Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Painfully thoughtless politics

Jerry Stratton, September 3, 2010

In Televised debates discourage intelligent discussion, I wrote:

Silence doesn’t play well in debates, and that means thoughtfulness and taking time to think don’t play well. What plays well are the lightning-fast gotchas

Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly made just this kind of attack on Arizona governor Jan Brewer after last night’s debates. In the video, Jan Brewer is clearly reading something on a prepared statement or going over some prepared notes, and she’s rethinking what to say. There’s even a laugh part-way through where she’s thinking, no way, this is not me, let’s move on to the next part.

Benen characterizes it as “painfully long pauses” and that “Brewer just had a breakdown of sorts.” That’s crazy. Even if you don’t think politicians should think about what they’re saying, that was in no way a breakdown—she was in full control of herself the whole time.

He goes on to say it’s even worse—worse than having a breakdown—that “she seems to be referring to notes”. She should “memorize a short spiel”, he writes, like every other politician does.

Don’t think about what you’re saying. For god’s sake, don’t use references. Who knows where those sins might lead us?

Televised debates discourage intelligent discussion.

  1. <- ACLU vs. Sarah Palin
  2. Bush tax cuts ->