To his credit, Broder proceeds to posit the theory that is my question #3. He puts it in the mouth of a former attorney general next to whom Broder was seated at a dinner party the other day. Gotta put in the seat-work at those D.C. dinner parties to dig up ideas for WaPo columns, you know. Broder decides this is "probably the conventional wisdom," then begins his next paragraph: "That is what they say, and I have no legal credentials to challenge their conclusion." Yes, but you are some kind of journalist — right? — so you could have asked some more people before you took what that one fellow/lady dribbled out at the dining table as what everyone was saying.
But, as I told my dinner companion...Oh, lord, the thrill of being transported to this scintillating dinner party, in Washington, with an ancient pundit extracting conventional wisdom from a once-powerful lawyer!
... I suspect that he is wrong and that Kagan's joining Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor on the bench will change the high court in ways that no one foresees.Quelle riposte! Oh! Would that I could be in such company! The elderly lawyer manages to say something mind-crushingly obvious, and the old pundit, keeping the colloquy going, with no legal knowledge, disagrees.
I say this based on what I saw happen in The Post's newsroom and many others when female reporters and editors arrived, in increasing numbers, starting in the 1970s and '80s.Now, our trusty columnist does the hard work of dredging up memories from 30+ years ago. I saw those female reporters in the 70s... humming "I Am Woman" as they changed the world of men for the better... And yet you still have your job, cluttering up the pages of the Washington Post with this self-indulgent nonsense. Why hasn't some brilliant lady ousted you yet? I mean, this column has you recounting a conversation that — if I'd participated in it — I'd have gone home feeling ashamed that I'd been so dull at the dinner-table. Yet you serve it up as leftovers in a Washington Post column. And now you are feeding me this warmed over Women's Liberation stuff that is refuted — refudiated! — by the fact that you are still here writing this column.
They changed the culture of the newspaper business and altered the way everyone, male or female, did the work.And this has something to do with Elena Kagan, coming onto the Supreme Court, where there isn't ONE Justice who hasn't shared that bench with a woman. Stevens — have you noticed? — was the last Justice who served on an all-male Supreme Court.
The women who came onto the political beat asked candidates questions that would not have occurred to male reporters. They saw the candidates' lives whole, while we were much more likely to deal only with the official part of it. So the scope of the candidate profiles expanded, and the realm of privacy began to shrink.They saw the candidates' lives whole... Broder's elevated diction goes wild. The realm of privacy began to shrink... Please don't reveal your shrinkage problems, Dave! I don't want to hear about your realm... your domain....
He's dredging up material from the 80s "In a Different Voice" Women's Studies era, and it's borderline insulting. It's Broderline insulting.
They also changed the rules for reporters themselves. When I joined the press corps in the 1960 presidential campaign, I was formally instructed by a senior reporter for the New York Times on the "west of the Potomac rule." What happened between consenting adults west of the Potomac was not to be discussed with bosses, friends and especially family members east of the Potomac.Look out! The floodgates have opened! Broder's going back to 1960!
It was a protective, chauvinistic culture, and it changed dramatically when more than the occasional female reporter boarded the bus or plane.Hey, Broder. Remember the 90s? How'd you guys do with the Clinton sexual harassment story? Are you keeping up with the allegations against Al Gore?
I don't know how having three strong-minded female justices serving simultaneously for the first time will change the world of the Supreme Court. But I will not be surprised if this small society does not change for all its members.That's right. You don't know whether 3 women with 6 modern men will be different from 2 women with 7 modern men, and you haven't gotten up out of your antique comfy chair to do one thing to find out. Yet Broder, at this point, has run out of material on his subject. Go to the link and you'll see that he pads out his column with 200+ more words on other Kagan-related stuff that was casually rattling around in his... eminent dome... his venerable cranium... his... nugatory noggin.