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  I’m with Stupid
Why Tony Snow is a Perfect Choice for Press Secretary
By Allan Uthman

I’m looking forward to watching Tony Snow work as the new White House Press Secretary for a number of reasons. For one, Scott McClellan just wasn’t very good at it. With all his steely-eyed glares and vicious smiles, McClellan just made it look painful, and he never lost the palpable impression of someone who had been promoted to a job he didn’t want because his boss quit, and whose soul was being poisoned by his work. Plus he had the natural charm of a tarantula.

Snow, on the other hand, is a better choice by far. He has a camera-ready smile and his experience as a media shill makes him sympathetic to the press. This makes Fox News’ status as an extension of the White House official. But there’s one fact above all that makes Snow the perfect hire: He’s an idiot.

I don’t mean just that I disagree with Snow on most issues. What I’m saying is, he’s just really stupid. This is a huge plus for him in his new job, just as it was at Fox.

Think about it. One of McClellan’s major drawbacks was his rapid, unemotional delivery of denials and obfuscations, which sent a clear message to reporters and the public: “We both know this is bullshit, but I get paid serious money to say it.”

Snow, on the other hand, will probably even believe himself when he delivers the standard “ongoing investigation” or “national security” non-comments. His voice will pitch and swoop with the inflections of a man emotionally invested in his position. This obviously raises his credibility factor. He’s also much taller.

If you’re not convinced Snow’s as dumb as I say, a perusal of some of his own statements should set you straight.

Let’s look at Snow’s understanding of foreign policy.

Last year on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Snow defended America’s accomplishments in Iraq by pointing out that there were now women in the government, adding that, “you didn’t have girls in school when Saddam was there.”

Of course, this is incorrect. For decades, Iraq has been one of the most progressive countries in the Middle East regarding gender. Women go to school, they go to college, they become doctors and engineers, and it’s not even controversial. Saddam is evil enough that we don’t need to invent an oppressive gender policy to vilify him.

But that’s the thing: Snow wasn’t lying; he’s just stupid. Like any other soft-headed heartland cracker, he ignorantly assumes that, since Iraq is a nation of Muslims, they must be keeping their women illiterate. No matter that Snow has been talking about Iraq for years, as a Fox News anchor, a talk show host on Fox News Radio, subbing for Rush Limbaugh, and writing for the Washington Times, USA Today, and the Detroit News among other papers; he still doesn’t know the first damn thing about it. And that is just the kind of irredeemable moron that can convincingly put forth the Bush message.

Speaking of Iraq, here’s a quote from a column Snow wrote in early January: “For whatever reason, the president’s critics are dodging the one question that really matters: Is the war morally justifiable?”

Funny, but I thought that just about every critic of the war based their opposition on the grounds that the war is immoral. But this is Snow’s style of argument: if you can’t arrive at your desired conclusion based on the known facts, just make some shit up. He does it over and over again. Writing about race a couple of weeks later, Snow informs us that racism is a thing of the past: “Those eager to exploit differences between blacks and whites in America ignore the fact that the differences have all but vanished. One might as well complain about the gas mileage of a 1959 Edsel.” Well that’s a relief. Then he retroactively paints segregated America as a Rainbow Coalition rally, telling us that when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke, “everyone in America knew what he was talkin’ about.” Technically this is true; people understood Dr. King—it’s just that a good number of them wanted him dead.

Here is Snow arguing for a literal belief in Jesus’ resurrection, this Easter:

“We express our vanity through such things as the self-help movement, which in its endless lose-weight, have-sex, purge-guilt, be-happy manifestations promises that one doesn’t need God... Who needs resurrection when you’ve got the South Beach diet?”

Snow here has pitted Christian devotees against their natural enemy--the Oprah audience. His argument gets even worse:

“We all believe in the miraculous—in events and achievements that not only beggar the imagination, but defy the boundaries of reason.

“Love is the obvious example. You can’t measure it. You can’t see it. You can’t manufacture it. And you can’t live without it. Or how about prayer? Doctors swear by it. And even those who have tried to debunk it through scholarship have found themselves apologizing that even seemingly damning results seem downright unsatisfying.”

First of all, this is just wrong. Love is a distinct neurochemical phenomenon, and can indeed be detected, measured, and studied, as unromantic as that may be. And the so-called power of prayer has been debunked in a study released last month involving cardiac bypass surgery patients, wherein those who knew they were being prayed for actually did worse than subjects who were not prayed for, and were told as much (sounds kind of cold, I know). Perhaps it’s knowledge of that study which caused Snow to add the nonsensical gibberish sentence at the end of that paragraph, whatever it’s supposed to mean. Snow does this a lot when he’s painted himself into a corner. He shouldn’t really have mentioned prayer, since that study hasn’t had enough time to fade from the consciousness of the public, but, seemingly incapable of backing up, he blunders on, adding some self-contradictory blather dense enough, he hopes, for the reader to simply move on.

And I’m willing to bet Tony doesn’t know any doctors who “swear by” prayer anyway. In reality, prayer doesn’t help anyone but perhaps the person praying, because it relieves their sense of impotence over problems they can’t really do anything about. But Snow really likes the idea that prayer can help others, so he just says it’s true.

His most brilliantly stupid assertion comes next:

“The key to Easter is this: It is too preposterous, too outrageous, too incredible not to be true, and not to be the key to a much larger truth.”

Wow. What an amazingly dumb thing to say. By this standard, things become very clear—Santa Claus really does exist, and OJ really is innocent. This is exactly the kind of thinking the Bush administration needs to tease another three years of stupefied obedience out of the mainstream press. “Of course Iran is going to nuke us—it’s too preposterous not to be true.”

What about Snow’s understanding of science? Here he is on evolution:

“Today, evolutionary theorists find themselves at wits’ end because the fossil record provides no evidence of any species ever turning into another. We know species adjust to environmental conditions -- ever notice how tall kids are these days? -- and that natural selection does occur. But there’s nothing to vindicate the notion of an evolutionary leap.”

The only thing made clear in this passage is that Tony Snow, despite two college degrees, does not understand the theory of evolution. Come on—tall kids? That’s what he thinks adaptation is? American kids are taller these days because they eat more food. That’s not adaptation. Adaptation would be if some common natural predator wiped out short people. And natural selection is evolution—it’s just that simple.

But my favorite part is the thing about evolutionists being “at wits’ end.” It paints a vivid picture: frazzled, stressed out scientists pulling out their unkempt grey hair, desperately seeking evidence for their crackpot theory in the form of a tiger with antlers. Never mind that many transitional species have been found; Snow seems to share the sadly common imbecilic notion that evolution implies some kind of conscious effort on the part of an organism to alter its own DNA.

Snow further confirms his confusion by adding inexplicably that “Evolutionary theory…isn’t verifiable or testable,” and that “it’s pure hypothesis.” These assertions are creationist fantasy, and yet they surely improved his candidacy to speak for the White House. You just know Scott McClellan is a closet Darwinist.

Again, Snow displays here the traits necessary for a good professional liar. He is unfettered by broad knowledge, and unmotivated to research an opposing argument’s merits. He possesses an unflappable ability to ignore reality in favor of reassuring illusions. And he has the genuine affability of a true simpleton.

He’s not evil. He’s just stupid. And he’s perfect for his new job.



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