January 12, 2006

Guilt by Association

We were all told this is a BAD thing, especially in the now-garnering-several-pages-in-modern-history-books "McCarthy-era." In the Samuel Alito hearings (or "AliOTO" as Ted Kennedy calls him), the effort is on by Senate Democrats to paint Alito as a bigot -- because he once belonged to a group called the Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP) and their publication, The Prospect, once had an editorial titled "In Defense of Elitism," which had some quite unsavory things to say about minorities, women and the handicapped.

Alito, who was in the ROTC, said he joined the group because of Princeton's (and other universities') growing hostility towards the ROTC, and wanted to assure Princeton would keep the program after its ROTC offices were firebombed. (Alito had to finish his training at another campus.)

So here we go: liberals, who denounce "McCarthyism" at nearly every turn when something instance even remotely resembles what the 1950s senator engaged in, have no compunctions about engaging in it themselves regading a conservative SCOTUS nominee. I don't recall Senate Republicans asking Ruth Bader Ginsburg about her association with the ACLU, and whether "she's for" statutory rape since the group defended the North American Man-Boy Love Association's (NAMBLA) "right" to advertise descriptions on how to lure young boys into having sex with men. Neither do I recall Republican Senators asking Ginsburg whether she "abhors anything religious" like the ACLU does. And so on.

Even our own Wilmington News Journal engages in this activity -- when it affects conservatives. Several years I remember a measure that a conservative member of the State House brought before the assembly. I believe it was an anti-quota or anti-affirmative action type of bill. The WNJ editorial board noted the a nearby KKK chapter supported the bill, and hence they and the representative were "kindred spirits." Isn't that nice?

Senate liberals know this is a delicate issue which certainly can embarrass Alito. Who wants to be called a racist? The dreaded "R" word, which I've noted many times, is the modern-day Scarlet Letter. Why do you think Alito has said he "can't remember" signing up with the organization? Sure it's a disingenuous reply -- since his keen legal mind can recall cases off the top of his head without need of notes -- but I don't really blame him. Personally, I would have said, "Yes, I was a member of the group," then note why (the aforementioned ROTC reasons) and then state that membership in a particular group doesn't mean one agrees with something another member (or members) of the group may have said or written.

For more, see here.

UPDATE: I get many cool stories from James Taranto's site, but today I actually wrote this post before I glanced at James' site this afternoon. And, by chance, he has linked to some blog thoughts similar to my own regarding Ruth Ginsburg and the ACLU:

Senator Kennedy took the scary position that it was just and appropriate for the Congress to extract by coercion the private, internal records of a political advocacy group just because it was considering the nomination of a person who had once been a member of that organization.

To understand how weird this is, consider the following "thought experiment": If the next Democratic SCOTUS nominee once belonged to the American Civil Liberties Union(as Ruth Bader Ginsburg actually did) and, say, Sam Brownback proposed issuing a subpoena for the "records" of the ACLU to help him "understand" the nominee's testimony, what do you imagine the reaction of the mainstream media might be? The implications of Senator Kennedy's demand for freedom of speech and association are appalling. Where's the outrage?

Posted by Hube at January 12, 2006 03:55 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

... what do you imagine the reaction of the mainstream media might be?

If they are as docile then as they are now, I don't imagine much of a reaction. In fact the media is very conservative these days. They might actually cheer Brownback in his line of questioning.

Anyway, Alito cruised through the process. So what is the big deal? I get the feeling that the whole point of this post is that you simply HATE Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: jason at January 13, 2006 01:15 PM

Bader-Ginsburg worked for the ACLU. The ACLU defended the rights of Nazis to march in the Jewish neighborhood of Skokie, Illinois.

By Kennedy logic, that makes her a Nazi.

I still wonder what qualifies that nasty old drunk to sit on the Judiciary Committee, let alone the Senate!

Posted by: G Rex at January 13, 2006 02:34 PM

what qualifies that nasty old drunk to sit on the Judiciary Committee, let alone the Senate!

He was elected.

Posted by: jason at January 13, 2006 03:30 PM

In fact the media is very conservative these days.

And the scourge calls conservatives "devoid of reality"??

I get the feeling that the whole point of this post is that you simply HATE Ted Kennedy.

I don't hate anybody. However, Ted is a sorry excuse for a senator, let alone a human being.

He was elected.

So was George W. Bush.

Posted by: Hube at January 13, 2006 05:07 PM

Agree that George Bush is as qualified to be president as Ted Kennedy is to be a Senator.

That is some common ground.

With regard to the media, I know that the myth of the "liberal" media is an article of faith among conservatives. But why would a "liberal" media simply parrot the lies and obfuscations of the Bush administration without doing any research or any substantive reporting ?

The reason they do not act a legitimate fourth estate has been summed up by Al Gore who said,

"The (network) news divisions - which used to be seen as serving a public interest and were subsidized by the rest of the network - are now seen as profit centers designed to generate revenue and, more importantly, to advance the larger agenda of the corporation of which they are a small part. They have fewer reporters, fewer stories, smaller budgets, less travel, fewer bureaus, less independent judgment, more vulnerability to influence by management, and more dependence on government sources and canned public relations hand-outs."

Posted by: jason at January 13, 2006 05:26 PM

Yes. We all "know" how adoring of the president and Conservatives the media are. So much so that study after study have shown journalists overwhelmingly to the left and/or Democrats. And so on.

You'd make a lot more sense, such that it is, if you argued like Eric Alterman, and was pissed b/c the American Left isn't left enough for what he wants to see in the media.

As Bernard Goldberg once said about liberal media bias in the US (paraphrase): "To deny it is simply to be delusional." That sounds quite a bit like you, scourge.

Posted by: Hube at January 13, 2006 05:51 PM

Kennedy's slip was not simply racist but may have been Freudian. Look up a character named Joe Alioto. He was a teamster big wig, political banker, Mayor of SF and all around shady figure back in the day. In the late sixties and seventies Joe Alioto was a close Kennedy operative and figured into Chapaquitic. Hmmm.....

Posted by: Libertas at January 15, 2006 01:12 PM

HA!!! Kennedy must have had a good idea of what he was implying!!!!! Pretty sly!!!
This is the first place I picked up the connection, thanks!!!!!

Posted by: Nancy Willing at January 15, 2006 03:19 PM

Post a comment

Remember personal info?