16 October 2006

Getting it right

As I noted when Sarah Palin was a guest on our call-in show, the Republican candidate for governor in this state sure does like the constitution. It makes sense, I guess, to ground a campaign in a document that is difficult to change and which all candidates equally have to contend because it's non-controversial. But it's also a recipe for vacuousness, as the ADN points out today:

"Are you offended by the phrase 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance?" asked the Eagle Forum.

"Not on your life," answered Ms. Palin. "If it was good enough for the Founding Fathers, it's good enough for me, and I'll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance."

But pull out the history books and you'll learn that the Founding Fathers of colonial days had nothing to do with the pledge. They were long dead when a Baptist minister wrote it in 1892. Even then, the phrase "under God" was not part of the original. That took an act of Congress, with President Dwight Eisenhower signing the bill to add the words in 1954.

So nothing against President Eisenhower, but please, Ms. Palin, set an example for schoolchildren and get the facts right. Wrap yourself in the flag and the pledge if you want, but don't credit the Founding Fathers as the tailors.

It reminds me a bit of the congressman who said - at a hearing on bi-lingual education - "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for me."

And yet we keep electing people like this!

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