Ryan's Blog

Ryan Ebersole

Ryan Ebersole
Hattiesburg, Mississippi,
March 16
I'm Ryan Ebersole, and this is my first blog. I am a graduate student at the University of Southern Mississippi, studying counseling psychology. So far, I've managed to survive down here in Mississippi, although I've lived in Indiana, Texas, Illinois, Florida and Puerto Rico. Hopefully I add another state to that list soon! I'm hopelessly idealistic when it comes to my world view, although I try to approach it from a pragmatic view. However, I'd rather be wrong a lot then to give up my faith in humanity. As a gay man, I take the rights of my community very seriously. I hope to be a little mini-advocate; I want to spread news about my community in the hopes of growing support for our full equal rights. I also help to shed light on what ignorance can foster: anti-LGBTQA violence and pain. Ultimately, I'm a happy guy, with an odd sense of humor and a sense of ridiculousness. In the end, I just hope you read my blog! :)


Ryan Ebersole's Links

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 7, 2011 1:01PM

GOP: Stuck on Stupid?

Rate: 5 Flag

Political candidates often make gaffes, or mistakes, on the campaign trail, which is understandable as they are, in fact, human. However, lately many Republicans have gone from making simple gaffes to saying things that are outright ridiculous.

When speaking of the ridiculous, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin seems to be a great place to start. She is currently on a Sarah PAC "One Nation" bus tour on the East Coast visiting historical spots. In Boston, visiting sights along the Freedom Trail, a reporter asked her about what she had seen that day. She responded that she had seen the early home of Paul Revere and then went on to stunning historical inaccuracies. According to Palin, Revere "who warned, uh, the British that they weren't going to be taking away our arms uh by ringing those bells and making sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free and we were going to be armed." She later doubled down on that falsehood when called out by Fox News's Chris Wallace, stating that she knows her American history.

This isn't the first time (or likely, the last) that Palin has been (extremely) factually inaccurate. Back in January, Palin attacked President Obama's State of the Union address on Fox's "On the Record" with Greta Van Susteren. Taking issue with Obama's use of the phrase "Sputnik moment," Palin went on a tirade, calling it "one of those WTF moments," stating that Sputnik, launched by the USSR in 1957, caused the USSR to go massively into debt and collapse, and inquiring as to why Obama would want to follow that path.  In fact, the USSR survived another 38 years following the launch of the satellite.  Besides wondering if Palin knows the meaning of "WTF," it would be nice to know where she took sixth grade history.

Not to be outdone, Congresswoman and Tea Party Caucus founder Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., has a few historical inaccuracies of her own. Bill Maher, on his HBO show "Real Time with Bill Maher" sarcastically endorsed her saying she is "for those who think that Sarah Palin is too intellectual."

While visiting New Hampshire in March, Bachmann remarked that it was the state "where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord," ignoring the fact that those skirmishes took place in Massachusetts. Even more embarrassing: she repeated it in two different speeches.

Among other things, Bachmann has said there is no scientific backing to claim that carbon monoxide is a harmful gas, the message of "Lion King" is that gays can do things better because it happened to be written by a gay man, and hundreds of Noble-Prize-winning scientists believe in intelligent design. She also said, in an interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, that the media should investigate whether members of Congress are "pro-America or anti-America."

However, the fact that these two Republican politicians have such fervent tea party support isn't that surprising when one considers the nature of the tea party rallies. These rallies started coming into prominence around 2009 after the inauguration of Barack Obama. At one rally in Washington last year, two-thirds said they believed that their taxes had been increased, even though taxes were lowered under Obama's stimulus program. Yes, that's right, a group founded around the issue of taxes had little knowledge of taxes. Looks like Palin and Bachmann will do fine with this group.  


Add this to the list of things Rick Santorum has said about lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender people and Muslims, the claim by Congressman Joe Barton, R-Texas, that CO2 cannot be regulated because "you can't regulate God," and the Republican-controlled Texas Board of Education allowing Master's degrees to be granted in "creation science," and you see that this party has its fair share of questionable intelligence - or at least pandering to the ignorant.

Perhaps the scary thing is that often these people have electoral success. Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Joe Barton (not to mention George W. Bush) have all been elected in spite of the jaw-droppingly ignorant nature of many of their comments.

Among the GOP base, many of these characters have, at least, a moderate level of support. A recent Public Policy Polling survey in Iowa of presidential candidates found that Sarah Palin came in second with 15 percent and Bachmann was fifth with 11 percent among likely GOP voters. A May 26 Gallup poll among GOP voters found that Palin came in second to Mitt Romney for presidential preference, while Bachmann and Santorum polled 5 percent and 2 percent respectively.

This may be related to the findings of a University of Maryland study, which concluded that Fox News viewers are the most misinformed group among consumers of news outlets. The study found that watching the channel, often accused of being a GOP mouthpiece, made viewers more likely to believe false statements such as that their income taxes have gone up (14 percent more likely to believe), or that most scientists do not support the notion of climate change (30 percent more likely).

Overall, it seems the GOP has embraced some of its most uninformed politicians as they gather to try to retake the White House in 2012.


I originally posted this at: People's World

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
And which of the 57 states do you live in?
@CatnLion, that's a pathetically weak comeback. Obama later corrected himself, engaging in a bit of humorous self-deprecation. In contrast, Palin went to lock-and-load, centering the crosshairs on her opponents, then open-fired.

I used to vote mostly Republican (70-80% in any given election) until 2008, when I more nearly divided my vote roughly equally. Up to then, I felt the majority of Republican candidates (and supporters) were guided by an overarching sense of the common good and plain common sense.

Both were notably lacking in the 2010 slate of GOP candidates.

And that saddens me.

Palin could be a great force for good in this country. What a shame she isn't.

And now she's racing with Bachmann in trying to prove she's the most ignorant candidate around. Or "sort-of" candidate, I should say, since she keeps delaying any formal announcement. After all, camapaigning (for free) would seriously disrupt her highly profitibale speaking schedule.
What a post!

I guess if you read it on OS, then it must be true. The Grand Old Party does have the 'stupid' market cornered, especially when compared with all the brilliance shown by those who led the most recent Congress.

We are all just so sorry that you didn't mention how intelligent Weiner's pecker appears these days. That's about the only item you missed mentioning.

We will certainly all go far in America assigning blame for our political problems to the stupidity of the members of just one party. It's no wonder this post passed the editor's pick test. They're as sharp as any Democrat.

You convinced me. . . I am going to shut off NPR and go right out and listen to Air America. . . .
I find all of this as scary as it is funny. There is a great population of under-educated, over confident fools out there seducing with slogans and empty promises that have no bearing on any reality at all. When they are caught out in their ignorance they just proclaim it louder and blame the media for being un-American, Fox sells it and the mindless buy it. Ever see the movie, Idiocracy? Not much of a film but scarey funny and each year a bit closer to the truth. rated
Me thinks some of my comment detractors are a bit offended :p

This was meant to be a slightly humorous/slightly serious look at some of the leaders in the GOP.

Anthony Weiner's stunt was stupid. But it is NOWHERE near as dumb as not Palin and Bachmann's historically fallacies, the GOP's anti-gay, anti-environment, anti-science stances, or "Creation Science."

I think the Democrat's problem is the lack of a spine to take opportunities. Considering that studies correlate liberalism with higher IQs (and conservatism with the opposite- don't believe me then look it up), I would say intelligence is not the Democrat's problem (although, of course there are plenty of Dumb ones).

These people are prominent in the GOP- and they are moronic. The GOP's policies of homophobia, anti-science, anti-environment, anti-evolution, and anti-women are quite face-palmingly stupid. Kthanks.
The usual "corpse" from the usual "corps".
And let's not forget Obama not knowing what year it was when signing the Queen's guestbook. Of course, he's only the President, not a presidential hopeful.

This post takes the cake for bias and total lack of balance and perspective. No wonder the OS powers FP'd it.
@ Gordon- even I sometimes sign checks with the wrong year- it happens to everyone and it doesn't make them dumb- even when Republicans do it.

I'm sure if there was an article about how Democrats were spineless, it would get picked by OS too. However- until they start constantly saying as knuckle-draggingly stupid as the GOP, I don't think they earn the stupid title.
Keep up the good work Ryan. It ain't easy.
An excellent piece.
"@ Gordon- even I sometimes sign checks with the wrong year"

Well, if EVEN YOU do it, I guess it CAN'T be stupid.

Most people grow out of one-year-off carelessness in dating routine documents by Twelfth Night. O was off by years in late Spring, and he was signing the Queen's bloody guest book in which he wrote how honored he was to sign it. Geeze, Louise.

The lengths to which O's apologists will go to defend this incompetent is amazing.
Oh now you're just being absurd. Signing the wrong date once does not make someone an idiot. Do you honestly believe the President, a graduate with honors from Columbia and Harvard, has no concept of time? We're all forgetful from time to time, and you trying to paint me as arrogant doesn't change that fact.

Occasional forgetfulness or mispeaking does not make one dumb. Rejecting facts is stupid. Claiming that Climate change is part of some big liberal plot is beyond stupid. Rejecting the science of evolution is moronic. Proposing Cap-and-Trade legislation and then promptly opposing it as soon as Obama takes office is stupid.

And, for the record, I am no Obama apologist. I am to the left of him, and have been underwhelmed by his totally centrist policies. The lack of a public option, his tepid gay rights stances, and his overeagerness to compromise with Republicans who constantly derride him all have left a bad taste in my mouth. However- I do find that he is much more intelligent than many of the GOPers jockying for his position.
"Anthony Weiner's stunt was stupid. But it is NOWHERE near as dumb as not Palin and Bachmann's historically fallacies, the GOP's anti-gay, anti-environment, anti-science stances, or "Creation Science." "

Now THIS is why I come to OS. For the life of me, I would never be able to figure out who was more stupid if I didn't have authors such as this to tell me. Who KNEW that one guy's pecker picture was smarter than two women distorting historical fact?

I am registered as a Republican and that's why I can't make these kinds of computations. I am stupid.

Thanks, Ryan! Your post provides an insight to what the Left is thinking about in lieu of America's more serious problems.
the major parties are management companies, and regard reality as a challenge rather than a base. they are right to do so, the ignorance of the public figures you deride is matched and surpassed by an electorate half of whom regard genesis as all the science they need.

be careful about that derision, for you will end up voting for a politician in the end, and a few of us think that is pretty amusing.
Haha- forgive me for thinking that a guy sexting (while sad for his wife and stupid considering he is a public figure) is less intelligent than blatantly ignoring overwhelming established scientific evidence.

I'm not saying that the Republicans are as a whole are necessarily stupid- there are boundless intelligent people in the party- I have a few friends from college that vote (to my chagrin) R. The point of the post was to point out that the people that have been elevated to leadership positions (whether elected or not) are either morons, or pander to the less intelligent portions of their base (creationists, anti-climate change, the homophobes).
You're spinning out of control, Ryan. You're the one who's tossing around words like "stupid" and "moronic."

You should slow down and read more carefully. I called O incompetent to perform one of the planet's more difficult jobs, and he clearly is. I think his galactic lapses noted above are not due to lack of basic intelligence, which is generally overrated, but probably passable, but rather to his own recognition that he is way out of his depth in terms of leading the greatest country in the world.

On the other hand, your remark to the effect that O is constantly reaching out to Republicans in the spirit of compromise causes me to question your own brights.
In my defense, their actions/positions are quite worthy of the adjectives I have written. In contrast you say that forgetting the date once was a "galactic lapse." If that's the standard- we're all fucked.

Reaching out to the Republicans would not be a bad gesture- if at the same time they were not calling him everything from a secret muslim to not an American. While, at the same time whining that he wasn't reaching out to them. Everytime he made gestures of bipartisanship, they slapped his hand and demanded that he give in to every single one of their demands.

If reaching out to Republicans means that we need to destroy unions, abandon environmental protections, compromise on health care reform, and cut education- all the while the Republicans claim that they weren't consulted and that any actions Obama takes are because he is a secret Kenyan and that they will destroy America- then it is pretty worthless to try. I question why he should try to work with them, as their senate leader McConnell has said that their only mission is to deny him a second term (as evidenced by their record number of fillibusters- including fillibustering the nominees to key positions, even when they are Nobel Laureates). It gets even worse on state levels. Compromise is a good thing. In this case, it isnt compromise- Obama is Charlie Brown, and the GOP is Lucy- moving the football.

If it isn't obviously- I'm pretty liberal leaning. I'm not above pragmatic solutions- but I refuse to support a party that is basely homophobic (as I am a gay man), that favors the rich (I work with low-income people), is anti-science (I accept both evolution and climate change), and ridiculousless favors business over even basic environmental protections.
Stupidity and insanity are far more entranched in the Republican establishment and mindset than they'll ever admit. These guys still cling to the fantasy that cutting taxes will stimulate economic growth and increase government revenue, ferfucksake, even though experience has proven it wrong since 1981. And that's the moderate, establishment, good-sound-businesslike-government position. Some of them, like Jack Kemp and Raon Paul, also support the gold standard. Palin and Bachmann aren't further from reality than that lot -- they're just more shrill and obvious.

Disregard for reality is the very foundation of Republican ideology. They'll never effectively debunk the teatards, because they can't do so without undermining their own foundation.
I have created a website (www.antidrudgereport.com) designed to counter the influence of fox news and other right-wing hacks. Please check it out and let me know what you think. Any help getting the word out is appreciated!
Why do we always have to know whether a man or a woman is gay, or heterosexual when delivering an opinion? Sexual preference has nothing to do with race, professionalism, writting a book, or anything elase. It has everything to do with whom you prefer to go to bed with, and nothing else. For all of us Americans we couldn't care less what your sexual prference is: either you like the Hershey Road, or the Straight Road, it doesn't really matters. What matters is that you have as much fun while on the planet, it's a short stay remember.