A Question for Republicans…and Democrats and Libertarians, Apparently

This is a question for Republicans – and Republicans Democrats and Libertarians only alike – and I am serious and I really want an answer. See, the other day Jim Fiore posted a clip of a TV news reporter defending Palin’s foreign policy experience by saying that Alaska was next to Russia. Then today Cindy McCain makes the same argument to George Stephanopoulos. I have also seen this argument pop up in a number of forums. So here is my question – and remember this is for Republicans only.


If John McCain had picked, oh, say, a chimpanzee, such as the nice looking one pictured below, for his running mate:
gtotem_chimpanzee.jpg
Would you now be citing passages from Frans de Waal’s Chimpanzee Politics to justify his choice? I may sound flip, but seriously, I want an answer.
I guess what I am really asking is, how transparently, mind numbingly insane does it have to be before you choke and tell the Republican overlords “No mas?”
Now you make think I am just mocking you, and you would be partially right, but seriously I want to know. What talking point would be just such a flat out contradiction of reality that you just could not repeat it?
Update 1: The gift that keeps giving:

Foreign policy experience? Well, Alaska is the only state with a border with Russia. And it is the only state with territory, in the Aleutian Islands, occupied by the enemy in World War II.

Seriously? Palin has foreign policy experience because the Aleutians were occupied by the Japanese before she was even born? Does anybody buy this argument?
Update 2: Apparently, reality stepped out about five minutes ago. It’s not bad enough that we have the Daily Kos running with this half baked story, but now one of my, normally sensible, Sciblings is running with it as well. So, to my erstwhile liberal and/or Libertarian readers I have to ask the same question I asked the Republicans. Is there a limit to the insanity that you will swallow? I understand that Palin is a conservative, evangelical, fresh from the George Bush School for government incompetence, but, seriously. This latest is trumped up nonsense driven by a conspiracy theory mentality – at best. At worst it makes me think you all are smoking crack.

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22 Responses

  1. Charles Krauthammer (trivia: onetime Mondale speechwriter) and David Frum (former Bush speechwriter) are unhappy about Palin’s nonexistent national security / foreign policy credentials. There are bound to be others.

  2. Heh. I knew that one day the Card (as in card-carrying…) would come in handy.
    It would depend on the chimp’s gender. Kind of hard for me to tell from that photo.
    Oh. I see; you meant real Republicans, not just those who wish to throw a spanner into the local primaries. Well, never mind.

  3. Good luck getting a serious answer to that question. The kind of people who not only drink the Koolaid but ask for seconds;
    a) Don’t understand your point and
    b) Cannot conceive of something too stupid to believe.

  4. I’m surrounded by christian conservatives here in the deep south. I know them well enough to emulate them. If I were a republican I’d tell you “She has more executive experience than Obama and Biden combined, Trig proves that she sticks by her values even when it’s hard, unlike what your guy did on FISA, and Biden did for credit card companies, and Joe Biden represents change? What a joke. It doesn’t get any more establishment than Biden. Furthermore, divided government is better than one-party government–Carter 76-80, Clinton 92-94, and Bush 00-06 were much worse than the intervening years, so you shouldn’t want a democratic congress to have a democratic president. And when did foreign policy become an essential duty of the Vice President’s Office? Never, that’s when.”

  5. She has more executive experience than Obama and Biden combined,
    And McCain, for that matter…

  6. I don’t need to be a Republican to answer this one. Your question is not really serious. Despite your protests, it is intended purely as an insult.
    Suppose someone had asked you the same question about
    Obama and posted a picture of a chimp, what would your response be? You would be SCREAMING racial prejudice, wouldn’t you? Imagine comparing an intelligent black man to a chimpanzee. Not a good picture is it. So how is it better to compare a woman govenor to one?
    You really should be ashamed of this post.

  7. I am not comparing a woman governor to a chimp. I’m asking how stupid do republican talking points have to be before folks reject them.

  8. To be even clearer, the target is not Palin, the target is folks who accept the argument that the proximity of Alaska to Russia gives Palin foreign policy experience. Yes, my question is one hundred percent serious, I really want to know. How out of touch with reality does the talking point have to be before folks choke and refuse to repeat it…

  9. I would hope that it is a somewhat snarky counter to the claim by the Democratic Party that Sen. Biden’s credentials in foreign policy somehow complement Sen. Obama’s lack. After all, neither Gov. Palin nor Sen. Biden are the head of the ticket, and the real problems are the decisions of the President, not the advice of the Vice President.
    Unfortunately, intellectual snark in conservative Republican circles died with Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.
    Am I a Real Republican? Well – my Grandfather served several terms as mayor of a small town in Kentucky, as a Republican – circa 1900. My dad was an adult earning a living during the Depression – and despised FDR for using WWII to get us out of the mess. Me? This last spring I walked door to door trying to get people to not cross party lines to vote against Hillary Clinton in order to toss Dan Burton out of the House.
    Am I a conservative? Did you ever use a unisex bathroom at Phyllis Schlafly’s house? Are all your firearms muzzleloaders? ;^) ;^)
    fusilier
    James 2:24

  10. I’m actually waiting for someone to realize that Alaska actually used to be Russia. … therefore Palin’s foreign policy experience includes dealing intimately with former foreigners …

  11. Actually, if you follow the Republican logic, that would make her a communist.

  12. @Jim: I think most of us wouldn’t bother to be offended at being compared to a chimpanzee anyway. They’re pretty close cousins, after all, and given the popularity of Bushorchimp.com it would be hypocritical to get outraged about any comparison with Obama that wasn’t outright racist. Now if you tried to compare me to a republican, then I might get annoyed…

  13. As a recovering Republican I can say with all honesty, that is a stupid post. Living next door to something gives you no special insight into it.
    What contact has Sarah Palin had with the governments of the Russian Far East. When has she met with her counterpart across the (submarine) Russian/U.S. border? When have they worked out agreements regarding matters of mutual interest? How often are stray fishermen saved from peril in Russian or American waters and returned home to America or Russia as the case may be?
    And don’t get me started on the whole commander in chief of the Alaskan National Guard. Not only is it not relevant, it’s not even pertinent.
    Lincoln chose Seward as his Secretary of State because Seward knew more than Lincoln did on foreign affairs. That’s what smart Presidents do, pick the right people for the job. It’s not the Presidents job to run foreign affairs or defense, that’s what the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense do. Knowing the right people to choose for a task, that is the President’s job. And if he doesn’t know anybody who fits, then it would be a good idea for him to recognize talent when he sees it.
    It’s better to know when to let your employees do their work than interfering all the damn time.

  14. If McCain wanted to pick someone who is from formerly-occupied territory, he could have chosen anyone from the South, which is still being occupied by “Yankees.”
    *ducks*
    PS. It’s a joke people!

  15. As a recovering Republican I can say with all honesty, that is a stupid post.
    Now that was stupid phrasing. Thus I prove, again, that editors are not only necessary, they’re a good idea. So let me revise the above to read …
    As a recovering Republican I can say with all honesty, that saying that being a governor of a state bordering another country confers foreign affairs experience is stupid. If it weren’t, then George W. Bush would’ve had a lot more foreign affairs experience at the time of the 2000 election thanks to the state of Texas being on the border with Mexico.

  16. Thanks Afarensis for the reality check. In my comment to Ed B’s post, I did try to steer the discussion towards more important stuff but fear that that too may be dismissed as conspiracy theorising.
    It doesn’t seem to have worked, so far. But read chiroptera’s recent comment there on pertinence.

  17. Oh finally! Alan Kellogg got it! Precisely! If Palin’s a Russian expert because Alaska is next door to Russia, then Bush must be a Mexican expert because he was governor of Texas, which, as a Texan, I must point out, has a very long border with Mexico. However, he did not seem to be aware of that while he was here. But now afarensis, are you seriously asking if the folks on his side will see the absurdity of that? No, you must be kidding! They voted for Dubbya now, didn’t they, not just once but twice. The guy who doesn’t really speak English, who thinks Texas never could have executed an innocent person because they were found guilty first, who admits he made up that bit about WMDs in Iraq because, well, the cuz Y changes week to week but it was for a good cause so we can’t cut’n’run! And they agree that “Brownie” did a good job! Obviously these folks are none too discriminating. No, no, seriously now, this is a football game. It has nothing to do with logic or thought or reason or any of that kind of stuff. It is simply US versus THEM. I thought you woulda figured that out by now, buddy.

  18. Now, now, there, honey darlin’ you mustn’t take it so hard. You have to learn to laugh at these little peccadilloes. I do. How do you think I managed to palm Little W off on the rest of you? And how are you going to make it another 2 1/2 million if you don’t smile? Really, dearie, in your picture up there, you are looking a bit peaked, or as Granny says, a little “puny.” Have some chitlins, breaded and fried okra, breaded and fried cheese (I’m serious, sugar, it’s a Texan delicacy, if anything here can be described as delicate), and put on that video of the prez doing the mambo, you the one that Jon Stewart likes to show on “The Daily Show.” You’ll be all right — just don’t vote for anymore plants, chile…

  19. As Republicans have demonstrated over and over again, all one really needs by way of “foreign policy credentials” to govern well is to believe that Jesus is one’s personal savior.
    For as he so wisely guided Bush to attack Iraq, knowing through revelations from Jesus that Saddam had WMDs, ties to the events of 9/11, ties to bin Laden and al Qaeda, etc., so also wisely will Sarah Palin govern in the event McCain’s health turns sour.
    From the Crusades to the Inquisition to our wars in Vietnam and Iraq, God has always been on our side, making sure we’re fighting the good fight.
    Why would things be any different under a President Palin or McCain?

  20. Russia is next to Alaska!?! Don’t tell Bush–there are still a few months left to attack something threatening.

  21. I think anyone smart enough to be a regular or even infrequent reader of your blog would be far too intelligent to fall for such chicanery.

  22. The religious right are so thrilled that “one of them” got selected for VP that they can’t see her flaws any more than they can see their own. More importantly, Palin’s selection shows McCain’s own shallow thinking. While he doesn’t appear to be part of the religious right and holds to no consistent ideas except service to country, he doesn’t see a problem with the religious right either — any more than he sees a problem with his own lack of understanding in economic or political ideas. With Palin he gets a “two-fer”: a religious zealot attack dog to satisfy his right wing and someone with a vagina to attract the would-be Hillary vote. Fighter pilots are picked for flying skill, bravery, the ability to follow orders, and the willingness to die, even for such a noble but lost cause as Viet Nam. Deep thinking is not required. These are not the same as the qualifications needed to be a good President. The religious right wouldn’t have a problem with a chimp as VP if it had a good speechwriter and if it were claimed that it was against abortion and evolution.

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