Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Christine O'Donnell uses debate against Chris Coons to reveal her abject ignorance of the Constitution and the foundations of American democracy

Yes, Christine O'Donnell really is stupid -- and, needless to say, utterly unqualified to hold public office, let alone a seat in the U.S. Senate.

It's one thing not to be able to name a Supreme Court decision you disagree with, quite another not to have a clue about something as fundamental to American democracy as the separation of Church and State -- not to mention the First Amendment.

Yesterday, during a debate at Delaware's Widener School of Law, O'Donnell and her opponent, Chris Coons, were discussing whether or not creationism (or so-called "intelligent design") should be taught in public-school science classes. Once again, as in their recent TV debate, O'Donnell refused to say whether or not, as she has said publicly before, she believes that evolution is a myth. But it was what followed that was perhaps even more troubling:

Coons said that creationism, which he considers "a religious doctrine," should not be taught in public schools due to the Constitution's First Amendment.  He argued that it explicitly enumerates the separation of church and state.

"The First Amendment does?" O'Donnell asked. "Let me just clarify: You're telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?"

"Government shall make no establishment of religion," Coons responded, reciting from memory the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. (Coons was off slightly: The first amendment actually reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.")

"That's in the First Amendment...?" O'Donnell responded. 

And there was more:

Also during the debate, O'Donnell stumbled when asked whether or not she would repeal the 14th, 16th, or 17th Amendments if elected.

"The 17th Amendment I would not repeal," she said, before asking the questioner to define the 14th and 16th amendments, adding: "I'm sorry, I didn't bring my Constitution with me." 

Oh, you say, you O'Donnell apologist, most people don't know their Constitutional Amendments by heart, and Coons wasn't exactly perfect himself, so stop picking on her. Well...

Earlier in the debate, O'Donnell accused Coons of constitutional ignorance, saying that "perhaps they didn't teach you Constitutional law at Yale Divinity School."

She's amazing, isn't she? You gotta give her that.

(Oh, and where exactly did she study Constitutional law? Was it Harvard or Yale or Columbia or Berkeley or Stanford or Chicago or Cornell or Georgetown? I forget.)

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