Right Thinking From The Left Coast
No legacy is so rich as honesty - William Shakespeare

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

O’Donnell Flubs the First

This is why I was unhappy when Christine O’Donnell won the nomination in Delaware:

For those of you who don’t want to watch, O’Donnell didn’t know about the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment. The audience broke out into laughter.

O’Donnell and her defenders are trying to spin, saying she was questioning the phrasing, not the concept.  They may have a point—it’s possible O’Donnell simply got lost in a memorized and bogus talking point about the expression “separation of church and state” not being written in the Constitution.  Of course, the concept is clearly there and was later expounded upon by the actual framers. People who jump on the phraseology to claim that Separation of Church and State is a myth are the Right Wing’s answer to the Left Wingers who claim there is no Right to Bear Arms because the Second Amendment only protects “militias.”

(Incidentally, this flub-and-defend dance is a repeating pattern with Christine and her defenders.  A few weeks ago, a video surfaced of O’Donnell claiming that evolution is a myth because monkeys aren’t evolving into people.  Of course, monkeys don’t evolve into people; monkeys and people share common ancestry but have both evolved and are evolving away from that now extinct creature. But her defenders—Limbaugh notably—defended this ignorance, claiming it was a legitimate point.  It’s not.  It’s never valid to criticize a scientific theory by disputing claims it doesn’t make.)

The thing is that the religious stuff is most interesting thing she’s saying.  Here is a transcript of her earlier debate.  She claims she’ll stop the Bush tax cuts from expiring—an event which happens before she would take office. Her proposed spending cuts are the usual Republican bullshit about canceling what little remains of the stimulus and eliminating “waste” while massively cutting taxes.  She attacks Obamacare for one of its few virtues—controlling Medicare spending.  This should all sound familiar.  Beyond her religious nuttery, she’s just another one of these Republicans who could be easily replaced with a machine that teletypes the same endlessly repeating talking points that are making my eyes glaze over: repeal Obamacare, no Miranda rights for terrorists, seal the border, cut wasteful spending, cut taxes, eliminate the debt, outlaw abortion, global warming is a myth, blah blah blah.

Parts of that might be acceptable if I believed the Republicans meant what they said, but I don’t.  After the last decade, I assume that all Republicans are big-government conservatives until proven otherwise.  I have yet to hear or read anything to convince me that O’Donnell has either the interest or the ability to get our debt under control.  If she doesn’t, what does bring to the table other than religious fundamentalism?  What value is there in trading a fiscally-clueless Democrat for a fiscally-clueless Republican?  If O’Donnell were to follow through on her promises, she would eliminate the coverage mandate while leaving the pre-existing condition law in place, eliminate almost no spending, restore $500 billion in Medicare spending and cut taxes by $3.7+ trillion.  That’s the only situation I can imagine worse than the one we face now.

The crisis our nation is facing is far too important for me to automatically support Republicans over Democrats.  And it’s too important for me to automatically vote for someone because they can spew the usual rhetoric about the debt while promising to make it worse.  There are some people out there who get it.  Paul Ryan gets it.  Mitch Daniels has drawn fire from conservatives for acknowledging that we may need to raise the retirement age and raise taxes (or at least massively overhaul them) to get out of debt. He gets it.  But I have to see that O’Donnell gets it.  About anything.

Update: Bainbridge defends O’Donnell for the reasons above—that the phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the Bill of Rights.  I hate to dispute a fellow Wahoo, especially one smarter than me, but I think Bainbridge is wrong.  In the context of the debate, she was, in my opinion, defending the ability of the state to force religious views—in this case, intelligent design—onto the public.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 10/19/10 at 03:35 PM in Elections   Election 2010  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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