Louie Gohmert really is the dumbest man in congress »« Disturbingly true

Girl criticizes math ability of old man

But…but…everyone knows that girls suck at math. So how can Christie Wilcox batter George Will’s out-of-his-ass math calculation so thoroughly? This cannot be.

I have a theory, which is mine, that Republicans have been experiencing many generations of selection for stupidity. This theory makes a prediction that newer Republicans ought to be significantly stupider than older Republicans. I know what you’re thinking: George Will is pretty damned stupid. How could they get worse and still manage to reproduce?

But here’s a case in point. Eric Cantor, also pretty damned stupid. But is he stupider than George Will? Well, that is debatable, but we do know that he’s stupid enough to get defeated by a teabagger in a landslide. And one thing we know for sure, his challenger, Dave Brat really is incredibly stupid.

As for the winner, Brat seems a very bad combination of serious religious quester and devout Randian economist, a combination that would have had Ms. Rand herself reaching for the opium pipe. He got his undergraduate degree at Hope College in Michigan, which is run by the Reformed Church in the United States, a conservative evangelical wing of the United Church Of Christ. He then got a Masters in Divinity at Princeton, which is a very conservative seminary and now, according to his website, Dave attends St. Mary’s Catholic Church with his wife Laura and their two children: Jonathan, 15 and Sophia, 11. So either he’s a Douthatian convert, god help us, or his faith is all over the lot, which may account for his rather startling announcement last night that he won because God was speaking through the voters of the Seventh Congressional District of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

So far, my hypothesis is confirmed. Rather strongly confirmed. I predict that by 2020 the Republican establishment will be plucking up dying earthworms on the sidewalk after a rain and running them for high office as intellectual superstars.

And then Christie Wilcox will just have to sit there, stunned into silence, rather than running circles around Republicans who try to do elementary arithmetic. That’ll teach her.

Comments

  1. raven says

    Calling George Will stupid is like calling an earthworm on the sidewalk in the hot sun, “dying”. It’s too easy.

    Well, that is debatable, but we do know that he’s (Eric Cantor) stupid enough to get defeated by a teabagger in a landslide.

    Now this is news.

    Cantor was an extremist himself, something of a Tea Party leader. It was an extremist getting defeated by an unknown even further out there on the lunatic fringes.

    Hard to say what it means, but it is either bad news for the USA or really bad news for the USA.

  2. Sastrei says

    a very bad combination of serious religious quester and devout Randian economist

    I realize the conservatives think Ayn Rand is their idol and prophet, but if memory serves, she would’ve flambe’d them for being so religiously devoted. Why does the left always associate conservatives with Rand and her philosophies?

  3. David Wilford says

    Cantor’s loss adds to the mountain of evidence that the GOP is thoroughly committed to identity politics of the white, heterosexual, born-again-Christian kind. In the long run, that will lead to the demise of the Republican Party, but in the short run it’s a real pain as long as the GOP can oppose everything without suffering the consequences. Thanks to favorable redistricting after the 2010 census, they can keep doing that until at least 2022.

  4. raven says

    aattp. org May 21, 2014:

    CBS News has released the results of a new poll revealing that

    support for the Tea Party has hit a record low of 15%.

    This is the lowest percentage reported since CBS first polled on this issue in 2010.

    That was the last mid-term election year, when Tea Party support had peaked at 31%. Media attention was so focused on the Tea Party’s alleged importance, that one would think it was embraced by a majority of Americans.

    Even among Republicans, only 32% sympathize with the Tea Party, down from the July 2010 peak of 55% — the only time it was ever a majority in any context.

    Recent polls have indicated that the Tea Party is losing a lot of support. They were down to 15% in the last one. Even only 32% of Theothuglicans support them.

    Supposedly. These polling numbers don’t seem to translate too well into votes. The Tea Party lost most of their primaries but managed to get rid of Eric Cantor and probably will get rid of a senator, Thad Cochran in Mississippi to a kook who has committed at least two felonies during his campaign.

  5. lb says

    I live in Virginia. Cantor lost because the primaries are open to *everyone* and a bunch of democrats showed up to vote against him and for Bratt because we have a better chance to defeat him in November than Cantor. I honestly do not think the Tea Party has anything to celebrate. I’m just hoping the 7th District will run a viable, Democratic candidate to take the House seat in November.

  6. raven says

    Why does the left always associate conservatives with Rand and her philosophies?

    Because they are followers of Ayn Rand, who they claim as a Saint and idolize as a Goddess.

    They say so themselves and often.

    Why do you think Ron Paul named his kid Rand Paul? The last GOP vice president nominee, Paul Ryan, was an avid and open follower of Ayn Rand who made all his staff read her scriptures, the Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged etc..

  7. Nick Gotts says

    Sastrei@2,

    Why does the left always associate conservatives with Rand and her philosophies?

    Because – as Sastrei@ said:

    the conservatives think Ayn Rand is their idol and prophet

  8. David Wilford says

    lb @ 5:

    Never say never, but given that the VA-7 district gets a Cook’s rating of R+10, it’s not very likely that the seat will be won by a Democratic candidate, especially in an off-Presidential year election.

  9. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Don’t know how competitive the Democratic candidate will be, but he works at the same place as Bratt (source):

    In the fall, Brat will face Democrat Jack Trammel, also a professor at Randolph-Macon, in the solidly Republican district.

  10. David Wilford says

    Nerd @ 10:

    Given that there wasn’t even a Democratic primary in VA-7 (Trammel was chosen by committee for his party’s nomination), it shows there wasn’t much faith in the Democrats winning that seat, up to now anyway.

  11. twas brillig (stevem) says

    Why does the left always associate conservatives with Rand and her philosophies?

    Why does anybody always associate Rand with either polarity of that particular spectrum? There are some ultra-Liberals who claim Rand as theirs; being anti-tax, anti-gov, anti-religion, anti-anti-anti-etc. While Conservs take her as theirs; being so anti-Commie and pro-money, etc. Rand was all over the spectrum and blatantly explicitly refused to be labelled as anything (other than Philosopher). Yes, Rand was a philosopher, who tried to be consistent, railing against other philos as inconsistent, yet failed miserably at consistency. Her writings are poor prose with little bits of reason here and there. If any text needs to be “cherry-picked” its Rand’s opuses.

  12. hillaryrettig says

    Virginia is such an effed up hypocritical state. So many of the people around the beltway get their entire family income from the fed – either directly, or through defense or other contractors. Many are double or even triple dippers: one or more pensions (including sometimes a military one), plus social security. And yet they almost always selfishly and hypocritically vote Republican so they can deny govt support for others

    It’s not enough to peg people as stupid (and not accurate); you need to ask why. I can’t imagine the mental contortions someone in the above situation goes through to justify his/her beliefs.

    I long for the day when an authoritarian personality is seen for the psychopathy it is:
    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/
    Excessive conformity and obedience to hierarchy, and the rest of the traits Altmeyer found in his research pretty much nuke any chance of open inquiry and critical thinking.

  13. Pierce R. Butler says

    Talking Points Memo has an interesting little piece on the implications of Cantor’s loss.

    Short version: Repub incumbents will back off from anything that might be interpreted as “pro-immigration”, thus decisively losing the Hispanic vote and with it any chance for the presidency in 2016.

    My addendum: what with the False Noise factor, gerrymandering, and the Citizens United/McCutcheon game-rigging, the GOP may well retain enough votes to control or at least paralyze Congress for the rest of the decade.

  14. twas brillig (stevem) says

    I can’t imagine the mental contortions someone in the above situation goes through to justify his/her beliefs.

    I assign it to “not thinking”, not contorting their thinking, just not thinking it through. They here one side and say they agree. Then they here the other side and agree with different parts of that side. They never consider the implication of one part of their thinking might have on another part of their thinking. Consistency is not important. They only consider one issue at a time, in complete isolation from every other issue. Isolating so much that they only think about benefits everybody ELSE receives while never considering the benefits they themselves are receiving. oops, analogy coming up: When driving on the roads, you don’t want to be the only one not following the rules, you want everyone to follow the rules and follow them yourself, to be safer than being totally free to run rampant over the roads. And you don’t pick and choose which rules to follow and which are wrong, so not to be followed, you follow them all, because. Because. [so where is this analogy going?] Living is like driving, rules apply to everyone else living and yourself also. Road rules that keep those guys safe, keep you safe also. Etc. Etc.

  15. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    I have a theory, which is mine, that Republicans have been experiencing many generations of selection for stupidity

    Well, as long as it’s artificial selection, that’s OK. Otherwise, it’s impossible.

    by 2020 the Republican establishment will be plucking up dying earthworms on the sidewalk after a rain and running them for high office as intellectual superstars.

    And they’ll be correct.

  16. David Marjanović says

    Cantor lost because the primaries are open to *everyone* and a bunch of democrats showed up to vote against him and for Bratt because we have a better chance to defeat him in November than Cantor. I honestly do not think the Tea Party has anything to celebrate.

    …Oh.

    Are there any numbers (…exit polls or something???) on how many such Democrats really showed up?

  17. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    Virginia is such an effed up hypocritical state. So many of the people around the beltway get their entire family income from the fed – either directly, or through defense or other contractors. Many are double or even triple dippers: one or more pensions (including sometimes a military one), plus social security. And yet they almost always selfishly and hypocritically vote Republican so they can deny govt support for others

    Virginia has been trending blue over the past decade or so–we went for Obama twice, we have two Democratic Senators, and voted in a Democratic gov, lt gov, and attorney general last year. And the closer you get to DC, the bluer it is. Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church are as blue as any major city, Fairfax county is solidly blue, and even Loudon county has become purple.

    The problems here are: (1) much of the white rural population is as reactionary as any other white rural population in the South; (2) there’s a large concentration of current and former military that trends Republican (in partial support of your point); (3) Dems don’t vote as much as goppers in off-year elections, effectively ceding the State legislature to the gop, so as a result (4) the gop controls the gerrymandering process.

  18. raven says

    TalkingPointsMemo isn’t buying the Democrats voting for Brat line:

    This is just a theory. Or more likely just a hypothesis right now.

    Several media sources have claimed this as well as the Eric Cantor campaign itself.

    What would make it more convincing is…data. Which right now AFAICT, is nonexistent. It’s not impossible, just not documented.

  19. David Wilford says

    raven @ 22:

    It’s not impossible, just not documented.

    It’s not impossible, but there really aren’t enough highly partisan and organized Democrats to make a significant difference.

  20. says

    They here one side and say they agree. Then they here the other side and agree with different parts of that side. They never consider the implication of one part of their thinking might have on another part of their thinking.

    That’s the engine that makes authoritarianism work.

  21. says

    I like Scalzi’s take on Cantor’s loss:
    “Congratulations to Eric Cantor On His Upcoming Job as Lobbyist”
    and this gem:
    ” I wasn’t deeply thrilled with Mr. Cantor’s positions and actions, either, which were also tuned for conservative populist stupidity, with a saucy soupçon of grasping, amoral personal opportunism thrown in for flavoring.”

    badum-tschhhhh!

  22. mikeyb says

    Rethugs (conservatives, tea partiers, they’re all the same), seem to specialize in reality-denialism (climate change, evolution, gun control, inequality, libertarianism, you name it), support of white privilege in all its ugly forms (racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.), theocracy, conspiracy theories and last but not least good ol’ fashion stupidity – did I leave anything out. All sponsored by the superrich and corporations primarily for rent seeking, keeping taxes and regulations as non existent as possible, and buying elections so the next generation remains as mindless as possible (the real raison d’etre for the rethugs).

  23. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @gvgeologist #18


    I have a theory, which is mine, that Republicans have been experiencing many generations of selection for stupidity

    Well, as long as it’s artificial selection, that’s OK. Otherwise, it’s impossible

    No it isn’t. You’re assuming that the selection pressure is necessarily survival. That’s not much of a pressure on humans any more, since we have so many mechanisms in place to ensure we survive no matter what. So now cultural trends can play a part.

  24. lb says

    As I mentioned before, I live in Virginia. Richmond’s 6th District, to be exact. The exit polls had Cantor way ahead but I suspect there are other factors behind his loss–and I realize I’m being Captain Obvious here. But one of the things I noticed as I went to my polling place yesterday was that there was *no one* in the parking lot and nobody was in there voting–and this was at 5:30-6 pm when I would have expected at least a few other people to come in since it’s right after work. The only other person I saw there, aside from the poll workers, was someone sitting in a lawn chair outside the building with flyers for someone I wasn’t familar with.

    *Everyone* thought Cantor was a sure winner. I don’t have hard facts for this but I wonder if the combination of the democrats voting against Cantor and the fact that his supporters didn’t show up because they didn’t think they needed to, might be a big factor as to why he lost.

  25. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    Thumper, @28,

    I think it’s time you took your sarcasm detector in for a tune-up.

    Either that, or mine is over-sensitive.

  26. PaulBC says

    “I predict that by 2020 the Republican establishment will be plucking up dying earthworms on the sidewalk after a rain and running them for high office as intellectual superstars.”

    And by 2022, they’ll be winning congressional seats because it’s an off year and only the wingnuts will bother to come out and vote (exaggeration alert:that was an exaggeration, but sadly not enough of one to change the outcome significantly).

    I’d like to make the optimistic prediction that we’ll learn by then, but let’s see what happens in 2014. It’s interesting that nobody is suggesting that Brat’s opponent has a shot in November (well, I read one comment that it would only happen if Cantor could run third party and divide the vote). I checked and 41.4% voted for Cantor’s opponent in 2012. Cantor had advantages of name recognition, incumbency, and money. Is this really an unbridgeable gap? (ugh, probably, but hope springs eternal)

  27. hillaryrettig says

    17 twas brillig – excellent point. also that there are big chunks of the human experience they just don’t bother thinking about. every activist or nonprofit do gooder I know has had a conservative family member ask, “Why do you get involved in such depressing stuff?”

    so let’s add the lack of empathy to the mix.

    and dunning-krueger. Never forget dunning-krueger.

  28. hillaryrettig says

    12 Maroon – good to know. i remember a ny times article saying that it was the recession and breaking of the real estate bubble that was causing a lot of virginias to vote blue for the first time – they were finally feeling the pain themselves.

    however, I bow to your greater knowledge.

  29. says

    what with the False Noise factor, gerrymandering, and the Citizens United/McCutcheon game-rigging, the GOP may well retain enough votes to control or at least paralyze Congress for the rest of the decade.

    Sadly, I fear you are correct. Not that national politics is subject to the will of anyone but extremely large donors to either party anyhow.

  30. raven says

    “I predict that by 2020 the Republican establishment will be plucking up dying earthworms on the sidewalk after a rain and running them for high office as intellectual superstars.”

    And by 2022, they’ll be winning congressional seats because it’s an off year and only the wingnuts will bother to come out and vote…

    Sure why not.

    I’m looking forward to our first “dying earthworm after a rain” president. We will be ready for one by 2020.

  31. David Wilford says

    @ 35:

    Not that national politics is subject to the will of anyone but extremely large donors to either party anyhow.

    That doesn’t explain Cantor’s loss to an unknown he outspent by a factor of 26 to 1. There really is a Republican Crazyee Base out there and they vote, and they do affect national politics. There isn’t an equivalent on the Democratic side, which is a good thing.

  32. says

    That doesn’t explain Cantor’s loss to an unknown he outspent by a factor of 26 to 1.

    I wasn’t trying to explain Cantor’s loss. I was just making an observation about how national politics have been completely captured by the interests of the wealthy elite. I’m that Mr. Brat wouldn’t dream of making any moves to threaten that situation, and, if he did, he’d be out of there faster than [insert folksy metaphor for extreme speediness here].

  33. David Wilford says

    I was just making an observation about how national politics have been completely captured by the interests of the wealthy elite.

    In this particular primary election, the most prominent issue was immigration reform and the wealthy elites generally are o.k. with amnesty as it maintains downward pressure on wages. But a lot of white male working class voters aren’t o.k. with that for a variety of reasons, some economic, some racial. So it’s a bit more complicated than the elites controlling everything.

  34. says

    We saw how good Republicans are at math these days on election night 2012, when the dumb bastards were actually surprised at Obama’s victory and Karl Rove went so far as to trek backstage to try to find some math to argue with after his network called the election. And George Will is the same guy who once wrote that Barry Goldwater won the 1964 presidential election, it just took them 16 years to count the votes. At least he knows that 1980-1964 equals 16.
    And I’ve become convinced that Republicans and conservatives particularly have no understanding of non-linear math, especially as applied to systems that feed back on themselves. That’s why (along with various self-interest-type reasons) that they don’t believe in climate change, and why they misunderstand how the economy works so badly that they think if one guy makes 1000 times as much as another, he must work 1000 times as hard. They’ve obviously paid no attention to the new fields of mathematics that have opened up over the last 60 years or so.

    Even among Republicans, only 32% sympathize with the Tea Party, down from the July 2010 peak of 55% — the only time it was ever a majority in any context.

    In my current job as survey taker, I’m finding that even people who describe themselves as “strong conservatives” are lukewarm at best toward the Tea Party. There’s a lot of “I agree with some of what they stand for, but…” in their responses.

  35. says

    32, PaulBC:

    And by 2022, they’ll be winning congressional seats because it’s an off year and only the wingnuts will bother to come out and vote (exaggeration alert:that was an exaggeration, but sadly not enough of one to change the outcome significantly).

    And by 2032, voter turnout will be 5% of the eligible voting population, nearly evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.

    Further prediction: even though polls will show again and again that most of the non-voters would really like some left-wing policy, Democratic party officials — Douglas “Everyone Loves A Hereditary Ruling Class” Kennedy and Chelsea “We Aren’t Really Your Overlords We Just Look Like Them” Clinton — will confirm that the Democratic Party will still be championing unilateral and unprovoked American military action against every country on earth and also any hypothetical nations on the sun, instant life imprisonment of anyone accused of being a whistleblower, mandatory implantation of NSA microphones in children, drone bombing both within and without U.S. borders, and fracking inside cities, and will refuse once again to make any attempt at gun control, single-payer health insurance, or financial regulation.

    Even further prediction: Democratic apologists will continue to be bewildered at the low turnout, and blame the Greens for the continuing shrinkage of the party loyalists, because obviously there could be no other explanation.

    Extra, bonus prediction: In 2167, a Democratic party biodroid apparatchik will posit that perhaps voters could be enticed back to the polls by actually doing what the voters want, rather than moving further to the right. The biodroid will be blown to smithereens by a microscopic nuclear drone within seconds of making this preposterous, unprecedented claim, on orders of Super-President Clone-Clinton IV (elected by 4 of the 7 people who voted last cycle), who will explain afterwards that the biodroid was actually a subversive whistleblower terrorist enemy combatant anti-patriot, and therefore required no accusation, trial, or even a warning to bystanders, who must have been guilty if they were associating with such filth. The biodroid will be posthumously sentenced to 400 years in solitary confinement and its personal property will be turned over to Merril Lynch Chase Sachs, the bank monopoly, completing their ownership of the eastern half of the country.

  36. says

    Some Republicans (and probably Eric Cantor too) would really like for it to be true that Democrats voted against him. However, Democrats are, in general, notorious for ignoring midterm elections, and there’s not enough evidence to support the theory.

    Also, Cantor was roundly booed by his own constituents when he criticized Brat, they booed Cantor to his face. I think that Tea Party activism really accounts for Cantor’s loss.

    Mother Jones took a closer look at David Brat, and he’s even worse than PZ’s post would indicate:

    […] A quick review of his public statements reveals a fellow who is about as tea party as can be. He appears to endorse slashing Medicare and Social Security payouts to seniors by two-thirds. He wants to dissolve the IRS. And he has called for drastic cuts to education funding, explaining, “My hero Socrates trained in Plato on a rock. How much did that cost? So the greatest minds in history became the greatest minds in history without spending a lot of money.”

    An economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in central Virginia, Brat frequently has repeated the conservative canard that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae brought down the housing market by handling the vast majority of subprime mortgages. That is, he absolves Big Finance and the banks of responsibility for the financial crisis that triggered the recession, which hammered middle-class and low-income families across the country. (In fact, as the housing bubble grew, Freddie and Fannie shed their subprime holdings, while banks grabbed more.)

    In his campaign speeches, Brat has pointed out that he isn’t worried about climate change because “rich countries solve their problems” […]

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/david-brat-eric-cantor-common-good-climate-change

  37. PaulBC says

    raven #36
    “I’m looking forward to our first “dying earthworm after a rain” president. We will be ready for one by 2020.”

    That’s “dying Tea Party earthworm after a rain”, and yeah, it might be worth it just to hear great speeches like “You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead wormy body, which might be pretty soon since I am dying, but that doesn’t mean it’s gonna be easy to pry it away.”

    Actually that will probably be the only speech, but it should be enough to keep approval in the 80% range among Tea Party loyalists.

  38. Anton Mates says

    Lynna @44,

    And he has called for drastic cuts to education funding, explaining, “My hero Socrates trained in Plato on a rock.”

    I have no idea what that means, but it sounds dirty.

  39. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    What A Maroon, you are indeed correct, I was being as sarcastic as I could possibly be.

  40. Gunter Hatherer says

    This has nothing to do with libertarian nutballism and everything to do with the Tea Party being against immigration from Mexico.

  41. says

    I just spent the better part of an hour reading a large amount of his Ph.D. Dissertation. Yow. He really had to walk back most of his dissertation in order to accept that grant money to become a Randroid. Here’s a question: if you have to retract nearly your entire dissertation after you accept a bribe from the banking industry does your Ph. D. get retracted too?

    Does the Tea Party or the Right-Wing Christians realize that he has written favorably about government intervention in the economy? Human Capital, Religion and Economic Growth; 1996 The American University. He argues that Protestantism had a positive influence on scientific developments in Great Britain and Germany in the 19th century because it encouraged or led to a state that would promote science more effectively than Catholic France did.

    I wonder if anyone will ask him anything about his dissertation? I wonder how today’s republican party managed to nominate a guy who has written in favor of state support of science and acceptance of natural explanations of evidence and phenomena? I wonder how he’s going to get along with his fellow republicans in the House of Representatives who dispute the age of the earth and evolution? Can he explain why Protestantism in Germany and Great Britain in the 19th century was so great for the advancement of science but in the U.S. South of the Mason-Dixon line in the 21st century Protestants hysterically denounce the advancement of science? Will anybody ask him?

  42. Ichthyic says

    So it’s a bit more complicated than the elites controlling everything.

    not really.

    it doesn’t mean they aren’t omnipresent, it just means they aren’t omniscient.

    they’ve worked hard to get stupid people to vote against their own interests by using hottbutton issues, like immigration.

    it just backfired on them this time, in predicting the response.

    next time, they’ll just craft the message they feed to the media and to the trusted authority figures (TM) a tad more carefully.

  43. Ichthyic says

    I wonder if anyone will ask him anything about his dissertation?

    someone will. but nobody will care.

    that is the state of Politics in the US now.

  44. Ichthyic says

    “My hero Socrates trained in Plato on a rock.”

    *counts number of syllables*

    no, wrong number for an attempted haiku.

    I’m with you… it looks like meaningless gibberish to me.

  45. says

    Lunna #44 Aton Mates #46 Ichthyic #52

    And he has called for drastic cuts to education funding, explaining, “My hero Socrates trained in Plato on a rock.”

    I have no idea what that means, but it sounds dirty.

    No technological nor scientific changes since Socrates’ lifetime? This from a person who wrote a Ph.D. dissertation extolling the positive effects Protestantism supposedly had on state support for scientific education and research?! I have never encountered anyone so intent on repudiating their own dissertation. Sorry to keep harping on it but yikes!

  46. mikeyb says

    Do Randroids ever bother to notice that Rand was an atheist, so why are Randroids almost always fundamentalists. Rand was basically a combination of a very bad reading of Nietzche super man transformed into super self made capitalist combined with theft of the super simplistic economics of the Austrians (Mises, Hayek ,etc.) put together to form a dictatorial cult of personality mediated through some books on par with the literary qualities of the Left Behind series or the Book of Mormon.

  47. says

    “My hero Socrates trained in Plato on a rock.”

    He’s trying to say that education costs should be nearly nothing, since some Greek philosophers apparently taught their students outside, where all Greek life was, because no one had time to put up walls or paint anything after erecting all those columns.

    He’s saying it very, very poorly.

    “Training” is not exactly a great word here, and Socrates never did training “in Plato” (as if professors were putting this on a syllabus and Socrates wandered down to the co-op bookstore to get the latest edition of some work of Plato’s – maybe the Apology, so he could also find out what he was going to say when he was eventually condemned to death). Maybe he meant “trained Plato”, but Plato still doesn’t strike me as the sort looking to get piles. And while it is said Socrates claimed to have never charged for instruction, others certainly did, and we don’t want teachers living with no money at all, or students freezing outside in the middle of winter, without access to the sorts of things students need to learn today, as opposed to some good logic, unsuitable ethics, and a lot of weird inferential handwaving. Now, if this dude proposes that we should have a teacher of Socrates’ magnitude (in today’s terms) for ever ten or so students, I’m all for that. But cutting funding ain’t gonna make that fly.

    If Socrates is this guy’s hero (not to be confused with Heron), he should save us the work and go drink some prepared hemlock.

  48. PaulBC says

    “My hero Socrates trained in Plato on a rock. How much did that cost?”

    Well, at least we know who’s not going to win any prizes for passing the Turing test.

    But I admit I missed the fact (F #55) that he seemingly has Socrates and Plato switched around. Or maybe “train in” is suppose to go together, like “breaking in” a horse.

    Also his actual point rings loud and clear through the poor phrasing: no need to spend money for education, let the kids go find a rock to sit on.

  49. Anri says

    raven @ 4:

    Recent polls have indicated that the Tea Party is losing a lot of support. They were down to 15% in the last one. Even only 32% of Theothuglicans support them.

    Supposedly. These polling numbers don’t seem to translate too well into votes. The Tea Party lost most of their primaries but managed to get rid of Eric Cantor and probably will get rid of a senator, Thad Cochran in Mississippi to a kook who has committed at least two felonies during his campaign.

    A disconnect between who people will admit to supporting and who they will actually vote for when the booth is closed?
    I dunno, I’m just spitballing.

  50. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    “My hero Socrates trained in Plato on a rock.”

    I hope he at least gave him a reacharound.

  51. Colin J says

    @Ichthyic, #52:

    “My hero Socrates trained in Plato on a rock.”

    *counts number of syllables*

    no, wrong number for an attempted haiku.

    By my count, it’s fine for the first two lines of a haiku. It even has an interesting change of image for the second line.

    Of course you have to use the approved Bill-and-Ted pronunciation of So-crates.

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