Gop Debate
October 09, 2007

Some reactions: Fred Thompson looked distracted, especially when answering questions about the economy. It was as if he were thinking of something else (his next movie or what he was going to order for dinner that night) and had to focus instead on some boring political question about social security or the disparity between the Dow and people's perception of the economy. Is he just rusty, or does he not really want to do this? Of the frontrunners, Romney had the clearest and most forthright answers. If you listen closely, you hear a moderate Republican beneath the rhetoric.

Everyone Is Talking About Thomas
October 06, 2007

What to think of Clarence Thomas' memoirs? In The Washington Post, Jabari Asim offers up a mixed review, and notes that Thomas' famous comment about his Court hearings--"a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves"--was inspired by To Kill A Mockingbird.

Doubting Thomas
October 03, 2007

As Clarence Thomas continues his global self-pity tour, the Post's Ruth Marcus helps set the record straight: First, Hill did not wait 10 years to complain about his behavior. Susan Hoerchner, a Yale Law School classmate of Hill's, described how she complained of sexual harassment while working for Thomas, saying the EEOC chairman had "repeatedly asked her out . . . but wouldn't seem to take 'no' for an answer." Ellen Wells, a friend, said Hill had come to her, "deeply troubled and very depressed," with complaints about Thomas's inappropriate behavior.

Off By A Bit
October 03, 2007

During yesterday's Blackwater hearing, Republicans kept complaining that everyone was ignoring all the good news about private military firms in Iraq. They were especially high on CEO Erik Prince's argument that Blackwater guards "only" discharged their weapons 195 times in more than 16,000 missions in Iraq since 2005--"barely" one percent.

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