Dittos, Professor & Sorry, Hugh

Professor Bainbridge posted on this first and well, so I am not going to say as much about Hugh Hewitt’s “Not One of Us” remarks as I otherwise might.

However, the Professor’s remark about Hugh’s misinterpretation of the Cato Institute’s Roger Pilon’s use of the term “one of us” deserves extra dittos. This is Hugh’s comment:

The difference between conservative legal elites’ support for Justice Thomas and their split over Miers is that Justice Thomas was indeed “one of us” in their eyes, meaning one of the Capitol’s regulars at roundtables and seminars and receptions prior to his elevation to the D.C. Circuit. Justice Thomas had many personal friends who went to the mat for him against the onslaught in 1991.

I’m going to be obnoxious and claim decent experience, as the CEO of a conservative think-tank that has been based on Capitol Hill for my entire 23-year-tenure, with what a Washington conservative/libertarian means when he says “one of us” in conversation. What he means is what Professor Bainbridge says, that is, someone who thinks the way free-market conservatives do on philosophy and principle. It is shorthand, frankly, for someone who values philosophy over career and (sorry, Hugh) political party.For example, in the 1980 presidential primaries, Ronald Reagan was “one of us,” while George H.W. Bush was not.

This phrase is very commonly used in DC’s conservative/libertarian circles, and, as such, its meaning should not be in any doubt.

And, by the way, yes, Clarence Thomas did have a lot of personal friends supporting his confirmation in 1991, but, speaking as one who was involved, he had even more supporters who had never met him yet were glad to be supportive — because Thomas, philosophically, is and was “one of us,” and the nation knew it because of Thomas’s professional record.

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