Does Teh Stoopid Have an Asymptote?

In response to a National Review article somehow blaming the NFL’s problems on Obama (?!?), over at the Great Orange Satan, Hunter wonders if we will ever reach peak stupid (boldface mine):

I keep saying this, and I keep being dead serious about it: At some point, there has to be a lower bound to the cancerous stupidity that has metastasized throughout certain regions of the body politic. I am not saying “there has to be” in that there ought to be some hard-scientific devolutionary bound to that dimwittedness, because God help us we know that there is not, but “there has to be” in the sense that there must be some notion which is so very dumb that, at long last, even if you are willing to write it down there is no person left in America who is still eager to actually pay you for the privilege of reading it. So you write down something exceptionally stupid—something just staggeringly dumb, let’s say something about how an American corporation acting crooked would never have happened if it weren’t for Barack Obama becoming president—and at that point your loyal readership, folks who were with you all during the black folks should have their own water fountains bit and through at least a couple of the I think this next goddamn war will work out swimmingly iterations finally raise their hands and say, “Yeah, that’s it. I’m out.” And then they get up out of their chairs and go do something more productive, like drown themselves in a pond.

The reason this hasn’t happened yet across the board is that the ISIS wing of the Republican Party–which is its dominant wing–has successfully moved the goalposts so far to the right, they have mainstreamed insanity, as Charles Pierce described in Idiot America:

How does it work? This is how it works. On August 21, 2005, a newspaper account of the intelligent design movement contained this remarkable sentence:

“They have mounted a politically savvy challenge to evolution as the bedrock of modern biology, propelling a fringe academic movement onto the front pages and putting Darwin’s defenders firmly on the defensive.”

“A politically savvy challenge to evolution” makes as much sense as conducting a Gallup poll on gravity or running someone for president on the Alchemy party ticket. It doesn’t matter what percentage of people believe that they ought to be able to flap their arms and fly: none of them can. It doesn’t matter how many votes your candidate got: he’s not going to be able to turn lead into gold. The sentence is so arrantly foolish that the only real news in it is where it appeared.

On the front page.

Of the New York Times.

Consider that the reporter, one Jodi Wilgoren, had to compose this sentence. Then she had to type it. Then, more than likely, several editors had to read it. Perhaps even a proofreader had to look it over after it had been placed on the page–the front page–of the Times. Did it occur to none of them that a “politically savvy challenge to evolution” is as self-evidently ridiculous as an “agriculturally savvy” challenge to Euclidean geometry would be? Within three days, there was a panel on the topic on Larry King Live, in which Larry asked the following question:

“All right, hold on, Dr. Forrest, your concept of how you can out-and-out turn down creationism, since if evolution is true, why are there still monkeys?”

And why, dear Lord, do so many of them host television programs?

And the congregation responds: This is yet another reason why we can’t have nice things.

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3 Responses to Does Teh Stoopid Have an Asymptote?

  1. harrync says:

    I don’t think “A politically savvy challenge to evolution” is necessarily foolish or self contradictory; it is just poorly written and vague, and thus subject to misinterpretation of what the writer really meant. I can’t be absolutely sure of this, since the sentence is vague, but I suspect what the reporter should have written would be something like this: “Although they know evolution is true, the plutocrats who run this country realized that an attack on evolution would be politically wise, because it would appeal to the mass of voters whose religion tells them evolution is an evil idea.”

    • Chris. says:

      That was my interpretation, too. The attack *was* politically savvy, in that it appealed to a lot of people. Sure, it was wrong, and the people it appealed to were both wrong and stupid, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a well-thought-out action.

  2. Min says:

    Is this what the Zero Lower Bound is all about?

    😉

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