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Civics Lesson:

This is funny:

"Let me explain the government to you. There's God, then there's the president and then there's my father."

— Jack Roberts, 6-year-old son of Chief Justice John Roberts, overheard speaking to one of his young peers on the last day of summer camp

HT: The Corner

Kate1999 (mail):
If only he said "Congress" instead of "God," I would say he has a prettty good understanding of the separation of powers for a 6 year-old.
9.5.2006 12:31pm
James Grimmelmann (mail) (www):
Well, I guess it goes from God to Jerry to you to the cleaners. Right, Kent?
9.5.2006 12:53pm
Pete Freans (mail):
A proponent for a strong executive branch no doubt.
9.5.2006 12:55pm
jallgor (mail):
Nice "Real Genius" reference, James. I hope the other 6 year old Jack was speaking to gave him a good noogie after he made that pronouncement and said "let me explain summer camp to you, there's the camp director, then the counselors and then there are my knuckles on your scalp every day for the rest of the summer."
9.5.2006 1:20pm
lpdbw:
Humorous as this is, I thought minor children of public figures (or at least pre-teens) were off limits.

Does this bother anyone else?
9.5.2006 1:20pm
cirby (mail):
lpdbw:

"Cute" jokes are usually fair game, and have been in vogue for pretty much the whole span of US history.
9.5.2006 1:34pm
FXKLM:

"let me explain summer camp to you, there's the camp director, then the counselors and then there are my knuckles on your scalp every day for the rest of the summer."


The article says he did this on the last day of summer camp. Jack is obviously smarter than you give him credit for.
9.5.2006 1:53pm
Jeremy T:
Jack also seems to be a little bitch.
9.5.2006 2:46pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Modest little guy, isn't he? He ought to know SCOTUS outranks God... at least according to their establishment clause jurisprudence.
9.5.2006 3:13pm
John1138 (mail):

Jeremy T:
Jack also seems to be a little bitch.

He seems to be proud of his father (justifiably).

Perhaps you have issues in that regard, Dr. Frisch.
9.5.2006 3:23pm
Norman:
While I see the humor in the statement, I speculate that Jack didn't mean "my father insofar as he is Supreme Court justice" but instead meant "my father insofar as he is my dad". Jack's statement could have been said by any little Sunday school kid; in other words, "I have allegiance to God, then to my country (and the President is the head of my country), and then to my parents."
9.5.2006 4:35pm
David Malmstrom (mail):
Norman, I agree but he was explaining government.
9.5.2006 4:52pm
Norman:
David,
I think "government" in the mind of a child means "who I need to obey" or "who rules over me": "I need to obey God, and then I need to obey the President, and then I need to obey my parents."
9.5.2006 5:26pm
WHOI Jacket:
Silly Jack, SCOTUS outranks God nowadays.
9.5.2006 5:29pm
jallgor (mail):
Norman,
Your point made me think of the amusing habit kids have of telling you that you are not allowed to do something because their parents said it's not ok. At what age do kids realize their parents only rule over them and (with limited exceptions) noone else?
9.5.2006 5:41pm
sammy_finkelman (mail):
Probably in such cases, the children think taht the rule their parents are giving them is a general rule, at least for children. This can be half right sometimes - as in not crossing the street against the light (although it would be better really in that case to use common sense and not just a rule, at least to for the purposes of ADDing additional occasions not to cross the street.
9.5.2006 6:35pm
A.S.:
There's God, then there's the president and then there's my father

Wouldn't it be God, then Bush, then Justice Kennedy?

(Used to be O'Connor, prior to her retirement - now Kennedy, though. I mean, who has more power, the swing vote or the Chief?)
9.5.2006 8:11pm
Ross Levatter (mail):
Very funny, at least on the assumption Jack didn't learn that particular lesson from his father...
9.5.2006 10:59pm
Don Anon:
As disturbing as this quote is (pace Norman, Jack sounds like a real Republican in training), I think it is *way* out of line to be covering the minor children of government officials.

It's one thing when Jack is dancing in front of the cameras at the White House. It's another thing when every silly comment he makes to a friend at camp can end up in the newspapers. They should leave the kid alone.
9.5.2006 11:02pm
Kristian (mail):

Very funny, at least on the assumption Jack didn't learn that particular lesson from his father...

Actually, my Son is learning / will learn (he is 16mos old, so the concept is still a little fuzzy) that the order is God, Me &Mom, then the President.
9.6.2006 8:04am
Seth Edenbaum (mail) (www):
It's a description and a defense of monarchism.
But no one seems to notice or to care.
9.6.2006 4:14pm
WHOI Jacket:
Because the political future of the US hangs on the remarks of a 6yr old at summer camp...........
9.6.2006 5:37pm
Keith Wright (mail):
If only every father's son held them in such high regard.
9.6.2006 6:16pm