Celebrities are notorious for saying some of the most outrageously asinine things that can be imagined. Tom Cruise, the master of glibness, has a streak of about 20 years of this, as does Jon Voight. These aren’t sane men, at least not if their silly comments are a peek into their actual worldview, and not just moments of confusion in front of the cameras. It doesn’t matter what their political views are, bat-shit insane extends throughout the whole spectrum. We expect this from them, and the other people famous for memorizing lines of dialogue, but Sarah Palin? She has a special place in the bat-shit insane category–a place reserved for those that should know better, but are just far too dumb to understand.
Politicians seeking the highest offices of the nation are supposed to be intelligent. They need to have the wherewithal to analyze and solve problems of such magnitude that history is affected by their decisions. A sound base of understanding and capability to piece together the various doctrines set forth by the forefathers and the preceding great administrators of our democracy is absolutely mandatory to make such decisions. One of the most basic of these doctrines is the Bill of Rights.
We should be able to expect that someone put forth as a major party candidate has a firm understanding of the Bill of Rights. It’s only twenty seven amendments that need to be understood, and one of those was repealed, simplifying the task. With sixteen years in politics, no matter the level she was serving at, one could reasonably expect Sarah Palin to have a firm grasp of these simple concepts. However, she has fallen far short of reasonable expectation, and her latest insight into the Bill of Rights leaves us no doubt as to the level of idiocy she has attained.
For those that have refused to read, or even take a quick gander at the Bill of Rights, here’s the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
There’s six main points within the this amendment, so let’s just take “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…”
Sarah Palin, in all of her glory, stated today:
If [the media] 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.
How monumentally idiotic is this statement? Not all of the marble quarries, in all of the countries on earth, could possibly provide the material to celebrate this idiocy with a monument fittingly large enough. It’s that convoluted, that moronic, and that far off from what the First Amendment deals with. We expect more from a major party nominee for Vice President.
Let’s just deal with her First Amendment right to free speech, for the time being. She has the right to say a lot of things–there is no denying this–and she’s speaking very, very freely. Some could argue that she’s even riding a fine line between free speech, and speech that is slanderous (per se). I won’t go into that here, as slander is tort law, and we’re just dealing with the First Amendment in a more pure state.
She hasn’t been stopped, by any party, from speaking. Many, if not most, of her speeches are televised, broadcast around the country, and the world, for billions to hear. There has been no speech filter placed between herself and the masses huddled in front of the evening news, and no attempt to stop her from spouting off what she wants to on the stages constructed for that purpose. Her freedom of speech has not only not been denied, it has been amplified far beyond the common person’s ability.
Her assertion that the the press is threatening her ability to exercise her freedom of speech is ludicrous. She cites the “fear of attack” by the ‘mainstream media’ as that threat to her freedoms. Nowhere in the First Amendment does it state, nor in any precedent, that the press cannot examine and analyze the speech made by an individual to the point of making that person fearful to speak freely. On the contrary, the press is guaranteed to do such things, right there after the individual’s right to the freedom of speech.
The press needs to be free to criticize Sarah Palin’s various opinions and statements put forth in order for our democracy to function well. It’s not a matter of getting her to stop speaking, or to dissuade her from do so, but to inform the general public of the veracity (or lack thereof) and implications of the various statements she makes. The freedom of the press, especially in disseminating information and opinion contrary to that which is put forth by our politicians, is not only in the best interests of the public, it is mandatory for the continuation of informed voting.
This cockamamie argument that the press labeling some of her speech as ‘negative campaigning’ is abridging her freedom of speech is not only wrongheaded, but a dangerous mischaracterization of the First Amendment. Her speech has not been infringed upon in the slightest, and to posit that criticism of her statements by the press is harmful to her First Amendment rights is laughable. That same press, that ‘mainstream media’ that she is attacking is the same press that gives her hour upon hour of coverage…in her own words. She could have even more camera time, if she so chose, but her ineptness as answering even the simplest of questions has made the McCain campaign limit the outlets of her free, and mind-numbingly foolish, speech.
Sarah Palin, spare us your horrifically idiotic interpretations of the First Amendment. Your ignorance knows no bounds. Your freedoms have not been threatened, but if you get elected all of our freedoms will be threatened by your idiocy.