The Judge in the Gray Flannel Suit

More

I haven't generated great interest in the Elena Kagan nomination. She's a liberal, which is not exactly an unexpected feature in a candidate nominated by a Democratic president. Maybe she's gay, but since I couldn't tell you which of the other eight justices are married, or to whom, I can't say I find this very interesting. She has no track record, the better to dodge uncomfortable questions. She's a bit of a hypocrite. Out of this stuff, great blogging is not made.

But I do think that David Brooks is onto something when he notes that her relentless careerism, her pitch-perfect blandness, are a little creepy. Not in themselves, but because they're a symptom of a culture that increasingly values what Brooks calls Organization Kids: the driven, hyperachieving spawn of the Ivy League meritocracy who began practicing Supreme Court nomination acceptances and CEO profile photo poses long before they took notice of the opposite sex.

What's disturbing is that this is what our nomination process now selects for: someone who appears to be in favor of nothing except self-advancement. Then we complain when the most passionate advocates for ideas are the lunatic fringe.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In