Skip to comments.TYRRELL: The snickering of liberals
Posted on 05/08/2009 2:48:41 AM PDT by Scanian
Is it possible that Justice David H. Souter has sensed what I have sensed in reading the liberals' dutiful adieus to him, their judicial Benedict Arnold? They are all snickering behind their hands.
Sure, he pleased them enormously by his 19 years of tergiversations against conservative jurisprudence, after being President George H.W. Bush's "conservative" Supreme Court nominee. But through all Justice Souter's years here in Washington he revealed himself to be a stupendously self-absorbed oddball and not much else. He fell far short of the liberals' conception of a progressive Supreme Court dissenter, to wit: a charismatic, outspoken, slightly outre intellectual on the model of William O. Douglas.
Mr. Souter has been, as The Washington Post puts it, notable for his "quirky independence in spurning the right." The operative word here is "quirky." It is not meant as a compliment. Our liberals admire eccentricity but not the eccentricity of a misanthropic loner.
Thus, in every supposedly friendly retrospective that I have read of him since he informed the Democratic president that he, a Republican Supreme Court nominee, was retiring, the liberals have stressed his weirdness: the misfit, the loner, the guy whose luncheon consists of yogurt and an apple that he eats "core and all."
That was the New York Times speaking. On the front page of its Week in Review section, the newspaper ran a huge picture of him from years ago, wearing a silly plaid suit, the collar of his shirt vaguely reminiscent of Calvin Coolidge, his face expressionless, but his eyes large and glistening, like the caricatures one used to see of girls with huge Bambi-like eyes. Another Times picture shows him in coat-and tie, hastening past his ramshackle, unpainted, wooden farmhouse, situated at the end of an unmarked dirt road in rural New Hampshire.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
“But for almost two decades it has been clear that he is out of his depth. The troubling thought is that the president who is about to nominate Justice Souter’s replacement is out of his depth, too.”
We are in deep doo-doo. BO woll nominate the equivalent of Barney Frank to the post. I have cursed Bush many a time for nominating this empty suit of a SC judge.
Surely, Tyrrell is referring to the unsettling, trash-culture works of Walter and Margaret Keane. A truly skilled Mencken imitator would have included the now-obscure reference.
Is it just me, or does Tyrrell's prose of the past few years seem to be of a lower quality than his writing from the 70s, 80s, and 90s?
he pleased them enormously by his 19 years of tergiversations against conservative jurisprudence
There are at least 2 words there that very few denizens of the liberal trash heap will ever understand
tergiversation: The act of turning one's back; abandoning something or someone; betrayal.
I can play time capsule here. I used to read him in the 70's, then quit cold before the Carter years were over.
He has indeed diminished in quality.
Souter IS, indeed, a joke. He is also an embarrassment to what NH once was and no longer is.
NH is now mASSachusetts North. Full of tax fugitives from the surrounding states, all hell bent and on an all but irreversible path to re-make this state into a copy of the hell holes they left. They KNOW its wrong, they KNOW they shouldn’t be doing it, but they just can’t help themselves. It’s what the ‘learned’ from their teachers, parents and their worshipped corrupt politicians. They are unable to stand on their own two feet. Sad, very, very sad.
I think the quality of his work declined when TAS departed Bloomington, IN for Alexandria, VA, which was some time in the late 70s. TAS stopped being an outsider journal of opinion, and attempted to embed itself within the Beltway “influence” culture.
William F. Buckley introduced us to “tergiversations” years ago.
Unfortunately the likelihood of replacing him with a professed liberal who is really a quirky most-of-the-time conservative is virtually nil. That species is pretty much extinct.
I'm genuinely surprised to read this. If not better, it certainly is not a scintilla worse. RET stands on a lofty plane alone from his peers.