Alito, Roberts and the Gotcha Gig

Supreme Court

New Orleans        I guess it was inevitable that some people would think that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.  Conservatives and rightwing zealots shouldn’t have been surprised after all of these years, as they smiled and cheered the antics of James O’Keefe and his cohort trying one stunt after another in their quest to prove the negative while trying unsuccessfully to fabricate some basis behind all of their conspiracy theories.  Twenty years ago, the Yes Men made a living this way on big issues like climate change, Katrina shenanigans, and more.  If any of these biased zealots on the right had watched the great Netflix show “Top Boy,” they would have heard the gang’s regular signoff “say less,” and followed that rule religiously.  Instead, in their hubris and impunity, many seemed to think they were immune and spilled their guts without reservation without remembering that just as they love fake news, they need to be wary of fake journalists.

Lauren Windsor identifies herself as a documentary filmmaker and “advocacy” journalist, whatever that is? I’d never heard of her, but her secret recordings of Supreme Court Justice Alito, his wife, and Chief Justice Roberts at the controversial annual Supreme Court Foundation fundraiser, often seen as a big money influencer playground, are now big news.  She seems to have done this before with former VP Mike Pence, Congressman Jim Jordan, and others, but this time she went big and scored hard.

Frankly, her edited recordings don’t shed much light, even if they have generated some heat.  It’s no surprise to anyone following the Court, that Alito isn’t objective.  There’s no pretense in reading his opinions that he is other than a culture and conservative warrior on his chosen side.  As observers have noted, he doesn’t mind making up his decisions out of whole cloth.  The fact that Windsor taped him believing the left and right are incompatible, and that one side or another will win, is almost refreshing, as it drops any thin veneer of objectivity.

As for Mrs. Alito, we already knew she was not going to win a good neighbor award in her community, and that she is literally a flag waving whack.  You have to love her referring to her husband’s job as a justice as “nonsense,” which is kind of the way all of us see his work at the court.  She told Windsor, that she had told her husband that,  “when you are free of this nonsense,” “I’m putting it up, and I’m going to send them a message every day, maybe every week. I’ll be changing the flags.”  No question, she’s a pistol, but Windsor’s recording almost gives credence to Alito’s earlier gaslighting, when he blamed his wife for the flag controversy, because here she has Mrs. Alito saying she didn’t go after the LGBTQ flag, because he had begged her not to do so.

I wasn’t even surprised that Roberts didn’t take Windsor’s bait and almost comes across fair-minded and reasonable, advocating diversity at some level and unity at another, while rejecting moral and religious bias.  The Chief Justice has always been more of a “throw the rock and hide the hand” guy, slitting the American people’s back, while smiling in their faces and offering platitudes about the reputation of the court, even as it crumbles in repeated scandals.

Who knows?  All of these recordings were edited by Windsor, and she wouldn’t share the recordings with the press, claiming they are too long at two hours.  That’s really lame.  These reporters listen to podcasts, one after another, longer than that.  I don’t like the smell of it.  In fact, I’m not a fan of the whole enterprise.  And, in this case, it almost backfires.  What people have to understand if they want to grandstand like O’Keefe is that mostly he falls on his face, gets caught, gets busted, gets sued, and ruins any shred of credibility he might pretend to have.  He hasn’t ever played a winning hand, except to the marginal suckers in the far right peanut gallery.

Do we really need this trouble on our side of the line?  I think not.