Don’t Get Too Smug About Christine O’Donnell’s Flub-How Many of Y’all Can Cite Supreme Court Decisions?

There’s an old saying ‘Don’t get too smug that you wind up being the smartest person in the room-In the end that won’t win you very many friends‘. In other words be wary of trying to make others feel or seem stupid.  Be humble. Walk and talk WITH people. Don’t preach or talk AT them.

Thats a word of caution to those of us on the left leaning side of the room. Acting smug leads to us underestimating and alienating folks

It was hard not to think these thoughts when watching the Christine O’Donnell vs Chris Coons US Senate debate in Delaware that aired on CNN last night. Here O’Donnell was asked what recent Supreme Court decision has she disagreed with and she was stumped. O’Donnell couldn’t name one.

Now, a lot of my colleagues who are in the media or part of the pundit’s brigade took glee in her misstep. Many were quick to tweet about ‘how dumb she was’ and compared her to Sarah Palin who was similarly stumped when she was running for Vice President.Many are quick to say since she’s running for office she should know. ideally yes, I agree, but many look to see themselves in the folks they elect.

We saw this with George Bush and his ‘aaaw shucks lets have a beer’ mannerisms. Many accused an un-infiormed public of voting for President Obama without fully knowing what he was about other then skin color and our collective reaction to racial attacks directed at him.

If we believe what has been reported in the past we certainly know that many of the bills passed are not fully read by those in office. I caution folks who took glee in O’Donnell’s flub to slow down and not get too full of themselves. Her not knowing is not to far removed from the reality of the average ordinary person who works 9-5 and likes to think they stay fairly abreast of current events. Many folks look to see themselves in politicians and while O’Donnell is likely to lose in Delaware, what about other places?

Tea Party Candidate Sharon Angle is leading Harry Reid in spite saying a lot of 'dumb' things-Where are all the smart people?

We’re gleefully calling people dumb but may wind up losing all sorts of seats to ‘dumb’ Tea Party types. How is that happening if we’re so damn smart? Why is Harry Reid trailing in polls to one of those ‘dumb’ tea party types-Sharon Angle? Where’s all the smart people in the room ?I’ll await your answer.

To those who wanna sit back and smirk, I caution and challenge you to ask your neighbor or family member the same question. Heck ask yourself. What recent Supreme Court decisions over the past couple of years do you disagree with? Cite 3  without looking them up. I’ll wait.

Most folks are likely to cite the Supreme Court decision that came down earlier this year that allows corporations the right to pump unlimited funds into campaign ads. However, most including myself are likely to have to google to get the exact name and even then we better have some inkling because simply typing in ‘Supreme Court decisions’ wont get you very far.

Quick, is it People vs Citizens United? or the FEC vs Citizens United? Does anyone know who or what is Citizens United without looking it up?

Thank God for wikipedia. I’d venture to say that very few of us and that includes many folks in the media knew that Citizens United was a conservative non profit. Even fewer knew who Citizen United intended to attack, but was prohibited, which in turn prompted the lawsuit and the eventual  Supreme Court’s landmark decision.

For those who don’t know, it was Hillary Clinton. You can brush up on the case here.. FEC vs Citizens United.

There are many who are in media or political junkies who are up on such things or at the very least have enough info on hand that they can start a reasonable search. A lot of folks simply would not know where to begin, even with the internet at their finger tips. For example, type in the term Supreme Court decision and see what you get.. If it’s on Google you get the following sites:


Christine O'Donnell not knowing the most recent Supreme Court decisions is not too far removed from the reality of most people


Try reading your way through those pages and come up with reasonable conclusions.  The average Joe or Jane is probably gonna call it a wrap and move on. Maybe our esteemed media outlets should spend less time telling me about Lindsey Lohan going to jail or Courtney Cox breaking up and more about important decisions made by the nine justices on the Supreme Court.

Again only the smug, smartest kid in the room is gonna clown O’Donnell for not knowing Supreme Court decisions. Everyone else is going to see themselves in her especially after she noted she didn’t know.

In addition I think most folks watching probably appreciated the fact that she noted how Roe vs Wade wouldn’t make abortions illegal, but would leave it up to states to decide. A lot of folks did not know that.

Here’s a brief breakdown

NANCY KARIBJANIAN: What opinions, of late, that have come from our high court, do you most object to?

O’DONNELL: Oh, gosh. Um, give me a specific one. I’m sorry.

KARIBJANIAN: Actually, I can’t, because I need you to tell me which ones you object to.

O’DONNELL: Um, I’m very sorry, right off the top of my head, I know that there are a lot, but I’ll put it up on my website, I promise you.

WOLF BLITZER: We know that you disagree with Roe v. Wade.

O’DONNELL: Yeah, but she said a recent one.

BLITZER: That’s relatively recent.

O’DONNELL: She said “of late.” But yeah. Well, Roe v. Wade would not put the power — It’s not recent, it’s 30-something years old —

BLITZER: But since then, have there been any other Supreme Court decisions?

O’DONNELL: Well, let me say about Roe v. Wade — If that were overturned, would not make abortion illegal in the United States, it would put the power back to the states.

BLITZER: But besides that decision, anything else you disagree with?

O’DONNELL: Oh, there are several when it comes to pornography, when it comes to court decisions — not to Supreme Court, but federal court decisions to give terroristsMirandize rights. There are a lot of things I believe — This California decision to overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I believe there are a lot of federal judges legislating from the bench.

BLITZER: That wasn’t the Supreme Court. That was a lower —

You can peep the exchange below

O’DONNELL: That was a federal judge. That’s what I said. In California.

Now will last night’s stumble hurt Christine O’Donnell?  Probably not. She was already hurt because of her infamous witchcraft remarks which were made known to us via HBO TV host Bill Maher who pulled out the 10 year old clips.

To the degree that’s made her the butt of jokes and has wiped away her shine and momentum is very different then her not knowing the most recent Supreme Court decisions. Trust me I was one of those folks that had a field day because of her remarks.

But I gotta be honest, I was riding that pony with the hopes it would gain traction and slow her roll. I don’t want Ms O’Donnell in the US senate. I disagree with her political Tea party inspired views. The witchcraft flub is fair game. She can explain it away as being youthful indiscretion the same way President Barack Obama explained away his use of cocaine or the way former President Bill Clinton explained away his marijuana puff or lack of a puff.  (He said he didn’t inhale-yeah right Bill)


We all know Christine O'Donnell, but who is Chris Coons? What do we know about him?


Lastly I cant say what’s what in Delaware but most folks outside its borders know Christine O’Donnell but most would be hard pressed to name her opponent Chris Coons without looking him up. Most of us would do so by googling her name and then reading whatever article popped up in hopes of seeing his name. While I can see folks not wanting O’Donnell in the senate what about her opponent? What’s he about? What’s his stance on issues? Is he progressive or another Ben Nelson/ Joe Liberman type?  Has he excited voters so that we wanna vote for him or are folks riled up and wanna vote against O’Donnell?  I’ll await your answers…

Something to Ponder

-Davey D-

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

11 comments on “Don’t Get Too Smug About Christine O’Donnell’s Flub-How Many of Y’all Can Cite Supreme Court Decisions?

  1. Neither smug, nor the smartest kid in the room, however I do want to point out three things: 1. I can name quite a few decisions. 2. It’s our responsibility to inform ourselves, not the medias. if average joe or average jane is to lazy to do the research, so be it, but place the blame where it belongs…..with average joe and jane. 3. I can laugh, because I’m NOT running for office….that’s the big difference….


  2. 3. I can laugh, because I’m NOT running for office….that’s the big difference…

    #3 is all I needed to say. cosign.

  3. yes LPF I heard folks arrogantly say this on several occasions.. They made such jokes during Regans two runs.. us so called smart people pointed fingers at the dummies and we are still paying a price for underestimation.. Carter by his own admission noted he didn’t connect..Regan the so called great communicator did.. we laughed, didn’rt run for office and got our asses beat..

    Lee Atwater who was original architect b4 Karl Rove used to laugh at this oversight ..He said he would play dumb and do runarounds on those of us on the left all damn day.. apparently we haven’t learned the lesson..

    We saw this play out with George Bush.. yep he was a dummy..and 8 years of horror is what us smart people allowed to happen.. We still haven’t changed the voting machines..
    We wont even talk about what happened under arnold swartznegger

    If u can site a few opinions thats great the average person cant and votes.. To the degree that avg person has a differing political outlook then us so called well informed smart folks is problematic.. Book smart is cool but common sense is cooler.. and not connecting to the majority of folks shows lack of common sense at the end of the day.. Whats happening in nevada and Kentucky with those races is baring that out..

  4. I’m a Republican – somewhere between moderate and conservative – but think this post is spot on. I watched the Coons-O’Donnell debate because I enjoy politics and because of the negative hype O’Donnell has received, including the bashing from fellow Republicans. After watching it, I came away with some distinct impressions about both candidates. Even though Mr Coons is the prohibitive favorite, were I his campaign manager I would set about immediately helping him understand that arrogance and disrespect toward Ms O’Donnell will only undermine his chances of winning. What Davey D said about humility is key. Liberals would do well to appreciate that the kind of smirking arrogance and disrespect displayed by Mr Coons only motivates conservatives and brings more of them to the polls.

    But the same warning could go to conservatives who assume liberals don’t love their country as much as conservatives, conservatives who can’t find anything good that President Obama has done.

    In the end, I think it comes down to humility, as the author rightly said, as well as respect for others.

    I really enjoyed this post.

    Michael Milligan
    Layton, Utah

  5. interesting post, mr. milligan. i would just add in general, that humility isn’t really considered a “republican” trait these days.

    the Tea Party is anything but humble, and to deny modern immigrants the same rights and privileges their forefathers received–coming from Europe and other countries–reeks not only of arrogance but racism. i dont think that attempting to repeal the 14th Amendment has anything to do with “loving ones country.” and let’s ask Gov. Sanford about what “family values” really means to him….

    It is a shame that the GOP agenda since 2008 has been to undermine the POTUS, even if it means reversing positions they have previously advocated, such as the START II treaty.

    In your home state of Utah, we have seen Tea Party arrogance at its worst, forcing out longtime Senator Bennett out of office because he had the nerve to side with Obama on a couple of issues.

    It makes no sense to continue to lobby for nuclear pork when toxic waste from the Nuclear Test site in Nevada and additional waste buried in the desert have resulted in high rates of cancer and asthma among Utah residents, not to mention the environmental issues. To me that shows a complete lack of humility, if not a complete lack of humanity.

    I do see your point about liberals and conservatives needing to respect each other and move away from snark–in California, we’ve seen that from both sides in the Whitman/Brown race–but if you look at “Nannygate/Whoregate,” it’s apparent that conservatives are using the media to focus on soundbite politics rather than focus on issues and context.

    if a politician sells out their constituents to special interests, as Whitman has done, that is a form of prostitution. Yet to place attention on an offensive term rather than an offensive act reeks of the worst type of arrogance and can only result in ignorance.

  6. There’s a reason why it would be hard for any conservative to think of a supreme court descision they disagree with. It’s because there’s only been one or two that haven’t gone their way in the past decade and bush just ignored those any damn way.

    It’s the most conservative bench ever.

  7. Most of the tea party canidates are dumb, but they are likable. It seems that likability is more important than accountability.

    Daveyd, you should rethink what you said about humility. President Bush wasn’t close to being humble all he ever did was undermine his opponet.

    You can be arrogant but you just have to be likable. The tea party memebers are arrogant and dumb, but they’re likable and/or charismatic. Hence the reason why these political scrubs can find support.

  8. Intresting point Davey D, what should our elected officials know? Should we elect a person who has not paid attention to controversial Supreme Court descisions?

    Im 21 yrs old and I can name a handful of supreme court descisions, however if im running for a position as an elected official I would definitly read about past Supreme Court descisions. the Surpreme Court represents the 3rd branch of government.

    If an employee only did 2/3 of his work after being there for some time red flags would arise. I feel as if a person wants to get involved in a project they should plan accordingly, she didn’t, however we are still talking about her and not he opponent.

  9. Spirit I think u vote for who u think is most effective.. The mistake i caution folks in thinking is falling into the trap that bc she or anyone else couldn’t name a supreme ct case and u can at 21 that would translate into a No vote.. It doesn’t.. and that’s where many of us gleeful sounding people get caught slipping..We become so smart we actually lose touch of what driving large parts of our population..The truth of the matter most people cant.. That may include your boss, your parents and quite a few elected officials..

    The smart person who wants to win would be trying to figure out what would be the trigger for their opponents base to change their minds. Supreme Ct citings or inability to cite what Bible verses keep them motivated.. That would’ve been a big miss for O’Donnell

    Its reminds me of the folks from NY who thumb their noses at Southern Hip Hop and can never figure out why it connects with so many to the point that it even dominates the airwaves in places where folks thumb their noses.

  10. I never said Bush was humble.. I said Bush had an aaww shucks lets have a beer type persona.. I would never call him humble after seeing him smirk all the time.. and yes Bush was likeable and that counts a for a whole lot.. Some look for likeability and many of us look for ‘swagger’

Let us know what u think..

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s