TBogg

Don’t know much about nothin’ at all

Jonah Golberg shows he “don’t know much about history” (Norah Vincent …take note…this is how you “crib” from popular songs) or even current history, and he admits in the first line of his most recent column:

To be honest, I haven’t followed the New Jersey folderol too closely.

Which, of course, doesn’t keep him from weighing in for about 1200 words. Jonah likes to foster the image as a glib wiseguy with serious underpinings of deep political knowledge, sort of like PJ O’Rourke but even less funny. To be fair, he’s funnier than, say, Mallard Fillmore, but then again Family Circus is funnier than Mallard Fillmore, which is really sad when you think about it. Anyway, getting back to Jonah, he makes this interesting observation:

This is what’s wrong with the Torricelli maneuver. Forrester chose a strategy to run against Torricelli. He made a long series of careful decisions about the kind of campaign he was going to run. Obviously, if he had been running against Frank Lautenberg he would have made different decisions, and the campaign would have looked very different. In short, Forrester played by the rules of the game. The voters were told what was going to be on the test and that is what they prepared for. If that educational process is less important than the merely mechanical process we call voting, then why have campaigns at all?

Now Jonah strikes me as a kind of Gentlemen’s C’s kind of guy which may explain his problem with the whole Forrester/Lautenberg problem. We”ll use his test analogy to explain it to him:

2 +2 =

a) 4

b) 3.17

c) Ireland

d) 27

Now, when I used to take a test I went into it with the ability to solve, in this case, by having a knowledge of addition. It would appear that Jonah would go into his tests, throw out the obvious wrong answers, guess and hope for the best. Using the above test, we could say that (c) Ireland is Torricelli (the obvious wrong choice), which would leave a, b, and d as possible answers . Forrester would have us remove (c) in the hopes that the voter might actually vote for him given less choices (but which one is he?). Is that cynical of Forrester, given that he has made no effort to inform the voter of what the correct answer should be? You bet. In education it’s called teaching to the test, and Forrester has done a poor job of it in his campaign so far. If Forrester can’t make a case for why he is the correct answer, he has no business running for office. His campaign has now become his problem, and I have faith that the voters of New Jersey will now teach him a lesson.

Oh yeah. And, Jonah? Next time, show work….slacker.