O’Donnell and Disingenuous Politics

Some of us here at TAC enjoy having a little fun at the expense of politicians who make outrageous gaffes. I, myself, certainly enjoy indulging occasionally in a YouTube compilation of a particular politician’s vocal miscues. With the likes of Dan Quayle, George W. Bush, and Sarah Palin headlining the political laughfest, the GOP seems particularly apt at keeping the gaffes flowing. Of course, we cannot forget the Democrats’ own gaffe-machine, Joe Biden, who, unlike the aforementioned three, only seems to make the news because of a gaffe. Sometimes these gaffes are the result of “gotcha” journalism. Sometimes they are the result of blanking under pressure. Sometimes they are jokes gone wrong. Other times, they really point to a politician’s ignorance on an issue or topic. I don’t think a politician’s proclivity to make gaffes itself necessarily indicates that a politician is unqualified for or unworthy of a given office, though such a proclivity accompanied by other possibly worrisome characteristics in a politician (e.g., having a robust rap sheet, being a fan of light beer) may be sufficient to render him or her unsuitable for certain offices.

I want to focus on that subset of gaffes that showcase a politician’s or political candidate’s ignorance on an issue or topic. And let me demarcate a subset of that subset: the gaffes that are more than just gaffes–the gaffes that call into question the genuineness of the one who utters them. Such gaffes were on full display during a debate this morning between two of Delaware’s senatorial candidates, Christine O’Donnell and Chris Coons. At Widener Law School in front of an audience partly composed of university students and law professors, O’Donnell’s made multiple gaffes when discussing the contents of the Constitution. These gaffes were not of the Quayle/Palin varietal, however, for they raise serious questions about her honesty and intentions in running for the U.S. Senate, as well as about her understanding of her own platform.

Now, let me state up front that I am not a supporter of either candidate this election (mostly because I am not a resident of Delaware). Let me also state that I have nothing invested in either major political party this election (I tend to vote third party, anyway, and when I don’t, I tend to vote Republican). My interest is in taking an honest look at O’Donnell’s remarks, one that is neither clouded by the mist of Tea Party zeal nor wobbled by Democratic panic.

Imagine the following case: A huge part of Candidate C’s platform is the promise to uphold, defend, and impliment X while in office. C has publicly criticized Candidate D’s knowledge of X and fidelity to X. C has garnered and exploited the support of organization O during the campaign, and one of the objectives of O’s mission is to promote the ideals and values of X via the support of candidates like C who stand for X. O also attacks D for the same reasons that C does. It turns out, however, that C does not know much about the content of X at all and publicly admits as much. Has not C deliberately misled the public and organization O, as well as hypocritically attacked D? Would we not be justified in criticizing C for being disingenuous?

The generality of this case is such that it could apply to any relevant situation in which a candidate does the sort of thing C does, irrespective of that candidate’s specific political party, platform, and ideology. This means that criticizing C need not be a partisan affair. In the instance of the senatorial race in Delaware, O’Donnell, Coons, the Tea Party, and the Constitution are particulars that give content to C, D, O, and X, respectively (as could any politicians, political candidates, organizations, etc. who fit the scheme outlined above).

So what happened at today’s debate (you can hear it in its entirety here)? O’Donnell decided to pull no punches early in the debate, and the first jab she landed on Coons was the one, ironically, that put her on the ropes in the later rounds. A major part of O’Donnell’s platform is protection of, and fidelity to, the Constitution. Thus, it was little surprise that she hit Coons with the line “perhaps they didn’t teach you Constitutional law at Yale Divinity School,” a sardonic reference to one of Coons’ advanced degrees. The immediate context of the quip was a “cross-fire” discussion between O’Donnell and Coons on the relation of Griswold v. Connecticut to Roe v. Wade and the question over justices legislating from the bench. O’Donnell followed up her jab by stating that Coons knows “little” about Constitutional law. In an attempt to bolster her own constitutional cred, O’Donnell declared: “And in all of my remarks it is said that that one Constitution is the Constitution that I will defend.”

All of this big Constitution talk is business as usual for O’Donnell, and, mind you, I don’t see anything particularly problematic with coloring oneself the defender of the Constitution and one’s opponent as largely ignorant of the contents of the Constitution. However, when you take that sort of approach in a debate, there’s a bit of an onus on you to be sure to shore up your knowledge of the document in question just in case the spotlight eventually falls on your own familiarity with the Constitution. Sure enough, that’s what happened to O’Donnell this morning right after she attacked Coons’ constitutional competence. She was asked what her thoughts are about repealing the 14th, 16th, and 17th Amendment, ideas that have gained currency in some conservative quarters. After stating that she supports the 17th Amendment, things went downhill quickly for her. Unable to recall the content of the 14th and 16th Amendments, O’Donnell said: “I am sorry, I didn’t bring my Constitution with me. Fortunately, Senators do not have to memorize the Constitution. Can you remind me of what the others are.”

Indeed, Senators do not have to memorize the Constitution. Neither do Supreme Court Justices. But I think we can all agree that it is good for a Senator and a Supreme Court Justice to know the Constitution. And it seems correct to think that a political candidate who makes a habit of attacking her opponents’ knowledge of the Constitution should know the document, at least in a rudimentary fashion. But, hey, maybe they don’t teach Constitutional Law at Fairleigh Dickinson. For all we know, perhaps Coons really is ignorant about the content of the Constitution. The problem for O’Donnell is that she made that accusation, postured as if she did know the Constitution, and then failed to deliver. Pot. Kettle. Black.

Later in the debate, O’Donnell appears absolutely clueless as to the content of the First Amendment. Here’s the exchange between O’Donnell and Coons on the issue separation of church and state when the First Amendment was brought up (around the 6:15 mark):

It seems to me that O’Donnell may want to lay off Coons’ knowledge of the Constitution since, whatever the breadth of his knowledge, it’s fairly clear that her grasp of the document isn’t any stronger. In a single morning, O’Donnell managed to show the huge gaps in her knowledge of the Constitution, the very document she has been vowing to protect. And if Coons’ alleged ignorance of the Constitution is grounds not to vote for him, then O’Donnell has made the case against herself.

Before the major news outlets picked up on O’Donnell’s gaffes, her camp was already in damage-control mode. Almost immediately upon the conclusion of the debate her campaign manager, Matt Moran, issued the following statement:

In this morning’s WDEL debate, Christine O’Donnell was not questioning the concept of separation of church and state as subsequently established by the courts. She simply made the point that the phrase appears nowhere in the Constitution. It was in fact Chris Coons who demonstrated his ignorance of our country’s founding documents when he could not name the five freedoms contained in the First Amendment.

In an “exclusive” interview this afternoon with National Review‘s “Battle ’10,” O’Donnell tried to explain away her gaffes:

It seems the AP and others are twisting it out of context. What I was trying to prove is that my opponent does not know the First Amendment.

Uh huh. There you have it. The big, bad mainstream media has spun the debate transcript against her when what she was really doing was baiting Coons into betraying his ignorance of the content of the First Amendment. No doubt, video and transcript of the debate will confirm this. Right? Well, just watch the video above. The train of discussion never passed through the “five freedoms” of the First Amendment, and it’s clear that Coons’ semi-accurate paraphrase of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment is what perplexes O’Donnell. She seems utterly unaware that anything resembling Coons’ paraphrase is in the First Amendment. If O’Donnell was being as sly and cunning as she claimed, then she did such a good job that no one even noticed.

Conservative stalwarts Ramesh Ponnuru and Rush Limbaugh (among many others) are already spinning O’Donnell’s debate performance. Ponnuru attempts a sleight of hand by claiming that O’Donnell was only questioning whether the First Amendment requires the separation of church and state. Of course, O’Donnell is clear that she denies this requirement exists, and, as Ponnuru notes, she was, indeed, questioning whether the separation of church and state is in the Constitution. But that from which Ponnuru attempts to divert our attention is O’Donnell’s perplexed question over Coon’s paraphrase of the Establishment Clause, a clause that is, indeed, in the First Amendment. Had O’Donnell merely denied that the Establishment Clause requires separation of church and state, as Ponnuru tries to fool us into thinking, there would be no worry over her grasp of the First Amendment. But O’Donnell asked whether the Establishment Clause is in the Constitution. And there’s the rub.

Alexandra Petri at the Washington Post avoids playing Ponnuru’s and Limbaugh’s tricks, facing squarely the fact that O’Donnell does seem to be largely ignorant of the content of the Constitution. Petri defends O’Donnell anyway, reminding O’Donnell critics that we don’t know the Constitution very well, either. That’s well and good, but we (or, at least, I) have not accused the opposition of ignorance of the Constitution nor have we (or, at least, I) run a campaign on grounds that we (or, at least, I) will protect and follow the letter of the Constitution (remember C).

Now, O’Donnell has the backing of the formidable Tea Party, and she has called on their support on the campaign trail. Perhaps the Delaware contingent will remind O’Donnell of one of its three pillars–the one about how important the Constitution is–lest the organization, like the public, be misled by her into thinking that she has a firm grasp on it:

We, the members of The Tea Party Patriots, are inspired by our founding documents and regard the Constitution of the United States to be the supreme law of the land. We believe that it is possible to know the original intent of the government our founders set forth, and stand in support of that intent. Like the founders, we support states’ rights for those powers not expressly stated in the Constitution.

Now I am not at all suggesting that Coons is a better candidate than O’Donnell. I know little about him, much less enough to make a judgment about his candidacy. Nor do I think O’Donnell’s brand of disingenuous politics is exclusive to her (though I don’t think there is a more disingenuous candidate for the 2010 congressional elections–maybe Alvin Green?). The good news for O’Donnell is that she still has a couple of weeks to familiarize herself with the contents of the Constitution and avoid any further blunders (on that topic, at least). And, if she is elected Senator of Delaware, she will have until January to make good on her pledge to promote, defend, and implement the Constitution. After all, it seems to me that knowing X is a necessary condition for being in a position to promote, defend, and implement X.

25 Responses to O’Donnell and Disingenuous Politics

  1. Blackadder says:

    There are a lot of valid criticisms you can make about Christine O’Donnell. But at the end of the day I like her. At the end of the day she is against Roe v. Wade, while Chris Coons is for it.

    And honestly, having listened to the clip presented above, I don’t hear Ms. O’Donnell denying that the establishment clause is in the First Amendment. I do hear her deny that the First Amendment saying anything about the separation of church and state, which of course it doesn’t.

    Often times Republicans get criticized for prioritizing economic issues over social issues, and the charge is often made that Republican talk about social conservativism is just for show. I’ve noticed, though, that when Republicans do nominate someone for whom social issues are front an center this often provokes a negative reaction among many of the same people.

  2. MQ says:

    “(though I don’t think there is a more disingenuous candidate for the 2010 congressional elections–maybe Alvin Green?).”

    You seem to be pretty confident of yourself, tossing the disingenuous label around like a Frisbee, someday I hope to be a genuine as you.

  3. Tito Edwards says:

    MQ,

    Argue the post, don’t attack the poster.

  4. Deb says:

    First of all, whenever someone starts off in writing a political topic with Now, let me state up front that I am not a supporter of either candidate this election (mostly because I am not a resident of Delaware). Let me also state that I have nothing invested in either major political party this election (I tend to vote third party, anyway, and when I don’t, I tend to vote Republican). My interest is in taking an honest look at O’Donnell’s remarks, one that is neither clouded by the mist of Tea Party zeal nor wobbled by Democratic panic. then writes 4 more paragraphs , includes a video, and clearly biased is take a political side , and that to me is disingenuous . I’m not really sure what the point of this article was if NOT to state your political opinion.

  5. Roger says:

    “But O’Donnell asked whether the Establishment Clause is in the Constitution. And there’s the rub.”

    I don’t know what you were watching, but it seems pretty clear to me O’Donnell was questioning Coons’ assertion that there is a constitutionally mandated separation of church and state in the First Amendment, and not whether there is an Establishment Clause in said amendment or the Constitution.

  6. MJAndrew says:

    Just a quick response to some of the comments before I head to bed:

    And honestly, having listened to the clip presented above, I don’t hear Ms. O’Donnell denying that the establishment clause is in the First Amendment. I do hear her deny that the First Amendment saying anything about the separation of church and state, which of course it doesn’t.

    I agree with all of this comment, Blackadder. What I think is clear is that O’Donnell questions whether the Establishment Clause is in the First Amendment. So it’s not that she denies that the Establishment Clause is in the First Amendment, but that she isn’t sure whether or not it is.

    @Deb – Can you point out in my post exactly what is biased? If you think my criticism of O’Donnell indicates that I am biased, then I refer you to the schematic I put together about candidate C, which shows that the criticism of the sort I give need not be biased in favor of any party or ideology.

    I don’t know what you were watching, but it seems pretty clear to me O’Donnell was questioning Coons’ assertion that there is a constitutionally mandated separation of church and state in the First Amendment, and not whether there is an Establishment Clause in said amendment or the Constitution.

    You are correct about the beginning of the discussion in question at 6:15; O’Donnell questions the assertion that the separation of church and state is mandated by the First Amendment. But if you continue to watch and listen, you will hear Coons paraphrase the Establishment Clause, which appears to confuse O’Donnell and prompts her to ask whether the Establishment Clause is in the First Amendment.

  7. Roger says:

    “But if you watch and listen, you will here Coons paraphrase the Establishment Clause, which appears to confuse O’Donnell and prompts her to ask whether the Establishment Clause is in the First Amendment.”

    I did watch and listen. While I can see how you may have come to your conclusion, I think that when viewed in whole, O’Donnell was essentially questioning Coons’ claim that the Establishment Clause somehow mandates a separation of church and state.

  8. MJAndrew says:

    I did watch and listen. While I can see how you may have come to your conclusion, I think that when viewed in whole, O’Donnell was essentially questioning Coons’ claim that the Establishment Clause somehow mandates a separation of church and state.

    Initially she questions the mandate (around 6:20 and again at 7:09), then she questions the presence of the Establishment Clause (Coons paraphrases the Establishment Clause at 7:13 to which O’Donnell skeptically responds “That’s in the First Amendment”). There’s no getting around that without some spin.

  9. Donald R. McClarey says:

    I found Coons in the debate to be a condescending twit, and for an attorney his knowledge of the Constitution to be rather limited.

    http://michellemalkin.com/2010/10/19/chris-coons-cant-name-the-five-freedoms-in-the-first-amendment/

    His idea also that the cases decided by the Supreme Court override the actual text of the document is precisely how monstrosities like Roe, which Coons of course supports, came about. When she won the primary I wrote on TAC that I viewed O’Donnell as a flawed candidate. I still do. However, the more I see of Coons, the less flawed she seems to me in comparison. I’ll take O’Donnell any day of the week.

  10. Blackadder says:

    Initially she questions the mandate (around 6:20 and again at 7:09), then she questions the presence of the Establishment Clause (Coons paraphrases the Establishment Clause at 7:13 to which O’Donnell skeptically responds “That’s in the First Amendment”).

    I think it’s clear from the context that the “that” in O’Donnell’s statement refers to the separation of church and state, not to the establishment clause (it wasn’t until after reading your explanation that the second interpretation even occurred to me).

  11. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Law Professor and blogger Ann Althouse has some interesting comments on Coons, O’Donnell and the First Amendment.

    http://althouse.blogspot.com/2010/10/odonnell-and-coons-on-separation-of.html

  12. M.Z. says:

    The more provocative and unasked question is whether party machines are better at producing candidates than popular forums. I find this to be another example in favor of party machines. You seem to still cling to 3rd party candidates though, almost all of whom are at least as loopy as these insurgent candidates.

  13. Paul Zummo says:

    There are about three, maybe four explanations for the comment:

    1)She genuinely doesn’t know that the Establishment Clause is part of the First Amendment. This seems highly unlikely.
    2)Her comment was directed at separation of Church and State. This is the more likely scenario.
    3)She had something like a brainfart, not fully realizing what Coons had said, and she therefore plowed ahead.
    4)Similar to 3, except she simply wasn’t really listening to him.

    As I said in my post, she could have been clearer, but the natural assumption that she doesn’t know what’s in the First Amendment just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    By the way, it’s interesting that the audible gasps from the audience came when she asked Mr. Coons where in the Constitution it calls for the separation of Church and State. The audience clearly wasn’t interested in semantics. They evidently all think that it is plain and obvious that the First Amendment calls for such a separation. Whatever one thinks of O’Donnell’s intellect, if that reaction reflects the thinking of most Delaware voters, then she is clearly no dumber than most of the electorate of her state.

  14. RL says:

    Interesting Paul. I’ll have to watch the clip again tonight, but the I took the audience reaction to her asking where “separation of chuch and state” is in the Constitution to be acknowldging the gottcha moment. There is absolutely nothing new about conservatives and libertarians challenging the old leftist canard about the separation of church being a Constitutional article or principle. It is of course not.

  15. Art Deco says:

    I find this to be another example in favor of party machines.

    I take it you have never lived in New York.

  16. c matt says:

    Get that woman a pocket Constitution. At the next debate, when it comes up, she can do a Cleavon Little and say “Excuse me while I whip this out”.

  17. MJAndrew says:

    @Deb

    Well, my post certainly doesn’t fit definitions 2 and 3. Definition 1 doesn’t characterize my post, either, since I am not aware of any prejudicial feelings regarding the Delaware race in me or the post (and I make as much clear in the post). So really, I don’t know what you are referring to. It seems to me that you readily read into the post something that’s just not there. Furthermore, if having an opinion (which of course my post expresses) is the same things being biased, then would we not all be biased and would not most of what we write be biased? In that case, why bother to accuse anyone of being biased if it is, indeed, such a general character trait? I think you may be somewhat confused about the difference between having an opinion about a political candidate’s character and actions, and being biased against that candidate. There is nothing in my post to suggest the latter is the case with me.

  18. GodsGadfly says:

    1. The only reason why Republicans have more gaffes is the media play them. Everyone says something stupid from time to time. When a liberal says something stupid, it gets on Talk Radio, and maybe Fox News, and the liberal establishment try to say it’s made up or overblown, or whatever. A Republican says something stupid, and 20 years later, we’re still hearing about Dan Qayle’s potatoes.
    2. The real issue, as O’Donnell tried to say, but she should have steered clear of religion in saying it, is where curricular standards should be set. I love how, for liberals, “science” is absolute if it means something like teaching evolution, but they only want to teach what science is convenient to them. I was recently talked to my new parish’s pro-life coordinator, who told me how he lost his job as a university anatomy professor after 1 semester merely for explaining the difference between a miscarried fetus and one that has been aborted. Just stating this *fact* outed him as “pro-life.”
    I don’t understand why liberals are far more concerned about teaching evolution than about teaching spelling, punctuation, critical thinking, math, and, oh, what the Constitution actually says.

    Which gets to
    3. It’s blatantly obvious that she’s saying it rhetorically, and it didn’t come out right because she was talking fast. It is a standard conservative response when a liberal says “Separation of Church and State” to say, “Where’s that in the Constitution?”

  19. Afghani"Stan" says:

    The amount of mental gymnastics that were done in the beginning of this blog automatically discounted it as to any value on the subject.

  20. Kyle Miller says:

    When I noticed you didn’t complete the National Review quote, I stopped reading. You cut her off to enhance your point.

    She is running for senate, not supreme court. Each candidate should have a strong understanding of the constitution, but not to be experts. O’Donnell’s point is she has a stronger understanding of the constitution and its role in legislation than her candidate.

  21. MJAndrew says:

    The amount of mental gymnastics that were done in the beginning of this blog automatically discounted it as to any value on the subject.

    Schematizing an action and abstracting from the circumstances in which that action takes place in order to evaluate the action is not “mental gymnastics.” I suggest you read some of the moral philosophy of Popes John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, who use this approach all the time. It is effective means for evaluating an action as objectively as possible and eliminating, as far as possible, a question-begging account. In the case of my post, the schema applies to any event of the relevant sort irrespective of political ideology or party. Now, if you think something is wrong with the schema itself, then that may be grounds for it being “automatically discounted,” whatever that means.

    When I noticed you didn’t complete the National Review quote, I stopped reading. You cut her off to enhance your point.

    I took a full O’Donnell quote from the National Review and cut nothing out. Perhaps you mean to say that I did not post every comment she made. That’s true. But that’s why I directly linked to the NR piece so I wouldn’t have to post every comment she made. Had I reproduced every quote from the NR piece, my point would have not been any weaker or stronger. If my concern was to “enhance my point” through the manipulation of quotations, then I would not have linked to any pieces at NR or Washington Post.

  22. Deb says:

    @ MJ
    Well let’s see. Your topic reads, and I quote.. ” O’Donnell and Disingenuous Politics” yet you don’t think your article offered any sort of prejudice towards her? I already stated that was how I took your article, in that you tried to come across as though you didn’t have an opinion, and that the politics of Delaware didn’t matter to you at all, and yet you spent too many paragraphs pointing out how silly and flawed of a candidate, and disenginuous she was. You were not be truthful and I was pointing that out. Then you insult me by stating that I am somewhat confused by the way I ” the reader” READ the article. Or that I don’t understand the difference between biased and political opinion, when in fact it is you who does not know the difference. So is it safe to assume when you wrote that artice it was with a preconcieved notion that everyone would agree with you and if they do not then they are confused? It is obvious, after reading through many of the other comments, that I am not the only one who interpreted the article as being predujiced against O’Donnell. Maybe next time you write an article, expect the unexpected. Someone may not agree with what you are saying, or have some constructive critism, learn to take it and not be so one sided.

  23. MJAndrew says:

    Well let’s see. Your topic reads, and I quote.. ” O’Donnell and Disingenuous Politics” yet you don’t think your article offered any sort of prejudice towards her?

    Is pointing out someone’s disingenuous actions or words a form of prejudice? It seems to me that in order to be prejudiced one must pre-judge a person, group, event, etc. without cause. My post certainly did not do that when accusing O’Donnell of disingenuous politics. My judgment came after her actions and comments, and I confine my criticism of O’Donnell only to those actions and comments. There is absolutely nothing prejudiced about that.

    I already stated that was how I took your article, in that you tried to come across as though you didn’t have an opinion, and that the politics of Delaware didn’t matter to you at all, and yet you spent too many paragraphs pointing out how silly and flawed of a candidate, and disenginuous she was.

    Since I was rendering a judgment of an action, of course my post expresses an opinion. Where did I state that I was offering only facts and no opinions? As for the Delaware race, I only said that I have nothing invested in the race (as I am not a resident of Delaware and I am not cheering for either candidate from afar) or in either major political party (I am not in a “take back” or “retain” the Congress frame of mind). That is not the same thing as saying that the politics do not matter to me, which is where I think your confusion lies. One can make an evaluation of a certain candidate’s actions without being for or against that candidate in a political race.

    Further, I did not say O’Donnell is silly. You are reading that into my post for some reason.

    Then you insult me by stating that I am somewhat confused by the way I ” the reader” READ the article. Or that I don’t understand the difference between biased and political opinion,

    I am sorry if you were insulted. I thought that by pointing out what your confusion was, it would help resolve the problem you are having with the post. The reader should always be cautioned against reading into a piece his/her own attitudes and prejudices, and it seems that you were not being very cautious in that respect. Hence, you mischaracterized the post and its author.

    So is it safe to assume when you wrote that artice it was with a preconcieved notion that everyone would agree with you and if they do not then they are confused?

    No, it’s not safe to assume that. As you can see from the comment thread, there are many who disagree with my assessment of what happened at Tuesday’s debate. I don’t think these people are necessarily confused. People can provide different interpretations of a set of facts without any party being prejudiced or biased (think of particle physics). In your case, however, I worry that you did and continue to confuse the differences among prejudice, bias, opinion, and evaluation.

    It is obvious, after reading through many of the other comments, that I am not the only one who interpreted the article as being predujiced against O’Donnell.

    I didn’t see many comments about my being prejudiced against O’Donnell. Rather, I saw comments disagreeing with how to understood O’Donnell’s last reply to Coons on the Establishment Clause. That’s not the same thing as accusing me of being prejudiced, as I just noted.

    Maybe next time you write an article, expect the unexpected. Someone may not agree with what you are saying, or have some constructive critism, learn to take it and not be so one sided.

    Thank you for the advice. I have learned a lot from many of the people who have left comments on this post and on others I have written. Constructive criticism is certainly the best kind on a blog, and for criticism to be constructive, the one who criticizes must first understand that which one is criticizing.

  24. Deb says:

    You say that your interests is in taking an honest look at O’Donnell’s remarks. Why? If not out of prejudice ( which is not only defined as a pre-judgement, but also as having an irrational attitude of hostility towards an individual,) and if not out of bias , with no interest in either candidate , then what was the purpose of the article? And I’m serous when asking this because you continue to point out how I’m reading something that’s not there and that I’m confused. So maybe I was, and still am. I still don’t get the why you wrote the article? Were you making fun of someone whom you thought didn’t know what she was accusing someone else of not knowing? If thats the case you could summed that up in one paragraph. Were you pointing out that she was being disingenuous . Again you could’ve summed that up in one paragraph . Or were trying to tout your knowledge of being able to point out all of the above while trying to sound neutral? Because if any or all of the above are true I thought you were being judgmental and haughty in your opinion, assessment or whatever you prefer to call it.

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