Monday, October 04, 2004

More legislators who don't understand the law

Jim DeMint is running for Senate in South Carolina. In a debate yesterday, he said that there should be don't ask, don't tell for teachers, but as for teachers who are “openly gay, I do not think that they should be teaching at public schools.”

Inez Tenenbaum, the Democratic opponent, said that “the private life of our teachers should stay private. I was shocked to hear him say that.”

A local political scientist pointed out that DeMint's proposal would, of course, be unconstitutional.

But he isn't just a bigot with kookie constitutional notions (opposes assault weapons ban on second amendment grounds, opposes the constitutional right to privacy and abortion), he also doesn't understand how the government works.

“We’ve had problems with schools for a long time,” he said, alleging that the state could have received millions in federal education money, but Tenenbaum allowed it to expire.

“I mean, Jim, really,” Tenenbaum responded. “You disappoint me so much. You’ve been in Congress six years and you don’t even know the accounting provisions of the federal government. That money will be spent.”