Patterico's Pontifications


Mel Martinez: Dumber Than a Bag of Hammers — Or Lying?

Filed under: General,Principled Pragmatism — Patterico @ 9:33 am

In the post below, we discuss whether Sandy Berger was dishonest, or just dumber than a bag of hammers.

Keep in mind that the same question applies to Mel Martinez. Right now, the claim is that he is just unforgivably stupid. That may well be. Or, he could be lying.

19 Responses to “Mel Martinez: Dumber Than a Bag of Hammers — Or Lying?”

  1. Do we have to choose? Couldn’t they both be lying and dumber than a bag of hammers?

    Dave Schuler (8ad256)

  2. Mr. Schuler is correct. The very fact that he thinks his lies to date will hold up confirm his stupidity.

    martin (da46a2)

  3. Oh-and don’t forget-Bush appointed this moron to his Cabinet!

    martin (da46a2)

  4. I’ve already posted that I think Senator Martinez has been lying. Neither of these men is stupid. They just have the “Clinonista” and MSM contempt for the intelligence of the rest of us. Any lie will do because the rest of us are so ignorant, stupid and naive that we can’t figure it out. Besides, everyone will forget about it in a little while. LIE LIE LIE your way to accomplish whatever you want to accomplish. The perjury committed by President Clinton in his testimony before Judge Starr is now paying great dividends–both polictical parties are willing and eager participants. What is the meaning of the word “is” anyway?

    john (26c947)

  5. Mel is a dolt! He should resign now and let Jeb appoint a competent person to replace him! Mel is a stupid, slipshod dolt!

    Rod Stanton (9a109f)

  6. Mel Martinez AND Tom Harkin are liars.

    FIrst, Floriduh called in the Mel Martinez chip because they probably wanted the Terri Shiavo story to disappear. And, the BLOGOSPHERE to take the blame of lousy reportage.

    It’s also something called “short term goals,” which, for two weeks, went swimingly well. Then, KABOOM.

    We still don’t know what the clowns in Congress will do with the killing of Terri Shiavo. That was just disgusting. And, watching those judicial clowns covering for each other? Total madness.

    Carol Herman (0ef67d)

  7. Or maybe he’s just not a very good judge of the character of his staff as this article from the Washington Times suggests.

    According to the Times article this isn’t the first time an out of control member of the staff stepped over the line.

    I think if I were Senator Martinez I’d have a little meeting with my staff and explain “how the cow eats the cabbage” so to speak.

    If he did know about the memo then that’s not just incredibly dumb, though it is that, it’s incredibly insensitive to the real issue at hand – the fate of one Terri Schiavo.

    Of course you don’t have to be smart to be a US Senator – I can cite several examples, only the latest of which is the interview given by “jumpin’ Jim” Jeffords of Vermont – played extensively on the Hannity radio show earlier today.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  8. Power Line has this angle.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  9. Clearly he’s a liar. He stated publicly that he gave the memo to Tom Harkin in response to a request for information about the Schiavo bill, yet he didn’t know what was in the memo. By any standard of lying you use, that is clearly a lie. It is impossible for him to both not know what is in the memo and provide it as information relevant to the very issue the memo addresses.

    I blogged about this yesterday. I’m mystified why the blogosphere hasn’t picked up on this aspect of the story more readily.

    Whether or not he is also stupid I will leave to those more qualified than I to determine.

    antimedia (a1acdf)

  10. #3. Martin: You’re confusing your Hispanics. (Sheesh!)

    Juliette (7ebcf6)

  11. No Juliette-Mel Martinez was the Secretary of HUD in Bush #2 Term #1.

    Another reason this “freshman senator” dodge is so lame.

    Martin (70fa55)

  12. Antimedia, that doesn’t follow. To give the memo to Harkin, all he had to know was that it was about Schiavo, not what it actually said. Unless he’s really, really, really, really, really dumb, he wouldn’t have knowingly handed a memo like that to any Democrat under any circumstances.

    Xrlq (c51d0d)

  13. xrlq- Surely you do not think that politics were not being played? Do you also think that Martinez and his aids didn’t spend lots of time analyzing the political ramifications of the Schiavo case, strategizing what to do next?Obviously politics always plays a part in the Senate and the House and in this case the Republicans were doing their best to do the “right thing” from their philosophic point of view. Is it so hard to think that Martinez was deluded into thinking that the Schiavo situation was a big political winner and that he attempted to use a not too subtle full court press to steam roller some of the Democrats? I am sure that the Republicans were surprised by the political fall out. Remember that Florida state politics may well be different than national politics and that Martinez may well have misjudged the matter. I would be totally shocked to find that Martinez wasn’t considering the politics of his actions and flabergasted to find he is less than bright. Misjudgements are not the same as stupidity. The explanation that is most clearly in line with the known facts is that Senator Martinez lied about the circumstances of the memo.

    john (26c947)

  14. “Unless he’s really, really, really, really, really dumb, he wouldn’t have knowingly handed a memo like that to any Democrat under any circumstances.”

    I think you’re on to something here.

    actus (f9abe0)

  15. Perhaps so, but my point was more along the lines of Occam’s razor: why attribute to phenomenal stupidity and lying (passing along the memo with knowledge of its contents) what can be just as easily explained by ordinary stupidity (passing along the memo without bothering to check its contents first)?

    Xrlq (c51d0d)

  16. “what can be just as easily explained by ordinary stupidity (passing along the memo without bothering to check its contents first)”

    I have no problem with the idea that this guy, ex-bush official, is dumb enough to pass on, to the opposition — in an attempt to convince them — something embarassing.

    actus (ebc508)

  17. John, you’re missing the point. If Martinez knew the memo had a “let’s play politics with Terri Schiavo and screw over the Democrats” theme, then why the hell do you think he would have shared it with Tom Harkin? Do you think his strategy was to deliberately isolate one of the few liberal Democrats sympathetic to his cause?! To me, the fact that he shared the memo with Harkin is near-proof that he hadn’t read it, and assumed it was a very different memo from what it was. That itself was not a particularly bright thing to do, but it’s an order of magnitude smarter than knowing the memo was so damning and handing it to the opposing party anyway.

    Xrlq (c51d0d)

  18. xrlq- You may well be right. I am always suspicious of arguments that have as part of their analysis republican stupidity since this has been liberal dogma since at least 1976. In th ’76 Presidential election, President Ford was “so stupid he coudln’t walk and chew gum at the same time”. All he did was lower inflation from 12% to the 4% range and lower unemployment to the mid 4% range during his two year Presidency. Then SMART President Carter drove the inflation rate up to 13% and the interest rate all the way to 21%. The resulting recession left unemployment at 11%. Then the “Amiable Dunce” President Reagan lowered the interest rate to the 8% range and the uneployment to the 5% to 6% range, proving 60 million new jobs during his Presidency. In the 1990’s we had “Hillary Care” from the “Smartest Woman Lawyer in the U.S.” which resulted in the “dumb” republicans gaining control fo the House of Representatives. In the aught years we now have ol’ “dumb” President Bush who has managed to avoid a great depression unlike Japan (their real estate is worth less in 2005 than it was in 1973, their stock market as measured by the neike(sp?) index has gone down steadily from 38,800 in 1988 to 11,000 in 2005, and they have had 7 recessions since 1994) or the Germans (their unemployment rate is in excess of 12% which is the highest since 1946, their real estate has fallen in value for the last 2 1/2 years, and their economy has been stagnating for 14 years) by flooding the economy with money. We won’t even discuss the fabulous foreign policy record of these “dumb” republicans. Since the liberals have been so wrong about “stupid” republicans in the 70’s 80’s 90’2 and now ’00s I have a hard time accepting the “stupidity” argument concerning a republican. Dishonesty, selfishness, hubris, laziness, love of power, love of money, hatred, sexual desire, inattentivenes, misjudgement I will willingly believe as a cause of bad actions or thoughts of Republicans or Democrats; but republican stupidity has been too often proven false for me to give the idea much credence. Therefor no doubt I will fall prey to that time when there really is a stupid Republican.

    john (26c947)

  19. […] Mel Martinez is the new RNC Chair. Longtime readers will remember Martinez as the subject of my post titled Mel Martinez: Dumber Than a Bag of Hammers — Or Lying? He’s the guy who took the idiot Schiavo “talking points” memo and gave it to Tom Harkin. Here’s hoping he’s less clumsy in his new position. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » The None-Too-Savvy Mel Martinez Is the New RNC Chair (421107)

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