In her incisive takedown of Men In Black,
Fellow slatester (and my editor) Dahlia Lithwick makes the subtle but important point that there has been a significant shift in the nature of right-wing attacks on the judiciary. They are no longer confined to "liberal" or "activist" judges, but rather directed at the judiciary itself.
Though she doesn't say it, to me this is another example of the brilliant right wing triangulation strategy (adopted from the Sinn Fein / IRA or Hamas / Palestinian Authority playbook) that uses attacks on the right from the further right to wrench the terms of the debate rightward. This is what they did when they ran a far right candidate against Arlen Spector claiming he was 'basically a democrat.'
By attacking even conservative judges they acomplish the same thing. Pernicious but effective. The tradgedy is that the left doesn't respond in kind. But ain't that the way of the world...
Of course what makes Dahlia's stuff so wonderful to read is that it not only makes this important point, but it also includes some more general (and deeply satisfying) bashing like the following:
"I use the word 'book' with some hesitation: Certainly it possesses chapters and words and other book-like accoutrements. But Men in Black is 208 large-print pages of mostly block quotes (from court decisions or other legal thinkers) padded with a forward by the eminent legal scholar Rush Limbaugh, and a blurry 10-page 'Appendix' of internal memos to and from congressional Democrats—stolen during Memogate. The reason it may take you only slightly longer to read Men in Black than it took Levin to write it is that you'll experience an overwhelming urge to shower between chapters."