Friday, October 22, 2010

Dignity Lost: John Roberts' Supreme Court

   -                        -                            -

One may have thought the Supreme Court
could sink no lower than it already had
under petulant child Chief Justice Roberts,
and his smirking schoolboy companion,
pulling faces during the State of the Union Address.

(You would have thought they would just
 pity those who lack their Augustan job security, 
and would let a little politics slip under their notice; 
but since baby boomers need constant affirmation,
our own Child in Chief felt called upon to throw
the dignity of his office and the court into a hissy
fit.  What would his hero Roger Taney say?)

Still the waking of the Clarence Thomas scandal
has sunk the Court even further.  The strangest
aspect to these recent events is that the worms,
though very much alive it turns out, were certainly
buried deep until Mrs. Clarence Thomas of all people
decided to go digging for them in her own garden.

For those who wonder why at this time she
would reawaken doubts about this conservative
hero's morality, the answer may be that her
concern has more to do with quieting her own
doubts than advocating for her husband.

A new study covered here in the on-line blogs
of Discover Magazine shows that when a person's
faith in a belief is shaken, he or she is likely
to grow aggressive in advocacy of that belief.

So when we see someone out the blue trying to
convince others on an issue that isn't even on
their horizon, there's a good chance, something
has shaken her own faith and left her needing
to convince herself.

Or maybe it was just good politics - a deft manuever
to distract attention from the far more pressing
question of whether it is right for the wife of a
Supreme Court Justice to take large sums of money
for her political group Liberty Central, while her
husband holds such a powerful position within
what used to be a venerated democratic insitution,
but which now seems to be more the
vanguard of the coming oligarchy*.

* Oligarchy: rule of the rich, a political system in
which the wealthy hold all power.

1 comment:

eric said...

I think the key term here is aggression -- whatever her sad or self-righteous motivation might have been, Ms. Thomas chose to involve Hill without (and knowing it was against) Hill's consent. Within a family or among friends, the gesture would be narcissistic and manipulative, classic passive-aggressive. But among adults, and with a political and social overlay of some pretty powerful forces, it was a hostile act, a unilateral assertion of a sense of superiority and the entitlement to exercise that superior power in a way that could affect Hill positively or negatively, depending on how Hill chose to respond. Otherwise known as a threat. If we elevated it one tick up, to a gesture between nations, it would clearly be taken as hostile provocation (e.g., US offers to lift embargo with Cuba if Cuba will just "apologize"). For that reason, Hill understandably and justifiably publicized the communication: one has a duty to report public, threatening acts, regardless of their motive.