Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sarah Palin goes from bad to worse

Watching the news lately, it's not hard to get the impression that Sarah Palin is dumber than a box of rocks. Take this article in Politico, in which Jonathan Martin casually mentions the fact that in last week's interview with Katie Couric, Palin was unable to discuss or even name a single Supreme Court case other than Roe v. Wade.

Let's pause for a minute to let that sink in. Not a single court case other than Roe v. Wade.

Really? Not even Bush v. Gore? Republicans should love that one. What about Brown v. Board of Education? Miranda v. Arizona? At this point I would even have been happy with the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case or Nix v. Hedden, the landmark decision in which the Court tackled the age-old question of whether a tomato is a fruit or vegetable.

And keep in mind, Katie Couric didn't ask Palin to discuss the long-term ramifications of 1819's McCullough v. Maryland. She just asked the good governor to name a single case, and Palin sat there silently. You know, come to think of it, perhaps I'm being unfair to the rocks.

Now it looks like Fox News is giving Sarah Palin a do-over so she can re-answer all the questions she horribly mangled over the last two weeks. Apparently when you know the questions ahead of time, you can study some Supreme Court cases and learn their names. Obviously this is exactly the same as stealing the exam the night before the test (the vice-presidency doesn't come with a Mulligan), but that's not the issue here.

Buried in the article, Palin says the following:
As we send our young men and women overseas in a war zone to fight for democracy and freedoms, including freedom of the press, we've really got to have a mutually beneficial relationship here with those fighting the freedom of the press, and then the press, though not taking advantage and exploiting a situation, perhaps they would want to capture and abuse the privilege.
Excuse me? The press abuses its freedoms that the troops fight for? As a member of the press, it's no hyperbole when I say this offends me on the deepest possible level. Because we support an active fourth estate as the best way to maintain an open government, we're abusing our freedom?

There are almost no words to describe what an idiotic statement this is. The fact that an elected official, much less a candidate for the vice-presidency, would ever insinuate such a thing is morally reprehensible -- not just on her, but on every man and woman in America who would even consider supporting her, thus supporting her views. That's a pretty strong statement, so let me be clear: by suggesting the press abuses its freedom, she is thereby insinuating she supports limits on that freedom. There's no leap to be made here; it's simple logic.

There's a reason the Framers put that amendment first, but don't ask me. Ask Thomas Jefferson, who had a few things to say on freedom of the press:
"Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it." (To John Jay, 1786)

"The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure." (To the Marquis de Lafayette, 1823)
So I think it's pretty clear where he stands, and the disdain he would have for someone of Palin's mindset. But then, I doubt Palin has ever bothered to read anything by the Framers, so it's kind of a moot point.

Even setting aside her staggering ignorance -- and you shouldn't -- Sarah Palin's governmental and social advocacies are a slippery slope, the bottom of which I can't even imagine. I pray America never has to.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Republicans are such classy people

This button is being sold at the Texas State Republican Convention. I don't think I need to say anything else.