Friday, October 31, 2008

Where's the Mute Button on the Remote Control When You Really Need It?

Every time Sarah Palin opens her mouth, her profound ignorance of constitutional and statuatory law rings loud and clear.

According to the Huffington Post, Palin told right-wing radio talk show host Chris Plante that her criticism of Obama's associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate's free speech rights under the Constitution.

Palin goes on to add, "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."

As always, Sarah Palin still does not get it. As Glenn Greenwald points out in

"The First Amendment is actually not that complicated. It can be read from start to finish in about 10 seconds. It bars the Government from abridging free speech rights. It doesn't have anything to do with whether you're free to say things without being criticized, or whether you can comment on blogs without being edited, or whether people can bar you from their private planes because they don't like what you've said.

If anything, Palin has this exactly backwards, since one thing that the First Amendment does actually guarantee is a free press. Thus, when the press criticizes a political candidate and a Governor such as Palin, that is a classic example of First Amendment rights being exercised, not abridged.

This isn't only about profound ignorance regarding our basic liberties, though it is obviously that. Palin here is also giving voice to the standard right-wing grievance instinct: that it's inherently unfair when they're criticized. And now, apparently, it's even unconstitutional.

Let's face it, folks. When it comes to journalism, it lost all its standards and all its taste. We need not go any further than watching a tabloid news show displaying a pretense of objective legal analysis or news. CNN's Nancy Grace and Fox News' Greta Van Susteren are particularly notorious for sensationalizing current events. Heads are hoisted on their pretards and people are prosecuted in the court of public opinion as if one's guilt was loudly proclaimed or insinuated. Worse, investigative journalists have been bullied and intimidated into submission by a punitive Bush administration that clearly has a lot of dirty laundry to hide.

Given all the dirty dealings of the past eight years or so, do you understand why the GOP is resorting to racist smears to attack Obama? It's all about preserving the status quo, plain and simple. And Sarah Palin is one symptom of the cancer that's spreading through the GOP's body politic.

"(Sarah) Palin is riding into fame much the same way that George W. Bush rode into the Presidency, as a bumbling Clampett-like character with a minor record of accomplishments, an entrenched set of dogmatic beliefs, and plenty of supporters in the neo-con hierarchy," observes Jane Devlin in a recent Huffington Post posting. "Like Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who went from Survivor contestant to talk show host, there are people waiting in the wings to market Palin as a right-wing Ellie Mae (Clampett) of political news or social commentary."

Take away her vice-presidental candidacy, and what you have left is Elizabeth Hasselbeck experiencing the onset of menopause.

Sarah Palin: A false neocon diety, a by-product of a vainglorious ideology that teetered on the brink of theocracy.

And the first commandment of the ten explicitly states, "You shall have no other Gods before me." Pathetic.

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