December 19, 2012

"Reagan's Justice" — an ominous New York Review of Books article about Robert Bork.

I remembered the title of the scary piece (by Ronald Dworkin), which was published in 1984, and I remembered the uber-creepy David Levine caricature that accompanied it:



After Bork got borked, Dworkin got another piece in the NYRB — "What does Bork’s defeat mean? Did the American public reject Bork’s announced philosophy of original intention? If so, what alternative constitutional philosophy, if any, did the public endorse?" — and David Levine drew him again. Look how cute:



Now that he's not a threat, he's a lovable Santa Claus. That's art, baby!

AND: From high(ish) art to low, here's an old Letterman Top 10 list: "Top 10 Names for Robert Bork's Beard":

10. The Chin Slinky
 9. The Amish Outlaw
 8. The See-Through
 7. My Very First Beard - from Kenner!
 6. The Lunatic Fringe
 5. Senor Itchy
 4. The Radioactive Goat
 3. Salute to C. Everett Koop
 2. Gopher Butt
 1. The Babe Magnet

26 comments:

chickelit said...

Was Ronald Dworkin Andrea's younger brother?

Chip S. said...

In the first one he looks like a marxist longshoreman. I'd have thought the NYRoB crowd would find that appealing.

In the second one, he looks drunk.

ndspinelli said...

chickelit, Maybe he's her turkey baster son?

Chip S. said...

or maybe her alter ego.

traditionalguy said...

That Dworkin hit piece was from the old innocent days of attack and counter attacks before the Journolisters coordinated their hit pieces to totally destroy a good man's reputation inside a 24 hour news cycle.

Chip S. said...

Seems clear that Bork should've taken Abner Mikva's advice about the beard.

Chip S. said...

Anagram for Dworkin: dork win

MadisonMan said...

Rod Wink?

MadisonMan said...

Ork wind?

MadisonMan said...

Work Din?

MadisonMan said...

I'll stop now. This BLIZZZZARD COMING -- Madison schools are ALREADY closed tomorrow -- has addled my pate.

chrisnavin.com said...

The Grand Inquisitor to maybe a magician working in a nightclub passed his prime.

Art's gonna change the world, baby!

chrisnavin.com said...

read 'past.' Time to stop commenting. Overload.

LarsPorsena said...

First one reminiscent of Trotsky.

mccullough said...

It's amusing that Dworkin starts the piece with the sentence "if Reagan is re-elected . . ."

Funny that homosexuality is what he first discusses and in the context of military service. This article is two years before Bowers v. Hardwick, which upheld criminal sodomy laws. Dworkin had his finger on the pulse of the culture issues.

Rob said...

Remember Senator Howell Heflin slyly asserting, "The history of [Bork's] life and his present lifestyle indicated a fondness for the unusual, the unconventional and the strange." Innuendo isn't just an Italian suppository.

edutcher said...

Excellence and intellect really scare the Lefties, don't they?

William said...

If you wanted to caricature someone as dark and evil, Bork certainly had the look. Maybe it wasn't the opinions of Supreme Court nominees that grew bland but their looks. When the Democrats tried to demonize John Roberts and Samuel Alioto, they got nowhere. Is it even possible to caricature someone who looks like John Roberts?

Mutaman said...

"Robert Bork, who died Wednesday, was an unrepentant reactionary who was on the wrong side of every major legal controversy of the twentieth century. The fifty-eight senators who voted against Bork for confirmation to the Supreme Court in 1987 honored themselves, and the Constitution. In the subsequent quarter-century, Bork devoted himself to proving that his critics were right about him all along."

Jeffry Tobin

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/12/postscript-robert-bork-1927-2012.html#ixzz2FXpmEkE7

Chip Ahoy said...

That's an awesome find.

Mr. D said...

I absolutely remember the Letterman Top Ten List. Yes, he was once very funny.

Bob R said...

I disagreed with Bork's judicial philosophy, his idea that the constitution listed a few small islands of individual rights in a vast sea of majoritarian rule. (Who am I stealing that phrase from? not sure.) But he had a few qualities. He was a good writer. He generally stuck to his beliefs even when he was not in the majority....

And he liked Martinis. Unfortunately, he liked a twist more than olives. As a spicy gin with olives guy I have to disagree. But a guy who apologetically goes through life with bad facial hair has a lot going for him.

rcocean said...

Honestly, was there ever a bigger piece of scum in the US Senate than Ted Kennedy?
Only Massachusetts or perhaps Rhode Island could have made him Senator for Life. I too remember the Bork Hearings. Listened to the whole thing on Radio. What a contrast between what happened every day and what ABC/NBC/CBS showed on their Evening news programs. On the network news Kennedy was the passionate liberal keeping the cold-hearted judge with the evil beard off the SCOTUS. In reality, it about Bork, a man of massive intellect and great learning, having to deal with idiotic questions from Ted Kennedy, a mumbling boob reading a script his staff wrote for him

Laura said...

So what's it called when Goebbels commissions it...

Godwin alert in 5,4, 3

Saint Croix said...

I've never much cared for Bork's jurisprudence, particularly what he proposed to do to the free speech clause.

"Robert Bork, who died Wednesday, was an unrepentant reactionary who was on the wrong side of every major legal controversy of the twentieth century."

Bork would have been another Frankfurter on the Supreme Court. And while Frankfurter was annoying and on the wrong side most of the time, on the positive side he didn't write opinions about how to "collapse the skull" of a baby before you make her disappear.

Dworkin and Toobin, sheesh. It must be so wonderful to be right on every issue, to never make a mistake, and to have no doubts about anything.

harrogate said...

"It must be so wonderful to be right on every issue, to never make a mistake, and to have no doubts about anything."

Hey, leave bagoh alone!