Ls&Cs: Breyer, Maus, Panic and Alarm

A bunch of links, several of which I think make their points by their headlines. Concerning conservative hypocrisy about Supreme Court nominees, banning books, and other matters.

NYT, Linda Greenhouse guest essay, 26 Jan 2022: Stephen Breyer Was the Right Justice for the Wrong Age

Justice Breyer’s belief in the power of facts, evidence and expertise was out of step in a postfactual age. The protections of the Voting Rights Act were no longer necessary in the South? The Constitution’s framers meant to give the populace an individual right to own a gun? Or, more recently, the federal agency charged with protecting American workers was likely powerless to protect the workplace from a deadly pandemic?

Salon, Amanda Marcotte, 27 Jan 2022: Why the right sees Biden’s promise of a Black woman on the Supreme Court as an attack, subtitled, “Right-wing media doesn’t need a name to know their narrative: Any Black female nominee is inherently unsuitable.”

Slate: Jordan Weissman, 27 Jan 2022: Did You Know Reagan Picked Scalia for the Supreme Court Because He Was Italian?, subtitled, “Some useful context for our current moment in Supreme Court–nomination politics.”

Slate: Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern, 27 Jan 2022: What Conservatives Really Mean When They Say Biden’s Potential SCOTUS Nominees Are “Unqualified”

Any time a Democratic president chooses a non-white-man for the Supreme Court, that nominee is inherently suspect—a presumptive unqualified beneficiary of affirmative action until proven otherwise.

What’s especially noxious about this myth of “affirmative action” picks is that it is inevitably suspended each time a Republican enters office.

With examples.


Washington Post, Paul Waldman, 27 Jan 2022: Strong economic growth wrecks the GOP’s gloom-and-doom spin


Salon, Jon Skolnik, 26 Jan 2022: Book banning fever heats up in red states, subtitled, “Schools boards and city officials in Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee want to purge “objectionable” books”

Slate, Christina Cauterucci, 27 Jan 2022: Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill Is the Next Step in the Right-Wing Schools Panic, subtitled, “Florida may pass a bill that would ban discussions of all sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.”

(Because if you never mention it, they’ll never find out about it! And then they’ll all get nicely married and have your grandchildren!)

The Guardian, Adam Gabbatt, 24 Jan 2022: US conservatives linked to rich donors wage campaign to ban books from schools

Jerry Coyne, 27 Jan 2022: Maus banned in a Tennessee school distrinct because of eight swear words and a naked rodent

Facebook Stephen King meme:

This recalls the Streisand Effect; thus:

Bleeding Cool: Art Spiegelman’s Maus Back In Bestseller Charts After Classroom Ban


Salon, Amanda Marcotte, 25 Jan 2022: Extremist politicians aren’t a “both sides” issue — it’s strictly a GOP phenomenon, subtitled, “Republicans want to overturn elections and spread disease — while progressive Dems just want better social programs.”

The Week, Damon Linker, 25 Jan 2022: America’s hyperbole habit is the worst thing ever, subtitled, “The risk and roots of our nonstop panic and alarm”


The Daily Beast, Julia Davis, 26 Jan 2022: Kremlin TV Worries Tucker Carlson’s Pro-Putin Bias Has Gone Too Far, subtitled, “Russian state propagandists are concerned that no one will take the Fox News host seriously any more.”

Washinton Post, Greg Sargent, 27 Jan 2022: Opinion: Tucker Carlson’s pro-Russia rants give Republicans exactly what they deserve


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