Monday, August 29, 2011

The Rehabilitation of Clarence Thomas' Reputation, On the Left

Writing at his American Interest blog, Walter Russell Mead reviews an article by Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker. Mead notes that the Toobin article is evidence that the left is beginning to respect, perhaps even fear, the intellect and jurisprudence of Clarence Thomas. It is fashionable on the left to mock him as an intellectual lightweight but in dismissing him in this way for all these years they have failed to pay attention to the fact that he has had quite an influence on the way the Supreme Court has looked at questions such as the meaning of the Second Amendment.

There are few articles of faith as firmly fixed in the liberal canon as the belief that Clarence Thomas is, to put it as bluntly as many liberals do, a dunce and a worm. Twenty years of married life have not erased the conventional liberal view of his character etched by Anita Hill’s testimony at his confirmation hearings. Not only does the liberal mind perceive him as a disgusting lump of ungoverned sexual impulse; he is seen as an intellectual cipher. Thomas’ silence during oral argument before the Supreme Court is taken as obvious evidence that he has nothing to say and is perhaps a bit intimidated by the verbal fireworks exchanged by the high profile lawyers and his more, ahem, ‘qualified’ colleagues.
Read the whole thing.

(via Instapundit)
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