February 2, 2010

Sarah Palin wants Rahm Emanuel fired...

... for calling someone "retarded" — actually, "fucking retarded."
Just as we’d be appalled if any public figure of Rahm’s stature ever used the “N-word” or other such inappropriate language, Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities – and the people who love them – is unacceptable, and it’s heartbreaking. 
This is a good place for Palin to posture, but, seriously, I think that anyone who takes this trumped-up offense seriously is... pretty silly.

271 comments:

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Seven Machos said...

Palin for Alaska U.S. Senator even!

Lem said...

Its not just Palin complaining about the use of the word.. which btw she has every right under the first amendment.

Kansas City said...

Freeman, I don't really follow you.

Turning to a white guy and calling him a N Word would be offensive.

Turning to anyone and calling them a r-tard is offensive.

It does not matter what other words you use or even whehter waht you say makes sense. The offense is in using the N Word or r-tard.

At least we agree Rahm is classless.

Pastafarian said...

Hell, we've even got Freeman Hunt dropping n-bombs. And those links to images of Sarandon and Arthur should qualify as crimes against humanity.

WV: "spank".

Oh, you naughty word verification elves.

Lem said...

If anything I just see Palin in touch with an American trend..

Like it or not PC is the way we talk.

except for the re**rds with a Mac ;)

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Matt said...

Lem

You're right. As you probably know the reason no one gets flack for using the word 'retard' is because most everyone understands that the word is not directed at people with actual mental handicaps. It's common usage and a stand-in for words such as 'dumb' or 'idiot'.

Everyone knows this. It's like when someone says 'Oh, God' very, very few people think that is an offense directed toward God.

Just shows political correctness has a home on the Right as well.

Kansas City said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

This is a long thread so I assume someone by now has pointed out that at least Emanuel was correct in what he said.

Seven Machos said...

As long as this is the cussiest Althouse thread ever, can I just say that Susan Sarandon has a raunchy twat?

Thank you. Good night everyone. Good night to you, especially, Phoebe Cates.

Lem said...

The PC revolution came and went.. and political correctness won.

get used to it.. you re**rds ;)

bagoh20 said...

Is there something wrong with everyones' keyboards?

Kansas City said...

Trooper, is that a real photo of Palin with the large breasts? If so, I had no idea.

I also had no idea that Sarandon's breasts were so big.

And I thought education about breasts on Ann's site was a thing of the past. I do remember Ann's words of wisdom that every woman knows what her breasts look like when she walks out the door, or something like that.

Matt said...

Kansas City
Maybe you are kidding?
But calling someone a 'retard' is in no way comparable with calling someone the 'N' word. I mean if you go into a crowded bar and shout "retarded" at a group of people few people will look at you. If you go into a crowded bar and shout the "N" word at people you better get out fast.

When someone calls someone 'crazy' do you think they literally mean someone is mentally insane? When someone calls someone an idiot do you think they mean an idiot savant? When someone calls someone stupid do you think they mean some poor person with a low IQ? When someone calls someone dumb do you think they mean someone who cannot talk?
You are taking political correctness and language police to new levels.

The N word, on the other hand, is hugely offensive because it has an historical and social connotation that is very real for black people. Plus it's primary meaning is one directed negatively and offensively toward black people.

The word retarded is not directed toward people who are really retarded. It is used toward ALL people in a way to say someone is being flagrantly stupid.

Trooper York said...

Yes those are indeed her full, natural and real breasts. Unlike so many starlets who have implants, Miss Saradon has remained true to what Gaia has given her.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pastafarian said...

Matt -- so "retard" is OK, because the mentally disabled are less likely to beat the piss out of you in a bar?

Interesting philosophy.

Let me ask you this: Would you call someone a "fucking retard" within earshot of someone who is actually mentally disabled?

No? Is that because you think it might hurt their feelings, or because you're afraid that they'll beat the piss out of you?

If it's the former, then why would you ever use it as an insult? Are wrongs only wrong if they're observed?

Pastafarian said...

Trooper, it looks to me like Gaia is trying to reclaim them through the inexorable pull of gravity. If those things sagged anymore she'd trip on her bra strap.

Where's Seven's Phoebe Cates link -- I need to cleanse my mental palette.

Freeman Hunt said...

In fact, what got me to type it out was imagining trying to explain to my grandchildren, while discussing history, that there was a word so bad that you couldn't say it or even write it down to talk about it.

And it occurred to me that that just sounded... not smart.

Lem said...

She said ridiculous.

Kansas City said...

Matt,

You and I guess Seven Machos are focusing on what the target of the offensive word perceives, which I believe is largely irrelevant, and on your own acceptance of the use of r-tard, which with due respect I believe is not representative of most Americans.

The relevant point is that the N Word and r-tard are offensive to the persons who have been abused by those terms in the past, and to other persons who are sympathetic to the persons abused by those terms in the past.

You seem to have a perception of r-tard which is detached from the historical offensive meaning, which apparently means you are not offended by it. I think most people remain offended by it, and some people are highly offended by it.

I personally think that its level of offense is roughly equivalent to the N Word (both highly offensive), but that assessment probably depends on your life experiences and level of compassion for and exposure to the disabled.

You apparently readily accept a non-offensive meaning of r-tard. Others don't.

Anton said...

I love Instapundit's wording on this:

"RAHM EMANUEL COMPARES DEMOCRATS TO RETARDED PEOPLE, then apologizes to retarded people."

Matt said...

Pastafarian
I'm guessing you don't get out much? The Super Bowl is this weekend. Go to a local bar and see how often people say things far far worse than the word 'retard' toward the football players or each other. Think about it. I don't doubt in private you say all kinds of things about people that could be construed as offensive.

But you are also missing the point of the argument. No one would yell the word 'retard' AT someone who was actually mentally challenged. But people WOULD and HAVE yelled the N word toward black people.
Get it? Big difference.
In this case the word retard is being directed toward people who are not actually retarded. So it's meaning is pretty obvious. While the N word used in any way is offensive because it has REAL historical connotations like slavery and lynching. The word retard does not unless used toward some people.

Also the idea that we have to watch what we say at every step because someone might be listening is right up there with the thinking of Mao and Stalin or the Taliban. Many people might yell retard within earshot of people who are mentally challenged. But something tells me it would offend very few except very sensitive and politically correct folks.

Shanna said...

It is expected of him to be rude, inconsiderate, crass, and low. So, in effect, he was just being himself. No problem.

Yeah, isn't it as big a problem (if not bigger depending on your point of view) that the presidents chief of staff goes around calling people "fucking" anything? How tacky.

Pastafarian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kansas City said...

I said too much already, but I do love the characterization on Instapundit. It is just as good, although in a different manner, as Palin's take down.

I hate to be shallow on this serious subject, but TROOPER, is that a real photo of Palin with those large breasts? Sorry.

bagoh20 said...

OK Pasta, here a link to the actual Cates in Fast Times video clip. A tribute to the B cup. Aren't all the hottest boobs the smaller ones?

http://en.sevenload.com/videos/cryAEgf-Phoebe-Cates-Fast-Times-at-Ridgemont-High

Big Mike said...

@Joe, we may be more alike politically than we are different.

I suppose I could be a weasel and point out that technically I didn't directly accuse you of being a liberal. But that would be weaseling and a fellow libertarian deserves better.

(1) Sarah Palin is no more qualified to be President of the United States than Barack Obama was. That is to say, neither is particularly qualified, as Mr. Obama has been careful to demonstrate at every available opportunity.

(2) Sarah Palin has lucked into a position where she can give back to liberals a decent portion of what they dish out, as in the case of politically incorrect speech. A number of us made this point, with probably knox at 5:41 the best.

(3) Sarah Palin really does get liberals in general, and liberals in the MSM especially, red in the face and frothing at the mouth. While they are making fools of themselves in public, they are busily shredding their credibility with the political center.

I don't think Sarah Palin would make a particularly good President, though I'm fairly certain she'd handle foreign policy and jobs creation better than the current incumbent.

Okay?

Pastafarian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lem said...

Palin just wants to be In the Loop

Matt said...

Kansas City

I understand the offensiveness of the word 'retard'. But my point is that even if the word 'retard' is offensive to some it is in NO way as deeply offensive as the N word. The N word is the most offensive word in the English language to many many Americans. The word 'retard' is somewhere down the line.

That is not to say the word 'retard' is not offensive in some contexts. You are making an argument that the word 'retard' should be in the same category as the N word and I say that even if you tried to make it so you could never make it so. Partly because the word has only recently taken on an offensive meaning.

As an example [again] if Rahm had said the Liberal Democrats were stupid [N word here] he would be excoriated and most definitely fired. You are saying his use of 'retard' is equivalent. I say no way.

Maybe some day it will be so. But I'm sure a few Republicans have used the word 'retard' and you have kept quiet about it. So my larger point is this is completely poltical.

At least Althouse gets it.

Pastafarian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Matt said...

Pastafarian

When you call someone a "retard", as an insult, you're saying that it's an insult to this person to imply that he's in this group.
Wrong. When most everyone calls someone a retard they are saying the person is "stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way." [Dictionary definition].
Similarly, when I say someone is 'dumb' I am not implying they are unable to speak.

"n*****", at this point, is a little like calling them a "wop" or a "ginger". It's virtually meaningless
You are truly joking. Right? Where the heck do you live, anyway? Do you honestly think if a football coach or a teacher or a politician, for instance, used the N word people would shrug it off? That is crazy. However they would shrug it off if he used the R word. The word has not been considered offensive until recently. Maybe that will change.

Anyway, to answer your question I would not purposely use the word retarded in the scenario you mention. I'm in my 40's. The word retarded was sort of commonly used to mean 'stupid' where I grew up. And yeah I recall a mentally handicapped person laughing once when someone jokingly used the term retard in his presence. Times change.

However, I would never use the N word in a similar way and I'd be pissed off if someone did. Although black folks do use the term with each other. I'll grant you that.

I am really surpised you think the N word is not offensive if used in a similar way as Rahm used the word retard. Shocked actually. Do you use the word toward people you don't like? Would you just shrug if a white guy said it to a black person in an offensive way?

Matt said...

Pastafarian

Okay, I see your follow up post. We're sort of on the same page. Take care.

bagoh20 said...
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Kansas City said...

Pastafarian is good.

And Rahm is still an asshole. Why would Obama want an asshole for his chief of staff and, now that he hasn't done a particularly good job at it, why would Obama keep him?

bagoh20 said...

He can't fire him now, Palin told him too. He's got job security now.

Lem said...

Not to beat a dying horse (this tread)

But I think Palin missed an opportunity when Frank Rich called McCain unpatriotic.

She could have said something. Maybe she did but I cant find it.

hdhouse said...

Lem said...
"We loved Palin when she said "death panels".. she was a genious."

lol unlike others writing on here perhaps?

hdhouse said...

Lem said...
"She could have said something. Maybe she did but I cant find it."

or maybe it was politically expedient and she kept her yap shut for a change or perhaps she did say something and no one noticed because it was more drivel.

peter hoh said...

I'm late to the party, but want to give some props to Freeman, Seven, and Stoddard.

And Trooper's suggestion that Palin is becoming the Sharpton of the right is spot on.

Freeman Hunt said...

Oops, forgot that we can't type that word out because it trips the web filters. Do all bad words do that or just that one?

Ann Althouse said...

Please don't use the n-word, even to discuss the use of the word. I've deleted every use of it, even serious, thoughtful comments by respected commenters. I'm sorry I had to do that, but I don't want to see that word on this blog.

Ann Althouse said...

@Freeman It's not because of web filters. I just don't want to see the word on this blog.

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

And yes, it is just that word.

Freeman Hunt said...

So...

How 'bout them Cubbies?

...

Or Cowboys?

...

Or Blackhawks?

...

...

What sports are in season?

bagoh20 said...

That's too bad. It gains power in this way. Like the sight of a woman's ankle used to by covering it.

Would we prefer that it remain like it is or lose all power.

That's the very nature of PC: to give words the power to destroy people and limit speech.

That said, I understand not wanting showing up on something with your name on it. I will respect it.

bagoh20 said...

I liked the parts about B@@bs.

Fen said...

Ann: Please don't use the n-word, even to discuss the use of the word. I've deleted every use of it, even serious, thoughtful comments by respected commenters. I'm sorry I had to do that, but I don't want to see that word on this blog.

Okay fine.

But what about Redneck? Or are bigoted racist stereotypes acceptable as long as they don't refer to black people?

Lem said...

What sports are in season?

Pitchers and catchers are coming soon.

Beth said...

Freeman -

Duh!

How 'bout Dem Saints?

Just sayin'.

former law student said...

But what about Redneck?

Redneck is just a subset of the Farmer Tan Clan.

bagoh20 said...

What are you admitting when you refuse to use a certain word?

It hurts people?

It's rude?

They can't handle it?

Seems to me that it is one or all of those, but only when used carelessly or for that purpose, otherwise it's just a word.

When you can say such words in front of the "other", without hurting them, then and only then have you overcome the "otherness".

We clearly are not there yet with this one. Let's keep working on it.

Kansas City said...

Good point by Bagoh20 that Rahm now has job security since Palin called for his resignation.

Rahm actually would be smart to leave soon, because things are unlikely to go well from him to this point forward. But politicians very seldom have the wisdom to leave the stage before things go bad.

As to the use of the N word. Ann's attitude is no doubt sincere, but illustrates the problems of that word, which is a symbol of the problems from our country's origin sin of slavery. Blacks use it with abandon. Whites of good faith are horrified by it. Other whites still use it derogatorily.

Bagoh makes some interesting points, but the word has such power and baggage that I think Ann has the better position.

And I guess no one knows if that photo of Palin with large breasts is legitimate. Oh, well.

Republican said...

Machos:

Don't be so suspicious. I'm a true-blue RINO, in a traditional name-calling kind of tea-tard way.

I'm taking a more offensive position this year, in defense of my side.

The teabaggers and their god Palin aren't part of the solution, as we see yet again (hypocrites!). I'll take every opportunity to say so.

That's all.

Freeman Hunt said...

Just to make sure there is no confusion for anyone who hadn't read the thread before and is only seeing that comments were deleted because they contained the n-word:

I did not write anything hateful. We were discussing the use of the n-word as compared to the use of the word "retard." Also discussing the way the n-word is written (i.e. written out versus "n-word" versus symbols in the place of vowels, etc.) Obviously, written out didn't win. :)

Don't want anyone to get the impression that I was slinging that slur around.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Next thing you know the word "stupid" will be banned.

Which leaves me at a loss for how to describe the idiots here who don't realize that Emmanuel's "slur" is actually directed not at any group of people, but at inanimate objects:

"he called plans by liberal groups to run ads against moderate Democrats "F—ing retarded..."

Now, I'm sure those plans have vewwy, vewwy hurt feelings.

Seriously, you're defending the dignity of inanimate objects... as a way to prevent the use of terms that indicate stupidity, even when referring to ideas that don't make any sense.

I'm really not seeing much strategy guiding such infinitely elaborate tactics. But the message here, that the ideologue's brainlessness must be considered beyond reproach, is a useful one to hear. It gives everyone an up-close view into how far gone your minds really are.

Seriously. The very symbolism of this discussion is priceless.

bagoh20 said...

I didn't read every comment, but nothing I did read seemed intentional hurtful toward either Blacks or the mentally disabled. I thought it was more civil than many discussions here.

Maybe the problem is that such a discussion is too sensitive to be in writing. If so, I hope we still have them at least face to face among friends of good will, because that's what we are once we do.

bagoh20 said...

Ritmo, it's way past politics and therefore past you and your bedtime.

I've said my piece or is it peace?

Piece out.

holdfast said...

Clearly Rahm went full retard, and as any fan of "Tropic Tunder" knows, you NEVER go full retard.

Ok, seriously, I admit I use it from time to time, but that does not make it a good thing. I mean, you never know when your audience might include someone who has a kid with developmental disabilities, and that is a great way to look like a first class ass (no offense to donkey-Americans).

peter hoh said...

From what I've read, Brits take offense at the standard American use of "spastic."

Theo Boehm said...

I'm actually older than Althouse—about the same age as her sister, in fact—and I can remember being told in junior high school (back during the Kennedy Administration) not to use the words "spaz," "spastic," or "retarded" as insults because it was hurtful and cruel towards disabled people.

Despite "retarded" being a euphemism for other, now-antique psychiatric terms, it was considered a distasteful insult 50 years ago. I know. I was there. And I didn't grow up in a particularly hyper-refined or proto-PC environment.

It was a fairly Christian environment, however, and good Christian people did not make fun of the less fortunate. At least they tried to teach their kids not to.

So, although I think Freeman's and others' application of the n-word is somewhat over the top, and avoidance of the r- and s-words (thank you, Peter Hoh) was several notches below avoiding the n-word, they all were words that the adults would call us on if they heard us using them, back in those nearly-forgotten, pre-insanity days in this country.

I mean no disrespect, of course, to insane people. There are so many now.

It's odd that Sarah Palin has to play the role of the adult here. I suppose somebody should, when a close advisor to the President of the United States of America says things publicly that would have gotten a 7th-grader a detention and maybe sent to the Principal, back in those wonder years I spent at Golden Valley Junior High School.

Roger J. said...

re deletion of words: its your blog, professor. you can do what you want. Like AllanS I used as many ethnic slurs as I could think of just to suggest that the whole "debate" was silly. Very silly IMO.

c3 said...

Sarah Palin needs a reality show NOW!!

what would we call it?

Alex said...

Guys, this is about holding PC-liberals to account for their PC ways. If Karl Rove said this, he'd be fired. I hope Glen Beck is merciless on this.

Alex said...

Ann, I understand you don't want the n-word on this blog. But you allow redneck which is just as racist, why?

Fen said...

"I admit I use it from time to time, but that does not make it a good thing. I mean, you never know when your audience might include black people"

......

Fen said...

"I admit I use it from time to time, but that does not make it a good thing. I mean, you never know when your audience might include black people"

......

bagoh20 said...

If you want traffic, just use two powerful controversial words:......... "Sarah Palin".

Oligonicella said...

I seem to remember someone being in a huge blather about a woman being included as part of the "tarting up" of a news program. Why was that important and this not?

We all have our little buzzwords, don't we?

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