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The Ongoing Influence of Sarah Palin’s Constitutional Theories

[ 56 ] February 3, 2012 |

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.]


Comments (56)

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  1. Steve LaBonne says:

    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 says:


      (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.

  2. misterbones says:

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

    Well, now I’m convinced!

  3. actor212 says:

    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 says:

      People are people too, my friend!

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

      • timb says:

        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

  4. Erik Loomis says:

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

  5. Modulo Myself says:

    From zero to Bork in point five seconds.

    • Steve LaBonne says:

      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.

  6. 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 says:

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

    • Malaclypse says:

      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 says:

      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.

  7. DrDick says:

    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.

  8. rea says:

    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.

  9. Davis X. Machina says:

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

  10. bobbyp says:

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

    Call their bluff.

  11. Holden Pattern says:

    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.”

  12. Andrew says:

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

  13. thebewilderness says:

    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.

  14. Murc says:

    … 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.

  15. Randy Paul says:

    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.

  16. Manju says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        What they say.

      • Manju says:

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

      • Ben says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

            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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