November 8, 2008

What the Overly Credulous Should Have Assumed

Justin Katz

I suppose a lot of people were predisposed to this sort of credulity, but this should have been the first guess all around:

He says there's no way she didn't know Africa was a continent, and whoever is saying she didn't must be distorting "a fumble of words." He talked to her about all manner of issues relating to Africa, from failed states to the Sudan. She was aware from the beginning of the conflict in Darfur, which is followed closely in evangelical churches, and was aware of Clinton's AIDS initiative. That basically makes it impossible that she thought all of Africa was a country.

On not knowing what countries are in NAFTA, Biegun was part of the conversation that led to that accusation and it convinces him "somebody is acting with a high degree of maliciousness." He was briefing Palin before a Univision interview, and talking to her about trade issues. He rolled through NAFTA, CAFTA, and the Colombia FTA. As he talked, people were coming in and out of the room, handing Palin things, etc. She was distracted from what Biegun was saying, and said, roughly, "Ok, who's in NAFTA, what's the deal with CAFTA, what's up the FTA?"—her way, Biegun says, of saying "rack them and stack them," begin again from the start. "Somebody is taking a conversation and twisting it maliciously," he says.

Frankly, I'm amazed at folks' lack of capacity for empathy. Take a person steeped in the minutia of a particular state and try to get her up to speed on the full slate of national and international issues, and it's inevitable that she'll ask a couple of silly questions (even if she'd know the answer in regular conversation) and make a few mistakes.

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I quess I should just read the Corner instead of your blog. Do you ever venture out of your ideological straightjacket? Don't you have any interest in anything other than the little narrow band of the NRO?

Posted by: David at November 8, 2008 7:06 PM

Read what you want to read.



Posted by: Justin Katz at November 8, 2008 7:23 PM

Yeah. Don't worry about me. I read what I want to and some of it includes opinions that I don't readily agree with. I think that approach at a minimum allows me to be in touch with what I don't know.

Posted by: David at November 8, 2008 7:34 PM

I think there are some folks from the McCain campaign who can't accept responsibility for their own failure.

If Sarah Palin contributed in any way to McCain's lost, I believe that contribution paled in comparison to -

-Early opposition to Bush Tax Cuts
-Gang of 14
-Suspending his campaign to run to Washington for the "economic crisis" with no semblance of a plan.

You can't blame anyone but McCain for those blunders.

Posted by: George at November 8, 2008 8:38 PM

I'm still waiting for you to answer pragmatist's question inquiring whether you had any second thoughts on Palin after watching her abysmal performance in the Couric interview.

Since you are asking that Palin be cut slack you should also be able to extend it. But you don't: you live by the double standard.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at November 8, 2008 9:22 PM

I've already told you that I commented on that interview when it was new. You don't appear to have found that post, and I don't consider it to be my job to find it for you.

Posted by: Justin Katz at November 8, 2008 9:29 PM

How much empathy would there be from your corner if Sarah Palin was a RI public school teacher? Or a 2nd grade public school student?

Posted by: David at November 8, 2008 9:41 PM


Not sure what you're talking about with the 2nd grade student, but I'd have plenty of empathy for a public school teacher thrust into the national spotlight. To be honest, I have empathy for them under current circumstances.

I disagree with them and their actions often, but I can't recall slamming them in circumstances that were anything similar to the Palin controversies.

Posted by: Justin Katz at November 8, 2008 9:55 PM

I have even more sympathy for Joe I've Been A Senator Longer Than Most Americans Have Been Alive Biden, he who seems to recall seeing FDR's televised speeches, which he probably thinks that he watched as he was scrounging for more speeches to plagiarize ... NOT!

Posted by: Tom W at November 8, 2008 10:12 PM


It is that same biting, nasty tone that cost the GOP the election.

Posted by: WillP at November 8, 2008 10:48 PM

As opposed to the biting, nasty tone of liberals who comment here?

Posted by: Justin Katz at November 8, 2008 10:50 PM


I had a long and very testy conversation with my father (he worked 27 years for U.S. Navy) during the campaign testing a theory I had that Governor Sara Palin was picked to be McCain’s running mate because she would make a great excuse for his loosing the election or be trainable for VP if McCain won the election for president.

Believe me; our father and son debate (I thinking outside of the box) became very heated especially because both of us have had dealings and working relationships with U.S. Naval Officers.

Well I brought my suggestion to my father again but this time pointing to current news media reports about McCain; Governor Sara Palin and then dropped the subject real quick with him but thanks Justin for bringing up the subject on AR.

I really didn’t do an “I told you so Dad!” but gently reminded him of our pervious discussion.

You just never really know!

I did make some comments about Governor Sara Palin on AR but kept them civil.

Hawaii’s Governor Linda Lingle who stumped on the mainland for McCain and was the introductory speaker for Governor Sara Palin at one time was quoted in today’s Honolulu Advertiser newspaper; “Lingle says GOP platform too rigid”. Full newspaper article can be found at following link:

Posted by: Ken at November 8, 2008 11:52 PM

The election is over, and there are still members of the mainstream media willing to cite "unnamed" sources in order to attack Palin - and yet they manage to find ways to ignore "small" things like the mysterious overseas credit card donations to Obama's campaign.

Apparently the liberal illuminati aren't satisfied yet.

It only cues me to think that they see Palin as a continuing threat to the leftist regime. Good! It means she's doing something right.

I trust John McCain. If she was good enough for him, then his nose-out-of-joint aides should go back to Romney's feet, where they started and apparently hope to finish.

Posted by: Gippergal at November 9, 2008 12:30 AM

You did not answer pragmatist's question in the same post in which he asked it. If you answered you hid it under a rock. The fact that you buried your answer (if you actually did answer) speaks louder than any thing you could possibly say on the subject.
"Live clean. Let your works be seen".

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at November 9, 2008 12:43 AM

Your bizarre obsession with this is leading you to misread: I put up a post on the interview (i.e., not a comment) around the time when it was fresh. All my limited responses to you and Pragmatist imply is that I find neither of you worth arguing with. So, herewith, I'll cease.

Posted by: Justin Katz at November 9, 2008 7:18 AM

Yes I can have empathy for the individual, Palin. Not the political entity. The poltical Palin dished out the smears and crap with the best of them. And she got some back. Now I consider all I read and hear and see of media with healthy skepticism. Just remember that these stories came out of a losing campaign, not the msm, or the other side. The press was avid for any Palin news - this interest works in her favor, too. Personally, I have no interest in these stories.

Posted by: David at November 9, 2008 8:54 AM

"it's inevitable that she'll ask a couple of silly questions (even if she'd know the answer in regular conversation) and make a few mistakes."

There is no doubt that the gaffes and mistakes by Obama/Biden outnumbered those of McCain/Palin. The difference, of course, was the media, who felt that Barack Obama was the Right Candidate and which, accordingly, felt obliged to use its power to promote him - in this case, by dwelling on the mistakes and mis-speaks of the opponent team while skipping lightly over those of the Obama/Biden ticket.

Posted by: Monique at November 9, 2008 10:35 AM

Perhaps Africa contains some of the US states from 51 to 57.....

Posted by: chuckR at November 9, 2008 8:09 PM

You should practice what you preach. You've rarely answered any questions put forth to you, while you nag others to answer.

Posted by: bobc at November 11, 2008 4:01 PM
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