Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Laugh it off, ladies

The woman with the most poorly developed sense of humor in the blogosphere chides Democrats for...not having a sense of humor. [Emphasis hers]
Sen. Dianne Feinstein has elected herself chief of the Democrat's anti-humor police.
Feinstein, the only woman on the Judiciary Committee, pointed to one memo in which Roberts, while disparaging state efforts to combat discrimination against women, wondered whether "encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good."

"He ... had a sense of humor that is subject to interpretation, on women's rights for example," Feinstein told reporters after a speech at a downtown hotel.

"Whether that was a joke, or whether it represents his real view, I don't know. We'll try and find out," she said.
Next task for the Senate Democratic leadership: Investigating the hidden link between jocular Judge Roberts, the dangerous funnymen behind the Federalist Society, and the insidious humor writer who penned the most famous anti-feminist joke in American history:

Q: How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: That's not funny!
The point, Michelle, is not whether Roberts made a few jokes. The point is whether Roberts thinks womens' rights are a joke. It looks like there's a good chance that he does. Dahlia Lithwick:
Roberts honestly seemed to think that humor or disdain were the only appropriate ways to think about gender. It's not that feminists can't take a joke. It's that Roberts can't seem to take feminists seriously.

The record seems to make it quite clear that Roberts—with his "perceived/purported/alleged" discrimination trope—simply didn't believe that gender problems were worthy of his serious consideration or scrutiny.

The emerging picture of Roberts is of a man deeply skeptical about federal efforts to equalize opportunity for women or minorities, be it through busing, housing, voting rights, or affirmative-action programs. He was even more skeptical of judicial efforts to engage in the same project. And that's a legitimate, if debatable, political theory. But if, as the memos suggest, Roberts' ideological views are the result of being too smart-alecky or dismissive to accept that these disparities were of serious national concern in the first place, he doesn't just have a gender problem. He has a reality problem.