Campaign LOLz

October 19, 2010 • 12:33 pm

Democrat Jack Conway is in a tight race with Republican Rand Paul for election to the Senate seat from Kentucky.  What better way to defeat someone in that God-fearing state than to question his devotion to Christianity?

And of course Paul has struck back, asserting that he “keeps Christ in his heart” and accusing Conway of “bearing false witness.”

See the full story in The Washington Post.

And, Christine O’Donnell, debating the issue of evolution with opponent Chris Coons, shows she doesn’t have the slightest idea what’s in the First Amendment.

O’D (at 2:49):  “Where in the Constitution is the separation of Church and State?”  Audience: loud laughter.

If she wasn’t already going to lose, this would have done it, for despite all the ignorance of her supporters, they don’t like to think they’re ignorant.

37 thoughts on “Campaign LOLz

  1. Well, okay, asserting that “separation of church and state” does not appear in the constitution is not ignorance — it’s obstinance. There’s an important difference here. It is true those words never appear. It’s just the denial that the Establishment clause is clearly meant to imply a separation that is the problem. But it is not a problem of ignorance of the text itself, only of a refusal to parse the meaning.

    I only mention this because O’Donnell is so disconnected from reality in so many other ways, I wouldn’t want to focus on an area where she is technically (though not materially) correct.

    Also — burn her! She’s a witch!

    1. O’Donnell’s First Amendment confusion?

      *** UPDATE TWO *** O’Donnell campaign manager Matt Moran sends along this statement: “In this morning’s WDEL debate, Christine O’Donnell was not questioning the concept of separation of church and state as subsequently established by the courts. She simply made the point that the phrase appears nowhere in the Constitution.

      My favourite rejoinder to that is to ask the (undoubtedly Christian right wing) claimant where in their Bible the word “trinity” appears.

    2. You would be right, except the quote goes on to show that even Coons went on to quote the language of the Establishment Clause to her, she didn’t think *that* was in the Constitution either.

    1. Yeah, exactly! She’s grinning like a buffoon, oh, wait …

      She thinks she scored a point, but totally missed it.

    2. It’s usually taboo to laugh at really stupid people for their stupidity, but I’m glad we make exceptions for politicians.

  2. The better quotation from O’Donnell is at 7:05 in the video. As reported by the NYT:

    “When Mr. Coons offers a shorthand of the relevant section, saying, “government shall make no establishment of religion,” Ms. O’Donnell replies, “That’s in the First Amendment?””.

    Right-wing crazies like to point out that the phrase “separation of church and state” isn’t in the Constitution (as if the phrase matters), and the O’Donnell PR hacks are trying to spin her comment in this direction.

    But Coons comes close to the actual text of the First Amendment, and O’Donnell really has no clue that he’s quoting it.

    1. Ah, see yes, now that’s exactly why my point at #3 is important.

      “‘The separation of church and state’ does not appear in the Constitution” is technically correct, though obstinately over-literal and mostly stoopid. Denying that “Congress shall make no law…establish[ing]…religion” appears in the constitution is just pig-ignorant.

      You can see her hesitate for just a moment, too. She’s just sapient enough to recall the gist of the talking point — “It doesn’t actually say those words, nananabooboo!” — but she can’t recall the specifics enough to know if he’s now quoting exactly, paraphrasing (which he is doing), or if he’s using one of the alternate formulations found in the Federalist Papers that conservatives like to shit their petty pedantry all over.

      Frankly, I’m not impressed by Coons in that exchange either. I don’t think I could recite the entire First Amendment word for word…but “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion” ought to flow from a politically-minded American’s lips like their own house address.

      1. I agree. Clearly she’s just imbibed the talking point that the Constitution doesn’t say “separation of church and state” in so many words, and she’s mostly clueless about the actual wording — and more importantly the meaning — of the First Amendment (and the rest of the Constitution).

        I agree that it would have been nice if Coons had actually nailed the text of the amendment (and pressed the point, for that matter), but in comparison to O’Donnell . . .

      2. James,

        Respectfully, I fail to see how your point is important. There see to be two interpretations of what she’s saying.

        1. She has no idea what is in the Constitution.

        2. She has some vague recollection of a talking point about separation of church and state not being in there, but since she has no idea what is actually in the Constitution she doesn’t even understand that point.

        In both cases, she has no idea what is in the Constitution.

        1. Right. She knows that the exact language “separation of church and state” does not appear in the document, but for her this is strictly a matter of trivia. It’s obvious that she didn’t learn that little tidbit from reading—and certainly not from understanding—the document. So O’Donnell “knows” it in about the same way my parakeet “knows” she wants a cracker.

          I’ve gone crazy trying to educate people like O’Donnell about this very question. While they are smart enough (most times) to grasp the fact that even though the exact language isn’t there, the principle is, they will never quite understand because theirs is a faith position. O’Donnell just doesn’t believe that Good Christian Men like the founders (deists mostly, but whatever) would support, let alone author, any idea that even resembles this supposed “separation of church and state.” Moreover, she doesn’t give a shit about the Constitution or the Enlightenment principles on which it was based. Part of her Christian nationalist theology says that those men were Good Christians—which means they basically believed all the same things she does. It doesn’t matter what the historical record actually says: she believes it, and that makes it true.

        2. Respectfully, this is why my point is important:

          The two possibilities you mention are what I take as reality now that physicalist pointed out the actual point of the exchange and I viewed the video (Jerry didn’t identify at what point it occurred, and sorry, but I am not under any circumstances going to subject myself to eight straight minutes of O’Donnell. No WAY.) Prior to having that point out, there was a third possibility 3) She is aware of what is in the Constitution, but since she doesn’t like what it implies given the historical context (e.g. the Federalist Papers), she stubbornly ignores that historical context and probes the original language for the slightest bit of wiggle room.

          That third possibility still would have made her a total asshole, but it is less shockingly ignorant. However, as physicalist points out, that is not a possibility given the remainder of the exchange. That’s why my point is important. It proves she’s not just a theocratic jerkoff — she’s also dumb as a post.

  3. My favorite part about the Kentucky thing is that no one realizes that “Agua Buddha” refers to a bong. So he was probably stoned when he said that.

      1. If I lived there I would take solace in bourbon, BBQ and Bill Monroe (+ the Bluegrass museum in Owensboro).

  4. Coons, however, gets the scientific meaning of “theory.” Also, in a less stressed setting the words from the first amendment may indeed have rolled off his tongue. He was being interrupted. He also ignored her attempt to disassociate creationism and ID and then rolled the two together, which tells me he knows exactly whereof he speaks.

  5. It bothers me that Conway (1)attacked Paul’s religious views (despite protestations to the contrary) and (2) distracted from the real issues facing Kentucky voters. On both counts, Conway failed to practice the best of politics. The voters of Kentucky deserve better.

  6. Jesus Christ, but these people are pathetic.

    How is it, in this day and age, that we can have politicians falling all over themselves to profess their undying love for a sadistic ancient Middle Eastern war god with a zombie bastard spawn?


  7. I love the Kentucky exchange. First, Conway seems to make the reprehensible suggestion that, even though it isn’t permitted, a religious test for office might be a good idea. Then Paul, rather than challenging that, apparently decides just to lie outright. Rand Paul keeps Jesus in his heart… Yeah, Rand, I keep Jesus in my shirt pocket.

    As for O’Donnell, Delaware Republicans will be boring their adult children with that one for a generation or two. “You say you don’t want to vote in the primary? Yeah, well, I didn’t want to vote in the primary in 2010, and do you know what happened?”

  8. Hahahaha; poor O’Donnell. Well, as Gump’s mother would say: stupid is as stupid does.

    No matter how I try to spin this one, O’Donnell comes out an ignorant chump. Perhaps she’s not aware of the Bill of Rights. Perhaps she’s not aware that the Bill of Rights are amendments to the constitution. Perhaps she’s not aware that the constitution may be amended. Perhaps she’s not aware that amendments to the constitution are part of the constitution (though historians and lawyers need to distinguish the various effective versions and the dates those versions came into effect). Has she done her “christian nation” bit yet? I would have missed it if she did because I’m so not interested in her.

  9. In the U.S., half the population doesn’t vote. The other half does vote, but based upon superficial issues such as religious conviction and whether or not you’d have a beer with so and so.

    Sadly, both of the above stances seem more sensible than voting on the candidates’ supposed policy commitments, which are usually downright lies – at least the public knows O’Donnell isn’t lying about her absurd religious beliefs.

    (stealing Gandhi’s bit): What do I think of American democracy? Sounds like a good idea.

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