I knew this was absurd the moment I heard about it. A C4P reader, PJ, alerted us to this rather odd piece today by Judson Phillips at Tea Party Nation. In his piece, Phillips uses a partial tweet from Governor Palin to, incredibly, concoct a narrative that Governor Palin shares Harry Reid’s contempt for the First Amendment. I’m not making this up:
Sarah Palin and Harry Reid’s name rarely show up in the same sentence and almost never when they are in agreement on something. Both Palin and Reid have come out blasting the United States Supreme Court for the Westboro decision.
They are both wrong.
Harry Reid’s opposition to the Westboro decision and the First Amendment is not shocking. He does not like liberty and thinks that the “mere people” of the United States should meekly do as his socialist party tells us to do.
Sarah Palin is a little more puzzling. She tweeted that “common sense and decency absent as ‘wacko’ church allowed hate messages spewed @ soldiers’ funerals” There is certainly a visceral outrage from almost everyone at what the freaks from Westboro do.
However, let’s think about the situation if Harry Reid and Sarah Palin had their way and Wesboro’s [sic] First Amendment rights were denied?
So, if Governor Palin and her newest bosom buddy, Dingy Harry, “had their way”, First Amendment rights would be denied? Really? Phillips arrives at this asinine conclusion in the only way possible: by combining a vivid imagination with a convenient “editing” of her tweet. Let’s take a look at Governor Palin’s entire tweet, shall we (emphasis mine):
Common sense & decency absent as wacko “church” allowed hate msgs spewed@ soldiers’ funerals but we can’t invoke God’s name in public square
Um, it’s not difficult to see why Phillips left that part out. It makes it clear that she’s merely pointing out the selective interpretation of First Amendment free speech rights by the Court. On the one hand, they allow hate speech such as that exhibited in Westboro, but on the other they go out of their way to remove God from the public square. Both forms of speech are constitutionally permissible, yet the Court has generally been hostile to the latter. Governor Palin is quite correct to point out the double standard. This is neither complicated or ambiguous. Well, not for most of us anyway. Either Phillips is incredibly ignorant, or he’s engaging in a willful and aggressive missing of the point. PJ emailed Tea Party Nation to call Phillips out on his calumny. Specifically, PJ asked why he left out the most important part of Governor Palin’s tweet. PJ then forwarded his response to C4P:
It is called editing. The whole quote was not relevant for the discussion.
Eh? I guess Phillips isn’t familiar with the First Law of Holes. The phrase that puts Governor Palin’s entire tweet in context is “not relevant for the discussion”? I think what Phillips really means is that it’s not convenient to his discussion, which is certainly the case since it contradicts the entire premise of his piece. Had he included the entire tweet, there would have been no way for him to make the ridiculous claim that Governor Palin is simpatico with Dingy Harry on anything at all. She’s not.
Honestly, you’d think Phillips would be smart enough to come up with a better excuse than the quote wasn’t “relevant”. He could, for example, have cited a lack of column space. After all, including Governor Palin’s entire tweet would have added a whopping nine words to his text. One of the false charges the Left pushes against Tea Party patriots is that they’re ignorant or just plain dumb. They make this ludicrous charge as a smokescreen to obfuscate the fact that they are themselves not bright enough to advance cogent arguments to refudiate the reasonable proposals Tea Partiers advance. However, if Mr. Phillips’ piece today is any indication, their charge may have merit in his case.
Update: In the unlikely event any ambiguity remains, Governor Palin has put an end to it.