Friday, October 31, 2008

Palin to the Supreme Court

Following up on the embarrassingly ignorant response to the question about the role of the vice president showing her total ignorance of the U.S. Constitution, I guess this shouldn't surprise me. But it does. I have this weirdly quaint notion that the people we elect to hold the highest federal offices in the land should have at least a passing familiarity with our laws. I'm a huge dick that way. Given how shockingly, disturbingly, dangerously and cosmically wrong Palin is on this one, I question whether she has ever read the U.S. Constitution even in comic book form.

As reported in the Huffington Post, Palin was interviewed on a conservative (shocker!) radio show this morning and told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama's associations, like those Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Palin suggested that reporters who suggested that this is a negative attack may be threatening her free speech rights under the Constitution. Yes. Seriously.

"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."

Now, here's the thing, this is not just wrong, it's the exact opposite of right. The First Amendment to the Constitution protects Freedom of the Press, not freedom of the government. It ensures the press' right to freely question the government or a political officeholder, and protects the rights OF the press FROM the government. It does NOT protect elected officials from the scrutiny of the press. When the press criticizes a political candidate or an elected official, that is an example of First Amendment rights being exercised, not abridged.

As Rachel Weiner notes, this isn't just a demonstration of profound ignorance of our liberties, it's 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." Well said.


Warm Apple Pie said...

It's the First Amendment, stupid.

Defective Pants said...

I think her misunderstanding of the First Amendment goes one step further. I read her comments as arguing that the press could somehow infringe on her freedom of speech.

Which is a whole other ignorant.

Jack Knowledge said...

Yeah WAP, that's exactly what I said. She is suggesting that the PRESS is violating HER First Amendment rights. That's looney toons!!!

I mean, it's the First Amendment. The FIRST one! Ok, maybe you're not up on the details of the 15th, or you can't name the worst amendment (Prohibition) or the best (repeal of Prohibition!!) but come on, it's the first one.

It is beyond willful ignorance; it's now intentionally subversive.

Jack Knowledge said...

Sorry WAP, that was directed at Defective Pants. And Sidecar, whose spouting off at the mouth is really getting to me lately.