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Politics Isn’t A Cocktail Party

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One place where you’re particularly likely to see “but would he/she be fun to have a beer with?” standards applied is Supreme Court nomination hearings and the surrounding discourse. You may remember, for example, that Sam Alito’s baseball-watching and nice family were not only supposed to be relevant for reasons that remain unclear, but were supposed to be evidence that he couldn’t really be that conservative. In a rational world, such cases as Alito and that nice, moderate, beer drinkin’ brush clearin’ Bush/Cheney ticket would put the cocktail party and/or theater critic modes of analysis out of business, but…

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