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August 16, 2006

DimWittery Alert: Unclear On The Concept

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."
- Abraham Lincoln

slave.gif

It is a sad day for the American education system when a literate adult of voting age is not only blissfully unaware that the process for amending the United States Constitution is written right into Article V of that document, but feels the need to trumpet his ignorance before all the world. Unless the half vast editorial staff are missing something incredibly basic, according to Article V the process for amending the Constitution is part of the text of that document, making it something originalists would, by nature, be inclined to interpret strictly:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Would not, therefore, wiping all the Amendments from the Constitution violate everything originalists stand for?

We would say "Stop the Hate", but "Stop the Stupidity" seems more appropriate in this case. And we suspect Justice Thomas would have little difficulty defending himself against the kind of cretin who shows up at an intellectual knife fight armed with naught but racist drool.

Pathetic.

Via Betsy Newmark.

Posted by Cassandra at August 16, 2006 06:53 AM

Comments

At first, when I read this post, I thought it was more trouble than it was worth. Yeah, the cartoonist is ignorant and used his little forum to poke fun at Clarence Thomas (and Scalia). Yeah his entire premise is based upon a misunderstanding of the constitution, but why point out such blithering idoicy in a cartoon, especially when it resides all over the place-TV, radio, schools...Aha! That's it isn't it? I realized then that if we don't point it out in all its obvious ridiculousness and in all of its forms, we acquiesce.

Thanks for the epiphany!

Posted by: Beerme at August 16, 2006 09:01 AM

That cartoon is one of the few consistently funny ones in the paper. Still a bufoon.

Posted by: KJ at August 16, 2006 10:45 AM

I know. That's what shocked me. When I lived in soCal a friend of mine in the valley and I used to trade cartoons by email.

Shame - not only was it shockingly ignorant, but it was in egregiously poor taste. I don't know what got into the author, but I just thought it merited a rebuttal.

I am always amazed at how many people will go out of their way to misrepresent what conservatives stand for, and I have no intention of letting them get away with it.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 16, 2006 10:54 AM

And besides, when they go after Thomas for anything other than his ideas, I am going to have issues with it. I am sick of the cheap attacks.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 16, 2006 10:55 AM

Cass --


You *are* missing something. That is, (1) this is a cartoon. Like a joke, you know ("A rabbi, a minister, and a priest..." [etc.]), with pictures. Chill.


Second (?), you're really over-thinking this darlin'. I suggest that there's no reason to believe that this is a more particularly "sad day for the American education system" than any other, or that the cartoonist is "blissfully unaware that the process for amending the United States Constitution is written right into Article V of that document". (See, (1), supra)


Regards

Posted by: DGF at August 16, 2006 12:27 PM

Well you're going to have to explain the joke to me then, because the train left the station without me on it.

I still don't get it.

What is the joke? I'm really, really trying, but I don't get it.

In a parallel universe where everyone is granted their fondest wish, strict constructionists like Clarence Thomas would be in deep doo-doo because amendments to the Constitution would not exist because one of those is the 13th (which ended slavery)?

Oh the irony! Justice Thomas would be fetching coffee for Scalia?

Please point out my error so I will understand.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 16, 2006 12:37 PM

I prefer Hagar the Horrible.

Posted by: a former european at August 16, 2006 12:43 PM

You got it. I knew you did. (Now, go on and overthink it if you want to, now; that's your perogative, in this and in any other parallel universe alpha z thru zeta-jones a)


Regards

Posted by: DGF at August 16, 2006 12:45 PM

In a parallel universe where everyone is granted their fondest wish, strict constructionists like Clarence Thomas would be in deep doo-doo because amendments to the Constitution would not exist because one of those is the 13th (which ended slavery)?

Except that if you strictly construe Article V, this is demonstrably false.

Which is why I felt the need to excerpt Article V.

Or is your point that the author is making fun of people who oppose strict constructionists, in which case he is being way oversubtle?

Posted by: Cassandra at August 16, 2006 12:59 PM

The joke is simple. Clarence Thomas and Anthonia Scalia like slavery and hate black people.

What more is there to say?

Posted by: KJ at August 16, 2006 01:24 PM

Hmm. I must say that I'm torn between simply screaming "uncle", and gnawing my leg off. Perhaps I'll do both, simultaneously. (Oh wait; it's really not possible to do both at once, strictly speaking, so perhaps I should rethink matters.)


I do suggest that as a rule you (along with the overwhelming majority of folks) do not apply such strict logical constructions to cartoons or jokes as you seem intent to do with this particular cartoon. (". . .Russell, paging Mr. Bertrand Russell...; text message for Mr. Russell...")


Regards

Posted by: DGF at August 16, 2006 01:40 PM

There are very few things in life that I won't laugh at, DGF.

I have laughed at Bush jokes. I will laugh at jokes aimed at conservatives, etc, and the foibles of my own party.

I guess this one just seems fundamentally dishonest, as well as fundamentally based on something ugly. So to me, it really isn't very funny.

Words mean something, and if you are making a joke, in order to be funny the punch line kind of has to make some kind of sense.

I don't want to beat a dead horse, but the joke would really be quite ironically and pointedly funny (and frankly, at funny at our expense) if only it were true. But if it isn't, then it isn't.

And this one, like the Tom Toles one, seems to me to based not only on a rather big lie, but also to have a sneering insinuation at the bottom of it (i.e., that Scalia is a racist) that I think needs to be called out. And I think that cartoonists often rely on just the assumption you are making (that it is "just a joke - ha ha") to get away with saying things that, if they came right out and said them in plain English, would get their lights punched out in polite company.

In my mind, whether you say it with a picture or say it with words (and this cartoonist used both) is really immaterial.

But again, I guess I just lack a sense of humor, at least on this particular subject.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 16, 2006 02:24 PM

You have a perfectly good sense of humour. That comic is not funny at all. It's stupid - it's pandering to the leftists who have nothing else to laugh about.

I'm disappointed, I like a lot of that artists' stuff, but I think this is disrepectful and unfair to both Scalia and Thomas.

It reminds me of those awful cartoons comparing Condi to aunt jemima.

Posted by: Beth Donovan at August 16, 2006 02:58 PM

Beth Donovan is right. Cassandra you have a marvelous sense of humor I love it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 16, 2006 06:06 PM

I do suggest that as a rule you (along with the overwhelming majority of folks) do not apply such strict logical constructions to cartoons or jokes as you seem intent to do with this particular cartoon.

For something satirical to be funny, it must accurately satirize its object; hence, some "logical construction" is necessary to the making of Teh Funny. Swift understood this when he wrote A Modest Proposal.

On the other hand, when you make it clear that you do not understand what "strict constitution originalists" actually stand for, or even what the phrase means, or even what's ACTUALLY WRITTEN IN THE CONSTITUTION, your jokes based on that will fail.

And now I suggest that you find something to do with your time besides make melodramatic, hyperbolic statements about gnawing off your own leg, simply because a weblogger understands something you do not. I'd no more take advice from you about what's funny than I would from Carrot Top or Gallagher.

Posted by: ilyka at August 16, 2006 08:07 PM

For something satirical to be funny, it must accurately satirize its object;

Unless its object is The Right, in which case, all that is needed is to imply that (Dubya/Rove/Clarence Thomas/Antonin Scalia/Republicans) are (Dumb/Evil Masterminds/Uncle Toms/Racists/generally icky), and it is by default funny. Sheesh, didn't you know that?

Posted by: Brian B at August 16, 2006 09:24 PM

To paraphrase: As the joke's premise, that strict constructionalists don't believe in the merit of the amendments to the Constitution, is false, the joke fails.

Posted by: KJ at August 17, 2006 10:23 AM

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