Yahoo Political Reporter: Cruz Talking About God-Given Rights Is 'Bizarre'

Meredith Shiner is currently a Yahoo News political reporter. Before spending three years at Roll Call, where she was considered "a leader in the newsroom," she toiled at the Politico for two years. Shiner is a graduate of Duke University, and "grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago."

I have provided these resume-level details to emphasize how utterly incomprehensible it is, as well as downright scary, that a woman with this kind of background and experience could have published, reacting to Ted Cruz's speech announcing his presidential candidacy, the following tweet (HT Instapundit):


The poor woman is apparently unfamiliar with a document known as the Declaration of Independence, which contains the following passage:

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.— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ...

So Meredith Shiner:

  • Is a journalist who has worked at two of the leading DC-based online establishment press entities.
  • Graduated from an elite university's school of journalism.
  • Appears to have grown up in relatively privileged socioeconomic and educational circumstances.
  • Despite all of this, clearly has no idea that our country's Founders, in one of the most important intellectual and political breakthroughs in human history, asserted in the Declaration of Independece that our rights, including but not limited to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, come from God — not kings, not tyrants, and not governments.

Moreover, Ms. Shiner clearly doesn't not appreciate the relationship between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution:

The Constitution itself connects itself to the Declaration of Independence by dating itself from the date of the Declaration of Independence, thereby showing clearly that it is the second great document in the government of these United States and is not to be understood without the first. ...

The Founders believed the Declaration was the foundational document in our Constitutional form of government. The Founders dated their government acts from the year of the Declaration rather than the Constitution. The date of the Declaration of Independence was the recognized date of Sovereignty and Independence of the United States.

In the Declaration, the Founders established the foundation and the core values on which the Constitution was to operate. The Constitution was never to be interpreted apart from those values expressed in the Declaration.

How is this degree of ignorance even possible?

Sadly, Shiner's cluelessness, while unforgivable, is nowhere near as damning as the idea that, from all appearances, none of the schools she attended, and no one in her family, ever properly informed her. In fact, they appear to have erroneously misled her into believing that our rights are man-made — and thus subject to becoming whimsically unmade by men.

Heaven help us all if Meredith's Shiner's constitutional and founding documents denseness is typical. Sadly, the odds seem pretty high that it is.

Cross-posted at

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.