More on this disturbing (but not surprising) unethical phenomenon:
- The Return of Anti-Catholic Bigotry. Who saw this coming? In 1960, the attacks on John Fitzgerald Kennedy for his Catholic faith were considered—by Democrats!—the equivalent of Cro-Magnon-level bias. Founded substantially by Protestants, the U.S. once viewed Catholic immigrants from Ireland, Italy and Spain with suspicion. Historian Arthur Schlesinger Sr. wrote that anti-Catholicism was “the deepest-held bias in the history of the American people.”
Funny, I thought the election of JFK finished that particular bias off for good. Nobody talked about religion as an issue when Bobby Kennedy ran, or in connection with Ted Kennedy. Other than the Kennedys, how many even know that these announced candidates for the President in the past were Catholics: Eugene McCarthy, Edmund Muskie, Jerry Brown, Bruce Babbitt, Patrick Buchanan, Tom Harkin, Alan Keyes, John Kerry, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich , Rick Santorum, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Martin O’Malley, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio, Bill de Blasio , Julián Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Beto O’Rourke…aaaaand Joe Biden.
Nobody cared, cares, or should care. Yet in the New York Times, regular cop-ed writer Elizabeth Bruenig endorses anti-Catholic bigotry as a tool to block Barrett using weasel words, saying attacks on Barrett based on her religion attacks may “not be entirely baseless.” Why the shift? Why, it’s because Barrett must be stopped by “any means necessary,” and Democrats and progressives are willing to abandon any principle in that pursuit.
Incidentally, there are already a majority of Catholics on the Court: five, with Sonia Sotomayor, Chief Justice John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh all being raised in the Church. There were nine Catholic Justices before them, including liberal icon William Brennan, and conservative icon Antonin Scalia. Their faith was not an issue in either of their confirmation hearings.
- We knew we could count on HBO’s reigning creep Bill Maher to go low, and he didn’t disappoint, saying in part on his show last week,
“We’ll be saying this name a lot I’m sure because she’s a fucking nut Religion — I was right about that one too. I’m sorry, but Amy Comey [sic] Barrett, Catholic — really Catholic. I mean really, really Catholic — like speaking in tongues. Like she doesn’t believe in condoms, which is what she has in common with Trump because he doesn’t either. I remember that from Stormy Daniels.”
Professor Turley turning his intellect loose on the task of rebutting a pompous lightweight like Maher resembles asking Goethe to debate Alyssa Milano..which reminds me: the “Who’s the Boss?” star tweeted, to tens of thousands of likes and retweets, “Never before in our nation’s history has a Supreme Court Justice been nominated and installed while a presidential election is already underway. It defies every precedent and every expectation of a nation where the people are sovereign and the rule of law reigns.” In fact, this has happened eight times before.
But I digress. Turley wrote of Maher’s rant,
Last night, Bill Maher came unglued with a attack on Judge Barrett, objecting that she is “really, really Catholic — like speaking in tongues.” The raving assault (which even bizarrely tied in Stormy Daniels) shows the triumph of rage over reason….[W]hen Ginsburg (a devout Jew) was nominated Feinstein did not object that “The dogma lives loudly in you” and commentators like Maher did not portray her as a barking religious fanatic or question whether she approves of condoms….Imagine if a conservative commentator responded to President Obama’s nomination of Kagan or Sotomayor by referring to sex with a stripper or referring to Kagan a “really, really Jewish.” To paraphrase Sen. Feinstein, “[Prejudice] lives loudly in you.
- Turley is emerging as an Ethics Hero amid the ugliness. On his blog (and in The Hill), he took the position that Barrett is as much of a feminist as Ginsburg was, writing,
In her book, “In My Own Words,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote how feminism is a concept best captured in the song “Free to Be You and Me” by Marlo Thomas. That definition defined feminism as allowing women to decide their values without societal dictates or limits. This view sharply contrasts with some who think feminism is adhering to liberal orthodoxy. Ginsburg never believed feminism meant removing the “feet off our necks” by her brothers just to have them replaced by the feet of her sisters. Indeed, true feminism meant allowing women the freedom of choice to find their own voices and values in society. That is why this nomination of a Supreme Court justice is a testament not just to feminism but to Ginsburg.
Turley is frequently described as a “liberal professor” by the conservative media when it wants to enhance his perceived credibility when he criticizes progressives. By current standards he is simply objective, not liberal, with a keen eye for hypocrisy and double standards. He wrote regarding the President’s list of conservative jurists being considered for SCOTUS, including Barrett:
These women are highly qualified jurists who have shown the courage of their convictions. They hold records that match those of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. They are not blank slate nominees but instead conservative women who have boldly written about their views on legal theory. Many tried to put a “foot on their necks” but none succeeded. …Many seek to paint these jurists as ideologues because they consistently vote on the basis of the conservative stance. By this exact same measure, Ginsburg also would be the ideologue who had one of the lowest number of defections to the other side in major cases. In the confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse had raised this issue, asking, “When is a pattern evidence of bias?” Whitehouse noted a voting pattern by the five conservative justices who “go raiding off together.” Whitehouse described a voting pattern of the “Roberts Five” of “Republican appointees” who “go raiding off together” and “no Democratic appointee joins them.” He simply ignored the Ginsburg Four on the other side of most of those opinions. They were not viewed as ideologues by Whitehouse because they are viewed as right. In reality, despite Whitehouse’s prediction (and those of his Democratic colleagues), both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh have voted repeatedly with their more liberal colleagues in major decisions.