The Stupidity Sweepstakes

In a week of campaigning, Rick Perry has made Michele Bachmann look positively professorial.

The previous frontrunner specializes in little gaffes–like mistaking serial killer John Wayne Gacy for the cowboy star, starting the Revolutionary War in Concord, N. H. instead of Lexington, Mass., mistaking the anniversary of Elvis’ death for his birthday and worrying about the Soviet Union, now 20 years gone.

But Perry has not troubled himself with such trivia, choosing instead to go for Texas-sized ignorance about bigger subjects such as evolution, climate change and Social Security, bringing the level of often-wrong-but-never-in-doubt to new presidential campaign highs.

Forty year ago, when President Nixon nominated a Supreme Court Justice widely considered “mediocre,” Sen. Roman Hruska defended the choice: “Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they, and a little chance?”

By that logic, the current GOP presidential field has opened new vistas for the intellectually challenged, with Perry taking it all into uncharted territory.

As Republican hopefuls pile on the President as an elitist out of touch with the American people, they are offering the alternative of uninformed certitude in many flavors.

Little wonder that the lone exception, Jon Huntsman, is tweeting his supporters: “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

MORE.

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Author: ROBERT STEIN

  • http://www.americaincontext.com Barky

    It’s hard to believe that ignorance sells, but it does. Hence we are doomed.

  • JSpencer

    Huntsman makes Perry look positively cro magnon.

  • dduck

    Come on, what we are witnessing here is the “nature abhors a vacuum” aspect of presidential election cycles. To wit, every cycle needs a slick looking guy with great hair and stated high morals. (Remember John Edwards?)
    Romney’s hair couldn’t quite make it and Trump didn’t jump in, so here’s Rick.

  • Absalon

    dduck, you seem to almost imply that Trump’s hair is in the same category as Perry’s or Romney’s.

    If you are, you have no business decrying anyone’s lack of intelligence or awareness.

  • dduck

    Trump did not make the cut, he sheared off at the early stage. He is merely a straw man with a straw colored coif, that I trimmed out of the field.
    And, my business is to decry bad hairdos which right is probably protected by the commerce clause or some other part of the constitution.
    BTW: Is there a baldy gap? Will Rudy pop up, just to drive some liberals madder than they already are?

  • RP

    I finally understand why the moderates, who outnumber the liberals and conservatives by a good margin, do not have much input into who is president. While the far right is nominating bleeding heart liberals like Obama, supported by the likes of Pelosi and Reid and the extreme right is nominating far right candidates like Bachmann or Perry, moderates are checking candidates looks and making decisions based on hair cuts. Then we are left to hold our nose and vote for the least worse candidate picked by the far left or far right, hoping the next 4 years will be better than the past 12.

  • dduck

    Two rights don’t make a left, but you made a good point.

  • SteveK

    bleeding heart liberals like Obama

    Now that’s funny… And just what we should expect from a “moderate”?

  • DaGoat

    This is a typical hit piece claiming anyone that doesn’t agree with the left’s party line must be stupid. Rick Perry is too far right and not a very good candidate, but he’s not stupid. His comments are questionable but probably don’t reflect stupidity.

    Evolution – I believe in Darwin’s theory and do not believe in creationism, but Perry is right there are a few holes in Darwin’s theory. Admitting that is being much more scientifically honest then just saying the guy who points it out is stupid. Moreover millions of people that are not stupid believe in creationism.

    Climate change – once again evolution and climate change (AGW) are mentioned together, as if there is some equivalence and questioning either is a sign of stupidity. AGW exists – there is and should be skepticism about to what degree it exists, what is the best way to handle it and how much we can afford to correct it. Both the corporations that gain from ignoring it and the millions who accept it as dogma should be viewed critically.

    Social Security – Perry called it a Ponzi scheme and unconstitutional. If by Ponzi scheme you mean an unsustainable scheme that benefits current beneficiaries at the expense of future ones, then it fits. I do think calling SocSec a Ponzi scheme is a misnomer since it is legal and its goals are truly noble, where a Ponzi scheme is illegal and devious.

    For all the complaints about partisanship and divisions, this is the kind of article that makes things worse. Discussion of issues is replaced by personal attacks and name-calling.

  • SteveK

    Couldn’t edit previous post so I’ll try anew:

    While the far right is nominating bleeding heart liberals like Obama

    Now that’s funny… but I have to agree this time it will be the far right both nominating and assuring the reelection of President Obama.

    FWIW: I realize that “far right” was meant to be “far left” but your “bleeding heart liberals like Obama” comment explains just what brand of “moderate” the author is and how much attention [s]he’s been paying.

  • DLS

    DaGoat understates the case with man-made climate change, which is a problem of dogma, an effective religion, and political pollution of science by the Left.

    [shrug] That the Usual Suspects are stooping low as usual is no surprise. They probably still resent the November 2010 repudiation of Obama and the Congressional Democrats’ playing with farther-left politics (including climate politics-related legislative game-playing).

  • Allen

    Pass the popcorn, the show is good…

    If this is a “hit piece” it’s the most accurate hit piece ever written. The current Republican candidates might as well be wearing clown suits and big red noses. Bob Dole is probably fit to be tied. The Limbaugh’s, Hannity’s and Becks created these monsters, so you dummy Republicans can just sit’n and twiddle your thumbs while we laugh all the way to a second term.

  • JSpencer

    Dduck makes an excellent point (as relevant as most of the observations thus far) and this has to do with the “baldy gap”. The GOP should be looking for an Eisenhower look-alike at this point. Too much pretty hair (Romney, Edwards, Perry, Kerry, etc.).

  • JSpencer

    “DaGoat understates the case with man-made climate change, which is a problem of dogma, an effective religion, and political pollution of science by the Left.”

    Speaking of dogma, you just provided a fine illustration of blind adherence to it. The parroting of that meme is, in a word, unconscionable.

  • SteveK

    “Rick Perry has made Michele Bachmann look positively professorial.” – Robert Stein

    * * * *

    “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” – Jon Huntsman

    * * * *

    “Huntsman makes Perry look positively cro magnon.” – JSpencer

    * * * *

    That the Usual Suspects are stooping low as usual is no surprise. – DLS

    * * * *

    Perry makes Huntsman look and sound like a pre-pubescent child. – gcotharn

    gcotharn makes DLS look like an intelligent individual – SteveK

    “I can’t be kind about this… because these people are watching “The Flintstones” as if it were a documentary! – Lewis Black

    Here’s a link to a Lewis Black video with “The Flintstones” quote but it’s not fit for work:

    *** Warning “F” Bomb Alert ***
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0gAcbAGPH4
    *** End “F” Bomb Alert ***

    The video link was cleaned up quite well but there are still two or three “F” Bombs. Please don’t watch with children or fragile adults in the room.

  • Allen

    SteveK-

    The Lewis Black clip should be required in every school. (for the right price)

  • DLS

    Romney isn’t just known for the hair, but for being the equivalent of a teevee news anchor (and does a better job of it than Obama ever has done). He’s robotic, but nothing like the worst of all, Al Gore.

    Now, the Demmies do have their teevee anchor material. Here, e.g.:

    http://therecoveringpolitician.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/MarkWarnerHeadshot_Context.jpg

  • JSpencer

    Thanks Steve, great post! Ain’t it crazy how reality is so threatening to some folks? Just amazing…

  • merkin

    This is not completely fair. The candidates reflect the views of the constituency, not that these positions are coming from the candidates or even that the candidates have much influence forming them.

    No one can honestly say that our leaders form the debate anymore. This is being done by the same anonymous people who also convince you to spend more than needed for heavily advertised products such as laundry detergents.

    And it is unreasonable to say that the debate is in anyway formed to advance the broad interests of the nation. It is being formed to advance the very specific, narrow, financial interests of a very few people.

    It is ridiculous to argue if the scientific community is right concluding that AGW is a genuine threat. Of course, it is. Nor is it a question that the earlier we face the problem the lower the costs will be to the nation as a whole. These wouldn’t even be questions if they didn’t adversely impact the bottom line of the people who profit from carbon emissions. Narrow financial interests trumping those of the nation as a whole.

    It is ridiculous to say that the nation as a whole is better off if we continue to pay twice as much for health care as the rest of the world, whether through Medicare, Medicaid, the VA or private means. But it is in the interests of the very few that we do. Narrow financial interests trumping those of the nation as a whole.

    Social Security is not in anyway financially irresponsible, or unsustainable. It pre-payed through increased taxes to handle the baby boomers, certainly more responsible than 99% of other programs. But because the money was used to finance tax cuts in an irresponsible economic experiment favoring the few it is Social Security that must face cuts, not the narrowly focused, failed experiment.

    And you can’t say that Social Security is not in the best interests of the nation as a whole. To throw the burden of caring for the elderly back on middle class families, even in part, when they paid the taxes meant to do it should be roundly rejected. Why isn’t it? Narrow financial interests trumping those of the nation as a whole.

    We have been sold another brand of over priced soap, and until we realize it we will continue to repeat these silly and misleading arguments, each of us taking our prepared positions, no one convincing the others.

  • http://wideeyedandreal.blogspot.com ProfElwood

    If there’s something wrong with their policy positions, I didn’t read it here. That’s the part we should be debating. Evolution is in the past, and not relevant to a President’s actions. We’d need cooperation from emerging economies to change AGW.

    Calling people names reflects more on the one calling than the person that they’re talking about. It’s a great substitute for reason and debate.

  • DaGoat

    merkin, those are reasonable points and that is the kind of discussion we need to have. Mr Stein tells the story of Sen. Hruska saying mediocre people need a mediocre candidate to represent them, the implication being that Perry is the candidate that stupid people will vote for. And who are those stupid people – people who believe in creationism, don’t believe in AGW or believe that SocSec is a Ponzi scheme.

    The headline is The Stupidity Sweepstakes and the accompanying photo is a dummy. You do the math and tell me if the article is focused on issues.

  • SteveK

    DaGoat says: The headline is The Stupidity Sweepstakes and the accompanying photo is a dummy. You do the math and tell me if the article is focused on issues.

    DaGoat, There are a whole bunch of letters grouped together below the headline. Had you read them your question wouldn’t have been necessary… You could have answered it yourself.

    Here’s but a paragraph of Mr. Stein’s article that might help you to understand:

    But Perry has not troubled himself with such trivia, choosing instead to go for Texas-sized ignorance about bigger subjects such as evolution, climate change and Social Security, bringing the level of often-wrong-but-never-in-doubt to new presidential campaign highs.

    FYI: The letters in red are to ‘LINKS‘. If you click on the ‘LINKS’ you will be taken to another articles that further “focused on issues”… Issues that both Robert Stein and merkin have so capably addressed.

  • DaGoat

    The letters in red are to ‘LINKS‘. If you click on the ‘LINKS’ you will be taken to another articles

    Gee Steve, thanks for that.

  • SteveK

    Sorry DaGoat… The ‘edit window’ closed before I could add my intended :)… And before I could correct my numerous grammatical faux pas, too! :(