Thursday, June 18, 2009

Reaction To Palin-Letterman

Evolution? First Amendment? U.S. military women and men? Who would have thought Sarah Palin is an advocate of all three?

The Alaskan Governor's response on June 16 was chock full of non sequiturs:

Of course it's accepted on behalf of young women, like my daughters, who hope men who 'joke' about public displays of sexual exploitation of girls will soon evolve," the statement read.

"Letterman certainly has the right to 'joke' about whatever he wants to, and thankfully we have the right to express our reaction. And this is all thanks to our U.S. military women and men putting their lives on the line for us to secure America's right to free speech -- in this case, may that right be used to promote equality and respect.


When Governor Palin expressed her support for teaching both evolution and creationism to public school students, the assumption set in that, a firm opponent of abortion rights and skeptic of gay rights, she was a flat-out creationist. Such assumption appears invalid, with Palin now suggesting that men of offensive humor "will soon evolve."

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann rhetorically asked "Governor, how many times do we have to go through this? The first amendment does not apply to stuff people say on television." One would have thought the governor of a state (let alone a former vice-presidential nominee) would realize the First Amendment guarantees only that the federal government (and the state government,via the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment) does not abridge the right to free speech. (And even with that, there are limits.)

Palin also was criticized by Ed Schultz, who in turn was blasted by the conservative Repub website newsbusters.org, which then was condemned by Schultz.

With little sense of irony, Governor Palin uses the term "evolve;" demonstrates little or no concept of the First Amendment; and tries to manipulate the patriotism of the American people by conflating her conflict with a talk-show host with the "U.S. military women and men putting their lives on the line for us." There is little, presumably short of violence or brazen illegality, that she will not do to keep herself in the news. And Mrs. Palin does so by using the symbolism of the American soldier for relatively trivial purposes as a prop in her pursuit of political influence.

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