Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Smoke & Mirrors

I'm sick of the news media only dealing in the realm of appearances. Perfect example: the Times' handling of Alito's confirmation hearing. They focus on the fact that Alito outmaneuvered Democrats who tried to paint him as an extremist, giving only passing mention to the lack of legal heft in his answers.

There's an unsettling symmetry between the testimony of Judges Roberts and Alito and the news coverage of it; both pander to image and skirt substance.

There's no way to know how Alito will behave if appointed Justice, but every reason to suspect that he and Roberts are meant to be a conservative wedge on the court, tasked with rolling back many of the progressive precedents of recent years. In fact there is no need to suspect it: it's the stated goal of the Republican party. How irksome to barely hear a whisper of it in the press.

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