Home / General / The Ongoing Influence of Sarah Palin’s Constitutional Theories

The Ongoing Influence of Sarah Palin’s Constitutional Theories


Dan Foster, in the midst of taking an incoherent ride on the waambulance, is proud of a co-worker’s piece of anti-wisdom:

In the NROHQ kitchen just now, Charlie Cooke wondered aloud, and here I paraphrase: “Does anyone on the Left even ask the basic question of whether a private charitable organization has the right to dispose of its money as it sees fit?” But in fact, that anyone thinks there is a question here is a sign we’ve already lost.

The fact that nobody at the National Review seems to understand that Komen’s right to “dispose of its money as it sees fit” (which absolutely nobody denies) does not entail a right to be exempt from criticism — let alone a right to a permanent level of donations — is a sign that the National Review employs a lot of really dumb people.

Simon Maloy has more.

…also unclear on this rather basic concept is the always hacktacular Jennifer Rubin.   [via Jill.]

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  • Steve LaBonne

    Yes, stupid wingnut assholes, you’ve lost. Suck. On. That.

    (Actually, 1) it’s not “their” money, it’s donors’ money, and 2) you only get to do whatever the hell you want with “your” money IF you are not getting a tax break.)

    • cpinva


      (Actually, 1) it’s not “their” money, it’s donors’ money, and 2) you only get to do whatever the hell you want with “your” money IF you are not getting a tax break.)

      SGK is no more a private organization than is the american red cross. both are 501(c)3 entities. donations to them are tax deductible to the donor, and they are exempt from federal and (most) state income taxes. since the american taxpayer is helping to foot that bill, directly and indirectly, than no, SGK doesn’t have the right to hand out money to whomever it so chooses, any more than the red cross does.

      the level of ignorance/stupidity among the right-wing is, at times, just mind boggling, which really, really hurts.

  • misterbones

    I love that Foster, who obviously can’t find a liberal to buttress his argument, settles for Will Wilkinson.

    Well, now I’m convinced!

  • Wow. And they call us “out of touch elitists”…

    I don’t recall anyone holding a gun to Komen’s collective head and saying “Give to PP or the dog gets it.”

    No, if anything, most said “We aren’t giving to Komen anymore, Komen has disappointed us, we’ll give directly to PP now…”

    Why does Charlie Cooke think that the rules that apply to organizations don’t apply to people? People are people too, my friend!

    • R Johnston

      People are people too, my friend!

      Fundamentally speaking, the modern American conservative disagrees with this sentiment.

      • timb

        why just yesterday, Limbaugh was going on a bit about Romney is not conservative if he thinks the minimum wage should rise with inflation. Limbaugh said that would hurt capital….err, small businesses. He advocated ending the safety net entirely, because it creates “Democrat” voters.

        The fact that middle aged white people all over the South (of course, the post-Confederacy’s newest member is my home state of Indiana) made me wonder if they have any idea of anything at all

  • I’ll bet that NRO kitchen is a very special place.

    • I wonder what its countertops are made of?

      • I imagine it’s decorated with some wonderful finger paintings.

        • Holden Pattern

          daubed with browish “paint”…

          • Holden Pattern

            browNish. but “browish” is an interesting word — it should mean something.

            • “Foster’s Neaderthalic rantings were browish in nature.”

            • browish: adj – referring to a sloped brow ridge. Jonah Goldberg frequently finds himself impressed by the insights of even his most browish colleagues.

      • R Johnston

        The bones of women who die from breast cancer.

        • timb

          POOR women who die from breast cancer.

          Better they died a innocent, uninsured with cancer than an old sinner/slut who had the option for an abortion.

          Pro-life and all

    • DrDick

      I hear it has an official designation as a toxic waste dump.

    • Njorl

      It’s for when you want your Cheetos microwaved.

    • Mike Schilling

      It’s inside a walk-in refrigerator, because apparently no one who uses it can stand the heat.

  • Modulo Myself

    From zero to Bork in point five seconds.

    • Steve LaBonne

      No, they’re not even Bork; now that they’ve tried to clumsily backtrack, their wingnut friends will also turn against them. Unlike wingnut hero Bork, SGK now enjoys the goodwill of approximately nobody.

  • 1. This was a Defund the Left effort. Planned Parenthood is the “leftist” organization whose money was targeted this time. Remember that it was declines in corporate and non-profit funding, not the Congressional defunding, that killed ACORN.

    1a. It didn’t work, ha ha. Suck on this.

    2. I once read, in National Review Online of all places, that it is a maxim among wingnuts that “Any organization that isn’t explicitly right-wing eventually becomes left-wing.” They use this observation to justify their own ideological takeovers of organizations.

    • Quercus

      Re point 2, if your worldview is fundamentally ‘it’s us against them’ then this is pretty much an inescapable conclusion.

    • Malaclypse

      1a. It didn’t work, ha ha. Suck on this.

      But, but, center-right nation?

      The only way this would be sweeter is if it happened this October,

    • disagree

      I doubt defunding the left was the primary goal.
      $600K is a miniscule amount to a $1.1 billion organization. This was a signaling event to the anti-abortion activist who were targeting Komen and to Republican pols and corporate chiefs.

  • DrDick

    Come on now, Scott. Everybody knows that conservatism is an accountability free zone!

    More to the point, the wingnuts do not seem to ask the basic question, “Whether a private charitable organization individual has the right to dispose of its money as it sees fit?” It is a service to all of us who support the rights of women to know about this appalling decision and to allocate our charitable dollars accordingly.

  • rea

    Well, hell, no, a private charitable organizatin does not have the right to distribute its money s it sees fit.

    If you solicit money to fight cancer, but spend it all on staff salaries and perks, and on fighting abortion and contraception, then you get prosecuted for fraud.

  • R Johnston
    • firefall

      its not worth it. Nothing is worth scumming yourself by a visit there.

      • First Draft always has a wonderfully funny freerepublic post every Monday morning. I will probably pick up most of my yuks about the freepers at that point…

    • muddy

      My favorite is that there was agreement that they have a pink ribbon because it symbolizes the red blood of murdered babies on the white hands of the evil liberals.

      • commie atheist

        Great minds…

      • Njorl

        We are the liberal Uruk Hai!

    • commie atheist

      Such sweet, sweet mangoes…

      KOMEN CAVES…the abortion Nazis won again.

      Sickening. Blood money resumes.

      Wow…..these people will do anything to keep their hands stained with innocent blood.

      The Pro abortion dem congresscritters threatened to supoenea all of Komen’s financial records and put them under the kleig lights in DC. Komen caved under the pressure. The thirst of the baby killers seems unquenchable.

      They think it’s not criminal for PP to aid pimps of underaged sex slaves in evading the law?

      And my favorite:

      Ah, maybe that’s why the ribbon is pink, huh? The red blood on white hands mixes to make pink.

      • R Johnston

        A well chosen selection.

        • dangermouse


      • They think it’s not criminal for PP to aid pimps of underaged sex slaves in evading the law?

        I wondered when the O’Keefe smear would rear its ugly head.

      • Thlayli

        Yummy tears.

    • Joseph Slater

      And. . . “Nazi” in the first comment. Doesn’t disappoint.

  • Davis X. Machina

    Putting the ‘zero’ in zero-sum since 1932….

  • bobbyp

    Senate Dems should open an official investigation of each and every one of the other organizations given money by Komen.

    Call their bluff.

    • thebewilderness

      They are already taking heat for not cutting off the money to rapist sports university.

  • Holden Pattern

    The Wingnut First Amendment seems to read like this: “Movement conservatives and corporations that support movement conservatives shall be free to do any damn thing they want without criticism.”

    • “…at least until they do something that’s not heartless and savage, because after that we hates them forever.”

  • I just wanted to say that this is one of the most perfectly titled blog posts I’ve ever seen. Bravo.

  • thebewilderness

    As you can clearly see there are millions of people who question the right of a charity to spend their money as they see fit. Most particularly when the money they are spending was collected with the clear understanding of what they would do with it turns out to be a lie.
    The evidence that this is a corporate faux charity designed to eliminate competing charities has been there for a long time. I’m glad it has finally come out.

  • Murc

    … nobody has the right to dispose of their money as they see fit.

    I can’t use my money to buy drugs. I can’t give it to al-Qaeda. I can’t use it to hire a hitman. I can’t buy a personal sex slave.

    And that’s just off the top of my head.

    • Davis X. Machina

      You need to incorporate, offshore.

  • In April 2000 in a previous career I attended the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters convention in Shreveport, LA. Charlie Cooke was the keynote speaker at a luncheon we sponsored and spent the entire time dissing Al Gore “as a child of privilege.” It was all I could do to keep from asking him WTF George Bush was.

    Why anyone thinks Cooke is nonpartisan is beyond me. That same year I went to the Texas Association of Broadcasters convention in San Antonio where Molly Ivins was a featured speaker at a dinner we sponsored. She was tough on the broadcasters, God bless her. How I miss her still.

  • Manju

    A very common conflation. Predates Palin:

    The surge of national pride that has swept the country after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 has sparked the beginnings of a new, more difficult debate over the balance among national security, free speech and patriotism.

    In the most highly publicized case, a nationally televised talk show host was shunned by many of his advertisers and criticized by the White House spokesman for making what some considered an unpatriotic remark about American soldiers.


    • John Protevi

      How well I remember Obama’s press secretary telling the Komen Foundation they must watch must they say from now on.

      Wait, what?

      • John Protevi

        What they say.

      • Manju

        Well, I’m sure you can remember the Speaker of the House telling the Tea Party that, while referencing Harvey Milk.

      • Ben

        I think he’s saying Bill Maher is Sarah Palin, and Planned Parenthood is a terrorist organization. Or the opposite.

        The link is kinda interesting though; I didn’t know that the official transcript of that Fleischer press conference didn’t have the “we have to watch what we say” exchange in it.

        That first Bush administration was so bad it keeps getting worse retroactively.

        • Manju

          I’m saying Common Dreams doesn’t understand that the right to free speech “does not entail a right to be exempt from criticism”.

          • elm

            Look, guys, I know Manju is entertaining performance art, but in this case he’s actually correct. Palin did not originate the idea that criticism of speech is a violation of free speech nor was she the first to misunderstand that the 1st amendment only covers government infringements on speech. (How many message boards have you been on when the moderator bans someone or deletes a comment and gets accused of violating the user’s free speech rights?)

            That Palin misunderstood the Constitution while running for Vice-President makes it appropriate that we single her out for ridicule and use her as an example when others now do it shouldn’t blind us to the fact that she didn’t invent the concept.

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