Sarah Palin Defines Ignorance

Has there ever been a more ignorant Vice Presidential nominee from any party?

Surely there’s a difference between not understanding that the First Amendment guarantees a free press and mistakenly spelling potato?

Yet here is Mrs. Palin suggesting that her 1st Amendment rights have possibly been violated because the press is convincing people she’s using negative attacks with her relentless and incessant pounding away at Obama’s supposed connection to terrorists.

“If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations,” Palin told host Chris Plante, “then I don’t know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.”


What’s even more scary is the possibility that many on the far right agree with her.

For the record, here is the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The always perfectly-pitched Glenn Greewald over at Salon provides some excellent perspective on both the amendment itself, and Palin’s own grievance.

If anything, Palin has this exactly backwards, since one thing that the First Amendment does actually guarantee is a free press.  Thus, when the press criticizes a political candidate and a Governor such as Palin, that is a classic example of First Amendment rights being exercised, not abridged.

This isn’t only about profound ignorance regarding our basic liberties, though it is obviously that.  Palin here is also giving voice to the standard right-wing grievance instinct:  that it’s inherently unfair when they’re criticized.  And now, apparently, it’s even unconstitutional.

According to Palin, what the Founders intended with the First Amendment was that political candidates for the most powerful offices in the country and Governors of states would be free to say whatever they want without being criticized in the newspapers.  In the Palin worldview, the First Amendment was meant to ensure that powerful political officials such as herself would not be “attacked” in the papers.  Is it even possible to imagine more breathaking ignorance from someone holding high office and running for even higher office?



Another prominent former Reagan administration official jumps off the GOP ship to endorse Barack Obama.

This time it’s none other than Ken Duberstein, former Chief-of-Staff to the president that Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter, Ingraham, Levin and all the others talk about like he was the second coming (apparently gone).

Sanity prevails.

Check it out here.

I expect the calls for Mr. Duberstein’s court marshal to commence immediately.

Opposites Day

Mark Levin last night said that all Barack Obama has to offer this country is fear.

Sean Hannity has accused Obama of “talking down America every chance he gets.”

Are they listening to the same guy I’m listening to?

I’d like to use the words of another blogger (actually two of them) in response:

If you are undecided – and I am at a complete loss for how you could be – please consider the following:

Which party has been screaming terrorist, socialist, Marxist, murder him and kill him… and which party has been talking about hope and unity.

Which party has been throwing everything but the kitchen sink at you everyday for the past two weeks hoping to scare you into thinking that there is an Un-American part of the country… and which party has been sayng that there is no red America and no blue America but only the United States of America.

Which party thinks war is the answer to everything… and which party has suggested that maybe we need to sit down and talk this out to see if peace is possible.

Why can’t I just be OK with the fact that right-wingers love to accuse Democrats of being everything they, themselves, are?

Why can’t I just be OK with the fact that right-wingers love to accuse Democrats of doing everything they, themselves, do?

I keep hearing about activist judges, when their lot pulled off the greatest single incident of activist judgment the world has ever seen:

With one reckless and partisan ruling, [the Supreme Court] squandered its most precious possession: its reputation. It may take years, even decades, to repair the damage done by the Scalia-Rehnquist court’s decision to cancel the election and crown the winner.

Perfect justice does not exist. But this was judicial folly, politically explosive and judicially threadbare. This was the court stepping in and awarding victory to one side before the game was over. Even those of us who don’t often agree with the court’s conservative majority expected better.

As Justice Stevens wrote in his savage dissent, “The position by the majority of this court can only lend credence to the most cynical appraisal of the work of judges throughout the land … Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.”

And just last week, Sean Hannity claimed on his program that if UN workers can be sent to other countries to oversee elections, why can’t they be sent to the US?

In fact, Jimmy Carter suggested such action in 2004 in light of the election heist of 2000, while Michael Moore was pleading for Carter and the UN to head down to Florida way back in 2000.

But now that it looks like voters are likely to initiate another Democratic wave this election, all the right-wingers are crying voter fraud.

Boo… Hoo…

It’s always opposites day on right-wing radio. Look in the mirror, guys. You’re all staring at yourselves.

Must be real frustrating when the shoe is on the other foot. It’s all they can talk about.

The Commercial – Fuzzy Math?

Senator Obama has said for months that families making under $250,000 will not see a single cent in tax increases from his administration. His website also states this.

Then last night on his 30-minute infomercial, he said he would “cut taxes for any family making less than $200,000 a year.” As he spoke, his words were printed on the screen, very clearly — families making less than $200,000 a year.

At first that sounds like he keeps lowering the number (after Joe Biden said $150K the other day, you have to wonder, right)?

I just checked the Obama tax calculator.

If you enter $200-250K and select no kids, the difference between what you pay now and what you’d pay under an Obama administration is $0. However, if you do select that you have 2 or 3 kids, it does not say $0, it says, “You probably will not get a tax cut under the Obama-Biden plan.”

I’m sure Rush and Hannity will be talking about this all day though as proof that they’ll just keep lowering the numbers. I can hear it now. “Biden says $150,000, Obama says $250,000, then $200,000. Why not $100,000? Why not $50,000? Why can’t they keep their number straight?”

This time, I happen to agree.

You have to keep the phrasing the same. Memorize the number, choose your angle, and don’t go back on it. Do you want to say, “Under $200K will get a tax cut?” Or do you want to say “If you make under $250K, your taxes won’t go up one cent?”

Just pick a number and stick with it.

Or are you trying to give the Republican talking heads something to talk about other than William Ayers and Reverend Wright for the next few days?

Clinton and Obama in FL

Last night at midnight, on the heels of Barack Obama’s 30-minute primetime infomercial broadcast on seven networks, Bill Clinton gave a fantastic speech to 35000 people in Orlando, Florida. He made the case in detailed specifics why America should vote for Obama next Tuesday. Check it out.