Saturday, October 3, 2020

ACB, judicial activism, and defusing SCOTUS as an issue

This would be good and helpful, if Amy Coney Barrett is not (as) prone to "judicial activism" (although that term is slippery-- and beyond that, often inconsistently applied).

Here's another angle: if "the conservatives" lead 6-3 (and will lead for a chunk of time going forward), it will depoliticize SCOTUS (to a large extent) by rendering the concern moot. It reminds me of the Dems controlling the House by large margins for 40+ years-- until Bill Clinton worked hard and Newt Gingrich worked smart to flip the House to the GOP in 1994. Since then, it's been competitive-- and thus, far more contentious.
(Is 1994 the primary catalyst for the greatly-increased nastiness in partisanship since the mid-1990s? I'm prone to think it's second to the fall of the USSR and the loss of an existential threat.)

Friday, October 2, 2020

thoughts on Larry Elder's documentary, Uncle Tom

Saw Larry Elder's documentary, Uncle Tom last night (h/t: Mark Adams). Very good-- and even inspiring. An array of established and up-and-coming black conservatives. If you're trying to understand thinking in minority communities, make sure not to (ironically) overlook minorities-within-a-minority. 

Key take-aways-- mostly reminders for me, but probably novel to many:
-many important metrics about African-Americans were much better before the 1960s than after "the War on Poverty", etc.

-efforts by Dems have been a combo of well-intentioned mistakes and a profound political cynicism-the historical and literary ignorance behind "Uncle Tom" as a racial epithet

-the ideological debate between Booker T Washington and WEB Dubois-- and more broadly, a basic choice to see the world thru lenses of optimism and opportunity vs. anger and victimhood

-tough on the GOP for not reaching out more to African-Americans-- a missed op given how poorly they've been treated by Dems

Two new observations for me:
-Although LBJ signed key Civil Rights legislation, a higher proportion of GOP legislators supported, compared to Dems. (And the Dems, led by luminaries such as Al Gore Sr. and Robert Byrd set a record for longest filibuster in trying to stop the 1964 law.)

-Obama shifted from hope and personal responsibility in his campaign to divisive racial rhetoric as his presidency evolved. I'm quick to blame Bush II for profligacy and debt, because he should have known better. One can say the same thing for Obama on race.