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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Quite a Contrast

posted by on October 1 at 16:27 PM

The Palin clip that everyone’s been waiting for has now aired on The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

Watch CBS Videos Online

And here’s the key part of the transcript. After Palin discusses her opposition to Roe v. Wade, Couric asks…

COURIC: What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?

PALIN: Well, let’s see. There’s –of course –in the great history of America rulings there have been rulings, that’s never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are–those issues, again, like Roe v Wade where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know–going through the history of America, there would be others but–

COURIC: Can you think of any?

PALIN: Well, I could think of–of any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a Vice President, if I’m so privileged to serve, wouldn’t be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today.

This was part of Couric’s “Vice Presidential Questions” series, so she asked Joe Biden the same thing. How did he respond?

COURIC: (to Biden): What are the Supreme Court decisions you disagree with?

BIDEN: You know, I’m the guy who wrote the Violence Against Women act. And I said that every woman in America if they are beaten and abused by a man should be able to take that person to court. Meaning you should be able to go to federal court and sue in federal court the man who abused you if you can prove that abuse. But they said no that a woman, there’s no federal jurisdiction and I held, they acknowledged, I held about 1,000 hours of hearings proving that there’s an effect in interstate commerce. Women who are abused and beaten and beaten are women who are not able to be in the work force. And the Supreme Court said there is an impact on commerce but this is federalizing a private crime and we’re not going to allow it. I think the Supreme Court was wrong about that decision.

Another key moment:

COURIC (to Palin): Do you think there’s an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution?

PALIN: I do. Yeah, I do.

As The Caucus rather gently puts it:

Ms. Palin also said that she believed there is an inherent right of privacy in the Constitution. She did not explain how she could believe in a right of privacy and still oppose Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established a Constitutional right to abortion. The decision rests on the belief in a right to privacy.

Another decision that rests on the Constitutional right to privacy: Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay sex. I wonder which side of that one Palin is on. Maybe both?

RSS icon Comments


her beauty pageant answers are growing truly tiresome.

Posted by argh | October 1, 2008 4:32 PM

HOLY FUCK! shit fuck! god damn, and then again. There are other times where fuck god. When I'm vicey-prezzers I'll work to crap hell for the good of america.

When the hell is this lady gonna get mad and drop some cussin'. Judging by her intellegence you'd think every other thing out of her mouth would be an f-bomb.

-Profanity is a poor attempt by a weak mind to make a strong statement.

Posted by Super Jesse | October 1, 2008 4:38 PM

COURIC (to Palin): Do you think there’s an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution?

PALIN: I do. Yeah, I do.

COURIC: the cornerstone of Roe v Wade

PALIN: I do. And I believe that –individual states can handle what the people within the different constituencies in the 50 states would like to see their will ushered in in an issue like that.


I love how Katie Couric tries to patiently explain why her answer to one question is completely in opposition to her answer to the other question, but no! Palin forges ahead with another syntactical fucking nightmare of an evasive answer.

Posted by Levislade | October 1, 2008 4:38 PM


Posted by Mr. Poe | October 1, 2008 4:39 PM

I'm just as confused by both answers although for different reasons. Where are women being denied the right to sue a man that beat them? That's crazy? The feds are helpless because it's not interstate commerce?

Posted by DavidC | October 1, 2008 4:39 PM

Wow, is she ever dumb. But while I agree with Biden's sentiment--courts should provide maximum protection to beaten women--I disagree with his take. We shouldn't federalize crimes, taking them out of their ordinary jurisdictions, unless there is a compelling interest of the federal government.

Posted by Dominic Holden | October 1, 2008 4:40 PM

The press is wise to Palin's training and how she conducts herself in debates, they also know how she "won" others-- which means Biden knows.

Posted by AJ | October 1, 2008 4:41 PM

Do you get the feeling like everything out of her mouth is from a game of mad-libs or something? Only all the fill-in words are from a seventh graders vocabulary.

Posted by Super Jesse | October 1, 2008 4:41 PM

What's incredible is that she doesn't even know HER OWN SIDE'S talking points. I mean, is there a sentient right winger alive who doesn't know the basics of the "right to privacy" debate, and what it is always discussed in light of?

Posted by Fnarf | October 1, 2008 4:45 PM

Dred Scott?

Posted by Dan Savage | October 1, 2008 4:46 PM

Palin did exactly the same thing as the last interview. Couric asked her a question and she used the example Couric gave her. She like a parot. Tomorrow night should be fun.

Posted by BConCH | October 1, 2008 4:47 PM

Fuckin' HELL!!!! She's a box of rocks, yo. A box of rocks.

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | October 1, 2008 4:48 PM

Plessy vs. Ferguson, Marbury vs. Madison, McCullough vs. Maryland, Lawrence vs. Texas, Griswold vs. Connecticut...

Here's a great one!

Tinker vs. Des Moines

Or this might be one of the best ones: Brown vs. Board of Education

I can name more Court cases than Palin. Can I be VP now?

Posted by Leslie N. | October 1, 2008 4:51 PM

Regarding VAWA - look up United States vs. Morrison. It did remove a key provision.

One would think that the Governor of Alaska could have talked about the recent Exxon Valdez ruling. She's horrible.

Posted by akshelby | October 1, 2008 4:51 PM

Breathtakingly stupid.

Posted by whatevernevermind | October 1, 2008 4:52 PM

On the other hand, Lawrence v. Texas seems to be perfectly fine with Hooker Heels, so who knew she was pro-sodomy?

Posted by whatevernevermind | October 1, 2008 4:54 PM

@6--i don't know for sure, but i think the argument about federal hate crimes legislation isn't about federalizing the crime, but about giving local law enforcement the opportunity to call the feds to investigate and try the criminal. right? maybe the violence against women act has a similar implication?

Posted by kim | October 1, 2008 4:54 PM

The worst thing about this is it makes Katie Couric seem like H.L. Mencken.

Posted by laterite | October 1, 2008 4:55 PM

yeah dred scott occurred to me too, just as a simple example. a bit old though. biden's answer is eloquent and demonstrates his experience, i'm not familiar with the decision he was referring to so i can't say if the content of what he said was spot on or not, but that's about as solid an answer as a politician can possibly give.

palin continues to astound me. how could anyone vote for her? it's shocking.

Posted by douglas | October 1, 2008 4:55 PM

Oh, no mention of Lawrence v. Texas-- maybe she'll help get that flushed so Rossi can get his anti-gay mandate and won't have to worry about fudging the will of the people.

Posted by AJ | October 1, 2008 4:56 PM

She did know the word "federalist," though; gotta give her points for that. Do you think her handlers are freaking out about Thursday?

Posted by Levislade | October 1, 2008 4:58 PM

@3 beat me to it. That is pretty much exactly what I was going to say. Jesus.

The only thing about this is that tomorrow night, who is going to be following up with her to make sure she actually answers the question. Say what you will about Katie Couric, but at least she tries to make her answer the question. I fear that the fact that she's just jabbered on for 2 minutes and not actually said anything may get lost tomorrow.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | October 1, 2008 4:58 PM

Having the contrast between the two makes it that much more damning.

Posted by cbc | October 1, 2008 4:59 PM


Posted by Joe Biden | October 1, 2008 5:03 PM

Julie, jabbering on without actually saying anything coherent is damning in its own right.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 1, 2008 5:06 PM

I think I now understand what she was trying to say the other day about her being in "like, second grade" when Biden was beginning his career in the legislature.

Obviously, she meant that she's like a second grader compared to Biden.

Posted by whatevernevermind | October 1, 2008 5:06 PM
Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | October 1, 2008 5:06 PM

#17: the biggest argument for federal hate crimes is that local jurisdictions often ignore crimes against certain groups (lynchings, gay bashings, woman beatings, child abuse) because the ruling culture accepts these crimes. in a lot of cultures in this country a wife or girlfriend is still considered de facto property and can be assaulted at will without repercussions. it's absolutely a civil rights issue. joe biden is completely right.

Posted by jrrrl | October 1, 2008 5:07 PM

She's a Christian who loves babies, even retarded ones. Why is it so hard for you libs to get that?

Go drink your chardoney and have gay sex with each other.

Posted by Mrs. David Wright | October 1, 2008 5:08 PM

Good lord, she is impressively pathetic. Then again, a woman that would force other women to pay for their own rape investigations to try to keep them from getting access to emergency contraception isn't going to be swayed by a little thing like the privacy of their own bodies. Maybe privacy is only for men?

Posted by Beguine | October 1, 2008 5:08 PM

i really want to hear palin's opinion on morse v. frederick. i really just want to hear her say "bong hits 4 jesus."

Posted by jrrrl | October 1, 2008 5:08 PM

Well, we all know these cheerleader/prom queens/beauty queen types. Whether it's homecoming or the VP, you know she blew somebody under the bleachers to win. She's pretty, she doesn't have to be smart.

Hooker Heels, Ha!

Posted by 2nd Runner Up (Miss Congeniality) | October 1, 2008 5:11 PM
Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | October 1, 2008 5:11 PM

I think Biden should just cede all his debate time to Palin. He'd win unconditionally.

Posted by laterite | October 1, 2008 5:15 PM

I hate chardonnay but I loves me my gay sex.

Learn to spell Ms. Wright. Oh, yeah it's French word and you don't even know English.


Posted by tiddlywinks | October 1, 2008 5:20 PM

Sorry, tiddlywinks, but I was out working for a living when you wer in some fancypants collage majoring in fisting or whatever it is you people do and not just in the privacy of your bedrooms.

Sarah Palin is a Christian marter and when she wins you libs will sing a different song.

Posted by Mrs. David Wright | October 1, 2008 5:24 PM

@36- you and Sarah are not just more "marter" you're more smartful...

Posted by waitaminute | October 1, 2008 5:31 PM

I would think the last thing right-wingers want Sarah Palin to be is a Christian martyr, seeing as how that requires death and all.

Posted by leek | October 1, 2008 5:31 PM

@5 & 6,

The case is called Morrison v. U.S. The Supreme Court overturned a section of VAWA that allowed federal courts the jurisdiction to hear civil suits for damages by abuse victims against their abusers.

In spite of the hearings on the issue that Biden referred to, the Supreme Court found that family law was traditionally regulated by the states, and that Congress was going beyond its Commerce Clause powers in extending federal court jurisdiction to the area.

There is merit to the idea of allowing federal judges and juries to hear these cases. While state courts are of high quality in many places, an abuse victim in a rural area had the option to get a hearing in a federal court, before a typically more worldly, better educated judge and a jury drawn from the entire federal judicial district. By contrast, in state court, the judge and jury would be from her home county.

I would hope that the court would rule similarly, if, say, a conservative Congress amended DOMA to bar states from recognizing any same-sex marriages. Wouldn't hold my breath with the current court.

Posted by Con Law | October 1, 2008 5:32 PM

You know...I was going to go have heterosexual sex with my fiance, but I do like chardonnay...

Maybe I should call my maid of honor and ask if she wants to help me check and make sure I'm still straight.

Posted by Beguine | October 1, 2008 5:33 PM

Incidentally, I think the Terri Schiavo Act was unconstitutional under Morrison. Congress had no Commerce Clause or other power to grant the Middle District of Florida federal court special jurisdiction to re-review Florida's family law procedures.

Posted by Con Law | October 1, 2008 5:35 PM

The sad thing is, this was supposed to be a softball. The question was,
"What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?" Normal Americans might say "Dred Scott" or "Plessy v. Ferguson." Progressive Americans might say "Bowers v. Hardwick." Conservatives could cite "Miranda." But this was a gift to Palin to talk about "Baker v. Exxon"--how she stood up to the oil companies, how the Supreme Court vacated the $2.5 billion judgment, blah, blah, blah. This wasn't gotcha journalism--it was a softball--and she still fucked it up!

Posted by kk | October 1, 2008 5:36 PM

To the Pro-Lifers, "Dred Scott" is code for "States' Rights" in determining the Fed's jurisdictional role when it comes to personal property (from slaves to the physical body). Bush referenced in his debate with Kerry. It's a media dog whistle to let the Lifers know where you stand.

Posted by demolator | October 1, 2008 5:44 PM

Interesting point, 43

Posted by Non | October 1, 2008 5:49 PM

She describes herself as a Federalist, then advocates for States' Rights in the same sentence?!

"In that sense, I'm a Marxist, in that I believe that Labor should not be allowed to organize."



Posted by demolator | October 1, 2008 6:05 PM

Speaking as a lawyer, I think watching that broke something in my brain.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | October 1, 2008 6:13 PM
47 ... If you missed it, the mashup between the real Palin and Tina Fey as Palin. Scary, scary, scary.

Posted by Arboreality | October 1, 2008 6:48 PM

For a small government conservative, I would think she could have cited Kelo v. New London as well. Or is she in favor of the government seizing private property from Joe Six-Pack to give to yuppy developers because they can increase the property value and therefore pay higher property taxes?

Posted by Kaz | October 1, 2008 7:00 PM

@42 and 48,

The Miller Decision in 1939 allowed the Federal Government to ban machine guns and sawed-off shotguns. Dumb though she is, you'd think at least that one would have stuck in her craw.

Posted by Mr. X | October 1, 2008 7:57 PM

I find Biden totally charming. I'd rather have dinner with him than Obama. If I had dinner with Palin, I think she'd put me off my feed.

Posted by poster girl | October 1, 2008 8:20 PM

If you're a pro-lifer, the right to privacy and the right to life don't conflict. We also have a right to keep and bear arms, but that ends when we start using them to commit murder (which pro-lifers believe abortion is). In the same way, the right to privacy doesn't trump the right of another person to their life. Remember, the Griswold vs. Connecticut case where the right to privacy was established dealt with contraception, not abortion. Just a short course in the logic here.

Posted by Seajay | October 1, 2008 8:30 PM
In spite of the hearings on the issue that Biden referred to, the Supreme Court found that family law was traditionally regulated by the states

What? Since when is violence a matter for family courts? Their argument boils down to why VAWA exists in the first place: too many jurisdictions consider domestic violence to be a private family matter. Christ.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 1, 2008 8:37 PM

Tell me this, how does Couric keep a straight face during these interviews. Does she take Palin seriously any more?

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | October 1, 2008 9:21 PM

@45 - Um, after you clean up the mess from your head exploding, you might want to look up the word "federalism" in the dictionary. The lesson here? When making fun of Sarah Palin, it's probably best NOT to reveal that you're even more ignorant than she is.

Posted by Chris Jensen | October 1, 2008 9:44 PM

I want whirled peas.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 1, 2008 10:03 PM

@54 - She said, "I'm a Federalist..."

Here's one definition: "One who believes in and promotes state individualism as opposed to nationalistic controls." Under this definition, you're right (ouch).

Here's another, and this is what I was thinking of when I heard the interview:

"A member of a former political party (The Federalist Party) in the United States that favored a strong centralized federal government"

Maybe this makes me dumber than someone who named their kids "Trig" and "Track," but I've never heard the term "Federalist" used to describe a States' Rights point of view (which Palin holds, along with her secessionist husband). Wasn't Lincoln's army called the Federal Army, fighting a confederacy of independent states?

Posted by demolator | October 1, 2008 10:20 PM

@56: Federalism = states rights in this context. It was a new nation's natural reaction to an oppressive monarchy, an aversion to overly powerful centralized government.

Now, I'm all for Obama, but, to be fair, Biden appeared to discuss Roe as if the trimester system is the law. It is not, and the only temporal distinction that matters now is pre- vs. post-viability. Biden should know that.

Hopefully he was just answering the question as it was asked: Why do you think Roe was a good decision? Still, it would have been nice to hear him acknowledge that the portion of Roe he discussed is not the law.

Posted by California | October 1, 2008 11:21 PM

Amen @14. Even assuming that she's done no homework or preparation on previous Supreme Court decisions, the Exxon Valdez ruling came down on her watch, with the state's involvement, and with a tremendous --and negative-- impact on her constituents. Shouldn't we be able to rely on her to at least remember that!?

Posted by avatar | October 1, 2008 11:47 PM

Man, she must be getting like one minute of sleep a night at this point.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | October 1, 2008 11:53 PM
Posted by BaxterJ | October 2, 2008 11:13 AM

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