Monday, July 19

Refudiating Sarah Palin

Alas, poor Reagan! I knew him, Marco Rubio....

And Sarah Palin, who simply made a little tiny slip of the tongue in her prejudiced Twitter rant about the Manhattan Muslim Center. She said "refudiate" when she meant "refute" or "repudiate."

Language is fun for those who know how to use it. My sister used to make a joke about how men are "deceivious"--a delicious combination of deceptive and mischievous, which exactly fit any number of bad dates we've been on.

And if Sarah Palin had simply said, "oops, of course I meant 'refute'" -- well, then she wouldn't be Sarah Palin, now, would she? Why does the Right Wing have such a problem with being frail, imperfect humans?

[Twitter screenshot via the wonderful worth-the-click post on this issue from Rumproast.]

By comparing herself to Shakespeare, Sarah Palin illustrates perfectly that being right-wing means never admitting you're wrong. Fundamentalism is not only dangerous, it is a completely untenable position precisely because human beings are inconsistent and imperfect beings. Believing the Bible is the literal Truth, even though we can't recite a single verse of Leviticus, let alone obey one, is inconsistent. Insisting that the original Constitution and intent of the founding fathers must be left untouched, nevermind that most of the grassroot organizers of the Tea Party (women) are dependent upon the 19th AMENDMENT for their right to vote, is inconsistent. And stating, as Sarah Palin did on Twitter, that the English language is fluid and changing but, as many of her Tea Party supporters do, that our interpretations of the law and Constitution must not be, is inconsistent.

Being afraid of ambiguity is a hallmark of fundamentalist thinking. Left wingers, often to a fault, love ambiguity. We also love Shakespeare puzzles.

Twitter was completely on fire last night with Shakespeare silliness and Palin puns. Comedian Andy Borowitz suggested 'refudiate' is in the 'fictionary.' Our own Jon Perr pointed out that this incident is just an example of her "self-defecating humor." And several tweeters went all Lloyd Bentsen: "I've read Will Shakespeare. You, Sarah Palin, are no Will Shakespeare." And those tweeters who got out their 'Complete Works Of' and got bizzay* had a long fun night ahead of them...

Honestly, Quitty McQuitter, you can't throw a bone like that at us and expect to be left with any marrow.

You undergo too strict a paradox,
Striving to make an ugly deed look fair:
Your words have took such pains as if they labour'd
To bring manslaughter into form and set quarrelling
Upon the head of valour; which indeed
Is valour misbegot and came into the world
When sects and factions were newly born:
He's truly valiant that can wisely suffer
The worst that man can breathe, and make his wrongs
His outsides, to wear them like his raiment,
And ne'er prefer his injuries to his heart,
To bring it into danger.
If wrongs be evils and enforce us kill,
What folly 'tis to hazard life for ill!

from Timon of Athens

*Every tweeter knows "Bizzay wit da Bitchez" was The Bard's working title for "The Merry Wives of Windsor." ;)


  1. Methinks Palin's word blunders pale from Shakespeare's talent
    And to quote the wordsmith himself:

    A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.

    Ha! A new term was born ShakesPalin.

    This will haunt the lady forever!

  2. I like "horrilarious," a combination of "horrible" and "hilarious." My brother and I sort of came up with that word together. Sarah Palin often merits it. She and her followers also tend to deserve "hatriot" and "wacktivist."

    You're right, if she'd simply said "Typo, sorry, I meant 'refute'" or did a delete-and-fix, she'd be a very different, and more tolerable, human being. Instead she turned herself into even more of a joke. Considering the bigoted statement she'd originally made, I'm glad.

  3. I think this quote explains a lot about Bush and Palin:

    "Language is a virus from outerspace"
    William S. Burroughs

  4. $arah Palin is goofalaughable.


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