History

Sarah Palin=Ben Franklin?

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ben

…OK, probably not. But given that the virtues and vices of small towns are back in the spotlight, I recommend this outstanding City Journal article on "Ben Franklin: City Slicker."

Sure, Franklin often presented himself as a country mouse or a small-town boy bewildered in the big city….

While serving as his country's ambassador in Paris during the American Revolution, he affected the dress and manner of a simple Quaker: a dull coat and a fur cap atop stringy, unpowdered hair. The French ate it up. Franklin was the ultimate American: an unaffected, un-citified, and natural man. He even had some bad things to say about cities, recognizing the appeal of Africans' and American Indians' simpler lives.

Via A&L Daily

NEXT: Reason Writers Around Town: Katherine Mangu-Ward on Cindy Vs. Sarah

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  1. FWIW, Tom Wilkinson’s portrayal of Franklin in John Adams was, in my humble opinion, brilliant.

  2. For some reason I feel compelled to say the same thing in each of the numerous Palin stories Reason is cranking out:

    She’s just the vice-presidential candidate.

    Remember, it’s not Obama vs. Palin guys. How about a nice reason article reviewing the *presidential* candidates records on human rights, guantanamo, habeus corpus, warrantless wiretapping, states rights, medical marijuana, etc?

    Enough with the Palin fetish already… sheesh.

  3. I understand Ben was quite the stud in Paris. Not sure what that does for the Sarah=Ben thing.

  4. [preteen girl voice]
    Go Sarah.
    Go Sarah.
    Go Sarah.
    [/preteen girl voice]

    What jasno said.

    Ben Franklin is my favorite founding father. I’m certain many feel the same way.

  5. Ben Franklin – the only President of the United States who was never President of the United States.

    ($1 to TFT)

  6. So, there aren’t enough reason articles on McCain? Think how many times you’ve been referred to that book by some guy who posts here, I can’t remember his name right now.

    Althouh a headline shared by Franklin and Palin can easily be described as absurd.

  7. Remember, it’s not Obama vs. Palin guys

    Oh, but it is. At least for now.

    Look on the bright side, Sara has displaced Michelle at the Reason Mobile.

  8. really katherine? “PROBABLY” not? no, more like exactly the opposite of.

  9. What Paul said about the guy that played Franklin in John Aadams. Pretty much everybody in that series was brilliant, though. I gotta get it on DVD.

  10. What has always fascinated me is how the whole western world seemed to know what a hellacious experiment the rebellion of the colonies was… at the time, even bigger than the new atom smasher–that was a dud, in that we are all still here, dagnab it.
    Anyway, the American experiment was part of why Ben had such an impact on France.
    Too bad there has never been a really bold social experiment that has been anything other than a dud over more than a decade or two.

  11. “Katherine Mangu-Ward = Charlie Manson:

    …OK, probably not.

    But both are on the record as being pig-haters.

  12. “Think how many times you’ve been referred to that book by some guy who posts here, I can’t remember his name right now.”

    LEAVE MATT ALONE!!! LEAVE HIM ALONE!!!

  13. So would Ben Franklin support including corrupt proto-democracies into NATO and starting war with nuclear-armed Russia if it were to invade them?

    I think her foreign policy inexperience just became glaringly obvious to all.

  14. Yes, but would Palin fly a metal filament string kite in a lightning storm?

  15. “So would Ben Franklin support including corrupt proto-democracies into NATO and starting war with nuclear-armed Russia if it were to invade them?

    I think her foreign policy inexperience just became glaringly obvious to all.”

    Are you sure about that?

    All Palin said was that Ukraine and Georgia deserve NATO membership – a measure that the Senate unanimously endorsed when it passed a resolution sponsored by Joe Biden – and cosponsored by John McCain and Barack Obama. NATO’s Article 5 states that an attack on one member country is to be considered an attack on all.

  16. Ok, so maybe I’ll back off on that one, and just say that she’s equally as dumb as the rest of the folks who want to expand NATO.

  17. Ben Franklin never had an abortion.

  18. So, there aren’t enough reason articles on McCain?

    There are plenty of those, it’s articles on Obama that are uncommon, with articles critical of Obama the rarest of all.

  19. Ben Franklin never had an abortion.

    I’m calling bullshit on that one, Farmer.

    Link?

  20. BS Caller,

    Busted. I was making an assumption.

    I did Google it and the closest thing I found was a commenter on a poem about abortion wondering what the world would be like if baby Benjamin had been aborted, or Einstein — the thought frightened me — what if Al Franken had been aborted?

  21. “There are plenty of those, it’s articles on Obama that are uncommon, with articles critical of Obama the rarest of all.”

    I wonder why that is?

  22. Barack Obama needs to spend the rest of his ad budget re-airing Palin’s interview.

    John McCain is a such a formidable national security hand that he wants this person to take over as Commander in Chief if bin Laden nukes the White House.

  23. In honor of Palin I have decided not to ask what jesus would do, but what would Conan do, what is best in life to Conan?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WFcccGSs0o

    you have to wait until 1:58 into it to hear the wisdom of Conan

    Compare and contrast to Palin

  24. For some reason I feel compelled to say the same thing in each of the numerous Palin stories Reason is cranking out:

    She’s just the vice-presidential candidate.

    This is just the reason blog. Thus license to be gossipy, and no editor deciding what posts the staff are allowed to make.

    And, besides, McCain could well die of old age during his term, leaving us with President Palin.

  25. She’s just another fundy whacko. Ben, was not.

  26. Ben Franklin didn’t know what the Bush Doctrine is, either. So that’s another thing.

  27. “Ben Franklin didn’t know what the Bush Doctrine is, either. So that’s another thing.”

    Or the Monroe Doctrine for that matter.

    Or the Doctrine of Unclean Hands.

    And yet he help found a nation.

  28. f you were ever wondering ?what the next four years be like with MCDADDy AND HIS PUPPET get elected, please click on the link bleow. i hope you enjoy? the reality of the next 4year?s with MCDADDY and his puppe?t get elect?ed!?!?!?

    http:?/?/?www.? youtu?be.? com/?watch???v=?CWuuX?peqNN?w

  29. Hey now, stop picking on Poor Richard.

    FWIW, “The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin” by Gordon Wood is one of my favorite books.

  30. I’m not sold on the whole experience thing anyway. Whether it’s the Messiah or The Cowgirl.

    After you know where the red phone and the red button is, WTF else is there? Come on, Me and Gillespie could run this country half in the bag and we’d do a better job than the current bosses.

    The value of experience IMO is to enable one to negotiate the labyrinth of government and the old boy network. You gotta know which gears to grease I suppose.

    Now, I understand that the real rulers of America are the department heads and their career underlings. I know if you piss them off, they’ll drag their feet and make life hell on wheels. But still….

    Who was it that was complaining about dot dot dot dot dot?

  31. The value of experience IMO is to enable one to negotiate the labyrinth of government and the old boy network. You gotta know which gears to grease I suppose.

    True. And the ability to do that negotiation of the maze doesn’t matter, is even detrimental, if the candidate’s touted track record exhibits a history of poor judgement.

  32. For those who were proclaiming that the presidential race was all but over a month or so ago, or that the Palin VP pick was a huge error from a purely political perspective, take a look at how pollster.com’s electoral map looks now, post-Palin.

    I’ve been saying for a while now, it’s likely to go down to the wire.

  33. McCain is looking about as dumb as a fox right now, Mr Prole. Maybe dumb luck, I dunno, but Sarah sure took the wind outta Obama’s sails. At least for now.

  34. Question: What experience does she (Palin) have in the field of national experience?

    McCain: Energy. She knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America.

    I think it’s incredible that he’s able to speak English and make so very little sense. The more interviews they give, the better chance they have of clearly demonstrating that they’re as dishonest as they are ignorant.

  35. The fur cap Franklin wore in France wasn’t a Quaker affectation, it was to better play the rustic to the French aristocracy, who ate it up with a silver spoon.

  36. TWC:

    “McCain is looking about as dumb as a fox right now, Mr Prole. Maybe dumb luck, I dunno, but Sarah sure took the wind outta Obama’s sails. At least for now.”

    But it’s bizarre how he relies on her now…the cruel jab would be to refer to her as his nursemaid, or some less sexist tag.

  37. I wonder what Sarah Palin thinks about Chavez kicking out the US ambassador? It’s the only way we’ll probably get to talk about it here.

  38. Experience is helpful to the degree that it imbues judgement, character, and knowledge. If you can demonstrate that traits in some other manner, it won’t matter that much how brief your resume is.

    In other words, the need for experience is a rebuttable assumption.

  39. I will never forgive Ben for the abomination that is Daylight Savings Time!

  40. In honor of Palin I have decided not to ask what jesus would do, but what would Conan do, what is best in life to Conan?

    When McCain dies, he must go before Palin, and Palin will ask him, “What is the riddle of steel?”…

  41. LOL, how can anyone with any common sense take anything McBush/Palin says seriously? They are both outright, proven LIARS. IS that what we really need leading our country in this troubling time?

    Jiff
    http://www.anonymize.us.tc

  42. Ben Franklin is probably the most revered of the founding fathers today. So much so that this is rarely or never mentioned in K-12 education to avoid sullying his reputation.

    That’s sad because it’s such an uplifting story.

  43. how can anyone with any common sense take anything McBush/Palin any politician says seriously?

    fixed

  44. JSub, they might skip over Bennie, but they rarely give Jeff a pass on his slave owning ways.

    Skimming either of my kids social studies books only confirms that modern American education is obsessed with stringing together 200 years of negative events to paint a pretty bleak picture of the Republic.

    We make it a point to counter that, especially when it is plain falsehood.

  45. TWC, if they also point out the anguish that Jefferson felt and publicly expressed over the issue, cool. But I have my doubts about that. I think part of the reason Poor Richard gets a pass is nobody wants to bring up the fact that slavery in the north was somewhat common and accepted circa 1750.

  46. LOL, how can anyone with any common sense take anything McBush/Palin says seriously? They are both outright, proven LIARS.

    If your evaluation criteria includes asking whether the person is a liar or not. Take how my mom evaluates Presidential candidates, for example:

    I am a lifelong Republican. My parents and everybody in the town where I grew up were Republicans. The people at my church are Republicans. All right-thinking people are Republicans. Is the candidate a Republican?

  47. what the world would be like if baby Benjamin had been aborted, or Einstein — the thought frightened me — what if Al Franken had been aborted?

    Kind of a mixed bag, then, no?

    She’s just another fundy whacko.

    Sigh. This is like Bush and the plastic turkey in Iraq – its becoming a quick-n-easy way to identify idiots.

  48. pistoffnick | September 12, 2008, 8:53am | #

    I will never forgive Ben for the abomination that is Daylight Savings Time!
    ………………….

    He wanted to take the stink out of farts too. Ben was a real pooper.
    But the Founders should have used his suggestion to create a panel of three–at no pay–for the office of Chief Executive.

  49. Late evening cruising of the internet brings to light the latest Obama ad, which busts on McCain for not knowing how to send e-mail, in apparent blissful ignorance that McCain’s war injuries prevent him from typing (or tying his shoes, for that matter).

    If mocking the handicapped is that “new kind of politics” that I heard so much about, I just might be able to get behind it.

  50. Actually she’s very much like Franklin. Let’s contrast and compare:

    1) Franklin liked to pretend he was a lady’s man. The truth is that he died a virgin.

    Compare with Palin: she is also a virgin; all her children were actually birthed by her daughter.

    2) Franklin advocated banging MILFS

    Compare with Palin: Palin is a MILF

    3) Franklin invented the post office and the fire department

    Compare with Palin: Palin did not dissolve either the postal service or the fire department of Wasilla when she was mayor.

    4) Franklin invented things

    Compare with Palin: Palin has invented things.

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