Join 3,438 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"I never had much confidence in the attention span of elected officials for any kind of deep thinking about important issues,"
July 6, 2002 4:23 PM   Subscribe

"I never had much confidence in the attention span of elected officials for any kind of deep thinking about important issues," jabs Republican U.S. judge Alfred Goodwin in a feisty interview. He seems unfazed by the outraged reaction to his ban on government teachers leading a theistic "pledge of allegiance," ripping into the press "("Their attention span can't handle anything more than a haiku of about four lines"), the President ("I'm a little disappointed in our chief executive -- who nobody ever accused of being a deep thinker -- for popping off") and "this wrap-yourself-in-the-flag frenzy." I'm starting to see why he's "among the best-liked jurists on the 9th Circuit bench, always affable and gracious." [from cursor.org]
posted by mediareport (33 comments total)

 
Sounds like a cantankerous old cuss. I like him already.
posted by RylandDotNet at 4:45 PM on July 6, 2002


Aha, it was Judge Goodwin. That figures. The characterization here squares with my impressions of him.
posted by sheauga at 5:25 PM on July 6, 2002


A four line haiku?
posted by Espoo2 at 6:06 PM on July 6, 2002



1. A Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons.

posted by jragon at 6:15 PM on July 6, 2002


It's good to see that senility is no barrier to employment on the federal judiciary.
posted by ljromanoff at 6:17 PM on July 6, 2002


Very interesting point that ljromnoff; an elderly chap thinks about an issue and articulates his thoughts in a lucid manner, and is deemed to be senile. Would that indicate that someone with an inability to think about any issue, nor articulate his thoughts in any kind of lucid or coherent fashion (the president of the U.S for instance), suffers from a learning disability?
posted by Fat Buddha at 6:36 PM on July 6, 2002


Judge made the right decision, and he understands how it's playing in Peoria, and is unfazed by the reaction. Cool.
posted by davidmsc at 6:59 PM on July 6, 2002


You know, if Dubya had made a remark about "a haiku of about four lines" MeFi would be all over it like a cheap suit, with a 50-post thread of snarky comments about how our President is an uneducated idiot.

[taps foot] I'm waiting. Fat Buddha, you want to start in on the good judge? Oh, I see not. Foldy? nofundy? Optamystic? th3ph17? mapalm? No one?

Look. If a cantankerous old cuss is on our political side, we love him to death as a colorful character, a trove of folksy wisdom, a true bit of Americana. If he isn't, we revile him as a senile old fool who ought to be retired. That's partisan politics. That's socially constructed reality. That's my MeFi!
posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:45 PM on July 6, 2002


Our pledge is now all
Unconstitutional like
politictians bitch
but we all know whats right.
posted by delmoi at 7:57 PM on July 6, 2002


Hang on, Slithy. I hate Bush, I'm snarky, and I posted about the error rather than celebrating the judge. Settle down, or better yet, start your own MeFi.

See? Snarky.
posted by jragon at 8:04 PM on July 6, 2002


Uh. One small slip of the tongue does not a complete inability to utter comprehensible English make.

In other words, Bush is still *wayyyyyyyy* dumber than this guy.

Are you saying that anyone who ever makes a single mistake while interviewed is a complete idiot who is never to be trusted?

And that this is the same as a (supposed) president who is demonstrably and willfully illiterate?

Please.
posted by beth at 8:19 PM on July 6, 2002


Perhaps the point should be made: "Why is this judge being interviewed?"

Isn't it better if judges just shut up and judge? There is a reason that attorneys represent conflicting viewpoints before a judge. It's *their* turn, not his. He is just scorekeeper. Theoretically, an unbiased arbiter.

What's that saying about shutting up and people thinking you are a fool being better than opening your mouth and proving it?
posted by kablam at 8:27 PM on July 6, 2002


kablam: I don't follow you. The judge is clearly a very smart guy, and i see no bias in the interview.
posted by benh57 at 8:54 PM on July 6, 2002


It's good to see that senility is no barrier to employment on the federal judiciary.

...or the white house.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:27 PM on July 6, 2002


...or the white house.

Clinton was penile, not senile...
posted by BlueTrain at 10:59 PM on July 6, 2002


Bwahahaha! See, 'cause Clinton got into trouble for something involving his penis, by changing a single letter you've cleverly turned a joke about Bush's seeming lack of intelligence into one about Clinton's seeming lack of moral character! That's pure comedy gold.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:27 PM on July 6, 2002


Are you saying that anyone who ever makes a single mistake while interviewed is a complete idiot who is never to be trusted?

If the person being interviewed was Bush, a lot of people here would agree with the above statement.
posted by gyc at 11:50 PM on July 6, 2002


Well, to be fair, in Bush's case, they'd have more than one example to draw on if the intent were to prove that he's not the sharpest tool in the shed. At least the judge seemed to know that a Haiku is a poetic form (even if he got it wrong). Do 'ya think Dubya could define it any better?

Still, I think "That's partisan politics! That's socially constructed reality! That's my MeFi!" should be added to the rotating list of quotes. Made me smile. :)
posted by wheat at 4:32 AM on July 7, 2002


god is socially constructed.
posted by Postroad at 5:11 AM on July 7, 2002


that is so deep, Postroad!
posted by mcsweetie at 8:12 AM on July 7, 2002


When I read the quote, I got the impression that the judge, in criticizing the press, felt that THEY thought haikus had four lines. Rather than an error on his part, a stronger dig against their intellectual ability. But then, I've always put your average journalist in the category of people who think haikus have four lines myself. Along with a lot of the current American administration, not just W.
posted by wendell at 8:22 AM on July 7, 2002


Ah, the "We hate Bush, he's so stupid, our bigotry against the Christians is showing" crowd has weighed in. How typical.

My question: If this "judge" (and considering other rulings from this court I feel the quotes are proper) is so unconcerned about how this plays in Peoria then why did they set aside their own ruling?

The Pledge of Allegiance is no more an "establishment of religion" than the dollar bill. If you disagree, I assume you'll be contacting me to hand over that currency ASAP.

(For the slow: "under God" is an descriptive phrase - it describes the nation that you are swearing allegiance to. As written you are not swearing allegiance TO God. Learn to comprehend what you read.)
posted by hadashi at 10:36 AM on July 7, 2002


Ah, the "We hate Bush, he's so stupid, our bigotry against the Christians is showing" crowd has weighed in. How typical.

time to make way for the "praise the G O D and pass the ammo, friggin homo liberals need to get AIDS, our bigotry against non-white-protestants is showing" crowd?

My question: If this "judge" (and considering other rulings from this court I feel the quotes are proper) is so unconcerned about how this plays in Peoria then why did they set aside their own ruling?

I think the article made it pretty clear...
He said he also issued the order so that other judges could get back to work. Judges that weren't on the panel were getting lots of calls, he added.
For the slow: "under God" is an descriptive phrase - it describes the nation that you are swearing allegiance to.

agreed, but that doesn't make it any more benign. maybe this just my glaring viritol for christianity speaking, but I sincerely doubt that everyone so bitterly opposed to the removal of "under god" is simply trying to remind everyone where our laws supposedly came from.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:26 AM on July 7, 2002


Good to see that the can't-be-bothered-to-read-what-I'm-spewing-about crowd has weighed in.
posted by NortonDC at 12:07 PM on July 7, 2002


Perhaps the point should be made: "Why is this judge being interviewed?"

That's unfair, kablam. If you were a member of the judicial branch who'd been insulted as "stupid" on the floor of the U.S. Senate and told a thoughtful decision on a clearly complex issue was "ridiculous" by the chief executive, I wouldn't fault you for giving an interview to a legal trade publication in which you defended yourself by pointing out that the reason we have a federal judiciary is precisely to guard against the kind of knee-jerk political frenzy that had obviously gripped 99% of the elected officials in the country. In fact, as a citizen, I'd kind of appreciate it if you did give that interview. I'd even give you bonus points for taking a philosophical view of media attention.

gyc: If the person being interviewed was Bush, a lot of people here would agree with the above statement [i.e., that anyone who ever makes a single mistake while interviewed is a complete idiot who is never to be trusted].

That's a total strawman, gyc.
posted by mediareport at 3:14 PM on July 7, 2002


"Their attention span can't handle anything more than a haiku of about four lines"

Is it possible that he said what he meant, and was trying to be ironic? As in, there's no such thing as a haiku with four lines, which means that there's nothing the attention span of the press can handle?
posted by crunchland at 4:08 PM on July 7, 2002


gyc: If the person being interviewed was Bush, a lot of people here would agree with the above statement [i.e., that anyone who ever makes a single mistake while interviewed is a complete idiot who is never to be trusted].

That's a total strawman, gyc.


It's an assumption, perhaps an unfair one (although I certainly don't think so), but it's not a strawman.
posted by ljromanoff at 4:36 PM on July 7, 2002


I'm with crunchland, that he probably said exactly what he meant. Sometimes "emeritus" individuals are even more formidable, and more subtle, than their younger counterparts.
posted by sheauga at 7:12 PM on July 7, 2002


Wouldn't three qualify for 'about four' anyway? What's all the fuss about?
posted by spilon at 8:44 PM on July 7, 2002


Wouldn't three qualify for 'about four' anyway?

Man, I'm never hiring you to do my taxes.
posted by ljromanoff at 7:59 AM on July 8, 2002


What's all the fuss about?

whether or not Republican U.S. judge Alfred Goodwin knows how many lines are in the contemporary haiku is key to winning the battle of keeping god in america!
posted by mcsweetie at 4:18 PM on July 8, 2002


Twas brillig, and the Slithy_Tove
Did gyre and gimble in the thread;
All flimsy were the arguments,
And the lone Optamystic outraged.

"Beware the Liber Metafilter Cabal(tm), my son!
The jaws that bite, the Foldy that types!
Beware the Fat Buddha bird, and shun
The frumious Mapalm-ersnatch!"

He took his vorpal mouse in hand:
Long time the posting foe he sought --
So rested he by the Nofundy tree,
And read awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he read,
th3ph17erwock, with eyes of flame,
Came posting through the tulgey thread,
And misspelled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal mouse went click-click-clack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went a-clicking back.

"And, has thou slain th3ph17erwock?
Come to my forums, my posting boy!
O freeperish day! Callooh! Callay!'
He typeled in his joy.

Twas brillig, and the Slithy_Tove
Did gyre and gimble in the thread;
All flimsy were the arguments,
And the lone Optamystic outraged.
posted by th3ph17 at 1:01 PM on July 11, 2002


Actually, the lone Optamystic is highly amused. And a little flattered.
posted by Optamystic at 9:57 PM on July 15, 2002


« Older "This trend of creating mass media to distribute p...  |  Director John Frankenheimer is... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments