February 02, 2010

A Trumped-Up Appeal to Authority

Ben Smith notes that Sarah Palin wants Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel fired for calling progressive critics "Fing retarded" at a weekly strategy session.

Emanuel seems to think he's absolved of the insensitivity of his comment because he called Tim Shriver, chairman and CEO of the Special Olympics, to apologize.

I'm sure Shriver was gracious in taking Emanuel's call, but who elected Shriver to a position where he has the authority to absolve Emanuel for his insult?

I find the White House's attempt to dismiss this juvenile outburst with a faux-sincere call far more insulting than the initial offense. It asserts that Shriver is somehow a spokesman for an entire slice of the American population, and that his acceptance should nullify the anger of families and caregivers upset over his choice of words.

The Obama Administration has the ability to make bland speeches and write economy-crippling budgets, but it does not have the power to pass out absolute moral authority to individuals they intend to use as props.

2/4 Update: Heh. One of the rocket scientists at left-wing snark blog Sadly, No has shrieked "Ah-hah!" because he discovered that if you Google this site for the word "retarded," you get 80 hits.

Oh, the hypocrisy!

Of course, if you actually look at the the search she ran, you'll see that the vast majority of the hits were from comments people left on the blog—and the majority of those came from liberals.

I didn't bother to read all the results, but scanning over them, it appears that the only times I used the word was to use the verb form to denote something or someone with slowed mental acuity or growth, such as this example that they cited (and of course truncated):

I've long thought that the mental acuity of the average leftist was highly retarded by a wall of anti-Bush agi-prop (hence the tagline, "liberalism is a persistent vegetative state"), but even still, I was blown away by the blatant paranoia, open delusions, and thinly-veiled hatred of American soldiers manifested on liberal blog Talk Left, regarding the killing of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The only other time I've used the term that I can find was when I criticized one of the local news media outlets for using the verb version in a way I thought was somewhat insensitive.

In essence, Sadly No! based an entire blog entry on the facts that:

  • they lack the reading comprehension to understand my problem with Rahm Emanuel wasn't so much his use of the term "retarded," but how he sought to cover himself politically with an appeal to authority
  • they are either too lazy to differentiate bloggers from blog commenters, or are too dim to understand the difference, and
  • they can't can't tell a noun from a verb.

I don't expect much from the formulaic schtick writing of Sadly, No, but this is a sad effort, even for them.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 2, 2010 05:01 PM

Mr. Emanuel shouldn't have apologized at all. Sarah Palin is a sad and desperate and opportunistic woman I think.

Can't she go play word police back in Alaska? We're all full up with stupid here.

Posted by: happyfeet at February 2, 2010 05:41 PM

Let's not forget the Palin hating Liberals wanted to force an abortion on her and to burn down her church. Yikes.

Liberals know no bounds.

Happyfeet, simmer down now, take a breath, and realize that Sarah did nothing wrong in this situation. The horrific people are wrong. Once you put your rage aside, you'll start to feel ashamed. That will be the first step. Standing up for good people who aren't able to do it for themselves isn't wrong; it's noble.

Try to be more like me.

Posted by: brando at February 2, 2010 06:04 PM

She wasn't standing up for anyone, brando. She was trying to get attention. That's what Fox News babe Sarah Palin does. It's who she is. But it's always a maximally self-serving exercise.

Posted by: happyfeet at February 2, 2010 06:11 PM

With what is known of Emmanuel, his employment in the White House is an indication that Barack Obama is indifferent to the help.

The cartoonist Scott Adams, in his capacity as an alumnus of the Crocker National Bank and as a correspondent of many in the corporate world, offered this as suggestion number one for the aspirant good manager: "fire the assholes...they may on occasion have valuable skills, but the trade-off is almost never worth it." The President did not heed Mr. Adams' advice; the President had prior to his inauguration no experience as a superintendent of an apparatus not created to serve him; maybe there's a connection.

At the very least, Rahm Emmanuel's appointment should have been held in abeyance until he explained in loving detail just what he, a man with no previous history of salaried employement in a commercial enterprise, did to merit that eight-figure sum of money he was paid by Wasserstein, Perella.

Posted by: Art Deco at February 2, 2010 07:23 PM

I don't care that Rahmbo called them retards. They are retards. Which is why we call them leftards--because they are retarded leftists.

Retarded is a perfectly good insult. While I rather like Palin, I dislike this attempt to play word police. We get way too much of that from the leftards as it is.

Posted by: iconoclast at February 2, 2010 09:16 PM

I like Palin and dislike Emanual, but she appears to have gotten hysterical over a choice of words, not actions. The presidency is not for her, unfortunately.

Posted by: mytralman at February 2, 2010 09:29 PM

Beer summit?

Posted by: daleyrocks at February 2, 2010 09:59 PM

Oh, I've used the word too. And I don't have a huge problem with it. What I have a problem with is people who are omniscient and relentlessly PC, actively and intentionally breaking their own rules.

There are people who believe that her mentally handicapped child should be put to death, and that her teenaged daughter should be raped. I personally don't think that's a good way to treat citizens. If I were her, I'd strongly put goons in their place too.

Actually hysterical? I don't think she was. And the focus shouldn't be on her, as she did nothing wrong.

Remember that "nappy headed hos", is a perfectly acceptable firable offense for a lowly shock-jock.

At the very least Obama can say that Rahm "acted stupidly", and it can be a "teachable moment".

Posted by: brando at February 2, 2010 10:45 PM

I'm no fan of Rahm but I don't see the insult to millions with Down's Syndrome. He didn't call them retards - which I would find offensive, he used the word retarded to describe their overall mental faculties. To see someone who considers themselves to be a conservative, call for the resignation of the Chief of Staff over this comment is pathetic. You can't be a conservative and then not support free speech. Is Rahm an idiot for making this statement? A cretin? Probably. Now am I going to be banned from this site for using words that used to be routinely used to describe people with deficits in their metal capabilities? PC speech has become ridiculous and we have allowed many, many words to be pre-empted and used as tools against the majority by minority groups whose feelings get hurt by neutral words.

Posted by: PENNY at February 3, 2010 12:37 PM

"You can't be a conservative and then not support free speech."

Who is saying that Congress should pass a law abridging the freedom of speech, in relation to this topic?

Posted by: brando at February 3, 2010 02:27 PM

Absolutely Rahm should apologize. He insulted every Down's Syndrome and developmentally disabled person by equating them with progressives/liberals.

You go Sarah!

Posted by: Tom J. at February 4, 2010 01:37 AM

check out this google search of 'confederate yankee, retarded'. it appears that the good Mr Owens has used this 'slur' quite a few times himself.

so Bob, are you just a hysterical hypocrite, or are you retarded?

Posted by: but seriously at February 4, 2010 08:50 AM

but seriously,

When did I ever say I didn't use the term? I just said it was an insensitive and juvenile insult, not that I don't use it myself on occasion.


My beef with Rahm is that he tried to apologize to one person to gain absolution, when that person didn't have the authority to accept that apology... a fact that Tim Shriver (the person he tried to apologize to) said himself.

If your reading comprehension was better, you'd understand that, but I guess you're simply the product of a failed public education system.

Or a reader of Sadly, No, which is pretty much the same thing.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 4, 2010 09:16 AM

Wow CY, you put the fools on tilt. They're really having trouble reading.

Posted by: brando at February 4, 2010 10:06 AM