A journalist's paranoid racist Scalia fantasy

Slate writer Dahlia Lithwick covered the Supreme Court's first day, and was shocked -- shocked! -- at this Scalia comment on whether a deported convicted felon is still on supervised release while in Mexico:
"Nobody thinks your client is really, you know, abstaining from tequila down in Mexico because he is on supervised release in the United States."

The horror! Suggesting that someone might drink tequila, a well-known and widely promoted Mexican liquor, while in Mexico!

Yes, Lithwick goes on:
Nobody laughs. But then, nobody winces or flinches, either. Somehow, a remark that would have flattened us had a Souter spoken it is just a solid day at the office for Scalia. I have no idea where the tequila comment should register on the nation's macaca-meter. The more interesting question is about Scalia's deliberate carelessness with language, his sense that he is somehow above the sorts of linguistic delicacy the rest of us expect in our dealings with others. Indeed, he seems to think it's his obligation to be ever more reckless with his words, perhaps because he's about the only guy left who faces no consequences for his rhetorical body-slams.
Wow! Imagine if Souter said something about someone drinking tequila in Mexico! Can you imagine the outrage? And how deliberately careless and reckless Scalia is! Tequila! What a body-slam!

The editors at Slate treated this story as the sure-fire Pulitzer story it is: they ran it as the top story on the front page with a headline reading "Scalia's macaca moment."

Comments