Politics as Usual: Dumb and Dumber

It’s good for all of us feministas out there to know we have two women vying, each in their own way, for the position of the presidency. Although if Hilary Clinton wasn’t “good” (smart, savvy, experienced, educated, coherentforcryingoutloud) enough to be president, I can’t imagine either of these (Michele Bachman, Sarah Palin) could qualify. Unless, of course, we’re not really concerned about any of the above, nor of our potential president’s grasp of facts, or reality; a possibility that looms large while continuing to boggle the mind.

Today’s quiz: see if you can identify the (mis)speaker in the following quotes. To make it fair, I will cross out speakerisms which might make it too obvious.

1.  “John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa,” Ms. _________________ told Carl Cameron of Fox News in an interview. “That’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.”

The actor was actually born in Winterset, Iowa, which is about 150 miles southwest of Waterloo. It was John Wayne Gacy, known as the killer clown who raped and murdered 33 teenage boys in the 1970s, who lived in Waterloo.

John Wayne, beloved actor; John Wayne Gacy, pedophile rapist clown; what’s the difference?

2.  “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.”

Besides the blinding obliteration of the facts, one can’t help but ponder. As we try to teach students to write, we ask them first if they can speak. If they can’t, they should run for president?

But look how pretty they are.

I love that the source from which I got the Michele Bachman photo was an article with the headline “I am Dangerous.” No shit, sherlock.

5 Responses to “Politics as Usual: Dumb and Dumber”

  1. 1 treacle
    June 29, 2011 at 5:19 am

    We’re not doing that well with our choice of politicians over here in the UK either. However this “development” does hold a certain elevated irony. I wish you all well and hope that the voters do the right thing when the time comes…although what that would be, I am not quite sure.

    PS. I do enjoy your blog and will visit more often.

  2. June 30, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    I’m thinking we should be more concerned that Michele Bachman is apparently “dressing like my mother”, (Sarah Palin), according to Bristol Palin. Which she thinks we should notice, and I guess disapprove of. I am more worried about the fact that they both have no real grasp of the facts and, as you amusingly pointed out, Bachman has confused John Wayne with John Wayne Gacy. Big Diff, imo.

    I guess now that they’re dressing alike they’ll be even harder to tell apart, oh dear. How WILL we ever be able to separate “Dumb” from “Dumber”?!

  3. 3 Veronica Love
    August 10, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Although personal attacks can sway the uninformed, they are most always used when you can’t win an intellectual conversation. Since I can find no mention of the fact our current president once said we had 57 states (something even my 1st grader knows is wrong) your attack appears to be just another biased personal attack and not a real honest discussion on gaffs made by politicians. Such attacks are something most fair minded people have sworn off after Arizona. When seeking to take down political foes try debating the issues. Even NOW came out yesterday against what Time did to Michele Bachmann because the attacks on women in Politics while giving men free rides is part of the reason Hillary is not President today. Speak to the real issues and not the gaffs everyone makes, it might increase the numbers that visit your blog. Tell us why the Paul Krugman way of spending what we don’t have on entitlements that we cannot afford with cash from our friends in China is the way to go. Or why Hillary would have been a better President because she would never have done a surge (like obama and bush did) and she would have never taken us into a war that would cost so much with no benefit to our country like bush (Iraq) and Obama (Libya) did. Or the fact that Hillary would have never put forth a budget this year the every single Senate Democrat voted against like what happened with obamAA. Oh and did I mention Hillary knows the number of States. If only.

    • August 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm

      While you raise a lot of interesting points, and topics I wish I could address with the wealth of time, information and gravitas I wish I possessed, I’m afraid I don’t feel qualified to discuss at a New York Times Op/Ed level the merits of various solutions to our national debt or whether the surge in Afghanistan was or was not a good idea. (I actually don’t think we should have been in Iraq at all, and probably not Afghanistan either, as W was just grandstanding and/or trying to live up to Daddy in some perpetually inadeqaute/Freudian way, but once we were there and had made a giant mess of things, maybe we had a responsibility to try to clean it up? Weren’t most of the terrorists involved on 9/11 from Saudi Arabia? But we can’t do anything THERE because we need all that oil.) I actually got so fed up recently (read “Blech”) that I decided I needed to take a news fast for a while so as to be able to get up in the morning.

      Anyway. . .

      What I DO know is that, while Hilary may have been given an unfair shake by the press, she certainly deserved our respect as someone who KNEW things, who was actually qualified to put herself forward as a potential leader of this country, and these two women certainly do not. The fact that they are taken seriously by as many people as they are fills me with dread if not outright horror. I also don’t feel I am talking about misspeaking — something we all do — but about serious factual errors, often made in situations (i.e. prepared speeches) which minimal research would have prevented. And I am always first in the line of women saying we women should be better to each other — it seems that we all still feel subliminally like we’re competing for the Neanderthal we think might drag the most meat back to the cave when what we should really be doing is fighting together for equal pay, a more family-friendly workplace, and an equal piece of the political/societal pie.

      Also, If you look further into my blog under the “Politics” and “Government” categories, you will see that I am often writing about the issues, and certainly not giving men free rides.

      Thank you for your comment, and for reading.

    • 5 guardo
      August 10, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      @ Veronica:

      Several interesting points here. But also wide of the mark in a number of respects.

      While it is important to engage issues, there is still a place for laughing at empty-headed, self-indulgent fools whose arrogance far outweighs their competence. Your post implies that Obama ought to be lumped in with the two who are the subject of the post. This is a hideous suggestion, of course; whatever you think of his policies, his life has been marked by curiosity and industry and accomplishment. One would say the same of Hillary Clinton, though, as Hitchens has shown, she is hardly above reproach.

      Bachmann and Palin, by contrast, are self-promoting imbeciles—and NOT because they’re women, but despite the fact; would-be politicians of their ilk (stupid, ignorant, and self-absorbed, that is) are almost always men —whose ambition so far outstrips their intellect, breadth of knowledge, and industriousness as to defy description. It is disgraceful that either would have political viability in this country.

      I would love to engage their substance here, but ideas have they none. Both are thoughtless sound bytes, for whom the poles are prescriptive.

      You seem interested in woman having success in politics. So am I. You feel that potshots at women like Palin and Bachmann are part of the problem. I disagree. I think, rather, that the political process is so corrupted by money and power that the woman we would want can’t get past the stench.

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