Thomas Sowell

 Even though Judge Bork was endorsed by the most famous civil rights attorney in history -- Thurgood Marshall -- that meant absolutely nothing politically. His opponents couldn't care less about his civil rights record, except as something to twist in order to deny him a place on the Supreme Court.

 The same game was played, years later, when Mississippi Judge Charles Pickering was nominated to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and rejected by the Democrats who controlled the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2002.

 Back in the days of the civil rights struggle in Mississippi in the 1960s, Charles Pickering not only risked his political career by speaking out for civil rights, he risked his life. When Judge Pickering's nomination came under political attack in Washington, decades later, local black leaders in Mississippi came to his defense. One said: "I can't believe the man they're describing in Washington is the same one I've known for years."

 Pickering's actual civil rights record, which had been praised by Mississippi civil rights leader Charles Evers, had nothing to do with the opposition to him. Liberals were afraid that someone with Judge Pickering's judicial philosophy might not rule in favor of abortion -- their real litmus test -- and if depicting him as someone opposed to civil rights would stop him, so be it.

 The most successful political demagoguery of our time has been the claim that black voters were "disenfranchised" in Florida during the 2000 elections. Mona Charen's book examines that claim in detail. The Civil Rights Commission issued a report repeating that claim -- after hearings in which not a single black voter testified to being personally denied the vote.

 "Do-Gooders" shows not only the destructive consequences of liberal policies on crime, education and welfare, it shows the corrupting cynicism used to try to keep the liberal agenda afloat.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate

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