Re: My secret powers, and yours

1

a lot of people will do an inner eye-roll

Some, mostly higher SES types. Others will welcome these statements. It may even be *necessary* to make them to retain your cred.

But yeah, no one will run in fear from you. You can't make a political campaign out of fear of rednecks who like to fuck shit up. There isn't big market for books and speakers denouncing music preferred by poor rural whites for promoting crime. Poor rural whites don't have their own Bill Cosby, one of their own who dedicates his retirement years to hectoring them for their bad habits.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 6:33 AM
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I'd be willing to bet that Levi Johnston was not seen as son-in-law material until he knocked Bristol Palin up, and their marriage became a political necessity.

And on the condition that Sarah Palin does not become vice-president, I'll bet that the wedding never happens.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 6:43 AM
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"marriage" s/b "engagement"


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 6:44 AM
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But, Rob, how great would it be if Larry the Cable Guy suddenly started flying off the handle about putting indoor furniture on your porch or using meth? Parenting-- git'er done!


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 6:54 AM
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To be fair, if you're a fundie Republican from a Red State, I'm probably going to assume you're a child-fucking Klan member (or "Klukie," IIRC my Fletch) who cuffs his wife daily to keep her in place and whose favorite memory of the last year is the time you and the pastor set the gay guy on fire.

Now, you might say that there aren't that many people who have that reaction. That's a fair point. But I'm working on that.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 7:08 AM
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I'd be willing to bet that Levi Johnston was not seen as son-in-law material until he knocked Bristol Palin up, and their marriage became a political necessity.

My first thought when that news broke was "I wonder what Levi was doing when he found out he was getting engaged."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 7:15 AM
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The strongest part of the case is the personal stuff. The political/governmental stuff is a place where Palin isn't getting an entirely free ride, and the press (and blogs!) aren't done with her yet.

So for instance, look at this:

but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college and the fact that she lives close to Russia--you're somehow being mean, or even sexist.

In fact, many people have pointed this out. The fact that she's a Republican complicates things, because, well, IOKIYAR, but the most important reasons she's being let off the hook are not because she's white.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 7:26 AM
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The points of the article FL quotes make a good point. Some of the rest, like this part --

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it's good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from holding office . . . while if you're black and believe in reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights . . . you are a dangerous and mushy liberal who isn't fit to safeguard American institutions.

-- not so much. A black politician can spout all the (positive) garbage about the Pledge he wants to, and plenty of white politicians have been hit as "soft on crime" (or "terror") for supporting Miranda or habeas corpus.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 7:28 AM
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Tim, you're just saying that to get on McArdle's good side.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 7:41 AM
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9: If you truly understood the market-y goodness that McArdle offers, you'd say that I am simply supply meeting her demand.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 7:56 AM
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I'd say you're distorting her market with perverse incentives.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 8:04 AM
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11: I'd distort her market with perverse incentives. IYKWIM.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 8:18 AM
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Let's not go down that road. Better to focus on the fact that if Palin becomes President, every American family will have to offer up its most attractive child to the predations of any Republican office-holder or any fundie pastor. As a parent, the choice is stark: vote Obama or commit to having ugly children.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 8:23 AM
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Ha! Headline from Benen at WaMo: MCCAIN/PALIN GOING EASY ON CHILD MOLESTERS. Sadly, the actual story is something else, as Benen points out.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 8:27 AM
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I'm in a fucking cranky mood today. Just told my maths student that if he didn't stop with the sexist, racist, homophobic 'jokes' that I'd stop tutoring him. I'd like to beat him over his fucking head with his white privilege, but he wouldn't understand what I meant.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 8:35 AM
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Who is less qualified to be VP, Sarah Palin or Megan McArdle?


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:02 AM
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On a day like this, we need to gay things up a little. Is this another example of the double standard?


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:04 AM
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Oh, Palin by a lot. McMegan would be a terrible executive, but at least she's vaguely curious about the relevant issues.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:04 AM
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16: Yes.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:16 AM
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16: I'd rather have McCain/Palin than McCain/McArdle at the moment. Palin and McCain both know they don't know shit about the economy, derivatives, solvency and/or liquidity crises, or any of that other good stuff going on. They're more likely to just leave the current shitstorm in the hands of the fairly competent people who're handling it right now.

If we get the former Economist contributer with a gentlewoman's B from business school and absolutely no clue just how shakey her econ/finance knowledge is, I think some serious damage could be done. Paulson and Bernanke would be blocking her calls within 2 days and quitting within a week.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:21 AM
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McCain would make Gramm treasury secretary. It would be great if there was a soundbite to convey how alarming this is.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:25 AM
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22

Framing the question as Palin vs. McArdle obscures the fact that either would likely be better than McCain.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:33 AM
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Who is less qualified to be VP, Sarah Palin or Megan McArdle?

Quien es mas macho?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:41 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:43 AM
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20: "There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain," eh?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:47 AM
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Clearly Palin is far better qualified. She has five children! And a husband she calls "first dude"! And she opposes abortion!

Whereas I suspect McArdle uses birth control, making her sekritly a baby-hater.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:49 AM
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"... and no one questions your intelligence ..."

This is wrong, plenty of people have questioned Palin's intelligence.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:53 AM
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26: Yeah, plus she has started droppin' her g's, so she can get to fixin' things like a regular folk. So she is adaptable with enough trainin'.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:57 AM
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Palin, like Bush, is smarter than average but not nearly as smart as she thinks she is. That plus severe intellectual laziness and incuriousity, also like Bush, is a toxic combination.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:58 AM
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Eh, McMegan probably drops her g's too when she's talking to David Brooks and other red-state types.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:59 AM
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In my opinion IOKIYAR and racism are not mutually exclusive. Frequently they come hand in hand.

So racism - IOKIYAR, potato - potahto.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 9:59 AM
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29: Curiosity is a constitutive part of being smart. If you aren't in the least bit curious, you aren't really smart.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:03 AM
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If you aren't in the least bit curious, you aren't really smart.

I wonder why that is....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:04 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:06 AM
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I wonder why that is....

I have no interest in trying to find out. Oh, wait...


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:08 AM
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||

The McManus thread is dying, so I thought I'd note here that all 3 indexes are down 3-3.6%, halfway through the trading day.

Whee.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:10 AM
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32: Yes and no. "Stupid" works OK as shorthand for the intellectual shortcomings of a George Bush or a Sarah Palin, but there are lots of people with good to very good analytical skills who use those skills only for mercenary purposes (I went to law school; I know this). I think Bush and Palin have more in common with those folks than the sort of person who reaches their level of incompetence as assistant manager at Taco Bell.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:11 AM
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38

Shorter TLL - D'oh.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:11 AM
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If you aren't in the least bit curious

Not about Palin, but some of the analytically most talented people I have known have very focused curiosity. If the scope of their focus is relevant, they do wonderfully, else they say they don't know. Shitty generalists, uncurious about 99% of an ordinary conversation, but still very smart.

Curiosity for people with responsibility is a special case-- admitting that you don't know is often a huge liability. "Why is that?" is only a question to be asked among trusted advisors.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:12 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:16 AM
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how great would it be if Larry the Cable Guy suddenly started flying off the handle about putting indoor furniture on your porch or using meth? Parenting-- git'er done!

Imagine the rant about the names white people give their kids these days--Bristol! Track!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:16 AM
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32: If you aren't in the least bit curious, you aren't really smart.

But ... but, the IQ tests. They completely define smart, right? Or are you saying there may be other components? Oh the humanity.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:17 AM
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42: Yeah, basically I taught *The Mismeasure of Man* two years in a row and now have a severe allergy to anyone ever describing intelligence as a single thing.

In general, I take a virtue theoretic approach to the issue. Curiosity, like a lot of things, works synergistically with other virtues and skills. A curious person will be motivate to practice things enough to get better at them.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:22 AM
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36- What are the chances the indexes all end down for Bush's term? I think the Dow is only ~200 above Jan 20, 2001. I assume that hasn't happened since Hoover?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:23 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:44 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:51 AM
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A question: does white privilege extend to having crazy black preachers without penalty?

http://timesonline.typepad.com/uselections/2008/09/palin-linked-el.html


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 10:52 AM
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48

Do you guys even know what a double standard is?


Posted by: Steven | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 11:22 AM
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47: Ooh, maybe Palin will bring real live witch hunts back to the US!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 11:23 AM
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48: Yeah, when Palin's radical religious background is viewed as an asset, and Obama's is viewed as a problem, that's a double standard.

It gets worse when you realize that Palin's background is full of dangerous superstitions, and Obama's was merely politically radical.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 11:26 AM
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I think the overall point is true in general, but in this specific instance, I think it's probably more accurate to say that it's a case of "white Republican privilege". If you replace "Bristol Palin's boyfriend" with "Chelsea Clinton's boyfriend", do you really think he wouldn't be regarded as a thug?

That said, what makes this white privilege (cf that XKCD cartoon about sexism) is that if he were black it would be used to condemn his entire race, whereas it wouldn't in either white case.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 11:47 AM
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A curious person will be motivate[d] to practice things enough to get better at them.

Only if one can discipline the curiosity enough to be able to focus on something for some time. Otherwise life consists of flitting from one interesting thing to the next without ever getting anything done well. The net is perfect for that sort of person IMX.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 2:06 PM
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Have you ever noticed Republican arguments are like trying to catch the rainbow?

They'll say something racist and if you call it that they'll say "that's not racist, it is simply 'it's okay if you are a Republican."

If you call it that they'll say "No, it's just 'it's okay if you are rich."

If you say that they'll say "No, it is just a double standard."

If you call it that they'll say "It was a joke. Don't you have a sense of humor?"

Well, that is if you can actually get them to talk about what they say. Usually they use the scientologist method of "never defend, always attack."

Look for it. Am I wrong?


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 2:53 PM
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The Levi Johnston thing doesn't generalize. If you knock up the governor's daughter, the best result that you can hope for is you get forced to marry her.


Posted by: jim | Link to this comment | 09-17-08 7:08 PM
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jim,

Yeah, or you get hit by a bus, which most older people know is the better alternative. Do they have buses in Alaska, or are they sleighs?


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-18-08 8:01 AM
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