November 8, 2005

Cries of pain heard.

The Washington Post's "Campaign for the Supreme Court" blog linked to my post about Alito, the FMLA, and Larry Tribe. This led one "SK" to write:
While I think many criticisms of Alito have been overstated, I wish you wouldn't have given Ms. Althouse the tie of day. Her ability to talk with people who may disagree with her rivals that of a four year old.
Well, maybe a four year old lawprof! I guess SK is referring to the way I wouldn't let Max (in the comments) get away with obfuscation. I kept trying to focus him on the real issues and rejecting answers that were not responsive. [ADDED: Or was it just the way I pointed out the Tribe was wrong?]

Then there's Roy at Alicublog, who linked to this post of mine (which concludes "Where are the passionate, Brennanesque liberals of yore, who really believed we have rights? Is that belief becoming solely a conservative notion?"). He writes in an update (after a wisecrack that reveals he seems to know nothing about Legal Realism, Critical Legal Studies, and ordinary left-wing political talk about law):
She teaches law? Jesus fucking Christ.
One needs nerves of steel to stay in the debate about law these days.

CONFESSION ADDED: For the longest time I was assuming that "the tie of day" was some sort of idiomatic expression I just didn't happen to know. Then a commenter made fun of the phrase and I realized for the first time that it was supposed to be "time of day." I'm sitting here in a café now laughing like a fool!

35 comments:

Allah said...

Is it wrong that I feel a little frisson of glee whenever someone on the left insults an intelligent centrist? Which is not to say I don't sympathize with the person being insulted. But still....

I love the smell of swing votes in the morning.

Icepick said...

I love the smell of swing votes in the morning.

Smells like ... victory!

Dave said...

So the lesson we are to infer from this post is that if one wants you to link to one's blog, one should (1) disagree with your assessment of Alito, and (2) insult you.

How about linking to blogs that have a sensible read on Alito? There's got to be a few out there. Or are you just trying to publicize the abject idiocy of the Alito haters?

I suppose there's some value to the latter....

Ann Althouse said...

Dave: I don't usually link to people who attack me. I don't want to provoke attacks. But I'm getting enough traffic from this one that it's making me feel some desire to defend myself. Oh, and maybe to encourage you to go over and participate in the comments.

Allah: You're right. Liberals have a problem, as I've said before, that their loudest voices on the web are ugly and alienating to moderates (like me).

Dave said...

Ann: Fair point about people who attack you. You have ever right to defend yourself, after all.

I guess my take would be, just ignore them, but as they say, different strokes for different folks.

Allah said...

Smells like ... victory!

Armando don't surf!

Jacques Cuze said...

You are not a moderate. Anyone that pronounces "Lefty" with the amount of spit that you do on your blog is not a moderate.

reader_iam said...

Ann, thanks a bunch for sending me to a blog whose comment section appears to be populated by people whose first stop of the day is Kos or Atrios! Especially when it's too early for even a Bloody Mary.

Seriously, Ann, these are flies. You are a thoroughbred. Swat 'em off.

Icepick said...

Armando don't surf!

LOL! That would make a great tee-shirt!

Quxxo, how do you know Ann spits when she says lefty. She doesn't look like Sylvester the Cat....

peter hoh said...

Ann, don't moderate your defense of moderation. Go for the jugular!!

37383938393839383938383 said...

Am I the only one who thinks Ann was in the right? She was being attacked by people who hadn't even read the cases relevant to the discussion. How solicitous should one be of one's opponents when they don't come prepared to debate?

reader_iam said...

Not sure where to put this, but, Ann, have you seen this article about a Ohio Rep. who supposedly "plaigiarized" a blogger in a letter (to another congressman) complaining about Alito?

Interesting to ponder.

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1131445870289970.xml&coll=2

reader_iam said...

I DO think Ann was right. I ALSO think these particular critics of hers are laughable. Thus the stated "swat 'em" and the implied (I thought) "then leave 'em in the dust."

sonicfrog said...

Ice. Good one. "Sylvester the Cat" LOL.

Wiseguy, eh! (see Volokh: http://volokh.com/posts/1131425130.shtml

Craig said...

CO: I'd guess you and quxxo agree that Prof. Althouse is in the right.

aidan maconachy said...

Ann - this elevates you. Screw them!

What I have discovered about a lot of lefty posters, on here and elsewhere, is that they lack the guts to use their real names. You don't put your credibility at risk when you are posting as "Quacko" or "Jimmy_the_ Zit". It really is a form of cowardice to sheild your identity while savaging someone with the courage to stand by what they say with full ID disclosure.

brylin said...

I'm still waiting to see a bio on "Armando."

Ann Althouse said...

Quxxo: "Anyone that pronounces "Lefty" with the amount of spit that you do ..."

You're mishearing my voice. I'm in Madison, you must remember. People here say "lefty" in ordinary speech, not as an epithet. People interviewing for jobs on the faculty say "I'm a lefty" quite casually. I'm making what is an important distinction between traditional liberals and lefties, many of whom I know quite well and am on perfectly good terms with!

Goesh said...

I hate to see you mean-mouthed, Ms. Ann. You seem a rather fair-minded person, much in the know of things.

Crank said...

We on the Right will give you the tie of day anytime, Ann.

brylin said...

One-stop shopping for Alito info including opinions at http://www.law.umich.edu/library/news/topics/alito/alitoindex.htm

Richard Dolan said...

"One needs nerves of steel to stay in the debate about law these days."

Now, Ann, doesn't that strike you as just a bit over the top? The life of a lawprof can't be so isolated that you haven't noticed that there are rude, ignorant and uncivil folks everywhere, starting with your faculty colleagues at UWis. Have you tried making a non-PC point -- perhaps express the tiniest doubt about the appropriateness or benefits of affirmative action, say -- at a faculty meeting? Or, worse, saying something supportive about Bush, Cheney or Rummy at an academic cocktail party?

It is certainly true that there is a lot of nasty, vituperative spitballs being thrown on the web, particularly among the more partisan folks. But the basic truth is that it's all basically harmless, in ways that a dissenting political comment at a faculty meeting by a non-tenured type (could any be that dumb?) would not.

As for the those who just prefer to launch personal epithets against the authors of weblogs, there's no need for nerves of steel. Just a ready finger on the delete button, combined with the skill to skewer the bastards in a classy way. Having read your blog for a while now, I'm quite sure you have both skills in abundance.

Martin said...

I didn't realize it was a typo either...

Mike said...

I can't tell if Ann complimented me or herself for the "nerves of steel" comment (as I was the DK commenter originally linked). Either way... flattered.

knoxgirl said...

rdolan: nobody likes people saying mean things about them, "harmless" or not.

chuck b. said...

"Her ability to talk with people who may disagree with her rivals that of a four year old."

This is the only reason I need to hit the Althouse tipjar!

Pooh said...

Prof. A.,

As a self-confessed lefty, I'm ashamed of so much of what passes for debate and reasoning from my idealogical bunkmates. If Roy, et al, are going to replace substantive argument with witticisms, they should at least remember the wit.

Dave,

here is a good explanation of why one might vote "no" on Alito. Also, Moon Over Pittsburgh has provided conscientiously balanced coverage while personally opposing the nomination.

peter hoh said...

"Her ability to talk with people who may disagree with her rivals that of a four year old."

That's a clunky sentance, and part way through, my mind took a detour. I'll blame it on the word "rivals," which can function as a noun or a verb.

As for me, I like talking with people who may disagree with my rivals.

Bruce Hayden said...

Ann,

Keep at it. I know that as a con law prof, you are not expert in all of con law. You couldn't be. No one is. But, as you keep pointing out, this is one place where you are.

And obviously, even the con law god Tribe is not an expert in all of con law. I still have his con law horn book some place in storage. We didn't use it in law school, but I picked it up cheap and kept it as another reference.

But in this, he has shown himself to be a media whore, not doing his homework, but rather shooting from the hip - and obviously missing.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that anyone who doesn't think of Ann as a moderate did not read her post on why she ultimately came out for Bush in the last presidential election. She weighed a lot of issues, gave some to Kerry, and some to Bush. And, in the end, tipped to Bush.

Most of us who comment here, of course, were not so reasoned. Bush (in my case) or Kerry was our man. They could do little wrong, and the other guy was evil incarnate.

I was extremeley impressed with her serious attempt to find her own way in that election. And, I think that she did the same with Harriet Meirs. She refused to be stampeded, and tried valiently to look at both sides. And then she ended up opposing Meirs, whom I did support (though I do think that Judge Alito is a lot better, and that in retrospect, she may have been right to oppose her).

Knemon said...

". Anyone that pronounces "Lefty" with the amount of spit that you do on your blog is not a moderate."

Muh? Moderate liberals have every reason to dislike leftys - just as moderate conservatives have every reason to dislike far-righties.

- An ex-lefty

Michael Stiber said...

Ann, not knowing you, I can't of course comment on your political leaning. And, certainly, it seems that your comments are dominated by conservatives, and this could account for the perceived right-leaning tone of your blog. However, you should take some time to read your own writing objectively. For example, you quote yourself, "Where are the passionate, Brennanesque liberals of yore, who really believed we have rights? Is that belief becoming solely a conservative notion?".

OK, you may have thought you were being a bit tongue-in-cheek, but this skates very close to an ad hominem attack. It certainly isn't "moderate", since it is counter-factual. At least, a liberal such as myself merely needs to point to the news articles about Cheney lobbying for CIA exemption from anti-torturing laws, indefinite detention of US citizens under executive order, secret prisons, government interference with personal medical decisions, etc., etc. One may disagree with many things, but, assuming by "rights" you mean, in an operational sense, something like, "an individual's ability to make decisions on their own without running afoul of some law, and the requirement that the government deal with individuals in a greatly restricted manner", then we must conclude impartially that there are numerous conservatives, including those currently in power, who don't believe we have rights.

Ann Althouse said...

Michael Stilber: You are reading through your own bias there! This is one of the most pro-liberal posts I've ever written. I genuinely want there to be more Supreme Court Justices like Brennan! How can that be considered right wing?! There is a big problem among the liberals who are attacking Alito that they are constantly revealing that they think law is a political game. I'm expressing alarm and dismay at that development. I'll grant you that the left is concerned about international human rights, but I'm talking about belief in the substance of the American Constitution. Look at the attacks on Alito and try to understand my point before reacting. I'm talking about how the Constitution is understood and interpreted, not the actual scope of the rights. Of course, the liberal judges tend to give broader scope to the rights. That is not what I've been talking about.

ice weasel said...

I always find it interesting that many of the comments are really about "winning" rather than about the issue itself. Apparently, for some here, it's more important to be seen as victorious (clearly contrasted against actually being victorious) and being right, or standing up for a moral principle.

I think it's symbolic of the sides involved.

Jason Toon said...

Funny how people are constantly "misreading" you, Professor. I'm sure it's just bad luck, and has nothing to do with what you actually say.

-A lefty using his real name