Daily Archives: March 3, 2011

Palin Displays Her Constitutional Ignorance Yet Again.

She is like a pet parrot that keeps repeating the same thing over and over again regardless of context. You cannot have reasoned discourse with a parrot and you cannot have reasoned discourse with Sarah Palin. The former ex-quitting half-term Governor of Alaska is, without question, the most ignorant pseudo-politician on this nation’s national political stage. She made that evident once again yesterday when she commented on the Supreme Court’s 8 to 1 decision in the Westboro Baptist Church case.

By an overwhelming majority (something that is more rare than $3.00 gas), the usually bitterly divided Supreme Court of the United States held that members of the Westboro Baptist Church had a right to promote what they call a broad-based message on public matters such as wars, by means of holding angry, anti-gay protests at the funerals of U.S. military members. The father of a fallen Marine had sued the small church, saying those protests amounted to targeted harassment and an intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Court disagreed and upheld the church’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

At issue was a delicate test between the privacy rights of grieving families and the free speech rights of demonstrators, however disturbing and provocative their message. The radically conservative Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority,

“Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker.” Instead, the national commitment to free speech, he said, requires protection of “even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.”

The New York Times wrote, “Chief Justice Roberts used sweeping language culled from the First Amendment canon of foundational decisions in setting out the central place free speech plays in the constitutional structure. “Debate on public issues should be robust, uninhibited and wide-open,” he wrote, because “speech on public issues occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values.”‘

Also from the Times, “Chief Justice Roberts wrote that two primary factors required a ruling in favor of the church. First, he said, its speech was on matters of public concern. While the messages on the signs carried by its members “may fall short of refined social or political commentary,” he wrote, “the issues they highlight — the political and moral conduct of the United States and its citizens, the fate of our nation, homosexuality in the military and scandals involving the Catholic clergy — are matters of public import.” Second, the members of the church “had the right to be where they were.” They were picketing on a public street 1,000 feet from the site of the funeral; they complied with the law and with instructions from the police, and they protested quietly and without violence.” Hence, “Any distress occasioned by Westboro’s picketing turned on the content and viewpoint of the message conveyed, rather than any interference with the funeral itself.”’

So you see, it is obvious that this particular case dealt with the First Amendment’s protection of the right to free speech from government interference. That is, the legal basis of the decision is obvious to everyone except the ignorant Sarah Palin. Within hours of the decision, Palin took to the sophomoric means of communication known as Twitter and tweeted,

“Common sense & decency absent as wacko “church” allowed hate msgs spewed@ soldiers’ funerals but we can’t invoke God’s name in public square”

Palin, as usual, confuses the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment with the free speech portion. The Estabishment Clause states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”. Together with the Free Exercise Clause (“… or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”), these two clauses make up what are called the “religion clauses” of the First Amendment. Palin fails to understand that merely because one of the parties to this case was a church, it does not mean that the “religion clauses” of the First Amendment are automatically invoked. The Westboro case had nothing to do with the government attempting to limit the  “free exercise” of religion or the separation of church and state.

Sarah Palin has an embarrassing history of invoking the principle of free speech at odd times and well out of context. In 2008 during a radio interview she said, “If they convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations, 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.” You might also recall that back in 2009 after beauty pageant queen Carrie Jean Prejean was criticized by some for her anti-gay marriage stance, Palin said, “The liberal onslaught of malicious attacks against Carrie Prejean for expressing her opinion is despicable. Our Constitution protects us all – not just those that agree with the far left.”  Then, just last year while defending Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who retired after she faced intense criticism for using the N-word on her radio show. Palin tweeted,

“Dr.Laura:don’t retreat…reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence”isn’t American,not fair”)” and “Dr.Laura=even more powerful & effective w/out the shackles, so watch out Constitutional obstructionists. And b thankful 4 her voice,America!”

These statements by Sarah Palin prove that she cannot grasp the meaning of the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. She fails to comprehend that it bars the government from halting free speech. It does not have anything to do with whether a person is free to say things without being criticized. The government had taken no action with regard to Prejean’s, Schlessinger’s or to Palin’s words. Moreover, members of the public had every right to criticize those words. To paraphrase Justin Elliott from Salon.com, under Palin’s warped interpretation of the First Amendment, criticism of those persons with whom she agrees is unconstitutional, but peaceful protests with a message she does not agree with should be prohibited.

It is obvious why it took Sarah Palin six years at five safety-schools before obtaining a college degree. She is not very smart.

Please remember to click on the song link below to familiarize yourselves with the tune and to have more fun singing along with today’s very topical song parody.

Woman” song link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaToLHdWpMw&feature=fvst

PALIN

(sung to the John Lennon song “Woman”)

Palin, I can hardly express,
My great amusement at your ignorance
The Constitution, you just do not get
Yet Sarah, I will try to express,
My satisfaction and thankfulness,
For showing me your endless helplessness
Oooh well, well,
Oooh well, well,

Palin, why can’t you understand,
Peaceful protests should not be banned
Please remember the Founding Fathers’ plans
And Sarah, you are a work of art
Like felt wall-hangings you find at Walmart
Pretty soon you’ll be “Dancing With The Stars”
Oooh well, well,
Oooh well, well,

Well,
Palin, please let me explain,
You can’t be president if you have no brain.
So let me tell you again and again and again,
I loathe you (yeah, yeah) now and forever,
I loathe you (yeah, yeah) now and forever,
I loathe you (yeah, yeah) now and forever,
I loathe you (yeah, yeah) …

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