On June 20, 2002, the United States Supreme Court decreed, in the case of Atkins v. Virginia, that the mildly mentally retarded were categorically exempt from capital punishment, reasoning that fully functional adults of diminished mental capacity were as a matter of law not as culpable for their acts. Writing eloquently in dissent, Justice Scalia drew a sharp distinction between the severely mentally retarded (who are truly not responsible for their actions), and the merely stupid (the category into which Mr. Atkins undoubtedly fell). Scalia argued forcefully that, with respect to the merely stupid, at least sometimes they deserve to be punished for their antisocial and destructive behavior.
This article, of course, is not about capital punishment. It is a book review of Dirty, Sexy Politics by Meghan McCain. However, the above discussion is relevant because I initially had reservations about writing this book review at all. After all, it is clear to everyone who has read Meghan McCain’s twitter feed, her “articles” on The Daily Beast, or her ill-fated campaign blog that Meghan is not a not a paragon of clear reasoning, exemplar of familiarity with facts, nor a model of English language expertise. And after subjecting myself to 194 continuous pages of her “writing,” it became clear that none of the above-described works truly plumbed the depths of mental vacuity in which Ms. McCain aimlessly and cluelessly drifts.
This presented a dilemma.