Newsweek Writer Mocks Clarence Thomas's "Playbook on How to...Appeal to" Women

Today's web-only column on the Alito hearings by Newsweek's Jonathan Darman contains an irritating sentence ("In the coming days, Alito and the White House will use small gestures to assure moderate senators, and moderate Americans, that he lives in the same world they do") that suggests that Jonathan may be related to Richard Darman, the famously centrist OMB director under Bush 41.

Far worse, though, is Jonathan Darman's smirky, ahistorical quip, bolded at the end of the excerpt below, at the expense of Clarence Thomas:

Women were everywhere in the first two days of Alito’s confirmation. Seated just behind him as he took the podium yesterday were nine females, including his wife, sister, daughter and mother-in-law. These women were largely silent (though the Alito women were overheard breezily joking with one another on a ladies’ room break). But their mere appearance makes a difference. TV cameras zooming in on his face couldn’t help but capture two striking figures seated behind him wearing robust red. One was the nominee’s wife, Martha, the other, Rachel Brand, the Justice department attorney charged with preparing his nomination. This image, an earnest jurist with a rosy angel on each shoulder sent a message: Let the Democrats say what they like, this judge will remember the ladies.

This might be a hard message to get across. Alito’s record on women’s issues, particularly abortion, is more hardcore conservative than any nominee since Clarence Thomas. (Note to Judge Alito: Don’t follow Justice Thomas’s playbook on how to make your hearings appeal to the fairer sex.) 

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters