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Deja Vu All Over Again?

This all seems familiar. The Senate Judiciary Committee is preparing to hold hearings on a prospective Supreme Court justice nominated by a conservative, tax-cutting president with sagging approval ratings who is derided as unintelligent by his critics. The nominee, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, has impeccable credentials and an impressive intellect, but nonetheless is opposed by various liberal interest groups warning he could turn back the clock on civil liberties and equal protection.

Like the politics, aspects of today's music scene have a distinctive 1980s feel. There has been a marked resurgence in 1980s-style alternative pop music in bands like The Killers, The Bravery, Franz Ferdinand, The Stills, VHS or Beta, Razorlight, and Kasabian, among others. These bands were heavily influenced by 80s acts like The Cure, New Order, Echo & the Bunnymen, and the Smiths. There was even a massive transcontinental benefit concert featuring classic band reunions and Duran Duran is on tour. How much more '80s can you get?

Of course, the parallel is less-than perfect. Among (many) other things, Republicans control the Senate, the Cold War is over, no one buys Michael Jackson albums anymore, and I think we're safe from thin leather ties and ozone-depleting hairstyles. I also expect Judge Roberts will be confirmed, perhaps proving that history never really repeats itself.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Roberts = Bork?
  2. Deja Vu All Over Again?
31 Comments
Roberts = Bork?

I'm not the only one with a sense of deja vu. Duke law professor Erwin Chemerinsky writes of the Roberts confirmation debate, "the parallels to the fight over Bork are striking." Both Bork and Roberts were nominated to replace "swing" justices (Powell and O'Connor, respectively); both have "impeccable academic and professional qualifications"; and both are quite conservative. For this reason, Chemerinsky maintains, " Democrats must oppose Roberts." The last point is where Chemerinsky and I disagree.

[NOTE: This post has been corrected. I originally wrote Chemerinsky is a professor at USC -- as he was during the 1980s -- when he's actually at Duke. This was an error, and the text has been revised accordingly.]

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Roberts = Bork?
  2. Deja Vu All Over Again?
68 Comments