Probably the most infuriating, if entirely predictable, outcome of the Supreme Court’s fusillade of 5-4’s this week was the MSM’s dewy-eyed credulity that accompanied it. Now, I’m not implying that say, Adam Liptak of the NYT is a clueless ninth grader, but his reporting would have been considerably more respectable if he were. Pretending to parse the hastily concocted legal reasoning du jour behind decisions that were already made twenty years ago by the Court’s right wing not only makes boring reading, but it insults the intelligence of anyone capable of tying one’s own shoes.
After Bush v. Gore and Citizen’s United, the only “news” about Our Highest Court worth discussing was and remains its astonishingly brazen authoritarianism and sneering disdain for non-wealthy Americans. Full stop. Gay rights scored a resentful wave-through because, in the end, the Koch Brothers and their ilk have gay friends and loved ones, too. What matters to the robed Inquisitors of the court is keeping wealth and power in the fewest possible hands, and they’re hardly shy about it.
I knew, as I’m sure most here did, that the Voting Rights Act was toast, but evidently covering the Court for the Paper of Record blinds one to the glaringly obvious. It was no better from the usually reliable Pete Williams of NBC, who wondered how what we currently call “Congress” could ever find the will it had in 1965 to enact the law in the first place. Earth to Pete: that’s the point, you halfwit. Pretending otherwise is what got us here, so please stop it.
There were glimmers of understanding here and there, most notably E.J. Dionne at the WaPoo, who was nearly alone in pointing out that Court had done pretty much exactly what one would have expected, but by and large, the media all joined in for the umpteenth rousing rendition of “No One Could Have Predicted, ” missing only Condi Rice at the piano, or perhaps lying on it and singing.
Dana Milbank did report, somewhat unnecessarily, that that Sam Alito is kind of a douche, but so focused was he on that particular tree that the forest of corruption around it escaped his eagle eye.
Is it any wonder that the Court’s right-wing majority conducts itself so abominably when, with so few exceptions, it continues to be treated in the press with a legitimacy it blithely tossed down the crapper more than a dozen years ago? Thomas ascended to the Court despite having perjured himself at his confirmation hearings, and had it not been for the abomination of Bush v Gore, Alito and Roberts would never have been nominated. Scalia has degenerated into dark caricature, even as he gleefully scoffs at complaints about his serial improprieties.
This is the story of the Supreme Court: a bunch of charlatans and clowns, cynically pushed forward by a series of barely legitimate Republican Presidents, is now working overtime to reward their benefactors with a permanent hold on power, regardless of public opinion. “Social Issues” are to this cabal what ink is to an octopus. Someone ought to alert the media.
Photo by the US Capitol