WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13, 2022
...to ponder the case of Tim Scott: "Is it possible that our imploding national culture has reached an inflection point?"
We turned to the analysts and posed that question after scanning The Atlantic's web site this morning. Starting with the site's featured essay, here are five of the first dozen items to which links were provided:
“There’s No End to the Grief”
COVID is now the third leading cause of death—and therefore the third leading cause of grief—in the United States.
These Dreadful Days
MARISA RENEE LEE
Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid
It’s not just a phase.
Why American Teens Are So Sad
Those titles appear among the dozen essays which top the front page of the magazine's front page. Even worse, we had already read other essays, reports and columns at other major liberal and mainstream sites
To cite one example, we had already read Colbert King's column, in the Washington Post, about Senator Tim Scott (R-SC).
King, who is deeply experienced, tends toward being deeply sober. That said, he has little use for the way Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was treated at her recent confirmation hearings.
Mostly, though, the columnist seems to have little use for Scott:
KING (4/12/22): Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman confirmed to serve on the Supreme Court, has a well-earned place in history. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) also deserves a footnote at the end of her story. The first African American senator to represent a southern state since 1881, Scott voted against Jackson’s elevation to the highest court in the land.
[Scott] will go down in history for what he didn’t say or do when the moment arose.
As the sole Black member in the Senate Republican caucus, Scott stood by as his GOP colleagues harangued, besmirched and badgered a well-qualified, widely respected Black woman with untruthful smears and bad faith attacks. Before Jackson’s confirmation hearing, Scott said he looked forward to “a respectful and thorough hearing process.” But when the bullying got started, Scott went missing.
Later, King refers to "the shocking insults directed [Jackson's] way" by "her attackers." Returning to his assessment of Scott, columnist King went on to offer this:
KING: Jackson was disowned by someone who looks like her and who now claims victimhood for himself.
Referring to the other Republican senator from South Carolina, MSNBC Host Joy Reid tweeted that Scott let Lindsey O. Graham “& the sheriffs dog-walk him” when it came to police reform and is going along with Graham’s “barking-dog racism” on opposing Jackson.
Scott labeled the criticism “vile” and “offensive” for suggesting “that a Black man cannot think for himself. I have to follow somebody else. That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” he said. “It reinforces the liberal elites’ approach to minorities who will not fall in line and do what they tell us to do.”
King is 82 years of age. He has had a high-end career in government, business and journalism.
With a few scripted stumbles along the way, King has tended toward sobriety in his several decades at the Post. In the passage posted above, he is quoting Joy Reid as she aggressively Uncle Toms the black senator who dared to vote against a black nominee to a very high post.
(In recent weeks, Tucker Carlson has returned to ridiculing Reid for the apparently ridiculous episode in which she claimed that her own past homophobic blog posts had surely been written by someone else. In today's climate, Reid's insults are close enough for tribal messaging work, even in King's assessment.)
As we've noted, we had a different reaction to the treatment of Judge Jackson. On balance, we didn't think the questioning was especially "shocking." Beyond that, we were disappointed by the extent to which Jackson repeatedly chose to evade some perfectly straightforward questions.
King doesn't give examples of the ways Jackson was "besmirched with untruthful smears" during the questioning. By the norms of Senate hearings, we wouldn't say, on balance, that Jackson was "bullied" in any obvious way, or that she was subjected to "shocking insults."
"Barking-dog" or otherwise, we didn't think that Graham put any obvious racism on display for Scott to go along with.
That said, we've reached a point, in our tribal messaging wars, where Pretty Much Anything Goes. Our nation, such as it was, has already split (at least) in two.
On balance, it's All Over Now But the Storylines. The more colorful the claims the better!
We can't explain Senator Scott's view of the world. If we lived in South Carolina, we wouldn't be voting for Scott.
That said, we have a different view of Senator Scott that the one Reid spat out in rather typical fashion. We also think that King's new column for the Post, in which he seconds Reid's overt racial insults, is a hundred times more "shocking" than the questioning Jackson endured.
(Do those insults "reinforce the liberal elites’ approach?" It's hard to say Scott has that wrong!)
During the confirmation hearings, Judge Jackson won our support with a superb, apparently extemporaneous statement about the way children should be treated in school. Her own children have attended Georgetown Day, where she sits on the board.
As Senator Booker pointed out, Judge Jackson is a "double Harvard." Our tribal elites tend to worry about the treatment of such people, though we rush to note that this preference is manifestly not Judge Jackson's doing or fault.
Everywhere we've looked in the past few weeks, we've seen a nation imploding. That has nowhere been more true than in the nearly hysterical way our own failing tribe's elites have reacted to the Jackson hearings.
Right from the jump, CNN's haughiest pundit declared the questioning to be "shocking." It was especially "much," this particular "single Princeton" said, that Senator Graham, who is white, had dared to question Jackson.
You simply can't run a nation this way. At this point, our failed tribe barely tries.
We don't know why Scott sees the world as he does. As a matter of fact, we don't know how he sees the world. We don't know to what extent his vote against Judge Jackson was offered in good faith.
We do know this:
King is one of the very few people within the mainstream press who goes out of his way to express concern about low-income urban kids. We're all concerned about the double Harvards, much less so about those dregs of the underclass.
Tomorrow, we'll try to return to our scheduled postings about the world of the double (or triple) Harvards. Within our tribe, we currently leave no affirmation of such people behind. We'll even repeat such stirring defenses as the ones which emerged from Reid.
On the other hand, those low-income kids can go hang in the yard. This is pretty much who we are. It's pretty much who we've been over the past fifty years.
Is this one of the ways we give away votes? Dearest darlings! Of course it is!
Tomorrow: We'll attempt to try