The Dumbest Thing I Heard This Week

Here it is, the most popular feature of the week, where I review the dumbest article, argument, or statement that I heard this week. This week there was really no contest once I read this article. Timothy Stanley writes for CNN that the GOP would be better off today if Sarah Palin had run.

Stanley makes a few statements that seem, superficially, appealing. He says that the GOP needs “a candidate who can appeal to lower-income voters, who can rally men, who can gain women’s votes, who can bring out conservatives in large numbers and who can appeal to a younger demographic.” The problem is that they already have that candidate in Rick Santorum. His successes have been localized to lower-income men and women (hold your scoffs, Santorum does really well with conservative leaning women).

If Santorum brings the same qualities to the table, what does Palin have over him? Stanley says that Palin is more disciplined. Go ahead and re-read that sentence. According to Stanley, Palin only made two gaffes in 2008 — failing to identify a newspaper she read and failing to identify the Bush doctrine. Even if we were to accept that premise — remember her embarrassing lack of knowledge of the Supreme Court — the cavalcade of gaffes she’s made since the election buries any idea that she is disciplined. Remember her retelling of Longfellow’s Midnight Ride of Paul Revere:

He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.

Comparatively, Santorum is a paragon of discipline. Say what you will about his “snobbery” claims, but it was a calculated move to reach the strain of GOP voters who distrust higher education.

Stanley also engages in pure revisionism. He lauds her for once saying that evolution should be taught in schools, while ignoring her reversal.

Stanley works at Oxford, so maybe he doesn’t understand Sarah Palin, but that doesn’t excuse a complete lack of research.

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