Dumb quote of the day--stating the obvious edition

>> Tuesday, September 06, 2011

It's very personality-based with her. Liberals attack her because she's a threat.
-Massachusetts Republican Congressional candidate Bill Hudak on
Sarah Palin, as quoted by David Weigel,
"I'm Still Here" Slate, September 5th, 2011.

Well... yeah, duh.

I'm quoting this after not mentioning Jadis in this blog for months and months on end because this is one of those stupid quasi-taunts that one hears in rebuttal sometimes whenever one is pointing out stupid things said or done by Palin, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul et al. It's like somebody hopping from leg to leg, clapping and croaking "cocka-cocka-cocka-caw," y'know? Like whomever the line is being addressed towards is supposed to get all playground-defensive and go, "Nuh-uh! You're the chicken! Coo-coo-ca-tcha! Coo-coo-ca-tcha!"

Well, of course I'm scared of Sarah Palin. And Michele Bachmann. And Rick Perry. And Herman Cain. And Ron Paul. Really, I'm pretty much scared of everybody in the Republican Presidential field right now except for Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, when you get right down to it.

Okay, yes, I know: Palin isn't officially running... yet or isn't going to, gods only know at the moment. I was expecting her to run but I'm not sure Michele Bachmann didn't leap in there and steal the slice of pie Palin had her eye on. Lots of people say Palin isn't going to/was never going to run, and I sure as hell hope they're right, but I'm not convinced that Palin doesn't/didn't have her eye on some kind of crazy crash-the-convention scheme where she would wait for Romney to take a clear lead and then show up at the eleventh hour to save the Republicans from themselves. If that's what she is/was thinking, it was kind of a dumb plan insofar as it would probably get torpedoed by the Wise Old Men Establishment types (wherever they still are in the GOP) even if Bachmann and Perry weren't jockeying for the Authentic Conservative™ slot, with Bachmann obviously leaping into Palin's presumed casting as the Momma Grizzly character.

But even if you don't buy the idea that Palin will/was going to run, nobody's out of the running for a Vice-Presidential slot; not even Palin, who is widely credited with melting whatever was left of John McCain's snowball-in-Hell chances last time around. If you think the Republican party is too clever by half to nominate a jackass for Vice-President, you haven't been paying attention. And the whole messed-up thing with the Vice-Presidency is that it's this political job that isn't important until it is; put another way, at one point in our recent history (to cite but one example), the United States was one unchewed pretzel away from the words "President Dick Cheney", a phrase that ought to chill your heart wherever you happen to live. Or, put another way, who the Hell made Jerry Ford President?

But anyway, I think that what I find interesting about the whole thing, and the reason I'm actually writing this post, is what quotes like the one that prompted this say about the speaker. There's this mentality in which you're not supposed to admit or even acknowledge fear, and from that vantage, I suppose accusing your opponent of being afraid is one of the worst things you can say about him. It is, as I alluded supra, a classic schoolyard taunt: you're chicken, you're yellow, you're a scaredy cat. What makes that mentality, well, dumb, though, is that fear can in fact be a sane, rational and appropriate response to something--that's why we have a capacity for it in the first place. Sure, there are irrational fears: your odds of dying in a plane crash or elevator accident are far smaller than your odds of dying in a car crash, but what are most people more scared to do? But being afraid of an approaching shark or onrushing train isn't cowardice, it's prudence, and it would seem to me that someone who's afraid of going into a combat zone and being shot by an enemy combatant displays an appropriate understanding of the proper ratio between discretion and valor. I don't know about you, but I'm scared of things that are scary, and am no longer influenced by the sort of peer pressure that leads to being punched in the nose or an ankle sprained by a bad jump from the top of the monkey bars, thank you very much.


Nathan Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 6:17:00 PM EDT  

I read that story this morning. I don't know if you followed the links in it, but Hudak has a history as a die-hard birther and his neighbors complained during the 2008 election when he had his front yard covered in signs portraying Obama made up to look like Osama bin Laden. Yeah...scared is an appropriate response.

Also, I just saw a Washington Post-ABC Poll showing support among all Republicans and GOP-leaning independents as follows: Perry 27%, Romney 22%, Palin 14%, Ron Paul 8%, and Bachmann 6%. It's the Teeter-Totter of Terror!

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