Geography Quiz: Snarkers Wrong.

Which state is closer to Arkansas’ borders: Kentucky or Illinois?

If you are Glenn Reynolds or The Corner at the National Review, or even Ann Althouse, you don’t bother to look at a real map or measure distances; you just shoot off your mouth. I know that’s tempting, but it’s a bad idea when it comes to matters of fact.

So yes, Illinois’ borders look like they go further West than Kentucky’s — but Illinois borders Missouri, not Arkansas. Kentucky and Illinois meet at the north of Kentucky, whereas Kentucky gets pretty darned close to Arkansas further south. My mapreading skills and straight-edge, zooming in on an official US government map, show that border bits of Kentucky are at least a good thirty miles closer to border bits of Arkansas than any bit of Illinois is. (As the crow flies, not as the road drives.)

I don’t like Obama or his political positions. His comment was stupid in many ways.

But geez, people. Shouldn’t anybody in opposition to a person try to have a higher standard of accuracy than him?


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3 responses to “Geography Quiz: Snarkers Wrong.

  1. Howdy –

    I think what Mr Obama meant to say is that he’s from the Democrat Fiefdom of Chicago, bordered on the west by Rockford and the south by I-80. Both Arkansas and Kentucky are very far away from his Illinois.

    Cheers –

    Bill in downstate Illinois

  2. Oh, certainly. But that’s not what he said — and that’s not what anybody else said.

    Yes, I’m persnickety. But it’s really a pretty awe-inspiringly bad performance by everybody — especially in a world where it’s super-easy to factcheck these things on a map!

  3. chris

    If you’re talking about the comment posted by Jonah at the Corner, it says “”Last time I checked, Illinois was more ‘nearby’ Kentucky than Arkansas. Heck, they even touch.”” What I think this means is that Kentucky is closer to Illinois than it (Kentucky) is to Arkansas- it in fact borders Illinois, where Arkansas, as you note, is further south.

    Thanks for the blog, by the way!

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