Tag Archives: Antonin Scalia

The importance of diversity: three object lessons

Diversity is a lot more than a liberal feel-good cause, a way to shoehorn visible minorities into public and private institutions just for the sake of it. Or just to disenfranchise white heterosexual men.

When universities argue against affirmative action bans, it’s not because they’re lefties; it’s because they realize a diverse student body (and faculty) makes their institutions stronger.

When I look at a political contest and see two roughly equivalent candidates, I give preference to the woman, the minority, the member of the LGBTQ community, because their perspectives make our politics better.

We have three object lessons from this week’s news, two right here in Vermont, each illustrating the importance of diversity.

Continue reading

One more thing about the “adult in the room”

After his Town Hall meeting in Colchester, Ohio Gov. John Kasich gave a few minutes to the assembled media. A helpful portion thereof was posted online by the Burlington Free Press. Helpful, because it’s one more piece of evidence that Kasich’s “reasonable” “moderate” act is just so much Foxy Grandpa malarkey.

He was asked about whether President Obama should, you know, do his Constitutional duty by nominating someone to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. And Kasich’s answer was a disasterpiece of Republican passive-aggressiveness.

He blamed it all on, you guessed it, Obama.

We’ve had a situation in Washington where nobody’s going to get confirmed. You know, the President passed Obamacare, he rammed through stuff with his executive actions, and it’s just polarized everybody.

So, look, he’s going to send somebody, they’re not going to be confirmed. And what I like is the idea that the American public’s going to have a two-fer. And what do I mean by that?

We’re going to elect a president, and we’re going to determine the direction of the Court by the presidential election. And I think that could serve as a sort of a healing in our country without all these fights goin’ back and forth.

Yeah, that’s the ticket. If Obama hadn’t been such a hardass, ramming stuff down America’s throat for seven years, then we could let him appoint someone to the Supreme Court. As it is, he shouldn’t do it because it will further divide the country. In fact, for the good of the nation, he should voluntarily give up one of his presidential powers.

Yuh-huh. The Republicans and the conservative media, according to John Kasich, have absolutely nothing to do with the polarization of our politics. It’s all Obama’s fault!

Continue reading

Justice Scalia’s Chamber of White Privilege

I suppose I have to begin with the usual respect-for-the-departed, Scalia-towering-intellect, beloved-by-all-despite-his-views stuff, because That’s What You Do when a prominent person dies.

That’s about as far as I’m willing to go, since Scalia wielded his influence as a weapon against many causes I hold dear. For me, praising his “towering intellect” is kind of like honoring the entrepreneurial spirit of Al Capone.

Besides, the exigencies of politesse didn’t prevent Republicans from pivoting immediately to the political; clearly, Ted Cruz and others got their research teams to work right away, preparing arguments for Saturday night’s Republican debate. So if they couldn’t be bothered to go beyond the formalities, neither will I.

On to business. Found something just so chock-full of unintentional irony that I couldn’t resist writing about it, even though it has nothing to do with Vermont politics. Apologies for straying; feel free to move on to the next post if you wish.

Scalia was found dead on Saturday morning at Cibolo Creek Ranch in rural Texas.

Roughin' it, rich white folks style.

Roughin’ it, rich white folks style.

And then on Sunday morning, the Austin American-Statesman runs a puff piece in its Travel section about that very ranch!

For those unfamiliar with the ways of the press, it’s common for newspapers to pre-publish and pre-distribute their non-news Sunday sections. But still: awkward!

But when I read the puff piece, I realized what a colossal slice of unintended irony it really was. And what an unintentionally appropriate place Cibolo Creek Ranch was for Justice Scalia to end his days.

Continue reading