Liberal Racism
October 03, 2007

If Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas were liberal and University of Chicago English Professor Richard Stern were conservative, the latter's ugly little missive on Open University would already have been loudly denounced as racist by all the right people. But such are the double-standards of our political discourse. Stern's post is patronizing throughout (he refers to "young Clarence"), and doesn't really say anything until the end.

Thomas's Comeback
October 03, 2007

Clarence Thomas is back in the prints, and so is Anita Hill. Before you rush to Hill's corner, let me call your attention to the sympathetic review of a Ken Foskett's book, Judging Thomas: The Life and Times of Clarence Thomas, that appeared in the October 25, 2004 issue of TNR. The review was written by David J. Garrow, that great chronicler of the civil rights movement and the author of Bearing the Cross, a biography of Martin Luther King Jr. It surprised readers then, and it will surprise readers now.

A Question For Justice Thomas
October 02, 2007

In his Washington Post op-ed today, Eugene Robinson makes this key point about the suddenly ubiquitous Clarence Thomas: Thomas said in the interview that the scorched-earth battle over his confirmation wasn't really about him, it was about abortion. Yet at other points he made clear that the whole thing was about him, specifically his commission of the ultimate sin: He is (drum roll, please) a black conservative. The interview in question was the one Thomas gave to Steve Kroft during 60 Minutes on Sunday.

The Military And Academia
October 01, 2007

The attempt by the country's leading law schools to ban recruiters from the military's Judge Advocate General Corps has long been a self-indulgent and, ultimately, futile effort. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (the ostensible reason for the schools' ban, something of a cover for these institutions' deeper and decades-long hostility to the military) came about via congressional statute and can only be repealed by Congress.

Clinton V. His Legacy
October 01, 2007

In 1993 Bill Clinton battled furiously to pass NAFTA through a reluctant Congress, and he long touted the deal as a premier achievement of his presidency. But on George Stephanopoulos's show yesterday, Bill hardly seemed eager to defend the trade deal: STEPHANOPOULOS: You fought tooth and nail for NAFTA back in 1993 and 1994. Hillary says it's hurt American workers. CLINTON: Well, I think first of all, keep in mind I also fought for the development of a North American development bank that would finance major environmental and other projects along the border.

The Morning News
October 01, 2007

Hillary's Gun Show [Leonard Doyle, The Independent (UK)]: "An analysis of campaign contributions shows senior defence industry employees are pouring money into her war chest in the belief that their generosity will be repaid many times over with future defense contracts." Color Wars [Jenn Abelson, Boston Globe]: "Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards today kicked off his 'True Blue Majority' campaign aimed at showing the country that he has the best chance of defeating the Republican candidate in the 2008 general election--even in the red, GOP-friendly states." Squeezing Water from Ir

Blame Mccain
September 30, 2007

Brad already noted Newt's "nyet"; but today Newt tells who to blame for his decision not to run: John McCain. From "Yesterday morning we learned from our attorneys that under the McCain-Feingold law, it is a criminal penalty if I had retained any communication with American Solutions. I could go to jail," Gingrich said Sunday in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "And the idea that you're on the turn of the dime kill this program in order to obey the McCain-Feingold Act which I think is an unconstitutional, frankly destructive bill, was crazy.

Put Your Rifle Locks Back On
September 29, 2007

Lyle Denniston over at SCOTUSblog reports on a little-noticed development this week: the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals seems to have narrowed its ruling (pdf) from March of this year (which the Supreme Court will likely review) regarding the District's gun laws. The original decision was understood to have invalidated not only D.C.'s ban on handguns, which garnered most of the attention, but also its provision stipulating that all firearms, handguns or otherwise, be disassembled or have trigger locks engaged.

Obama @ Howard: Attack Is The New Black
September 28, 2007

Barack Obama's speech at Howard University this morning was full of explosive, rhythmic calls to action, striking a fine balance between sober convocation and straight stumping. The campaign touted it as a substantive rollout of Obama's criminal justice platform, while the theater of his presence clearly thrilled the audience of black students and faculty.

Their Lips Are Sealed
September 26, 2007

Just when you think the Bush administration can't get any more galling in its handling of Iraq: "State Department bars employees from responding to corruption inquiry" So what do congressional Republicans think of this kind of White House maneuver? Do they worry that it will further erode public confidence in the party? Or do they assume that most Americans aren't paying attention? --Michelle Cottle