The XX Factor

Christine O’Donnell Is Schooled on the Concept of Separation of Church and State

Remember the good ole’ days when the epitome of political stupidity was Dan Quayle’s inability to spell “potato” ? The bar of permissible ignorance has dropped like a textbook off a desk during the last decade, starting with Bush’s inability to concoct a grammatically correct sentence , and continuing with Sarah Palin’s undeniable penchant for nonsensical monologues . Unsurprisingly, it turns out Delaware Senate contender Christine O’Donnell doesn’t have even an elementary knowledge of the Constitution as evidenced by this exchange from this morning’s debate with opponent Chris Coons :

Coons said private and parochial schools are free to teach creationism but that “religious doctrine doesn’t belong in our public schools.”
“Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?” O’Donnell asked him.
When Coons responded that the First Amendment bars Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, O’Donnell asked: “You’re telling me that’s in the First Amendment?” ….
“You actually audibly heard the crowd gasp,” Widener University political scientist Wesley Leckrone said after the debate, adding that it raised questions about O’Donnell’s grasp of the Constitution.

As Dan Amira at Daily Intel writes : “Raised questions? No. There are no questions. For someone hoping to serve in the Senate of the United States, saying ‘You’re telling me that [the establishment clause is] in the First Amendment?’ is like a prospective astronaut saying, ‘You’re telling me we can’t breathe in space?’ ”

Perhaps O’Donnell would like to refudiate her initial line of questioning?

Photograph of Christine O’Donnell by Getty Images.