Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Partisan Prejudice

The other day I mentioned how badly partisan Instapundit is. More of it today. He writes:
DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION: Ezra Klein. “As Klein has astutely observed, the Constitution is all confusing and stuff because it was written like 100 years ago.” One can only imagine Klein’s snark if Sarah Palin had made the same error.
This is dishonest.

First, Ezra Klein didn't make a constitutional mistake, he reported somebody else's mistake. Follow the Instapundit link, it takes you to a WSJ blog post* taking Klein to task for reporting that Ron Klain confused the 22nd and 20th amendments. Ezra Klein didn't make the mistake, he reported somebody else's (incredibly trivial) mistake.

And as for that "all confusing and stuff" claim, it's hokum, too. Watch the video link provided by the WSJ - it's clear to see. Not only does Klein not use such goofy I'm-so-stupid language, he makes the reasonable claim that the Constitution is not particularly clear, due to the language used and the passage of time. This is 100% true.

A certain sort enjoy holding up the Constitution, thumping it like a bible, making claims about its contents with great conviction. That certainty is bunk. What does the Constitution say about warrantless wiretapping, for instance? We're talking about a document written before there were wires. Glenn Reynolds is a professor of (among other subjects) Constitutional Law. Surely he knows that people don't always find the Constitution to be clear and unambiguous.

But oh, I hear the rejoinder, this isn't about Ezra Klein's (non-)mistake, it's about the hypocrisy. You see, if Sarah Palin had written that, then Klein would be all over him. Set aside the fact that this is just the childish defense "he did it too" in intellectual drag. The claim itself is false. Klein has defended Palin against scurrilous attacks. Not only that, he did it in private to a group of other liberals. Remember the Journolist scandal?

Journolist was an email discussion group among many prominent liberals, Klein included. Among the subjects discussed on the list was Sarah Palin, who is sometimes hounded by opponents over the provenance of her child Trig. On this subject, Klein wrote:
Palin’s relationship with her children — however they may have come to her — strikes me as pretty far out of bounds. By all accounts she’s a wonderful mother, and devoted to her fifth son. Leave this be.
A wonderful, devoted mother. This isn't slander, this is completely decent, upstanding behavior. More important, this is how Klein acts in the company of other liberals, in relative privacy. If ever there was a situation to act like a partisan ass, this is it. But he was a stand-up, good guy.

Unlike Instapundit, who tosses off snark so easily. The truth is all there. As long as you judge the evidence without prejudice against the liberal, it's clear. What, then, to make of Instapundit? Dishonest or irrational - which is the worse trait in a scholar of the law?

*The WSJ blog also calls the overall article "an interminable apologia for the failure of the Obama administration's so-called stimulus of 2009," which isn't true. This is the article that I discussed here and used as a basis for my own criticism of Obama.

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