Everyone’s talking about Palin’s botched Supreme Court response, but I haven’t seen much conversation yet about her answer to Couric’s question regarding the separation of church and state. Take a listen:
Katie Couric: Thomas Jefferson wrote about the First Amendment, building a wall of separation between church and state. Why do you think that’s so important?
Sarah Palin: His intention in expressing that was so that government did not mandate a religion on people. And Thomas Jefferson also said never underestimate the wisdom of the people. And the wisdom of the people, I think in this issue is that people have the right and the ability and the desire to express their own religious views, be it a very personal level, which is why I choose to express my faith, or in a more public forum.
And the wisdom of the people, thankfully, engrained in the foundation of our country, is so extremely important. And Thomas Jefferson wanted to protect that.
Not only does Palin get so twisted up in herself that it’s tough to remember what the question was in the first place, but I went hunting for the Jefferson quote she references and couldn’t find it. I did dig up this:
“It is not wisdom alone but public confidence in that wisdom which can support an administration.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1824.
If this is what Palin was going for, she not only took it out of context, but she wasn’t even close.
Then I found this interaction on amongst chatters in the Sean Hannity forum, and they came to the same conclusion. There is no Jefferson quote.
You know you’re in trouble when the Fox peeps call your bluff.