12 January 2011

Weapons Grade Stupidity

I apologize for the following post. I'm sailing another sea of unbloggableness, and the political slant is something that won't leave me alone, so I must purge. Like kidney stones and bad dreams, this too shall pass. Thank you for your patience...

There is a bit of conventional wisdom that goes something like this:
If the person you are having dinner with is nice to you but rude to the waiter, that person is not a nice person.  Avoid that person.
I think there is a corollary to that advice, and it goes something like this:
If a public figure emphatically claims something to be that which it never was, and their claim can easily be refuted, they are insulting the intelligence of the listener.  And that figure is not a nice person.
On January 8th, Rebecca Mansour, an official for the Sarah Palin PAC, appeared on the Tammy Bruce* radio show, claiming that the symbols on that infamous map of theirs were never intended to be gun sights.  Laughably, at Tammy Bruce's suggestion, Ms. Mansour agreed that they weren't gun sights, they were "surveyor's marks".

Surveyor's marks.   Really.  And I suppose "Don't retreat, RELOAD!" really meant "Don't back up the minivan, just rearrange the luggage!"

I really cannot fathom why so many people seem to think that Sarah Palin and others of the same mindset are worthy of our votes for public office.  Not only are they blind to their own shortcomings, they expect us to be blind as well.  

These people aren't exhibiting much intelligence of their own, and they are blatantly insulting our collective intelligence.  Would you really want them in positions of power?

They are not nice people.  Don't have dinner with them.

*To be fair, I was only vaguely familiar with Tammy Bruce before this past weekend.  The miracle of the Interwebs made it easy to rectify that, although now I'm ambivalent about the knowledge.  Ms. Bruce has described herself as "a gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, Tea Party Independent Conservative", with her show promoted as "a chick with a gun and a microphone."  That kind of glib, moronic attempt at a 'ballsy' persona is just as unimpressive coming from a woman as it is coming from a man.  Too bad she doesn't take that gun and shoot her microphone, thus sparing us all the irritation of another oxygen thief befouling the airwaves.

To those who left comments on my "Politics and Violence" post of January 9th, thank you. It's nice to know I was not alone.


  1. Bravo Gumbo, very well said! I'm not going to say too much however, as coming from the U.K. we have plenty of oxygen thieves of our own. I'll just say that the kind of imagery Sarah Palin used is, and has proved to be, extremely dangerous and Rebecca Mansour's 'explanation' was ridiculous.

  2. Thank you IG, and I won't be having dinner with them anytime soon. And you should never apologize for pointing out idiocy.

    Where the hell is common sense anymore?
    It's so rare it's a goddamn superpower.

  3. clap. clap. clap.

    I shake my head in confusion when I hear people like that. Honestly.

  4. Do you include Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik in the above category of people not to have dinner with? Because, without investigation, without facts to cite, without any statement from Loughner (the shooter), proclaimed the reason that Loughner attacked Giffords and the crowd was due to the atmosphere presented by those on the Right, especially talk radio.

    I saw a replay of a political ad the other day, it was a candidate for Congress using a rifle to shoot a target that had "Cap and Trade" printed on it. the candidate said he would "take aim at" the bill and (I think) "kill" it.

    He was a Democrat.

    I don't think hyperbole belongs to just one faction. That's how Congress changed hands in 2006 and, again, in 2010.

    Yet it is the politicians who counsel the rest of us to "tone down" the debate.

    There is a lot of anger at government these days. But it's been there for as long as I can remember. It's a part of the political reality of this country. The tone has been ratcheting up in the past few decades... after a brief lull following the turbulence of the 60's and early 70's.

    I see the incident in Tucson as a repeat of the attack on Reagan in 1981. A madman with a gun shoots a politician for irrational reasons. I do not recall that incident triggering this kind of debate about an atmosphere of fear and hate.

    The return to civility must come from the top, from those in office and from those who design campaigns. The political pundits, party hacks and strategists, and the politicians themselves must stop running campaigns which paint their opponents as dishonorable and dangerous. That is, if they really want the political discourse to calm down.

    We, the people, cannot do it. We don't set the tone... we follow it.

  5. Up here in Canada-ville, we've always thought Sarah Palin was completely laughable--like a walking talking joke. And then we couldn't believe that all of our "neighbours" don't feel the same way. The world is a scary place.

  6. Ha ha! Nice. That IS weapons-grade stupid.

    Gotta go rearrange the luggage in the minivan...

  7. They took down the map with the "surveryor's marks."

    Which I interpret as an admission of guilt.

  8. I went over and saw that, but was confused about it...I hesitate to say anymore, but I feel too many people on fb this past weekend seemed like they were ready to go on a witch hunt, pick up torches and pitch forks to run someone into a barn and set it on fire...

    'Like kidney stones and bad dreams...' gave me a chuckle, but you are right about having dinner with some of these people...I'd rather eat alone...

  9. And then Palin took it up a notch.

    Here here.

  10. Half-Governor Palin and her ilk are followed by the lemmings who neither read nor think for themselves. They depend on being spoon fed by talk show entertainers. Sorry for my rant. But it is just how I feel. I cannot imagine Half-Governor Palin delivering such a speech as I heard last night from Mr. Obama at the Tucson Memorial. No way, no how.

  11. oh, she tried tho, didn't she Syd? Did you see her "fire side chat" yesterday, calling in BLOOD LIBEL? You don't have to have a 1st grade education to know that when you talk about takin' down people, and settin' 'em in yer sites, to know what they were talking about. The ugly rants of those in the Media (particularly but not limited to FAUX news) egg it on, fan the flames of anger and discontent and mistrust. Then along comes a crazy man, who should have been looked after months ago but was probably neglected because our country doesn't take care of the poor or sick, and he goes nutso in public with a gun he should not have been permitted to BUY, let alone carry. The pall over Tucson is as palpable as the one that hung over NYC in September 2001...I hate that I have been there for both of these tragedies.

  12. Oh Gumbo, I love you so..but I have to disagree.

    I am a Republican, always have been, likely always will be. The thing that is wrong here is that BOTH sides are using this to jockey for position.

    That being said, I am not a huge Sarah Palin fan and when she put those "surveyor marks" up, or whatever they are, I thought she was extreme.

    But...BUT...I never thought she meant "kill" those people. Nor do I think the shooter was in his right mind enough to interpret it as such. He is a sick man who hated government in general. He was into drugs (at least in his past) and "mind control". He needed help, or at the very least, more restraint than the college disciplinary action he received. He is a sick man and as a society we (Republicans and Democrats) failed to stop him.

    Again, I'm no Palin fan, but what she did, while not the smartest thing I've seen in my life, does not need to be brought into the conversation for political gain.

    Still love me? BC I still love you a ton. Let's agree to disagree. Mmmmkay?


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

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