“‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!‘” – Sarah Palin, Twitter, July 18, 2010.
Former part-time Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin has repeatedly demonstrated her lack of knowledge about…well, almost everything, really. If there is an antidote to the European Enlightenment, which threw back the darkness of the Middle Ages and gave birth to the United States of America, it is Sarah Palin. She is to knowledge what kryptonite is to Superman. She is anti-knowledge.
What is more, and what any sensible person would think worse, she seems eager to demonstrate her complete and total ignorance. It is difficult at times to know whether to laugh or cry. Her fans, however, cheer. Which is worse? The fool or those who cheer the fool?
And these people think they can run the country. Come to think of it, perhaps it’s no surprise that such a crowd would cheer Sarah Palin.
For the rest of us, those not lost in the bliss of utter ignorance of national and world affairs, the problem of Sarah Palin remains. While we can’t take away her right to be as ignorant as she wishes to be, we can make it costly for her with a few judicious votes in the upcoming Midterm Elections. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of Sarah’s whoppers.
At the top I have to put her complete inability to name anything she has read. When asked by Katie Couric to name a magazine or newspaper she has read, she answered:
“All of ‘em, any of ‘em that have been in front of me over all these years.” – Interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, October 1, 2008
Is there anyone else on the planet who can’t name one thing they read? I can name newspapers and magazines I read forty years ago as a child.
Given the claims of the Tea Party to represent the beliefs of our Founding Fathers, it’s a little astounding that their heroine can’t name any of them. Asked by Glenn Beck to name her favorite Founding Father, Palin answered:
“You know, well, all of them because they came collectively together with…so much diversity in terms of belief but collectively they came together to form this union.” - Glenn Beck Show, January 13, 2010.
Even Glenn Beck, who is no blazing intellect himself, wasn’t buying that one. Having answered that she reads “everything” because she reads nothing she says all the Founding Fathers are her favorites because she doesn’t know who any of them are.
Under prompting from Glenn she finally names George Washington. But then, every American can name George Washington. Can’t they?
So now that Sarah has established that she doesn’t know anything she has read and doesn’t know any Founding Fathers, she demonstrates that she doesn’t know any Supreme Court Decisions. Asked to name a Supreme Court decision other than Roe v. Wade that she disagrees with she answered:
“Well, let’s see. There’s ― of course in the great history of America there have been rulings that there’s never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but ―” – Interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, October 1, 2008.
Apparently, Sarah believes herself immune to the consequences of her ignorance. In her wacky private dimension she would be immune from ethics violations if she were elected President of the United States. Remember, it was ethics violations which derailed her governorship of Alaska. So, wishful thinking when she says (?):
“I think on a national level your Department of Law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we’ve been charged with and automatically throw them out.”ABC News interview, July 7, 2009.
Interesting that she thinks she would possess an immunity President Clinton lacked, and which Republicans think President Obama also lacks if they regain control of Congress. In all fairness to Sarah, President Bush felt he was immune to violations of the Constitution as well, and events have shown him to be correct in his assumptions (if only thanks to Executive and Congressional forbearance), so perhaps we can give a flier on this one.
Of course, it’s only fair to mention that there is no such thing as a “Department of Law” in the White House.
Honorable mention must go to her belief that Vladimir Putin flying over Alaskan airspace makes her a foreign policy expert:
“As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where- where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.” – Interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, Sept. 24, 2008
Her most recent is perhaps one of her most egregious displays of ignorance:
“This Statue of Liberty was gifted to us by foreign leaders, really as a warning to us, it was a warning to us to stay unique and to stay exceptional from other countries. Certainly not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies.” – Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center, Anchorage Alaska, September 11, 2010.
As the National Park Service tells us (and could have told her had she checked or cared):
“The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy.”
Not from foreign leaders but from the people of France, not as a warning but as a sign of friendship, and needless to say, having nothing to do with socialism.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many more instances of her breathtaking ignorance than can be named here. Suffice it to say, President Bush, while the most anti-intellectual President in US History, would be eclipsed by Sarah Palin should she ever attain the Oval Office.
At least there would be no need to fund a presidential library when her term of office was up – assuming she completed her term of office.
In the end, we don’t have to “refudiate” Sarah Palin’s claim to intelligence. She has done that herself. Many times over.