The New Yorker's Embarrassing Attack on Clarence Thomas

It’s no surprise to find the liberal pundit Jeffrey Toobin criticizing a conservative Supreme Court justice. But would it kill him to adopt a reality-based approach when doing so? Here’s how Toobin sets the scene in his latest piece for The New Yorker, where he attacks Justice Clarence Thomas for keeping quiet during oral arguments. Toobin writes:

Thomas...is physically transformed from his infamous confirmation hearings, in 1991—a great deal grayer and heavier today, at the age of sixty-five. He also projects a different kind of silence than he did earlier in his tenure. In his first years on the Court, Thomas would rock forward, whisper comments about the lawyers to his neighbors Breyer and Kennedy, and generally look like he was acknowledging where he was. These days, Thomas only reclines; his leather chair is pitched so that he can stare at the ceiling, which he does at length. He strokes his chin. His eyelids look heavy. Every schoolteacher knows this look. It’s called “not paying attention.”

This is nonsense. I’ve attended a number of oral arguments in the past two years and I’ve routinely seen Thomas leaning forward, watching the lawyers (and his colleagues), and even conferring quite enthusiastically with both Justice Stephen Breyer (to his right) and Justice Antonin Scalia (to his left). In fact, during the first day of the March 2012 Obamacare oral arguments, which centered on whether an 1867 tax law barred the legal challenge to the health care law from going forward, I watched Thomas and Breyer together poring over a massive book that appeared to be a volume of the U.S. tax code. What were they up to? It’s possible Thomas was suggesting a line of questioning for Breyer to use. After all, as Thomas told an audience at Harvard law school, he sometimes helps generate Breyer’s material. “I’ll say, ‘What about this, Steve,’ and he’ll pop up and ask a question,” Thomas said. “So you can blame some of those [Breyer questions] on me.”

Toobin is either himself guilty of not paying attention, or he is perhaps too eager to bend the facts in order to paint his opponents in an unflattering light.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Acosmist||

    Oral arguments are dick-measuring contests for the justices anyway. Anything of substance is in the briefs and in the research your clerks do for you, and the case is all-but decided by the time oral argument comes around.

    Toobin must be an aspiring pre-law student to have that level of ignorance. Right?

  • Tman||

    I don't understand why they bring up this point about Thomas over and over again. As you noted the case is pretty much decided by this point as well as the fact that the briefs contain the specifics, no matter what is said during the oral arguments.

    I love how he did break a 7 year long when he was understood to have joked that a law degree from Yale may be proof of incompetence.

    Judge Thomas gave a great lecture at Harvard a couple years ago that is worth your time here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heQjKdHu1P4

    The video converted my mom -a Manhattan raised feminist liberal attorney- to a Thomas fan.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    " don't understand why they bring up this point about Thomas over and over again."

    Really? As someone who finds some of the attacks on Thomas to be quite silly I think the reason is easy: he is the only one that does not ask questions. It is odd in the sense of unusual.

  • Tman||

    Thomas is not even close to the only judge who was silent during oral arguments.

    Several throughout history did the same thing. You just don't like him because he's a black conservative.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    When I said only one supra I meant only one of the Justices, meaning current ones.

    You are right that in our history there have been justices who have sat silent, but the norm for decades has been otherwise. So perhaps people who note this oddity about Thomas are not motivated by racism as you seem to insist?

  • Tman||

    I would agree with you if this was all that was included in the usual criticisms of Thomas.

    I have yet to see any of those that merely note it from a "curiosity" level.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I will not argue that silence during oral debates is necessarily a sign of being fearful of 'proving one is a fool' if they talk, it clearly does not have to be. Some very smart people are men and women of few words, and some very foolish people can not stop talking. But if someone already suspects someone is lacking intellectually, then it is not unusual for them to find that person being unusually silent during debates as further evidence of their suspicion. It does not make them correct, but it does supply an explanation other than racism.

  • Tman||

    People "suspicious" of Thomas' intelligence are lazy idiots.

    It would take you all of a few minutes to read a brief biography to debunk this theory.

    What makes the left insane (and sometimes actually racist) about Thomas are his opinions, because he doesn't serve the lefts agenda.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    As said, I imagine the 'suspicion' originally came from what were seen as his relatively skimpy qualifications when nominated, then the odd not talking reinforces it.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    His qualifications when nominated were not nearly as skimpy as Kagan's, for example (and Earl Warren's, and many other justices in the past). At least he'd been a judge prior to nomination.

    Not asking questions can mean a lot of things. Lack of intelligence certainly isn't the first one that comes to mind.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I have not said being a judge is the only kind of objective way for people in the law to distinguish themselves, just that by any of the various measures Thomas was not the top choice available (neither was Sotomayer)

  • ||

    I have not said being a judge is the only kind of objective way for people in the law to distinguish themselves, just that by any of the various measures Thomas was not the top choice available

    And failed to even attempt to identify what other "various measures" you are referring to, or made an argument for Thomas incompetence on their basis.

  • w adams||

    I really hate to get tough with you, but, I'm afreaid I'll have to report your comment to the Democratic Party Impure Thoughts Dept.
    Everyone knows that even thinking about a person of color is rascist; just reading their name, being aware of their existance is rascist.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Supra = 5 letters
    above = 5 letters

    Do tell.

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    That's an Iron Law of Law School:

    Never use a common word when an obscure or arcane one could be used instead.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    That's a good one, but the Iron Laws are all positive, not normative. Nature tells us what the iron laws may very well might be like, and we just scribble them down.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    And I didn't realize until now that RC Dean is a pseudonym based on Will Smith's character in Enemy of the State. Miss out on a few years of pop culture and you miss out on a lot.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Perhaps, but one does come across lines in opinions such as 'as the government conceded at oral argument.'

  • Acosmist||

    You can fuck yourself at oral argument, but you can't help yourself.

    So, in that sense, sure. It's a gotcha and dick-measuring session for the justices.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Toobin is either himself guilty of not paying attention, or he is perhaps too eager to bend the facts in order to paint his opponents in an unflattering light.

    It's both. Is there a liberal legal pundit who's not completely intellectually dishonest?

  • Comrade Donkey Punch||

    They're not really pundits but I would say Alan Dershowitz and Jonathan Turley. I don't necessarily agree with them but they are intellectually honest.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Good points.

  • Mike M.||

    Wow, you just named two of the guys I was going to as well!

    I would add the name Nat Hentoff to the list, though he's much more of a classical liberal/civil libertarian than a modern "liberal". He's still one of my favorite principled pundits out there.

  • Comrade Donkey Punch||

    I haven't heard or read anything from Nat Hentoff, but I'll start looking him up.

  • Robert S.||

    Glen Greenwald?

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Eh, he's not really a "legal" pundit. I'm thinking more of the Dahlia Lithwick type.

  • tarran||

    You must understand, the facts don't matter to Toobin.

    The New Yorker is aimed at a particular demographic. Those people aren't interested in the truth, but rather having their egos stroked.

    Thomas is a symbol to them, a symbol of something they can feel superior to. They are all smarter than him. Thinking of him as a black man who is inferior to them gives them comfort.

    What Thomas actually does or says is irrelevant. The vast majority of people who subscribe to the New Yorker wouldn't do the research or read alternate sources that would give lie to Toobin hatefully stereotypical caricature. And him telling the truth wouldn't make them feel good.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Thomas is the living embodiment (symbol) of affirmative action. He was appointed over more qualified jurists strictly due to his skin color.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    No. Just no.

  • John||

    Yeah. shreek is a horrible racist. Once in a while he reminds everyone. No point in getting in the way of him shitting himself.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    So shrek is a racist for saying Thomas was an affirmative action nomination, but all the people here who say the same about, say, Obama or Sotomayer are then, what exactly?

  • Tman||

    Shreek has a past history that disallows him the benefit of the doubt.

    Thomas was appointed for several reasons, among them the fact that he was black. Thomas actually resented the fact that Bush wanted him to be his "black" appointee but to say that he is only there because he is black ignores his entire resume and is insulting to Thomas.

    You would have a strong argument to say that there may have been more qualified candidates at the time who were not black, but that doesn't mean that Thomas himself wasn't qualified. He's arguably more qualified than half of the current SCOTUS judges now anyways.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "Thomas was appointed for several reasons, among them the fact that he was black."

    Which is exactly what affirmative action is. Note PB did not say he was not competent, just that he was hired in large part because of his skin color.

    I actually agree that Thomas has demonstrated fine skills as a SCOTUS justice, but the same could be said for many affirmative action hires who, when hired, did not have the objective qualifications that others lacking the 'preferred characteristic.'

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I should note that I oppose affirmative action whether practiced by Democrats or Republicans.

  • Tman||

    Shreik said he was "the living embodiment" of affirmative action.

    The "embodiment" of AA would be electing a black judge who was not qualified, which again, is insulting to Thomas. He was absolutely qualified. Whether or not he was the best candidate is arguable, but not his qualifications.

  • DH||

    Since Obama was elected, no he wasnt affirmative
    action dumbshit. Sotomayor, while I agree with her on very little because she is a liberal slaver was a relatively good choice I suppose. She had a relatively good mix of experience and represents a growing segment of our population, hispanics/mexican american.

  • Calidissident||

    Sotomayor is Puerto Rican

  • John C. Randolph||

    Obama was nominated because he wasn't Hillary. Of course, Fluffy the Slut wasn't Hillary either, but he was marginally more greasy than Obama.

    Obama won the first election because he wasn't GWB. He won the second election because the GOP nominated a candidate who was absolutely interchangeable with Obama on every issue.

    -jcr

  • Marshall Gill||

    Why not? When right is wrong and up is down, Clarence Thomas embodies affirmative action and Barack Obama is a genius.

    Have you ever heard a Leftard talking point praising Thomas? How would the shrieking imbecile repeat anything other than things heard from others? You didn't think he has any original thoughts, did you?

  • ||

    Wait a minute. Obo admits to being an affirmative action baby, yet it is nearly impossible to find an example of him being truthful.

    This is a dilemma.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Wait a minute. Why no, just no? Are you saying Thomas was the most qualified jurist available at the time of his confirmation? Because that would be preposterous.

    If you want to say it is indeed the pot calling the kettle black to level a charge of affirmative action at the GOP and Thomas, go ahead. But were Thomas white I highly doubt he would have been the nominee.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Are any of them ever the most qualified jurist available?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    That is kind of my point. They are often picked for political or social reasons, Thomas was no different.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Actually, this is absolute nonsense. I initially expected very little from him, but his opinions are easily the most intellectually consistent of all of the current justices.

    Frankly, I think some of the left's aversion to him is based in some racism, because they like to think they "own" black opinions and just cannot handle a conservative viewpoint coming out of a black man.

    Personally, I like Thomas, both as a legal scholar and as the only justice who occasionally sounds like he'd like to limit the government once in a while. He's far from perfect, but what else is new?

  • John||

    Shreek is an old time southern racist.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    So it would appear. Shame.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Frankly, I think some of the left's aversion to him is based in some racism, because they like to think they "own" black opinions and just cannot handle a conservative viewpoint coming out of a black man.

    It's all racism. To the left he's nothing but a house nigger who's been given some privileges by whites in exchange for being a puppet o the bench. To them he is NOTHING but an Uncle Tom race traitor. And it's for the exact reasons you note: the left feels that they own black opinion. That if you are black and you don't spout leftist talking points, you can't be a real black.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Where does that leave Sonia Sotomayor?
    They claim she's the USSC's first hispanic justice, conveniently forgetting Benjamin Cardozo, a Sephardic Jew of both Spanish and Potuguese descent.

  • Calidissident||

    I believe Cardozo was just of Portuguese descent. Wikipedia (I know, I know) doesn't mention anything about him being Spanish. Apparently, his family left Portugal several hundred years ago, moving to Holland and England before America. Portuguese people often are not considered Hispanic. I know a lot of Brazilians object to the term being used to describe them. Either way, Sotomayor is the first Latin American SC justice, which is more socially significant considering Spanish and Portuguese people are white Europeans the same as Italians, French, or any other European ethnic group.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Shush, you are ruining the whole line!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Wikipedia also says that "Hispanic" applies to people of Iberian descent (which includes Portugal).

    Either way, Sotomayor is the first Latin American SC justice, which is more socially significant considering Spanish and Portuguese people are white Europeans the same as Italians, French, or any other European ethnic group.

    Sotomayor was born in NYC and is light-skinned (indicating mostly European descent). Not sure where you're going with this.

    Go to a dinner table in Europe and make that statement about Spanish and Portuguese being the same as every other nationality, and report back the results (if you survive).

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    First of all, while Hispanic can apply to Portugese it often does not (I mean, look at the word itself). Also, the fact that Cardozo's family left the area long ago has some relevance. But more importantly, if you do not see how a Latin American Hispanic is different, in the context of the US, from a Hispanic from Spain or Portugal, you are not aware of a great deal of social significance in our recent history and contemporary politics.

  • Number 2||

    Oh yes, "recent history and contemporary politics."

    You refer, no doubt, to the point that occurred some time in the 1960s when those of us of Southern or Eastern European descent, formerly known as dagos, wops, kikes, polaks, spaghetti benders, etc., magically became "white people" and therefore personally responsible for slavery, Dred Scott, separate-but-equal, and Jim Crow.

    The same contemporary politics which tells us that an impoverished, uneducated immigrant from Lisbon, Madrid or Palermo is a "European" who needs to make way for a Wise Latina Woman who suffered the disadvantages of attending America's top universities and law schools.

    Let's be blunt: the contemporary politics you speak of is the Democrat Party using race and ethnicity to buy votes. They despise Clarence Thomas because his mere existence is a mortal threat to the core of the Democrats' political strategy. Therefore, he must, in their minds, be extirpated by any means available. Hence Toobin's hit piece.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You will not get any argument from me about the Democrats using race and ethnicity to buy votes, it has been their stock and trade for a long time. What I am saying is that it is clear that Thomas' nomination was an example of the GOP attempting to do the same.

    As to the part about Hispanics, yes people foolishly overlook the diversity within ethnic labels used today. But the reality is that Hispanics-from-S. America and Hispanics-from-Europe are to some degree groups that see themselves and are seen by others as different, with the former being more salient to politics in America today. That is why Sotomayer's nomination was a 'big deal'

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    But the reality is that Hispanics-from-S. America and Hispanics-from-Europe are to some degree groups that see themselves and are seen by others as different,

    As are Hispanics from the Caribbean, Hispanics from Mexico, Hispanics from Chile, Hispanics from Venezuela, etc. You're cherry-picking a racial resolution that benefits your side.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Are you arguing that in the US today, Hispanics as Hispanics from the Caribbean v. Hispanics from Mexico is as salient in our politics and social reality as the difference between Hispanics from Spain v. Hispanics from Mexico? That's ludicrous.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Sure it is. You sure seem to have your finger on the pulse of every ethnicity's consciousness, don't you Bo.

    You've noticed the reception Ted Cruz (who is as Hispanic as BO is black) gets from Mexican-Americans, have you not?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    As are Hispanics from the Caribbean, Hispanics from Mexico, Hispanics from Chile, Hispanics from Venezuela, etc. You're cherry-picking a racial resolution that benefits your side.

    Agreed.

    Having lived the vast majority of my life in Miami I can assure you that Argentinians do not see themselves as having anything at all in common with Cubans, or Chileans with Mexicans, or Puerto Ricans with Dominicans . . .

    They all have very different identities and share very little other than core language.

  • Number 2||

    I don't think Thomas' nomination was affirmative action by the GOP as much as Bush 41 acting on the mistaken belief that the Democrats would hesitate to "Bork" a black nominee. We got Anita Hill instead.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I am quite aware that race-demagoguing leftists, for whom identity politics is one of the few arrows left in their already meager intellectual quiver, have made a big deal about it, yes.

    American conservatives and libertarians in 2014 don't give a rat's ass what color someone's skin is or what genitalia someone has when it comes to holding public office. I guess that makes us racists and sexists.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "American conservatives "

    Did you see the last GOP convention? The GOP certainly cares about putting a Hispanic face out there at times, and note it is not a Hispanic from Spain face.

    I am not saying I approve of all this, just that ignoring that this is a pretty salient thing contemporarily is to stick your head in the sand.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    You're playing the same game again.

    If the GOP doesn't have any Hispanics at their convention, it's evidence that they're racist and/or Hispanics hate their positions.

    If the GOP does have any Hispanics at their convention, they're cynically chosen Tios Tomases.

    If you're actually sincere in this view of the world, it's a pitiable thing. If you're not, and are just trolling on a beautiful Saturday morning, that's pretty piteous too.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You've got a neat thing there where the GOP can never be accused of putting an ethnic front up.

  • ||

    Spanish and Portuguese people are white Europeans the same as Italians, French, or any other European ethnic group.

    Lol. I'd love for you to go to Italy, Spain, France or Portugal and tell those people they are all culturally and ethnically homogeneous.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Ethnic was definitely the wrong word, but in terms of race, an Italian or Spaniard is no less white than a Norwegian.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The racial boundaries are fairly arbitrary. I don't see what's useful with throwing Ainu and Austrians into the same category.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Portuguese people often are not considered Hispanic.

    That would be because they are not. They are Portuguese.

    I know a lot of Brazilians object to the term being used to describe them.

    I don't know of a Brazilian who wouldn't object to being called Hispanic. It's because they are NOT hispanic. Latin American? Yes, but NOT Hispanic.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    "Hispanic" comes from the Roman province of Hispania, which included both Portugal and the descendant state of the Kingdom of Castille colloquially called "Spain". Spanish speakers refer to that country as "Espana" (don't remember how to make the n-tilde), so the term is obviously originating from outsiders.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Where does that leave Sonia Sotomayor?

    The wise-ass latina?

    -jcr

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The New Yorker is aimed at a particular demographic. Those people aren't interested in the truth, but rather having their egos stroked.

    You couldn't be closer to the truth.

  • Brandon||

    The comments are even worse than the article.


    enriquevega1 hour ago
    Clarence Thomas is the ultimate Uncle Tom living today. Not too smart, he is paid to say nothing and do the bidding of a condescending conservative minority that seeks to disenfranchise the poor (as if any help is needed). A product of affirmative action, he would have gotten nowhere if not helped systematically with his education.

    Thomas would have problems doing crossing guard duties. He is an anti-government zealot who gladly cashes a government check month after month until he dies.


    For years now, I have called him Clarence "Waste of Space" Thomas. He is emblematic of what is wrong with government today.

    FlagShare

    This would get its own HuffPo outrage article if "Clarence Thomas" were changed to "Barack Obama."

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    Here's the deal: from here on out, anyone who uses the phrase "Uncle Tom" to refer to 1) a black man 2) not named Tom 3) who's not his uncle is a fucking racist not fit to pump my gas. Enough's enough with this kind of open racism.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Why is it necessarily racist to refer to a black man as an Uncle Tom? Because it is not his name and he is not the person's uncle?

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    You sound like the people in the earlier thread defending the use of "mongrel" in relation to Obama.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I really do not get the argument that it is necessarily racist. Uncle Tom was a black character in an abolitionist book who was essentially what Malcolm X would have called a 'house slave.' When people call someone an Uncle Tom they are not trying to invoke the old Southern habit of calling black men 'uncle,' they are referring to the characteristics of the character in that book.

  • Sevo||

    "they are referring to the characteristics of the character in that book."

    Who was called "Uncle Tom" the same way black men were called "boy"; trivializing their identities.
    So, yes, calling someone "Uncle Tom" is, by extension, doing the same.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Do you think they are calling them 'Uncle Tom' to invoke the Southern habit of demeaning a black man by calling him uncle, or are they referring to the 'house slave' characteristics of the character and the character's name happens to be 'Uncle Tom?' I think it is much more likely the latter.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Most people who use the term "Uncle Tom" know nothing about Uncle Tom's Cabin or the actual characteristic's of Uncle Tom and simply use it as a derogatory term for blacks (usually conservatives), much in the same way people who use the term "mongrel" might not know the actual dictionary definition and are not using it in that sense (I certainly didn't know the actual dictionary definition, but then again, I don't use that term to refer to other human beings).

  • Sevo||

    Bo Cara Esq.|2.21.14 @ 8:59PM|#
    "Do you think they are calling them 'Uncle Tom' to invoke the Southern habit of demeaning a black man by calling him uncle, or are they referring to the 'house slave' characteristics of the character and the character's name happens to be 'Uncle Tom?"

    In most cases, it is a convenient label that allows racists to pretend they're only referring to a fictional character while belittling someone.

  • Calidissident||

    Using the term "Uncle Tom" to refer to any black person whose political views don't totally conform to Democratic or left-wing orthodoxy is racist.

  • ||

    I'm a bit mystified as to why calling a black man a house nigger by analogy in 2014 is somehow less demeaning than an antiquated southern tradition of referring to black people as "uncle".

    You really are a piece of shit, Bo.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Supra.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, of course if you insert the word 'n*gger' it becomes automatically offensive (nice ploy there!), but is saying someone is acting like a 'house slave' (which is what most of those who use the term are getting at) racist?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Uncle Tom was a positive character, from an abolitionist POV, in the Stowe novel. He was certainly not a willingly subservient black person, which is what the epithet came to mean.

    The epithet comes from derivative works (many of them pro-slavery -- hooray for lack of IP, right Reason?) and blackface minstrel shows that painted the Uncle Tom character in a very negative light.

  • ||

    Given, of course, but no positive connotation is ever intended by the use of the term in the modern context. And Bo acknowledges as much by saying:

    ...or are they referring to the 'house slave' characteristics of the character and the character's name happens to be 'Uncle Tom?'

    A usage which he condones. Because calling a black person "uncle" would be offensive, but implying he's a "house slave" (because it's more dignified to call somebody a nigger if you don't actually say the word "nigger") is somehow okay.

  • Sevo||

    "A usage which he condones. Because calling a black person "uncle" would be offensive, but implying he's a "house slave" (because it's more dignified to call somebody a nigger if you don't actually say the word "nigger") is somehow okay."

    As I understand it, Bo is aiming at being a lawyer.
    Now, I know lawyers who are honest and dismissive of guile; they are people with whom you might enjoyably discuss all manner of issues.
    Bo, OTOH, seems to be trying to develop his skills at sophistry; a talent which might pay off for a cretin practicing law.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "Uncle Tom was a positive character, from an abolitionist POV, in the Stowe novel."

    Sure, and Tarzan was a smart, noble savage in the Burroughs novel, but lots of people that refer to him today mean a shirtless guy who beats his chest.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    the Southern habit of demeaning a black man by calling him uncle,

    Really? Calling someone uncle is demeaning? I better start slapping a lot of siblings' kids.

    I've noticed a lot of Southern cultural habits have been judged as negative simply because they are Southern. But when I spent several years away and came back, a nice old lady at a Ukrop's deli counter called me "honey." That was a touchstone that told me I was back home.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Calling black men who were not your uncle, 'uncle' was kind of part of a whole demeaning sort of thing you may not have read about in Southern history.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Cite? If that developed contemporaneously with the Uncle Tom epithet, I'd think the wiki article for Uncle Tom would mention it -- it doesn't. And it's highly unlikely that Stowe would have chosen the name if "uncle" was already a racial slur.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Do you get that Stowe was not writing about a character who was living in the South and so called Uncle?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    That's not the genesis of his name. He's called "uncle" by George Shelby, Tom's original owner's son, because of his status as mentor and friend. It's a term of affection.

    God Bo, maybe you should read the book before commenting on it. Hell, the Cliffs Notes would do.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Do you think they are calling them 'Uncle Tom' to invoke the Southern habit of demeaning a black man by calling him uncle, or are they referring to the 'house slave' characteristics of the character and the character's name happens to be 'Uncle Tom?' I think it is much more likely the latter.

    Being that house nigger is a popular term used against non-Democrat blacks, I'd say that's a pretty good guess.

    Were you born yesterday? This is nothing new.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Of course house n*gger would be racist because of the latter word, I am saying I am not sure 'house slave' would be.

    Look, before becoming a libertarian I was a member of the Young Democrats. Where I live blacks made up a large number of our members, and they used to refer to our black US senator as an 'Uncle Tom' at times. It stretches credulity to think that these black people were saying something demeaning about their race when they did, much more likely is they were likening the senator's positions to a literary figure's perceived negative characteristics.

    In the American Hispanic world they have a term, a malinchista, which is named for what they see as a famous traitor who betrayed Native South Americans to the Spaniards. When they use that term to describe someone they mean someone who sees their own race as inferior, apes the ways of Europeans and sells out their people to the same. When they use that term do you think they are being racist against South American Hispanics? That's ludicrous.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    ook, before becoming a libertarian I was a member of the Young Democrats. Where I live blacks made up a large number of our members, and they used to refer to our black US senator as an 'Uncle Tom' at times. It stretches credulity to think that these black people were saying something demeaning about their race when they did, much more likely is they were likening the senator's positions to a literary figure's perceived negative characteristics.

    Dense guy is dense.

    Of course they aren't saying something demeaning about their race, but something demeaning of someone who is their race because in their opinion he doesn't adequately represent their race (as if a person's number one priority is to support one's race - white people doing that are rightly called racists - it's a horribly collectivist argument that attempts to demean people like Thomas not for being black, but for not being black enough, as if being liberal is a key component of race.

    What do we call whites who call other whites "race traitors?" How is that any different than blacks calling other blacks house slave/house nigger/uncle tom/lawn jockey? Show your work.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    It stretches credulity to think that these black people were saying something demeaning about their race when they did

    Why does that stretch credulity? Did they apply the term to white politicians with the same positions? If not, it's ipso facto a racist term.

    And it's no minor quibble -- in effect, this "uncle Tom" attitude limits black people's ability to choose their political philosophy, and guarantees that they will forever be taken for granted by the Left. Thus the Democrat party doesn't give two shits what its vote slaves think about school choice, gay marriage, abortion, or the War on Drugs.

    So yes, it is both racist in nature and racist in effect.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "Of course they aren't saying something demeaning about their race,"

    "It's upside facto a racist term"

    I'll leave you guys to work this out.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Methinks someone has agreed to disregard the arguments being made.

  • ||

    I'll leave you guys to work this out.

    Hell of a lot easier than actually trying to defend the retarded shit you just said. Can't blame you.

  • ||

    Of course house n*gger would be racist because of the latter word, I am saying I am not sure 'house slave' would be.

    (because it's more dignified to call somebody a nigger if you don't actually say the word "nigger")

    Being too balless to actually say the word "nigger" doesn't absolve you of being a racist piece of shit when you say something that means the exact same thing.

  • Voros McCracken||

    "When people call someone an Uncle Tom they are not trying to invoke the old Southern habit of calling black men 'uncle,' they are referring to the characteristics of the character in that book."

    Actually, no they are not. They are really referring to the character that would gradually emerge in the various plays and adaptations based on the book that came later.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Why is it necessarily racist to refer to a black man as an Uncle Tom?

    It's an epithet applied to black people, which is not applied to people of other races.

    Either you have a sub-Down's Syndrome IQ, or you're being disingenuous.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Either you have a sub-Down's Syndrome IQ, or you're being disingenuous.

    Disingenuous. He's trying to pretend like calling a black guy an Uncle Tom/house nigger/lawn jockey is somehow new or novel. It's been the number one attack on Thomas since he was appointed to the SCOTUS.

    High profile "black" organizations even have an annual award for it in a move they call "Reviving and reclaiming the African American political conversation" which clearly shows that the left feels like they should have a monopoly on black thought, and that any black who goes outside of what the left deems appropriate is clearly a form of treason, describing their mission "vitally important work to the entire American polity, and especially to the Democratic party."

    It's nothing BUT racism. To the left, you can't be legitimately black unless you are of the left. If your voice falls outside of whatever is approved by the leftist elite, you need to be "reclaimed" back in to the party, and you will be openly shamed for willingly moving off of the liberal plantation.

  • ||

    Why is it necessarily racist to refer to a black man as an Uncle Tom? Because it is not his name and he is not the person's uncle?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Are you serious, you wet-behind-the-ears little dipshit? Or are you a genius troll? Are you really this moronic? It seems impossible, but you're dumb enough that maybe you're being serious. Have you ever met a black person, you infant? Go find someone with a bunch of Ds and Qs and apostrophes in his name and ask him if you can call him Uncle Tom. Jesus Christ. Are you this retarded in real life? Maybe you really are a virgin after all.

    Idiot.

  • Sevo||

    Jeeze, Warty, where are you when Jackand Ace and Road to Mandalay are posting?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Of course a black person will not like being called an Uncle Tom, but is it because they will see it as racist or because it means to black people exactly what I have been saying it does: someone who sells out the interests of their race to remain in the good graces of powerful whites.

    Since you know so many black people, ask them which they think it would mean.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Tell us again how much you dislike race-baiting, Bo.

    Your leftist is showing, might want to zip up.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Is this charge of bias coming from the man who vocally supported Romney? Get over yourself. If anyone here is further from the libertarian ideal it is not me, friend.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I make no bones about my support for MR in a field of two candidates.

    You, however, are claiming not to be a leftist even as you push their agenda.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    By criticizing affirmative action whether practiced by GOP or Dems I am furthering the goals of the left? That's an interesting theory there.

  • ||

    Or it could be defending the use of racist language against black people who fail to conform to a political stereotype.

    You really are a piece of shit, Bo.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    Shhh, the adults are talking.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Here's the deal: from here on out, anyone who uses the phrase "Uncle Tom" to refer to 1) a black man 2) not named Tom 3) who's not his uncle is a fucking racist not fit to pump my gas. Enough's enough with this kind of open racism.

    This.

    You can substitute house nigger and lawn jockey for Uncle Tom as well, all three popular leftist labels for blacks who have decided not to be leftists.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Whenever someone uses "uncle Tom" as a slur, you know that they didn't read the fucking book. Tom is a hero: he's a man of absolute integrity.

    -jcr

  • Brandon||

    Worst comment so far:


    rogergathman3 hours ago
    Newt Gingrich was right in the last presidential campaign, when he sought to minimize the court's power to rule legislation unconstitutional - or executive action for that matter. This is, actually, a tradition that stems from John Marshall, not the constitution, as is well known. Much better to have a committee vet the constitutionality of legislation or executive action, and leave the courts to decide if an action falls within the purview of the legislation or action. They do this in most European countries, having a better sense of the Court's place. The Supreme Court is simply too important right now - it shouldn't make legislation or break it. For that, we have elected officials.

    Of course, this is the first time Newt Gingrich has been right about anything. But even a stopped clock, etc. etc.

    FlagShare

    A "committee" to decide whether legislation is Constitutional? Like what? A group of maybe 9 people with some experience in Law? What would you call that? The Supreme Committee?

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    Provided the ass realizes that Jefferson wanted juries to determine the constitutionality of legislation rather than the Robed Nine, I'm okay with this. Personally, I can't wait to start declaring all sorts of laws unconstitutional. Power to the people and all that.

  • Comrade Donkey Punch||

    If I understand that comment correctly:

    1. Committee decides the constitutionality
    2. Courts decides if you go through legislative or executive for action
    3. Congress gets to make and break laws

    I'm guessing that the committee is appointed by Congress, so it's a circle-jerk and all the courts do is decide who gets the money shot.

  • Boisfeuras||

    A "committee" to decide whether legislation is Constitutional? Like what? A group of maybe 9 people with some experience in Law? What would you call that?

    Politburo.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I think this is what people mean by concern-trolling. "Oh, it's not that I just hate Thomas' guts for voting in what I believe the wrong way, and that I'm outraged at the idea of a black person being conservative. I really respect conservatives if they're the right kind! I'm just *concerned* that Thomas is hurting the image of the Court by not flapping his mouth on the bench."

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    If Thomas were a liberal Toobin would be saying how refreshing it was to see a judge not wasting the public's and the lawyers' time by self-important questions when we all know that the important discussions come in the judges' chambers and through the briefs. Plus some digs at Scalia for being such an egomaniac he keeps pestering the lawyers all the time.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    Toobin's the same fool who just a couple of weeks back found it bizarre and objectionable that Thomas would take a racial angle on gun control. After all, when has the state ever wanted to take away the guns of a hated, feared minority?

  • ||

    Really?

    That is astounding considering the extremely racist roots of gun control.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Progressives refuse to recognize the racist and sexist roots of their policies. I brought this up in my con law class when discussing Lochner (laws directed at Jewish and Italian immigrant bakers) and that one minimum wage case that was specifically aimed at keeping women out of work and it was dismissed with a handwave.

    And yet libertarians are the racists even though nothing in the libertarian ideals can be traced to holding down specific groups of people.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Considering that federalism and property rights were endlessly invoked by pro-slavery forces in the early US, I don't think libertarians want to get in an ad-hominem-hurling match on that.

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa (LAOL-VA)|2.21.14 @ 11:00PM|#
    "Considering that federalism and property rights were endlessly invoked by pro-slavery forces in the early US, I don't think libertarians want to get in an ad-hominem-hurling match on that."

    Pretty sure that guilt-by-association isn't gonna tarnish libertarians among those who think.

  • Boisfeuras||

    After all, when has the state ever wanted to take away the guns of a hated, feared minority?

    "The operations at Van once more disclosed that these men could use their weapons to good advantage. It was thus apparent that an Armenian massacre this time would generally assume more the character of warfare than those wholesale butcheries of defenseless men and women which the Turks had always found so congenial. If this plan of murdering a race were to succeed, two preliminary steps would therefore have to be taken: it would be necessary to render all Armenian soldiers powerless and to deprive of their arms the Armenians in every city and town. Before Armenia could be slaughtered, Armenia must be made defenseless."
    – Henry Morgenthau, Ambassador Morgenthau's Story (1918)

  • Invisible Finger||

    Every schoolteacher knows this look. It’s called “not paying attention.”

    Most schoolteachers are shit for brains.

    I worked with a former schoolteacher who complained to my boss that I wasn't paying attention. This ONE DAY AFTER another employee told my boss that he was impressed by how involved I was in the meetings.

    FACT: I NEVER take notes in meetings. I listen and think while others are talking, this is how I work and to some people it appears I am not paying attention. When it is my turn to speak, I prove I have paid more attention than anyone else and have loads of questions. When someone says "But I said that..." I interrupt and say, "Yes, I know you said (such and such) but what does that mean in relation to (so and so)" and they usually get pissed off because I am making THEM think and that is the last thing they wanted. Most management want their words to be treated as gospel and these people mostly worked their way into management so they could assign work to others rather than do it themselves.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Most schoolteachers are shit for brains.

    May I use that for a string of billboards along I-95?

  • Barnstormer||

    Pedro says: "Hell no!"

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Some Teachers
    are most
    Excellent
    But Others
    Need a Brain
    Transplant

    -Not affiliated with Burma Shave

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    -Not affiliated with Burma Shave

    The last time I saw Burma Shave signs they said
    Space is cold
    Space is dark
    It's hard to find
    A place to park
    Burma Shave

    I was told it was a stunt Philip Morris was doing, though how it related to them, I have no idea.

  • FYTW||

    Toobin was the keynote speaker for last year's California Bar Association convention. A more unctuous and disingenuous piece of partisan shit I have never encountered.

  • Paul.||

    Jeffrey Toobin... is this the same Jeffrey Toobin that referred to himself as an originalist back in the 90s?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I love how the 'usual suspects' of right-leaners here rush to the defense of Thomas, switching from arguing that, hey, everyone in the know knows the oral arguments are irrelevant wastes of time when Mr. Root's defense is based on 'he's actually very, very engaged' (in these irrelevant wastes of time!).

    By no objective measure was Clarence Thomas the most qualified GOP candidate for the Court when he was nominated, it would be ludicrous to argue otherwise. The GOP saw a chance to score some defense points by nominating a black man. If this were the Democrats doing the same the 'usual suspects' would, I suspect, make quite a fuss about it. During his nomination and after Thomas has been willing to play the race card to deflect criticism of himself, had a liberal black man or woman done that they would be the subject of quite a bit of caterwauling. As to the main point about why people wonder at him not asking questions at orals, why wouldn't a sufficient explanation be that for decades every other justice has asked questions?

    If Thomas were some great defender of liberty perhaps I could see defending him, but we are talking of the guy who, among other things, has endorsed strip searches of 12 year olds to get hidden aspirin, the power of the executive to indefinitely detain whomever they deem an enemy combatant, and recently argued that the police could force a blood test on a DUI suspect.

    Sheesh.

  • Paul.||

    It's been said on these here boards that one lionizes any supreme court jurist at their peril, because at some point, they will disappoint.

    Has Clarence Thomas disappointed? Well, yes, yes he has. Will he disappoint again? Yes, yes he will.

    On balance, Thomas-- from the libertarian perspective-- is one of the more interesting jurists in that he's made some blistering arguments in defense of liberty.

    If someone put a gun to my head, I'd probably pick Thomas as the best, if not one of the best jurists to defend a generally textualist/originalist argument (I'll let everyone else argue the difference).

  • Tman||

    What Paul said.

    I admit also that Thomas has disappointed, but which judge hasn't? I think Thomas is the least disappointing from a Libertarian standpoint.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I might have thought that before I went to law school and started reading lots of SCOTUS opinions. Thomas is good on some things, but very bad on others. He gets points for being one of the very few justices to articulate a constitutional view that criticizes the 'administrative' federal state pushed upon us during the New Deal, but he really is quite awful on issues dealing with the police or correctional authorities.

  • Tman||

    Thomas does make me scratch my head a lot. He can go from a brilliant defense of individual liberty in G v Raich to a complete statist in things like S v Redding, and on and on.

    That being said, I don't see which judge on the bench today is less disappointing.

    Paul said it above, they will disappoint.

  • Paul.||

    but he really is quite awful on issues dealing with the police or correctional authorities.

    The problem is whenever I look to another jurist to cheer on, I'm equally if not more horrified, and often end weeping with my head in my hands.

  • paranoid android||

    I love how the 'usual suspects' of right-leaners here rush to the defense of Thomas, switching from arguing that, hey, everyone in the know knows the oral arguments are irrelevant wastes of time when Mr. Root's defense is based on 'he's actually very, very engaged' (in these irrelevant wastes of time!).

    Bo, that's just being disingenuous. I see two posters here endorsing the view that oral arguments are a waste of time: Acosmist, who floated the notion and hasn't posted in this thread since, and Tman, who agreed with him and remained consistent in that position throughout the rest of the thread, so far as I can see.

    So what's your basis for claiming that "the usual suspects" are switching their arguments?

  • ||

    Shush, you are ruining the whole line!

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    His basis is that he's a contrarian troll who likes to pretend that libertarians are Republicans. Has he ever contributed anything substantial to any thread other than baiting replies and doing his usual ham-handed, second-team-forensics bs?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "His basis is that he's a contrarian troll who likes to pretend that libertarians are Republicans."

    That is basically the opposite of what I 'like to pretend.' What I 'like to pretend' is that Republicans are NOT libertarians, that we are different, but over time it has become clear that Reason H & R is lousy with Republicans posing as libertarians.

    Look at this thread itself (or any on immigration, or same sex marriage). Notice how identical and in line the comments of 'usual suspects' are with explicitly acknowledged conservatives and Republicans such as John and Notorious.

  • ||

    Clearly anyone who would disagree with Bo is a SOCON!!!!!!!!!(!!!!!)!!!!!!! Republican shill.

    H and R is bereft of True Scotsmen Libertarians (TM).

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You left out people (like Notorious) who were making the same argument, at the time I posted that was quite a few of the 'usual suspects.'

  • Acosmist||

    To defend myself here, um, it's common knowledge among legal professionals that oral arguments are a waste of time. This is actually told to you in your first year of law school. Toobin and, apparently, Bo are even more stupid than 1Ls.

  • Calidissident||

    Every SC justice is nominated for political reasons. Every one. I doubt there has ever been a justice nominated who was actually "the most qualified" (to whatever extent that actually exists as an objective measure). I do agree that Thomas deserves plenty of criticism for certain positions he holds, even though overall he's perhaps the best justice on the court (I think that indicates how low the bar more than anything else)

  • ||

    (to whatever extent that actually exists as an objective measure)

    This is a very important point, and not just because it underpins Bo's I'm-not-a-racist-but... argument as to Thomas' judicial competence. Perhaps young Matlock could explain to us precisely what would qualify a justice to serve on the supreme court since, telling, that the founders didn't see fit to put any constitutional qualification on the job, as they did with the legislative and executive branches.

  • ||

    *tellingly, the founders...

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I am not arguing against Thomas' competence, even PB did not do that. What was said was that he was not the most objectively qualified at the time of his nomination (you are equivocating between 'qualified' in some performance sense and 'qualified' in terms of objective qualifications at the time of hire) and obviously would not have been nominated but for his race.

    If you are a libertarian against affirmative action then you have to denounce the affirmative action appointments of Republicans as surely as that of Democrats. Of course, if you lean to the Republicans or are one you might feel to launch all kinds of defenses of a Republican nominee...Like this thread, for example!

  • Mickey Rat||

    "What was said was that he was not the most objectively qualified at the time of his nomination..."

    Maybe not, but it arguable that Thomas was the most qualified, conservative, young candidate who could be confirmed at that time. You are ignoring the political necessity of getting the nominee confirmed.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It is not even arguable, there were many young conservative more qualified justices, like Posner or Easterbrook, who would have sailed through.

  • Number 2||

    WHAT???!!!

    Are you kidding me? Under Bush 41, with a Democrat-controlled Senate, and Joe Biden of all people head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, with the feminist organizations waiting to unleash hell on any nominee who questioned Roe v. Wade in even a passing comment....you seriously think any conservative would have "sailed through?" Seriously? Why do you think we got David Souter?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Bo also has a selective memory regarding the leftists demanding that Thurgood Marshall (appointed by segregationist LBJ -- talk about cynical!) be replaced by a black person to keep the court from being lily white again.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    So H Bush did use race in picking Thomas?

  • ||

    So H Bush did use race in picking Thomas?

    It's possible. It's also possible he happened to think Thomas was the best man for the job. Maybe he didn't get his copy of the "objective qualifications" for a supreme court justice in law school like you did.

  • Number 2||

    WHAT???!!!

    Are you kidding me? Under Bush 41, with a Democrat-controlled Senate, and Joe Biden of all people head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, with the feminist organizations waiting to unleash hell on any nominee who questioned Roe v. Wade in even a passing comment....you seriously think any conservative would have "sailed through?" Seriously? Why do you think we got David Souter?

  • ||

    (you are equivocating between 'qualified' in some performance sense and 'qualified' in terms of objective qualifications at the time of hire)

    No, you are failing to identify exactly what constitutes "objective qualification" for a job that has no statutory qualification requirements. Because no such thing exists and admitting as much would kind of ruin your argument.

    If you are a libertarian against affirmative action then you have to denounce the affirmative action appointments of Republicans as surely as that of Democrats.

    Beg that question some more. Begin with a conclusion and work backwards to some logic that might support it. You're gonna make an awesome prosecutor.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The main complaint against Thomas in 1991 (other than that he was conservative) was that he had only been a judge for a year. Oddly, Dems didn't have a problem with BO nominating his solicitor general who had never been a judge, though.

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    I doubt there has ever been a justice nominated who was actually "the most qualified" (to whatever extent that actually exists as an objective measure).

    Arguably, a number of the early justices who were not only physically present at the Constitutional Convention but also helped write it (such as John Rutledge) could be considered "the most qualified".

    Don't think we've had any since...

  • ||

    I love how the 'usual suspects' of right-leaners here rush to the defense of Thomas, switching from arguing that, hey, everyone in the know knows the oral arguments are irrelevant wastes of time when Mr. Root's defense is based on 'he's actually very, very engaged' (in these irrelevant wastes of time!).

    Commenters disagreeing with the premise of the author of an article at Reason.com? OH NOES! IT'S TEH ZOMG SOCONZ!!!!!!!!!(!!!!!)!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I can't wait til you learn a second joke.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    So no Republican president can ever nominate a black person for any office, lest they be accused of "scoring defense points" whatever that means. And if a GOPer doesn't nominate any black people, that's proof they're racist.

    If this were the Democrats doing the same the 'usual suspects' would, I suspect, make quite a fuss about it.

    Doing what? Nominating a black person? I assume you mean "the analogous thing for a Democrat to do", but there is no such thing, since Republicans don't demagogue on race like you and your fellow leftists do. Please correct me by giving an example of Obama nominating a ____________ for Supreme Court justice that "the usual suspects" would rip him for scoring defense points for.

    During his nomination and after Thomas has been willing to play the race card to deflect criticism of himself, had a liberal black man or woman done that they would be the subject of quite a bit of caterwauling.

    He was probably justified in "playing the race card" during the confirmation process, as the whole Anita Hill three-ring circus was a travesty brought about by liberals terrified of him being on the court. The fact that liberals such as yourself still go apeshit over the fact that he's a black conservative lends credence to the possibility that his melanin levels had an effect.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You are not this obtuse Tulpa, so perhaps it is just partisanship making you do this dance.

    You do not see most of the same people defending the nomination of Thomas as ripping Obama for Sotomayer's nomination? At the time the latter was more qualified (Thomas got an ABA rating of 'qualified,' and even if the ABA ratings are biased you can bet easily that there were many conservative jurists at the time that would have gotten highest marks, if reluctantly, from the ABA, but were passed over for Thomas), but it was clear to them (and to me) that her ethnicity played a role in her nomination. The same is true for Thomas.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    You do not see most of the same people defending the nomination of Thomas as ripping Obama for Sotomayer's nomination?

    Which has what to do with anything? They're totally opposite in terms of judicial philosophy, of course people who support one are going to oppose the other.

    If you're claiming that "usual suspects" were ripping BO specifically for nominating a Hispanic, sorry, you're going to have to cite that.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Conservatives ripped BO for nominating a less qualified Hispanic in order to curry favor with Hispanic voters. Are you seriously denying this went on?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Bo Cara Esq.|2.22.14 @ 11:34AM|#|–|filternamelinkcustom

    FETCH THE STICK, DOGGIE!

    I'm not going to be your play dog anymore. Enough of a morning wasted on your trolling.

  • ||

    You do not see most of the same people defending the nomination of Thomas as ripping Obama for Sotomayer's nomination?

    ...

    Conservatives ripped BO for nominating a less qualified Hispanic

    When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a conservative?

    Since you were still putting up flyers with Organizing for America when Sotomayor's nomination came down, you wouldn't have a fucking clue what anybody here had to say about the matter, let alone libertarians in general. Some of us are more sympathetic to Clarence Thomas' judicial philosophy and rulings than Sonia Sotomayor's (despite the fact that Thomas is not a libertarian and has also made some very bad rulings). We're not obligated to treat every supreme court justice the same way to relieve your racial bugaboos.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    So no Republican president can ever nominate a black person for any office, lest they be accused of "scoring defense points" whatever that means. And if a GOPer doesn't nominate any black people, that's proof they're racist.

    It's a nice little knot the left has tied, isn't it?

    Advance a black man and it's just so you can show you aren't racist, don't advance a black man and it's proof of it.

  • RishJoMo||

    Dude has no clue whats going on over there man.

    www.RealAnon.tk

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It is just hilarious to see the right-leaners who very likely (and to some degree correctly) called Obama for choosing Sotomayer in part for her ethnicity do flips to defend the nomination of Thomas which was surely done with his race in mind. Partisanship distorts principle. Libertarians opposed to affirmative action should call it out when Democrats and Republicans engage in it.

    Consider that when Thomas, who at the time had served a single year on a Circuit Court was appointed Richard Posner and Frank Easterbrook had been on the 7th circuit for years. Does anyone want to argue that based on any objective criteria Thomas was more qualified than those two? Incredible.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    It is just hilarious to see the right-leaners who very likely (and to some degree correctly) called Obama for choosing Sotomayer in part for her ethnicity

    [citation needed]

    And as has already been established, there aren't any "objective criteria" for SCOTUS. Criticism of Thomas' length of time as a judge was a fig leaf for opposing the installation in high office of a black conservative (a nonexistent creature according to leftists like yourself). Earl Warren was Chief-J with zero time spent as a judge, and your pal Kagan also had zero time spent as a judge.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    But Kagan was Top Government Lawyer whose job specialized in twisting the law in whatever fashion needed to justify government action.

    That's a real qualification.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Thomas may be 'your pal' but Kagan is not mine. Since you like asking for citations so much perhaps you will provide one for your charge that she is.

    When I say Thomas had less objective qualifications I did not say time as judge was the only one. There are lots of ways to be qualified for being a SCOTUS justice, and on any of them Thomas was not the highest confirmable GOP option. If you want to argue the chance they took paid off, that argument can be made because he has been a quite competent Justice, but it is not even arguable that he had the on-paper kind of chops that are usually referred to by conservatives when denouncing affirmative action that many other GOP possible nominees at the time possessed.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    If you want to argue the chance they took paid off, that argument can be made because he has been a quite competent Justice

    So what you're saying then is either:

    A) He was perfectly qualified to do the job (being as he's done a competent job at it).
    B) That paper qualifications mean dick, especially being as the Constitution doesn't list any for justice meaning, technically, I'm fucking qualified for the job.

  • ||

    When I say Thomas had less objective qualifications I did not say time as judge was the only one.

    You just didn't want to embarrass him by naming any others. Mighty white of you.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The complaints about Thomas's relative silence doing oral arguments are part and parcel of bigotry towards introverted personalities. Thomas's reluctance to speak unless he has a fully formed thought and disdain of showy displays are characteristics of an introvert. I have read that considers the written arguments to be much more important and does not consider oral to be particularly informative. However, staying silent during oral does not allow reporters much view into his thinking before an opinion is reached, which bothers reporter on top of his conservatism.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Of course, lost in all this demagoguery is a discussion of who Thomas replaced -- Thurgood Marshall, whose justiceship was an obvious payback by Dems for 120 years of supporting nakedly coercive white supremacy.

    Republicans' cutting welfare and midnight basketball budgets don't come anywhere near what the Democrats have done to black people in the history of this country.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Thank you Glen Beck, but I know all about Woodrow Wilson and Bull Connor and what party they were members of.

  • Number 2||

    Thanks, Tulpa, for reminding me of who Thomas replaced. Yet another reason why Bush nominated Thomas, and perhaps the most important one: to avoid the political shitstorm that would follow if he failed to replace the First Black Supreme Court Justice with a non-African American.

    If you don't think so, check out New Jersey, where Christie's refusal to re-nominate a black state Supreme Court justice, and his efforts to replace him with non-black nominees, including Asians and openly gay nominees, led to three year deadlock in judge and prosecutor appointments throughout the state.

  • Tony||

    Republicans like to prove themselves right about affirmative action.

  • Redmanfms||

    Damn you are an evil capricious little shit aren't you Tony???

    I'll quote MLG:

    It's a nice little knot the left has tied, isn't it?

    Advance a black man and it's just so you can show you aren't racist, don't advance a black man and it's proof of it.
  • Tony||

    Advance a qualified black man and you're good.

  • J Mann||

    I don't think there's any serious argument either that Thomas wasn't qualified when appointed or that he hasn't proven himself to be a serious legal thinker and justice. Most of the commenters here like him because he's an intellectually consistent, serious voice for limited government.

    This argument usually breaks down to: "come on, Thomas defender, are you seriously saying that when he was appointed, he was the single most qualified person in the whole country?"

    IMHO, only John Roberts has even an arguable chance of meeting that standard in my lifetime.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Because the best response to the use of a slur is to broadcast it to the entire stadium and TV audience:

    The head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors diversity in the NFL, expects the league to institute a rule where players would be penalized 15 yards for using the N-word on the field.

    We did talk about it, I'm sure that you saw near the end of the year that Fritz Pollard (Alliance) came out very strong with the message that the league needs to do something about the language on the field," said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, who is on the league's competition committee. "So we did discuss over the last three days."

    Hopefully, instant replay will be used to distinguish it from "niggard". Throw the red flag, coach!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

  • Number 2||

    The Number 2 Alliance, which monitors stupidity in the NFL, expects the league to tell Fritz Pollard, whoever the hell he is, to drop dead.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    But if the ball is inside the 15, the penalty is only 3/5 of the distance to the goal line.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Bo Cara Esq.|2.22.14 @ 12:27PM|#|–|filternamelinkcustom

    By criticizing affirmative action whether practiced by GOP or Dems I am furthering the goals of the left? That's an interesting theory there.

    No, it's more subtle than that. You take an issue on which the Dems are irredeemably horrid from a libertarian POV (an easy task, since nearly any issue fits this requirement). Then you work at making it look as if the Democrats' opponents are just as bad on it. If you succeed, that's a net win for the Dems... but you can claim innocence because you acknowledged that the Dems are bad on it too (as if there was any doubt about that!).

    The same false equivalencing shit that Reason, particularly Pete Suderman, specialized during the 2012 general election season.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement