Much has been made of what things shockingly Christine O’Donnell doesn’t know, or believes. At the least she doesn’t express herself very well. But I do think the media, yes the MSM, isn’t really doing her justice or distinguishing themselves.
I’ve listened to where she seem incredulous as she’s told that the First Amendment separates church and state. The story has become that she doesn’t understand that the relation between church and state is delineated in the first amendment. Gasp!!
But, her supporters pitch the story as that the language of the first amendment does no such thing. It clearly precludes at least the federal government from establishing a church. But per critics like Mark Levine, the idea that there was a dividing wall between church and state is a product of court rulings of the 20th century. Is this just covering for her ignorance?
In the debate she seemed stunned by claims of wall between church and state from her opponent. So the question you have to answer from listening to her debate performance is: does she not understand the subject of the first amendment, the relation of church and state, or is she just incredulous of the 20th interpretation she was being presented with? Is she ignorant, or just holds an atypical interpretation of the Constitution?
What do I think? Having listened to the segment, I think she isn’t ignorant, but is outside of a mainstream interpretation of the Constitution. The media doesn’t really understand her take on the Constitution, and unfortunately she can’t comprehend that they don’t. As a result instead of explaining her view, she just acts slack jawed at being presented with the church and state wall concept that she doesn’t accept.
Her reaction was: OMG you think that the establishment clause means that…
The media heard: OMG you mean there’s an establishment clause…
Overall its a massive failure to communicate.