Dumbass Wingnut Pundits are Americans, Too

Shame on me for missing this delightful item.

Seems that Chapter 3 of Bill O’Reilly’s book Kids are Americans Too includes the sentence, “For openers, the Constitution guarantees all of us, in a famous phrase, ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'” The “famous phrase” appears nowhere in the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence — the document in which the statement does appear — doesn’t “guarantee[]” diddly shit.

An O’Reilly Factor viewer named Courtney Wong noticed the error and emailed O’Reilly as follows:

“Mr. O’Reilly, I really enjoyed ‘Kids Are Americans Too’ but in the first sentence of Chapter Three you say the Constitution guarantees ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ Isn’t that from the Declaration of Independence?”

To his credit, O’Reilly read the email on the January 3 edition of his Fox News Channel show. The correct response would have been a mea culpa along the lines of: “You’re absolutely right, Courtney. ‘Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ comes not from the Constitution but from the Declaration of Independence. What I was getting at, and what I should have said, was . . .”

What he actually said was:

Another excellent question, Courtney. The reason the Constitution was forged was to assure new American citizens the right to free life and access to pursue happiness in his or her own way. The Declaration was the statement; the Constitution, the instrument.

So, uh, what’s the deal? Is Bill O’Reilly not a strict constructionist? Is he reading unenumerated guarantees into the Constitution just like some sissy-boy liberal activist federal judge? Or is he just dissembling at full speed in an effort to avoid the appearance of fuckupery? Whatever the answer, he’s doing an abysmally poor job.

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