days and admit she's pulling some Andy Kauffman-esque joke on America and our political system ... a carefully-crafted and brilliantly-performed piece of satire that exposes the hollowness and mendacity of our pundit class, and the mass stupidity of an alarming part of our electorate.

Either that, or she really is this willfully, happily, frighteningly ignorant of basic facts.

In which case, the fact she's made it this far makes me believe our nation really is about ready to implode. And it would deserve it.

Posted by: Mark D on January 14, 2010 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

One other thought:

She campaigned on being such a glorious and wonderful mom -- part of that righwing "family values" nonsense that they spout but never actually live.

So where the hell is Trigg and the other kids while she's gallivanting around Fox's studios? Shouldn't she be at home taking care of them, like all of the righties expect of all women?

Interesting that's suddenly not an issue ...

Posted by: Mark D on January 14, 2010 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

I think the appropriate SImpsons quote here is when Homer is Mr. Plow and he tries to lure his rival, Plow King, into undertaking a worthless job to get him out of town for a while:

Homer: If you do it, there's a thousand dollar bill in it for you...
Barney: Wow, a thousand dollar bill? Which President is on it?
Homer: Uhhhh... all of them... They're having a party.... Jimmy Carter is passed out on the couch.

Posted by: SqrlMnkey on January 14, 2010 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

It says right on the Statue of Liberty, "We don't need no stinkin' intelligence."

Posted by: hells littlest angel on January 14, 2010 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Well my favorite Founder is Benjamin Franklin because he has the highest denominated bill.

It's all about the Benjamins.

Posted by: cld on January 14, 2010 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Actual photo of shortstop in love,

http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/2364/shortstopinlove.gif

Posted by: cld on January 14, 2010 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Finally, Al provides his bonafides as a genuine PARODY poster! And to think I was naive enough to take him seriously as a mere teabagger troll.

OK, Al, now I love you too. Keep up the great work!

Posted by: I Me Mine on January 14, 2010 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

While Palin is the most visible of Rethug know-nothings, almost all top Rethugs (regularly) exhibit stunning levels of ignorance of even the most basic historic facts -- nothing scares me about the Rethugs as much as their disdain for facts and the truth...

Posted by: Radha on January 14, 2010 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwwzFuy8I3E&feature=player_embedded#

In this segment (4 minutes in) of the interview Beck and Palin tackle the Federal Reserve -sort of. Needless to say neither understands what the Fed does or what it is. But, Mom of Year dodges the question and makes a comment about sharing the resources of Exxon after windfall profits. Isn't that socialism or something?

Posted by: RolloTomasi on January 14, 2010 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

I kept waiting for her to say, "Or as the Indians called him, George Washington."

No, no, no. Her line should have been "Or as the Indians called him, Great White Father." ;>

Posted by: martin on January 14, 2010 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

What gets me is that she didn't even know enough to kiss Glenn Beck's pasty ass and say _his_ favorite, Thomas Paine. A fact I only know because it's such an illogical choice, given that Paine was very far left for his time.

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on January 14, 2010 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

There is no functional difference between stupidity and willful ignorance.

Posted by: soapdish on January 14, 2010 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

I heart Sarah Palin!! I hope she wins the nomination and runs against the President because that would be the surest way he'd be re-elected. I have to disagree with those who describe her as ignorant, but not stupid. I think I would rather describe her, as many have described Dub, as willfully stupid. That is, she chooses to be ignorant. That, to me, is stupid.

Posted by: wihntr on January 14, 2010 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

I think Al is hilarious!

I think Palin said George Washington because it was the only name she could remember. After all, she's been thinking pretty exclusively about dollar bills ever since she quit her day job.

I agree, she's going to be good for some serious entertainment in the next year or so. I'm just wondering whether she'll quit Fox, too, eventually. I think she's going to find it too much work.

Posted by: g on January 14, 2010 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin is lazy, I think, rather than stupid or even simply ignorant. She does know she doesn't know things, but she's too lazy to do anything about it -- especially when she's been so well-rewarded for spending more time on her appearance than on what she knows.
Fox will sooner or later run out of people to fawn over her (let's see there's still Greta, but I doubt that Huckabee is excited about doing an hour with her...) and then what?

Posted by: elisabeth on January 14, 2010 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

She could,ve at least grabbed the joe six-pack crowd by saying Sam Adams...

Posted by: Husker Blue on January 14, 2010 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Actual photo of shortstop in love

Once upon a time, indeed. I haven't had purple hair since a brief portion (the period between when I did it and when my parents noticed it) of the mid-1980s.

Posted by: shortstop on January 14, 2010 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Let me get this straight... Sarah Palin thinks the Founders formed a collective? And she likes them "collectively"? OMG! Sarah's a closet commie!

Posted by: Larry McD on January 14, 2010 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Especially since she had to give the wardrobe back after the 08 campaign, we can truly say this about Ms. Palin: THE EMPRESS HAS NO CLOTHES.

And ITA with Mark D: who is taking care of the kids? I imagine Trigg is with her, but the two younger girls are in school, right? Or do they have tutors? Or are they at home with the former First Dude? Though from what Levi has said, Sarah treated her kids like servants, so what's the difference if she's there or not.

Posted by: Hannah on January 14, 2010 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Proof, that for the right, diversity = rich(land owning) white males.

How many times can you praise that group for diversity without cracking up?

Posted by: gex on January 14, 2010 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Quote: "I doubt that most Americans could name another Founding Father, except, perhaps, Abraham Lincoln."

Mika Brzezinski actually picked Lincoln as her favorite Founding Father. She's such an airhead, though, I couldn't tell if she was being snarky or stupid.

Posted by: Lynn Dee on January 14, 2010 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Fortunately I wasn't drinking coffee when I read Al's comment. That was funny.

Politics is supposed to be show biz for ugly people. I guess Sarah is performing the Marilyn Monroe role, but I have to wonder. Marilyn was actually much brighter than her character. Is Sarah? Or is she genuine?

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 14, 2010 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

I hope Beck stood up, pointed a finger at her and shouted, "Gotcha!"

Beck is definitely afraid that Palin may be gunnin' for his spot in the weakly Fox line-up.

Posted by: Gridlock on January 14, 2010 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

The SNL Tina Fey skit writes itself again. Even funnier, if she had turned the question back on him, he woouldn't have been able to name another founding father either.

Posted by: Winkandanod on January 14, 2010 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

I remember in high school the election for school president. We had one kid come out and talk about the usual crap, longer recesses, indoor smoking area etc. Then one kid came out and gave a coherent speech on improving education, and what we as students could do, and how they would work with the administration to help develop these fairly well thought out ideas. Last came this jock with a marching band who screamed a bunch of inanities into the mike. The Jock won. Republicans are essentially these kids who never grew up, and Palin is the jock.

Posted by: Liam J on January 14, 2010 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

"That Al,
calling Abraham Lincoln a founding father!!!

I would have named Alexander Hamilton and Raymond Burr."

Posted by: James

Hahaha! What a great image - Hamilton dueling Perry Mason! Bravo!

By the way, is it just me or does anyone else have to replay the milk commercial in their head to remember Aaron Burr's name?

Posted by: cunning linguist on January 14, 2010 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Even funnier, if she had turned the question back on him, he woouldn't have been able to name another founding father either.

Most certainly not. Beck is quite smart, and unlike Palin, does a lot of reading. The better to subvert history and hijack it for his purposes I suppose. In my mind, Glenn the-performance-artist Beck almost breaks character in that clip, having to cover his mouth with a finger to not betray his "holy shit this woman is stupid" thoughts. At the end of Palin's rambling, he almost seems to lose it before gathering himself to say in a froggy voice "he's my favorite for that reason as well".

And watching the extended version, it's easy to see that Palin was clearly briefed beforehand on what questions were going to be asked throughout the interview.

Posted by: oh my on January 14, 2010 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Take yesterday, for example, when Glenn Beck asked Palin, "Who's your favorite Founder?"

And Harpo pulls a flat fish from his pocket and toots his horn.

Only in America.


Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on January 14, 2010 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

"And they were led by, of course George Washington."

Ah, Sarah. George had absolutely nothing to do with writing the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution or the Articles of Confederation. These are the documents that formed the country we are and established the values that we used to honor.

George, on the other hand, was a good general and a grown-up in the Presidency. These were important because they enabled the country to exist in the first place and because they set a precedent for how a president should behave. You really, really need to get a set of those recorded CD's of the history of the US from 1700 to 2000 and actually listen to them.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on January 14, 2010 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Palin on "the Founders": "...collectively they came together..."

The Founders were Communists?

I did not know that.

Posted by: CMcC on January 14, 2010 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK
Ah, Sarah. George had absolutely nothing to do with writing the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution or the Articles of Confederation.

Two out of three. He presided over the Constitutional Convention, although Madison and Hamilton did most of the heavy lifting of writing it.

As long as we're making fun of people for not knowing this stuff.

Posted by: drkrick on January 14, 2010 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

If Palin were in school there is no doubt she's be diagnosed with ADHD. She's not stupid, but her ability to focus is about as developed as a 4-year-old's.

Posted by: idlemind on January 14, 2010 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

..."so much diverse....?"

This chick needs voice lessons, let alone history lessons.

Better yet, thicker lipstick to gloss over her schtick!

I can't wait to ask her:

"Did you like Lincoln's victory speech at Gettysburg?"

Or:

"Why do you think god wants you to be on Fox?"

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on January 14, 2010 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Can't spell "Palin" without "Al"

Posted by: ComradeAnon on January 14, 2010 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately I don't think we'll see Sarah in any discussions or doing any interviews where she has to go beyond reading prepared questions, although I certainly hope so. I think she'll be doing teleprompter-reading reports written by actual reporters, or as close as Fox comes to that. Kinda like her couple of ghostwritten op-eds where she was suddenly expressing conventional right wing talking points in actual coherent English.

Posted by: emjayay on January 14, 2010 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

I think Palin is stupid (literally, can't reason well.). I also think she is lazy. She is obviously ignorant of many things she should know. Her success is a result of ambition, ruthlessness and CLEVERNESS (as in being cunning, able to work the system skillfully.)
The question she was asked is akin to a question about state capitals on Jeopardy!- you know it's coming so an intelligent person studies for it. You say something like, "I like John Jay because he's so underrated." No one else knows anything about Jay, so you drop a fact or two and sound like a genius. She didn't bother.
Or maybe she's just so utterly contemptuous of every other living being that she doesn't care what anyone else thinks of her.

Posted by: Tim H on January 14, 2010 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

In the end, I don't worry about Palin. Mittens and Huckleberry want to be president just as bad as she does. She will have to stand up in front of real TV cameras in a pseudo-dabate 8 or 10 times against people who can (and will be highly motivated to) show the entire nation just how stupid she really is. She probably won't even risk it- she won't run.

Posted by: Tim H on January 14, 2010 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

For some reason, this reminds me of Grover Norquist when he was trying to get Ronald Reagan's portrait on the $10 bill. Grover claimed that all other bills had an American President on them, so Reagan should replace Hamilton on the bill.

Lewis Black bet him $100 that he was wrong.

Posted by: josef on January 14, 2010 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK


The most apt answer for Palin would have been "John Hancock, because he made his signature so big."

But then, that would have required at least first-grade-level knowledge of the founding of the country.

Personally, I'm just surprised she didn't answer "Ronald Reagan".

Posted by: Tom Dibble on January 14, 2010 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Ranks up their with George W. Bush who, when asked back in the 2000 primary who his favorite philosopher was, said, "Jesus Christ."

Posted by: Mamzic on January 14, 2010 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the post, It was interesting.

Posted by: The Simpsons on September 15, 2010 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK
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