Our team is very, very dumb!


Greetings from the pre-rational animal: Was there anything wrong with Biden's pledge—with his pledge to nominate a black woman for the Supreme Court?

Not necessarily, no. Was his pledge an act of perfect societal brilliance? Not necessarily yes.

At that point, along comes Blow, determined to state the tribal script for the ten millionth time. He tends to submit his columns in all caps. Editors lower-case them down.

In his new column today, Blow notes what no one else has been willing or able to remember or say. Fot a long time, especially long ago, only (upper-class) white man needed to apply! 

No one else has uncovered, remembered or stated this forgotten fact. Then the logic kicks in:

BLOW (1/31/22): The irony here is that Ronald Reagan, the Republicans’ patron saint before the rise of Trump, made a similar promise in 1980 when he was in trouble with women for not supporting the Equal Rights Amendment. He promised to nominate a woman—again the word “white” was silent—and that’s how we got Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

[The always ridiculous Ben] Carson wasn’t the only conservative making a fuss about Biden and identity politics. Tucker Carlson also railed against the impending pick, saying, “Biden claims that his race counting is essential so that the court and the rest of his administration, quote, ‘looks like America.’” He continued, “Of all the lies that Joe Biden tells, this could be the easiest to check. We have the latest census numbers, and we can promise you with dead certainty that Joe Biden’s nominees look nothing like America, not even close.” Instead, Carlson said, a Black woman nominee will “represent about 7 percent of the population.”

I say, look at it another way.

Of the 115 justices who have served on the bench since 1789, 108—roughly 94 percent—have been white men. Zero percent have been Black women.

Viewed this way, through the long sweep of American history, the United States has some work to do.

Reagan pledged to nominate a woman? No one else has said that!

The always ridiculous Ben Carson is almost always ridiculous. In this case, Tucker Carlson at least managed to the get numbers pretty much right.

Regarding the alternate way Blow looks at it, we would only say this:

It's true! It's true that, since 1798, zero percent of Supreme Court Justices have been black women.

It's also true that zero percent have been Hispanic men. Also, zero percent have been Asian-Americans, whether women or men.  Within that demographic, gender doesn't matter. 

The same is true of Native Americans, the subgroup of longest standing. Zero percent of Supreme Court Justices have been Native Americans. There have been no Native American women, no Native American men.

There was nothing "wrong" with what Biden did. It also wasn't necessarily the perfectly right thing to do. 

No one is required to think it was the best way to proceed. But within our failing national culture, you can be fairly sure that almost everything you hear about Biden's decision is going to be dumb—selective, illogical, overstated, possibly loud and overwrought.

When it comes to a matter like, there is no type of bean-counting which can solve or nullify the historical problem of proportional representation on a nine-member body. There is no statistical way to square this particular circle.

There is no way to bean-count your way to some perfect resolution of this matter. That said, we can tell you this:

Our blue tribe is, on balance, very, very dumb. Our reasoning skills barely exist. We're cruelly tethered to narrative. We're the spawn of preferred Storyline.

"Man [sic] is the rational animal," Aristotle is widely said to have said. He'd never read the New York Times. He had never watched cable news—not our channels, not theirs. He wasn't able to observe the work of either tribe in this, the era of Trump and anti-Trump. 

In fact, we humans are the script-reading animal—the animal tethered to script. We're told this on a nightly basis by disconsolate major experts who report to us from the future. They speak to us through the nocturnal submissions the haters refer to as dreams.

Our team is very, very dumb. You'll very rarely be shocked, surprised, disappointed if that's all you expect.

Other bean-counting procedures: We strongly recommend Jay Caspian Kang's essay on the type of bean-counting which now controls admission to highly "selective" colleges. Headline:

"It’s Time for an Honest Conversation About Affirmative Action"

Kang covers some important points. We think he may have omitted one, which we hope to cite in the future.


  1. "Was there anything wrong with Biden's pledge—with his pledge to nominate a black woman for the Supreme Court?

    Not necessarily, no."

    Well, except that it's patently racists, sexist, and (arguably) unconstitutional.

    ...but other than that, dear Bob, you're right: not necessarily, no.

    ...as for Mr Reagan's and other similar promises, see this, from Jonathan Turley: The Gipper Model? Biden’s Pledge to Appoint a Black Female Justice Has Liberals Citing Reagan

    1. Okay so Reagan said "one of the first" appointees would be a woman.

      He ended up appointing four. So I guess the comparison is a bit unfair.

    2. Apparently Mr Turley feels that selection a woman (if there are any) from a list of fully qualified candidates of both genders (sorry, all 69 genders) is acceptable --- while declaring that undesirable 'races' and genders simply won't be considered, is not.

      But hey, this is the brave new world, and Mr Turley is being, perhaps, one of those dreaded "conservative"...

    3. Turley is right. Especially since none of the black woman candidates were even put on the Official Approved List certified by the Federalist Society.

    4. The president gets to appoint whoever he wants. It has always been that way.

      This isn't a civil service job. It is a political job in which the president chooses someone who is most compatible with his political views and his play for the nation, his idea of what would most benefit the people. As the duly elected President of the United States, it is Biden's Duty and Responsibility to make this choice -- not some group of list makers and certainly not the conservative press.

    5. plan for the nation

    6. I think it would be very good for our nation, racially speaking, to see that a black female justice can carry out the duties of a supreme court justice, at least as well as Clarence Thomas, not to mention Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.

    7. That means such things are primarily dependent upon skills rather than skin color.

      However, if you insist, how about Condoleezza Rice?

    8. That the Right is furious Biden isn't explicitly choosing (yet another) sexual predator to put on the Supreme Court is super on brand.

  2. Appointing the first black was a big deal, as was appointing the first woman. They were ground-breaking. Appointing the 2nd black, Justice Thomas, wasn't such a big deal. The ground was already broken.

    Appointing the 3rd black and the 6th(?) woman isn't comparable to the 1st black or the 1st woman.

    1. It's a big deal because it would be the first black woman.

    2. Appointing the first black conservative wasn't a big deal? Also the first black sexual harrasser. That seems like new ground to me.

      As a woman, I don't consider all women to be alike. But I realize this is a hard concept for men to get.

    3. “ As a woman, I don't consider all women to be alike. But I realize this is a hard concept for men to get”

      Are you kidding?

      There’s not a soul alive that doesn’t understand that by “ different” you mean that black women aren’t all liberal.

    4. David,
      You win the internet by insisting Biden choose the first atheist to be put on the Supreme Court.

      Also, expanding the number of justices on the court, will provide a better opportunity to get a SCOTUS more representative of the US citizenry.

  3. Somerby points out that various identity groups have been oppressed, and then weirdly says "our team is dumb"? For supporting justice for the oppressed, what? With Somerby, are we looking at dementia?

    1. It's not "justice for the oppressed", because blacks are not oppressed. Some other blacks were oppressed in the past, but their oppression can't be remediated, because they're not around. None of the black women being considered for the SCOTUS were oppressed.

    2. BTW @5:32, some may feel that black Justices represent other blacks. This is a dangerous mode of thought. Justices are supposed to represent justice and law, not any particular ethnic group.

    3. You are using the term "represent" in an unusual way here David. Justices uphold the law and make judgments to achieve justice but they don't "represent" justice or law. Their verdicts might.

      From the standpoint of representation, a justice who brings into consideration facts relevant to or affecting blacks or other groups will achieve a verdict that is better for all groups, including white people. ALL justices serve the country as a whole.

      It is too bad that white men and women don't recognize that the good of all citizens is important to them too because we rise and fall as a nation, not as distinct interest groups. No one is free is any of us is in chains, no one is rich if any of us is poor, etc etc etc.

      Republicans aren't taught to think of us all as the people of a unified nation. That's why the Southern states felt free to go off on their own and there are folks in Idaho and Texas who want to be sovereign nations separate from their fellow Americans.

    4. There are currently oppressed black people David. Your belief that they don't exist suggests either extreme ignorance or bad faith argument.

      Personally, I think that any child who is denied the opportunity to read Maus is being oppressed. But maybe having textbooks is more important, not to mention school infrastructure, good teachers, and an opportunity to learn on a par with white children and middle class school districts.

      The idiocy of saying that various forms of oppression no longer exist boggles the mind. It makes me want to say bad things about conservatives, but I am using restraint.

    5. @8:35 -- Depending on how you define oppression, there are oppressed people of every race. So, what does that have to do with today's SCOTUS makeup?

      If you think censoring Maus is oppression, would you agree that censoring Joe Rogan constitutes oppression? The New York Times refuses to publish articles by Thomas Sowell, probably the country's leading conservative thinker. Is Sowell oppressed? Are Times readers, who are deprived of Sowell, oppressed? Are college students oppressed when rioters prevent certain conservatives from speaking on campus?

      I have a black cousin with the same name as mine. David went to Princeton. He has a good job as a computer expert. He's raising a family in Jersey City. Is David in NJ oppressed? If he were on the Supreme Court, would his decisions be different from a white or Asian or Hispanic Princeton graduate?

    6. Maus won a Pulitzer prize and has educational value to children who should learn about the Holocaust. What has Joe Rogan contributed to society that would offset the damage done by the covid misinformation presented on his shows?

      But oppression concerns human rights guaranteed by our Constitution. A black person would be oppressed by obstacles that deny him the vote. White people who encounter such obstacles would be oppressed too, but the measures being put into place have a greater impact on black than white voters. The Supreme Court should prevent that from happening, but it remains to be seen whether they will step up and overturn the laws disadvantaging black voters in relation to white ones.

      There is no right enumerated in the Constitution concerning Thomas Sowell and the NY Times. He has a first ammendment right to publish his own writings, but there is none requiring anyone else to do so. I don't think Sowell is as important to our culture as Maus, and the Pulitzer Prize Committee has agreed with me about that.

      The existence of one non-oppressed black person, with or without your name, doesn't mean that no black people are oppressed. You haven't told us what he thinks of Thomas Sowell. I would wager good money that his impressions would be different than those of people from various other backgrounds, even at Princeton. However, his legal judgments should be based on law as well as his life experience. The difference in life experience is displayed in the questions asked about the implications and consequences of the law as applied to people's lives. Each of the justices tends to ask different questions and bring different perspectives to the bench. That's why it is too bad that those who are female, black, disabled, poor, or otherwise diverse, aren't there to have their views inform the decision-making. I think Somerby's suggestion that Asian Americans and American Indians be represented on the supreme court is a good one. I hope to see it implemented soon and look forward to Somerby's advocacy on that issue!

    7. These anonymouse posts as to how racial experiences as to judicial deliberation is so inspiring.

      Makes you wonder why Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen, and Miguel Estrada weren’t so cherished.

    8. Veronica, why didn’t you start by asking David for evidence that the NYT won’t run anything by Sowell rather than not running his weekly column?

      That doesn’t matter to you, so let’s just take David’s statement as fact (as you did).

      Any kid in America can read Maus, provided that they have the necessary level of reading skills and parents who put more emphasis on buying that book, rather than the latest pair of Nikes.

      Given what we’ve seen concerning the fixation of our elites as to who should be eligible to enter the most challenging of public’s schools (as opposed to their concern about regular schools) and the daily info given by the NYT as to their most read articles, you would be right to be pessimistic.

      The level of intellectualism at the NYT is not the fault of Sowell or Youngkin.

      Still, any parent who doesn’t object to their kids seeing a woman committing suicide while nude in a bathroom or to salty language can get that acclaimed book.

      It may be approved in some school systems for high schoolers.

      Thomas Sowell is a highly credentialed scholar, economist, best-seller, and iconoclast.

      Sowell is the voice of a particular outlier cohort and the vaulted NYT, which guides the media in its focus on what is worthy of the national discussion, (ostensibly) won’t run this Africa-American well-reasoned voice.

      That would be just okey-dokey cuz Sowell can publish elsewhere?

      Get some freaking perspective rather than your self-indulgent toddler my-way-or-the-highway mentality tripe.

    9. Blacks are being oppressed today, but we can't remediate that because of qualified immunity.

    10. Any child with good parents can learn that Republicans only care about bigotry and white grievance, and that EVERYTHING else is negotiable.

      They shouldn't expect the corporate-owned Right-wing media (NY Times and the rest) to teach them that. In fact, they should only expect the mainstream media to deny this obvious fact, because the MSM is obviously in the bag for the Republican Party.

    11. Anonymouse 10:59am, you’re going to have to expand the number of your pariahs.


    12. So NOW you want the government to be run to please the citizens? Do Mao's friends in the Establishment elite know you are spreading this blasphemy?

    13. Cecelia,
      If what the citizenry wants is so important to you (and isn't just yet another bad faith argument made by a Rightie), come support the party that doesn't work overtime trying to suppress the votes of citizens.

    14. My point is that in order to vilify everyone who doesn’t share his opinion (nearly all demographics, according to the article) Anonymouse 10:59pm must do what he has started to do in his post- call the whole country evil Republicans without being specific as to who these people truly are.

    15. Have you told Mitch McConnell about what the citizens want?
      If so, has he stopped laughing at you yet?

    16. David, it is sad to have to explain this to you, but black people do very poorly. You make think it is genetics, that is called racism, but it is something well studied and it is due to oppression, not merely personal oppression, but institutional and systemic oppression.

    17. David must have gone to one of those very rare preschools that didn't teach CRT.

  4. "He tends to submit his columns in all caps. Editors lower-case them down."

    Somerby has no idea what Blow's columns look like before he submits them to his editor, nor does he know whether or how much or how his editor changes the draft submitted by Blow.

    Somerby just says this to disparage Blow, one of the people on his shit list. It is unclear whether Somerby dislikes Blow because he is black or because of the things he says, since Somerby never expresses cogent criticisms of Blow.

  5. "In this case, Tucker Carlson at least managed to the get numbers pretty much right."

    If Blow's numbers are wrong because there have been no American Indians or Asians on the Supreme Court, then so are Tucker Carlson's numbers wrong. The logic is the same in both cases.

    Somerby doesn't see it that way because he is inclined to support Carlson's math and wishes to discredit Blow's equally correct math.

    This is the way Somerby reveals his own motives, by affirming one set of self-serving figures while disparaging another, one that at least has more fairness on its side in terms of representativeness of the court's makeup. Carlson is only defending the status quo.

    Need I remind anyone that this status quo set of conservative justices is about to roll back women's health protections, voting rights, and a bunch of issues important to the underrepresented people of this nation?

  6. "There is no statistical way to square this particular circle."

    As Blow points out, there certainly is a way to square this circle if you take the long view. It is only when you consider 9 justices that proportionality appears impossible. If you look at all of the justices since the court's inception, you can achieve a better balance, if you are so minded.

    Blow's point was that our nation has never been minded to consider representation. It has always, until the recent past, selected justices to represent the power structure, which has consisted of white males. The change in the makeup of the court reflected the changes in our society but there can be little fairness when a court full of conservatives undoes whatever laws a more representational congress sees fit to pass.

    Somerby should understand that Carlson is not logically or morally correct. He represents the status quo, which means ensuring that white men stay in power, which is consistent with his white supremacist views, as explicitly stated on his show.

    But this is moot because the obvious answer to the proportionate representation quandary is to expand the court. Quotas are how India deals with its diversity situation. There is no reason not to try it here.

  7. "Our team is very, very dumb. You'll very rarely be shocked, surprised, disappointed if that's all you expect."

    Now here is the most ridiculous statement on the face of the earth.

    If I expect animals will never sing, talk or play the banjo, I'll never be disappointed either.

    If I expect that my boss will never pay me more than a nickel, I'll never be disappointed. If I expect the Avalanche to never score a goal, I'll be the happiest fan on earth. If I expect my friends to forget my existence, I'll be amazed and delighted each time they call.

    As a philosophy major, Somerby should have a better idea of the purpose of life than to construct one's thoughts in order to always avoid disappointment. Yes, it is an achievable goal, but at the cost of a severe distortion of reality.

    Facts at hand: (1) liberals tend to be more educated than conservatives, (2) to be educated, one must pass tests and have some smarts, (3) those who pursue more education tend to make more money and have more satisfying jobs in this country, (4) most parents encourage their kids to pursue that education in order to have better lives.

    Given all this, it seems fair to conclude that if there were more smarts on the right, there would be more educated people over there, but there aren't. It wouldn't be right to conclude that conservatives are not that smart, since they haven't educated themselves to the same extent as liberals, because there may be other obstacles to education, but it IS fair to conclude that liberals cannot be dumb dumb dumb, when their academic achievement alone precludes that.

    So, why is Somerby saying something that is untrue? You'd have to ask him, but I think he is just calling names out of hate, spite, or some other negative emotion that he will never own up to (given his belief that he is channeling MLK and Malala (who went to extremes to obtain her education and thus is probably not a conservative).

    P.S. Somerby is not on "our team". He was voted off at the last meeting for being too dumb, dumb, dumb. Now our group IQ is too high to make such a statement about it.

  8. All elements of the political media (right and left) play up the contentious, and no easier way to do that the go straight to race. The likely outcome is that Biden will get his appointment, and the make up of the Court stays the same. The rest is noise.
    In the meantime, President Trump doubled down on his freakish dementia this weekend it what sounded very much like he was willing to incite horrid violence once again. Bob had no interest in this or how it is covered. He is not very, very, very dumb. He is evil.