The Corner

Joe Klein

Is he in decline, or this just one of his bad patches? The anti-conservative ire, the weary and wearying pose, the conclusory judgments–there’s been a lot of all that lately. This week’s column is, actually, the second-worst commentary I’ve seen from any major pundit on the Supreme Court’s affirmative action and sodomy cases. (Maureen Dowd, liberal racist and slanderer, wins first prize.) The decisions are “a reassertion of sanity” that outraged only the Republican “party’s florid assortment of wing nuts.” Everyone in the “vast sensible center of American politics” knows that racial preferences are obligatory. It’s a “cultural consensus.” A majority of California voters appear to be outside this consensus. Perhaps they’re wing nuts?

“There is also a consensus on abortion: tolerable during the first few months of pregnancy but with severe limits after that,” Klein writes. This time it’s the Court that appears to be outside the consensus, since this isn’t anywhere close to the accurate description of its jurisprudence that Klein thinks it is.

He has been capable of better in the past. Maybe next week will be better.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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