Just when you think that Brian “Tater” Stelter has the highly competitive position of the dumbest person at CNN sewn up, there is always someone ready and willing to give him a run for his money. An early contender today was their “legal analyst” Jeffrey Toobin:
See the new @USSupremeCourt clearly: Abortion illegal; doctors prosecuted; gay people barred from restaurants, hotels, stores; African-Americans out of elite schools; gun control banned in 50 states; the end of regulatory state. My @NewYorker column.https://t.co/ik0fa4XDIK
— Jeffrey Toobin (@JeffreyToobin) July 1, 2018
Toobin, you’ll recall, is the guy who got the daughter of a colleague pregnant while he was married and then tried to coerce her into having an abortion to avoid paying child support. So when you want someone to opine on morality and decency, Toobin is definitely your go-to guy.
But, unsurprisingly, there was a late entrant to the field. Chris Cillizza.
If you believe Trump makes decisions based on image and appearance (and he does), then here's the next Supreme Court Justicehttps://t.co/GRVrVkrmJF
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) July 2, 2018
For Donald Trump, image is everything.
How you look is a major marker for how you will do in Trump’s world. You need to look the part for him to imagine you in the job. Your personal story has to stand out in the crowd.
…That “central casting” view of the world goes for reality TV contestants, Cabinet picks and, yes, likely even Supreme Court justices.By that logic, Trump’s pick to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy — which he is set to announce July 9 — is simple. It’s Amy Coney Barrett.Coney Barrett is, among other things:
- A woman
- A mother of seven
- Young (in her mid-40s)
- A person of faith
- Reliably conservative, particularly on social issuesThis, from CNN’s Jeff Zeleny, speaks to the casting-call nature of Trump’s search:“President Trump is increasingly intrigued about selecting the first female conservative Supreme Court justice, people familiar with the search say, repeatedly telling advisers that he likes the idea of making such a historic choice in a climate where women on the other side of the political aisle are playing such a pivotal role. …’Can you imagine?’ the president said with a smile during a conversation about the prospect of selecting a woman for the pivotal spot on the court.”If you combine Trump’s love for making history (everything is record-setting or never been done before) with his emphasis on appearance (the next SCOTUS nominee has to have immaculate academic credentials, yes, but also, the robe simply has to look like she — or he — was born to wear it) then there is a big, flashing red arrow pointing at Coney Barrett.
What’s missing from this?
Right, it would be because of her looks. Not because she had an appellate-court clerkship, Supreme Court clerkship (with Justice Scalia), elite law-firm experience, law professor at an elite law school, and now experience as a federal judge on the Seventh Circuit Court. https://t.co/CxCPrKXVn7
— Garrett Ventry (@GarrettVentry) July 2, 2018
This is not to say that Barrett doesn’t have an amazing personal story but her personal story is only made amazing by her professional accomplishments. And there is only one reference to her legal career in the entire story:
That doesn’t mean, however, that picking Coney Barrett would be without some strategic side benefits. The largest of those is the fact that she was confirmed by the Senate to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in October 2017. She received 55 votes, including from Democrats Joe Manchin (West Virginia), Joe Donnelly (Indiana) and Tim Kaine (Virginia) as well as several moderate Republicans like Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia), Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).
The clear takeaway from Cillizza’s tweet and from the story is that Barrett’s looks are what is driving the train in the nomination.
Shorter @CillizzaCNN: "I want to call this judge hot, but I also hate her because she disagrees with me so I want be belittle her and reduce her career accomplishments down to her looks. How can I do both? I've got it!" This is @CNN. #Sexist https://t.co/rUyKDiZXur
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) July 2, 2018
Standby for more of this. Barrett is looking more and more like the nominee every day and if they are doing this with her looks, you can only imagine what happens when her Catholicism is attacked again and for real.