October 2, 2008

Katie Couric invites viewers to admire the impressive constitutional expertise of Joe Biden.

Now, after analyzing the interview with Palin, I want to look at Katie Couric's interview with Joe Biden on the same subject, Roe v. Wade:
Katie Couric: Why do you think Roe v. Wade was a good decision?

Joe Biden: Because it's as close to a consensus that can exist in a society as heterogeneous as ours.
Since I noted Palin's garbled syntax, to be fair, I have to flag that garbled syntax.
What does it say? It says in the first three months that decision should be left to the woman. And the second three months, where Roe v. Wade says, well then the state, the government has a role, along with the women's health, they have a right to have some impact on that. And the third three months they say the weight of the government's input is on the fetus being carried.

And so that's sort of reflected as close as anybody is ever going to get in this heterogeneous, this multicultural society of religious people as to some sort of, not consensus, but as close it gets.
Questions! Questions! Katie, where are your questions?

Let me suggest a few: Why is that a consensus? And should the Supreme Court be serving up consensus and calling it constitutional law? If you say the case is good because it is consensus, then why would it not have been preferable to allow the democratic processes to play out and produce consensus? Why should courts impose consensus? And why are you praising the lines drawn in Roe, when the Court redrew the lines in Planned Parenthood v. Casey? "It says in the first three months that decision should be left to the woman"... ahem... that hasn't been the doctrine since 1992!

But Couric doesn't not break in and push Biden with any questions. He has free rein to make unchallenged statements. He is permitted to settle in and get comfortable and to rattle out his ideas in his own good time:
I think the liberty clause of the 14th Amendment … offers a right to privacy. Now that's one of the big debates that I have with my conservative scholar friends, that they say, you know, unless a right is enumerated - unless it's actually, unless [it] uses the word "privacy" in the Constitution - then no such "constitutional right" exists. Well, I think people have an inherent right.
Again, this is blatantly wrong and unchallenged. Some conservatives reject the right to privacy, but Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito clearly affirmed it in their confirmation hearings in Biden's own committee. Is Biden deliberately lying or is he ignorant?
Couric: Are there 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.
Here, Couric could have interrupted him, as she interrupted Palin, and asked some questions. There are some terribly important questions that are just begging to be asked. Biden has expressed pride in having written a provision in a statute that, in United States v. Morrison, the Supreme Court held was an exercise of power beyond what is granted to Congress in the Constitution.

Here are some question that could have been asked: Do you think there is any importance to the idea that the Constitution gives Congress limited, enumerated powers? Why isn't it enough that a woman can use state law and sue someone who has physically abused her? Do you think the federal government should pass laws in areas that have been traditionally handled by the states? What standard would you apply to that? Wasn't your law more of a political gesture to please some constituents rather than something that needed to be federalized?
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, "Well, 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.
"Federalizing a private crime"? Huh? Where are the follow up questions?

The unconstitutional provision in the Violence Against Women Act federalized tort law not criminal law. It did not simply authorize federal prosecutors to file cases. Individual plaintiffs could use the federal courts to sue their attackers. Does Biden have any concern about using the federal courts to try cases involving one individual in an act of violence against another individual? Does he know the ratio of state trial level courts to federal district courts in the United States? Why should scarce federal judicial resources be expended on cases like this (as opposed to more complicated interstate matter)?

A person who suffers physical injuries may lose time in the work force, but why does that fact mean that the case belongs in federal rather than state court? Presumably, Biden would say that there was case law stating that Congress has power under the Commerce Clause to pass laws regulating matters that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce, and Biden assumed that if injured women lose time at work, then Congress had power to put individual tort cases arising from acts of violence into the federal courts. Under this theory of the Commerce Clause, which the Supreme Court limited United States v. Morrison, Congress could justify regulating virtually anything.

Why didn't Couric press him on his expansive view of his own power and disregard for the role of the states? Will he bring similar expansive theories of constitutional power to the executive branch?

Absolute deafening silence from Katie Couric. She gave him a free pass. The viewer is invited to sit back and admire Joe Biden as an impressive authority on constitutional law... not like that ignoramus Sarah Palin. Very few viewers will perceive what has been done here.

142 comments:

Doyle said...

Nothing on FISA, torture, signing statements... Long post about Joe Biden's interview with Katie Couric.

Lawblogging: Althouse-style

Alex said...

Ann - we told you that 99% of the MSM is in the pocket of the Democrats. You denied it. Do you need more proof that they threw the election? You will maintain "cruel neutrality" in the face of this?

Alex said...

doyle - yet another shill for the Democrat party. Of course you only want to discuss left-wing talking points.

Ann Althouse said...

I won't allow this thread to be about other legal topics I haven't written on.

Federalism and the commerce clause happens to be an area of my scholarly writing, in any case, but further remarks on things I haven't delved into on this blog will be regarded as trolling and deleted.

You have to focus now.

Alex said...

Ann - to me the biggest story in America is not the bailout plan, but how the MSM threw the election. I don't know if it's the first time in history they did it, but first in my lifetime. It's a virtual coup de tat.

downtownlad said...

I think Biden could have answered any of those questions just fine.

Katie didn't ask them, because obviously Biden's knowledge about constitutional law is greater that Couric's. And Couric's knowledge is greater than Palin.

downtownlad said...

Katie Couric is more qualified to be veep than Palin.

mcg said...

If all it takes to be a qualified VP is to inundate your interviewers with unmitigated BS then hell I think I could even be VP. At least, I could if it weren't for that little S&M tryst with Doyle awhile back that the Enquirer would probably dig up.

Ann Althouse said...

DTL, I think Biden would have had something to say, and I would have appreciated the opportunity to react to what he said. I think he has the liberal view of federalism and Palin has the conservative. I would like a fair discussion of the topic put before the people. Instead, what we get is a portrayal of Palin as stupid and Biden as smart. That does us a grievous disservice.

Slim Tyranny said...

Heh, so you want a grilling of Biden, but you think Palin being asked "name a case you disagree with" was an unfair gotcha question (a question that Biden got, too)?

I like how you provide a long list of potential questions Couric should have answered, but when it comes to Palin, you're fully supportive of her supposedly substantive "opting out" of answering.

Would there be a "gotcha" dripping from Couric's lips if she asked your series of questions?

I don't think "cruel neutrality" means what you think it means.

Alex said...

ann - tonight is not about Palin vs Biden. It's about Palin vs an Obamabot "moderator" and MSM. You know that.

Slim Tyranny said...

Althouse: "Instead, what we get is a portrayal of Palin as stupid and Biden as smart. That does us a grievous disservice."

We definitely do get a portrayal of Palin as stupid, can't disagree with that. Seems like that is actually a genuine service to us, though, as intelligence seems like a valid requirement for the office of the VP.

Ann Althouse said...

Slim, I mainly want equal treatment. I also want better questions. I don't think name some cases you disagree with is a very good question. Go back and look at that post. I said what would have been a better line of questioning: "Couric would have earned my respect if she had chosen instead to pursue the question of why a right of privacy matters -- why does Palin support it? -- and what makes abortion different. Imagine a serious discussion about that."

AJ Lynch said...

Correction Althouse.

Tonight it's all about the Phils vs. the Brewers. FYI the Phils fans will drink a few Brewskis before, during & after the game.

Doyle said...

Why did you delete all my comments but the first one? I was good after that!

SteveR said...

The obvious assumption is that Ms. Couric had no ability to get very far on the legal issues. She and her staff prepared some questions and possible follow ups. They were prepared to pin Ms. Palin down when she left them an opening but were no more willing to get beyond the babbling senatorial style of Joe Biden than 95% of the media would.

Alex said...

ann - at this point Palin deserves your vote out of pure human decency for how the MSM are trying to throw this election. A discussion of the issues can wait.

mcg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Apathetic Citizen said...

Oh, it's all blather.

Joe talks about being the "guy" who wrote some law about violence no one outside of Cambridge, Mass., has ever heard of.

He spent "1,000 hours" holding hearings. Sure he did. What a misery that must have been.

"Interstate commerce?" What is he talking about? What does that have to do with fetuses? What did he prove in his hearings?

And Sarah's in favor of "a culture of life."

mcg said...

Seems like that is actually a genuine service to us, though, as intelligence seems like a valid requirement for the office of the VP.

That's pretty funny given how Biden basically made up his academic resume out of whole cloth.

Alex said...

Nov 4th - the last day of our republic as the MSM performs their coup de tat and installs "Dear Leader" Obama as "POTUS".

MadisonMan said...

I think Biden would have had something to say, and I would have appreciated the opportunity to react to what he said.

Well, I'd say that's because you're a law scholar.

I think Katie knows in the back of her mind what is and what is not good television. A debate on the minutiae of the law? Even if it's important -- is it good TV? And as a journalist, she is not going to wander anywhere where she is perceived to know less than who she's interviewing. So there are many things controlling what is asked.

Showing a politician to look dumb is always good TV. I don't think the line of question you want could have enabled Couric to make Biden look stupid, because Couric's knowledge isn't deep enough. So she went with making the politician look smart. Well, not dumb. Unusual for a politician, and therefore good TV.

My Dad has always called it the Idiot Box. For good reason.

that-xmas said...

Now that's one of the big debates that I have with my conservative scholar friends, that they say, you know, unless a right is enumerated - unless it's actually, unless [it] uses the word "privacy" in the Constitution - then no such "constitutional right" exists. Well, I think people have an inherent right.

I think more of his conservative scholar friends are screaming, "Why do you trample over the rights explicitly enumerated in the Constitution?!?!?"

Why didn't Couric follow-up with questions on the Drug War and inanimate objects being charged with crimes. "How about the RAVE act there Senator?"

Slim Tyranny said...

Althouse: "Slim, I mainly want equal treatment. I also want better questions. I don't think name some cases you disagree with is a very good question. Go back and look at that post. I said what would have been a better line of questioning: "Couric would have earned my respect if she had chosen instead to pursue the question of why a right of privacy matters -- why does Palin support it? -- and what makes abortion different. Imagine a serious discussion about that."

You don't want equal treatment, Ann, because Biden and Palin GOT equal treatment, and you're still not satisfied. (1) They were asked the same questions, on Roe v. Wade and on naming a case with which they disagree. (2) You spin as hard as you can to turn Palin's non-answer into a substantive deferral based on sound reasoning, while you simultaneously criticize the content of Biden's answer.

Look, we ALL would want better questions from interviewers. Your follow-up questions for Biden were all legitimate, and I'm sorry they weren't asked. But you didn't generate a similar list for Palin. Why not?

Palin's apparent stupidity is her own fault, not the fault of unequal treatment by Couric.

Fred4Pres said...

Double Standard?

Eric Muller said...

Ann, you say that "[t]he unconstitutional provision in the Violence Against Women Act federalized tort law not criminal law."

Not so. The unconstitutional provision of VAWA made a federal tort out of conduct that could have been either tortious or criminal (or both) under the law of a given state.

Alex said...

slimTROLL - how is Palin getting equal treatment by having an ObamaBOT moderator?

David said...

Ann--I wonder. Does Katie Couric actually have enough knowledge to ask these questions? She's a smart lady, but does she take the time to acquire the knowledge to be able to ask other than superficial questions? Also, like anyone else in MSM, politics, etc, she relies on staff for knowledge and background. I wonder what kind of staff she has.

I know a fair amount about the financial markets because of my work. With rare exceptions, the members of the MSM show massive ignorance about financial markets, financial instruments and macroeconomics. Granted, these are complicated subjects, but they are not as hard to understand as many make out.

Bias in the media is a problem in our public dialog. But I think a bigger problem is the ignorance and intellectual laziness of both our senior media and many politicians.

One of the best features of blogs is the opportunity for persons knowledgable in particular subjects to reach a wider audience. Whether this will have enough influence over time to improve our decision making is still not clear.

Lorelei Leigh said...

Ha! I didn't realize the Supreme Court was in the business of consensus building. I must have missed the day they taught us that in law school. I do think this idiotic statement ranks up there with Palin's non-answer about federalism being the reason she opposes Roe. Biden manages to at least be coherent, while Palin fumbles. Then again, I think we should expect better legal analysis from the lawyer Joe Biden than the non-lawyer Sarah Palin, so I call it a draw, on this issue at least.

There are a couple of reasons Biden was given a pass whereas Palin wasn't:

First, Biden sells it better. Just based on the transcripts, Biden seems more sure of himself and that goes a long way. This is a skill that Biden most likely picked up in law school. I know that I am definitely able to ramble on, saying nothing and yet making it seem like I'm saying something, much better since graduating from law school.

Second, Couric obviously doesn't have anything other than a cursory knowledge of the legal issues involved. That's why she doesn't ask better questions. It would be better for Couric to avoid all this legal mess in the future, and leave it to the professionals.

Kevin said...

I doubt Katie Couric knows any more about any of these issues than either of the candidates. In fact, I suspect, she knows a lot less and is just working off the script prepared for her by her staff. If Palin had made up some case name out of whole cloth, would Couric have caught it then and there without her staff? I doubt it.

In some ways, journalists are so generalized that they are the least educated of our population on any given topic. In some ways, they are the worst people to actually question anyone on any substantial topic.

Slim Tyranny said...

Did I touch a nerve, Alex?

MadisonMan said...

But I think a bigger problem is the ignorance and intellectual laziness of both our senior media and many politicians.

I definitely agree. My field of science is routinely the subject of news articles that never ask the right question -- it's always the same glossed over schmaltz.

Slim Tyranny said...

Kevin: "In some ways, journalists are so generalized that they are the least educated of our population on any given topic."

That's an hilariously broad generalization, made extra funny by Palin's college degree in journalism.

Alex said...

slimTroll - nobody here cares what you think.

former law student said...

Do you think there is any importance to the idea that the Constitution gives Congress limited, enumerated powers? Why isn't it enough that a woman can use state law and sue someone who has physically abused her?

This would have opened an excellent line of questioning, both because Biden was the author, and because Biden is an adjunct law professor.

However, I disagree with the criticisms Ann makes here:

Katie Couric: Why do you think Roe v. Wade was a good decision?

Biden answers the question from a "good for America," pragmatic viewpoint. Couric did not ask if he thought Roe v. Wade was correctly decided, which is what I believe Ann is asking here. Most people believe women should be able to make the decision to abort or not. Few people believe in criminally punishing such women.

And why are you [Biden] praising the lines drawn in Roe

Because that was the subject of the question, I would guess. I think Biden is consciously trying to rein in his tendency to digress, even if he could deliver a nice little lecture on reproductive freedom. (I would start, of course, with Harlan's dissent to the denial of cert in Poe v. Ullman.)

Now that's one of the big debates that I have with my conservative scholar friends, that they say, you know, unless a right is enumerated - unless it's actually, unless [it] uses the word "privacy" in the Constitution - then no such "constitutional right" exists. Well, I think people have an inherent right. Again, this is blatantly wrong and unchallenged. Some conservatives reject the right to privacy, but Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito clearly affirmed it in their confirmation hearings in Biden's own committee. Is Biden deliberately lying or is he ignorant?

Having had the same debates with my conservative lawyer (not scholar, necessarily) friends, I cannot fault Biden on this. (My buddy who summered with the Alliance Defense folks in particular.) Is Ann asserting that Roberts and Alito are Biden's friends whose beliefs he had a duty to represent accurately? I think he was arguing "Some A are B," not "All A are B."

mcg said...

slimTroll - nobody here cares what you think.

Alex, cut it out. I don't agree with him either but you're coming across exceptionally weak.

Kevin said...

Well, Palin at least went and got a real job after her journalism degree.

Do you dispute my observation? I'm referring here to pure journalists - folks whose entire life experience is in the media, and who have not done anything else. I routinely read stories on subjects I know something about, and am astonished by how many details the stories get wrong, and how often they miss the point altogether. Then I turn to other sections and read those stories, wondering how much of those are faulty as well.

mjsharon said...

David,

Right on! I find the combination of ignorance and smugness throughout the MSM even more irritating than its obvious liberal bias.

Alex said...

mcg - I don't care anymore. This is an ongoing coup de tat and I will not be silent in the face of it.

mcg said...

That's an hilariously broad generalization, made extra funny by Palin's college degree in journalism.

That retort is nice to the extent she remained a journalist. She exited that bubble some time ago.

Doyle said...

I don't agree with him either but you're coming across exceptionally weak.

And that's coming from a guy who knows something about puerile responses.

mcg said...

mcg - I don't care anymore. This is an ongoing coup de tat and I will not be silent in the face of it.

Silence is preferable to looking like an idiot.

Slim Tyranny said...

You clearly do, Alex.

I know some want to pretend there is this massive MSM mission against Palin, but her own failings are the cause of her media misadventures. In the limited time anyone has gotten to hear from her in an interactive setting, she's been exposed as incurious and not exactly sharp. Add her non-mainstream political views, and no wonder the American people are not holding as high opinion of her these days.

I actually think she'll do well in the debate --- it's a short answer format with little room for candidate interactions and followups. Much easier to fake it in that setting.

mcg said...

And that's coming from a guy who knows something about puerile responses.

How many times do I have to apologize for forgetting our "safe word" that night, Doyle? I never intended for you to have to run out into the street in your Gimp costume!

Alex said...

slimTroll - they all have weaknesses, but a fair media doesn't spend 100:1 on Palin vs Biden unless they are throwing the election.

john said...

downtownlad said...
Katie Couric is more qualified to be veep than Palin.

Why so? Has Couric had one of these?

MarkW said...

You don't want equal treatment, Ann, because Biden and Palin GOT equal treatment, and you're still not satisfied.

But they didn't. Couric's approach to Palin was, "How can I trip her up?" -- it was adversarial (but partly concealed in politeness). Couric's approach to Biden was, "How can I give him answers that will allow him to shine?" Trying to trip him up was the farthest thing from her mind.

That said, Palin didn't do a good job. If she didn't know/remember enough history to mention notorious cases like Dred Scott, Plessy v Ferguson or Buck v Bell, she might have at least mentioned the recent Kelo or Raich cases.

But it's entirely possible for two propositions to be true:

1. Palin is not well-informed on many matters of national politics, and

2. The press is heavily biased in favor Obama/Biden and is no longer even making much of an effort to conceal it.

In fact, I think both are demonstrably true. Whatever the outcome of the election, the damage to the credibility of the press is likely to be long-lasting.

Alex said...

I forgot to mention one other thing, Obama will attempt to repeal our 2A rights in his first 90 days. Remember Hitler did it too...

Slim Tyranny said...

mcg: 'That's an hilariously broad generalization, made extra funny by Palin's college degree in journalism.'

That retort is nice to the extent she remained a journalist. She exited that bubble some time ago.


========

True, just enjoyed the parallel, and given that, while she is no longer a journalist, journalism is her educational background, it fit nicely in with the "least educated" snipe at journalists in general.

Slim Tyranny said...

MarkW said: 'You don't want equal treatment, Ann, because Biden and Palin GOT equal treatment, and you're still not satisfied.'

But they didn't. Couric's approach to Palin was, "How can I trip her up?" -- it was adversarial (but partly concealed in politeness). Couric's approach to Biden was, "How can I give him answers that will allow him to shine?" Trying to trip him up was the farthest thing from her mind.


=========

They got the same questions. These were not hard questions. You are basically claiming to read Couric's mind about how she came up with a simplistic question that would (1) make Palin look foolish, while simultaneously (2) make Biden look smart.

Conspiracy theories aside, that's just plain unlikely.

And face it ---- if two candidates are given the same questions, and one "trips up" and the other "shines", maybe it's okay to draw conclusions on their respective reasoning skills and general knowledge level.

Brent said...

Katie Couric is a mediocre reporter/journalist.

Okay, I'll say what we all know:

Katie Couric is only where she is because she's a woman.

NO MALE JOURNALIST of her demonstrated abilities would be anywhere close to getting an anchor chair. The detestable-but-still-talented Keith Olbermann got demoted for showing too much partiality in a supposed journalistic bias neutral zone (Main Network Campaign Anchor).

Katie's ratings fall because, frankly, people just instinctively don't like her mediocrity or her affirmative-action hire.


And that's part of what makes her getting away with her gotcha questions so disgusting.

former law student said...

a fair media doesn't spend 100:1 on Palin vs Biden unless they are throwing the election.

A fair media satisfies the consumer's hunger for information. Biden has been a national political figure for over thirty years. He ran for President twice. We all know about his lapse into describing his British coalmining youth, his failure to footnote vast hunks of his legal research paper, his remarkable misremembering of his rank in his law school class, and the tragic loss of his wife and daughter.

On the other hand, Sarah Palin has been a national political figure for barely a month. People want to know about "America's Hottest Governor." She shoots wolves from airplanes; Geraldine Ferraro never did that.

Biden is Paul Newman while Palin is Miley Cyrus. We all knew enough about Paul Newman from his years in the public eye. For years, Newman received little coverage until his recent passing. We didn't know much about Miley Cyrus till her photospread came out. That created a media frenzy.

chuck b. said...

"Very few viewers will perceive what has been done here."

Maybe Gwen Ifill will follow up.

Lorelei Leigh said...

Biden answers the question from a "good for America," pragmatic viewpoint. Couric did not ask if he thought Roe v. Wade was correctly decided, which is what I believe Ann is asking here. Most people believe women should be able to make the decision to abort or not. Few people believe in criminally punishing such women.

Interesting. I'm not sure that one can call a Supreme Court decision "good" while maintaining that it was "wrongly decided" (or vice versa), but even assuming you can, I don't think you analysis of Biden's position is correct. Later, in his statement about the Violence Against Women Act being struck down being a decision he disagrees with, he makes a legal argument for why the decision was "wrong," rather than simply bad public policy. Given the context of the earlier decision, I think it's clear he equates "good decision" with "correctly decided."

There's nothing wrong with the position that Roe was correctly decided, of course. But his consensus statement is silly and weak. I'm sure he has a more cogent legal reason for believing the decision was correct, but he doesn't articulate it here. Then again, it's a political answer and he's a politician, so it's not all that surprising.

goesh said...

I did not have a clue that Biden's proposal would have federalized tort law - thank you so much for pointing that out - I can visualize clogged dockets/long lines of people, motions for the court in hand...

madawaskan said...

Very few viewers will perceive what has been done here.

Welcome to being "specialized" and the manipulations of the press.

In your field.....

Happens to the military everyday-probably at a greater immediate cost.

Now you know why Rumsfeld hated them.

And of course that ended up being one of the reasons he had to be taken out-he didn't play nice with the press.

One of my damn favorite things about him.

But ya someone decided that was a big reason to get rid of him and he was their favorite weapon at the time.

John McCain.

And now John McCain is surprised they don't like his first command decision-

Sarah Palin.

john said...

Biden is Paul Newman while Palin is Miley Cyrus.


How about -

Biden is George Costanza,
Palen is Mattie Ross

Biden is Arnold Stang,
Palen is Gracie Burns

madawaskan said...

Ya maybe the juxtaposition was not fair-but you gotta play ball.

They've been the referees for a long, long time.

Sometimes the electorate decides to check them in the voting booth.

Trooper York said...

The problem is the journalists. They are lazy sacks of shit. Both Madison Man and Kevin pointed out phenomena that I have experienced many times. Whenever a journalist writes about a subject I know something about they generally get about 60% of it wrong up to and including the street names and addresses of where they are reporting. Just think how bad they are screwing up stuff that I don’t know anything about or had time to study. They are willfully ignorant arrogant gasbags who have a sense of entitlement that would make Leona Hemlsy look as humble as Mother Theresa.

The debates should be moderated by two regular Americans drawn by lot who could ask questions that would resonate with normal people.

The only thing worse than journalists are lawyers.

The only thing worst than that is journalists talking to lawyers.

Floridan said...

This is absurd. You may rightly quibble with Biden's answer, but for all practical purposes Palin did not give an answer.

If she is smarter than she appears (and that almost has to be the case) we haven't seen it yet.

And if, as some insist, the problem is that the McCain handlers won't let Sarah be Sarah, then why can't she see it and refuse to follow that path to ridicule.

No matter her political philosophy, she is a deeply flawed candidate.

Trooper York said...

Joe Biden is Mr. Magoo.

Sarah Palin is Betty Boop.

miller said...

Someone else said something similar, but I'll say this: Couric expects Palin to be wrong, so she provokes her to be specific. Couric expects Biden to be right, so she lets him blather on.

I'm not saying Palin should be protected because she's a tender plant.

I am saying that Couric expect Palin to fail, and Biden to succeed. So when Biden gives an answer, Couric is not really listening, because in her mind runs the mantra, "Biden is OK on this." She's not listening critically.

When Palin speaks, her mind is saying, "Palin doesn't know what she's talking about, so let me interject here to trip her up."

It's not because Couric is liberal or hates Palin. It's just the meme: Palin is stupid and naive; Biden is a Seasoned Veteran of Politics.

Anyone can be tripped up by someone with the right motive and will. If someone like Palin goes into an interview expecting reasonableness and the moderator is looking to trip her up, then someone like Palin will be tripped up.

Too bad for Palin she comes across as wanting a reasonable discussion.

I think we forget that politics isn't bean ball, and that each side plays for keeps. We think that our political leaders are "nice" because they have smiles on their faces.

Sharks smile, too.

El Presidente said...

Prof. Althouse,

What you are missing is that Couric doesn't have the brains to ask such a follow-up. You are only going to frustrate yourself by listening to a'journalist' expound on a subject in which you are an expert. Aside from the vocabulary they have almost no knowledge. If Palin would have said Korematsu and Dred Scott were two cases of which she disapproved, Couric would have had a brief disappointed look on her face and moved on.

The question Couric should have asked Biden was "Name a conservative scholar that is your friend."

Former law Student,

I see why you are former. I just reread the american constitution and didn't see the line "Most people believe" in there once. I am not terribly familiar with democracy but if "most people believe" something then the Supreme Court probably doesn't have to step in to overturn a law.

PatCA said...

"Interstate commerce"?! Interstate freaking commerce?

You are correct about the lack of followup questions, but the reason why is that Katie's depth of knowledge on SCOTUS decisions is about as deep as Palin's, or mine. But I don't fake it to win political points in a supposedly neutral interview. The Katies of this world invite this kind of analysis (and deserved scorn) because they don't know the answers any more than their interview subjects.

A brilliant post. Too bad the Obamaniacs in the media and the electorate are too in love to care.

Paddy O. said...

This gets to the heart of media bias and why it's dangerous. It's not there is necessarily an intentional drive to bias, not consciously at least. Rather, it is that because the bias is there, and fostered in other ways, there is a distinct difference in what questions are though of both in advance and in response to answers.

When we agree with someone we do not think of challenges. Their position makes sense to us, and it makes sense to us because it seems to have the most coherent grasp of reality.

When we disagree we do so with reasons, and those reasons come out of the fact we see an incoherence in the position, thus driving us to explore the cracks and the seams. We push more, we challenge more, because we identify where it can be challenged.

By stating a false declaration of objectivity, the media is in effect asserting their positions as masters of any given issue, able to see all, from every side, thus leading to distortions in exploration.

This is at the root of tyranny, really, as one side is always found coherent while the opposition is always found incoherent. The often very strong weaknesses of the first are left to fester, corrupt, and leads to disaster as false premises are not discovered until put into practice. And the real consensus that might lead to the higher good is abandoned in both theory and practice.

jdeeripper said...

Apathetic Citizen said...He spent "1,000 hours" holding hearings. Sure he did. What a misery that must have been.

Which means Joe Biden droning on for 999 hours while everyone in the room collectively loses the will to live.

Couric was obviously intimidated by Biden's answer and didn't know what to ask him in response.

I think the expression is "she was out of her league". Something like that.

Biden is a lawyer and Senator. He had to know it was ridiculous to use the commerce clause to allow a woman to argue in Federal court that she was a victim of an assault.

He was simply pandering and using it as another opportunity to stage The Joe Biden Show.

Trooper York said...

I think the journalist who interview Obama and McCain are just as bad. We should have someone who knows something about the subject ask these questions. A banker about the bail out bill. A broker about the stock market. A soldier about military matters.

They could ask the same exact questions of each of them. It was very illuminating when a minister asked questions in the Saddleback event. Why not repeat that with people who actually know what they are talking about in the field.

Instead of a perky cancer survivor.

Trooper York said...

Katy Couric is Ted Baxter with tits.

madawaskan said...

Paddy O.

Or it could be as simple as women don't often interrupt older men.

I did a stupid paper on this years ago...

Except it was about class participation.

Women in a group situation will expect certain rules and will wait to be called on-therefore thy lose out a lot of the time in college classrooms because the profs are often male-blah, blah blah.

Katie Couric probably felt a lot more comfortable interrupting Palin, rather than Biden in his full college prof-mode.

El Presidente said...

Trooper,

Katie Couric is just Ted Baxter.

knox said...

Excellent post.

Slim Tyranny said...

miller said: Someone else said something similar, but I'll say this: Couric expects Palin to be wrong, so she provokes her to be specific. Couric expects Biden to be right, so she lets him blather on.

-----

Miller, they were asked the same question. Couric asked her to be specific because she wasn't; Biden was specific so was allowed time to answer/blather. No doubt Palin would have been given the same amount of time to answer/blather, and since Biden was not asked further followup questions, I doubt Palin would have been asked further followup questions, either.

Face it --- they were asked the same questions. Rather than blame the media for asking them the same question, why not examine why Palin's non-answer was so vacuous.

Julia said...

Ann,

Your points would be well-taken, but this wasn't meant to be an in-depth interview for either Palin or Biden, as far as I can tell. Couric and CBS News are doing a series in which they ask both VP candidates the same questions and post and broadcast snippets every day. Couric didn't press Biden on his statements because she didn't press Palin, and vice versa. They were both asked about Roe v. Wade and one additional SCOTUS case they disagree with. The only reason Couric asked a minor follow-up question of Palin is because Palin didn't answer the original question! The question that was the very point of the interview and that Biden had previously answered!

And the fact that Palin couldn't even pull Baker v. Exxon out of her ass--a case from THIS YEAR that she has publicly disagreed with--is pretty embarrassing.

I am no fan of Biden's defense of VAWA's constitutionality either, but to imply that Couric was somehow protecting him while ripping into Palin is, in this case, simply false. Your commenters might quibble with her tone, but that's subjective (and subjectively, I did not detect a difference); her questions were identical.

former law student said...

Biden is a lawyer and Senator. He had to know it was ridiculous to use the commerce clause to allow a woman to argue in Federal court that she was a victim of an assault.

No, Biden would have had no inkling, because since FDR the scope of the Commerce Clause was enlarged till you could drive a Mack truck through it, without any pushback from the Supreme Court. Not until Morrison, Lopez, and Printz came down, did 60 years of granting police power to the feds end.

MadisonMan said...

The only thing worse than journalists are lawyers.

The only thing worst than that is journalists talking to lawyers.


The only thing worse than that is lawyers suing journalists for talking to lawyers.

The only thing worse than that is journalists writing about lawyers suing journalists for talking to lawyers.

Okay, I'll stop now.

PatCA said...

Couric also did not follow up about who was president in 1929 or when TV was invented.

Is she too stupid to be a news anchor, or is she an advocate?

miller said...

Nope, not gonna agree. Couric didn't ask Biden follow-up questions or even try to detangle his answers. He is, after all, right.

Palin is wrong, so if she says something garbled, she has to be called out on it.

That doesn't excuse Palin's non-answers. (If you'd read my carefully reasoned post, you'd see that.) What it does is point out that because Couric agrees with Biden overall, she doesn't pursue the inelegancies and contradictions.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

What is the possibility that this question was DESIGNED to allow Biden to expound on his legislative experience and to highlight that Palin is not an attorney?

I haven't seen of either of these interviews (since I got cable I don't bother with broadcast TV). were any questions asked of both that might have highlighted Palin's areas of expertise?

Probably not- these weren't interviews; they were a hit piece on Palin and a commercial for Biden.

Trooper York said...

I would be happy to have Madison Man and Simon moderate the debate. Or ask questions of the candidates. Along with a lot of other commenters here like Beth and mcg and Seven Machos and former law student. I think even the more partisan commenters would be honorable and not play games but ask reasonable questions for which they really want answers.

Trooper York said...

Of course regular Americans are not to be allowed into the mix. Only journalists.

It's like saying only the Iron Chefs can make tomato soup and grilled cheese.

Phooey I say!

Slim Tyranny said...

miller said: Nope, not gonna agree. Couric didn't ask Biden follow-up questions or even try to detangle his answers. He is, after all, right.

Palin is wrong, so if she says something garbled, she has to be called out on it.

That doesn't excuse Palin's non-answers. (If you'd read my carefully reasoned post, you'd see that.) What it does is point out that because Couric agrees with Biden overall, she doesn't pursue the inelegancies and contradictions.


-----------

Once again, they were asked the same questions. "Name a Supreme Court case you disagree with." The only difference was Palin DIDN'T answer the question, so Couric repeated it.

Couric also did not try to untangle Palin's "answer." Palin was also not "called out" about her garbled nonsense. Couric took the same (too) passive approach with both, as follows:

Step 1: ask question
Step 1B (if necessary): ask question again
Step 2: sit there while the answer occurs
Step 3: ask no answer-specific follow-up questions.

They got the same question. Any attempt to paint this as media bias is really just demonstrating the power of the VIEWER'S bias --- seeing what you want to see in order to ignore the truth.

Peter V. Bella said...

Is Biden deliberately lying or is he ignorant?

Both. A lawyer or even "adjunct professor of law" does not make one a constitutional scholar. Biden is dishonest by using political sound bites to cover for his lack of knowledge.

Katie Couric's sole qualification for being an anchor is "tits and ass". Just like the tanned good looking men- beefcake, if you will. She is cute, perky and has a fluff ball for a brain.

They are not referred to as journalists, they are referred to as the talent. Why would intelligent people take anything these news readers say or ask seriously?

Trooper York said...

Katie Couric is cute?

I always thought she looked like some sort of rodent.

Or at the very least a maladjusted marsupial.

Pogo said...

I don't see any point to this charade anymore. This pretense that we are somehow vetting the candidates or fleshing out their policies or beliefs.

It's nothing of the sort.

It's a show trial, with media types acting as prosecutors, throwing soft balls to their friends, hard balls at the enemy.

For we non-democrats are the enemy, not merely the opponents.

In colleges and corporations, we have mandatory PC speech and reeducation for sinners. We have a media that is 99% Democrat-run, even to the point of the Pinch Sulzberger coordinating the NYTimes front page with the DNC.

But to point this out is to be labeled a nut, a conspiracy theorist. Like those Red hunters what killed the Rosenbergs (tho admittedly they were recently exposed to be actual spies).

Well, I won't play anymore. Nothing I can do about it, but not play. I accept single party rule. Like a good citizen, I gotta eat. I'll play by the rules, to be sure; I have read enough to know them better than most.

But really, these discussions are meaningless in the end. They aren't discussions at all. They impact nothing. Change no one's mind. Couric and her TV cabal of Obama-pushers have won handily. Palin was finally destroyed. No mere woman, no podunk mayor community college basketballer from Moosepiss, Alaska deserves to sit in a place meant only for the elite. After the election they can have the ritual meeting with her -all is forgiven. Dutifully chastened, she too will likely come to agree with the overwhelming force.

It was a fun if brief experiment. Thanks for all the fish.

Ann Althouse said...

Eric Muller said..."Ann, you say that "[t]he unconstitutional provision in the Violence Against Women Act federalized tort law not criminal law.' Not so. The unconstitutional provision of VAWA made a federal tort out of conduct that could have been either tortious or criminal (or both) under the law of a given state."

Eric, Biden said it was federalizing a crime. No, it was federalizing a tort. Of course, the underlying action could be both a crime and a tort, but what was federalized there was tort law, as I'm sure you know.

Ann Althouse said...

And let's remember that Biden is a proud friend of trial lawyers... tort lawyers.

Trooper York said...

Lawyers are the jackals of the American ecosystem. Journalists are the crows.

Diseased carrion eating evil scavengers.

Simon said...

Pogo said...
"Couric and her TV cabal of Obama-pushers have won handily. Palin was finally destroyed. No mere woman, no podunk mayor community college basketballer from Moosepiss, Alaska deserves to sit in a place meant only for the elite."

It's obvious that the media all have "Adams" bumper stickers rather than "Jackson" bumper stickers. Don't give up hope, however: it remains to be seen whether it's 1824 or 1828.

Simon said...

Trooper, if I moderated it, only about a dozen people would watch. I would want answers to the sort of questions Althouse's post poses - most of all, I want to hear the candidates explain their view of federalism and how it relates to limited government and separation of powers. Federalism is part of the separation of powers, and Biden - if he's honest - doesn't believe in it. He would have to answer "no" to "Do you think there is any importance to the idea that the Constitution gives Congress limited, enumerated powers?" (one of Ann's questions), and that rejection of vertical separation of powers what makes him look such a buffoon when he talks about horizontal separation of powers and Presidential authority. It's as if he doesn't see or can't comprehend the disconnect.

Simon said...

The same problem, by the way, is part of my problem with Obama. Obama doesn't give a flying fuck about federalism. And if you don't care about federalism, you neither understand nor care about limited government, still less the Constitution that Obama has already sworn an oath to support and defend. That's just unacceptable in someone who wants to be President.

rhhardin said...

For normal people it's not a matter of crimes or torts but of meddling.

Trooper York said...

Simon you would ask the questions from an informed perspective even if they were overly technical. But so what? If we want to gauge their expertise as everyone is claiming here, let’s get experts to gauge it.

If we are just going to gauge their judgment and temperament and trusting them to make decisions from what experts bring them to decide, well that's a different thing. Let's decide what we are doing here.

Lily Schlammelhanger said...

I've watched this three times now. The major difference is that Biden answered the question and Palin did not. Could Couric have probed his answer more deeply? That's hard to say - she is not a legal scholar. But the Palin didn't answer the question. She tried to evade it. Couric was merely trying to get her to do so. I dont' see how you can compare Couric's reponse when one person answered the question and the other did not.

madawaskan said...

Ugh just to be fair-

Ann Althouse-

In your post-

Now that's one of the big debates that I have with my conservative scholar friends, that they say, you know, unless a right is enumerated - unless it's actually, unless [it] uses the word "privacy" in the Constitution - then no such "constitutional right" exists. Well, I think people have an inherent right.
Again, this is blatantly wrong and unchallenged. Some conservatives reject the right to privacy, but Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito clearly affirmed it in their confirmation hearings in Biden's own committee. Is Biden deliberately lying or is he ignorant?


Biden qualifies who takes that positon-

his conservative scholar friends

I think it would be fair to assume that he does not count Roberts and Alito as "his conservative scholar friends" that he often debates.

So you've set up too narrow of a choice.

He's ignorant or deliberately lying.

Harwood said...

If you say the case is good because it is consensus, then why would it not have been preferable to allow the democratic processes to play out and produce consensus?
---
Excellent question. And while we're at it: If consensus is your standard, why should it be a national consensus? Why not a state-by-state consensus that reflects the principle of federalism?

But such questions would get you precisely nothing from a consummate bulshitter like Biden.

madawaskan said...

Lawyers always the stars-

I just want Obama to name five generals in history that he admires, what his litmus test would be for appointing four stars, and to name two weapon systems that he likes!

Is that too much to ask?

Damn it.

Pogo said...

"Is that too much to ask?"

Yes, in fact, it is, madawaskan.

Best to recognize that you're not part of the process. Haven't been for quite awhile.

You may serve as a backdrop for some potentate's visit now and then, or -more likely- counted as some statistic in a central plan somehwere where your choices are actually made, but yes, it is too much to ask.

Trooper York said...

I want to ask both of them what they think of the change in the 1986 tax law that set up the categories of active, passive and investment income. Would they be willing to let real estate investors deduct losses fully against other forms of income without limitation? Including earned income and investment income? If they did so the economic boom that would result would be unbelievable. Suddenly all of the mortgaged properties would be desirable as investment properties as they were back in the '60's, '70's and early '80's.

former law student said...

Five Generals: Eisenhower, Bradley, Grant, Mitchell, Powell.

The Exalted said...

haha, palin can barely string together a coherent sentence, and you want to stir fry biden

also, biden did not state conservatives (nor did he identify Roberts/Alito) disagree with the right to privacy, he said that, "Now that's one of the big debates that I have with my conservative scholar friends."

See, his friends. Colleagues. People he actually discusses constitutional law with. He's a United States Senator. Who, oh who, could these conservatives be???

so, Ann, in your vitriolic attack, are you that obtuse or deliberately lying?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Althouse - I think Biden would have had something to say, and I would have appreciated the opportunity to react to what he said.

MadisonMan - Well, I'd say that's because you're a law scholar.


And Palin isn't yet a whole lot of people think she's an idiot because she can't name a Supreme Court case other then Roe that she disagrees with. Evidently having a depth of knowledge of USSC cases has become a major requirement for the VP candidate.

Here's a question for the foreign policy expert: Name the members of NATO. If you really want to blow my skirt up, name the NATO members who currently have troops in Afghanistan and can you provide troop levels thereof.

I would bet my next paycheck Biden could not answer a single one of those questions yet those have a lot more relevance to the job than having an opinion on Roe V Wade or Kelo.

Trooper York said...

Favorite generals:

Benjamin Butler, Benjamin Grierson, Nelson Miles, Abner Doubleday, Nathaniel Greene.

Hat tip to RC Ocean.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Five Generals: Eisenhower, Bradley, Grant, Mitchell, Powell.

I'll raise you: George Washington, John Reynolds, George Patton, Douglas MacArthur, David Pretraeus

Pundit Joe said...

I find Biden's and Obama's views about how the courts should go about making decisions very troubling. Biden talks about consensus while Obama seems to focus empathy for the downtrodden.

Neither one seems to be interested in having judges make decisions based upon actual law. Laws mean nothing if justices can simply toss them out anytime they wish.

Trooper York said...

FLS is that Billy Mitchell?

If so, great choice.

Trooper York said...

Of course the greatest general of all is the immortal Louis Herman "Red" Klotz.

former law student said...

Billy Mitchell?

Yup.

From Inwood said...

Gee, every time I get to an Althouse thread, it has 246 comments already.

So what can I add to what others like Simon & TY have already said? But proud me, here I go.

I can't imagine any adult who actually thinks that Obama is the most qualified Presidential candidate in the Democratic Party, much less in the U.S. And yet we have the attacks on Palin for unfitness without any on him. And we have the audacity of hope by his supporters in leaning on his messianic charisma as a substitute for his resume, ya know for substantive experience, real world management skills & some substantive accomplishment.

So saying I cannot understand how she herself has not (& just as important how her advisors have not) thought it important that she have a few soundbite answers for such questions as “privacy”, “women’s right to choose”, “separation of church/state” in Constitutional Law. (I understand that those words are not in the document.) Or told her that SCOTUS doesn’t always get it right & may not be the final arbiter (e.g., the Civil War “overruling” Dred Scot; Amendment XVI overturning Pollock; & Brown “nullifying” Plessy; not to mention Korematsu).

McCain & Obama have one big advantage over Palin: they've been on the national campaign trail longer & generally know how to finesse situations which are “above their pay grade”. And Biden knows how to filibuster & tell lies without his hair plugs getting longer. In fact, That’s Obama’s & Biden’s only advantage over Palin, but it’s enough to ride them into the White House.

But, it’s unproductive for Conservatives to say that we’re surprised that the MSM is hostile to Conservatives or that it will be out to get women who don’t follow the PC party line.

And it’s not surprising that Couric would not challenge Biden’s filibustering. She’s not competent enough to understand where he was incorrect. She is, however, competent enough to see hesitation by Palin & attack like a shark smelling blood & she & every other MSM person is gonna do so.

And hesitation doesn’t play well with those looking for an excuse to vote Democrat for “change” from the mess we’re in. (Pls, I know that the GOP is not solely to blame for the mess, but that’s the smart way to bet, to plagiarize a phrase.)

Hope Palin is ready with soundbites tonite! And those of you who would say that I should be hoping for substance will probably be hoping for just soundbites from garrulous foot-in the-mouth Biden

From Inwood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlphaLiberal said...

Yeah, the news media - owned by large corporate conglomerates and rich publishers - is hostile to conservatives.

Only in your delusional fantasies.

CNN keeps Glenn Beck on for years even while his ratings are the bottom of his time slot. Because they're so liberal, right?

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"Yeah, the news media - owned by large corporate conglomerates and rich publishers - is hostile to conservatives."

Generally-speaking, liberals look at who owns the media and conclude it must have conservative bias (even though they can't show any evidence of it) while conservatives look at the actual output of the media and conclude that it shows liberal bias. Which analytic process is sounder?

Pogo said...

Whatever would make someone conclude that "large corporate conglomerates and rich publishers" are conservatives?

They are usually like most people running any business, trying to reduce their risk and minimize competitive threats. This can thrive in any state, even communist or libertarian utopias, though less actually 'thriving' occurs in the former.

Many businessmen, doctors for example, operate unfree markets in the form of guilds, excluding competition outright. Media like to avoid threats to income, and so seek regulatory barriers to entry.

Business does what's best for business according to the rules of the culture, and tries to bend those rules as it sees fit. This is neither inherently liberal or conservative.

Synova said...

So... what's a good follow on for Palin? Ask and find out what she *does* think about the Supreme Court and it's role... sure, it's taking things in a more general direction... but it the goal is actually to reveal information about the candidate, ask what it takes to find out what her attitudes are and her knowledge. If she *did* end up President, how would she act?

Those are important things.

How did she deal with governing and Alaska's constitution? She's vetoed laws that she felt were unconstitutional. She has to have thought about what it means.

I don't demand (even if I suggest so, to illustrate a point) that Biden or Obama be asked "hard ball" questions or, as I suggested the other day, that Obama be forced to either say that God *can't* perform miracles or that, yes, gay people *can* be converted through prayer... because in the end that is not helpful to US.

I'll vote for McCain over Obama in any case, but more generally... I want to know what candidates think about issues and how they will govern... and how they've done in the past.

Think of a job interview.

The interviewee ought to expect to have the opportunity to discuss, more or less in their own way, what they think qualifies them and how they feel about the job and what they would *do* when they are hired.

What sorts of questions would a potential employer ask?

They'd ask about previous job experience and how it related to the job they sought.

When it comes to the Supreme Court, people want to know the applicant's attitude toward the Constitution and what sort of judges he or she think should be appointed.

Biden might sound impressive when he talks about making criminal assault or domestic abuse a Federal crime but I doubt it will impress those who think that the Feds are over-reaching.

Those who think this proves Biden cares and screw the Constitution, are already voting for Obama.

CarmelaMotto said...

wow Fred4Pres - that link to Biden wanting to gift Iran $200b...and they worry about Palin.

William said...

I trust Palin's instincts more than her intellect. I don't trust Obama's instincts. This leads me to be suspicious of his intellect...Aren't there other skills in civil administration beyond a facile knowledge of Supreme Court cases? Shouln't a journalist probe to find out those skills? I would expect a law professor to be more knowledgeable about the Supreme Court than a commercial fisherman. However, a working knowledge of how to gut a fish is probably a more fungible skill in the administration of power.

William said...

Incidentally, George Marshall was the greatest general of them all. His generalship forestalled several wars.

David said...

Trooper York--

I believe Ted Baxter actually had tits.

OldManRick said...

I trust Palin's instincts more than her intellect. I don't trust Obama's instincts.

I trust Palin's actual performance at reform better than Obama's promises of reform.

It is amazing to me that the issue here is what these people say rather than what they have done. In the end, its what they are able to do that will count. What they have done in the past is the best indicator of the future.

Palin has some real (maybe modest) reform accomplishments in Alaska. McCain has some real bi-partisan accomplishments. With the surge, McCain has shown the ability to make hard decision and stick by it. At the same time, Obama was wrong and can't admit it. At one point Obama even said he would accept an Iraqi genocide when we pulled out. Obama has yet to show me anything he has done. Joe Biden points to a bill he passed that was over-turned by the Supreme court.

Sorry, I'm an engineer not a lawyer - I want to see something that works not hear about how well it will work.

To paraphrase Johnny Mercer / Harold Allen:

My mama done tol' me, " Son, Obama'll sweet talk"

And give ya the big eye, but when the sweet talkin's done

A Obama's a two-face, A worrisome thing who'll leave ya to sing the blues in the night

Apathetic Citizen said...

Speaking of the influence of large corporations on VP candidates, I hope Biden brings up the fact that Palin sold her former home to the chairman of one of the nation's largest credit card companies. (He had donated $200,000 to her campaigns.) Then wealthy businessmen/bankers bought her four acres of lakefront land. They sold it to her at cost. Then they lent her $500,000 to build her new home on that property. Did you know that Palin later offered to nominate one of those bankers to a judgeship? She's also obtained or refinanced her home mortgages 29 times. 29 times.

Uh, wait, that was Biden who did those things.

Trooper York said...

"I believe Ted Baxter actually had tits."

Now that you mention it, you are right. And Ted's were bigger than Katie's.

I think we should have Carmen Electra moderate the debates.

Peter V. Bella said...

Shouldn't that read- "Katie Couric invites viewers to admire the impressive talent of Katie Couric?"

OldManRick said...

Just like clockwork - I talk about real world accomplishments and another site provides the details.

What are Sarah Palin's accomplishments?

See http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/blog/g/fee55fe3-4b40-4db7-b900-b09492f82eb4

I invite the Obama supporters to provide their details.

Peter V. Bella said...

"I trust Palin's actual performance at reform better than Obama's promises of reform."


Obama has no record of reform. Not in Illinois and not in the Senate. His hope and change really means he hopes things never change.

Michael McNeil said...

Katie Couric is more qualified to be veep than Palin.

Completely absurd — just as the point some are touting that Palin supposedly isn't qualified to run Fortune 500 companies is irrelevant.

The fact is that none of the executives in charge of Fortune 500 companies in America (not to speak of Katie Couric) are themselves qualified to become Vice President or President of the nation: because high political office in this country requires political experience — being elected to something, something greater than dogcatcher — which Palin as the most popular governor in the nation, indubitably possesses.

It's also worth noting that Alaska's gross domestic product (2007) is more than $44 billion (federal BEA figures), while state government revenues (which Palin as governor administers) totaled more than $13 billion for 2008. On a corporate scale this is far from small potatoes, while GDP-wise, Alaska is bigger than many nations: larger than Serbia, for instance (whose GDP was some $42 billion as of 2007).

Alaska, though it has a relatively small population (similar to Senator Joe Biden's state of Delaware), is enormous both in sheer scale (superimposed on the contiguous U.S., Alaska would stretch from Los Angeles, California, in the southwest, to Charleston, South Carolina, in the southeast, to the North Dakota-Canadian border in the north), together with that arctic land's terrific variety and environmental rigors — from the storm-tossed Bering Sea where dangerous commercial fishing is undertaken (half of all the fish taken in the western U.S. come from there), to the state's frigid interior where wintertime temperatures sometimes approach −80° F. (revisit that figure again: 150 Fahrenheit degrees below room temperature). Roads reach only a minority of the state, whilst an extensive state-run ferry fleet is required to support those residing in the vast Alexander Archipelago of the southeast as well as other island communities. Only aircraft can service much of the rest of the state. Alaska also has unusual defense requirements — recall who lies along its border; one of the nation's two anti-ballistic missile interceptor systems is operational there. Alaska ain't Delaware!

Moreover, Biden is a legislator and has never been an executive, whilst Palin administers the whole Alaska shebang — very successfully, according to her stratospheric approval ratings, even now after a more than a month of MSM and “progressive” sliming.

Peter V. Bella said...

Trooper York said...
"I believe Ted Baxter actually had tits."

Now that you mention it, you are right. And Ted's were bigger than Katie's.

I think we should have Carmen Electra moderate the debates.


Ted Baxter actuall wore a squasher bra.

I vote for Charro to do- I mean moderate the debates.

bjm said...

Couric + any Dem = pass

Questions? Anyone? Bueller?

madawaskan said...

What bugs me more and more about this though-

Couric-seems to have acted as a surrogate or agent for Joe Biden, except in an undeclared fashion.

She puts to Palin Biden's points but states them as established fact-not as the opinion of Biden...

This would be even worse if she interviewed Biden first which I think is evidently the case-proven by just the way in which she interviewed Palin.

But too late for the McCain campaign to do much damage control-it's a perishable event that is about to be eclipsed by events tonight-in only a matter of hours.

madawaskan said...

OMG!

formerlawstudent-

Bradley and Billy Mitchell!

Ya baby!

Eric Muller said...

Ann, you wrote:

"Eric, Biden said it was federalizing a crime. No, it was federalizing a tort. Of course, the underlying action could be both a crime and a tort, but what was federalized there was tort law, as I'm sure you know."

Here's what Biden said:

"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, 'Well, 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."

You are mischaracterizing both Biden's statement and the Morrison decision when you say that the civil rights remedy in the VAWA only "federalized a tort" rather than "federalizing a crime" as Biden said.

Biden did not say that the VAWA created a federal criminal offense; he said that what the VAWA federalized was state crime. And that's absolutely correct. Indeed, Congress based the federal civil rights remedy in the VAWA on an explicit finding of gender disparity in the state-court enforcement of crimes of violence.

So the follow-up you fault Couric for not doing would have been mistaken: while it is true that VAWA created a federal tort, Biden was absolutely right in saying that what VAWA federalized (through a tort action) was state crime. Stated differently, the civil rights remedy in the VAWA took conduct that was criminal (and tortious) under state law and made it a federal tort.

This is clearer if you look at the statutory language. From United States v. Morrison:

"Section 13981 was part of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, §40302, 108 Stat. 1941—1942. It states that “[a]ll persons within the United States shall have the right to be free from crimes of violence motivated by gender.” 42 U.S.C. § 13981(b). To enforce that right, subsection (c) declares:

“A person (including a person who acts under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage of any State) who commits a crime of violence motivated by gender and thus deprives another of the right declared in subsection (b) of this section shall be liable to the party injured, in an action for the recovery of compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive and declaratory relief, and such other relief as a court may deem appropriate.”

Section 13981 defines a “crim[e] of violence motivated by gender” as “a crime of violence committed because of gender or on the basis of gender, and due, at least in part, to an animus based on the victim’s gender.” §13981(d)(1). It also provides that the term “crime of violence” includes any

“(A) … act or series of acts that would constitute a felony against the person or that would constitute a felony against property if the conduct presents a serious risk of physical injury to another, and that would come within the meaning of State or Federal offenses described in section 16 of Title 18, whether or not those acts have actually resulted in criminal charges, prosecution, or conviction and whether or not those acts were committed in the special maritime, territorial, or prison jurisdiction of the United States; and

“(B) includes an act or series of acts that would constitute a felony described in subparagraph (A) but for the relationship between the person who takes such action and the individual against whom such action is taken.” §13981(d)(2)."

Wheeler's said...

tch tch, Ann.
kinda more salient is the fact that poor Palin fragged her party's position on judicial activism and legislating from the bench.

Palin is a "post turtle" dooontcha kno?

heres a folk humor crystallization of poor Palin’s current predicament.
like we say Out Here in the West…..

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old rancher, who’s hand was caught in the gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Palin and her bid.

The old rancher said, “Well, ya know, Palin is a Post Turtle’”.

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a ‘post turtle’ was.

The old rancher said, “When you’re driving down a country road you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a ‘post turtle”.

The old rancher saw the puzzled look on the doctor’s face so he continued to explain. “You know she didn’t get up there by herself, she doesn’t belong up there, and she doesn’t know what to do while she’s up there, and you just wonder what kind of dummy put her up there to begin with”.

….and actually…I have seen this.
snapping turtles are kind of a nusance in ditches and ponds out here in Colorado, like if you are trying to change an irrigation gate….but…the main reason anyone would put a turtle on a fence post is cruelty.
:(
i always knock them off with a stick.
lol.

Simon said...

Michael - ah, Alaska may be big, but remember the left's red herring talking point: dirt doesn't vote!

eaglewingz08 said...

An even more interesting question raised by Biden, is how far he thinks the 'effect on interstate commerce' goes? Does it have any limits in his mind? Can't any activity be deemed to have an effect on interstate commerce and thus federalized? This is the path to socialism that was laid out sixty years ago when a switch of one saved nine, and the country has been paying for that switch of opinion in the Supreme Court Justice ever since.

Synova said...

What makes feminists hate Palin so much is that she's *not* a Post Turtle. She did get up there on the post all by herself. She really did do the things she did and get to be Governor of Alaska on her own effort.

That's a separate question than if she's now hanging on for dear life and wondering how to get down.

PatCA said...

"And yet we have the attacks on Palin for unfitness without any on him." That's because race trumps everything, in leftist dogma.

As for Palin, who I fear is going to be destroyed tonight, even more than her instincts, I trust her record. I trust her history. She governed Alaska well and got some good things done. She respected and knew the Alaska constitution.

What has Obama done? Besides developing a career based on leftist values? He can't shake off his own history forever but with the help of the media may keep it secret until he's in office.

Fletch said...

Alpha fibber all-

Yeah, the news media - owned by large corporate conglomerates and rich publishers- is hostile to conservatives.

Rich people/corporations can't be "progressive"- or even supportive of Dem policy?

Tell that to:

George Soros
Peter Lewis (Progressive Ins.)
Warren Buffett
CapCities/Disney/ABC/ESPN mgmt.
The Kennedy's
T. Heinz Kerry
Skeletor Pelosi
AlGore
(etc. ad nauseum).

And even in a Democrat controlled Congress- ADM still gets their ever-increasing tax breaks and subsidies every year and the Big 3 automakers just got $25 billion...

-and Tom Daschle's wife doesn't make as much from Boeing now that her husband isn't a Congressman anymore.

It's obvious why you remain an "anonymous litigator"- your firm would be ashamed (and your job at risk!) if anybody knew about the weak arguments and shallow intellect you display here everyday.

From Inwood said...

Broke bread with a few friends.

Not one of them, all nominally Conservatives/Libertarians, was ready to take on the attendee who, while not dismissing Palin directly himself, was gleefully quoting conservative columnists' (Wills & Brooks were mentioned) disdain for Palin's Couric performances.

When I bought Biden's performance up, this guy dismissed it along the lines of sportswriters' "it's just 'Manny being Manny' ".

My feeling is that these people are uncomfortable with their principles & want to show that they are really "independent" thinkers, "unlike [Inwood] here, who always votes Republican".

And so all eyes glazed over when I tried to explain what Prof A has so well articulated in this thread. In fact, come to think of it, the same guy, who hadn't used the Manny phrase itself, accused me of "Inside Baseball" when I got into details about Biden’s gibberish.

I think the Wills & Brooks of the media world hate always being the outlier at the cocktail party & are particularly embarrassed with a Quale, a D’Amato, a Lazio, a Palin when among their friends in the media. They need to show some “independence” from the GOP once in awhile. Here, Palin’s inability to

“answer the question one wished they’d asked, with all-purpose bromides prepared in advance” rather than stumble over the ill-formed question actually asked",

makes it easy for the Wills & Brooks to score points.

I did ask if anyone had seen the YouTube where Biden was outside a clinic where they were wheeling out Jane Doe, a patient recovering from an abortion. He congratulated her for standing up for something like the American Constitutional "consensus" & said to her: "stand up, Jane, stand up, for everybody, OOPS, sorry Jane, hey, everybody, stand up for Jane".

Seems they hadn't.

Michael McNeil said...

Simon says:
Michael - ah, Alaska may be big, but remember the left's red herring talking point: dirt doesn't vote!

Red herring is right. Dirt may not vote, but the many hundreds of thousands of Alaskans do, and they elected Sarah Palin and continue to strongly approve of the job she's doing — while the quantity of dirt as well as the geographic range across which it's spread enormously complicates (compared with, say, Delaware and most any other state) the task of administering the lot of it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

When I bought Biden's performance up, this guy dismissed it along the lines of sportswriters' "it's just 'Manny being Manny' ".

That is the exact same response I get from co-workers who are devout Democrats. Palin isn't fit to be VP yet they seem to think that Biden is somehow perfectly capable. Asked about how they can vote for someone who was found plagerizing while in law school and it just gets waved off as no big deal. His gaffes are no big deal. His racist statement about Obama being clean and articulate wasn't racist of course. His racist statements about Indians and 7-11's wasn't racist but "Macaca" was the equvalent of calling someone a n****er.

A buddy laid it out perfectly. When you're watching your football team, you never see the penalties that the refs call and you overlook the blantant ones that get missed cause it's your team.

Same thing with the Obamabots.

Michael said...

I love the way Ann constantly presents herself as an Independent," then fires off this tripe.

It's one thing to criticize Couric for not asking enough follow questions, but it certainly doesn't make Palin look any less idiotic when damn near the entire time she's being interviewed she appears to be lost in the clouds.

Palin when asked about court cases could only refer to Roe v Wade, when in fact she seemed to have forgotten that THREE MONTHS AGO she criticized the courts ruling in Exxon Shipping v. Baker which gutted a damages award after the 1989 oil spill. At the time she released a statement saying,

"While the decision brings some degree of closure to Alaskans suffering from 19 years of litigation and delay, the Court gutted the jury’s decision on punitive damages."

Memory course anyone?

Michael said...

Michael McNeil said..."...but the many hundreds of thousands of Alaskans do, and they elected Sarah Palin and continue to strongly approve of the job she's doing."

Actually her poll numbers have plummeted since being selected as V.P. nominee, but what does her popularity in Alaska have to do with the rest of America?

Michael McNeil said...

(Otherly) Michael says:
Actually her poll numbers have plummeted since being selected as V.P. nominee, but what does her popularity in Alaska have to do with the rest of America?

Palin's approval rating in Alaska is down now (according to one poll, of uncertain trustworthiness) to a “mere” 68 percent — horror of horrors! — overall, mainly because “progressive” Democrats in Alaska have allowed themselves to be swayed by the blizzard of MSM slime that's been blasted at her over the last month.

What does “her popularity in Alaska have to do with the rest of America”? It shows Palin can administer a large diverse state for years on end while keeping the people with her — a considerable feat for a politician. Political experience again, remember? — the key to higher office in America.

Kirk Parker said...

"Diseased carrion eating evil scavengers."

Now, Trooper: scavengers may gross us out, but they actually fill a very important role in the ecosystem.

Of course, as the Washington State game regulations remind us, "Crows in the act of depredation may be taken at any time."