This is not going to start out as a rant about how uneducated Sarah Palin is or how we've dumbed down the presidency these last eight years. That's for later.
This is going to start with grass roots stupidity. Close to home stuff. The kind you can get with a phone call.
This morning I called American Airlines to use some of my mileage to get a free ride to Los Angeles in a few weeks.
I was told by the Advantage Services dummy that a big chunk of my mileage had expired because there hasn't been any activity on my account for eighteen months. With a flip of a switch, thousands of miles went hasta la bye bye at the end of August.
Wait a minute. How could that happen?
Well, sometimes these things happen.
No they don't. I just flew to New Jersey in August. On one of your crappy planes.
Do you recall the dates?
Yes, I left on a Thursday, I believe it was the 7th. I came back on the 25th, which was a Monday.
I'm sorry, m'am, but the 7th was a Sunday.
No it wasn't.
Yes it was. I have a calendar right in front of me.
Well, I don't. But I remember the 8th was on a Friday because my daughter moved that day. And it's my sister's birthday. And my father died on the 8th. The 8th was a Friday. So, the seventh was on Thursday.
I'm sorry m'am, but that's just not correct. I'm looking at the calendar right here on my computer --
Of course, for 2008.
You're sure it's 2008?
Well, I'm not insane. I just went on that trip. I know when I left. Okay, check your stupid calendar to see what date Labor Day fell on this year. Because I know it was on the first of September. You can count back from today.
EVEN MORE SILENCE.
Uh. . .let me restart my computer here, I think there is something wrong with the calendar I was looking at.
No [bleeping] shit.
Uh, sorry about that. You know, sometimes I just want to throw this computer out the window.
Not yet, please. First check to see if you have me on my flights to New Jersey last month, so I can get my miles back.
Yes, I found them both.
Now. How come my mileage wasn't posted. That's part of the reason I pay extra for a travel agent.
Sometimes mileage doesn’t get posted. Okay, your mileage from August has been posted. But you'll have to wait 24 hours for your missing mileage to be reinstated.
[NEXT PHONE CALL]
Hello, travel agent that I pay a premium to so you won't screw things up?
Hi, how 's everything?
American just dumped a bunch of my miles for inactivity. They informed me that nothing had been posted to my Advantage account for eighteen months. I thought you took care of that stuff every time I flew. This never used to be a problem.
Well, let's see. Hmmmm. I don't seem to have your United or your American frequent travel numbers in here.
[First: I've used this travel agent for more than twenty years. She always USED to have my frequent flier numbers. Where the fark did they go? Second: Why didn't she ask me for them if she didn't see them when I made the reservation? Dummy.]
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
Which is a natural segue to the dumbing down of the vice-presidency. [There's no need to worry about the presidency. He's already dumbed that down about as low as itcan go. Thanks to Dubya, the C students of the world can hope for a bright tomorrow. Just look at McCain. He barely got out of Annapolis.]
But a stupid vice-president, too? Surely, something ought to be sacred. Hasn't it been our country's dirty little secret that Cheney's the one who makes Bushie's mouth move? He's the brains of the past eight years, along with Karl Rove, before he had to excuse himself. They just let GW take all the credit. Oh, wait a minute. If I'm not mistaken, Cheney flunked out of school.
So I guess Sarah Palin is just continuing a long and proud Republican tradition of uninformed, undereducated people on the Republican ticket. Not that I think someone who wants to teach creationism in the schools is stupid. Or that abstinence-only sex education is stupid. Or that shooting wolves from helicopters with scopes is stupid. Or that denying the existence of global warming is stupid. Or that charging women who have been raped for the cost of the rape kit is stupid. Or that nobody will notice when you send your pregnant, unwed teenage daughter out of town to your sister's so she won't embarrass the family is stupid. [Actually, that was hilarious.] Or that we can't do the math between the time you got married and the time you had your baby less than eight months later. And named him after a sport, Track. Stupid.
Clearly Sarah Palin is the ideal modern Republican vice-presidential choice. She has elevated dumb and dumber to new heights. And clueless Americans, most of them children who should have been left behind, are clamoring for more.
Is it so wrong to want someone for vice president who graduated from a distinguished university with an advanced degree? Or at least good grades? Who has been to another country besides Canada? Who has read something besides the Bible? Who understands more about warfare than how to strip and clean a rifle? Who has done more for wildlife than kill and eat a moose? Who knows how to separate church and state?
I know. I should think about the upside. If Sarah Palin becomes vice president, at least, for awhile, she will no longer be in a position to cause more destruction in Alaska.
And that’s a good thing.