A Partial List of Total Point-Missers (Promisses No. 11: Stuff is Complicated)

I’m not sure exactly what the rules are for what shows up in Google News, but I know the default search doesn’t go back too far, and a Google News search for “Scalia hypocrite” (without the quotes) currently returns thousands and thousands of results. More than 2000 of them are lumped together in one “see more” link, because they’re all about roughly the same thing: Justice Scalia voted to trample on the popular Voting Rights Act  and then the very next day wrote a dissent preaching democracy and judicial restraint in voting to uphold of the Defense of Marriage Act. The words for his hypocrisy are words like “stunning,” “jaw-dropping,” “galling.” 

Only, as we discussed yesterday, that’s not how it went down. Not even close. But a lot of people got it wrong, and I haven’t seen anybody else take the time to set them right.

That’s a bit upsetting to me, partly because (a) you really only needed to bother to read the tiniest little bit beyond Scalia’s second paragraph to see that he’s not saying what you’re about to accuse him of saying, and (b) it distracts from all the horrible things Scalia does say, things that dehumanize certain individuals and families and that show just an appalling failure to understand certain realities that, by now, simply everyone should understand, or at least accept.

Here’s a terribly incomplete list of self-righteous and angry and mocking articles or blog posts that are getting all self-righteous and angry and mocking about very much the wrong thing (note that many of these are excellent pieces that make a number of excellent points, but all of them rely, in an early or prominent place, on the Scalia’s-hypocrisy silliness):

The Atlantic Wire: Justice Scalia Hates Judicial Review, Except When He Doesn’t
The Nation: The Supreme Court’s Constitutional Hypocrisy
BET: Commentary: Gay Rights, Civil Rights and the Supreme Court’s Hypocrisy
The American Prospect: Justice Scalia’s Infuriating Hypocrisy
Wonkette: Supreme Court Update: Special ‘Over-the-Top Nice Time Let’s All Gay Marry Our Dogs’ Edition [Note: this one’s really funny, and vulgar. But still gets it wrong.]
News Corpse: DOMA vs. Voting Rights: Justice Scalia’s Jaw-Dropping Hypocrisy
Nashville Scene: The Hypocritical Stylings of Justice Scalia


Law is Hard

Legal Stuff! DOMA, VRA, and Defending Scalia (which, gross)

One reason I changed the name and tone of this site a bit ago is that, while I have a lot of deeply-held convictions and strong opinions and am way more than happy to share them, I hate the idea that those things define a person, that they compel him to toe a certain line in all instances, that they make all those who disagree, however reasonably, the enemy. “The Cranky Lefty,” in the political meaning of it, might accurately describe my leaning and general disposition, but kind of signifies the opposite of anything I want to be, a myopic and closed-minded crusader who is too busy speaking to listen.

And Oh. My. God were there a lot of cranky lefties on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Continue reading