The Corner

This Italian Thing

Maybe it’s merely my highminded utopian universalism talking, but I’m really surprised Alito’s ethnicity is being made into an issue.

I heard Orrin Hatch on NPR this morning warning Dems not to go after Alito for fear that they’d alienate Italian-Americans up and down the east coast. I know I brought this up yesterday, in regard to the silly Mafioso stuff, but I hardly expected it to be a major talking point of the GOP. That’s definitely how NPR made it sound this morning.

I think Hatch is right that it would be bad for East Coast Democrats to seem hostile to Alito’s heritage. But I think it’s ill-considered for him to wratchet-up that perception. Alito isn’t a good pick because he’s from an Italian family, just as Gonzales’ impressive personal history doesn’t change the fact he’d be a bad pick.

I mean come on. We’ve got paper trail out the ying-yang and people want to make this about where his parents are from?

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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