DIMWIT OF THE YEAR AWARD:
She came, she saw Russia, she conquered the far right, and she just won’t go away. In interviews and in the debate with Vice President-elect Joe Biden, she proved to be all sass and no substance. And, gosh, darn it, that “heartbeat away from the presidency” thing scared the hell out of us!
In an interview with Human Events (LINK), she said the biggest mistake of the McCain campaign was that she was not granted more interviews with the media!
And, those senior McCain aides who have criticized her privately? “I was in a campaign in which I did not know the people individually running the campaign. So, I had to put my life, my career, my family and my reputation in their hands. That’s kind of a scary thing to do when you don’t know the people you are working with.”
It’s kind of a scary thing that this woman truly believes if she had been given a fair shake and more exposure the Republican ticket would have won on November 4.
Well, that, and the fact that we haven’t heard the last of her.
Demwit readers selected:
Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska
MEDIA DIMWIT OF THE YEAR
Chris Matthews, MSNBC: This motor-mouthed egomaniac continued making sexist remarks about Hillary Rodham Clinton after he was forced by MSNBC to apologize for such comments.
On “Hardball,” 17 December 2008 (LINK), Matthews began a segment on the possibility of Caroline Kennedy being appointed to fill Clinton’s Senate seat thusly: “We’re having the candy moment of the show, which is Caroline Kennedy. I don’t know what it is, but it is the cotton candy of political discussion, (John) Harwood. It is amazing. It’s so easy to talk about. It requires no intellectual knowledge.”
No “intellectual knowledge” is required when your mouth gets ahead of your brain – a frequent occurrence with Matthews.
RUNNER-UP: Sean Hannity of Fox News, whose one-man smear campaign of “falsehoods and character attacks” against President-elect Barack Obama earned him the distinction of “Misinformer of the Year 2008” by media watchdog, Media Matters.
DIMWIT HALL OF FAME
George W. Bush
With three weeks to go in his presidency, George W. Bush’s final days have left us speculating about his “legacy.”
A thousand and one “Bushisms” later, it is tempting to sum up his image in office as buffoonery.
There are whole Web sites devoted to Bush quotations, but here are two which stand out in my memory:
On 18 December 2000, only a month before taking the oath of office, then Texas Governor and President-elect Bush met, for the first time, with Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill and summed up the meeting thusly:
“I told all four that there were going to be some times where we don't agree with each other. But that's OK. If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.” (CNN TRANSCRIPT)
That should have been a clue.
On 5 August 2004, as he signed the Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2005, Bush knocked me off my couch when he said this about terrorists:
“[ T]his bill meets our commitment to America's Armed Forces by preparing them to meet the threats of tomorrow. Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” (WHITE HOUSE TRANSCRIPT)
But, to limit Bush’s legacy to his spoken word would lighten the burden he must bear for his actions.
Take away the hubris and bravado, and our 43rd president was nothing more than a puppet manipulated by his vice president, Dick Cheney, on behalf of the “empire-building” group known as “neocons.”
It is far too overwhelming a task to list the scandals and missteps which have marked the Bush administration. Simply and in summary, it is sufficient to say this administration’s policies have reversed decades of struggles and achievement by Americans for America.
Sadly, Bush squandered worldwide support following 9/11 and the political capital he claimed after Election 2004 and emerged a pathetic figure with record low approval ratings.
Like the last tsars of Russia and Louis XVI of France, the 43rd president of the United States was an inept leader at a critical period in a country’s history.
In recent interviews, Bush has said he gave it his best, and, in the end, he probably gave us all he was capable of giving.