Marsha, Marsha, Marsha ...
Time to Log Off is a weekly series documenting the many ways our political figures show their whole asses online.
There is a generally accepted notion that to be a United States senator means you have some sort of baseline level of intelligence that will allow you to competently and effectively legislate on behalf of the people you represent. And yet at just about every turn, actual United States senators do their absolute best to thoroughly undermine that notion. Put simply: There are a whole lotta senators out there (and congressmen, and governors, and, frankly, elected officials in general) who are proudly, enthusiastically, dumber than most types of dirt. And while there were plenty of Republican senators jockeying to be king of dogshit mountain this week, it was none other than Tennessee’s own Marsha Blackburn who took home the prize with this doozy:
The context here, if you must know, is Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination hearing, and the GOP’s ongoing effort to worm their way into the wombs of women across the country — if not legislatively, then through the sort of judicial manipulation that’s placed a host of conservative, anti-choice justices on the bench.
The thing is, Blackburn is wrong. Not just a little wrong, either, but “Wile E. Coyote running into a painting of a tunnel on the side of a mountain and flattening himself into two dimensions” wrong. As a senator — or, simply as someone who presumably went through an 8th grade social studies class — she should know that the phrase “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Constitution. Not once. Go on, do a “Control+F” and see for yourself.
What Blackburn presumably meant to say is that it’s the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, which “grants us rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — not abortions.” Except that’s wrong too! Here’s what the Declaration of Independence actually says, right there at the top of its second paragraph:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
It’s a pretty famous line, Marsha!
If the senator had the reading comprehension of, say, a middle school social studies student, she’d also see that the quote is actually saying the opposite of what she claimed: that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness aren’t “granted” by the Constitution, or Declaration of Independence, or any other example of frilly text authored by people who owned other human beings as property. They are “self evident” truths, that have been “endowed” upon us by a higher power. (If she’d read a little further down the page, Blackburn would also have seen the Declaration of Independence doesn’t look too kindly on people who “excited domestic insurrections amongst us” either, which ... hmmmmm Marsha?)
Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, perhaps you should log off, delete Twitter, power down your phone, and just take the L on this one. I’m just trying to help you here.