Chris Jansing: Pundit or Howard Beale?

This morning on Jansing & Co there something happened which I’d never seen before and I’m not sure how I feel about it. The subject was The New York Governor’s debate last night and Christine O’Donnell’s comments about the Constitution. MSNBC.com only has part of the segment up. Jansing has always been tough on both sides of the political spectrum when she conducts her interviews but she was wading into new territory this morning by stating an opinion…

I’m not finding any of this stuff funny anymore. It actually kind of made me feel sick to my stomach. I feel like…somehow…we have got to find people who know a little more, who do a little more, something! This is such a serious time in our nation’s history…how did we get to this point?

Coming out of her mouth this was a real shock. I’ve never seen Jansing do this kind of commentary before. As I said, I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand I don’t like anchors wading into the opinion world. That’s the job of pundits and analysts. But at the same time I’m on the same page as Jansing when things like last night’s New York debate happen and we have candidates like Christine O’Donnell, Alvin Greene, Carl Paladino, and Sharon Angle whose candidacies, speaking as a poli sci grad, make a mockery of our political process. So Jansing having a Howard Beale like, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore” moment regarding some of the more ridiculous candidacies and elections in today’s screwed up political climate resonates with me. Of course if government was doing its job people like these wouldn’t be where they are now because the voters wouldn’t be looking for something…anything…as a substitute.

Update: NewsBusters’ Scott Whitlock does Establishment Clause 101…

After playing a clip of O’Donnell from last week’s debate, Jansing sputtered, “I thought she had to be kidding.” She then pulled out her “handy, dandy” pocket Constitution and quoted, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise there of or abridging the freedom of speech.’ Amendment, number one. I don’t even know where to go with that.”

What Jansing was thinking of is the Establishment Clause. O’Donnell’s point was that restricting the creation of the official religion isn’t the same thing as walling off faith from public life. Despite the indignant tone of Jansing, “separation of church and state” isn’t in the text.

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82 Responses to “Chris Jansing: Pundit or Howard Beale?”

  1. I saw it. It struck me as a fair comment. At some point even a straight journalist needs to say when “something” is clearly “something”. In a world in which the highest rated cable news channel is actively supporting – even employing – this ridiculous sea of mediocrity in our politics – even on so-called “straight news” shows like America Live – I think it’s reasonable for Chris to speak up about candidates who are completely uninformed (or pretending to be) about the constitution.

  2. And kudos to the conservative Michelle Bernard for agreeing with Jansing. It was a brilliant “wait, what the hell is going on here” moment.

  3. At least Angle was a member of the Nevada Assembly from 1999-2005. O’Donnell and Greene have nothing even remotely impressive in their backgrounds.

  4. In a year where incumbents are so ridiculous that Sharron Angle looks sane and Barney Frank is debating…I think even the most scrupulous anchor can be forgiven a well-phrased ‘WTF?’.

  5. It is an enduring fiction that the words “separation of church and state” appear somewhere in our founding documents.

    They do not.

    Courts interpreted this separation, and on college campuses, it is taught as though the framers actually included it in the First Amendment.

    They did not.

    O’Donnell will be ridiculed for this because it is the goal of the folks at MSNBC to ridicule her for everything. She gives them plenty of ammo, to be sure, but I am glad GOP has her as its kevlar vest. We’ll let her aborb all the potshots while Paul, Angle, etc. appear more dignified, moderate by comparison.

    One final thought: It is a disregard for the Constitution’s actual words that made things like the Health Care Legislation possible. I hope the state’s challenging it are successful, because Congress should only act within it’s proscribed limitations.

  6. Chrissy is our Trojan candidate. I love her. She draws the arrows while the rest of ‘em breach the barricades. Or something.

  7. That Christine O’Donnell doesn’t know the words of the Establishment Clause by itself disqualifies her for the Senate.

    Being angry at the current political class is one thing. Accepting anyone in their place is another.

    This is really ridiculous.

  8. Steve,

    I agree that the O’Donnell should know the words of the Establishment Clause, but I would bet money that Jansing doesn’t either.

    My objection to Jansing’s outburst is that she acted as though the words “separation of church and state” do actually appear in the Amendment.

  9. My objection to Jansing’s outburst is that she acted as though the words “separation of church and state” do actually appear in the Amendment.

    Fair – and important – point.

    As you pointed out, the Establishment Clause prevents the creation of a state church (as in England). It doesn’t mean that the state must be hostile to religion or completely separate from it.

    It just means (or should) that it cannot favor one over another.

  10. It’s a distinction without a difference. The government’s inability to establish a government-sanctioned religion is what the phrase “separation of church and state” means.

  11. It’s an enormous difference!

    If the founders had wanted the two to be utterly separate from one another, then they would have excluded mention of any higher power from the founding documents.

    To be clear, Joe, I am not a terribly religious person. Go to church a few times a year, tops, but I believe anyone one (teacher, coach, student, public servant) should be allowed to pray privately or with others at any time regardless of whether or not their prayer offends someone else who believes differently.

  12. lonestar77 Says:

    How exactly is Sharon Angle’s candidacy a “mockery of our political process”. And why are people suddenly concerned about it? There is a laundry list of lefty kooks who have or are currently serving. Yet, it’s only now that people are making a “mockery of our political process”? Uhm, okay.

  13. “I believe anyone one (teacher, coach, student, public servant) should be allowed to pray privately or with others at any time regardless of whether or not their prayer offends someone else who believes differently.”

    That go for Muslim prayer rooms in public schools?

  14. No fritz, they shouldn’t get prayer rooms, nor should Christians. But if Muslims want to pray together in the middle of a public school, I am all for it.

  15. I find it funny, Fritz, that you think I would somehow be offended by Muslim prayer.

  16. If the founders had wanted the two to be utterly separate from one another, then they would have excluded mention of any higher power from the founding documents.

    That’s pretty thin. The bottom line is the Bill of Rights are vaguely defined because the founding fathers couldn’t possibly foresee the future and therefore couldn’t anticipate changes in society or government and how they impact and influence our daily lives.

    This puts the onus on the courts with trying to apply a 200+ year old document to modern times. The results have been mixed, partly because there is no consensus on what direction is the right direction.

    Let’s look at the Establishment Clause:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

    I don’t think the founding fathers could have gotten much vaguer if they had deliberately tried. And that’s why we have such varied opinions about what the Establishment Clause really means.

    To be clear, Joe, I am not a terribly religious person. Go to church a few times a year, tops, but I believe anyone one (teacher, coach, student, public servant) should be allowed to pray privately or with others at any time regardless of whether or not their prayer offends someone else who believes differently.

    Given the above, how do you feel about the NYC Mosque?

  17. How exactly is Sharon Angle’s candidacy a “mockery of our political process”. And why are people suddenly concerned about it? There is a laundry list of lefty kooks who have or are currently serving.

    If you think I’m going to defend the Barney Franks and Charlie Rangels of the world you’ve got another thing coming, and I’d like to see them out of office. But two wrongs don’t make a right and adding even more kooks like Angle to government, and have them ludicrously pass themselves off as the cure for our ills, is not the solution.

  18. lonestar77 Says:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”.

    That doesn’t seem that vague to me. It’s insane to believe the intent of that was to punish kids for praying in school or to ban the saying of a prayer before a football game or to ban the valedictorian from thanking God during his/her speech.

    Jump in a time machine and go back to the 1780′s and let me know if students/teachers are being disciplined for saying a prayer in school.

    Most people feel the exact same way about the mosque. They have the right to build it but it’s not the greatest idea in the world.

  19. Chris’s comment did not bother me in any way, but, that is obviously because I agree with her. Besides, an opinion, now and then, gives prespective to the structure of the conversation. If the circumstances were set up in a different manner, she might have phrased her viewpoint differently. Additionally, would you expect me to say otherwise?
    The seperation issue is full of weighty opinion. A lot of the above commentators have it right, but, if we can agree that the state is not to establish “a” religion, we must also accept varried opinion as to what religious influence is to be allowed on the state. Our legal evolution has made the general seperation comfortable for the majority, especially as we look at other societies, now and in history, where religion has had too great an influence on the state.

  20. Muslims are well within their first amendment rights to build the Mosque.

    Opponents are well within their first amendment rights to oppose it at the top of their lungs.

    I think it is a bad idea, but that’s no justification for not building it.

  21. lonestar77 Says:

    “But two wrongs don’t make a right and adding even more kooks like Angle to government, and have them ludicrously pass themselves off as the cure for our ills, is not the solution.”

    It’s the solution if that’s what the voters want. Afterall, this group of finely polished, textbook politicians we have in Congress right now ain’t no great shakes. I’ve never understood the theory that the people who represent us should all be button-down, ivy league educated robots. All I really want is for someone to listen to their constituency and use common sense. It’s not rocket science. Anyway, I think it’s very positive for the long term. I want those people on their toes. Most of them are there for the power. They think once they’re in, they’re in. This round is going to teach those people a lesson.

  22. starbroker Says:

    The Establishment Clause isn’t vague. And of course, it should be noted that states did have their own official religions at the time and it was legal.

    The Ten Commandments were on display. There was prayer etc.

    It certainly is a major leap for people to act like something 200 years ago was different than today. All one has to do is look what was allowed back then.

    That’s why people like Judge Bork belong on the bench instead of ones who just make up law out of nothing.

    What’s even worse is for Chris Jansing to be so OUT OF IT that Christine O Donnell saying that is a “shock” to her. I don’t know very many conservatives who disagree with what O’ Donnell said. It’s pretty standard. Chris just showed her own ignorance here. It’s a shame because she’s usually one of the few at MSNBC who aren’t out of it. Maybe they are just forcing her to act this way. They want her to “LEAN FORWARD”.

  23. I don’t know very many conservatives who disagree with what O’ Donnell said.

    But O’Donnell didn’t know that the words “Congress shall make no respecting the establishment of a religion…..” are in the FA. She was surprised when Coons told her so.

    It’s not the “separation” vs. “no establishment” question.

    She’s just not qualified.

    Again, it’s one matter to be angry at the current political class. Fine. Fire away. But let’s not throw away all our standards when it comes to replacing them.

  24. Ten Commandments on the County Courthouse lawn, paintings of Jesus as one enters the courthouse judicial chambers, crosses on the dash of police cars. Where? All over the Southern part of the US. Additionally please remember that there are clear interests in the US that are aggresively pushing to have their church take over the state. Much of their leadership is already in state legislatures. Believe me, these people have no intention to compromise or to “get along”. Just saying…..

  25. That doesn’t seem that vague to me.

    Are you serious? “respecting an establishment of religion” is open to widely differing opinion as to what it means. That’s the whole problem.

    It’s the solution if that’s what the voters want.

    1) Voters are by and large not very up to date with what’s going on around them. They fall for style over substance. They will vote against their own pocketbooks on occasion if there’s some other compelling reason to do so. They can be manipulated easily.

    In other words, just because it’s what the voters want, doesn’t make it a solution. We tried that here in CA with Schwarzenegger. I was screaming up and down that he would fail but all my friends we’re caught up in Arnold-mania and that he’d be the guy to bring sanity to Sacramento. I knew he had no chance, said he had no chance, and was proven right. So, in CA the “solution” wasn’t a solution at all but 6+ years of smoke and mirrors and the state is now worse off than it was before Arnold took over.

    But O’Donnell didn’t know that the words “Congress shall make no respecting the establishment of a religion…..” are in the FA. She was surprised when Coons told her so.

    It’s not the “separation” vs. “no establishment” question.

    She’s just not qualified.

    Bingo. Don’t get hung up on the “separation of church and state” controversy. That misses the point.

  26. starbroker Says:

    Fredo, I’m talking about 200 years ago. Not what is going on now.

    As far as the other, that she’s not qualified. OBAMA WASN’T QUALIFIED!! But MSNBC, Jansing etc sure pushed that community organizer down everyone’s throat.

    Like O Donnell could do any worse than the $3 trillion in debt rung up during the last 2 years.

    PLEASE!!

  27. “Congress shall make no respecting the establishment of a religion…..” are in the FA

    …..make no law respecting…

    But the reaction, i.e., O’Donnell’s defenders, does underscore an important point. If the political class doesn’t address the real grievances (and they are real) of many Americans, the public will indeed, out of frustration, increasingly turn to candidates like O’Donnell (and yes, some of that frustration helped Obama get elected).

    I share that frustration. But only up to a point.

  28. starbroker, but of course. My reference is to pointing out that, even though it is 2010, there are many, too many who still live in 1010. Heaven help us.

  29. missy5537 Says:

    Spud, why are 75% of those you called out on the GOP side?

    Alan Grayson is satan personified; virtually every member of the CBC is moronic (if not criminal). Ted Kennedy was guilty of manslaughter, yet the MSM covered for him out of deference to Jackie.

    And most dems are run by thuggist labor unions.

    0bama himself had no executive experience and very little experience in general, except that of a community organizer. And look where that has gotten us – the guy is clueless, and his learning curve is detrimental to our country in more ways imaginable.

  30. missy5537 Says:

    And Joe Biden is talking this very second (recorded). Has Chris DARED to ever say what a doofus this “gaff-a-minute” is?

  31. It amazes me how fast you guys take off on a tangent. O’Donnell seemed unaware of the contents of the First Amendment; the New York Gubernatorial debate consisted of a thug who sends bestiality emails, a rapper, and a hooker; and Chris Jansing said something about it. Period.

  32. I hate to agree with the short guy, but he’s got a point. I’m also totally missing Missy’s point about Spud, since he took a couple of big-ticket shots at Rangel and Frank. Not seeing much bias there.

  33. It amazes me how fast you guys take off on a tangent.

    This your first time on the internet?

  34. starbroker, Yep, that is the way I heard it. I just don’t have any argument with it. On the other hand, missy5537 makes what I believe to be a very valid point in that MSNBC could also say some more about the gaffs of the Democratic leaders. Sometimes they hint at it, but they don’t really get into the meat of the error. Then again, if anyone these days could go through life without making a mistake, they would be up for sainthood (personally, I try to keep my mortal sins under 35 per day).

  35. The difference between Biden’s “gaffes” and some of the stuff we’re talking about today is, they don’t reveal an abject and almost willful incompetence. I

  36. Spud, why are 75% of those you called out on the GOP side?

    This isn’t a numbers game Missy where you have to have equal numbers of Democrat and Republican idiots mentioned in order for your point to be valid.

    But you make a good point about Alan Grayson. I simply forgot about him. I thought about putting up Joe Miller because he keeps making gaffes but decided he wasn’t nearly as outright repulsive as the others.

    And Joe, Biden is a plagiarist. You can’t do too much worse than that from a political standpoint.

  37. lonestar77 Says:

    While we’re (once again) talking about gaffes & how incompetent & clueless conservatives are, it makes me wish I had a link to 57 states Obama trying to figure out how to get an umbrella through a gate.

  38. And Joe Biden is a plagiarist. You can’t do too much worse than that from a political standpoint.

    That is incorrect. He had used the quote many times with attribution, and eventually forgot to do it a couple times. Campaigning and saying the same stuff every day is fatiguing. The first thing a tired repeat-speechgiver does is rush the speech.

  39. While we’re (once again) talking about gaffes & how incompetent & clueless conservatives are

    Oh, knock it off Lonestar. This is beneath you. This isn’t about Conservatives being incompetent and clueless. This is about clueless and incompetent people running for office who just happen to be either Conservative or Liberal. Incompetence and cluelessness doesn’t discriminate based on ideology.

  40. I would say that putting Chris Jansing and Howard Beale in same universe, let alone sentence, is a bit silly. She made a mild statement that few could disagree with, especially after taking a gander at last night’s debate. And while some of us may support COD on general principles, none of us would likely say that she’s our ideal candidate.
    Biden may gaffe, but he’s been in the business long-enough to get a pass based on experience and likability. As liberals go, he’s no more harmful than the rest of them, but certainly more entertaining.

  41. icn2 strikes again with wisdom and clarity. Though I do admit that I have found the ideas on/off this topic rather interesting. As to the original question, I will continue to back Chris Jansing.

  42. lonestar77 Says:

    Spud:
    I was making a JOKE & I wasn’t referring to you. I was referring to Joe and his competent statement. The picture of Obama & the umbrella is hilarious. Jeez.

  43. Work that smiley, LS. I didn’t know you were joking, either.

    The update from TVNewser is misleading. Coons was specifically dilineating the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment as the basis for the concept of ‘separation of church and state’. It was patently obvious what his argument was, and O’Donnell seemed bewildered by it.

    If she was trying to make a sticking point that the actual words ‘separation of church and state’ were not in there, it was an unprecendented act of subtlety masquerading as ignorance. Considering how far some of this current crop of “outsiders” are willing to go to look stupid, I wouldn’t put it past her to have done it intentionally for “the common folk”. And if that’s true, Jansing should be even more outraged.

  44. missy5537 Says:

    Sorry I didn’t read more before commenting initially (I am now a full-time caregiver, and my time is fragmented, at best!).

    But I think NewsBusters correctly brought things back on topic. The term “separation of church and state” is NOT in the constitution, yet Christine O’Donnell is being attacked by the virtually everyone for this “faux pas”.

    But she was correct!!!!

    And Chris Jansing, and anyone else who goes after Chrstine (and there are many), should be ashamed! Just Google “separation of church and state”, and then the “news” tab, and you’ll see that the entire world is mocking Christine over this.

    Yet she was right.

    Unbelievably, a WaPo writer correctly cites the origin of the term: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/10/separation-of-church-and-state.html . I wonder if Jansing and the rest of the media and O’Donnell’s critics will find it in their hearts to apologize for THEIR mistake?

  45. lonestar77 Says:

    Sorry, I was going back to what we were saying the other day. But, I was joking. Hence, the umbrella reference. That picture makes me laugh.

    To be clear: I don’t really think that Obama doesn’t know how to get an umbrella through a gate.

  46. lonestar77 Says:

    Oh, and we’ve been through this…I don’t know how to do the smiley thingies.

  47. : plus – plus ) = :-)

    ; plus – plus ) = ;-)

  48. And this gives you the more imaginative ones.

    http://codex.wordpress.org/Using_Smilies

  49. laura, thank you.

  50. lonestar77 Says:

    trial
    :-)

  51. lonestar77 Says:

    Thanks Joe & Laura.

  52. I don’t think her statement was a big deal. I just wish her show wasn’t such a mess. Chris Jansing deserves better.

  53. But I think NewsBusters correctly brought things back on topic.

    A more accurate description would be NewsBusters brought things back on to the topic they wanted to discuss.

    The NewsBusters article sticks to the Establishment Clause point but that’s not the whole story as far as that segment is concerned.

    The heart of the matter, and this is going to sound very Clintonian, but it all boils down to what you think the term “separation of church and state” means. Is it a literal interpretation, as in state cannot get involved in religion in any manner, or, is it a looser interpretation, as in “there is some sort of separation between the state and religion?

    Conservatives argue that the literal interpretation is what it means. And in the case of atheists and the ACLU who definitely take an all or nothing view on the matter, they have a valid point. However not everyone takes such an extreme view. For some it’s a more nuanced view where there are clear areas that government can’t or shouldn’t get involved but it’s not a blanket ban. These people are concerned with state mandated prayer but could care less about the words “In God we trust” on money or Christmas scenes on government property. And the Conservative argument fails to take that into account.

    I believe one could argue that the Establishement Clause does create a separation of church and state on some level. But for Conservatives they tend not to see that point and only focus on the outright ban angle, hence the argumement that there’s no separation between church and state.

    In effect nobody is listening to each other. They’re just talking past each other. And this results in situations like today where Christine O’Donnell is ridiculed for saying something she believes to be true based on how she views the term “separation of church and state” but which may not be entirely accurate on a basic level as pertains the the application Establishment Clause in every instance.

    The lesson here: Better to avoid wading into the subject at all until we as a society start listening to each other to understand what we are really talking about. And that is the mistake I think Jansing made.

  54. Ugh, I hate to backpedal on this, but the longer I watch that clip, the more I’m starting to think O’Donnell was trying to be clever about the specific phrase ‘separation of church and state’ not actually being in the First Amendment. In order for that to work, I have to believe she knows it’s actually in a letter from Thomas Jefferson, and that she was so certain of “her” audience also knowing the game she was playing, that she didn’t feel it necessary to do anything but giggle.

    What makes me hedge on this is that, although I don’t think Ms. O’Donnell is ready for the Senate, I definitely think she “dumbs down” a little for her crowd. Christine O’Donnell is not stupid. Too clever by half, maybe..

  55. …but Jansing still gets a pass for freaking out over the rapper and the hooker..

  56. icn2, Good grief, you’re starting to sound like I used to on the lecture circut. I was accused of overkill then and maybe that also applys now. Your analysis was, of course, very through and with a high degree of thought. The problem is that if you were to verbally discourse like this, on air, during a conversation, noone would truely follow your thinking process and respond in an appropriate and understandable manner. Chris made a clear and percise statement and it was the responsibility of the “& Company” to respond, especially if they questioned her statement. Chris was directing her opinion, I contend, to the general qualifications of some candidates, not the specific legal definations within the Constitution. To me, the subjects are seperate and blending them only can result in a negative towards the speaker. Her point was one that I would totally agree with. The Constitutional issues belong in evaluation of the debate itself, not of Chris Jansing.

  57. Joe; I think you may be on the right track here. She may be taking the view that jwe3 takes at the start of this thread ‘that the actual words don’t appear in the first amendment’. This ignores the long accepted meaning of the amendment but she likes to make snarky dog-whistle remarks that only her tea party supporters get. After all this is tea party dogma.

  58. The lesson here: Better to avoid wading into the subject at all until we as a society start listening to each other to understand what we are really talking about. And that is the mistake I think Jansing made.

    Sorry, I could not disagree more with your first point. Where else should we (I assume by “society” you mean the public) discuss constitutional issues except in (and around) debates and elections? I want to know what candidates think about such matters even if, in the end, the Supreme Court has the final thought.

    As to the second point, perhaps so. As Joe points out, having viewed the taped, I’m now less sure about what O’Donnell was trying to say. Perhaps Jansing should have held back until things were clearer.

  59. Yes, Fritz, and Rachel Maddow and Ana-Marie Cox just reiterated what Spud is saying about this: that the topic is being discussed on two different planes past each other. COD genuinely believes the Establishment Clause is not a basis for separation of church and state – and likely considers any Supreme Court decision to the contrary to be reprobate – therefore her clever little joke about the specific words not being in it works for her; as does her giggling dismissal of Coon’s argument. She’s not stupid. She’s silly.

  60. 10/25/10 Newsweek’s Andrew Romano on America’s Holy Writ:

    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/10/17/how-tea-partiers-get-the-constitution-wrong.html

  61. Sorry, I could not disagree more with your first point. Where else should we (I assume by “society” you mean the public) discuss constitutional issues except in (and around) debates and elections?

    Well the whole point of “discussing” is to have thoughtful, reasonable back and forth on the issue. But we haven’t been getting that and aren’t getting that. We’re getting talking points and intractable positions. That’s my point. And as long as we aren’t getting that…as long as people are predisposed to not listen to anything that doesn’t fit their world view, discussion IS pointless because nobody cares to listen. It’s a cynical view to be sure but I’ve become very cynical about the extreme wings of both parties and single issue politics in general.

  62. 10/25/10 Newsweek’s Andrew Romano on America’s Holy Writ:

    Romano lost me when he labeled Cass Sustein as a centrist. And it’s not like Romano doesn’t have his own agenda…

  63. icn2, additionally to your above point (my little magic copy/paste thingymajig won’t bring your post down), Chris and all others are faced with time constrants that are an insult to insightful discussion.
    Wonder what will happen when news has to give over 70% of its’ time to ads. Why don’t they run ads along the bottom scroll and just let the hour run for 50 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of full screen ads.
    I still contend that Chris was correct to make her point. The only issue seems to be the subject of her point. Either way, I’ll concour with her making the issue because it generated a short interesting exchange.

  64. Jansing’s overall point – which IMO still relates to Ms. O’Donnell – is the political process is being humiliated by “outsiders” who make “knowing things” seem like something that is for “bad Washington people”, not simple gals like herself that will take their “common sense solutions” to the Hill and shake them fuddy duddys up.

    O’Donnell didn’t just pretend to not know what Coons was getting at. She considered it unworthy of discussion. Buncha wordy elite stuff that she and her God were above addressing. “Simple, down home values” have a place in society, but so does intelligent debate. There’s a particular brand of pseudo-politician littering the landscape right now that doesn’t care about debate or knowledge, and takes being asked questions as a nuisance. That..is bad for America.

  65. iamfirmin Says:

    msnbc is losing.. they keep harping on O’ Donnell.
    How about all the other races.

    Lean forward and fall over.

    I think Cnn does a much better job reporting!

  66. But we haven’t been getting that and aren’t getting that. We’re getting talking points and intractable positions.

    Not to belabor this (he wrote belaboring it), but the doctrinaire elements on both sides are going to “discuss” (using that term loosely) this anyway. If we non-doctrinaire types want to bring the discussion back to the center and away from those polarities it won’t do any good to remain silent.

    I’m a conservative but I’m not going to defend all of the nonsense from my side just because many people are steadfast in their, well, nonsense.

    I haven’t given up completely.

  67. I haven’t given up. I’m just not wasting my energy at the moment.

  68. stevemg, I agree with your point that we need to have open and honest discussion. Our political structure requires compromise to advance the national agenda and there is no compromise if everyone digs in their heals. My problem is that I am a RINO in a truely Tea Party environment and my friends are irrivocable in their insistance to not compromise. Discussion becomes lectures where I live.

  69. There is no compromise with these Tea Party True Believers. That’s how you get a Christine O’Donnell smirking at a room full of law students who are laughing at her disdain for the First Amendment. It’s a fundamentalist “born again Christian” understanding of how government should be implemented that considers any other approach un-Godly. The Dems are the devil, Republicans who don’t agree are the devil, the press is the devil…there’s nowhere to go with that. Sharron Angle lied to Harry Reid’s face in a debate because the greater goal of moving God’s will along justified it.

    The story about this story that is being under-reported is that this is an evangelical takeover of secular government. The concept of “separation of church and state” is laughable to them, and if you question them about it…they laugh.

  70. lonestar77 Says:

    “The story about this story that is being under-reported is that this is an evangelical takeover of secular government. ” (smiley thingy rolling his eyes)

  71. The story about this story that is being under-reported is that this is an evangelical takeover of secular government. The concept of “separation of church and state” is laughable to them, and if you question them about it…they laugh.

    Off he goes…….

    That darned press is just letting these Tea Party religious nuts get away with everything.

    Let’s see: they want to both emasculate government and also extend the state over us based on sectarian doctrine.

    Neat trick, no? They’re anarchists and theocrats at the same time.

  72. Yes, as is so often the case when the Tea-phobic speaks… :roll:

  73. First they were racists, and that didn’t quite pan out..let’s find some other form of evil that we can impute to them.

  74. Don’t have a cow, people. I’ve been babbling about the evangelical movement’s desire to run government according to “biblical principles” as long as I’ve been here. It’s not exactly a secret; they say it all the time. I brought it up in response to Fred’s plaint that they don’t compromise. Have you ever met a Jesus Freak that was open to compromise? A Muslim? Religious certainty doesn’t allow for it.

  75. Why do I keep getting stuck with the “racist” thing? I always said that after the election of a (half)black President, there would have to be some number of racists in amongst the opposition to him. It’s statistically impossible for that not to be true. I never said “the Tea Party is racist”. I said the birthers are. My initial concern about the Tea Party movement was its violent overtones, which have subsided.

  76. I’ve been babbling about the evangelical movement’s desire to run government according to “biblical principles” as long as I’ve been here

    Yes, but the evangelical movement (about which you are mostly right) and the Tea Party movement aren’t the same.

    What legislation or public policy does the TP movement propose that is based on biblical doctrine or teachings?

    Anyway, you don’t have to be a theist to be an absolutist unwilling to compromise.

  77. You’re missing the point, Steve. Many of the Tea Party’s biggest players are born again Christians. As a former member of that extremely zealous community, I can assure you that they consider themselves on a “mission from God”, and have no interest in debate. “Evangelical takeover” means “takeover by evangelicals”. I don’t know what specific plans they have because all they ever say is “small government”, whatever that means. My point is once they get power, they will do whatever the hell they want – according to their “principles” – and if they run up against constitutional safegaurds they consider un-Godly, they will ignore them.

    We’ve already been here once. George W. Bush made most of his decisions on a hunch. From God.

  78. Some dig in because they truely care and want to protect their children.
    Some dig in because they are on a mission from God (after all, they talk to Him nightly).
    Some dig in because they are Evangelicals.
    Some dig in because they are Roman Catholic (old style).
    Some dig in because they are racest.
    Some dig in for something to get excited about.
    Some dig in because they are afraid.
    Some dig in because they are exceptionally strong individualists.
    Some dig in because they want to “go back” to a time that they believe that America was “perfect” (to them, anyway).
    This goes on and on.
    Common thread amoung all, does seem to be a total lack of will to even consider compromise (at least amoung those that I have met).

  79. “And kudos to the conservative Michelle Bernard for agreeing with Jansing. It was a brilliant ‘wait, what the hell is going on here’ moment.” – joeremi

    I just read this. When and where has Michelle Bernard ever been a conservative? Sure, she says she is. But I only see her on Hardball and she, an Obama supporter, agrees with Matthews’ beliefs about 99% of the time. She is the kind of conservative that people like Matthews love.

  80. The thread lives on..

  81. I like Michell Bernard. Excellent last name. ;-)

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