Matthews: Palin aspiring to be "a professional ignorant"

Don’t be silly, Chris. Sarah Palin isn’t looking for a gig on MS-NBC’s prime time! Let’s put aside the point Noel Sheppard makes about Matthews using the grammatically horrid phrase “a political ignorant” after praising himself as someone who constantly seeks knowledge. Let’s instead look at the journalistic standards at MS-NBC for political argumentation, as Matthews reports that Sarah Palin takes great joy in ignorance by quoting that rock-solid source … “somebody alludes to”:

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CHRIS MATTHEWS,HOST: Maybe I can push your button with this one, Cynthia, my pal. It doesn`t bother you that she`s making zillions of dollars. But how about this, as someone who trained yourself, like I did, to learn some things, who gets up every day and tries to know something before they talk. Here she is saying she has — somebody alludes to her sheer joy that she gets out of not knowing anything.

I really think, not that she`s unintelligent, but she`s campaigning almost for the role of a professional ignorant, like, “I don`t know anything, therefore I should be listened to.” She seems to aspire to knowing even less. It`s a weird advantage that she claims that if I`m really ignorant, then you should really listen to me, because I`m not like one of those intellectuals back east. It`s a strange ambition. I think she`s pursuing it effectively.

CYNTHIA TUCKER, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: Well, I don`t think she would pursue that effectively as a presidential candidate, Chris. That`s where Ken and I differ. It is fine if she wants to go out and make a lot of money giving speeches. I think this idea of winging it, of not knowing anything about foreign policy, knowing very little about domestic policy, would not serve her any better in a presidential run than it served her when she was McCain`s running mate.

I don`t think the vast majority of voters respect that or want to see that in candidates. It`s fine in Palin world. She has a small constituency of very enthusiastic supporters. But the majority of voters, including the majority of Republican voters, expect their candidates to actually know something about policy.

Well, as long as somebody alludes to it, it must be true!  Palin must wake up in the mornings in complete bliss over the idea that she doesn’t have to talk about policy at all.  Except, of course, that Palin does — whether it’s energy policy, health-care reform, or even nuclear policy, Palin not only doesn’t avoid it but issues almost daily communiques on substantive policy from her platform on Facebook.  In fact, her speech at the SRLC this month spoke almost entirely to policy, including Afghanistan and the foreign policy bungling of the White House, when many expected her to focus more on politics and the integration (or lack thereof) of the Tea Party and Republicans.

Certainly, one can disagree with Palin on policy, or demand deeper explanations.  But the notion that Palin doesn’t address policy at all is an argument that qualifies someone as a “political ignorant” … but it’s not Sarah Palin.

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John Sexton 10:00 PM on June 02, 2023