Let’s Have Some Fun… PLEASE!


One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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68 Responses

  1. Kolohe says:

    The only thing I can think of recently is that Colbert interview with the Brooklyn Congresswoman. Everything else (e.g. ’57 states’) is just a slip of the tongue.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Kolohe says:

      Slips of the tongue are fine. I feel that a number of the ones on the conservative list are either slips of the tongue or being read in the most disingenuous way possible. I also think, if speaking seriously about them (WHICH WE’RE NOT) that misunderstandings should be looked at differently than deliberate misrepresentations.

      For instance, the Romney quote about the Star Spangled Banner… he obviously correctly identifies it as being written during the War of 1812. He notes that it “commemorates the sacrifice that won our liberty.” I see two possible thoughts he might have had while saying that:
      1) He considers sacrifices made during the War of 1812 as being done in the name of our liberty. This seems a reasonable position to take, given that we always here about how the military is “protecting our freedom”. An argument could be made that our liberty is won during each successful military battle, especially those that happen on our soil.
      2) He doesn’t know the full history of the Star Spangled Banner.

      I don’t really consider either of these as worthy of any serious derision.Report

      • FridayNext in reply to Kazzy says:

        I know this is really late, but being a Baltimore boy I was dragged to Fort McHenry every year. You are of course missing the obvious conclusion here, probably because you, too, have been bought off. But in Canada I have often heard it said that the War of 1812 was the Canadian’s War of Independence, from the United States. In that vein, I conclude that Romney is actually Canadian. It’s the only way that quote makes sense.Report

  2. This is tough, if only because Dems strike me as significantly less likely to try to adopt the mantle of history in speeches more generally. However, no matter where this winds up going it needs to include the line: “One of baseball’s most sacred records, Roger Maris’ 61 home runs, is broken by Mike McGweer and Sammy Sooser, for which they are praised on the Senate floor by one Ted Kennedy. Rumors that McGweer and Sooser were in fact the corpses of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, reanimated via a mysterious cocktail of injections administered by a “Dr. Frank” would be confirmed six years later.”Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Mark Thompson says:

      So, instead of the Mantle of history, the Maris?Report

    • James K in reply to Mark Thompson says:

      Yeah, it seems to me that to get an equivalent for liberals you would need to attack hypocrisy on an equivalent central virtue. My suggestion would be compassion – you could do a selection of cruel or callous things Democrats have done while satirically describing the true hidden compassion and humanitarianism behind each act.Report

    • This happens to be an area of great familiarity to me. Most have a grain of truth. As for Dems—since Kazzy called for a tu quoque, Ezra Klein on the Constitution [“it’s over 100 years old”] and Colbert’s interview of Rep. Yvette Clarke should cover it.


      “Some have called Brooklyn’s decision to become part of New York City ‘The Great Mistake of 1898,’ ” Colbert said. “If you could get in a time machine and go back to 1898, what would you say to those Brooklynites?”

      “I would say to them, ‘Set me free,’ ” Clarke said.
      Pressed by Colbert what she would be free from, the black congresswoman responded, “Slavery.”

      “Slavery. Really? I didn’t realize there was slavery in Brooklyn in 1898,” Colbert responded, seemingly looking to give the lawmaker a chance to catch her error.

      “I’m pretty sure there was,” Clarke responded.

      “It sounds like a horrible part of the United States that kept slavery going until 1898,” the late-night comedian then quipped.

      Colbert pressed on, asking, “Who would be enslaving you in 1898 in New York?”

      At that point, Clarke responded, “The Dutch.”

      TVD: I think MarkT gets it best with the observation that claiming the mantle of our history seems more a right-wing thing, so there will be more uckfups on that side of the aisle.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

        Goddamnit, Tom! You and your tu quo…

        Wait… wait… no no no… Silly, Kazzy, you DID ask for that. Specifically! That’s your whole point!

        Okay, carry on. Well played, Tom! And, as stated above, if there is something more applicable, run with that!Report

        • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Kazzy says:

          My other blog got so overrun with this, I said just rename it David Barton Sucks and be done with it. I’m not interested so much in what people get wrong as in what they get right. Truth is an island in a sea of error. 😉Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

            Oh, yes, there is little real value in pointing out every stupid, incorrect, or dubious thing someone has said. If you have a mic in your face, you’re going to use it to put your foot in your mouth. Which is why this is more about fun than anything real or substantive and why, in the OP, I note that I must insist on referring to the original “New Yorker” as comical because it certainly should not qualify as real or serious journalism or reporting.Report

          • ktward in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

            I’m not interested so much in what people get wrong as in what they get right.

            I can understand why that kind of convenient rationale works for some folks. It doesn’t work for me: the broken clock thing and all.

            Maybe there should be some useful balance that can stand up to scrutiny. Something like, “get way more things right than wrong.” Barton unquestionably fails such a standard. Does Rep. Clarke?

            Apologies, Kazzy. Not a single fun thing about my comment. Delete me if you must, no hard feelings.Report

  3. Mo says:

    Since the Human Events blog is included, can we put in Ezra Klein’s bit about the confusing constitution being written over a hundred years ago (Dateline: sometime before 1910)?Report

  4. Brandon Berg says:

    The Constitution says a black people is only 3/5 of a person.Report

  5. Brandon Berg says:

    There’s the one about Henry Ford raising wages so that he could make money off his employees buying his cars.

    The best part about this one is that not only is it historically inaccurate, but it doesn’t even make the slightest bit of mathematical sense.

    Were you looking for quotes from specific individuals, or are shibboleths okay, too?Report

  6. BlaiseP says:

    To paraphrase and transmogrify Jean Baudrillard:

    “American Liberalism is the original version of modernity. Yooropeans are the dubbed or subtitled version. America ducks the question of origins; it cultivates no origin or mythical authenticity; it has no past and no founding truth. Having known no primitive accumulation of time, it lives in a perpetual present.”Report

  7. James Hanley says:

    If we’re doing generally stupid, and not just historically inaccurate, there’s the statement by Rep Hank Johnson (D-GA) that putting more troops in Guam could cause the island to “become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.”Report

    • Kazzy in reply to James Hanley says:

      I’m pretty sure that is how “Lost” ended.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to Kazzy says:

        I used to think I watched too much TV. Then I started hanging out at the League. I’ve heard of these shows y’all mention frequently, but I’ve never actually seen any of them.

        The older I get the more I dislike the idea of investing in a commitment to any television series. I’m not sure if that’s actually a function of age, just the general business of my life, or a reaction to having diligently watched all of Battlestar Galactica, which had the most awesome first season ever and then…well, you’re all TV watching geeks, so I assume you know.Report

    • Morat20 in reply to James Hanley says:

      “The internet is a series of tubes” remains classic.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to Morat20 says:

        That was Ted Stevens, though. Call him a liberal and he’ll personally fly down from Alaska on an Alaska National Guard jet commandeered by Sarah Palin and shoot you down like a moose.Report

        • Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to James Hanley says:

          Which would be a really amazing feat considering he is [still] dead.

          Morat20 attacked by zombie Senator wielding a bunch of pipes. Film at 11!Report

          • James Hanley in reply to Jeff No-Last-Name says:

            Steven’s death was just a scam designed to protect him from prosecution for corruption. I’m telling you, I heard it directly from the guy helped load the fake body into the coffin before it was put on the black helicopter.Report

            • MikeSchilling in reply to James Hanley says:

              Stevens hired the same guy who hid Ken Lay. It’s a family business — his dad did Elvis and his great-grandpa did Warren Harding.Report

              • Now I have a vision of Ted Stevens and Ken Lay holed up in a comfy cabin somewhere in the Rocky Mountains in Idaho or Alberta or somewhere like that. They’re wearing tailored wool sweaters and chortling over their ill-gotten riches and the Double Jeopardy Clause, while tossing back oversized tumblers of Scotch whisky.

                …And Mark Wahlberg is stalking them while hoisting this ridiculously huge and vicious-looking rifle through tens of feet of snow.Report

              • Glyph in reply to Burt Likko says:

                NOT…THE COMFY CABIN!!!Report

            • jeannebodine in reply to James Hanley says:

              Wasn’t the DOJ accused of serious misconduct over the Stevens’ corruption charges? See I try, I really do. I arrived at your blog via the interesting discussion re: Elizabeth Warren’s law license.I particularly enjoyed the thoughtful discussion and the refusal of the host to allow it to descend into partisan name-calling. So I returned today, hoping for more of the same and find multiple accusations against Stevens under something billed as a “fun” post. Can’t people even be honest with their so-called humor? Oh, why do I bother…Report

              • Kazzy in reply to jeannebodine says:


                Can you please point me to where folks discussed Stevens’ corruption charges?

                When I wrote this post and labeled it as a ‘fun’ one, my intention was to cool some of the partisan and interpersonal rhetoric by allowing everyone to laugh at the silliness of some of the things our leaders say AND to also laugh at the silliness of taking their silly statements seriously. The “New Yorker” piece is funny if you read it as a sort of “Kids Say the Darndest Thing” type of piece. If you read it is a serious attempt at political discussion, it is funny in how sad and pathetic it is.

                If you sense something else going on, I’m happy to look more closely and address it if necessary.Report

              • greginak in reply to Kazzy says:

                DOJ lawyers were accused and found to have grossly mishandled the Stevens case. They massively screwed the pooch and acted unethically in not telling the defense about some info they were required to disclose. Stevens was likely guilty of some of the charges. He was caught up in a Fed sting that found a bucket load of corrupt state level pols. I think all the attorneys were let go or kicked out of Fed jobs.


              • wardsmith in reply to greginak says:

                Perhaps the “joke” here was the meaningless wrist slap on the prosecutors.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to greginak says:

                In other words, like Ollie North, Stevens got off on a technicality. But since law and order conservatives hate it when criminals get off on technicalities, both volunteered to serve the full amount of time they would have been assessed if they’d been found guilty as the wanted.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Kazzy says:

                Not fun, Kazzy. Not fun at all.Report

      • Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to Morat20 says:

        A: That’s from a conservative

        B: If you think about how to describe “throttling bandwidth”, it actually makes a bit of sense. That YouTube video of the cat playing piano has to get from West Bangor, ME to Upper OshKosh, WI and everywhere else, too. the more cats and the more places, the more “stuff” we’re trying to “push through the tubes”.

        It may have been inartfully said, but I don’t think it deserves any of the derision it’s received.Report

        • wardsmith in reply to Jeff No-Last-Name says:

          He could have said “pipes”.

          True story (as good here as anywhere to be categorized under stoopid).

          Years ago a company I co-founded was presenting at a major trade show. Now if you’ve ever done a trade show, you’d know the setup emphasis is on TRADE as in, “the trades”. You can’t do anything yourself but have to hire the union monkeys to destroy your stuff so you can scramble to fix it yourself before the show opens while they (the ones who just broke everything) conveniently decide to take a “break”, which can often last 5 hrs or more, time you will be charged for nonetheless. But I digress.

          Our product involved fiber optics. Our collateral material talked about “light pipes”. We were /carefully/ plugging fiber optic cables into our racks when a very large, very angry blue collar person showed up in the booth.

          “You are in trade violation!”
          “Plumbing is a craft job, you can’t do plumbing here!”
          “You’re installing pipes”
          “Yeah, these “light” pipes. Plumber’s union work”.
          Trying not to collapse laughing,Report

        • Brandon Berg in reply to Jeff No-Last-Name says:

          It’s funny how “a series of tubes” became the tagline, because it was actually the only correct part of what he said. He also said that a member of his staff sent him an “Internet” that was delayed by four days because of streaming video.Report

        • Morat20 in reply to Jeff No-Last-Name says:

          Oh I know. And it is a semi-decent analogy. Like all analogies, however, it’s not the ‘actual thing’ and thus the wrong parts can be analogized. 🙂

          Or in short, it’s a good analogy but he drew the wrong conclusions because he didn’t know where it stopped being one.

          I’ve actually used the pipes analogy to my kid, explaining the difference between bandwidth, ping, and a few other tidbits. Waterhoses, kids understand. 🙂Report

  8. Glyph says:

    I had some great examples, but for some reason they did not make it through the internet’s series of tubes to actually post.

    I’ll try sending them by big truck, but I hear there are ways to shut that down.Report

  9. Stillwater says:

    This is an actual (for-realsies!) Tweet by Someone Important. Is it serious or snark?

    Like Darwinism and global-warming theory, poll-based coverage involves the illusion of “scientific” certainty.Report

  10. KatherineMW says:

    I remember one interview on The Daily Show where Ted Kennedy said, “The Republicans got us into Vietnam, and the Democrats got us out,” to which my reaction was “….Bwuh?” That seems to rank with the above ones for sheer WTF factor, with an added dose of self-serving because he’s talking about a time period he actually lived through.

    My all-time favourite in the stupid statement category, though (even if not strictly political), also on The Daily Show, was the opponent of the LHC who said [paraphrased], “there’s a 50% chance it will destroy us – either it will or it won’t”. It’s easy to fail statistics, but it’s an achievement to fail them that badly.Report

  11. Pinky says:

    The DNC site had an article recently with this: “For more than 200 years, our party has led the fight for civil rights”. Apparently the article talked about Jefferson, then skipped to the 1900’s. I guess some things happened in the 1800’s that weren’t particularly high points in the Democratic Party’s fight for civil rights.

    And there was a Biden one recently, something like Americans watching President Truman on TV when Pearl Harbor was bombed. I don’t recall it specifically, but it drew two flags on one play.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to Pinky says:

      rofl. The biden one is particularly funny, as the man genuinely seems to mostly know what he’s talking aboutReport

      • Pinky in reply to Kimmi says:

        I found it. It was a little different than I remembered.

        “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.’”

        I think I was confusing it with the speech in Animal House (which it bears a certain similarity to anyway).Report

  12. Pinky says:

    And the President’s comment to the effect that the Supreme Court never overturns laws that have been passed by Congress. Except it was even worse than that. I think it was “signed into law by Congress”.Report

  13. Pinky says:

    And you’ve got to count Clinton’s classic mispronouncemnt about history: “I did not have…sexual relations…”.Report

  14. Brandon Berg says:

    Oh…the picture suddenly makes a lot more sense. I was thinking of the Louis Armstrong song.Report

  15. Matty says:

    I can’t remember who is supposed to have said this but I’m sure it was an American politician.

    “We had a holocaust in this country, well not in this country but in my lifetime, well not in my lifetime but in this century. We all lived in this century, I did not live in this century”Report