Michael Bersin’s post about his twitter exchange with Sarah Steelman concerning the views of American economists (although she has an M.A. in economics, Steelman strangely seems to know little about the range of economic opinion) brought to my mind the noise about Mark Reardon’s very rude treatment of Steelman last week. I know that I am getting to this encounter a bit late – it is old news by now – but I can’t stop thinking about the irony inherent in the situation.
In the unlikely case you missed all the bloggerly chuckling about Mark Reardon’s sharp dissing of Sarah Steelman directly after she gave him an interview on his KMOX radio program, you can hear the entire oration here (via FiredUp! Missouri). It is widely viewed as an opening salvo between the factions that are forming in relation to the various candidates for the 2012 GOP Missouri senatorial primaries.
FiredUp! Missouri‘s Sean notes that he “didn’t find Steelman’s interview to be any more vapid than the average guest,” and he’s right. If you saw the interview transcript without names attached, you could easily come away convinced that the responses were from Roy Blunt, or almost any GOP pol – they were nothing more than a cautious iteration of the GOP no-taxes-no way line. While Reardon was right that Steelman’s responses were intellectually “empty,” it hasn’t seemed to bother him when the same empty drivel is served up by other GOPers. Instead, he condescendingly noted that he had tried to help the poor nitwit out, implicitly compared her run for the Senate to that of the farcial Christine O’Donnell, and noted that “she isn’t the sharpest fork in the drawer.”
Whew! And here’s where the irony comes in. While I don’t know anything about Steelman’s intellect or lack therof based on her interview, this diatribe came from a media shill for the GOP in a state where a sadly all too typical GOP State Representative surveys his colleagues’ personal relationship with Jesus on the state dime; the incoming GOP House Majority Floor Leader is an “unapologetic” birther; the new GOP U.S. Representative from the 7th district is mostly notable, apart from some poorly digested crumbs of stale Tea Party rhetoric, for his cowboy hat; Rep. Todd Akin (R-2) thinks that the Pilgrims came to the New World to escape a socialist monarchy rather than religious intolerance of the type he espouses; and the entire GOP congressional delegation has decided, based on some imaginary authority, maybe the tooth fairy for all I know, that there is no global warming, and if there is, human beings bear no responsibility, either for causing it or fixing it. These are just a few examples of what we get daily from this confederacy of dunces.
And yet Mark Reardon doesn’t think Sarah Steelman is the sharpest fork in the drawer. Whoooeee!