Misplaced arrogance is hard to ignore

MISPLACED ARROGANCE IS HARD TO IGNORE…. Here’s a terrific example of a problem we talked about last week. The lead story on CNN’s political blog this afternoon is an item about a tweet former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin (R) wrote about drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The tweet is factually wrong. Do I ignore it (because she’s ridiculous) or write about it (because people might see the media coverage and wonder if she’s right)? It’s not like we can count on the truth to come out in the course of media interviews — Palin is far too big a coward to talk to reporters about her positions, which is why she counts on outlets like CNN to treat her tweets and Facebook messages as “news.”

I’ll go ahead and write up an item, for a reason I’ll get to in a minute. Here’s the CNN report:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is using the Gulf Coast oil spill to promote the issue of drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife National Refuge – the 20-million protected acres where untapped oil and gas reserves have long served as a lightning rod of controversy.

“Extreme Greenies: see now why we push ‘drill,baby,drill’ of known reserves & promising finds in safe onshore places like ANWR? Now do you get it?” the former Republican vice presidential nominee wrote Tuesday evening on her Twitter account.

And here’s the truth.

The message is clear: “drill, baby, drill” was never about dangerous offshore drilling like the Deepwater Horizon site, it was about safe “onshore” locations like ANWR.

Except that it wasn’t.

Not even close. Palin sees the oil spill disaster in the Gulf and thinks it’s evidence of how correct she was. But the pathologically dishonest former half-term governor seems to have forgotten that Google exists, and many of us know how to use it. Palin has repeatedly called for coastal drilling, and incorporated coastal exploration as part of her child-like “drill, baby, drill.” She is, in other words, lying about claims that are surprisingly easy to check.

But what really gets me is the condescending tone. I don’t mind arrogance; I mind idiots who think they’re smarter than everyone else, too ignorant to recognize their own ignorance.

It’s one thing for Palin to shamelessly lie about her own approach to drilling, but it’s so much worse when she tops it off with, “Now do you get it?” It suggests the rest of us would understand the nuances of her policy positions if we’d only pay closer attention.

Believe me, gov, we “get it” just fine. We “get” that you’re lying about easily-checked claims. We get that you’re a conspicuously unintelligent demagogue who posts online because you’re too scared to talk to a reporter directly.