Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dumb For Dumb's Sake

To be considered for the highest court in the land, Elena Kagan had to endumb herself, lest she be perceived as someone not right for, arguably, the most intellectually strenous postion in the land.
According to Nina Totenberg of NPR, teaching Kagan to soften her law-professorial tone and to correct for “a streak of what even her friends admit can sound like arrogance” was a key part of the intensive coaching that went into preparing her for the hearings.

That is something about which I've written a lot, and it's nice to see that the NYT has picked up on it.

“It’s been the signature accomplishment of the conservative intellectual elite to slap the labels ‘elite’ and ‘intellectual’ just on liberal intellectuals,” Jacoby says. “When the words ‘intellectual’ or ‘elite’ are invoked, they mean ‘liberal,’ and they’re code words for ‘this person is not one of the people.’ ”

The article describes prepping Elena Kagan for her confirmation hearings: don't be smarter than the senators. (Talk about mission impossible!)
A tendency toward anti-intellectualism isn’t new in our country, of course; in his 1962 classic, “Anti-Intellectualism in American Life,” Richard Hofstadter wrote of our culture’s longtime devaluation of the head in favor of the heart and a historic tendency to prefer people and phenomena — educational approaches, types of religious experience — motivated by passion or gut rather than intellect or reason.

Hofstadter added, “Intellect has been dissevered from its coordinate place among the human virtues and assigned the position of a special kind of vice.”

Nice going, Republicans. Job well done, RWS™ and teabaggers.

Okay, I suppose blaming the teabaggers is like blaming Bennett Marco. But unlike him, they're still aiming in the wrong direction and haven't noticed the difference.

[In a conversation with a good friend, conservative, I was just told I should say something nice about someone for a change, in this blog. Okay, I will. I really like Elena Kagan. (And I really like him, too.)]


Anonymous said...

You hit this one on your pointy head Sid...
I just can't stand that Intellectual Elitist No-it-all Joe Biden, what with his Big Words and abstract reasoning.
And you keep using the T-word more and more..are you sending coded messages to Hamas???
and your a Richard Hofstadter fan too?? OMG I just love curling up with a thrilling title like "Anti-Intellectuallism in American Life"
Hey Gitmo's still chock full o' A-rabs.
Thats my version of the T-word.
Hey its still open.
Pretty sure its still open.

Ha Ha (Nelson laugh)
See, "Nelson" is this character on "the Simpsons" who plays an emotionally stunted Bully, who is actually a deeply sensitive warm soul when you get to know him.

Frank "Whens Gitmo Closin?" Drackman

Anonymous said...

DrekMan...Teabagging Beast, Self Aware, Emotionally Stunted Bully, (Slurs Be Upon Him)...

"He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man."

Like all TeaBaggers, you "Twist blissfully on the twig of ignorance";secure in your practiced credulity.

Anti-Intellectualism and ass- clownery have always been the hallmarks and touchstones of Nazis, Fascists and now, Teabaggers, but I repeat myself.

When the Nazis gained significant seats in the German government, they moved their little street riots into Parliament; they celebrated by wearing their uniforms, shouting and drunkenly singing their marching songs in the Bundestag.

History is trying to repeat itself, again, as farce.

Economic collapse, followed by fear mongering demagoguery - to stir up the red-faced braying ignoramuses - now screaming their rage about being stupid.

When do you propose to begin the book burning?


Anonymous said...

When do you propose to stop buggering little boys???

Ahh C'mon Sid, don't FCC me, Eugene left himself wide open for that comeback...

Frank "I couldn't spell "Kat" if you spotted me the "K" and the "T"" Drackman

Anonymous said...

DrekMan...Homophobic TeaBagger...(Fears Be Upon Him)...

Um...Your secret projection is sticking out again!


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