The Corner

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The Court


On the Supreme Court frenzy, I am proud to say I am no lawyer, and hence I have no investment in finding some great ‘constitutional mind’ for the Court. I used to be proud to call myself an intellectual, but I have learned that most of the time intellectuals are wrong. Hell, most everyone is wrong most of the time. So I am not impressed by George Will’s call for some sophisticated deep thinker for the SC, and I do have some sympathy for the idea of a normal human being sitting alongside the deep thinkers.

But the main point–which I made about Katrina and other things–is for all of us, namely that there is no prize for being wrong first. I am not impressed that everyone has an opinion. In fact, most of the time it is a mistake to have an opinion early on. Does anyone in the general rant know much of anythng about Miers as an intellect? About her core beliefs, if indeed she has any? I don’t think so. She may be a drooling idiot, or a scintillating mind and personality, or just a boring mediocrity. Who knows? We don’t, at least not yet. But we will. When we know, we’re entitled to lecture one another, but not yet. Take it easy. I’m old enough to remember people screaming that the stupid haberdasher, Harry Truman, wasn’t qualified to be president–surely George Will, on his current performance, would have agreed–and the same sort of people were thrilled that a real Harvard intellect, surrounded by other great Harvard intellects, had defeated the wretched Nixon for the presidency.

Take the basic Neapolitan advice: if you feel an irresistible urge to work, lie down and rest a bit. It will pass. The mark of a cultured person is the length of time between stimulus and response. We all need to learn to pause. NOT to have an instant opinion.

After a day in synagogue I see I’m delivering sermons, sorry.