"Island in the Sun" - Weezer
- I should be taking advantage of my porn privileges before President Santorum takes office, but I guess I have been a bit slack on the posting. One gets the sense that Santorum knows the base, but not really the base part of the base. I think the only question is who looks at more porn -- the guys at Reason, NRO, or Red State? You decide below, I report.
- I was interested to read this review of a new book on constitutional jurisprudence by J. Harvey Wilkinson III, a long serving judge on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Wilkinson was a (at the time quite controversial) Reagan appointee to the appellate court in 1984 and one frequently mentioned as being on the short list of potential Supreme Court appointees over the years. Wilkinson is an advocate of a more modest form of judicial conservatism than the likes of Scalia and Thomas, although he is still a conservative, one reluctant to read the Constitution broadly in matters of individual rights. I think there is something to be said for this approach to jurisprudence, one that is reluctant to interfere unduly in the judgments of legislative bodies and one that avoids grandiose theoretical claims about the art of judging.
I argued a Fair Labor Standards Act case in front of Wilkinson a number of years ago. I had lost a bench trial before a Clinton appointee and took it up to the Fourth Circuit, where I drew a pretty conservative panel. Wilkinson was the presiding judge at oral argument and was sharp, well-prepared, and quite fair. I got the panel to reverse, so I have a bit of a soft spot for him.
- I thought this piece in the New York Times yesterday explaining voting behavior in terms of tribalism and the collective myths of the tribes rather than interests was rather persuasive.
- And I thought this piece discussing the legalization of contraception in Massachusetts in 1965 (think about that for a minute) -- legislation introduced by a young state representative named Mike Dukakis -- after winning the acquiescence of the extraordinarily powerful Boston churchman Cardinal Richard Cushing was quite fascinating. Cushing, who both married Jack and Jackie Kennedy and presided over the president's funeral mass, had amazing clout in Massachusetts. (We had a some affection for "Diamond Dick" in my house too. Once when my father was a young state trooper he was threatened with transfer to the western part of the state -- "hung by the balls in Shelburne Falls as the saying went" -- for refusing to fix a ticket for someone politically connected. His threat to be at Cushing's home to complain that evening spared him.) It was only when Cushing publicly endorsed the legislation as morally acceptable that a majority in the legislature could be mustered.
We really have come a long way in many respects over the last fifty or so years. Well, all of us except Rick Santorum.
Update: Oops, to quote Rick Perry, forgot to mention that it's Illinois primary night. I think Romney starts nailing down the final act tonight. I had high hopes for Little Ricky making some headway, but then he went off on his bizarre frolic and detour to Puerto Rico to denounce speaking Spanish to a group of Spanish-speakers, followed by his anti-porn crusade. And don't even get him started about Spanish-language porn. He is a candidate who seems to have lost the thread, a guy who really goes out of his way to alienate and I suspect it will not serve him well this evening. He'll probably win in Louisiana, where we will also see the last gasp from Gingrich, and then it is on to a steady dull barrage of victories for the plastic man from (pick one) Utah/Massachusetts/Michigan/New Hampshire/California.
What's on your minds?