HOW WE GOT HERE: How did Justice Alito get on the Court?

TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2022

Perhaps through a bit of Kung Fu: "Grasshopper," the visitor said—and it must be said that he looked a great deal like the late actor Keye Luke. Or possibly even Dean Jagger!

"Grasshopper," our visitor said. "The light we see from distant stars is actually very old." 

The visitor had been introduced by spokespersons from Future Anthropologists Huddled in Caves, an inconsolable group of disconsolate scholars who report to us through the nocturnal submissions the haters refer to as dreams.

These despondent experts report from the future, but some of their guests may discuss events from the past. And so it was last night.

This morning, we checked to see if the ABC series, Kung Fu, was still on the air at this juncture. As it turns out, the program's third and final season seems to have ended in 1975!

That said, we sensed what our Luke look-alike was suggesting we tell you about. He was making reference to one of the ways our flailing blue tribe managed to find our way to last Friday's vast defeat.

In this case, he was directing us to the way Justice Alito got on the Supreme Court in the first place. We flashed to the first Bush-Gore debate, when Candidate Gore said this:

GORE (10/3/20): The main issue is whether or not the Roe v. Wade decision is going to be overturned. I support a woman’s right to choose. My opponent does not. It is important because the next president is going to appoint three and maybe even four justices of the Supreme Court, and Governor Bush has declared to the anti-choice groups that he will appoint justices in the mold of Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who are known for being the most vigorous opponents of a woman’s right to choose. 

Here is the difference. He trusts the government to order a woman to do what it thinks she ought to do. I trust women to make the decisions that affect their lives, their destinies and their bodies. And I think a woman’s right to choose ought to be protected and defended.

Whatever your view of these matters might be, that's what the candidate said.

As usual, Gore was lying. As it turned out, the next president didn't appoint "three and maybe even four justices of the Supreme Court." 

Nor did the next president "appoint" anyone to the Court at all! Presidents merely nominate people for the Supreme Court. The Senate then has to confirm.

As usual, the candidate was lying. The mainstream press corps—the people we blue tribe members trust—had invented and established this poisonous Storyline over the prior two years.

That said, despite his inveterate lying, the candidate made some statements at this debate which turned out to be accurate! As of last Friday morning, the light from these statements reached us from a 22-year-old star:

GORE: In my view, the Constitution ought to be interpreted as a document that grows with our country and our history. And I believe, for example, that there is a right of privacy in the Fourth Amendment. And when the phrase "a strict constructionist" is used, and when the names of Scalia and Thomas are used as the benchmarks for who would be appointed, those are code words, and nobody should mistake this, for saying the governor would appoint people who would overturn Roe v. Wade. 


You know, this is a very important issue, because a lot of young women in this country take this right for granted and it could be lost. It is on the ballot in this election, make no mistake about it.

You can watch the whole discussion of this topic from that first Bush-Gore debate. Just click here, then move ahead to the 26-minute mark.

As it turned out, that next president, George W. Bush, hadn't won the nationwide popular vote. Through a bit of a jujitsu move—possibly through some bits of Kung Fu in the Sunshine State—he had still ended up in the White House.

Also this:

That next president didn't appoint three or four members to the Supreme Court. He did nominate Samuel Alito, the fellow who wrote the opinion which overturned Roe v. Wade.

In that sense, the story of how we reached this place starts with that ancient election. It starts with the crazy way that election was covered—the crazy way it was covered by our own alleged tribal allies in the upper-end mainstream press.

The Crazy has been quite widespread in recent years within our national discourse. In truth, a lot of The Crazy was already present during that 2000 campaign, starting in March 1999.

Early this morning, we quickly realized that last night's guest was directing us to this ancient event. A great deal of light emerges from the coverage of Campaign 2000, but little of that blinding light has reached the eyes of our tribe.

According to this news report, some of our tribe's current thought leaders want the current president to establish abortion clinics "on the edge of national parks!" 

Is it even dimly possible that, on the rarest of occasions, we in our famously self-impressed tribe may have helped facilitate the process by which we have, at long last, finally come to this place?

Tomorrow: A very unusual profile


  1. Here is some actual media criticism of the different ways Democrats and Republicans are treated by the mainstream media:

    1. It is a good piece, it is exactly the same thing I have been saying here for years, in response to Somerby's "can't we all get along" nonsense.

      We need to recognize that it is all about psychology for Republicans, their one true God is: dominance.

  2. Somerby says: "This morning, we checked to see if the ABC series, Kung Fu, was still on the air at this juncture. As it turns out, the program's third and final season seems to have ended in 1975!"

    Perhaps he was unable to find the remake because the main character is now female:

    "Kung Fu is an American martial arts action-adventure television series that premiered on The CW on April 7, 2021. Set in the present, it is an adaptation of the 1970s series of the same title. It is produced by Warner Bros. Television, as was the original series and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues."

  3. Yes, we wouldn't have Alito if Gore had won. Too bad he didn't run a better campaign. Too bad he didn't fight for his victory, challenging the vote count in FL. Too bad he gave up on politics after conceding to Bush, abandoning the people he claimed he wished to serve.

    And too bad Somerby doesn't mention that had he and the Bernie bros supported Hillary, she might not have lost to Trump and we wouldn't have Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett on the court. Clinton too supported women's right to a safe and legal abortion. But Somerby pushed Trump's interests instead, by knocking Democrats at every opportunity, just as he has been doing since Trump announced his candidacy. Back in the days when he didn't talk about Trump's birtherism, but talked about what a failed candidate Hillary was, even though she won the popular vote by far more than Gore did.

    Crickets from Somerby about what happened in 2016, and his role in it. As far as Somerby is concerned, there is no candidate but Gore and we all let Somerby/Gore down by each casting only one vote for Gore. Does Somerby think it is the blue tribe's fault that Gore ran a bad campaign and didn't fight for his victory? What could we have done differently?


  4. Regardless of who was or wasn't appointed/nominated by whom, it's plain obvious and clearly evident that there's nothing in the US constitution that makes abortion on demand a "right".

    Can we agree on that, dear Bob? Can we?

    And if indeed we can, then what follows is that your tribe's psychopathic shamans have been -- and still are! -- engaged in tendentious misinterpretation of the US constitution.

    Lies and demagoguery, dear Bob, lies and demagoguery -- your tribe's only talent...

    1. Knives are out for RBG who publicly and often recognized there was nothing cited in Roe that made abortion a "constitutional right."

    2. The decision was 6-3. If RBG had retired and been replaced by a liberal justice (which might not have happened, given Garland's treatment), the decision to overturn would have been 5-4, still a majority. The problem was the 3 justices appointed by Trump, not RBG's decision not to treat her lifetime appointment as a political football.

  5. If Democrats weren't racist and sexist "the most qualified woman in history" would have become president in 2008 with VP Obama who would have trounced Trump in 2016.

    1. Hillary is more qualified than most male candidates for the presidency too, including Obama. Her treatment at the nominating convention, where her votes were not counted and Obama was rammed through as a historic candidate (as if the first woman nominee would not be historic in her own right), was a slap in the face to those supporting Hillary. In 2015, the Bernie Bros used Republican talking points and sexist tropes to attack Hillary, joined by the NY Times, who printed scurrilous right wing attacks without substance:

      Never has a candidate received such unfair treatment, including Benghazi hearings, obsession with her emails, hacked and leaked Podesta emails, a social media smear campaign orchestrated by Russia, Comey's October letter, and much more. Not a peep from Somerby about any of this, much worse treatment than anything that happened to Al Gore, except to call her a failed candidate and blame her for her own troubles, even though she ultimately won more popular votes than any candidate (until Biden) and defeated Trump except for the campaign meddling to win the electoral college.

      And we would not have those three Catholic right-wing justices appointed by Trump, had Hillary been given the same support as any other candidate and won in three blue states (WI, MI, PA) where the bros stayed home, black vote was suppressed and Jill Stein attracted male left-wing voters who would not support Hillary.

      Would Trump have won had the Democrats not supported a female candidate? Probably not. But he also wouldn't have run if Obama hadn't insulted him at the Correspondent's Dinner (by his own admission) and he wouldn't have had as much white reactionary support if Obama had not been black. Note that Trump spent his entire term in office rolling back every accomplishment of Obama and encouraging white supremacists to organize and direct their violence against minorities.

      Progress has a cost. The reactionaries who resist progress are responsible for both Hillary's loss and Trump's win. Somerby's reaction has been to abandon any commitment to fairness, justice, equality, and to retreat to misogyny and racial bigotry. I hold him responsible for this overturning of Roe v Wade, because reactions like his are what put Trump into office, and because his own activities to support Trump have been blatant and obvious here, while he has doubled down on hating women, especially those who are successful, as Hillary is.

    2. Misogyny played no significant role whatever in Hillary Clinton’s two defeats as a presidential candidate. This claim is such a crock! What a gross exploitation of feminism—in the service of an unaccomplished woman whose entire career was spent attached to her husband’s coat tails. Hillary was handed job after job but produced no tangible results in any of them—except of course for her destabilization of North Africa during her rocky tenure as secretary of state. And for all her lip service to women and children, what program serving their needs did Hillary ever conceive and promote? She routinely signed on to other people’s programs or legislative bills but spent the bulk of her time in fundraising and networking for her own personal ambitions. Beyond that, I fail to see how authentic feminism can ever be ascribed to a woman who turned a blind eye to the victims of her husband’s serial abuse and workplace seductions. The hypocrisy of feminist leaders was on full display during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, which incontrovertibly demonstrated Bill Clinton’s gross violation of basic sexual harassment policy for his squalid and unethical behavior with an intern whose life (it is now clear) he ruined.

    3. No misogyny at all.
      Voters just wanted someone who wouldn’t favor the rich over the working class. So they voted for a guy who has used his financial leverage to stiff contractors for over four decades.
      That, and HC wasn’t a big enough bigot for them.

    4. Ie. they voted for the only person of the two who spoke to trade and economic disparity issues and the only person of the two who spoke frankly about issues of class.

    5. It doesn’t count as discussing trade and economic issues if they’re lying.

    6. I hate to tell you but it does and it did. Sorry.

    7. Republicans only talk about culture war issues, such as teaching CRT in preschools and banning comic books about mice.

  6. "According to this news report, some of our tribe's current thought leaders want the current president to establish abortion clinics "on the edge of national parks!"

    Is it even dimly possible that, on the rarest of occasions, we in our famously self-impressed tribe may have helped facilitate the process by which we have, at long last, finally come to this place?"

    No, and the more Somerby calls liberals "self-impressed," the more he displays his animosity toward us. WE didn't let Gore down. Gore had plenty of his own baggage. He decided to add Lieberman to his ticket, a person who had sanctimoniously attacked Bill Clinton during his troubles with the Republicans over Monica Lewinsky. He chose to run without talking about the accomplishments of the Clinton terms. His own White House fund-raising scandal and the scandal over Chinese bundling of foreign contributions to his campaign. His moderate stands on issues. Tipper Gore's war on rock'n'roll, which made her a laughing stock among younger voters. His stiffness and clumsiness as a campaigner. None of this was the fault of the media.

    Gore lost his own election, but Somerby still blames the press for laughing at him and disliking him as a candidate. Somerby could blame George Bush, who lied about his positions on issues, skipped out on his military service, had poor grades in college and a DUI for drug use (Gore took the high road and never attacked Bush's weaknesses). But instead, Somerby seems to be blaming the people who voted for Gore, liberals, and the press (whose job is not to help elect anyone) for disliking Gore on a personal level.

    Somerby seems to have made this a defining issue in his life. It is sad that Somerby, who never expresses actual opinions about issues himself, has become such an obsessed person when it comes to Gore. Gore made a great movie that helped shift public opinion about climate change, but what else has he done that warrants such devotion? Nothing, except whatever personal moments occurred between Somerby and Gore as roomies at Harvard. But apparently Gore made a big impression then, because Somerby seems unable to shut up about him, even after so many years.

    In the final analysis, Alito did what he did because he is Alito and a messed up person, not because we liberals voted for Gore but too many others voted for Bush. Why doesn't Somerby spend his waning hours chiding all those Others who didn't vote for his buddy Gore?

  7. It is harder for many people to get to national parks than to get to another state.

    1. Why couldn't they just sell abortion pills in the many federal buildings? Or consulates? Aren't those federal land too?