Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Reviewing A Review: Toobin On Thomas

Decisionism took the long weekend and visited the Fourth Circuit. This explains the lack of posts over the last few days. But the New Yorker provides excellent in-flight reading. And with its slowly expanding online presence, it provides some good blog posting opportunities, too.

This past week, Jeffrey Toobin reviewed Clarence Thomas’s memoir. Toobin implicitly raises an important issue: whether his own hatred of Thomas eclipses Thomas’s hatred of, well, everybody else. There’s little doubt that Thomas’s biography and his rightward views are often tough to reconcile. But Toobin can’t seem to control his inner liberal in this piece. Which is too bad, given that Toobin has in the past demonstrated an impressive ability to refrain from stepping all over himself in a genre where that’s quite an accomplishment. Of Thomas’s view that his race was a negative factor in his nomination to the Supreme Court, Toobin says “It is hard to tell whether this is self-delusion or dishonesty.” Toobin says that Thomas’s description of Anita Hill is “venomous and implausible.”

One would have thought that a Harvard-educated former Assistant U.S. Attorney would know better, would know to let the facts speak for themselves. But Clarence Thomas might be sort of like gambling and internet porn in that he causes impulse control problems.

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