Which Soggy WashPost Tribute to the Sixties Left Would You Prefer?

September 16th, 2005 8:09 AM

Hmm, which puff piece for liberal heroes (without actually stooping to use the word "liberal") would the typical reader of the Washington Post prefer in today's Style section? Would it be the Marcia Davis article about John Lewis, "civil rights icon," lecturing about John Roberts and his awful work for awful Ronald Reagan? He "offered the drama of history." His statement proclaimed predictably that Roberts would "reverse the hard-won civil rights gains that so many sacrificed so much to achieve," meaning that he might not recognize every precious bean-counting racial quota and reverse-discrimination advantage favored by the NAACP. He then says "We must go forward to the creation of one America," despite the constantly divisive rhetoric black liberals use, like the recent comparison of the Superdome to a slave ship or a concentration camp. Or....?

Would it be the Don Oldenburg profile of Mary Beth Tinker, the "answer on law school exams" about free speech for wearing a black armband to protest the Vietnam War? (I'll confess a soft spot for the 1969 Tinker v. Des Moines case, allowing a little room for political activism in high schools and school papers, even when, in my case, it was pro-Reagan cheerleading.) Tinker is jazzed in the classroom by opposition to the Iraq war and high gas prices: "Gas prices are going up and wages are going down. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, have you noticed?" Left-wing American University law professor Jamin Raskin marvels, "She has never stopped talking against war." He's not labeled, either./>