North Korea gaffe should sink Palin

Yesterday I was having a discussion with my aunt, who asked me if I had heard of Sarah Palin making that ridiculous statment about their North Korean “allies”. She was concerned that this would not harm her chances of becoming president in the least, because it fed into the American ignorance culture, in which a large proportion of voters will not think anything less of you if you don’t know much about what goes on outside America. I’m not convinced; these sorts of people don’t care much for most places outside of the USA and think power is more important than knowledge (hence Ronald Reagan saying, in response to Jimmy Carter asking if he knew the name of the president of Iran, “I don’t know his name, but if I win the election, he’s going to know mine”). North Korea has been a well-known enemy of the USA for more than 50 years and American lives were lost defending South Korea within living memory. The gaffe will alienate, I suspect, a very large constituency with connections to the military, and if not everyone who has ever served will be turned off her by it, others in the military will quickly educate them.

There was a feature in the New Statesman this past week by Alice Miles (sadly not online) in which the author watched a programme in which Palin’s claim to be an outdoorsy Alaskan woman is laid bare — perhaps that might have the same effect as Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi being shown as incapable of unjamming his rifle. Miles wrote that, had she not seen the programme, Palin might have worried her. Still, she was a huge asset to Barack Obama in the last election, as some people who would otherwise have voted for McCain did not like the idea of Palin being a heartbeat away from the presidency. They are unlikely to vote for this ridiculous woman after this gaffe.

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  • Belal

    Hate to have to defend her but is it that much different from Obama’s “57 states” gaffe? In fairness to her she did show that she knew which was which from her preceding statement.

  • The wiki leaks saga seems to be showing American politics in general to be very arrogant.

    Was reading in the Metro about America “being prepared to exchange Guantanamo Bay prisoners in exchange for access to President Obama. Countries such as Slovenia, Palau. Whereas other larger continents (Australia in this case) have rejected such advances blatantly. Is Obama just another puppet?

  • sabah

    ha ha ha ha

    sorry, but this is where the US and the UK differ. you CAN get away with being a complete idiot even if you are politician, here in the States. Especially if you are a Republican.

  • Some Guy

    No, the “North Korean gaffe” will not sink Palin because it is very obvious that it was simply a slip of the tongue.

    I disagree with Sabah that “you CAN get away with being a complete idiot…especially if you are a Republican.” I suspect that Sabah and I would also disagree about what constitutes idiocy.

    For example, I think that Jimmy Carter was a perfect idiot, despite the facts that he would doubtless score respectably on an IQ test and knew the names of 50 heads of state. Carter admitted that he was “shocked” at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and was utterly clueless about what to do about the criminal Iranian theocracy. I would much rather have a President of “average” intelligence who understands human nature.

    Democrats have always liked to think that they are both smarter and morally superior to Republicans. This has been true at least since Adlai Stevenson in the 1950s. For some reason, all the “stupid” politicians are Republicans. I can’t think of a single Dem who has the label. Really remarkable.

    By the way, I suspect that your anecdote about the Reagan-Carter debate is apocryphal. I don’t recall the story and presidential candidates generally do not address questions to each other during debates.

    It would be good story though. Sounds like the Gipper. I wish it were true. Please provide a link if you have one.