Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Alito & working class virtue

My pick for best Alito line so far:
And after I graduated from high school, I went a full 12 miles down the road — but really to a different world — when I entered Princeton University. A generation earlier I think that somebody from my background probably would not have felt fully comfortable at a college like Princeton, but by the time I graduated from high school things had changed. And this was a time of great intellectual excitement for me, both college and law school opened up new worlds of ideas. But this was back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. It was a time of turmoil at colleges and universities, and I saw some very smart people and very privileged people behaving irresponsibly and I couldn’t help making a contrast between some of the worst of what I saw on the campus and the good sense and the decency of the people back in my own community.
Won me over. I guess I'm a sucker for invocations of working class virtues, especially when it's made by one of the chattering class. The Jon Stewarts among us will, of course, be quick to associate them with racism and misogyny. But that would miss the point. As an angelic Clemenza might say, Leave the bathwater; take the baby. We're not even talking about the Left throwing out the baby with the bathwater; today it's all about throwing out the baby (quite literally) and keeping the bathwater as if it were single-malt. (HT: Catholics in the Public Square for posting the Alito statement.)