Patterico's Pontifications

4/30/2014

Jeffrey Toobin’s Lazy Lefty Screed About Race and the Roberts Court

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:25 am

Why do people pay attention to this guy? (Yes, I know, I am writing an entire post about him. Quiet! I’m trying to make a point here.)

It’s challenging to keep up with the latest in racist tirades, so let’s attempt a brief review. Last week, Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher who became a conservative folk hero for his refusal to pay his debts to the federal government, said that he often wondered if black people fared better as slaves. Then, over the weekend, a tape of what appears to be the voice of Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, surfaced, and it featured Sterling instructing his girlfriend to avoid being photographed with black people and to refrain from bringing African-Americans to the Clippers’ basketball games.

Bundy and Sterling represent an ugly corner of contemporary American life, but it is one that is entirely invisible in recent Supreme Court rulings. In the Roberts Court, there are no Bundys and Sterlings; the real targets of the conservative majority are those who’ve spent their lives fighting the Bundys and Sterlings of the world.

Toobin goes on to argue that Justice Sotomayor’s dissent is the opinion that is in touch with how racism affects minorities, while the white males in the majority are simply out of it, man.

Let me say up front that I do not have any respect for Jeffrey Toobin, and this sort of lazy, reflexively leftist argument is the reason. Toobin nowhere explains why the existence of racism means that the Constitution requires affirmative action, a policy that provides an unneeded leg up to wealthier minorities while doing nothing for the lower-income people who, if anyone, suffer the effects of racism. More to the point, what do the attitudes of Cliven Bundy or Donald Sterling have to do with this case — or even with the argument that affirmative action is necessary for people to, say, have jobs in this society? Is Toobin saying that if Cliven Bundy were not a racist, he might finally hire a black bodyguard — one so devoted to him that he would “take a bullet” for him? Is Toobin saying that affirmative action is necessary to force Donald Sterling to hire black basketball players? News flash, Toobin! These things have already happened, and not as a result of affirmative action, either. In fact, affirmative action would hurt blacks in professional basketball, as it would require owners to bypass more qualified black players in order to give less qualified whites a chance.

In short, Toobin’s argument will play well with his New Yorker readers, who take their knee-jerk leftism as a given, and are unaccustomed to being challenged on their political beliefs, ever. But to the rest of us, Jeff Toobin is a lazy hack — and worse, he’s boring, because soporific and sophomoric screeds like his are everywhere, threatening to put readers to sleep the second they start reading.

Get a job, Toobin.

20 Responses to “Jeffrey Toobin’s Lazy Lefty Screed About Race and the Roberts Court”

  1. More and more, I do not want to live in the same country as these people.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Toobin is wide of the mark from his second sentence onward. Bundy din’t become a conservative folk hero for his refusal to pay his debts to the federal government, he became a hero for standing up to federal government tyranny. Bundy refused to knuckle under to BLM’s naked land grab, massively enforced by uniformed agents using guns to intimidate an ordinary American citizen and his family members, and all the while concealing criminal government complicity by masquerading as concerned for the well being of the desert tortoise.

    Whatever Bundy’s shortcomings, he’s a hero for taking on Goliath and exposing the BLM for their criminal attempt to bully Bundy’s cattle off land his family had used for generations. Bundy was always willing to pay his grazing fees, just not to a wasteful and grasping illegitimate federal agency.

    ropelight (e3faca)

  3. R.I.P. Bob Hoskins

    Icy (d439b1)

  4. Greetings:

    If I may pass along an inquiry from my Department of Very Small, Minute Minutia, I seem to remember the title of the magazine referenced above being “The New Yorker” not “New Yorker”. Yet there seems to be a relatively determined effort to use the latter in current mass communications.

    Lest I be accused of failing to follow my media masters, has there been an official alteration or am I being subjected to more somewhat overt media manipulation.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  5. I think it is quoote all right to refer to it in the middle of the sentence, when used as an adjective as “New Yorker”

    Would anybody find “Weekly Standard readers” incorrect?

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  6. Greetings, Sammy Finkelman:

    I believe I see your point. That’s a fair bit of work for a little bit of correctness, especially after all that italicizing.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  7. Is Toobin more boring, or lazier, than Sotomayor herself?

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  8. The two African-Americans who have served on the Court have been giants. Thomas for his work ON the court, and Marshall for his work before.

    Sotomayor, as the first Hispanic, is a Zeppo.

    Proof once again that B’s hire C’s.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  9. Doesn’t the New Yorker target pompous non-thinkers? I’m calling it a home run.

    East Bay Jay (a5dac7)

  10. Both Sterling and Bundy are showing signs of dementia. Are they the best examples of racism in this country. Seriously can we discuss something substantive.

    Joe (debac0)

  11. Comment by Kevin M (b357ee) — 4/30/2014 @ 10:53 am

    Proof once again that B’s hire C’s

    If you want justices who will reliably decide cases wrongly, you may need Cs. And when the primary reasons to appoint someone are political, there may be less competition.

    Also the best possible nominees will tend to have written stuff…

    Clinton named two better ones maybe, Breyer (whom he passed up the first time) and Ginsberg, and Elena Kagan may not be so lackluster. Clinton had wanted to appoint Mario Cuomo (to get him out of the way for 1996, having failed to kill him with the World Trade Center bombing, since Cuomo didn’t show up in that garage at his usual time)
    and probably persuaded Justice white to retire (via Ted Kennedy) to create such a vacancy.

    Mario Cuomo didn’t take Clinton’s phone call for a week.

    Truman’s justices weren’t so good, but maybe he was a B. Harding may have appointed one A (Taft, although he was a political justice) and also Coolidge.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  12. Comment by Joe (debac0) — 4/30/2014 @ 11:33 am

    Both Sterling and Bundy are showing signs of dementia. Are they the best examples of racism in this country.

    Yes!

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  13. In short, Toobin’s argument will play well with his New Yorker readers, who take their knee-jerk leftism as a given, and are unaccustomed to being challenged on their political beliefs, ever. But to the rest of us, Jeff Toobin is a lazy hack — and worse, he’s boring, because soporific and sophomoric screeds like his are everywhere, threatening to put readers to sleep the second they start reading.

    +1000

    in_awe (f409c4)

  14. This entire Sterling circus is so absurd it resembles a Marx Brothers script. It no longer matters what you do (hire blacks, be friends with blacks, have black girlfriends) it only matters what you THINK. If you treat blacks (insert the pitiful minority of your choice) with dignity and respect, it just isn’t good enough if you happen to also think you are just a bit better than they are. And of course thinking we are better than the next guy (short, fat, black, white, Yankees fans, nerds from Ohio whatever) NEVER happens right? Right.

    Mark Johnson (38989d)

  15. #12: Clinton had wanted to appoint Mario Cuomo (to get him out of the way for 1996, having failed to kill him with the World Trade Center bombing, since Cuomo didn’t show up in that garage at his usual time)

    Sammy, all I can say is WOW!!!

    Kevin M (131754)

  16. There is no excuse for Sterling other than his generation was the last to grow up with socially unquestioned racism.

    Bundy, on the other hand lives in the back of beyond, not the Emerald City, so he probably isn’t as up on politically-correct thought as he might like.

    Kevin M (131754)

  17. Has anyone seen the MFM report on Sterling’s politics?

    JD (3273b9)

  18. Well, he did donate to a bunch of Dems, and Dem causes.

    askeptic (8ecc78)


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