Tag: Arlen Specter

When the Senate was a goyisch old boys’ club

As I head into the home stretch of Clarence Thomas, I’m poring over the more than three-thousand-page transcript of Thomas’s Senate Confirmation hearings in 1991. One of the eeriest revelations from that reading is not how much the Senate in 1991 was an old boys’ club; that we already knew from Anita Hill. Nor is it how much the Senate in 1991 was a white old boys’ club; that we already knew from Thomas. No, what really comes out from the hearings is how much the Senate of 1991 was a goyisch, even WASP-y, old boys’ club. Some of the most uncomfortable moments of the hearings, for me as a Jew, is to see the subtle, almost invisible, ways in […]

Things Obama Says When Famous People Die

Obama’s statement on George McGovern’s death seems awfully anodyne, begrudging, and brief: George McGovern dedicated his life to serving the country he loved.¬†He signed up to fight in World War II, and became a decorated bomber pilot over the battlefields of Europe. When the people of South Dakota sent him to Washington, this hero of war became a champion for peace. And after his career in Congress, he became a leading voice in the fight against hunger.¬†George was a statesman of great conscience and conviction, and Michelle and I share our thoughts and prayers with his family. There’s no mention of the fact that McGovern was the presidential candidate of Obama’s party. That he led the fight against the Vietnam […]