Tuesday, July 26, 2005


There is no evidence that John Roberts is gay. Althouse suggests that the NY Times intentionally created an impression that he might be gay by their choice and layout of photos of JR in his younger days. This is not a strong claim and I don'’t buy it. As Wonkette reports, however, this dubious idea is everywhere.

I get a different impression from looking at the same pictures. I see a product of patriarchal privilege. The absence of women from the pictures is evidence not of homosexuality but of the old boys club. They speak to Roberts' status as an affluent white male like Bush, a fortunate son. If the Times editors were trying to convey a point that isn't made explicit in the accompanying text, this is a far better candidate than "Roberts might be gay."

On a radio program Althouse said that jokes on the late night comedy shows about Roberts' gender and ethnicity were offensive. Huh? Since when is it offensive to joke about the privileges enjoyed by the elite? And are we to believe that the Bushies ignored their candidates' gender and ethnicity in making their choice? That if the same résumé came attached to a minority candidate, his or her minority status would not have been a point in the pro column?

Bush could have opted for a nominee whose social privilege did not grease his or her path to power as much as Roberts' did. Advocates for social justice may rightly be disappointed that Bush missed an opportunity to advance the cause of diversity in employment (as he has done in making his administrations as diverse as they have been).


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