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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Advise and Dissent

The New York Times has a story about a new documentary called Advise and Dissent, which discusses the High Court nominations of Roberts, Miers, and Alito.  Let me add two comments I found enjoyable from the story.  The first is a quote from Manuel Miranda, a conservative interest-group sort, describing his success in securing the Alito confirmation: "Only in America could a guy sitting in his living room put together a conference call and affect the future of the country."  There are so many things so wonderfully wrong with this sentence.  For one thing, it leaves aside the fact that Miranda's own sordid past is one reason he was sitting in his living room.  For another, it is of course wrong: Miranda didn't really affect the future of the country -- despite the relatively low number of votes to confirm, Alito's confirmation was a fairly good bet, and I doubt anything Miranda did convinced four Democrats to support Alito -- and even if he had, as L.A. Confidential reminds us, ten more interest-group types get off the bus (or Acela) in DC every day who could do the same thing.  Third, it's not true "only in America"; and of course, if it is, it's not clear why that's necessarily a good thing.  

The other good quote is from John Fund, who is quoted "talking exultantly with Mr. Miranda about how Ms. Miers’s withdrawal led to Justice Alito. 'We would never have gotten two Catholic white males otherwise,' Mr. Fund says."  Unfortunately, not having seen the movie, I can't tell whether the line was spoken with a sense of humor or not.  

Sorry: this post leaned left.  I don't doubt that I could be equally critical toward Eleanor Smeal or Linda Greenhouse, if it makes anyone feel better.

Posted by Paul Horwitz on May 5, 2010 at 12:57 PM in Paul Horwitz | Permalink

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