Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tea Party Candidate Hearts US Constitution

But Christine O'Donnell doesn't know what's in it.

I'm sure she likes the Bible a lot, too.

No wonder the preferred campaign strategy is silence.

She also addressed her widely publicized unfamiliarity with the Supreme Court of the United States, and specific decisions made in the past:

O'Donnell began by defending herself for not being able to name a recent Supreme Court decision with which she disagrees at a debate last week. She said she was stumped because she largely agrees with the court's recent decisions under conservative chief justices John Roberts and William Rehnquist.

One can only hope a sharp moderator then followed up by asking her to name one she agreed with and why.

Updated Summary: Because in a world where Christianity requires no knowledge of the Bible, and being a Constitutional Constructionist requires no knowledge of the Constitution, it stands to reason that you can use politics to convince people that a tax cut was a tax increase.



jeffrey said...

My take on O'Donnell.. as well as the generally lame response of Democrats everywhere to the Tea Party gambit is pretty similar to what Peter Daou has to say here.


DADvocate said...

The phrase "separation of church and state" is not expressly stated in the United States Constitution. And, was not established as a principle of law until the Supreme Court rules on Everson v. Board of Eduction in 1947. Technically, O'Donnell is correct.

Of course, since you want to score cheap points, you ignore history, the facts and that people can disagree with the Supreme Court. You prove this be including the Pew link and implying she falls into the not knowing categories when you actually have no idea.

The bigger question is, "How bad are the Democrats that such a raw, unpolished, inexperienced opponent is such a threat?" Plus, Does she believe Guam can capsize?

DADvocate said...

Mean while, O'Donnell's opponent, Chris Coons, can't name the five freedoms in the first amendment. Don't you just love that objective reporting in the MSM? I expect bias from a lowly blogger.

DADvocate said...

And, a bunch of lefties are too stoopid to get Sarah Palin's "party like it's 1773" reference.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

First of all, O'Donnell begins getting things wrong almost immediately in the clip I've seen, by claiming the inability to teach religious doctrine as science in public schools is a "blatant violation of the US Constitution." She continues her level of epic fail, and her abysmal knowledge of US History and Constitutional Law by saying SCOTUS has always protected the rights of local school boards to make such decisions.

The Supreme Court disagrees with candidate O'Donnell, on a level approaching farce. Maybe if she read a little bit about this subject, she'd find a wealth of SCOTUS cases she could disagree with by name.

Because it isn't Coons who is saying "it is not [the school board's] right" to teach creationism or intelligent design, it is the Supreme Court of the United States of America through their long and storied Constitutional purpose as arbiters of the United States Constitution.

And if we're splitting hairs, Coons never says that "seperation of church and state" is "in the Constitution," but is one of the "indispensible principles" of the US Constitution, that the seperation of church and state derives from the First Amendment, and then reads the establishment clause text from the First Amendment.

To which O'Donnell asks, "that's in the First Amendment?"

And he is correct in that, the establishment clause is there, and the seperation has been supported by a wealth of cases before the Judiciary, and the words of the founding fathers themselves.

These are not cheap points, they do not ignore history, and she demonstrates several times over the 8 minute clip I watched demonstrate conclusively that she has no idea what she is talking about. She is a hack, using a political campaign unseriously as a vehicle for fame.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

And the earliest mention of seperation I can find is Watson vs Jones, 1871, though you have to get down to about page "729" to find the good stuff (it isn't really 729 pages):

"In this country, the full and free right to entertain any religious belief, to practice any religious principle, and to teach any religious doctrine which does not violate the laws of morality and property and which does not infringe personal rights is conceded to all. The law knows no heresy, and is committed to the support of no dogma, the establishment of no sect. The right to organize voluntary religious associations to assist in the expression and dissemination of any religious doctrine, and to create tribunals for the decision of controverted questions of faith within the association and for the ecclesiastical government of all the individual members, congregations, and officers within the general association, is unquestioned.

I was able to find that in 15 minutes of google searching, yet a candidate for the US Senate is unable to take this issue seriously enough to do so.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

I'd take Malkin more seriously if she actually listened to the exchange. Coons didn't say the words were in the US Constitution, but that the establishment clause was, the indespensible idea was, and that the US Supreme Court had a wealth of decisions on this very subject. All true.

And ignoring an unserious opponent's flailing to coverup her own ignorance and change the subject is not the same thing as not knowing the answer to the unserious opponent's question.

So, yes, the MSM ignores that nonexistant "flub" because it only exists on right wing blogs.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

And, Jeffrey, Daou's take on O'Donnell is close, but he's still missing her purpose.

He's right that the geas of the Limbaughs, Hannities, O'Reilly's and Becks of the world, aside from pure entertainment, is to move the conversation to the far right and then let the political leaders negotiate hard right "compromises."

He's also right that Democratic political strategists don't have a clue.

But O'Donnell isn't signaling anything to "the base." There is no such base in Deleware. She's unserious, and only out to get attention in a losing campaign. Her only role is to play the lightning rod, distracting the Democrats and MSM while other candidates make moves.

It is a role she was born to play, and she does it very well.

DADvocate said...

You linked to an article that said "to show where the Constitution requires separation of church and state," and nothing more. Now you equivocate. You want to use rationalizations for Coons and his lack of knowledge. I gave you the link to where the "wall of separation between church and state" are firmly established. Nothing new in your links, just history.

You still linked to a Pew Poll that has no specific meaning to O'Donnell unless you use faulty logic.

...it only exists on right wing blogs.

Is this some sort of circular reasoning on your part? Does it only exist on right wing blogs because the MSM ignores it? Or, does the MSM ignore it because it only exists on right wing blogs?

The "serious" candidate, with the "D" for Desperate after his name, can't name the five freedoms in the first amendment and all you can do is attack the messenger. Weak.

The rational foundations of your posts are getting thinner each day.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

After correctly answering where the concept of "seperation of church and state" came from, three seperate times, the Democratic candidate chose to dismiss the raving questions of his Republican opponent and move on.

She had botched her attempt to score a point off semantics, and was attempting to redirect. He did not take the bait.

And as I said before, dismissal of a question is not the same thing as getting the answers to that question wrong.

As far as a rational basis for this post, Christine O'Donnell is running as a Constitutional Constructionist, and yet displays knowledge of neither Constitutional concepts nor SCOTUS decisions that define Constitutional concepts.

Instead, she chooses to try and play with words, doesn't do it well, and gets caught looking stupid. The attempted redirects will not work this time, neither from her nor Malkin.

In short, she got owned. And it happened before they even got to the concept, vernacular and judicial language of "seperation of church and state."

Be happy the MSM is content to focus only on the zinger, and not on Every Other Thing She Got Wrong.

As far as judicial and cultural history is concerned, if you'd like to divorce the concept from the phrase and discuss only the origins of the phrase "seperation of church and state," it should take place in a forum focusing on semantics and vernacular, not Constitutional law.

Because, and this is the point of my last link, we could just as easily call this concept "the law knows no heresy," or any number of things, but "seperation of church and state" is more widely recognized.

The rational basis for my analogy to the Pew study is thus:

People who loudly proclaim themselves to be Constitutional constructionists should be held to a high bar when it comes to Constitutional concepts. But in our current popular culture, claiming to be something requires no actual knowledge of your topic.

Therefore, this candidate who declares her personal fealty to the Constitution knows little of the actual Constitution; just like many self-proclaimed Christians know very little regarding their own theology.

What has become important to our society is not the knowledge, but the proclamation of knowledge, and that is a dangerous, dangerous place.