Crime, boy, I don't know

In an ancient tradition of this blog, I lied about what the next post would be about, and when it'd be written, but I can't let Aaron Sorkin guest-writing Maureen Dowd's column pass without comment.

As a West Wing fan, I liked it, especially the last line, because it conjures pleasant memories. Though it doesn't say anything other people haven't said elsewhere, it's nice sometimes to see things you believe and others dispute forcefully stated, which the
Get Angrier” paragraph does pretty damn well, though it took too much initial throat-clearing to get there. While I think pretty much everything in that paragraph is correct, I'm not sure about the source of/truth of the “It's not bad enough she thinks the planet Earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago complete with a man, a woman and a talking snake, she wants schools to teach the rest of our kids to deny geology, anthropology, archaeology and common sense too?” claim. I've heard it floating around, but never seen what statement or action of Palin's people are tying it too, other than which church she was a member of and her enthusiasm for that church.

The only other thing I noticed that the column gets wrong is that Obama and McCain aren't in a
statistical tie.” It's unhelpful to use this term to describe the race as a whole, as opposed to the results of an individual poll or the aggregate of the polls, which might have enough precision to in fact be in a statistical tie. Not a big deal, since he couldn't have known exactly what the latest polling was saying as the column was coming to print and probably just wanted to point towards the general shape of the race, but does suggest that Sorkin is unfamiliar with the critiques directed at press reports describing polling results as statistical ties when they aren't.

The typical critique of Sorkin, which I buy in part, is that he's just sticking debater's points into his TV character's mouths, and that they're not even that great debater's points. That seems to be much less of a problem when he's writing in this venue.

Amazing that Dowd managed to get a dig against the Clinton's into the sixty-six words she wrote for this column, she's truly obsessed.