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Why Our Elites Stink
NY Times ^ | July 12, 2012 | David Brooks

Posted on 07/13/2012 5:07:13 AM PDT by C19fan

Through most of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Protestant Establishment sat atop the American power structure. A relatively small network of white Protestant men dominated the universities, the world of finance, the local country clubs and even high government service. Over the past half–century, a more diverse and meritocratic elite has replaced the Protestant Establishment. People are more likely to rise on the basis of grades, test scores, effort and performance.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: elites; meritocracy

1 posted on 07/13/2012 5:07:16 AM PDT by C19fan
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To: C19fan
Why Our Elites Stink

Pretty funny headline coming from a so-called conservative who spends his days with his lips affixed to the elite's arses.

2 posted on 07/13/2012 5:15:16 AM PDT by dirtboy
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: C19fan

Meritocracy?
Today it’s anything BUT merit. It is gender, race connection and every other corruption one can imagine.
Mr Brooks is a case n point.
He ain’t no conservative, but is always highlighted as such by the rags. He should have been passed over years agao.


4 posted on 07/13/2012 5:17:03 AM PDT by Macoozie (1) Win the Senate 2) Repeal Obamacare 3) Impeach Roberts)
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To: C19fan

bottom line.............

“There ain’t no ticks like poly-ticks. Bloodsuckers all.”
-Davy Crockett (unsourced)
Ref
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett


5 posted on 07/13/2012 5:19:46 AM PDT by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
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To: C19fan
Everybody thinks they are countercultural rebels, insurgents against the true establishment, which is always somewhere else. This attitude prevails in the Ivy League, in the corporate boardrooms and even at television studios where hosts from Harvard, Stanford and Brown rail against the establishment.

Interesting bit of self-psychoanalysis performed by Mr. Brooks. (who, btw, writes like a college student)

6 posted on 07/13/2012 5:22:18 AM PDT by LoveUSA (God employs Man's strength; Satan exploits Man's weakness.)
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To: dirtboy
"Why Our Elites Stink"

Because they are self-absorbed and boring, David, just like your article.

7 posted on 07/13/2012 5:27:53 AM PDT by Reo (the 4th Estate is a 5th Column)
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To: C19fan
"Over the past half–century, a more diverse and meritocratic elite has replaced the Protestant Establishment. People are more likely to rise on the basis of grades, test scores, effort and performance."

Horse flop. In business - yes - people are in fact much more likely to succeed due to effort and performance. But our Elites largely do not come from the ranks of businessmen and women - they come from interconnected families whose members have worked in government for several generations, who all attend the same handful of universities (where last names and endowments matter more than grades), and who obtain employment based upon the access such connections afford.

8 posted on 07/13/2012 5:28:55 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: C19fan
I think a lot of the failure of our “elites” is the lack of classical education and a focus on the soft subjects like law, political science (sic), psychology and others. The lack of classical education means they have little appreciation for western culture and no perspective on history. The lack of science and math (hard subjects) means they have mushy thinking and can't tell hard facts from half-truths.
9 posted on 07/13/2012 5:36:12 AM PDT by oncebitten (Obama: could not get a clue if he were covered in clue musk and standing in a field of horny clues.)
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To: C19fan

10 posted on 07/13/2012 5:38:09 AM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: C19fan

Short summation:

Character counts

We’ve been saying this for many years, and the media elite (including Brooks) have been telling us we’re crazy — “Clinton is brilliant! Obama is awesome!”

Virtue matters, and the Left has none.


11 posted on 07/13/2012 5:51:25 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Roger Taney? Not a bad Chief Justice. John Roberts? A really awful Chief Justice.)
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To: oncebitten

I have no doubt one of the things hidden away in obumblers transcripts is his total lack of comprehension of mathematics.


12 posted on 07/13/2012 5:58:27 AM PDT by wiggen (The teacher card. When the racism card just won't work.)
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To: C19fan
Over the past half–century, a more diverse and meritocratic elite has replaced the Protestant Establishment. People are more likely to rise on the basis of grades, test scores, effort and performance.

Ignoring that this explanation of the state of our elites comes from one of the said elite, I have to ask: is Brooks this dumb or just naive? Or both?

13 posted on 07/13/2012 6:00:12 AM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: C19fan
Over the past half–century, a more diverse and meritocratic elite has replaced the Protestant Establishment.

To test this theory, call Jesse Jackson Jr.'s office and ask when he will be returning to work.

14 posted on 07/13/2012 6:08:27 AM PDT by Poison Pill (Take your silver lining and SHOVE IT!)
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To: Poison Pill

And for the first time in the history of the nation, there is not a Protestant on the Supreme Court. Not one.


15 posted on 07/13/2012 6:11:23 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Texas Fossil
And for the first time in the history of the nation, there is not a Protestant on the Supreme Court. Not one.

Wow, I was beginning to think no one else was connecting the dots. Very astute observation

16 posted on 07/13/2012 6:19:12 AM PDT by Clay+Iron_Times (Psalms 118:9)
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To: C19fan

The difference in the 19th century the “elite” mostly left the 99% alone to live their lives as they saw fit.

Today they want to control how much pop we drink.

The problem isn’t that there is a small elite or how people get into that group. The problem is the elite is try to enslave us all. This is new since 50 years ago.


17 posted on 07/13/2012 6:29:01 AM PDT by DManA
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To: ClearCase_guy
Character counts

We’ve been saying this for many years, and the media elite (including Brooks) have been telling us we’re crazy — “Clinton is brilliant! Obama is awesome!”

Yep!

I've been saying it since 1998.

18 posted on 07/13/2012 6:40:01 AM PDT by CharacterCounts (A vote for the lesser of two evils only insures the triumph of evil.)
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To: C19fan
People are more likely to rise on the basis of grades, test scores, effort and performance of their non-WhiteMaleness.

Fixed it...

19 posted on 07/13/2012 6:41:27 AM PDT by Kenton
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To: C19fan
I'm going to break with the general panning. Brooks has put his fingers on something - and, believe it or not, it is conservative in a way.

His thesis is that the elites of our day don't recognize themselves as such. He's not denying that the ruling class exists. What he's saying is that they don't recognize themselves as such. Rather than being disingenous, they sincerely deny that they're anything of the sort.

He's credible on this point because he hobnobs with them, so he knows what they're really like. Sure, his worldview can be charitably described as restricted. But, this subject is one of those areas he knows about because he sees them on a day-to-day basis. An analogy: a CEO may be a mercantilist jerkwad in politics, but the same person is going to be knowledgable about management issues.

His point is that the "non-elite" elites duck out of the responsibilities that elites have traditionally assumed. Although sincere in their protestations, today's ruling class have the advantage of denying responsibility for their blunders because they think the other guy is the "real" elite (and therefore should be held accountable.)

Had the ruling class been a real elite, they would have cultivated a sense of honor and sacrifice that would make them more accountable for their actions. It's a Tory argument at heart: if society must have elites, better that they cultivate a sense of social responsibility which would keep them from screwing things up and blowing off responsibility for it.

However...I'm begging the question, as does Brooks himself by conflating dislike of the ruling class with Jacobinical leftistm. Would American society be better without a ruling class? If "yes," then what he wrote is little more than an unconvincing think-piece.

20 posted on 07/13/2012 6:46:20 AM PDT by danielmryan
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To: C19fan

A life member of the gop/e tries to paint himself as one of us... NO SALE!

LLS


21 posted on 07/13/2012 6:48:59 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (Don't Tread On Me)
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To: Clay+Iron_Times; Poison Pill

“And for the first time in the history of the nation, there is not a Protestant on the Supreme Court. Not one.

Wow, I was beginning to think no one else was connecting the dots. Very astute observation
________________________________________________________________________

Very interesting. Can you please elaborate on what the picture looks like with the dots connected? And who drew those dots? Not being sarcastic or antagonistic - I’d really like to know.

Besides Ginsberg, are all the rest Catholic? Any avowed atheists?

With the dots connected, can you posit a plausible theory that would explain why a series of Protestant Presidents (except Muslim Obama, of course) would go out of their way consciously to appoint non-Protestants?

Thanks.


22 posted on 07/13/2012 7:01:07 AM PDT by dagogo redux (A whiff of primitive spirits in the air, harbingers of an impending descent into the feral.)
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To: C19fan
The best of the WASP elites had a stewardship mentality, that they were temporary caretakers of institutions that would span generations. They cruelly ostracized people who did not live up to their codes of gentlemanly conduct and scrupulosity. They were insular and struggled with intimacy, but they did believe in restraint, reticence and service.

Today’s elite is more talented and open but lacks a self-conscious leadership code. The language of meritocracy (how to succeed) has eclipsed the language of morality (how to be virtuous).

David Brooks is close to understanding. Doesn't it seem strange countries run by 'kings and queens' (even though many are personally borderline incompetent) - tend to create more stable societies?

23 posted on 07/13/2012 7:19:34 AM PDT by GOPJ (Innocent people dying was the objective of Fast and Furious......... Ann Coulter)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Character counts

We’ve been saying this for many years, and the media elite (including Brooks) have been telling us we’re crazy — “Clinton is brilliant! Obama is awesome!”

Virtue matters, and the Left has none.


And neither does that lying, left-wing, Progressive Liberal Mitt Romney.
24 posted on 07/13/2012 8:08:25 AM PDT by SoConPubbie (Mitt and Obama: They're the same poison, just a different potency.)
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To: dagogo redux

You first have to ask why did we come here in the first place? What were our ancestors escaping? What was raging in Europe at the time for a people to cry out for freedom. Freedom from what?


25 posted on 07/13/2012 8:45:30 AM PDT by Clay+Iron_Times (Psalms 118:9)
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To: DManA; SunkenCiv; Impy; InterceptPoint; fieldmarshaldj; ncfool; ml/nj; ExTexasRedhead; ...
The problem is the elite is try to enslave us all. This is new since 50 years ago.

Actually, more like 100 years ago, with the ascendancy of Woodrow Wilson.

Read some of the material that Wilson had written as a big name political science professor at Princeton and you can see his big government biases - and disdain for the Constitution - before he became President.

26 posted on 07/14/2012 7:33:43 AM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: Clay+Iron_Times

Very few probably “get” your moniker.


27 posted on 07/14/2012 7:46:14 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: Rummyfan

“is Brooks this dumb?”

David Brooks is on PBS. So in answer to your question ... yes, absolutely yes.

Though Mark Shields may be even dumber. Shields is such a tool of the liberal left, it’s hard to fathom the depth of his gaming for the left.


28 posted on 07/14/2012 7:49:53 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Character counts


Too many voters have been trained by pop culture and the entertainment brokers to chose style over substance.


29 posted on 07/14/2012 8:01:24 AM PDT by Rides_A_Red_Horse (If there is a war on women, the Kennedys are the Spec Ops troops.)
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To: Texas Fossil; Poison Pill; C19fan; Red Steel; David; theothercheek; GreatOne; AJFavish; ...
And for the first time in the history of the nation, there is not a Protestant on the Supreme Court. Not one.

As much to point, I believe this is the first time in our history where every member of the SCOTUS went to law school at either Harvard or Yale. (Ginsburg graduated from Columbia Law after two years at Harvard Law.)

Imagine that: of all the law schools in the country, only the two most elitist Ivy League schools have been deemed capable of producing "la creme de la creme"!!!

There was a time when geographical diversity was a consideration in SCOTUS appointments. No more, apparently.

30 posted on 07/14/2012 8:14:52 AM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: justiceseeker93

Sigh, has it been 100 years? It seems just like yesterday Woodrow was elected.


31 posted on 07/14/2012 8:29:06 AM PDT by DManA (DManA the 2000 year old man)
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To: justiceseeker93

Education =? Indoctrination

(My son-in-law is a Harvard Law Grad, corporate attorney & Conservative)


32 posted on 07/14/2012 8:54:56 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: DManA
Sigh, has it been 100 years?

Yes, 100 years ago today (1912), ol' Woody would have been campaigning for the presidency to which he was elected that November. BTW, Theodore Roosevelt, the third party "Progressive" candidate in that race, wasn't too far behind Wilson in his big government predilections by that time.

33 posted on 07/14/2012 10:08:46 AM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: F15Eagle
Very few probably “get” your moniker.

Never the less it is the times we are living in, Laodicea and all

34 posted on 07/14/2012 10:29:26 AM PDT by Clay+Iron_Times (Psalms 118:9)
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To: Clay+Iron_Times

Yep


35 posted on 07/14/2012 10:30:49 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: C19fan; ml/nj; ExTexasRedhead; rmlew; dennisw; Jewbacca; MestaMachine; dirtboy; Reo; gunnyg; ...
Over the past half–century, a more diverse and meritocratic elite has replaced the Protestant Establishment. People are more likely to rise on the basis of grades, test scores, effort and performance.

Brooks may be right, except for those benefited by Affirmative Action!!!

36 posted on 07/14/2012 12:02:52 PM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: justiceseeker93
Suggesting that those who have fundamentally stultified the quality of American education, journalism, theology & politics, are some form of new "meritocratic elite," is about as silly a notion as one is likely to find, even in the New York Times.

Let me suggest a better term, "pretentious air-heads" suffering from the spreading contagion from the Cloud Dancing antics of the far Left.

Any student of the history of American public discourse, political campaigns, journalism, etc., will realize that there has been a virtual collapse of analytic quality--it is the difference between the understanding of a Jefferson, the reasoned discourse of men like Webster & Calhoun & their entire generation, and the 30 second sound bite.

I do not know why Brooks considers his subject malodorous, but his term "elites," must surely be tongue-in-cheek. (And while I have a weakness for using hackneyed cliches that convey my meaning, I will assure you that I am still more than adequate to handle any of those "elites" in a debate over political direction. The 30 second sound bite is scarcely at what would have been the equivalent of the third grade level in antebellum America.

Cheers!

William Flax

37 posted on 07/14/2012 1:03:23 PM PDT by Ohioan
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To: justiceseeker93
to rise on the basis of grades, test scores, effort and performance

And, the takeover of academia by the left allowed them to decide who excelled in grades, test scores and performance. They were the judges of those things. Education became indoctrination.

38 posted on 07/14/2012 1:28:12 PM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: C19fan
I’d say today’s meritocratic elites achieve and preserve their status not mainly by being corrupt but mainly by being ambitious and disciplined.

Dave, I can think of some situations in which that could be considered a distinction without a difference.

39 posted on 07/14/2012 1:35:20 PM PDT by RichInOC (Palin 2012: The Perfect Storm.)
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To: oncebitten
I think a lot of the failure of our “elites” is the lack of classical education and a focus on the soft subjects like law, political science (sic), psychology and others. The lack of classical education means they have little appreciation for western culture and no perspective on history.

Classical education, as in Plato and Aristotle? A lot of political philosophy and psychology there, no?

The lack of science and math (hard subjects) means they have mushy thinking and can't tell hard facts from half-truths.

Plato and other Greeks praised the clarity of mathematics. That still didn't prevent them from believing some strange things.

40 posted on 07/14/2012 1:49:46 PM PDT by x
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To: Texas Fossil

Would anybody care to guess who was the last (perhaps I should say the most recent) Protestant Supreme Court nominee?


41 posted on 07/14/2012 1:56:17 PM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: C19fan
There is, as others have pointed out, a rich irony in the virtues of elitism being opined in the pages of the NY Times and by the pens of David Brooks and Christopher Hayes. The latter alleges that today's elites are somehow more "meritocratic" and, by extension of the usual liberal narrative, less white and male, and by further extension (conservatives can recite this stuff in their sleep by now) stronger through diversity.

I have some bad news for Mr. Hayes - elites are no more corrupt now than they ever were, nor are they any more able. They tend to be more publicly undisciplined, yes, I'll give him that. But there was no Golden Age when those cut out of the old criteria of white and male and Protestant suddenly blossomed forth in a burst of meritocratic virtue. The elite decided to change the color of its cloak, that is all.

Neither man has followed this course of argument to a conclusion that must be exquisitely uncomfortable to the standard liberal narrative - if today's more diverse elite is more corrupt, then what is it about being white, male, and Protestant that leads to the discipline and sense of noblesse oblige that supposedly typified the old elite? We'd best not go there, at least not in the pages of the NY Times. We are told that today's elite are less self-policing, for example, but I'm not so sure. It is simply that the policing has different criteria these days. It is just as ruthless as ever it was. Look, for example, at what happens in the elite press when a Bernard Goldberg pronounces that emperor naked. Look, for example, at what happens in elite academia when Larry Summers suggests that women aren't as prominent in mathematics because, well, because not as many of them like it. Look what happens when an elite entertainer wanders from the liberal narrative, where examples are too many to enumerate.

What is being policed by the elites these days is not a code of conduct, it is adherence to a specific social narrative, and I suggest to Hayes and Brooks that it was always that way; that the only thing that has changed is the narrative, and that if today's elite stinks, the cause is likely to be found there, and not any pompous, head-scratching puzzlement over why "meritocratic" has not produced merit.

42 posted on 07/14/2012 2:21:28 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Texas Fossil; All
And, the takeover of academia by the left allowed them to decide who excelled in grades, test scores and performance. They were the judges of those things. Education became indoctrination.

True to a large extent, especially in the liberal arts, but it's definitely difficult for anyone to politicize the hard sciences themselves. (Of course, the "global warming" theory, e.g., would not be "hard science," since long-range climate change is still a subject reaquiring much development and clarification.)

The best the elitists can do is require political fealty to the ruling ideology as a condition for gainful employment in a hard scientific area. But even the Politburo in the Soviet Union couldn't tell their scientists how to put a cosmonaut into space, for example, nor how to build nuclear weapons. There's no way incompetents could survive long in the hard sciences, no matter who was judging grades, test scores, and performance.

43 posted on 07/14/2012 2:46:59 PM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: RichInOC

You might find this interesting:

Religion of the Supreme Court

http://www.adherents.com/adh_sc.html


44 posted on 07/14/2012 2:54:34 PM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: justiceseeker93
Over the past half–century, a more diverse and meritocratic elite has replaced the Protestant Establishment. People are more likely to rise on the basis of grades, test scores, effort and performance.

Brooks may be right, except for those benefited by Affirmative Action!!!

It isn't just affirmative action.

The educators at every level are Liberal. And so, they promote students who display Liberal bias ahead of those who do not. Time and time again.

The Liberal academic establishment assists Liberal students at every level in making a record of achievement that will justify advance.

The record of zero in the White House is only a minor example of this kind of conduct. The clinton's, husband and wife both benefited from this kind of support--the husband with a Rhodes Scholarship which he was hopelessly unqualified to benefit from.

45 posted on 07/14/2012 3:31:30 PM PDT by David
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To: RichInOC

I’m surprised nobody ventured an answer, not least because the nominee in question was...and this is a dry understatement...heavily discussed on FR at the time. The most recent Protestant Supreme Court nominee was Harriet Ellan Miers.


46 posted on 07/14/2012 3:31:39 PM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: David

Please see my post # 43.


47 posted on 07/14/2012 3:34:12 PM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: justiceseeker93
Brooks may be right, except for those benefited by Affirmative Action!!!

There's yer loophole...

48 posted on 07/14/2012 6:05:38 PM PDT by danielmryan
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To: justiceseeker93

Thanks justiceseeker93.


49 posted on 07/15/2012 1:58:18 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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