Tuesday, October 19, 2010

 

What Worries You More? (Things Democrats Don't Want You to Know)

What worries you more?

That the national debt has increased by $3 trillion dollars since Obama took office
New numbers posted today on the Treasury Department website show the National Debt has increased by more than $3 trillion since President Obama took office.

The National Debt stood at $10.626 trillion the day Mr. Obama was inaugurated. The Bureau of Public Debt reported today that the National Debt had hit an all time high of $13.665 trillion.

The Debt increased $4.9 trillion during President Bush's two terms. The Administration has projected the National Debt will soar in Mr. Obama's fourth year in office to nearly $16.5-trillion in 2012. That's more than 100 percent of the value of the nation's economy and $5.9-trillion above what it was his first day on the job.

Mr. Obama frequently lays blame for soaring federal deficits on his predecessor.
Hat tip to Darren.

or, that Christine O'Donnell claims (correctly) that the Constitution doesn't contain any phrase stating "separation of church and state"?

Some are much more concerned about O'Donnell that the huge national debt we're accumulating and leaving to our kids and grandkids. Beats me. It's not like the leftie Democrats have shown and concern for the Constitution and its principles except when it helps them gain power over your personal life.

UPDATE: Law professors agree with my assessment on O'Donnell's statement about the Constitution and separation of church and state.

Professor Glenn Reynolds of the University of Tennessee: At 8:39 AM today - "Once you understand that to the credentialed-instead-of-educated, the Constitution is a wish-fulfillment device rather than, you know, an authoritative text, it all makes sense. And there’s no real need to know or care about the words in the text, since it means whatever you want it to mean at the moment."

And at 2:52 PM "The Constitution stands for things that are good. The things that we want are good. Therefore, the Constitution stands for what we want. QED. How can those dumb wingnuts not understand this simple logic?

Meanwhile, I agree that the O’Donnell focus is a deliberate distraction. But I also think it’s important to use this opportunity — like the Sarah Palin “1773″ brouhaha — to point out that the credentialed gentry class isn’t nearly as smart, and certainly isn’t as well-educated, as it thinks it is. Because, you know, it isn’t.

Perhaps Widener law students can’t be expected to understand constitutional doctrine like Wisconsin or Cornell law professors. But they can be expected to avoid showing their ignorance through ill-mannered displays. One of the underappreciated virtues of good manners is that they help you to avoid making an ass of yourself when you are not as smart as you think you are."

Ann Althouse, professor of law at University of Wisconsin Madison - Says: "Plainly, the Constitution does not say "separation of church and state," so there's nothing stupid there. It's provocative, because many people like that gloss on the text.

...

O'Donnell reacts: "That's in the First Amendment?" And, in fact, it's not. The First Amendment doesn't say "government." It says "Congress." And since the discussion is about what local school boards can do, the difference is highly significant.

Also, it isn't "shall make no establishment of religion." It's "shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." There's a lot one could say about the difference between those 2 phrases, and I won't belabor it here. Suffice it to say that it was not stupid for O'Donnell to say "That's in the First Amendment?" — because it's not. Coons was presenting a version of what's in the cases interpreting the text, not the text itself."

William A. Jacobson, law professor, Cornell University says
The concept of separation of church and state is not, indeed, in the wording of the First Amendment. Rather, as explained in the 1984 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lynch v. Donelly:

This Court has explained that the purpose of the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment is

to prevent, as far as possible, the intrusion of either [the church or the state] into the precincts of the other.

Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602, 614 (1971).

At the same time, however, the Court has recognized that

total separation is not possible in an absolute sense. Some relationship between government and religious organizations is inevitable.

....

So, O'Donnell unquestionably did not agree with the popular liberal conception that the First Amendment by its written terms requires a "separation of church and state," but she was not wrong.

And what an embarrassment to Widener Law School that as soon as O'Donnell questioned whether "separation of church and state" was in the First Amendment, the crowd erupted with gasps of disbelief and mocking laughter.

And if O'Donnell's imperfect -- or perhaps nuanced? -- understanding of the First Amendment were so outrageous, how about the inability of Chris Coons, a Yale Law School graduate, to identify the other freedoms protected by the First Amendment, and his misquoting the text of the First Amendment in his challenge to O'Donnell
Reminds me of the words of a great philosopher: Stupid is as stupid does...

Comments:
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What concerns me about O'Donnell is that she is running on a Constitutionalist platform without understanding basic concepts in the Constitution or how the Supreme Court affects Constitutional law.

She gets a cookie for understanding that the phrase "separation of church and state" is not written into the Constitution.

But she failed to understand A) SCOTUS rulings on school boards and religious doctrine, B) the text of the establishment clause of the First Amendment, and C) that her opponent had called "separation of church and state" an indispensible principle of the US Constitution (a position SCOTUS has a history of supporting).

Though she was correct about a phrase, she was wrong about every important concept, and willfully ignored her opponents actual words in order to catch him in a silly semantic faux pas.
 
O'Donnell's not a candidate that could enthusiastically endorse. I would vote for her in this election but may not if the Dems weren't so far left.

I ridicule and caricaturize people too but I hate being caught with incorrect facts.
 
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