Thursday, June 02, 2011

Criticizing the criticism of Sarah Palin’s “Statute of Liberty”

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Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin

Look, no-one is more eager to dump on airheaded poseurs like Sarah Palin than I am. We’re talking about a woman who gives even Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), crown stupidest politician in America, a run for her money. But there’s always a line between merited and reasonable criticism, and childish partisan pettiness over things that have nothing to do with the woman as a person or politician.

For a stark example, here’s Jason Easley at PoliticusUSA, attacking Palin because she … tweeted a typo. Seriously:

While tweeting about her visit to New York, Sarah Palin let the world know that she was visiting the Statute of Liberty.

You probably aren’t surprised, but Sarah Palin managed to get the name of the Statue of Liberty wrong.

Here is the tweet:

Tweet by Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) [07/01/11]: “We'll highlight the beauty of legal immigrants' work ethic and love of freedom while visiting Ellis Island & Statute of Liberty today.”

This woman wants Republicans to believe that she can be president, but she doesn’t know that it is called the Statue of Liberty? What’s worse is that this wasn’t a verbal gaffe, it was written. She could have checked the tweet before she sent from her Blackberry, but that isn’t how Sarah Palin rolls.

No, no, no. For crying out loud, the only thing worse than such a sleazy attack is to then wrap it up in lazy apologetics to defend it. As verifiably idiotic as Sarah Palin is, I am quite certain that she knows the Statue of Liberty is, in fact, a monument and not a law. And the idea that this can’t be an accident because it’s written? I don’t even know how to parse that one. Does anyone who ever lets slip a little typo in something they post on the Internet thereby deserve ridicule for it? Is it really so inconceivable to Easley that Palin might just not have noticed that superfluous little ‘t’ before pressing ‘Send’? Or has Easley himself never posted anything that didn’t contain the tiniest spelling or grammatical error?

We’re not talking about some distortion or fabrication (acts that Palin has genuinely committed too many times to count). We’re talking about one wrong press of a key. What it shows, at the very worst, is inattentiveness or failure to take the time to pore over her every typed word before firing off her little missives. It speaks absolutely nothing of the woman, herself, or her actual intellectual failures.

I don’t know whether to attribute this to lazy snark, ideological zealotry, or plain puerility. But, either way, this is the sort of silly ad hominem we expect from modern Right-wingers, not from the supposedly reasonable people in the other camp. It will be rather easier to distinguish between substantive criticism and mindless haranguing if we don’t actually indulge in the latter as well.

(via @todayspolitics)