Today in Stupid

Christine O’Donnell is so ignorant it’s actually painful to watch. That’s why I’m not going to post the video of her debate with Chris Coons at Widener School of Law. If you do watch it, you can hear occasional gasps of disbelief from the audience, whom I assume to be mostly law students.

I think what makes this video so unbearable for me is the way O’Donnell hammily mugs for the audience, as if she sincerely believes she is scoring points and that the audience must agree with her. But the audience more likely saw her as the mutant love child of Anita Bryant and Zippy the Pinhead.

The other bit of news of teh Stupid is from the New York Times. Reporter Michael Cooper prowled about at a Republican women’s club barbecue in Huntersville, North Carolina, to interview the guests. Apparently everyone there believed their federal income taxes had been increased during the Obama Administration. When informed their federal taxes actually had been reduced, at least a few admitted they hadn’t noticed what they were paying in federal taxes.

Yet, no doubt they were mad as hell about their taxes, anyway.

19 thoughts on “Today in Stupid

  1. Man she is a real imbecile. I’ll bet that after getting her ass handed to her on election night she’ll become a right-wing media darling. Those dimwitted teabaggers they just love their politicians and pundits dumb as posts!

  2. Without the first amendment there would not be a United States of America. O’ Donnell evidently never read, or understood the history of the ratification of the Constitution. The greatest obstacle our forefathers had to overcome aside from independence was how do you get thirteen colonies all with different religiously predominate governments to agree to come together in a union with one overall government? Simple…Make it a secular government with a guarantee that the new government shall not pass any laws respecting the establishment of religion or the free excessive thereof.
    That’s why America is so great!. Our forefathers took the power of government from the church(God) and gave to us, the people.

  3. O’Donnell is an evangelical with a slice-and-dice view of the Constitution in the same way evangelicals slice-and-dice a few verses from the bible. O’Donnell is right – there is NO explicit statute in the Constitution which separates church and state. There is however an explicit statute which established the Supreme Court – and Coons is right that the view of the Supreme Court from the earliest court rulings sanctified the opinion of Thomas Jefferson that there must be erected a wall of separation between Church and State. (that’s very nearly a quote of TJ, and that quote was invoked in an early decision of the SC.)

    So in a narrow factual way, ODonnell is right – to evangelicals, she’s citing gospel – but ONLY if you ignore or deny the legitimacy and precedent of two centuries of Supreme Court decisions.

  4. Can someone point where the phrase “separation of church and state” actually appears in the 1st? Wait, it doesn’t? Goodness!

    Maybe y’all should actually try reading the Constitution, instead of your Soros provided talking points, learn something. Then move to the Federalist Papers.

    • Can someone point where the phrase “separation of church and state” actually appears in the 1st? Wait, it doesn’t? Goodness!

      As everyone but wingnuts knows, the phrase “separation of church and state” is a metaphor coined by Thomas Jefferson to explain what the establishment and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment mean. So, the principle of separation of church and state is very much included in the First Amendment, even if the words are not there. And whenever anyone, like you, says “oh, read the Constitution, the phrase isn’t in there,” I know right away that such a person is an utterly anal ignoramus.

      And such separation not only protects government from takeover by religious factions; it also protects religion from interference by government. It’s good for religion, in other words. There is no such separation in China, and Chinese government bureaucracy regulates religion.

  5. It’s amazing. A few of the comments mention – ‘imbecile’ – ‘ass’ – ‘dimwitted’ and ‘narrow’ and along comes William Teach. It’s like the product of an obscene incantation. WTW, Billie, I refuted your argument 30 minutes BEFORE you posted it so I have the free time to devote my comment exclusively to insulting your foolishness.

  6. It’s not O’Donnell’s ignorance that troubles me, it’s her militancy about it. There is something loud and annoying about her voice that has obviously gotten her this far. I hate how she lacks the decency to just shut up and let others talk. And so it’s a pleasure to see her make a blatant fool of herself, out loud, in front of the world.

    And Teach, what’s this jazz about “Soros provided talking points”? As others have noted, the literal wording of the First Amendment is pretty well known, and Coon stated it repeatedly during the debate. It’s also pretty clear that the phrase “separation of church and state” is an interpretation that’s settled and has come down from ages past. It was also very clear that O’Donnell was completely unfamiliar with any of this.

  7. Seriously? People actually make the argument that the exact phrase “separation of church and state” doesn’t exist in the Constitution, as if it’s relevant? Oh. My. Frickin’. God.
    BTW, one really has to watch the video. Just reading the transcript doesn’t capture the self-satisfied way she keeps talking, as if she’s tricked Coons into a massive gaffe. Wow.

    And, just in case there’s anyone here who doesn’t know where the actual phrase came from, a quote from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802:

    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

    For interpretation of the Constitution, I’ll take Jefferson over O’Donnell or the predictable Mr. Teach.

    Or, to borrow the vernacular, “the stupid, it burns!”

  8. Teach.. I don’t believe you’re as dense as your comment would indicate. I think you’re being playfully antagonistic because you need to feel loved even if that desperately needed love takes the form of ridicule and rejection. Seriously, I doubt that anybody, short of being a moron, could not grasp the meaning and intention of the first amendment. Your quibble is not appreciated and it reflects poorly upon your intellect. Try to get serious because I have a suspicion you’re capable of intelligent thought….Usually Maha just tosses commenters who post obnoxiously stupid comment into the twit filter, but she takes the time to respond to you. So therefore I have to assume she also sees a redeemable quality in you.

  9. People actually make the argument that the exact phrase “separation of church and state” doesn’t exist in the Constitution, as if it’s relevant? Oh. My. Frickin’. God.

    I’ve been seeing this for years. The dimwits actually think this proves something.

  10. So therefore I have to assume she also sees a redeemable quality in you.

    I’m actually not sure why I put up with Teach, except that on some level he amuses me.

  11. On the other topic of people not being aware of their tax cuts… I believe this is true across the board. Plenty of average people on both sides of the political spectrum are unaware of this. Sometimes I feel the Democrats or more specifically, the White House, have failed to get the message out on what they’ve accomplished. Sure, there are those who refuse to listen, much less believe the facts, but there are those who simply haven’t heard anything other than that their taxes went up or are going to go up. I don’t know if I should be more frustrated by the White House or the media or simply disappointed by the general public’s unwillingness to pay attention. Perhaps the answer is all of the above.

  12. It’s too bad that after all of these years all he’s proven by commenting here is that Teach can’t be taught.
    Btw, Teach, the Constitution doesn’t explicitly say that you have to stop at red lights or stop signs. If you were the only one that would be injured, I’d say go out and prove your point to the police. But laws are there not only to prevent injury to others, but to you; and to give rights not only to the victims, but to the perpetrators.
    So, in your world Teach, which would you prefer to be the victim in this country, the churches, or the government? Everybody loses then.
    I suggest “building a wall of a seperation between” a man and FOX News, or talk radio…

  13. “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.”

    There it is.

    Furthermore, a recent SCOTUS decision specifically extended “Congress,” as cited in the Constitution, to include legislative bodies at all levels. This was the Chicago gun-control decision, iirc. However, this extension has for most purposes always existed.

    So pretending that a precise sequence of magic words must be present is, to quote Bruce Springsteen, “A little baby’s game.” I agree with Swami; Teach is only pretending to be that stupid. Christine is another matter.

  14. And on the issue of taxes, one of those extreme-right-wing-freakos (running for the Senate in WV) wants to get rid of the inheritance tax.

    The right wing and the teapartiers lead the ignorant to believe that they will have to pay an inheritance tax. Actually 99.75% of us will never be affected by the inheritance tax. If you have an estate worth over $3.5 MILLION, you will be hit by it.

    I do not know anyone who will have to pay an inheritance tax. Not even my father-in-laws heirs when he passes because his 120 acres of prime farm land in western Ohio, is worth, at most, only $900,000.

  15. I suppose I am being foolish to make an honest attempt to make sense of this. I truly think that it goes back to my old saw, “dysfunctional literacy”. I know some fairly successful people who understand only the literal aspects of the written word. The world of metaphor simply does not exist for them. One can imagine that the Bible would be a much different read for people with dysfunctional literacy, as would the constitution. The obvious question for most people would be, “If the govenment cannot make any law regarding the establishment or free exercise of religion, just how can government engage religion at all?” I may be exhibiting my own limitatons here, and maybe blindly siding with Jefferson, but I think this is effective “separation”. But, for people who are more literally minded it would have to be spelled out exactly or the concept wouldn’t exist.

    Christine O’Donnell also attributed the phrase, “separation of Church and State” to, you guessed it, Hitler.

    Most of my neighbors are intelligent, self educated people. Most also believe that their taxes went up and that the stimulus was a waste of money. They also believe that tax and spending cuts would work their magic and set things right again. I find this a little strange because many own small businesses which are suffering due to lack of demand. I would like to ask them which would most likely allow them to hire new employees, a tax cut or increased demand? Their businesses currently have excess capacity, so I wonder why none seem to have asked themselves this question.

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  17. I saw a blurb for a judge running for office in my state. It started “strict constitutionalist Christian…”. It was very helpful; I didn’t need to read the rest. “Constitutionalist” is “rightie-talk” for “I haven’t read it”; and shoving one’s religion into one’s self-description for public office is just plain offensive.

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