December 21, 2017

"I’ve built a record that is widely described — well, universally described — as the most conservative of anybody on the Supreme Court. I’ve garnered support..."

"... from every corner of the conservative movement. There’s no ideological daylight to the right of me.... I’m universally regarded to be the most conservative member of the court, which is a label that I accept with, frankly, gladness and gusto."

That's a 2012 quote from Don Willett, who was on the Texas Supreme Court at the time and whom President Trump appointed to the 5th Circuit federal court. The quote appears at the end of a Linda Greenhouse column in the NYT titled "Why Judges Matter."

The title makes it sound like a primer, but Greenhouse collects some recent legal issues and reminds NYT readers that outcomes are going to depend on whether the judges were appointed by a Republican or a Democratic President. Isn't it sad that it's become so obvious that it seems too elementary to go through a why-judges-matter rigmarole?

I remember when it was subtle and arcane and ordinary voters resisted seeing what the cognoscenti knew. Now, the title "Why Judges Matter" looks almost babyish... below the reading level of New York Times subscribers.

But longtime Althouse readers know the real reason I'm blogging this. Judge Willett said the magic word: garner.

54 comments:

Greg Vojnovic said...

“garner”. You made my day. That’s why I come here every day.

robother said...

Unlike the vast majority of Althouse' citations of the Magic Word, this is a non-journalist, self-applying the term non-ironically. Truly a rare sighting.

David Begley said...

Althouse is really jealous about his Twitter account. Twitter envy.

But to be fair, Willett could never GARNER the blog audience that Ann has.

Saint Croix said...

isn't that the one acceptable use of the word "garner"?

I think I've heard "I've garnered support" all my life.

I've gathered my supporters and together we have garnered support.

Maybe support is such a nebulous word that garnered works better with it. Gathered is a word to describe a physical act.

I don't know, this one seems okay to me. I'm just spitballing.

And that's a great word, by the way. Spitballing. What are you spitballing? I am spitballing ideas. You might think spitballing describes a physical act. But no, pretty much the only thing you can spitball is an idea.

That's something you will never hear a politician, or a judge, say. I'm just spitballing.

AllenS said...

"rigmarole" -- it's not often that you see this word.

Bay Area Guy said...

In a follow-up article to her daring NY Times expose' , entitled, "Why Judges Matter", Ms. Greenhouse next turns her penetrating focus to the field of Marine Biology with an exciting investigative piece, entitled, "Why Water is Wet".

Saint Croix said...

Might need a hyphen, if you want to separate the spit from the balls.

Just spit-balling again.

Will Cate said...

Thought the same thing. Is this the New York Times or Weekly Reader?

(one might need to be of a certain age to get the reference)

John said...

Another seldom seen word is skinimarinkadoodle.

So seldom is it seen that it is not even in the article

John Henry

Curious George said...

For a in depth perspective, ask the citizens of Kelo why judges matter.

Saint Croix said...

Spitballing comes from baseball.

I don't know where this is going.

Nobody knows where it's going!

Maybe it will be a strike-out. Maybe it will be a home run.

Maybe the umpires will come in and say, "what the fuck?"

Saint Croix said...

"rigmarole" -- it's not often that you see this word.

I always want to add another a to rigmarole.

I am Salvatore Rigamarole.

Michael K said...

Jim Garner is also a good use of the word. He was a pretty good actor.

Kept his mouth shut, too.

In "Murphy's Romance" he had "No Nukes" stickers on his car window but that might have been the scriptwriter.

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

I'd never really noticed the word "garner"until your crusade - now it irritates me as much as "cohorts" - Thanks, Althouse!!!!!

Saint Croix said...

There’s no ideological daylight to the right of me

He sounds like an outside linebacker.

Saint Croix said...

Or maybe a vampire.

Oh no! Daylight! Ideological daylight!

tcrosse said...

If John Nance Garner were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave.

Kate said...

You have trained me well. "Garnered" jumped out of your headline and smacked me on the cheek.

Ann Althouse said...

The original post about the word "garner" was on December 4, 2015:

"Things have only gotten worse for Jeb. He needs to wake up and do what's right. I've watched him on a couple of shows recently and am just dismayed at the weak impression he gives. Is he oblivious? He simpers and nods to the point where Meade and I just laugh at him. It's an in-joke for us that he keeps saying the word "garner." Three times in one short "Face the Nation" interview last Sunday."

Ann Althouse said...

It's actually possible that "garner" is the reason Trump is President today.

If Jeb had just said the normal word "get" for every "garner," perhaps he could have squeaked by.

He should have tried to get our votes, not wasted all that time trying to garner them.

Quaestor said...

Now, the title "Why Judges Matter" looks almost babyish... below the reading level of New York Times subscribers.

Doubtful at best.

Ann Althouse said...

""rigmarole" -- it's not often that you see this word."

I know! I only learned in the last year or so that it's not "rigamarole." I learned the right spelling because I was writing it for maybe the first time. I do say the word, and for some reason, I continue to say "rigamarole." It sounds pretentious to say "rigmarole." But if I'm going to write it, I can't misspell it.

Ann Althouse said...

"If John Nance Garner were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave."

Garner is fine as a name. There's also Jennifer Garner and James Garner.

The people who are using it as an ordinary word are the problem, and they are eroding the quality of the name.

tcrosse said...

We may spell 'restaurateur' correctly, but when we say it we pronounce a phantom 'n',
as 'restauranteur.

traditionalguy said...

The verb to Garner is at the heart of the Connecticutt Bush clan's MO. They position themselves to garner money from war starting with the German New World Order (Third Reich) of the 1930s and the prize of rebuilding the German Industry after 1945. Then after Eisenhower and JFK outsmarted them and had to be removed, a Bush was ready to garner from LBJ's crazy asisn war. Then positioned the Bush VP a weak heartbeat away from Reagan's last 7 years. Then the next Bush arranged 9/11 and the Iraq war to garner the biggest of them all.

But poor JEB had no garner energy.

AllenS said...

I know, Althouse, and I looked up the spelling because it's not often you misspell a word.

pronunciation -- riɡ(ə)məˌrōl

Who made the decision to get rid of (ə)?

Quaestor said...

From Wikitionary...

GARNER (verb) (third-person singular simple present garners, present participle garnering, simple past and past participle garnered) (transitive)

1) To reap grain, gather it up, and store it in a granary.

2) To gather, amass, hoard, as if harvesting grain.

3) (often figuratively) To earn; to get; to accumulate or acquire by some effort or due to some fact; to reap.
He garnered a reputation as a language expert.
Her new book garnered high praise from the critics.
His poor choices garnered him a steady stream of welfare checks.

4) (rare) To gather or become gathered; to accumulate or become accumulated; to become stored.


Notice that garner as a synonym of get is the third definition. The first two refer to harvesting crops, the word itself originally meant a granary. When tempted to use garner just substitute reap and see how prissy and affected your sentence sounds to the ear. Prissy and affected pretty much sums up Jeb Bush, the non-aviator of the clan.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
If Jeb had just said the normal word "get" for every "garner," perhaps he could have squeaked by."

Only if "perhaps" means "only in his delusional dreams"

exiledonmainstreet said...

Willet is a friend of Dave “Iowahawk” Burge. That alone makes me like Willet.

Amadeus 48 said...

Willett is seeking New Respect from moderates by using JEBspeak. This won't end well.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Conservative = conserve the constitution.

Progressive leftist democrat = lies, corruption and backwards socialism.

Expat(ish) said...

@tcrosse - that is why i can't spell restaurant. I never noticed that.

At least I know when I have a hard row to hoe.

-XC

Bill said...

I thought of you when John Nance Garner was a Jeopardy answer/question the other night.

Carter Wood said...

With Garner Ted Armstrong on vocals.

From Wikipedia: His voice was so widely known that his name was included with many of the world's politicians and entertainers on the record track The Intro and the Outro by the Bonzo Dog Band of the 1960s.

Rick Turley said...

Expat(ish) said...

"At least I know when I have a hard row to hoe."

Ducks are especially hard to garner into a straight row.

Sebastian said...

OK, OK, we get it about garner.

Now, on to "utilize" and "galore."

Comanche Voter said...

New York Times subscribers may have a high reading level (a fact not in evidence).

But based on the codswallop that they are given, and seem to believe, I suspect that they have low intelligencec.

Char Char Binks said...

"Garner" is the best word there ever was!

What about “grasping at straws”, which also appears in the article? Why say "grasp" instead of "grab"?

Jupiter said...

Linda Greenhouse would be a good name for a cheap but durable wall-to-wall carpeting.

Char Char Binks said...

I hear Trump picked Willett because he was naked under his robe. At least he wasn't wearing shorts.

paminwi said...

Willet seems to be a good judge and a genuinely nice man. I follow him on Twitter and his tweets are very benign. That fact that Dems used a bacon tweet against him in his hearings shows you that they are truly silly and shallow people. You totally understand why he stayed off Twitter during his confirmation process. But he's back!

Yancey Ward said...

The real question is will Linda Greenhouse commit suicide if Ginsberg dies in the next 6 months.

John Tuffnell said...

Phil Garner, Oakland A's.

I collected baseball cards as a kid in the 70's.

Only now do I realize that I garnered Phil's.

bonkti said...

James Garner changed his name from Bumgarner.

Seems relevant.

Patrick said...

God, even Hilary would've beaten Jeb! like a drum.

JaimeRoberto said...

Does Meadehouse go crazy like Pee Wee's Playhouse when you hear the magic word?

Ralph L said...

"Garnered" seems to be the only way to get support these days, except for underwires.

Danno said...

We (Althousians) like Jennifer, even with the garner issue. Linda Greenhouse not so much.

Danno said...

We (Althousians) like Jennifer, even with the garner issue. Linda Greenhouse not so much.

Mark Daniels said...

Oddly enough, I've always loved that word too. I'd use it more often if more people knew the meaning. I don't want to garner criticism for being indecipherable.

Saint Croix said...

Nice pro-life photograph at the link, by the way.

I was surprised to find out that the pro-life slogan, "Choose Life", is Biblical in origin. They're quoting Moses, the original law-giver.

It's Deuteronomy 30:19.

Saint Croix said...

The Trump administration’s increasingly bizarre war on abortion

She's referring to the battle over whether a pregnant illegal immigrant held in detention has a right to an abortion.

What would be really bizarre is if this case involved people on death row. What if you were trying to execute a pregnant murderer? Does the baby have a right to life or not? Does the mother have a right to abort her child before the execution?

It turns out nobody wants to kill a baby on death row.

Brian McKim and/or Traci Skene said...

Carter Wood said

With Garner Ted Armstrong on vocals.

My immediate (reflexive) response was, "Nice!"

I should Spotify the Bonzo Dog Band to hear that for the first time since (probably) 1974.

Char Char Binks said...

Garnering with gladness and gusto!