When Clarence Met Herschel

My colleague Jamie O wrote a fine tribute to Eric Bohlert last week. Bohlert died at the age of 56 in a cycling accident. I, too, was an admirer as well as a subscriber to Eric’s Press Run newsletter. One of the underrated aspects of Press Run was Eric’s closing “Fun Stuff” segment, which was devoted to music. Our musical tastes were quite similar. Yet another reason he will be missed.

Two of Eric Bohlert’s last five pieces were about Herschel Walker and Clarence & Ginni Thomas. In the latter piece, Eric was outraged that the media had dropped the Thomas story. In the Walker piece, he criticized CNN for not calling him a liar for this:

“CNN on Friday posted a revealing story about how Herschel Walker, Trump’s pick to be Georgia’s next U.S. Senator, spent years telling crowds that he graduated in the top 1% of his class from the University of Georgia, where he was a star running back in the 1980’s.

In truth, Walker never graduated from college. The ridiculous part: CNN gently claimed Walker was guilty of “overstating his academic achievements.”

How about dat doggone lie? Herschel certainly isn’t familiar with science as I pointed out in my The Origin Of Herschel Walker post last month.

Both Herschel Walker and Clarence Thomas are back in the news because of this:

Perhaps Justice Thomas is a football fan. He grew up in Georgia but didn’t attend UGA. Or is he a Dallas Cowboys fan? I somehow doubt he’s devoted to the long defunct USFL New Jersey Generals who were owned by this guy:

Lawrence O’Donnell is among the few media people who have NOT dropped the Thomas story. He nailed it last night on the Last Word:

There’s nothing wrong with being a politician. I like politicians. Some of my favorite people are politicians.

But Supreme Court Justices are not supposed to be politicians. They’re not supposed to pose for pictures with candidates. I’ve never seen such a picture before and hope to never see one again.

Is the Clarence-Herschel picture the most partisan thing to happen at SCOTUS during my lifetime? Hell, no. That dubious honor goes to Bush v. Gore the case that decided the 2000 presidential election.

Justice John Paul Stevens said it best at the conclusion of his scathing dissent in that case:

“The endorsement of that position by the majority of this Court can only lend credence to the most cynical appraisal of the work of judges throughout the land. It is confidence in the men and women who administer the judicial system that is the true backbone of the rule of law. Time will one day heal the wound to that confidence that will be inflicted by today’s decision. One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.”

Back to Clarence Thomas. He voted with the majority in that hyper-partisan opinion and joined in an even more rabid concurrence by Chief Justice Rehnquist.

Clarence Thomas has always been a politician, which gives the lie to what he said in a speech last September:

“During his speech, he criticized judges for veering into politics.

“The court was thought to be the least dangerous branch and we may have become the most dangerous. That’s problematic”  

Perhaps he delivered the speech at Notre Dame because he’s a football fan. #sarcasm.

Thomas’ problematic prophecy has come true. As long as he sits on the Supreme Court, it is indeed the most dangerous branch.

Repeat after Lawrence and me:

What’s the media’s excuse? Are they politicians too? They’re certainly soft on one major party and hard on the other.

The blatant hypocrisy of the so-called liberal media is one reason Eric Bohlert’s voice was so important. He called out the Beltway boys and girls on a regular basis. He’s already missed.

I guess we’re all politicians now. The last word goes to Los Lobos with a live cover of a venerable Cream song:

Eric Bohlert would have approved of that last word. Last summer, he posted two songs from Los Lobos’ Grammy winning album, Native Sons. RIP, Eric.