Thursday, February 11, 2010

This Just In: 55 Percent Of America Is Smarter Than David Broder

Washington Post columnist David Broder clearly knows less about what makes a satisfactory leader than half of America. Glenn Greenwald supplies the background:

Today, Broder pens a gushing love letter to Sarah Palin -- decreeing that we must "Take Sarah Palin seriously," admiring her "pitch-perfect recital of the populist message," and warning that she will be difficult to stop as a major political force -- on the very same day that his own newspaper published a poll reporting that Palin's "political standing has deteriorated significantly"; that "fifty-five percent of Americans have unfavorable views of her, while the percentage holding favorable views has dipped to 37, a new low in Post-ABC polling"; that "there is a growing sense that the former Alaska governor is not qualified to serve as president, with more than seven in 10 Americans now saying she is unqualified, up from 60 percent in a November survey"; that "even among Republicans, a majority now say Palin lacks the qualifications necessary for the White House"; and even that "Palin has lost ground among conservative Republicans," as "forty-five percent of conservatives now consider her as qualified for the presidency, down sharply from 66 percent who said so last fall." Could Man of the Regular Folk David Broder possibly be any more out of touch with the Regular Folk?

Today In The "Liberal Media"

[links and bold emphasis from original]

I think David Broder is out of touch with many things, including regular folk who happen to be conservative. The idea that Sarah Palin is an ignorant, arrogant, and feckless politician is one that even the people who are likely to agree with her politics clearly understand. She has no demonstrable talents save for the ability to look photogenic and to schmooze people she needs. Even her verbal abilities make George W. Bush look erudite in comparison.

As Greenwald implies, the myth that the news in this country has a liberal slant is so clearly belied by the support of people like Broder for this woman that in a rational society it would have died two Novembers ago. The press in this country clearly works for the people who run it, not for us.


Chris said...

I've always felt Sarah Palin represents an all to common shortcoming of human nature - that is, the habit of projecting one's subjective pre-conceptions onto what amounts to nothing more than an intellectually blank slate. People like David Broder believe they see competence in Sarah Palin, not because of the evidence, but only because they want to. How else can you explain the promotion of dim bulbs like Anthony Watts and William Dembski to the level savants when their theories and observations cannot withstand even casual scrutiny?

Cujo359 said...

Being motivated to believe something certainly helps. There are other possible explanations, though.

In Palin's case, there's the rather well-known phenomenon that a person's physical attractiveness often colors peoples' perceptions of them. Usually, attractive people are seen as being smarter or more competent at whatever they're doing.

Another is that people tend to rate others as smarter if they agree with them.

So, yes, motivation is important, but we have many ways of fooling ourselves into thinking things that aren't true. That's one of the reasons I mistrust first impressions.