Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Dowd’s Merit

I’ve suggested on this page before that Dowd has a little problem with racial stereotypes. She confirmed this anew in today’s column, in which she pulls out all the stops.

First, Dowd asserts that Thomas got into Yale Law School and picked for the Supreme Court thanks to his race. Yet what proof does she offer for this? Are all Black admittees to Yale Law School there because of their race? No. In fact, this is one of Thomas’s key points: that affirmative action leads to these kind of incorrect assumptions. Yet Dowd doesn’t entertain for a moment that Thomas could have been admitted for any reason other than skin color. Ah, more proof of the benefits of affirmative action.

Yet if anyone proved herself to be an "affirmative action baby" today, it was Dowd, who demonstrated that she couldn’t understand even the simplest argument in Thomas’s opinion. She states that "Justice Thomas scorns affirmative action as ’a faddish slogan of the cognoscenti.’" But anyone who read the opinion knows that Thomas wasn’t talking about affirmative action with that phrase. First, it is worth reading the phrase in context (I suppose I should be grateful that this time she chose to distort the quote in her own voice, rather than using ellipses). What Thomas actually said was: "The majority upholds the Law School’s race discrimination not by interpreting the people’s Constitution, but by responding to a faddish slogan of the cognoscenti." The slogan to which Thomas refers is not affirmative action, which is a popular political phrase for "benign discrimination," but rather "critical mass," the meaningless phrase invented by the cognoscenti and relied upon by the majority to justify its ruling. Such a poor reading by a New York Times columnist. Oh well, applying Dowd’s reasoning, we all know that she got her job at the Times strictly on the basis of merit.

Dowd then argues that "despite his racial blessings" Thomas comes across as "an angry, bitter, self-pitying victim." But is difficult to read Thomas’s opinion as Dowd does, unless you make the assumption that Thomas must support affirmative action because he is Black. Don’t you see, all Black people think alike, or at least they should for Ms. Dowd. If they don’t, why then they are angry, bitter, self-pitying victims. They should just feel grateful that White society has been gracious enough to help them, and they should continue the affirmative action tradition, because that is what they are supposed to do. To do otherwise is to commit the sin of ungratefulness. Doesn’t he know his place?

Finally, Dowd throws in a gratuitous slap at Bush’s status as a legacy admit. Again, she would have done well to have read Thomas’s opinion. You see, dear, the Fourteenth Amendment doesn’t prohibit universities from choosing on the basis of legacy status. Now read slowly, Ms. Dowd, so that you can follow this. We had this thing called a "Civil War"--perhaps you read about it. Anyway, after that War, we passed an amendment which prohibited government from discriminating based on race, but this wasn’t a "you can’t discriminate based on anything" amendment. So schools can still choose based on grades, or athletic ability, or even the less pleasant legacy status without running afoul of the Constitution. Oh well, Ms. Dowd, it was a simple mistake. I’m sure that any New York Times columnist who got their jobs based on their merit clearly could have made such a mistake.

Discussions - 5 Comments

I have no idea what Clarence Thomas’ admissions application looked like, so let’s pass that by.

But do you honestly believe that he was nominated for the Supreme Court because he was the most qualified jurist available? Truly? And that his race had nothing to do with his nomination?

There were too many better qualified conservative white male jurists available (whom you could pick out with a blind test, by reading their legal writings) for that to be credible.

The idea that I find most objectionable in Dowd’s column - and other liberal arguments in favor of affirmative action - is that race is a legitimate way to quickly and accurately assess people’s capabilities.

The irony is astonishing!

We have gone from Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioning "...I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character..." to now living in a time when liberals say the content of your character is most fairly and accurately judged by the color of your skin.

Scandal at the Times 6/25/03

I have yet to read a column by Maureen Dowd that proves she deserves one of the most precious spaces in print media, an editorial column in the New York Times. Most that I have read consist of adolescent resentment towards the President and other Republicans and/or conservatives. They range from disturbing fantasy to clever word play, the result being an uninformative, slanderous screed. One can easily picture her cynical smile as she delights in name-calling and truth twisting. This smile is only a facade, though, concealing her hatred and contempt for any thought that would be impolite to express in fashionable Manhattan social circles.

Ms. Dowd’s victim this week—one as unoriginal as her continued assault on George W. Bush—is Justice Clarence Thomas concerning his dissent in Grutter v. Bollinger. Dowd is late to the party when it comes to Thomas bashing. Thomas has long been a target of left-leaning types—the press not excluded—for thinking for himself. You see, Clarence Thomas does not believe that the color of one’s skin determines how one should think about politics, culture, law, etc. It seems that in elite New York Times columnists’ circles the belief that blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and whites share a common humanity and potential to achieve is politically incorrect to put it nicely.

Says Dowd about Thomas: “It’s impossible not to be disgusted at someone who could benefit so much from affirmative action and then pull up the ladder after himself. So maybe he is disgusted with his own great historic ingratitude.” The “historic ingratitude” apparently consists of not writing a thank you note to those nice, compassionate, white, affirmative-action-supporting liberals. Never mind the fact that it was the proponents of affirmative action who bitterly fought against Thomas’s confirmation.

Dowd nowhere, as usual, deals with any substantial issue in Grutter v. Bollinger or Thomas’s dissent. She goes so far to claim that Thomas “can no longer focus on bigger issues of morality and justice.” An audacious claim considering Ms. Dowd does not even attempt to explain how it is moral and just for state universities to discriminate on the basis of race. Ms. Dowd dares not condescend to respond to such backward, unenlightened arguments and ideas such as those someone like Thomas would proffer. It is easier to portray Thomas and his ideas as repugnant than to make a losing argument.

Dowd must imagine herself the protector and benefactor of America’s black people, who, according to her logic (or lack thereof), aren’t capable of performing as well as whites. Dowd thinks college admissions standards should be lower for blacks. It is boggling that our society permits the arrogance and moral repugnance of this policy.

Dowd certainly does aspiring columnists a similar "favor" by setting the bar low. The Times’ injured credibility would, no doubt, benefit from dropping her childish, limousine-leftist, and in this case, racist slander.

Memo to the New York Times: I am available to take over that wasted editorial space occupied by Ms. Dowd.

To MoDo, Justice Thomas is just an uppity black man who doesn’t appreciate all the good things that Massa has done for him. She resents him for leaving the liberal plantation where he belongs.

She typifies the whole "diversity" ideology: she sees a black man simply as black and not as a man.

She has more in common with Bull Connor than with Dr. King.

"There were too many better qualified conservative white male jurists available (whom you could pick out with a blind test, by reading their legal writings) for that to be credible."

Hmmm! Like Associate Justice Souter, for example. Perhaps Associate Justice Thomas was selected to fill the "black seat" on the Supremes, but the result is probably one of the finest Justices every to sit on the bench of our highest court. He has the best grasp of the founding principles of our Nation of any of the sitting Justices, and he is the one Justice that can be counted on to apply Natural Law when all other means fail to decide an issue.

While other Justices, i.e., Scalia, may be relied for the most "strict construction", Associate Justice Clarence Thomas will always strike an opinion that stands closest to the real meaning of America.

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