Thomas Oliphant comes close to denouncing John Roberts as a closet segregationist in a column that has to be among the most laughable of the Roberts’ debate. With zero evidence to back his assertion, Oliphant tries to walk his reader to the conclusion that Roberts is unsympathetic to civil rights. The irony is that Oliphant uses the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson as his jumping off point, apparently unaware that the great Harlan dissent that Oliphant mentions is to conservatives critical of racial quotas the greatest statement of their case. In that dissent, Harlan exclaims that “[o]ur constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.” If Roberts and the next justice are the true heirs of Harlan, the brief reprieve given race-based admissions in the University of Michigan Law School case will be over, and the dissent that Oliphant proclaims his love for will certainly be featured in the majority opinion finally elevating that dissent and its core principle to the center of American jurisprudence where it has long belonged.
As though he was not going to be outdone in the daily competition for silliest effort by an east coast lefty white male, E.J. Dionne unveils the claim on the proposition that the Bush era is over. Really. Even as the president watches his nominee for Chief Justice sail through the Senate and prepares for a second nominee and the Iraqi and Afghan elections, Dionne believes that “[l]eadership, strength and security were Bush’s calling cards. Over the last two weeks, they were lost in the surging waters of New Orleans,” and concludes that
[Bush’s]his best hope lies in recognizing that the Bush Era really is gone. He can decide to help us in the transition to what comes next. Or he can stubbornly cling to his past and thereby doom himself to frustrating irrelevance.
(HT: RealClearPolitics for the pointers to both columns.)
The great news about the left is that its capacity for self-delusion is undiminished by the electoral losses of the past few years. It remains eager to believe what it wants to believe, in this case that President Bush is in deep political trouble. Bookmark and save E.J.’s piece. It will be fun to link to whenever the president achieves another political victory.