The Corner

Occam, O’Donnell, and the First Amendment

Some of you will recall that I am not the biggest booster of Christine O’Donnell. But the rapturous joy the snark-arazzi are taking in her First Amendment comments is awfully misplaced, as once again the Left has opted for sanctimony over parsimony.

Consider: O’Donnell has run not one but two groups that sought to lobby Congress to incorporate Christian values into policy formulation. Is it more likely that she does not know the text of the First Amendment — as the Left Blogosphere has unanimously concluded — or that she merely has a different view of its meaning?

I think it’s exceedingly clear that O’Donnell was gesturing toward the view that the Establishment Clause is uni-directional — that it limits the state’s meddling in the practice of religion and not vice versa – and that, per Ramesh, folks have been conflating the Establishment Clause with Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia forever and ever. And that is a view that smart people are allowed to have.

O’Donnell confirmed as much to Battle ‘10 today. But she is perceived by many as being uninformed or worse, and so they mistake nuance for ignorance. As if to prove my point, look at this gem from ridiculous person Markos Moulitsas, via Twitter:

Of course, a heap of lemmings piled on with their “ummms” and “uhhhs” and incredulity at Palin’s ignorance. One even asked “WTF happened in 1773?!”

The Boston Tea Party, that’s all.

Daniel Foster — Daniel Foster has been news editor of National Review Online since 2009, and was a web site editor until 2012. His work has appeared in The American Spectator, The American ...

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