I just read yet another short piece excoriating Sarah Palin for her stupidity--this one coming from elements of the political right.
This sort of thing is not as uncommon as one might suppose. There are plenty of conservatives that think that Mrs. Palin is being unduly influenced by a series of neocons, especially when it comes to foreign policy. And indeed, there are elements of her foreign policy statements where I, too, would say, "Tread lightly, and be careful what you say."
But that doesn't mean that I think she's stupid.
Brethren and Sistren, I've seen stupid. I mean, I've seen and dealt with people who are genuinely not up to snuff in terms of raw intelligence. I've dealt with the profoundly retarded, the somewhat mentally handicapped, and those who fall into the low end of the normal range of human intelligence. I know what "stupid" is all about. The genuinely stupid generally have their hands too full just dealing with day-to-day life to worry overmuch about politics.
I can't think of anybody I disagree with politically that I would characterize as stupid. Not one. Misinformed, yes. Ideologically blinkered, yes. Even willfully blind. Even lying. But stupid? No.
And to be frank, when I read someone saying that someone--anyone--politically opposed to them is stupid, my opinion of their opinion dives dramatically.