When the Going Gets Weird, the Weird Turn Pro
This is genuinely weird:
This Is a Defense of Alito?: I admit I haven't been following every twist and turn of the issue of Alito's membership in Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP), but I really don't understand Arlen Specter's point here:
"Judge Alito's name never appeared in any document," Specter said. "It was not mentioned in any letters to or from the group's founder or executive director, did not appear on any canceled checks for subscriptions, was nowhere to be found on any articles, lists of board members or contributors, and was not in any minutes or attendance records from CAP meetings," Specter said.
He quoted CAP founder William Rusher as saying: "I have no recollection of Samuel Alito at all. He certainly was not very heavily involved in CAP, if at all."
Is the Republican position now that Alito was never a member of CAP at all, but just lied about being a member when he was applying for a job in the Reagan Justice Department?
In a word, yes. The Republican line-of-the-day is essentially that he badly needed right-wing street cred, and claiming membership in CAP was a way to do that. Now, of course, Alito badly needs centrist street cred.
Getting weirder: Alito says he thinks the reason he joined Concerned Alumni of Princeton was that he wanted ROTC back on the campus. Robert Waldmann writes:
Robert's Stochastic thoughts : Dale Russakoff writes in the January 12 Washington Post:
[Alito] said he assumes he joined only because he supported the return of ROTC to the Princeton campus. As an undergraduate, Alito was a member of Princeton's Army ROTC unit when it was expelled from the campus -- a move that he said "rankled" him because "the attitude seemed to be that the military was a bad institution and that Princeton was too good for the military." The Army ROTC unit was back on campus by the time Alito wrote his 1985 job application, but he said the Navy and Air Force units were not.
This last sentence is true in the same sense that World War II was over by the time Alito wrote his job application. Army ROTC returned to Princeton in 1972 before Alito graduated. Thus he claims he joined CAP to advocate a policy that had already been implemented.