Friday, September 24, 2010

O'Donnell vs. Gingrich

O.K., o.k., Newt Gingrich was playing to the audience and fomenting fear for political gain when he recently declared at a gathering sponsored by the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.

We should have a federal law that says sharia law that under no circumstance inany jurisiction in the United States will sharia be used by any court to apply to any judgement made about American law. And we should make clear to Justice Breyer and Justice Kagan, who both seem confused on this topic, that no judge will remain in office who tries to use sharia law to interpret the American constitution.

Neither the President nor Congress is expressly given permission in the U.S. Constitution to remove a judge from office. And removal of a judge "both of the supreme and inferior Courts" because of bad judgement might be a little tough given Article III, Section 1 of that American constitution Newt claims to hold dear:

The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation.

But at least Newt, who may seek the GOP nomination for president, may be nominated, and may be elected (a sequence of events highly unlikely) probably doesn't see any likelihood of sharia law being imposed by any judge upon the United States. It merely served its purpose as a good applause line for a Values Voter Summit sponsored by a culturally conservative interest group.

But how is this for an expression of American and Judeo-Christian values?

I‘ll tell you, I just came back from the Middle East, and it was refreshing. With all that is going on, it was refreshing not to be constantly bombarded with smut all the time.

That was Christine O'Donnell, discussing with talk show host Lionel on (Joe) Scarborough Country on March 23, 2004 the claim by shock jock Howard Stern that Oprah Winfrey had aired a piece which, had he himself aired it, would have prompted a huge fine from the FCC. (There was no clarification from O'Donnell, Scarborough replying "All right, Christine, we‘re going to have to leave it there". Heck of a job, Congressman.)

Perhaps that is the short answer to the criticism of the title- "American Taliban" of Markos Moulitsas' new book. Christine O'Donnell- not a child, not a college student, but someone introduced by Joe Scarborough as a "conservative columnist," was just fine with the sexual mores and punishment- and, hence, the status of women- in oppressive Muslim societies. Gingrich was arguably inventing, inarguably vastly distorting, the threat of sharia law in American society. O'Donnell was expressing sympathy, if not support, for the more onerous manifestations of sharia law.

And that is the state of the Republic Party, circa 2010.

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