When it comes to Supreme Court justices and their views of the Constitution, on the one hand there’s Clarence Thomas, and on the other there’s everyone else in the 227-year history of the Court, suggested CNN and New Yorker legal analyst Toobin in a Tuesday piece. Toobin called Thomas, who just marked a quarter-century as a SCOTUS justice, “not a conservative but, rather, a radical” who’s driven to advance “his own idiosyncratic interpretation of the Constitution.” Thomas’s jurisprudence is, in Toobin’s words, “reactionary” and “antediluvian.”
NewsBusters Executive Editor Tim Graham appeared Monday night on the Fox Business program Risk and Reward to discuss the media's new spin that the election is now over and Hillary Clinton is looking ahead to being president. Graham lamented the early declaration of a Hillary victory, that the media is playing "a Jedi mind trick" and working to create a "self-fulfilling prophecy" for the Democrats.
Is the presidential campaign driving you crazy? Ben Collins knows someone who might be able to help. Collins recently interviewed perhaps “the only sane man writing about politics” on Facebook, and tells us that the experience was “like therapy.” Collins’s inadvertent therapist: former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather. As Collins indicated, for more than a year Rather, galvanized by Donald Trump’s candidacy, has been commenting on his Facebook page about the race for the White House. As he explained to Collins, “I just said, What the hell. I want to be myself…I want to do the kind of journalism I was trained to do in the tradition I grew up -- the Murrow tradition, the CBS tradition.”
Monday’s NBC Nightly News led off with anchor Lester Holt decrying the “dark consequences” of Donald Trump’s “fiery and unsupported” warnings of a “rigged” election next month, and on Tuesday morning, MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin labeled Trump’s concerns “dangerous.” But back in 2004, NBC’s cable network MSNBC was the leader in casting doubt on the legitimacy of an election outcome, as then-8pm host Keith Olbermann spent night after night venting loopy left-wing fantasies about how President George W. Bush had supposedly stolen the election from John Kerry.
Are black Republicans Sen. Tim Scott and Reps. Mia Love and Will Hurd on the wrong side of the aisle? In a sense, they are, according to Jamelle Bouie, who argued in a Sunday piece that the conservatism central to the GOP is “fundamentally at odds with America’s people of color.” Bouie wrote that “no matter the temperamental affinities that might exist between some nonwhites and the Republican Party, attempts to bring them into the fold inevitably run up against a key reality: that movement conservatism—the starve-the-beast, libertarian mode that dominates contemporary Republican politics—is a white ideology."
NBC’s Timeless began its third episode, “Atomic City,” by excusing the acts of one of John F. Kennedy’s mistresses because she demonstrated girl power during a tough time for women.
For almost two hundred and twenty years, every president of the United States was white and male. If Hillary Clinton serves two full terms as president, that will make it sixteen years without a white guy in the White House. The prospect of that discrepancy explains Republicans’ choice of Donald Trump as their nominee, contends Jeet Heer. “By making Trump the face of the party,” wrote Heer in a Friday piece, “the Republicans are saying, ‘Our answer to the diversity of the Democratic Party is a white man who knows how to keep women and racial minorities in their place.’”
President Obama spent a fairly large chunk of his Thursday speech in Columbus, Ohio needling conservatives and Republicans, alleging, among other things, that GOPers have “been feeding their base all kinds of crazy for years.” Esquire’s Pierce called it the speech he’d “been waiting for someone to give ever since Donald Trump became the Republican nominee” and gushed, “There were no words minced and no quarter given. By the time [Obama] left the stage, there was no ass he aimed for that went unkicked.” Republicans, Pierce charged, “have become a chronic danger to American democratic government and it's time for a serious intervention.”
As a rule, liberals think that most criticism of Hillary Clinton is invalid. Michael Tomasky has dared to put a number on “most.” In a Tuesday column, Tomasky wrote, “I’d say that around 80 percent of what you’ve read about [Hillary] over the years is simply false. It didn’t happen the way it was presented, or a lot of the time it didn’t happen at all. And she has long since even stopped trying to correct the record in many cases, figuring it’s just no use.”
NBC’s Timeless aired its pilot episode Monday night and proved that history can be changed but the topic of racism will never stop being exploited on television.
Unlike a lot of his fellow liberals, Jonathan Chait doesn’t believe presidential-debate moderators should be on-camera fact-checkers, but Chait’s reason for opposing the idea is unambiguously anti-conservative. In an item posted a few hours prior to Monday night’s Clinton-Trump clash, Chait argued that the way Republicans dealt with Candy Crowley’s intervention in a 2012 Romney-Obama debate “suggests the party would never tolerate such a role by the media on an ongoing basis,” given that “the GOP exists within an epistemic bubble that creates its own reality and disregards the findings of mainstream experts in economics, science, and other fields…Conservatives created this alternate ecosystem precisely to insulate their side from scrutiny from journalists who were not working within the conservative movement. And the simple reality is that, if debates become forums for media to subject candidate claims to fact-checking by the standards of independent arbiters, Republicans will refuse to participate in them.”
A current hot topic in campaign coverage is Hillary Clinton’s underperformance among millennials, an unusually large number of whom favor the second-tier candidates, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. Brian Beutler thinks those 18-to-29-year-olds who aren’t #WithHer don’t grasp what happened the last time a significant portion of the left was lukewarm about the Democratic nominee: 2000, when lefty votes for Ralph Nader cost Al Gore the White House. Should some millennials’ non-support of Clinton lead to a Donald Trump presidency, argued Beutler, “it will be the consequence of a liberal failure to build an oral tradition around the Bush administration…[the] plutocratic fiscal policy; the 9/11 intelligence failure; the war of choice in Iraq sold with false intelligence and launched without an occupation plan; the malpractice that killed hundreds in New Orleans; the scandalousness that makes the fainting couch routine over Clinton’s emails seem Oscar-worthy; and finally to the laissez-faire regulatory regime and ensuing financial crisis that continues to shape the economic lives of young voters to this day.”