Patterico's Pontifications

10/20/2010

Prejudice Toward Palin and O’Donnell

Filed under: 2010 Election,General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:56 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing]

To pre-judge a person is to literally “judge before.”  Before what?  Before it is appropriate, before you have all the facts.  Of course normally we think of prejudice as being based on specific traits.  Racial prejudice is to judge a man by his skin color, rather than getting enough facts to judge him as an individual.  But it can be based on anything.

Take for instance, Sarah Palin.  Liberals have convinced themselves that Palin is a moron.  So when Sarah Palin told a crowd of Tea Partiers that it was too soon to “party like its 1773” liberals freaked out.  OMG, she is so stupid.  Doesn’t she know the American Revolution was in 1776? As well documented by Cuffy Meigs, Markos Moulitsas, Gwen Ifil (who moderated Palin’s debate with Joe Biden) and others mocked her in that fashion.

One guy, Steve Paulo showed enough introspection to wonder “WTF happened in 1773?!”  Well, hey, I was a history major, but I couldn’t rattle off every event of any year, 1773 or otherwise.  But I can google.  As of this moment the first link I get is this.  You only have to page down once to discover that in December of that year was the original Boston Tea Party.  You know, the event that the Tea Party is self-consciously invoking with its very name?  Yeah, that one.

And then there is Christine O’Donnell’s whole exchange with Chris Coons about the first amendment. I was going to write a long break down, but Ann Althouse beat me to the punch.  I suggest you read the whole thing but I think this paragraph sums it all up:

The [two] were talking past each other, trying to look good and make the other look bad. It is a disagreement about law between [two] individuals who are not running for judge. It’s not detailed legal analysis. It’s a political debate and this is a political disagreement. An important one, no doubt. But it can’t be resolved by laughing at one person and calling her an idiot, something I find quite repellent.

And a commenter adds an important nuance to that analysis:

I don’t think they were talking past each other so much as O’Donnell was trying to get Coons to speak precisely whereas Coons wanted to speak in more general colloquial terms.

The real problem is the ignorance of the reporters and the people in the audience who couldn’t understand the point O’Donnell was trying to make and so just assumed she was being stupid. The irony being that she was right (and, on this point at least, smarter than them).

I think that is exactly right.  And Althouse captures well what I am trying to say, here:

It’s a bit annoying to me, because I cannot stand when people jump to the conclusion that someone they want to believe is stupid is being stupid when they say something that seems wrong. Think first. Is it wrong?

I think in truth she isn’t stupid.  What she is, is a chirpy wear-your-faith-on-your sleeve Christian.  You know the kind of person who will knock on your door unsolicited and tell you they are there to save you.  I find her faintly irritating for that reason, but she isn’t dumb.

Here’s the truth of the matter when it comes to the law.  Thomas Jefferson was the originator of the phrase “separation of church and state” in a letter written to Danbury Baptists.  It’s not actually in the constitution, and he didn’t write a single word of the first amendment—or indeed, any part of the constitution.  And while some cases have said that this is how the Court will interpret the First Amendment, that is less than clear in practice.  A wall of separation suggests a distinct segregation that does not exist in our modern case law.  For instance, the state is allowed to supply religious schools with textbooks and free busing for its children, and deaf people have been allowed to receive free sign interpreters as they go to divinity school.  What the courts have said in fact is that there isn’t separation of church and state so much as neutrality between the secular and the religious and among all religions.

Oh, and if you are a liberal longing for an anti-blasphemy law, please don’t talk to me about separation of church and state; you don’t even believe in separation of mosque and state.

Now I don’t expect Chris Coons or his campaign to be charitable toward his opponent; but I do expect everyone else there to be.  So watch this video, and listen not just to the candidates, but to the smug morons in the law school who cannot even conceive of a different point of view.  I mean, these people are preparing to be lawyers.  Let me tell you, as a lawyer, if you can’t see where the other side is coming from, and anticipate their arguments, you are not going to be very good at your job.  In argument, you will be constantly blindsided.  And writing contracts is a process of constantly trying to think of how someone else might come along and deliberately twist your words.  Being only able to see your own point of view is positively a handicap in this profession.

And the irony of all of this is that O’Donnell got something much, much bigger wrong in the discussion and I am not hearing much discussion of that.  She said that if a local school district wanted to teach creationism, it was up to the school district.  As a point of fact, that is not true.  I don’t think a school district has to teach evolution necessarily, but creationism is religion and teaching that in class is teaching religion.  I mean that is not just my opinon: there is supreme court case law directly on point.  And yeah, I am sure that is true even if you call it Intelligent Design.

Meanwhile, Gwen Ifil tries to walk back her comment about Palin.  And Iowahawk and Duane Lester have fun with the whole thing.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

176 Responses to “Prejudice Toward Palin and O’Donnell”

  1. “to the smug morons in the law school who cannot even conceive of a different point of view.”

    Ah, but their IQ is at least 133. They can’t be morons. Are we forced to the conclusion that they are evil? Or is there some version of high-IQ stupidity?

    I hope there is. That would explain a whooooole lot of things these days.

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  2. I watched that portion of the video. To me it looked like
    1. CD was unaware that the first amendment includes the anti-establishment clause. “That’s in the first amendment?”
    2. The people at the law school were shocked that she didn’t know this.

    time (5250bd)

  3. Well, the bad part is watching Gwen Ifill not own her obvious hatred and partisanship. Yet she got to moderate a political debate!

    Part of the problem is the immediacy of Twitter. She would have been well served to think for ten minutes before posting. Because now she is having to claim that she isn’t eating crow, with feathers in her mouth.

    Didn’t Abraham Lincoln say something about writing letters while angry but not sending them?

    And I heard (is it true?) that Kos tried to scrub his Twitter file to hide the fact that he chimed on this. While, in the same Twitter stream, calling people “stupid.”

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  4. time

    Well, i can lead a horse to water, but i can’t make him drink.

    But the fact is at that moment coons is actually mistating what the first amendment says. read althouse’s post. But i honestly think she was trying to get him to say whether separation of church and state was in the first amendment.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  5. People make fun of O’Donnell because she makes it so damn easy to. As for depth, she’s deep like a puddle on the sidewalk.

    JEA (d45291)

  6. I wish I could remember the particulars, but a few years back some lefty talking head couldn’t believe how stupid a Republican candidate or politician was in claiming that World War II began in 1939. The lefty was sure it hadn’t begun until after Pearl Harbor. If memory serves, he tried to claim that he thought the Republican had been talking about U.S. involvement, but the context had made it clear that the politician had been speaking in general about the war.

    JVW (eccfd6)

  7. Excuse me while I go scour the internet to compile a bunch of anecdotes to refudiate your claim that Palin isn’t dumb.

    Leviticus (7c7d88)

  8. cd.
    She was referring to “separation” which, as you know and the morons/libs/wannabe lawyers (to be redundantly redundant) isn’t in the 1A

    Richard Aubrey (59fa91)

  9. People make fun of O’Donnell because she makes it so damn easy to. As for depth, she’s deep like a puddle on the sidewalk.

    JEA, as I told a friend who also belittled O’Donnell’s intelligence, when you are running for Joe Biden’s old seat then no matter the outcome the average IQ of Delaware Senators will be raised.

    JVW (eccfd6)

  10. Excuse me while I go scour the internet to compile a bunch of anecdotes to refudiate your claim that Palin isn’t dumb.

    Because, clearly, anecdotes can only be used to prove she is dumb, right Levitcus? They only work one way in the world of the brilliant lefty elite.

    JVW (eccfd6)

  11. Excuse me while I go scour the internet to compile a bunch of anecdotes to refudiate your claim that Palin isn’t dumb.

    Comment by Leviticus — 10/20/2010 @ 8:53 am

    Fair enough, but make sure to keep in mind the definition of “anecdotal evidence” and why it is possible for it to be rawtha misleading.

    FTR, I don’t believe Obama is stupid at all. What I do believe is that it is very easy for the media, as powerful as “anecdote + repetition + scorn” is, to make anyone whom they wish to appear as stupid as a box of dirt.

    [Aaron: rescued from the filter. I think all the links did it.]

    no one you know (325a59)

  12. if we are going to use anecdotes, how about the time when O’Donnell said there were 57 states in the union?

    Oh, right she didn’t say that, Obama did.

    Point is you can probably find dumb things said by anyone if they talk enough.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  13. to Sheesh.

    no one you know (325a59)

  14. On creationism, where does she want the course taught. In a course on comparative religion or culture? Or in a science course? It’s not whether it’s taught, it’s where it’s taught.

    Mike Giles (afe37e)

  15. Hmm, comment appears stuck in the filter. That’ll teach me to go overboard on makin’ my points w. links. Heh.

    no one you know (325a59)

  16. Mike

    That’s an appropriate nuance. You can teach it as literature, for instance. But i think in context it is fair to say she meant as science, because she was saying it should be taught instead of evolution.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  17. noyk

    I rescued yer comment.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  18. Evolution v. Creationism (I.D.)…
    I believe that the current emphasis is that these two “theories” should be taught side-by-side so that the students have a choice; just as in PoliSci they would offer the choice of Capitalism v. Socialism (Yeah, Right!).

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  19. “Didn’t Abraham Lincoln say something about writing letters while angry but not sending them?”

    Wish I had a quarter-measure of Abe’s wisdom.

    Any thoughts on the wisdom of maintaining the Union? Like the war over slavery would’ve come regardless?

    Mother Bachmann in October 2008 was on Tingle’s I recall, saying the O’s aspirations were anti-American. I cringed, partly questioning the timing, but mostly because of the expected rage to be directed at the ‘wacko, dingbat’.

    Now, the dingbat looks prescient, if one were to suspend the certainty that she’s a clubbed Neanderthaless.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  20. Well maybe you can explain how O’Donnell is correct when she answers this student question:

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In light of the events in the past decade, Islam has been viewed as a religion for extremists and terrorists, where Muslims, including myself, can attest that Islam is far from that. Now recently there has been much controversy over the mosque being built in the vicinity of ground zero and also the Florida pastor making outrageous remarks about the Koran. Now my question to you is, as senator, where is the line between the freedom of speech and the respect of other religions? Both of which freedoms are found in the First Amendment of the Constitution.

    with this-

    O’DONNELL: Well, I would agree. The Supreme Court has said that there are restrictions on our First Amendment rights. Again, you know, you can’t, as you said, go into a crowded theater and yell fire. You can’t stand up on a plane and yell hijack. You can’t slander and libel someone.

    However, where the question has come between what is protected free speech and what is not protected free speech, the Supreme Court has always ruled that the community, the local community has the right to decide.

    madawaskan (565543)

  21. IMO Palin nor Obama has a whole lot of substance. Neither is stupid and Palin does get the worse treatment re media.
    That said both have their defenders who will suffer no criticism, regardless of how legitimate it might be, without resorting to shouts of “sexist” or “racist” depending on whether the critic falls to the left or right. And almost always followed with some dig at the gaffes of the person they don’t like.
    In a perfect world we wouldn’t even consider candidates under the age of 55. 40 somethings have not got the life experience to be an effective president in these times.

    VOR2 (8e6b90)

  22. “…40 somethings have not got the life experience to be an effective president in these times.”

    Since this is a “generality”, I would have to disagree just on principle;
    but, I would also say that there are many who would be an effective counterpoint to that viewpoint,
    except that – due to their life experience – they would never wish to get mired in the muck of being President.

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  23. mada

    I didn’t say O’Donnell was right about everything. in fact i said she was wrong about something specific. But she was also right about the phrase separation of church and state.

    now, as for the local community standards thing, she is wrong. She is applying the approach used for obsenity, which doesn’t apply here.

    but look at coon’s answer and he is wrong too.

    the correct answer is to say to him this:

    “Respectfully, you are wrong. There is nothing in the constitution requiring a private citizen to show any respect toward another religion, or allowing the government to force a citizen to do that. Indeed, the very concept is unworkable in practice. What is sacred to one faith is blaphemy to another and vice versa. The way we live together is not by never saying anything offensive about the other’s religion but learning to accept it when people say something offensive about our religion. This minister has a God-given right to burn those Korans, even as you might fondly wish he wouldn’t.”

    So both of them got it wrong. I mean black letter law wrong, as in Texas v. Johnson (the flag burning case) clearly ends the discussion. Why are you only holding it against O’Donnell? I mean, unlike O’Donnell, Coons is a lawyer, a graduate of my alma mater if memory serves. He should know better than that. I mean its not like the flag burning case wasn’t famous.

    btw, you can find the fuller context, here:

    http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=574&topicId=100007219&docId=l:1283768520&isRss=true

    I don’t think you need any special registration to see that. I just googled and it popped up.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  24. Is “refudiate” a word? lol

    carol (5a5d33)

  25. they would never wish to get mired in the muck of being President Comment by AD-RtR/OS! — 10/20/2010 @ 10:08 am

    LOL – good point.
    But for presidents in my lifetime; Bush, Reagan, Nixon, Johnson, & Eisenhower all were at least 55 when elected.
    Kennedy, Bush Jr, Obama, Clinton, and Carter were under 55.

    VOR2 (8e6b90)

  26. Is lol a word?

    Pious Agnostic (291f9a)

  27. Point well taken.
    Now, which of those would you like to revisit?
    I was in the USAF during Kennedy and Johnson:
    Two sides of the same coin, particularly since LBJ seemed to be unable to rid himself of the key personnel that he inherited from JFK.
    It wasn’t their respective ages that kept them from being effective Presidents, it was a basic Liberal/Left ideology –
    and it seems to be that L/L (Progressive) ideology that has hindered quite a number of our leaders as ideology trumps analysis.

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  28. VOR

    On younger presidents…

    Well, its probably two factors involved. first it is our increasingly youth-obsessed culture, spurned on significantly by the baby boom.

    And second, the advent of television. i mean in general our presidents are generally better looking than they have been in the past. some of these guys look like extras from the cantina scene in star wars.

    And the two are probably related

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  29. Comment by AD-RtR/OS! — 10/20/2010 @ 10:24 am

    About the ideology I agree. Johnson did push the civil rights legislation to fruition which took a lot of effort. His social program blew up on him with the midterms in ’66 and Viet Nam was his undoing. As for Kennedy I thought we had some luck with us — had we not had the Jupiter missiles to trade off for the Cuban based missiles I’m not sure where he would have gone.

    And the two are probably related

    Aaron,
    yes they are I agree.

    VOR2 (8e6b90)

  30. For the record, I didn’t “pre-judge” Palin or o’Donnell as stupid.

    I judged them as stupid based on, you know, things they said. I think most people have.

    Contrary to what AW writes, I don’t think modern case law differs greatly from the “separation of church and state” language of Jefferson. True, we don’t recognize a wall when the issue is secular in nature (busing, textbooks, sign language, etc.), but Jefferson wasn’t talking about those things anyway. I’m sure he would even agree that churches can abut postal roads.

    Put another way, Jefferson was talking about neutrality between the secular and the religious and among all religions, with the “wall” being the metaphor for that neutrality. No different than what our modern courts are saying.

    Kman (d25c82)

  31. I mean black letter law wrong, as in Texas v. Johnson (the flag burning case) clearly ends the discussion.

    Love this, think I might steal it.

    As to your last question I’m just reading the Right’s response to this question and they patently ignore this part of the debate-I find it interesting. The omission-I’m Catholic like that…hah!

    Basically can we talk about what Miller is up to in Alaska? That could be historic and what I am ultimately concerned about perhaps is-the evasion technique being used by Tea Party candidates towards the press. It is perhaps justified because when the Liberal media acts as a wing of the Democratic party a good percentage of the electorate can see the evasion as understandable.

    However I remember the good ole days of the blogosphere supposedly the raison d’etre for a lot of the right blogosphere was to cast a jaundiced eye on all of that but when it comes to some modicum of power-their all too close relationship with the Tea Party they are just as bad and have sold out for a lot less and in a more rapid fashion.

    That’s the angle that creeps me out. I think the internets power to fractionalize the news, and therefore politics is going to have some possible dangerous consequences for a society that might be the most pluralistic society on earth.

    madawaskan (565543)

  32. mada

    I am not sure how much of a threat “fractured” news really is.

    When we were founded, our press didn’t even pretend to be unbiased. They were explicitly for whatever party was bankrolling them. The model of the supposedly unbiased press is a 20th century invention.

    The problem today is that we don’t have an honest media in many cases. don’t believe me…? well wait until you see what is coming in my next post (i don’t mean the IMAO piece, though).

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  33. What might be other reasons to hold it against O’Donnell is that she holds the more public and stalwart religious views, therefore if she has this kind of understanding and response:

    what is protected free speech and what is not protected free speech, the Supreme Court has always ruled that the community, the local community has the right to decide.

    to the basic question:

    where is the line between the freedom of speech and the respect of other religions?.

    It’s more problematic because of her stated platform -she refers to her Catholic religion during the debate, and Creationism. She also refers to how her religion has her interpret controversial subjects. Coons for the most part avoids that.

    madawaskan (565543)

  34. “For the record, I didn’t “pre-judge” Palin or o’Donnell as stupid.

    I judged them as stupid based on, you know, things they said. I think most people have.”

    – Kman

    Yep. And it’s more than that: it’s not so much that Palin and O’Donnell have said stupid things – as several of you have pointed out, everyone says dumb things at some point. It’s that I’ve never heard either of them say anything smart which didn’t sound like it sprang fully formed from a Conservative Wisdom Fortune Cookie™.

    It doesn’t matter to me. If either of them gets elected, they’ll be one more moron in a sea of morons, Democratic or Republican. So I’m not really concerned about it, except as a symptom of a larger problem.

    Also, my first comment was just to make fun of Palin for saying “refudiate.”

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  35. Mada

    i don’t know. i tend to find a person being clueless in their stated profession to be more problematic than a person being christian being in favor of radical local self-determination.

    I am much more disturbed by the fact that coon didn’t seem to know the constitution does not require citizens to respect other religions, than COD’s belief that the issue can be treated like obscenity.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  36. Aaron

    Yes but I think you might be referring to the time when the electorate was not given as much responsibility-pre 17th Amendment-I’d also say that at that time the electorate was smaller and more homogenous. Alexander Hamilton still had some stop gaps employed…

    Plus I think with cable and other technology the shared experience of Americans might be reduced to football!

    Acculturation-it’s not just for breakfast-yogurt!

    [Any hockey fans here? Ya that’s what I thought…heh.]

    So looking forward to your next piece.

    madawaskan (565543)

  37. It’s that I’ve never heard either of them say anything smart which didn’t sound like it sprang fully formed from a Conservative Wisdom Fortune Cookie™.

    HAHAHAHA.

    Honestly, I think Palin and O’Donnell are both quite intelligent, but this complaint totally resonates with me.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  38. Pre-17th Amendment…
    The Lincoln-Douglas Debates were conducted so that the electorate could exercise a responsible voice in selecting members of the IL Legislature,
    which would decide who would represent the State in the U.S.Senate.
    The Dems won, and Douglas continued as Senator.
    Mr.Lincoln went home to write a book about the debates, and ultimately found other employment.

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  39. Well she said the Supreme Court has always ruled…so that gets you well out of the confines of the obscenity case. She seems to say that because the Supreme Court has always ruled that what is ‘protected free speech” is determined by the local community that it si the basis for fighting the Ground Zero Mosque.

    Here is the fuller context:

    O’DONNELL: Well, I would agree. The Supreme Court has said that there are restrictions on our First Amendment rights. Again, you know, you can’t, as you said, go into a crowded theater and yell fire. You can’t stand up on a plane and yell hijack. You can’t slander and libel someone.

    However, where the question has come between what is protected free speech and what is not protected free speech, the Supreme Court has always ruled that the community, the local community has the right to decide.

    And then the issue with the “9/11 mosque,” that’s exactly where the battle is being fought, by the community members who are impacted by that. And I support that.

    Sorry but I think she is the one that is most misguided here.

    madawaskan (565543)

  40. Yep, I actually think O’Donnell might have better skills at debate than Palin-I still think she is horribly wrong.

    madawaskan (565543)

  41. O’Donnell not Palin-aaargh.

    Who’s smarter Palin or O”Donnell?

    Discuss!

    Ha.

    madawaskan (565543)

  42. Except the left has moved beyond community standards, in a significant way, in obscenity cases, they do not consider them expansive enough, consider the last time they really upheld one. Maybe that case with the strippers in Indiana,

    The press up in Alaska, in large part due to McClatchy is slightly less than useless, they attack Miller for pushing to cutback spending, which they say will cause a state income tax tobe imposed, but Murkowski actually voted for one, they attack him for late filing, of his disclosure
    statements, yet Murkowski has been unbelievably negligent in that regard. That blogger who was detained by Miller’s security, is part of a publication that traded in slanders of adultery and embezzlementagainst Sarah, The local talk radio is almost the only real voice, and they are more pro Miller than not

    If some of us, are sensitive on the point, is that more often than not, the critics do not know what they are talking about. How do you think they ended up with the ludicrous Begich as Senator

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  43. “Separation of church and state” is not a phrase that appears in the First Amendment. The mocking of O’Donnell by some on this score is entirely misplaced.

    Patterico (babbb6)

  44. Patterico

    if you only have time to read one thing over lunch, read the IMAO piece. Just, um, don’t actually have food or liquid in your mouth as you do. its really funny, imho.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/republicans-kind-of-suck-which-is-why-they-will-win-huge-in-november/?singlepage=true

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  45. Then again, I didn’t see the debate and am commenting on this from bits and pieces seen on the Web.

    I just know what the First Amendment does and does not say. Many make assumptions.

    Patterico (babbb6)

  46. “Separation of church and state” is not a phrase that appears in the First Amendment. The mocking of O’Donnell by some on this score is entirely misplaced.

    I don’t think anybody is mocking O’Donnell for making the point that the phrase doesn’t appear in the First Amendment. Even Coons acknowledged that she’s right about that. In fact, EVERYBODY acknowledges that, so I’m not sure O’Donnell becomes “brilliant” merely for being Captain Obvious.

    I think they were mocking her in that she couldn’t seem to grasp that the concept of “separation of church and state” is grounded in the First Amendment — that it has, at least arguably, some connection to the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses. She seemed genuinely surprised about that — like she had never heard that before.

    Kman (d25c82)

  47. A post on another, related, thread:

    At a political function, always….ALWAYS….carry a pocket-sized copy of the Declaration and Constitution (w/Amendments)
    to confound your opponents with the actual language of the two.

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  48. Kman, please explain to us why the Government being prohibited from establishing a State Religion, and being prohibited from restricting an individual’s free-exercise of religion, requires a “wall of separation” between any religion and the government?
    Is the wall a one-way, or two-way wall?
    And, if it is two-way, is this not a violation of the “religious test” clause?

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  49. If Palin and O’Donnell are dumb then Obama, Biden, Nancy P, Dirty Harry, Gibbs, etc. are drooling morons without measurable IQs. Palin and O’Donnell are vast improvements.

    I’m not particularly a Palin or O’Donnell supporter. The standard is so low in Washington right now, they look good by comparison. (I mean look at Biden …the best decision Obama made. It’s the only way Obama would not look like the biggest idiot in Washington so it was a good decision, I guess)

    quasimodo (4af144)

  50. Kman, the Coons type concept of ‘Separation of Church and State’, where high level governments force education notions on local schools, or strip any religious involvement, is not rooted in any part of the Constitution itself.

    The Jeffersonian concept of Separation is, but then, it’s merely saying we can’t have a state church.

    O’Donnell and Coons were talking in context of things like public education and the ground zero mosque, and I think that implies the former, progressive definition. O’donnell’s right. The way she discussed this issue shows she is perfectly aware of the establishment and free exercise clauses, but rejects claiming they mean something they simply don’t mean.

    She conveyed this point poorly, though I doubt I could have done any better in that debate format. Both of them were trying to make the other look radical, rather than dialogue.

    She looked surprised because she was trying to hone in on this specific point of ‘that phrase’ not appearing. She asked more than once, and her tone changed as she went along to underline that the clause doesn’t exist.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  51. Seemed? That is the standard to which we hold people? A person like kman, inclined to be as uncharitable as possible, gets to measure it by how it seems. Then kman seems to be a mendoucheous stalkerish troll. Therefore, he is. It seems that way to many, therefore it is. And it has the added benefit of being true.
    .

    JD (c50049)

  52. Kman seems genuinely surprised about CO’D’s insistence on a literal interpretation of the Constitution — like he had never heard of Thomas and Scalia before.

    Icy Texan (3578a8)

  53. Are Palin and O’Donnell stupid or brilliant?

    Why do they have to be either one? Most people aren’t, you know. And last time I checked it looked like our country had gotten more than its share of legislating and administrating morons from the Ivy League schools, from Rhodes scholars, and from people who speak several languages. How’s that working out for us?

    Personally, I’d be happy to elect someone with a bit of common sense – whether they’re “brilliant” or not.

    Gesundheit (aab7c6)

  54. The Left is all about “feelings”, and it is not nice to confuse them with “facts”; or, as Larry Elder says:
    Facts to a Leftist is like Kryptonite to Superman!

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  55. The Left is all about “feelings”, and it is not nice to confuse them with “facts”; or, as Larry Elder says:
    Facts to a Leftist is like Kryptonite to Superman!

    The Instalanche is here.

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  56. JD’s right. It’s so unrealistic and uncharitable to pretend O’donnell didn’t understand the most basic notions because she was specifically asking about a specific clause that didn’t exist. How in the world could O’Donnell know to point out this clause is not in the constitution? That’s an awfully lucky guess… the odds are nearly infinite against, if she wasn’t familiar with this amendment.

    Given that I’ve watched O’donnell more than most here, I know this is one of her favorite issues. She talks about the constitutional limits on federal government, in this specific area, quite often.

    Say what you will about O’Donnell, but she seems well versed on this topic. I guess it’s not unusual to say someone who disagrees is just ignorant and out of touch, but she disagrees on this because she understands the constitution.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  57. Anyone involved with drafting the stimulus or Obamacare ought to have the dunce cap stapled to
    their head. With Boxer, one of those epigones ofThe Year of the Democratic woman, along Patty, ‘Osama’s
    schools’ Murray, they really out to be laughed outof town, and like the old Ginsu knife commercial,
    ‘wait there’s more’

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  58. Dating myself, I know, but through all my public school years K thru 12 in Pennsylvania, we started every single day of school with a student reading 10 verses from the Bible, usually from the Psalms, then we would all stand and recite the Lord’s Prayer, after which we would put our hand over our heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I still recall how in 2nd grade, our teacher spent several days teaching us to say “one nation under God,” with no pause, using the example to teach about punctuation or lack of when reading or speaking aloud. It still bothers me today to hear people recite the Pledge as if it says, “one nation, under God,…”

    In addition to starting our day this way, our history and English/Lit classes studied the Bible as literature, we spent 2 6-week marking periords one year on studying the world’s “great” religions, comparing and contrasting beliefs, our Christmas and Easter assemblies included the school chorus performing large segments of Handel’s “Messiah,” we even had classes regarding how the Jewish Passover and other Jewish celebrations related to Christian holdays and/or practices. Nothing was disallowed for discussion due to political correctness and the lesson learned was that all cultures and religions have contributed in various ways, both good and bad, to the world we were living in and, although the word tolerance wasn’t taught per se, the lesson was implied by teaching that despite the differences, there was something to be learned whether from Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Islam (which at that time was called Mohammedism), Confuscious, Buddhism, Catholicism, etc.

    My school broke down as about 15% Catholic, about 45% mainline Protestant (mostly kids decended from early PA Quakers, Scots-Irish Presbyterians, and German Lutherans) and the other 40% Jewish or various other Protestant denominations. My friends would come with me to Youth Fellowship, I would go with them to Hebrew School or Catholic Catechism classes.

    Most of all we were taught what it meant to be American. And yes, we were taught that being American was very special and something we should be very grateful about and something we should take great pride in. We celebrated patriotism, we celebrated freedom.

    I’ve raised two children and I was shocked at the terrible education both got here in California. My daughter found a box of old papers and essays I had to write during my junior high and high school years that for some reason I carted around with me year after year and she kept saying, as she read one after another, how come I’ve never heard of any of this? She took a few to school to show her teacher and was told that many of the subjects of my old papers would never be acceptable in a classroom today, i.e., papers on George Bernard Shaw, the Fabian Society and socialism, and man’s relationship to God, papers about the influence of the deists in early American history, papers on Walt Whitman, Longfellow, Thoreua, yellow jounalism, etc.

    The problem we have today is the ignorance, bred out of poltical correctness and value neutral education, of our twenty, thirty and forty-somethings. Subjects, motivations, ideals, philosphies that I was taught in the 5th, 6th, 9th or 10th grades, don’t seem to be taught at all anymore. It is scary to see how clueless so many who claim to be Ivy League educated appear to be. I keep hearing how bright and well-educated Obama and his cohorts are, but from my perspective, we have one of the most ill-educated group of people in power that I’ve seen in my lifetime, one of the most incompetent presidents of my lifetime and half the population not even understanding why because they’ve never been taught in a truthful manner in the first place. They can’t keep up on facts or substance, so they fall back on trashing people and practicing the politics of personal destruction, or worse, they use the law to dumb down whole generations.

    Sara (Pal2Pal) (4d3f49)

  59. The problem we have today is the ignorance, bred out of political correctness and value neutral education, of our twenty, thirty and forty-somethings. Subjects, motivations, ideals, philosophies that I was taught in the 5th, 6th, 9th or 10th grades, don’t seem to be taught at all anymore.

    That is exactly right. We’re getting to where people have no idea what they are trying to keep children from being exposed to, or why. Post modernism is very stubborn this way… insisting there’s no objective value aside from this one peculiar one they have.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  60. Sara is a subversive, counter-revolutionary;
    ignore her!

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  61. Excuse me while I go scour the internet to compile a bunch of anecdotes to refudiate your claim that Palin isn’t dumb.

    I’m still waiting – you seem to have made a statement that you neglected to back up. But then again, why would anyone as intelligent as yourself need to actually source his wide – ranging claims?

    (crickets chirping)

    Dmac (84da91)

  62. They know exactly what they are doing, Ayers, and associated fellow travelers, they want to’ dissolve
    the people and elect another,’ in Brecht’s words, they know their best chance is with the youths with
    education, (excuse me, propaganda) mass media, et al

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  63. The Jeffersonian concept of Separation is, but then, it’s merely saying we can’t have a state church.

    Well, it’s quite broader than that if you read Jefferson’s Danbury letter. It is essentially saying that we can’t have government can’t get involved in any way in matters of religion, as those matters are properly between each individual and his God.

    Kman (d25c82)

  64. we can’t have government can’t get involved in any way in matters of religion

    This does not follow from the rest of your comment.

    Provide a quote from the letter, Kman, that explicitly says what you claim.

    Guess why you can’t do that?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  65. Say what you will about O’Donnell, but she seems well versed on this topic. I guess it’s not unusual to say someone who disagrees is just ignorant and out of touch, but she disagrees on this because she understands the constitution.

    Ever hear the phrase “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”? I think that accurately describes O’Donnell and her understanding of the Constitution. I think she probably understands the Constitution about as much as a Glenn Beck devotee — which is to say (1) more than the average American but (2) only in selective areas.

    For example, in that same debate, she didn’t know what the 14th Amendment stood for, which I find remarkable — it’s arguably the most important amendment after the Bill of Rights.

    On the other hand, she knew about the 17th. And it seems she only knew about the 17th because that’s suddenly a hot topic on the fringe right.

    So I find her knowledge about the Constitution oddly selective and limited, like she’s been exposed to only one way to think about the Constitution. And that’s probably not a good thing.

    Kman (d25c82)

  66. Ever hear the phrase “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”

    Classic projection there, kmart.

    Dmac (84da91)

  67. Kman, still waiting for you to back up your claim that Jefferson explicitly said “we can’t have government can’t get involved in any way in matters of religion,” in contrast to saying the state shouldn’t establish a church because that’s an individual matter.

    Thanks in advance.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  68. Provide a quote from the letter, Kman, that explicitly says what you claim.

    It’s in the explanatory clause…

    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinion….

    Jefferson is talking about something much broader than merely the establishment of a national religion.

    Kman (d25c82)

  69. I think O’Donnell should have stayed focused on economics and not strayed into social issues. I think it was a mistake to get into creationism. However, I have heard her most viciously attacked from the right ! Michael Medved was really off the wall yesterday about this. Peter Wehner at NRO and Commentary was also.

    I suspect these “elite” Republicans are so worried that they might be associated with O’Donnell in the left’s mind, they are trying to immunize themselves by trashing one of their own candidates. I can ignore idiots like Kman and Levi but I am really annoyed at the flak coming at her from the right.

    Mike K (568408)

  70. Provide a quote from the letter, Kman, that explicitly says what you claim.

    It’s in the explanatory clause…

    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinion….

    Jefferson is talking about something much broader than merely the establishment of a national religion.

    Comment by Kman

    Nope, Kman. That won’t fly.

    Provide a quote where Jefferson actually said what you are pretending he said.

    What you just quoted strongly bolsters my point, and I know why you snipped it where you did. Jefferson was specifically discussing the establishment of a state church. You claiming he was talking about no involvement “in any way” is a ridiculous overreach. By all means, take the concepts he’s talking about and expand on them… but it’s not Jefferson who expanded them to this ‘in any way’ point. That’s absolutely absurd.

    As I suspected, your claims are not grounded in reality.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  71. Hey!
    Listen to the Kman.
    He knows ….. stuff.

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  72. Jefferson was specifically discussing the establishment of a state church.

    He wasn’t discussing the establishment of a state church because the letter from the Danbury Baptists shows that the Baptists were concerned about more than the establishment of a state church. Specifically, they were pissed that the state of Connecticut had a tax law that favored the Congregationalist church over their own. The baptists were worried about a BURDEN on their church through state law, not about an actual establishment of a church.

    So when Jefferson responds that “[Man] owes account to none other [than his God] for his faith or his worship”, he’s giving assurance that government cannot make broad impositions on religion — it’s not JUST about establishment of a state religion.

    Kman (d25c82)

  73. Could it have been that the tax law favored the Congregationalists because they were the “State Church” of Connecticut?

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  74. AD-RtR:

    Oh, absolultely! But it wasn’t about the establishment per se that had the Baptists all in a tizzy (after all, they could still practice their faith as a minority religion). It was about the state forcing them to support (in this case, through taxes) something that they did not believe — that was what prompted them to write Jefferson in the first place.

    Kman (0ad479)

  75. “I’m still waiting – you seem to have made a statement that you neglected to back up. But then again, why would anyone as intelligent as yourself need to actually source his wide – ranging claims?”

    – Dmac

    Sorry for the delay – I was off justifying my continued existence to an Obamacare death panel headquartered at the border between Alaska and Russia. It was scary – those malicious, arbitrary bastards said that I had to name at least two magazines I read and two Supreme Court cases I disagreed with – but not Roe v. Wade, cuz they were so sick of hearing that answer parroted by manipulative demagogues – or they’d yank my beating heart from my chest and laugh about it. Luckily, I have at least some vague knowledge of landmark Supreme Court cases, even though I’m not running for office or anything – and I read stuff once in a while, like just the other day I read this story in the Sarah Palin Chronicle about how the Vice President had to hustle over to the Capitol Building from the Department of Law so that he could fulfill his role as leader of the Senate and get super-involved in the passage of good policy, which all the Senators were more than happy to allow of course. And I told the death panel about this, and where I’d read it, and they let me go.

    Close call, though. Damn death panels.

    Anyway, I see that you’re intent on refudiating my refudiation of A.W.’s post – I’ve obviously misunderestimated you.

    In my defense, I’m from a mid-sized city in the Southwest, so my status as a Real American is questionable, if not f***ed from Jump Street.

    Also, by way of preemption, since I know you’re going to get all pissed off about me bringing up a bunch of gaffes which are OBVIOUS MEDIA FABRICATIONS or something… do your own bloody research. I’ve heard and seen and read enough of the woman’s remarks to form an opinion of her intelligence, and it’s not a particularly positive one. If you don’t like that, why don’t you try to convince me that she’s intelligent? Cause she’s made a hash of it, left to her own devices…

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  76. Comment by Kman — 10/20/2010 @ 3:08 pm

    But, what could TJ do about this?
    He had no control over the Government in Hartford.
    Perhaps they would have been better served by becoming politically involved, and electing a few Baptists to the Legislature, and changing the law (which is what I believe eventually occurred – well, at least changing the law).
    And, as I understand the practice at the time in many NE states (generally, though this might not have been particularly true in CT),
    every taxpayer was assessed a “religion tax”, but those monies could be assigned by the taxpayer to a particular church,
    and in this way, the State supported and encouraged the participation of the electorate in religious activities.

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  77. People–especially people who lived through the 20th Century–who still believe in the Cult of the State are in no position to ast aspersions on other people’s intelligence.

    Bilwick (26ec54)

  78. Leviticus is only about 20!
    And, you know what a crappy job the schools do in teaching history.

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  79. “Leviticus is only about 20!
    And, you know what a crappy job the schools do in teaching history.”

    – AD-RtR/OS!

    What does that have to do with anything? Or is that just standard boilerplate Old Man, Rocking-Chair Kvetching?

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  80. Respect Sarah Palin!!

    Stay off my lawn!!

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  81. Are we suffering from a recurring case of thin-skin this afternoon?
    Surprising, after your #75.

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  82. Stay off my lawn!!

    Want to borrow a Garand? I’ve got extras!

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  83. O’Donnell and Palin are an inarticulate, self-serving politicians, who have gotten by on cutenes. And the more they talk, the more it’s obvious.

    nk (db4a41)

  84. “Are we suffering from a recurring case of thin-skin this afternoon?”

    – AD-RtR/OS!

    No, just piqued curiousity – where do I display a deficient grasp on history, again?

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  85. do your own bloody research

    Translation – I’m a snot – nosed git who won’t back up my superior intellect. Just take my word for it, I’m a genius.

    But you brought up the statement of fact in the first place, and we’re not your monkeys. So either bring it or admit the obvious – you’re just Trolling.

    Or is that just standard boilerplate Old Man, Rocking-Chair Kvetching?

    No, but this sounds like infantile posturing in the guise of…who knows.

    I was off justifying my continued existence to an Obamacare death panel headquartered at the border between Alaska and Russia. It was scary – those malicious, arbitrary bastards said that I had to name at least two magazines I read and two Supreme Court cases I disagreed with

    Man, a college degree is definitely worth the paper it’s printed on these days, eh?

    Dmac (84da91)

  86. OBVIOUS MEDIA FABRICATIONS

    Are you currently taking lessons in logic from kmart these days?

    Dmac (84da91)

  87. O’Donnell and Palin are an inarticulate, self-serving politicians, who have gotten by on cutenes. And the more they talk, the more it’s obvious.

    I agree, which I’ve said on many occasions here. But if someone comes on and starts screeching away with the typical boilerplate lefty memes, then I think the least they can do is back it up with some examples. If all they can do in response is to bray at the moon and ask others to do their own damn work, then they’re just farting in the wind.

    Dmac (84da91)

  88. You can dish out snark, but you just can’t take it.

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  89. “Translation – I’m a snot – nosed git who won’t back up my superior intellect. Just take my word for it, I’m a genius.”

    – Dmac

    Alternate translation: I just listed like six different things Palin has said that speak to her general lack of intelligence. Whether or not you realized that, or are willing to acknowledge it, isn’t my problem; but pointing out things you don’t like doesn’t count as “braying at the moon”, sorry.

    You’re the one that should be pissed at Palin: it’s your intelligence she’s insulting every time she opens her mouth.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  90. Levi – Dmac just told you what he thought of them, so I fail to see how Palin insults Dmac’s intelligence whenever she speaks. How about 1773? As to your snarky rant, it made me chuckle. I loved all of those leftist canards in one comment.

    JD (b49131)

  91. Like some other blogger made the point, “the Boston Tea Party in 1773″

    nk (db4a41)

  92. It should not need to be justified in retrospect.

    nk (db4a41)

  93. I just listed like six different things Palin has said that speak to her general lack of intelligence. […] she’s insulting every time she opens her mouth.

    Pretty sure Palin was correct about most of those, and since now you aren’t just snarking and joking, but saying you’re serious, you’re coming across as unreasonable.

    you know, Palin doesn’t have to list magazines she reads to be smart. Alaska does have a “department of law”, etc. Seriously, your claims are birther-grade. I thought you pretending to be a crazy liberal, which was hilarious.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  94. Here’s some excerpts from the Palin-Biden VP debate (all the words of Sarah Palin). I don’t disagree with everything she says in these excerpts, but the way she says it just… makes her sound stupid, in my opinion. Sorry.

    “One thing that Americans do at this time, also, though, is let’s commit ourselves just every day American people, Joe Six Pack, hockey moms across the nation, I think we need to band together and say never again. Never will we be exploited and taken advantage of again by those who are managing our money and loaning us these dollars. We need to make sure that we demand from the federal government strict oversight of those entities in charge of our investments and our savings and we need also to not get ourselves in debt. Let’s do what our parents told us before we probably even got that first credit card. Don’t live outside of our means. We need to make sure that as individuals we’re taking personal responsibility through all of this. It’s not the American peoples fault that the economy is hurting like it is, but we have an opportunity to learn a heck of a lot of good lessons through this and say never again will we be taken advantage of.”

    ….

    “We do need the private sector to be able to keep more of what we earn and produce. Government is going to have to learn to be more efficient and live with less if that’s what it takes to reign in the government growth that we’ve seen today. But we do need tax relief and Barack Obama even supported increasing taxes as late as last year for those families making only $42,000 a year. That’s a lot of middle income average American families to increase taxes on them.”

    ….

    “Patriotic is saying, government, you know, you’re not always the solution. In fact, too often you’re the problem so, government, lessen the tax burden and on our families and get out of the way and let the private sector and our families grow and thrive and prosper. An increased tax formula that Barack Obama is proposing in addition to nearly a trillion dollars in new spending that he’s proposing is the backwards way of trying to grow our economy.”

    ….

    “[McCain]’s proposing a $5,000 tax credit for families so that they can get out there and they can purchase their own health care coverage. That’s a smart thing to do. That’s budget neutral. That doesn’t cost the government anything as opposed to Barack Obama’s plan to mandate health care coverage and have universal government run program and unless you’re pleased with the way the federal government has been running anything lately, I don’t think that it’s going to be real pleasing for Americans to consider health care being taken over by the feds.”

    (How is a massive tax cut “budget neutral”, in any rational sense, by the way – without coinciding spending cuts?)

    ….

    “But in that tolerance also, no one would ever propose, not in a McCain-Palin administration, to do anything to prohibit, say, visitations in a hospital or contracts being signed, negotiated between parties.

    But I will tell Americans straight up that I don’t support defining marriage as anything but between one man and one woman, and I think through nuances we can go round and round about what that actually means.

    But I’m being as straight up with Americans as I can in my non- support for anything but a traditional definition of marriage.”

    ….

    “We will support Israel. A two-state solution, building our embassy, also, in Jerusalem, those things that we look forward to being able to accomplish, with this peace-seeking nation, and they have a track record of being able to forge these peace agreements.”

    ….

    (Here’s a real dumb one:)

    “Say it ain’t so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again. You preferenced your whole comment with the Bush administration. Now doggone it, let’s look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future. You mentioned education and I’m glad you did. I know education you are passionate about with your wife being a teacher for 30 years, and god bless her. Her reward is in heaven, right? I say, too, with education, America needs to be putting a lot more focus on that and our schools have got to be really ramped up in terms of the funding that they are deserving. Teachers needed to be paid more. I come from a house full of school teachers. My grandma was, my dad who is in the audience today, he’s a schoolteacher, had been for many years. My brother, who I think is the best schoolteacher in the year, and here’s a shout-out to all those third graders at Gladys Wood Elementary School, you get extra credit for watching the debate.

    Education credit in American has been in some sense in some of our states just accepted to be a little bit lax and we have got to increase the standards. No Child Left Behind was implemented. It’s not doing the job though. We need flexibility in No Child Left Behind. We need to put more of an emphasis on the profession of teaching. We need to make sure that education in either one of our agendas, I think, absolute top of the line. My kids as public school participants right now, it’s near and dear to my heart. I’m very, very concerned about where we’re going with education and we have got to ramp it up and put more attention in that arena.”

    ….

    “like being able to answer these tough questions without the filter, even, of the mainstream media kind of telling viewers what they’ve just heard. I’d rather be able to just speak to the American people like we just did.”

    ….

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  95. It’s funny about Palin – I don’t care for her in the least, but the mere mention of her name for any reason whatsoever makes some people’s heads explode. Which reflects much more poorly on them then their intended target – so much hate directed on a private individual is more than just unseemly, it’s beyond the pale. It also points out a serious case of cognitive dissonance for these folks – the alleged behaviors of Palin they decry are expressed in some of the most hateful rhetoric we’ve seen lately. Rampant misogyny, gender baiting, elitist snobbery – and all these are what we see from the Left side of the equation. Don’t they realize that if everyone stopped paying attention to her every single movement and utterance that she just might fade into the background eventually? She lives for this kind of attention, and all this carping just makes her look better by comparison to her detractors.

    Dmac (84da91)

  96. No woman is electable to national office. None has the credibility. Not in America. That includes Palin.

    nk (db4a41)

  97. makes her sound stupid, in my opinion.

    But this is not a logical point, but an emotional one, at best. You’re just falling into the trap, again.

    BTW, comparing anything Palin says to that serial fabricator/plagiarizer Biden is a terrible comparison to make. And Biden’s a real nasty guy, no question about it – take a look at this charming video of our awesome VP –

    http://patterico.com/2010/06/26/shocker-biden-mum-in-wisconsin/

    What an arrogant, condescending prick. Say what you will about Palin, no one’s ever come forward to accuse her of personal nastiness like this guy.

    Dmac (84da91)

  98. . Don’t they realize that if everyone stopped paying attention to her every single movement and utterance that she just might fade into the background eventually?

    It’s true, Dmac. She would not be a factor at all if the left could just evict her from their heads. She lives rent free in a lot of them.

    I actually think she was a very good governor before the circus really got rolling. I wish that’s what she was doing now, which is exactly where she’d be but for some crazies attacking her relentlessly.

    She’s been made into a major proxy for the culture war instead of ignored as a footnote.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  99. credibility=benefit of the doubt

    nk (db4a41)

  100. “Dmac just told you what he thought of them, so I fail to see how Palin insults Dmac’s intelligence whenever she speaks. How about 1773? As to your snarky rant, it made me chuckle. I loved all of those leftist canards in one comment.”

    – JD

    Yeah, I know, I’m such a lefty shill. What about 1773? Date of the original Tea Party, three years before the Declaration. You notice that that isn’t one of those “canards” that I lay at Palin’s feet. It doesn’t need to be justified, as nk says. Palin insults Dmac’s intelligence every time she opens her mouth by assuming that he wants to hear a bunch of dim-witted, cookie-cutter tripe – which I’m sure he doesn’t.

    But Dustin: how was Palin “correct about most of those”, again?

    1) Death panels? Really? In America? That was never going to happen, and you know it.

    2) She doesn’t need to list magazines she reads to be “smart”, but you’d think she’d at least be able to. And you think one way or another she wouldn’t say “Oh, whatever they put in front of me.” Same thing with Supreme Court cases: it’s not a necessity, but… damn. Nothing? Really? I know it’s beating a dead horse to death, but so what? It’s embarrassing.

    3)”I think on a national level your Department of Law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we’ve been charged with and automatically throw them out.” That’s the quote; so, whether or not there’s a Department of Law in Alaska… there isn’t a Department of Law in the White House.

    4) “Refudiate”: her defense is dumber than her flub – “Shakespeare liked to invent words too.” Yeah, well, he also liked to do it on purpose.

    5) The Real Americans thing: correct on that? Was she being a dishonest hack or an honest idiot?

    That seems to be the bigger question about Palin – if you assume that she’s smart, that she knows what she’s saying, then she starts coming across as extremely dishonest and manipulative. Neither of those is good; I like to think I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  101. dmac #97 – that is one of the biggest ironies of “Bushisms” …

    The nuanced elite snicker about how the hick/rube/unsophisticated Bush said a word like “refudiate” when he obviously meant “refute” (or “repudiate”) … what these cunning linguists (NOT!) don’t realise is that Bush communicated pretty much exactly the meaning he wished to communicate and they inderstood what he was trying to say even as they snicker … that, to me, is *good* communication skills …

    Obama’s “57 states” – just what was he trying to say ? The best explanation I found for that one was “Obama mis-spoke” …

    So – when the likes of leviticus go all nuanced-elite on us, it just reminds me why there’s a New Testament – it’s so that we can leave Leviticus, where it belongs, in the out-of-date passé history – a curiosity, minorly amusing, while no longer relevant …

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  102. Leviticus,

    Let’s revisit a few more stupid statements to discredit their speaker. Let’s start with one about the police:

    “The Cambridge police acted stupidly.”

    And move on to America’s sort-of fallen heroes:

    “On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes — and I see many of them in the audience here today — our sense of patriotism is particularly strong.”

    A Kansas tornado that killed 10,000 (make that 12):

    “In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died — an entire town destroyed.”

    Add in a few words on health care:

    “The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system.”

    “UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.”

    Don’t forget America’s disabled:

    “No, no. I have been practicing…I bowled a 129. It’s like — it was like Special Olympics, or something.”

    Oops. Maybe we should turn to foreign affairs:

    “It was also interesting to see that political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate. There’s a lot of — I don’t know what the term is in Austrian, wheeling and dealing.”

    “Let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s. It will be a strong friend of Israel’s under a McCain…administration. It will be a strong friend of Israel’s under an Obama administration. So that policy is not going to change.”

    Well, what about general American knowledge:

    I’ve now been in 57 states — I think one left to go.”

    By the way, misstatements like these are humorous but should generally be overlooked, although I’ll admit this politician certainly seems to have had his fair share. But I’m far less willing to overlook “misstatements” that tell us what the speaker really thinks — e.g., things like “they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion …” and “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

    Care to point out any comparable misstatements by Palin?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  103. “BTW, comparing anything Palin says to that serial fabricator/plagiarizer Biden is a terrible comparison to make. And Biden’s a real nasty guy, no question about it – take a look at this charming video of our awesome VP -”

    – Dmac

    That’s a dodge, although I agree that Biden is a dumb, arrogant, condescending prick. That doesn’t mean that you can’t assess Palin’s remarks in that debate.

    You say that me saying that Palin “sounds” stupid is falling into an emotional trap. Let me clarify: I obviously can’t say with ontological certainty, “Palin is dumb” – because maybe she isn’t. I acknowledge that possibility. The closest thing I can say to that is “Palin seems dumb to me.” That’s what I’ve said above.

    It’s the same argument I had with Eric Blair, way back, about Michelle Bachmann – it’s unfair to say she is dumb, but it seems perfectly fair to say she sounds dumb. At what point are we allowed to form an impression of someone based on the things they’ve said and done, again?

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  104. Hmmm. Sounding dumb. Dangerous ground.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  105. PS — I assume you would put Palin’s Death Panels into the revealing misstatements category. Count me as a Palin rube because I absolutely believe we will end up with Death Panels, but don’t take our word for it. Take President Obama’s:

    THE PRESIDENT: So that’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. But that’s also a huge driver of cost, right?

    I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.

    DAVID LEONHARDT: So how do you — how do we deal with it?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that’s part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance. It’s not determinative, but I think has to be able to give you some guidance. And that’s part of what I suspect you’ll see emerging out of the various health care conversations that are taking place on the Hill right now.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  106. By which I mean: if a person doesn’t know someone is dumb, perhaps they should, you know, change the subject?

    Sort of like talking about climate science.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  107. “It’s funny about Palin – I don’t care for her in the least, but the mere mention of her name for any reason whatsoever makes some people’s heads explode.”

    – Dmac

    There’s this Wilco song called “Pot Kettle Black”…

    How many stupid nicknames have I invented for Palin, again? And how many have you guys invented for Obama? Every little thing the guy does pisses this blog’s inhabitants off…

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  108. “If a person doesn’t know someone is dumb, perhaps they should, you know, change the subject?”

    – Eric Blair

    And, here we go. Again.

    Eric: have you ever thought someone is unintelligent? Have you ever known, with any sort of certitude, that someone is unintelligent? I would imagine that the answers are “Yes” and “No”, respectively – which makes you like most people, I’d imagine. So, it’s just a matter of drawing conclusions from observations. And to each his own, in that regard.

    DRJ: that’s a scary quote from Obama. I’ll walk back the Death Panel critique, over that quote alone. It would still never happen in America, but the fact that Obama wants to say something like that to a reporter justifies Palin making a polemic out of it, I think.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  109. Yes, but you ignore the obvious and critical difference with your analogy – Palin’s not in any position of elected office, while Obama’s the farking POTUS. He’s already rammed through massive legislation in order to control almost a third of our economy, and he’s also spent trillions in unfunded liabilities, debts that stretch out as far as the eye can see. So naturally, we don’t care for many of the things he’s done, because they’re already directly affecting our lives in critical ways. Meanwhile, what things has Palin done to affect your life so far in such a manner, as your hysterical comments imply? She’s said a few things that make you feel that she sounds dumb.

    Good grief, your argument is getting more ridiculous by the hour.

    Dmac (84da91)

  110. Did you never know of Rahm’s brother’s position on rationing and death panels, Leviticus?

    JD (eb1dfe)

  111. Remember whom the 1st amendment is restraining!!! CONGRESS shall make no law regarding the establishment…King George had tried to take over the church; the Church never tried to take over the State!! And BTW, there WERE plenty of State religions at our founding, just no National religion.

    Billybob (fbba58)

  112. “Yes, but you ignore the obvious and critical difference with your analogy – Palin’s not in any position of elected office, while Obama’s the farking POTUS. He’s already rammed through massive legislation in order to control almost a third of our economy, and he’s also spent trillions in unfunded liabilities, debts that stretch out as far as the eye can see. So naturally, we don’t care for many of the things he’s done, because they’re already directly affecting our lives in critical ways. Meanwhile, what things has Palin done to affect your life so far in such a manner, as your hysterical comments imply? She’s said a few things that make you feel that she sounds dumb.

    Good grief, your argument is getting more ridiculous by the hour.”

    -Dmac

    Yeah, my argument is getting more ridiculous. Nothing you said there is even remotely relevant to whether or not Palin appears unintelligent – which is what we’re actually arguing about, but don’t let that bother you. I’m just braying at the moon, crazy moonbat style, booogitty boogity boogity!!!

    JD: yes, I had heard of that. It didn’t convince me that Obama would endorse anything like it. That quote from DRJ, on the other hand…

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  113. This is a bizarre conversation.

    There’s a difference between judging someone to be stupid because you’ve heard second-hand that they have a reputation of being stupid, and listening to what they say and then judging them to be stupid.

    aphrael (3687a4)

  114. Look up the IMAC or the FCCER, or the words of the medicare administrator Berwick, the writing of Ezekiel Emmanuel, who has a problem with the hippocratic oath, or Obama’s own statements, to the
    son of the 100 year old, and tell me there is no ‘death panel’

    There is certainly no Department of anything resembling Justice, under Holder, and Law is such a quaint concept in this Administration. As for her alleged cuteness, is this why she was able to put together a pipeline agreement, with a dozen companies, through open bid, something that hasn’t happened in 30 years, is this why she had to resign to force out her boss on the oil commission, for his ethical indiscretions, who
    as party chief has never forgotten it. and is impart supporting Murkowski because of it.

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  115. Leviticus,

    Whether we end up agreeing or not, thank you for being open to other points of view. I’ll strive to do the same.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  116. Aphrael – I think that what people object to is that Bush and Palin say some gaffes or odd things, and they are dumb dumb farking stoopid. Obama and Biden and Clinton do the same, but to a greater degree, and they are held up as intellectuals by the same people that call Bush dumb.

    JD (eb1dfe)

  117. aphrael #112 – and then there are those folk who are absolutely certain that it was Palin on SNL, not Tina Fey, the first time …

    Personally, I find it more revealing to look at what someone does, how he/she lives his/her own life …

    When St Al of the Cult of AGW starts cutting back his *own* carbon footprint, and starts supporting nuclear power, I’ll start to think that AGW isn’t just another money-making Cult for Almost-President Gore …

    Also, anyone who can field-dress a moose is worthy of respect … (I suspect many folk would pay to see YouTube video Katie Couric or almost any of the gaggle on The View when confroned with a moose to field-dress) … I suspect that Leviticus would starve if he was trapped in a hen-filled henhouse for a week … (disclaimer: the hens would be safe from me for the first few days, too … then the avian population would slowly start to decline)

    (Even more-full disclosure) (On that note, actually, if any of the readers here go a-hunting from the Southern California area, and would like some help dividing up a Bambi or some Thumpers, *I* would be more than happy to help on such an expedition … you don’t want me to get my hands on a gun, but I’m reasonably skilled at gralloching and skinning and jointing and carrying … Bambi is delicious, as is Thumper) (/blatant advertisment)

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  118. BTW, I got the iPad 64gig 3G, and I have fallen in love, and wonder how I ever was able to live without it.

    JD (eb1dfe)

  119. Palin could recite the Ten Commandments, and those on the Left would say she “sounds dumb – because no serious person would believe any of them, or say them” (another Pauline Kael moment).

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  120. “There’s a difference between judging someone to be stupid because you’ve heard second-hand that they have a reputation of being stupid, and listening to what they say and then judging them to be stupid.”

    – aphrael

    NO!!!1!! WE MUST OBTAIN ONTOLOGICAL CERTAINTY!!1!!!1

    Seriously, though, since when did forming opinions based on honest observation become so laughably objectionable?

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  121. True, there is a reason why the Russians tagged the Okhanitsa, the Huntress, in some of the same way, that they referred to Thatcher as the Iron Lady,
    she is a very resolute person. Yes when some says an obvious untruth, one rises to defend her, even though she can do it herself, an unanswered charge
    is one accepted as truth.

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  122. “Also, anyone who can field-dress a moose is worthy of respect … (I suspect many folk would pay to see YouTube video Katie Couric or almost any of the gaggle on The View when confroned with a moose to field-dress) … I suspect that Leviticus would starve if he was trapped in a hen-filled henhouse for a week … (disclaimer: the hens would be safe from me for the first few days, too … then the avian population would slowly start to decline)

    (Even more-full disclosure) (On that note, actually, if any of the readers here go a-hunting from the Southern California area, and would like some help dividing up a Bambi or some Thumpers, *I* would be more than happy to help on such an expedition … you don’t want me to get my hands on a gun, but I’m reasonably skilled at gralloching and skinning and jointing and carrying … Bambi is delicious, as is Thumper) (/blatant advertisment)”

    – Alasdair

    Dude, you’re so manly. I could only hope to trapped in a hen-house with a manly man so manly as you, so that you could direct my lily-livered liberal ass as to the finer points of manly animal slaughter. You’ve totally offended my effite sensibilities with your callous and merciless deer-killing, because I’m a complete sissy, but I’m secretly intrigued as to how anyone could be so manly as to conquer a mighty deer to begin with. Do you have a newsletter?

    If Palin can field dress a moose… I guess that’s cool, in some sense. It’d be cooler if she field-dressed it after killing it with a Kabar, instead of shooting it with a high-powered rifle like a chickenshit; but what do I know, I’m not so manly as you. I dunno why anyone would want to kill a moose in the first place, insofar as they’re one of the coolest animals in North America, but whatever.

    Qualifications.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  123. The reason it became objectionable is fairly outlined by JD – the double standards in this case is truly hilarious. Joe Biden says things like “remember when FDR addressed the nation on TV during the stock market crash,” and the MFM is silent on the entire inanity. Biden declares that Iraq should be partitioned, and he also was shot at while his plane was landing in a snowstorm in Bosnia, and again virtual silence. Obama claims that Iran’s “a much smaller country” than Iraq, and btw, they speak austrian in Austria, and…nada. The list is endless, yet when Palin makes a flub, she’s a complete ninny, has the intellect of plankton, a God – nutter, gun – nutter, blah, blah, blah. If we had the slightest semblance of any degree of intellectual honesty in this comparison, no one would have a problem with the endless snarking regarding Palin.

    Dmac (84da91)

  124. What upsets a lot of people on this side of the aisle, is not that people say that Palin, Bush, Bachmann, O’Donnell, etc, are stupid (for that can be sloughed off as just another political attack), it is that they attack them for saying correct things in a manner that the listener perceives to be “stupid”
    (because it disagrees with the listeners life-view), but they don’t engage on the facts – because (for the most part) they can’t.
    You (and you know who you are) don’t like how something is said, so you go all ad hominem, instead of engaging the matter being discussed with facts, figures, and history (mostly you don’t go near these areas because you will lose – as Patrick Moynihan famously said: Every-one’s entitled to their own opinion, no one is entitled to their own facts!), and it is rare when conservatives get the facts wrong because they have trained themselves to be accurate, knowing that everything they say (or write) will be raked over the coals and examined with an electron microscope by a hostile media and academy.

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e2169)

  125. True, Couric isn’t raise a peep when Joe said that,
    possibly because she didn’t know, a reasonable suspicion ‘despite’ her degree from UVA. As did Biden, when he said the US and French, kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, Ifill didn’t even blink
    on that point, this is the alternate chair of the Foreign Relations Committee. As was the apparent ignorance regarding the tea party, I mean that is what google is supposed to be for.

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  126. “If we had the slightest semblance of any degree of intellectual honesty in this comparison, no one would have a problem with the endless snarking regarding Palin.”

    – Dmac

    Okay. That’s fair. But that’s also not my fault – that the media is harder on conservative candidates than liberal ones in this regard. I do my best.

    When Obama says that they speak Austrian in Austria, that Iran is a much smaller country than Iraq, or when Biden says any one of the million things he’s said that make him sound like an idiot, I say that Obama sounds, even seems, stupid (and Biden seems really stupid… I mean, if Biden isn’t stupid, then I don’t know who is). I don’t have any stake in Obama’s supposed intellectualism.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  127. remember when FDR addressed the nation on TV during the stock market crash,

    that was a fairly astonishingly dumb thing to say.

    aphrael (3687a4)

  128. To hear some tell it Biden, Obama, and Palin are the only people to pick from as a viable president yet spend an awful lot of time comparing who is dumber or more gaffe prone.
    Me, I think the country can do much better than those choices.

    VOR2 (580576)

  129. You can throw in Kerry, or Gore, or a half a dozen other names, Howard Dean, that escapee from a mental
    institution, who isn’t given enough thorazine, but they are never pegged as uninformed. The late Sen.
    Kennedy, seriously considered working with the Soviets to derail Reagan’s military and diplomatic
    intiatives, yet this is rarely even brought up.
    Obama has a malaprop moment, probably once every
    speech, by quick observation

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  130. but they are never pegged as uninformed

    If the press treats conservatives and dems differently doesn’t it make more sense to hope that the conservative/GOP candidates and spokespeople would be more effective communicators. And this recent trend of only meeting Fox news doesn’t help them. Obama was doing a perfectly fine job of demonizing fox and looking silly. This kind of behavior almost makes his complaints look valid.

    VOR2 (580576)

  131. She said that if a local school district wanted to teach creationism, it was up to the school district.

    I think she said she WANTS it to be up to the school district. She wasn’t making a statement about how the law is interpreted.

    On creationism, where does she want the course taught. In a course on comparative religion or culture? Or in a science course? It’s not whether it’s taught, it’s where it’s taught.

    If I understand the court decisions correctly, I don’t see how it would be constitutional to teach it in any course.

    Gerald A (0843ed)

  132. I’m fairly certain it would be constitutional as part of a comparative religion course – where you’re presenting a dozen different religious perspectives and comparing them, as long as you aren’t presenting one of them as truth, there should be n bar.

    aphrael (3687a4)

  133. Who cares what Palin’s and O’Donnell’s respective IQ’s may or may not be?

    As my ex-father-in-law was so fond of saying, “The so-called smartest people I know have had the common sense educated right out of them.”

    123 comments later, debating the ladies smartness or dumbness, and America’s still headed towards a Progressive utopian nightmare.

    I’m more interested in personal freedoms, private property rights and Constitutionally limited government.

    On those three subjects the ladies score aces.

    NEW POST:

    HOMELAND SECURITY UNVEILS NEW BORDER SECURITY STRATEGY: LOSE YOUR JOB!
    http://heir2freedom.blogspot.com/2010/10/homeland-security-unveils-new-border.html

    heir2freedom (d9456e)

  134. Didn’t the Gibson and Couric interview, prove to you, that they have no interest in the truth, how about their slavish support of the White House line, the continued insinuations of racism and extremism in the Tea Party, even though almost all the violence seems to have come from left or anarchist groups. They have obscured the Black Panther case, served as devils advocates for terrorists, whitewashed ACORN, Sherrod’s role in the Pigford shakedown, and a few dozen other examples

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  135. I’m fairly certain it would be constitutional as part of a comparative religion course – where you’re presenting a dozen different religious perspectives and comparing them, as long as you aren’t presenting one of them as truth, there should be no bar.

    Comment by aphrael

    And why not merely a class on Islam? I took two of those. A detailed knowledge of Christianity is very useful in western society, too. Many people don’t really know much about it these days, and would benefit from a class about it.

    Even the comparative class would cross someone’s line. Just as a Christmas tree next to a Menora does.

    It’s why it’s so interesting to see people read Separation of Church and State in so many different ways, and why O’Donnell was smart to point out this is not in the Constitution. What’s in the constitution is much easier to interpret without the slippery slope. No law establishing religion. Freedom to practice your religion. Nothing about public schools offering a bible course.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  136. offering a bible course is one thing. teaching the bible as truth in a required class is something else altogether.

    I think the question of what constitutes ‘establishment’ is fairly difficult to pin down; I also think that in the public school context, it’s very hard to avoid conflict between dis-establishment and free exercise.

    aphrael (9802d6)

  137. Aphrael, you’re employing a common sense standard. I’m not sure I’d really mind a required class that covered religions of particular significance to our culture (rather than teach them as truth), but it’s not really about what I don’t mind.

    My teeny point is that your standards or mine can eventually be noted as some kind of involvement between church and state. Such is life in a world where most people are somehow religious.

    If my kid’s school was teaching creationism, I’d probably pull them out. Hell, if it weren’t teaching evolution I’d probably pull them out. I guess I want these issues decided at the local level, but I’m setting myself up.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  138. Regarding the letters between the Danbury Baptist Church and Thomas Jefferson, at the end of the article David Barton says:

    One further note should be made about the now infamous “separation” dogma. The Congressional Records from June 7 to September 25, 1789, record the months of discussions and debates of the ninety Founding Fathers who framed the First Amendment. Significantly, not only was Thomas Jefferson not one of those ninety who framed the First Amendment, but also, during those debates not one of those ninety Framers ever mentioned the phrase “separation of church and state.” It seems logical that if this had been the intent for the First Amendment – as is so frequently asserted-then at least one of those ninety who framed the Amendment would have mentioned that phrase; none did.

    In summary, the “separation” phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson’s explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the manner in which courts apply it today. “Separation of church and state” currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

    Read the whole article. There are many citations and it gives an interesting historical take on the Thomas Jefferson letter to the Danbury Baptist Church.

    Tanny O'Haley (12193c)

  139. There will be no separation of Mosque and State under the New Caliphate.

    Anwar al-Awlaki (3e2169)

  140. O’Donnell has no chance of winning at this point, unless all of Delaware suddenly becomes mentally handicapped like all members of the tea party…

    Heather (e317b0)

  141. http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20101021/NEWS02/10210369/O-Donnell-Coons-hit-rewind-in-debate

    In their latest exchange OD couldn’t name one sitting democratic senator.

    Didn’t the Gibson and Couric interview, prove to you…

    It showed me she wasn’t as prepared as she should have been.
    Politicians who expect voters to watch a particular cable channel or follow their twitter/facebook postings do run the risk that people won’t do that. Worse for them they tend to leave the impression they are “afraid” of making a gaffe. Funny strategy to win over enough voters to win if you ask me.
    And skeptics are never won over with the “yeah but Biden….” excuses.

    VOR2 (580576)

  142. What does the first amendment say, firstly? “Congress shall make no law.” Not “state governments”. Not “local school districts”. Yes, we can go round and round about how later amendments supposedly force states to act like the federal government, but the conception of the founding fathers was that the states had much greater discretion, being closer to and more responsive to the people. State churches were in existence right up until Civil War times – I forget the date when the last one was shut down. States censored movies up until 1968. So arguing from a federalist perspective, she is right. The power of the people devolves to the lowest level of organization.

    And science is religion, at least if you listen to scientists (Dawkins) describing their faith in it. From his perspective, not only must the state teach origin-evolution, but the state cannot teach contrary perspectives on the origin of life. If that’s not religious bigotry, I’m afraid that I don’t know what it is. Scientists sure don’t like their theories being challenged much – which is why when origin-evolution is taught, rarely if ever is any questioning of the theory is allowed. There’s something quite unnerving about science being presented as perfection with none allowed to assay.

    BTW, Palin doesn’t insult my intelligence. I’m not a thin-skinned liberal who tries to make an idol out of intelligence or denigrates people for their appearance, while shouting feminist screeds like a Tourette’s sufferer.

    InRussetShadows (74a0a3)

  143. No, the schools teach ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ which is much more dangerous than ID, the schools don’t teach, reading, writing, arithmetic, to any competent level, they do seem to impart this omnipotent view of the Commerce Clause

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  144. that was a fairly astonishingly dumb thing to say.

    Agreed, but there was a virtual press blackout on that entire speech, nothing that’s too surprising in the end.

    Dmac (84da91)

  145. It wasn’t a speech, it was an interview with the ever perspicaceous Katie Couric, since then he has urged virtual quarantine in the case of swine flu, has been a ‘stern’ vigil on stimulus dollars, his
    negotiating ability with those parties in Iraq, has been legendary, in a ‘Princess Bride’ way.

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  146. As a certified MSM member, I find Althouse’s take not only spot-on, but recognize her point as something reporters are supposed to have learned when they are J-school pups:
    It’s a bit annoying to me, because I cannot stand when people jump to the conclusion that someone they want to believe is stupid is being stupid when they say something that seems wrong. Think first. Is it wrong?

    And I enthusiastically second Althouse’s commenter who blamed the ignorance of reporters. While AP reporter Ben Evans was doubtless under a tight deadline, that’s no excuse for such a blatant error, which no doubt reflects his own political bias as well as ignorance.

    Evans could have arranged beforehand to talk with various experts for advice, or simply Googled the pertinent phrases — Establishment Clause, separation of church and state — to grok their meaning.

    Dmac will enjoy learning that Evans received a masters in journalism from Northwestern University, Dmac’s fave, in 1998.

    From 2004 to 2006, Evans reported for Congressional Quarterly, then joined AP.

    IOW, yet another pseudo-educated political reporter utterly out of his depth, opining on subjects he knows not.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  147. Heather joins Pauline and meh and TomT in the growing list of drive-by trolls to prove that they are slightly less smart than a mud puddle.

    JD (4aa811)

  148. offering a bible course is one thing. teaching the bible as truth in a required class is something else altogether.

    Nobody was trying to do that in the cases recently struck down by courts, nor does O’Donnell advocate that. She wants both evolution and creation to be taught as two competing ideas.

    Gerald A (0843ed)

  149. Just in case anyone missed Bradley’s reference, I’ve done far too many e- mail battles with Medill graduates in our illustrious local Chicago media here for years. At the risk of painting with a broad brush, those I’ve had contact with are usually arrogant infants without a whit of common sense, although they can been assured of editorializing within every news item they generate, no matter the subject. Sports, the arts, even the weather – they’ve never seen a story they cannot interject an irrelevant political POV into.

    Dmac (84da91)

  150. “…IOW, yet another pseudo-educated political reporter utterly out of his depth, opining on subjects he knows not.”
    Comment by Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. — 10/21/2010 @ 7:59 am

    As the Instapundit says: “Credentialed, not educated!”

    AD-RtR/OS! (a1a38a)

  151. “Care to point out any comparable misstatements by Palin?”

    – DRJ

    Sorry – I missed this whole comment earlier, with all the links to stupid things Obama has said. Like I said in response to other comments of the same nature, I’ve got no stake in Obama’s intelligence: if people wanted to argue that he sounded stupid in the same vein that Palin did, I wouldn’t argue.

    As to the question you ask (i.e. does Palin have a “bitterly cling to guns and religion moment” like Obama, which is more disturbing than goofy misstatements in that it reveals some deeper warped perspective on things): I think Palin’s “what I like to call the Real America” statement is the most disturbing thing she’s said, and a good parallel to Obama’s “bitter clinger” moment.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  152. KCET is walking away from PBS as part of a funding dispute.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  153. What is the difference between “Real America” and “Fly-over Country” (or, the view of America as popularized on the cover of The New Yorker an eon ago)?

    AD-RtR/OS! (a1a38a)

  154. aphrael…no link there.

    AD-RtR/OS! (a1a38a)

  155. I dunno, arguments about intelligence remind me of the adage:

    “Better the fool remain silent, than speak and remove all doubt.”

    I could prolly do Ok with an idiotprompter but off the cuff I’d make “Bite me” look brilliant.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  156. Which is another reason for the Left to hate the Mama Grizzlies:
    They speak extemporaneously without the use of teleprompters, in whole thoughts.

    AD-RtR/OS! (a1a38a)

  157. Bah.

    When I try linking things here, i wrap the text in an href block, and then the software strips it.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct/08/entertainment/la-et-1009-kcet-20101009

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  158. Leviticus:

    I think Palin’s “what I like to call the Real America” statement is the most disturbing thing she’s said, and a good parallel to Obama’s “bitter clinger” moment.

    I assume you mean this quote. Can you expand on why that bothers you and what you think it says about Palin?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  159. DRJ, speaking for myself and only for myself – if you characterize one part of the country as “the real America”, it implicitly characterizes another part of the country as not the real America and the people who live there as not real Americans.

    Since I don’t live in the part of the country that she likes to call the real America, I felt like she was effectively saying that I – and the people of my community – aren’t real Americans.

    It’s a minor sin. But I find it obnoxious, and have to struggle not to be offended by it.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  160. I could prolly understand that umbrage if us hick in jesusland flyover country had not been mocked for years by the coastal “elites”.

    JD (35df65)

  161. JD: you’ll note that I don’t engage in that particular kind of mocking … largely because it’s obnoxious and rude.

    I like it even less when it’s directed at me and mine.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  162. I was not implying that you did, and if you took that from what I said, then I should have been more clear. You, most certainly, do not. Your fellow travelers 😉 not so much.

    JD (b49131)

  163. aphrael…
    If KCET bolts NPR, we here in L.A. won’t be losing much as there’s another NPR outlet in Pasadena, just a click away on the FM dial (89.3 v. KCET’s 89.9) that will pick up the slack.
    Of course, if we get really desperate, there always is Pacifica if you need to hear the Leninist/Maoist perspective.

    Which reminds me, on that Andrew Klaven “On the Culture” bit I linked to earlier in the day, he had a really great photo montage of some of the 20th-Century’s great “Progressive” spokesmen:
    Stalin, Lenin, Mao, and a 2-shot of Trotsky with Krugman….Funny!

    AD-RtR/OS! (a1a38a)

  164. AD – yeah, I suspect the effect is greater for television than it is for radio. From what I recall when I lived down there, KCET was the only VHF PBS station.

    The Pasadena outlet may have a weaker signal and therefore may not be hearable throughout the region, as well.

    (Pacifica and NPR tend to have very different programming, and I don’t consider Pacifica to be a replacement for NPR).

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  165. The Pasadena station has a very strong signal – they deliberately try to reach out to the OC, and the OC has their own PBS-TV station.

    I think Pacifica is a very good substitute….
    for Radio Moscow!

    AD-RtR/OS! (a1a38a)

  166. No. Radio Moskva, is probably to the right of NPR, nowadays

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  167. At the link to Iowahawk I found this:
    Talk about false advertising. Turns out so-called “Progressive Insurance” doesn’t offer any policies for protection against progressives.
    1,287,589,795,000.00 via web

    I thought that was amusing. The foolish arrogance directed at Palin and O’Donnell, not so much.

    I like it when people can acknowledge the good and bad in someone or something. That’s what bugs me the most about the Palin-bashers- they ignore the many psitive things that can be said about her.

    And the reason one would shoot a moose, to paraphrase Gov. Palin, “That’s what we eat up here in Alaska”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  168. Aphrael,

    Thanks for your observation about Palin’s real America comments. I hadn’t thought of it that way but you are spot on.

    VOR2 (079cd2)

  169. No, you’re not, as I may have pointed out, I’m atypical for a Palin supporter, I’m Latin and live
    in a major Metropolitan area, down here in South Florida.

    But there is no doubt that she has a deep belief in what this country can be again. That was never true of Obama, for reasons passing understanding, those in his circle of acquaintanceship, imparted a deep disdain for this country, something that would have been apparent to those who did the most preliminary research.

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  170. If KCET bolts NPR, we here in L.A. won’t be losing much as there’s another NPR outlet in Pasadena,

    I thought KCET was affiliated with PBS, not NPR. If so, the confusion isn’t surprising. After all, either one, and both, are full of “liberalism makes us wonderful, kind-hearted, sophisticated, urbane, beautiful!” sentiment.

    Mark (411533)

  171. ___________________________________________

    something that would have been apparent to those who did the most preliminary research.

    Even a blind-deaf-mute person from way before November 2008 could have detected the grotesque, corrupt nature of the guy now in the White House. Two words: “Jeremiah Wright.”

    Mark (411533)

  172. If one looks at how much of television, movies, music, and policial opinion are dominated by California, New York, and DC, and then looks on a map as to what percentage of the US land that represents, it points out a significant truth, that a very small percentage of the US (geographically) dominates “the rest”. The nick-name “fly-over country” suggests that this vast majority of the American landscape “doesn’t count”. Not only do the majority of us “not count”, but we are “racist” (“There is no question that Western Pennsylvania is a racist area…”- Murtha) and “bitter clingers” (Pres. Obama), uneducated, “trailer trash”, etc. etc.

    If you want to take issue with Palin for saying to a group of “fly-over uneducated trailer trash” who make up the majority of the US that they are the “real America”, not the elites who control things in CA, NYC, DC, go ahead.

    On the other hand, if you don’t agree with writing off “flyover country”, if you think the US military has a valid function in protecting the US, if you think the US has a reasonable responsibility to secure the borders of the country, just as you have the right to secure the borders of your home, and you think people in Iowa (for example) might have better ideas on solving their problems than people in DC, NYC, or LA, then maybe you’re really a “misplaced” “real American”.

    I have little problem saying that people who show contempt for the majority, who would refuse to physically defend our nation under attack, who think there is really no Nation anyway (just wrongheaded “national borders” that need to be done away with) are not “real Americans”. Many of them would be proud to have that label, defined in that way.

    Disagreeing on even fundamental things does not divide people into “real” and “not real” Americans, but if one essentially contemptuously denies the validity of others to believe what they believe, let alone express it or even (“something” forbid) live by it, that is a pretty decisive difference. The only issue is who gets to lay claim to being “Americans”, and whether or not one is using a historical meaning or an Orwellian.

    I guess we’ll know things are really bad when people no longer understand what a reference to Orwell signifies. Do they still read 1984 or Brave New World in school anymore?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  173. JVW, exactly what great quality/skill/experience does Christine O’Donnell posses that qualifies her to be a United States senator other than ‘I’m not a Democrat’?

    Fiorina, Paul and Angle have experience. They’re qualified to run, agree with their positions or not.

    JEA (90eb9c)

  174. Her qualifications for the Senate are quite similar to Barcky’s qualifications when he chose to run for President, except she is not as skilled on the teleprompter. There are actual qualifications for the Senate, which she meets. JEA is just proving what we already knew about it.

    JD (b49131)

  175. “I think Palin’s “what I like to call the Real America” statement is the most disturbing thing she’s said, and a good parallel to Obama’s “bitter clinger” moment”

    But there is no doubt that she has a deep belief in what this country can be again

    I think the former is a wilful misunderestimation of the speaker’s intent. Real America is its backbone, its spine.

    I’m smart enough to work and socialize with engineers, physicians and academics. When an individual’s IQ much exceeds 160 they begin to break contact with me, the merely intelligent.

    I think that will ever be the case in politics. I would put Palin and Obama in the 130s re: their IQ. I could, of course, be off 5 points or so but I would be surprised if any here were much smarter.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  176. RE: Real America.

    I’ve a dear old friend, or rather he has made one of me, about 90.

    He started out WWII as a private in N. Africa and finished, alone from his original company, a Master Sergeant in Berlin post-hostilities. Had a single R&R stateside after a winter on his own in the Apenines, an empty shell. A former trucker, evangelical, he’s a sweet soul, salt of the earth.

    Most of us are not cut of that cloth, but it is passing strange that we should be offended to so acknowledge the fact.

    gary gulrud (790d43)


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