The Rain in Spain…or Whatever…


I can’t see Spain from here.

Gee, who would’ve thunk thatJohn McCain’s foreign policy, um, expertise, is roughly equivalent to…Sarah Palin’s.

What’s a little frightening, though, is that the GOP base doubtless will likely howl with delight at such a display. In fact, it’s right up their alley–ignorance, confusion, with a side order of bluster and not so thinly veiled aggression. The sort of answer Gabriel Schwartz might be proud of.

Who’s Gabriel Schwartz?Take a look.

If you can’t view the video, here’s a summary–actually, a direct quote: a Colorado delegate to the RNC convention, Schwartz told a reporter he was in favor of “less taxes and more war.” Nice, eh?

Oh–that sort of hubriscomes with a price…still, that such anignorant, smug little chickenhawk sadist is a Rethug convention delegate speaks volumes. Public policy as channeled through the mindset of vicious, selfish little bellicose brats.

And that, more than anything, is thereal McCain.

Yesterday I was catching up with one of myfavorite non-political blogs and came across this interesting passage regarding a discussion between two sportscasters:

There’s something really sad about the way Karros essentially ridiculed McCarthy for, essentially, having some knowledge and supplementing that knowledge with a bit of research. In other words, McCarthy was behaving like a professional who takes his job seriously, plus he’s a fan of the game and has a favorite logo, and for some reason this meant Karros felt obliged to make fun of him (yo, Eric, maybe ifyou’d done a little homework before a game, you might be able to participate in these sorts of discussions). I find this depressingly emblematic of a disturbing tendancy in American life. Again and again in our civic discourse, our political discourse, our professional discourse, etc., expertise and knowledge and preparation are increasingly poo-pooed and derided.

I realize nobody likes a know-it-all, but McCarthy wasn’t coming off that way — he was just making conversation (if you could hear the audio, you’d see what I mean). I also realize America has a proud middlebrow/anti-intellectual tradition — a tradition I generally like, respect, and identify with on many levels — but it’s getting way out of hand these days, and Karros’s commentary captures it in a nutshell. If he can’t take his job seriously (and is going to razz someone who does), why is he even in the booth to begin with? Yeah, he was kinda-sorta kidding when he said he’d take off his headset and walk out of the booth, but he was also kinda-sorta indicating his inability — indeed, his refusal — to engage with a situation that would require him to flex his brain. It’s not just that he Doesn’t Get It™; it’s that he behaved like a lunkhead who’d rather bring the world down to his level than try to raise up his own level. That needs to stop. And not just in the broadcast booth.

Absolutely, it needs to stop, although if it doesn’t, well…betweenJefferson trembling over god being just and deTocqueville apparently claiming that in a democracy the people get the government they deserve…let’s just hope that the public deserves better than four more years of what we’ve had. 

9 thoughts on “The Rain in Spain…or Whatever…

  1. Great post, Michael. I’ve always been uncomfortable with the anti-intellectualism we find so often in American discourse. It smacks of the sort of things you saw in some of the worst events in human history–the Holocaust and the Khmer Rouge, to name two.
    The thing that gets me is the cognitive dissonance that sort of thinking demands. In America, and frankly, all of the Western tradition, we have lauded the fruits of intellectualism. We recognize that the great accomplishments of our nation (the space program, the computer revolution, etc.) are all of great value. Yet we (collectively speaking) spit on those whose skills and knowledge got us those things.
    I think it boils down to envy. Not everyone is going to invent the internet, so even though we love the internet, we’re hateful to those who *did* invent it, because we are not them.
    Yick. What a depressing line of thought…

  2. I clicked on the article about paying the price. I didn’t know Timex made $30,000 watches.

  3. The video of Schwartz is even better than you mentioned. He says he’s in favour ofpillaging Iran (I’m paraphrasing for maximal effect) to “reimburse” the US for invading it. These guys are the modern-day equivalent ofVisigoths.
    And as to the rain in McCain, I kind of want to say, “OH NO HE DIIIIIIN’T…” *headdesk*

  4. Love the post. To chime in with BuggyQ, whyz it that being the best football player is an event to be lauded and catapult you to the top, but for president we want the “average” guy? (When I’d guess that an “average” American couldn’t complete a pass of over 10 yards).
    And why do we not criticize the Heisman winner as “elitist” and “uppity”? Both charges being made against Obama because he has the audacity to think that he could be president?

  5. I just figured out why McCain said that.
    It’s not ignorance, it’s more fundie dog-whisling.
    Spain was once part of the Islamosphere.
    No other reason.

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