Sunday, August 21, 2005

Rathergate anniversary - 18 days and counting - Supreme Court battles; Bork, Roberts and Thomas Sowell

Click here for previous updates on the Rathergate countdown and its significance.

Thomas Sowell's book, Personal Odyssey, provides additional insight into what went wrong with the Bork nomination in 1987, and how that disaster could have been avoided. Dr. Sowell noted the smear tactics used against Bork, particularly the charge that he opposed civil rights. Sowell undertook his own research:
I spent hours in the Stanford Law Library, looking up civil rights cases in which Bork had been involved as judge, or as an attorney before that. What I learned was the Bork had never voted against a minority plaintiff in a civil rights case as judge, and when he was an attorney he had appeared in more civil rights cases than any Supreme Court nominee since Thurgood Marshall. To look at the cases themselves in the law library, to see Robert Bork's name listed again and again alongside the names of lawyers from the N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense Fund and other such groups - and then to go home and watch the direct opposite impression being created on television was enough to turn my stomach.
pp. 294-295

Dr. Sowell goes on to lament that the Republicans did not run counter-ads or otherwise get the real story and Sowell's research out to the public.

But now in the post-Rathergate era, it is possible for bloggers to tell the truth and present the results of research. Rathergate (and all that followed it in terms of growth in the blogosphere) has made it possible for us to fight back. Hugh Hewitt discusses the possibilities in his book, "Blog."

Bloggers have undertaken a research project in which they are analyzing boxloads of Judge Roberts' papers. They have even developed a method to divide up the work and report back to the blogosphere as a whole.

Sue Bob is one such blogger-researcher. Check her posts.

With methods like these, we no longer need fear a Bork-like battle. We have the tools to win an ideological battle. The box of docs project is only the beginning.
Monday night update - On Hannity's radio show today, Judge Bork spoke of the difference between these two confirmation fights. I can't remember the exact words, but Bork spoke of conservative groups "coming out of the woodwork . . " to battle the "radicals". Hannity agreed and attributed much of the fight on our side to the new media and the bloggers.

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