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Tilting at Windmills

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September 29, 2010

O'DONNELL'S EDUCATION PROBLEM GETS WORSE.... Things looked bad yesterday when extremist Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell (R) got caught lying about her educational background. But the story got even worse for Delaware's GOP nominee last night.

The story started when O'Donnell claimed to have graduated with a bachelor's from Fairleigh Dickinson years before she actually earned a degree. It got much worse when we learned that O'Donnell lied about having studied at Oxford, and lied again about post-grad work at Princeton.

Making matters just a little worse still, Christina Bellantoni reports that O'Donnell claimed to have attended Claremont Graduate University, but a school spokesperson explained yesterday, "Claremont Graduate University has no student or education record for an individual named Christine O'Donnell."

As it turns out, O'Donnell actually received a fellowship from a right-right think tank called the Claremont Institute, which has no affiliation with the Claremont Graduate University. The radical GOP candidate just pretended they were one and the same. (She also lied about the fellowship itself, characterizing it as "graduate" work, which it was not.)

Yesterday, I made the case that all of this Mark Kirk-like lying is ironic, given that O'Donnell claims to be obsessed with truth-telling in all instances. But Ben Adler goes even further, noting that the elitism of O'Donnell's mendacity is ironic for cultural reasons, too.

[U]nlike actually going to Oxford or Princeton, lying about where you went to school really is elitist. Rush Limbaugh and Jay Sekulow attacked Elena Kagan as an elitist for having gone to Harvard Law but the mere fact that she went there does not show that she thinks one's worth is measured by where they went to school. Of course she could think that, but all that having gone to Harvard proves is that she wanted to get the education they offer. (You could strain to argue attending expensive private institutions is elitist compared to attending public schools, but that would be a leftwing, not rightwing, populist attitude.)

By contrast, pretending that you took courses at Princeton or Oxford when you did not, and you are many years past college-age, demonstrates that you think having done so is really a necessary credential. Aside from the sheer patheticness of such insecurity, it is the ultimate reification of the elitist idea that middle-aged adults should continue to define themselves by the academic credentials they obtained in their youth and that the best schools are old, expensive institutions that started out only allowing only white Christian males to attend.

Adler added that he'll look forward to Limbaugh's "denunciations of O'Donnell for being an out-of-touch coastal cosmopolitan," but I suspect we'll be waiting a long while for that one.

Steve Benen 10:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (27)

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I also went through Harvard. But that was on the way to the Out of Town newsstand...

Posted by: artsmith on September 29, 2010 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

-I have a PAIR of Oxfords! Does that make me elitist?

Only if you wear them without socks. . .

Posted by: DAY on September 29, 2010 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

I went to Hard Knox U. Really, I did. Maybe I should start lying too! Christine O'Donnell, the new teabagging moron that keeps on giving!

Posted by: Trollop on September 29, 2010 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Do we think that this will make any difference to the people who also went through Harvard? [On their way to a book burning no doubt]. How frustrated do you have to be to imagine that this person will solve all of your problems?

Posted by: pokeybob on September 29, 2010 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Elitism is analogous to the class warfare trope. As always, IOKIYAR. Another example: if the GOP wants to fetishize national security, great. If Janet Napolitano wants body scanners at airports, bad.

We ought to make a list of these things that are bad when they help Dems/liberals and good when they don't:

1) Billionaires
2) Hollywood
3) Wall St bailouts
4) Deficits
5) Big Government
6) Being gay
7) European vacations
8) Sex
9) Drug use
10) Rock 'n Roll

etc.

Posted by: walt on September 29, 2010 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder how much the nomination of O'Donnell and Paladino -- on the same day -- has been responsible for the turnaround that seems to be happening. They are such perfect examples of the worst of 'naked Republicanism' with Paladino's misogyny, racism and ugliness and O'Donnell's craziness, puritanism -- can you see a conversation between the two of them? -- and outright lying about everything.

This is what the Republicans have been choosing this year, but before now nobody seemed to care that much.

Guys, generic ballots don't matter that much if Republicans aren't nominating 'generic candidates' and they aren't.

Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) on September 29, 2010 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

I went to Yale in the late sixties and early seventies when I was 14 and 17 years old.

Of course, it was the hospital but I'm still alive beyond expectations, so, I guess you might say I graduated with honors.

Posted by: wbn on September 29, 2010 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Ye gads, what's next?! Are we going to find out that she actually has masturbated?

Posted by: puravida on September 29, 2010 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

From here on the left coast, if I squint, I can see Harvard from my deck. I'd like my diploma please.

Posted by: burro on September 29, 2010 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Selling sand in Saudi Arabia is about value being offered by the e Coli pushing anti everything republicans .
Whether they roll up their sleeves , smile fetchingly towards the camera , or not , what they've got along with their coveting unreceived educations is , Killing Americans .
Thats a pretty easy thing to remember , death disease , destruction famine , unemployment all equals the proud and unbent its okay for republican scam machine .

Posted by: FRP on September 29, 2010 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

I think I'll put on a pair of Oxfords, go to Harvard, and spend some time in Cambridge. The #73 bus will get me there in no time.

You don't suppose she's lying about the sex, too, do you?

Posted by: dr2chase on September 29, 2010 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Whether they roll up their sleeves , smile fetchingly towards the camera , or not , what they've got along with their coveting unreceived educations is , Killing Americans

We're all going to die somehow or someway, yet republs think they will live forever. Transportation accidents kill more Americans than anything else, so when can we expect the war on transportation? Oh wait, they have already made that declaration to do away with the DOT.

Posted by: flyonthewall on September 29, 2010 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

...we learned that O'Donnell lied...

She'll make a fine Republican senator.

Posted by: qwerty on September 29, 2010 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

anybody else worried that she's going to show up for a debate in a Princess Sparkle Fairy costume, declaring that Jeebus had granted her magic power to smite her enemies and then burst into "I've Written A Letter To Daddy", leaving Castle no choice but to mount a successful write-in campaign?

Posted by: Jim on September 29, 2010 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Adler added that he'll look forward to Limbaugh's "denunciations of O'Donnell for being an out-of-touch coastal cosmopolitan," but I suspect we'll be waiting a long while for that one.

You do realize, of course, that Limbo the Clown lives on the coast. Personally, I think he's just a beached Beluga in a very clever disguise---wrapped in tissue paper, with a string taped on the top, and the opposite end of the string being glued to an old piece of blank newsprint bearing the crayon-scrawled word: Teabag....

Posted by: S. Waybright on September 29, 2010 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Prup: Guys, generic ballots don't matter that much if Republicans aren't nominating 'generic candidates' and they aren't.

I believe that's absolutely true. Now if we can only SuperGlue™ the somewhat reasonable GOP candidates to the batshit crazy one, this election is in the bag.

And I don't mean a Tea Bag.

Oh...and that's a mighty big 'if.'

Posted by: chrenson on September 29, 2010 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Given what she and Sarah Palin call an education, it's easy to see what Republicans think of educated women.

But, in O'Donnell's defense, she is a witch. Maybe she was wearing her Cloak of Invisibility when she attended those schools.

Has she mentioned a diploma from Hogwart's yet?

Posted by: chrenson on September 29, 2010 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Which university did you graduate from, Christine? "All of them."

Posted by: Chris S. on September 29, 2010 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

We need another "Dumb and Dumber" movie staring Sarah and this nitwit. They could write the punchlines as they filmed it. Just turn on the cameras and watch the stupidity flow...AH.."ACTION"

Posted by: drinksforall on September 29, 2010 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Did you hear the one about Christine O'Donnel?

She's so dumb...

How dumb is she?

She's so dumb, she refused to get a pap smear because, she didn't want to get pregnant while the the doctor was masturbating her and give birth to a little baby Q-tip.

She's so dumb she told Fucksnews she graduated from Electoral College.


Badumpdump.

Posted by: Winkandanod on September 29, 2010 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if God thinks her lies are "righteous"?

Posted by: Marko on September 29, 2010 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

At the expense of elitism, the word "patheticness" doesn't exist.
Try "pathos."

Also, "reification" doesn't mean what the writer appears to think it does.

Posted by: Aloysius on September 29, 2010 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Which university did you graduate from, Christine? "All of them." - Chris S.

Nice

Posted by: Oh my on September 29, 2010 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

'yes, Herr Hitler, the jews are in the cellar, and I graduated from Heidelburg University.'

Posted by: james chan on September 29, 2010 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

As someone who actually did spend time at the Claremont Graduate School (to be transparent, I didn't graduate from there either) and knew some of the Claremont Institute folks, beyond being strongly personally offended by this, is this person simply suffering from some sort of mental problem - bipolar, perhaps? The history of alcoholism, sex addiction, religious conversions (she converted from Catholicism to evangelical Protestant), job problems, inability to complete education, extremist politics and frequent changes of residence could be pointing to that.

Posted by: burritoboy on September 29, 2010 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

As it turns out, O'Donnell actually received a fellowship from a right-right think tank called the Claremont Institute, which has no affiliation with the Claremont Graduate University. The radical GOP candidate just pretended they were one and the same. (She also lied about the fellowship itself, characterizing it as "graduate" work, which it was not.)

-------------

The Claremont Institute famously gave its 'Winston Churchill Award' to Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing coward and drug-addict.

I guess they mistook Rush's career for Churchill's....

Posted by: Mike on September 29, 2010 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Come on, give the girl a break, guys. Somebody asked her about matriculation, she heard masturbation.

(I cannot lie, Chrissie - I stole this. Thx Balloon-Juice, aka BJ.)

Posted by: kmb on September 29, 2010 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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