Thursday, October 2, 2008

Palin's SCOTUS Gaffe

To her credit, the problem was not that Palin couldn't name any SCOTUS case, it was that she couldn't name one other than Roe that she disagreed with. That's still pretty sad. She doesn't disagree with Kelo? Dredd Scott? Plessy v. Ferguson? I'm pretty sure she disagrees with Planned Parenthood v Casey. You'd think for such a staunch pro-lifer, she could have named that one.

Here is a comparison of Palin and Biden's answers on the question:

Now, I have to say that I disagree with part of what Biden says about Roe. Getting close to a consensus in a heterogeneous society is not the job of SCOTUS. They are there to interpret the constitution, and it doesn't matter what the great mob of our "multicultural society of religious people" has to say.

By the way, what about us non-religious people? Don't we count? Of course we don't. Doesn't matter which side of the aisle you are on, you're never gonna stand up for the 15% of the population who have no religion. And atheists? Ohh boy. We don't even deserve to have our voices heard. Sorry, it just really stinks when there is no political party that will give you a voice. It gets annoying having to vote for people who at best act as though you don't exist and at worst think that you are a scourge upon the earth that must be destroyed. Oh well.

Also, apparently Biden's conservative friends haven't actually read the bill of rights. If I was him, I'd tell them to go read the 9th Amendment and then get back to me.

So I'm not perfectly happy with Biden's answer. But Palin's answer is much, much worse. What worries me most about Palin's exchange with Couric isn't that she can't name a SCOTUS case she disagrees with. That shouldn't be the least bit shocking to anyone who has been paying attention. Anyone who hasn't been watching Fox news knows that she's at least one standard deviation below 100. There is only so much information she can fit in that tiny brain of hers, and I'm sure remembering the crazy names she's given to her ever expanding brood probably takes up a lot of storage space already. And keeping an eye on Putin's head probably requires significant intellectual effort.

Rather, what bothers me is that Palin's answer on Roe seems to indicate that she doesn't understand how our system is supposed to work. She thinks abortion is a states issue. Okay. But then she says there is a right to privacy in the constitution, but individual states can best handle the will of the people on that issue. Um... Sarah, honey, if there is a right in the constitution, then the states can't decide to deny it even if it is the will of the people in that state. The Bill of Rights is there to protect our individual rights from the federal government, and the 14th Amendment expands that protection such that it guards us from state action as well. Welcome to the United States of America, Gov. Palin. If you actually want to rule this country, I suggest you figure out how it works first.

Now I'm really interested to find out what her view of the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban is. If abortion is a states issue, then the federal government has no business passing laws about it, and so Palin should oppose that ban on the basis of her federalist principles. Something tells me, though, that she has no opposition whatsoever to the ban.

I don't know about you, but I can't wait for the debate tonight. In case you didn't notice, my pickup switch has been moved from "Cold, rational argumentation" to "Mean, sarcastic argumentation". This should be fun.

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