It's the only reasonable (and charitable) way of reading his column.
Now I've been no big fan of the Roberts nomination, as I've made abundantly clear. But finding himself unable to attack Roberts substantively, Cohen today argues that Roberts is unfit for the Supreme Court because he never flunked out of college like Cohen once did. I wish I (or he) were kidding:
I sometimes think the best thing that ever happened to me was, at the time, the worst: I flunked out of college. I did so for the usual reasons -- painfully bored with school and distracted by life itself -- and so I went to work for an insurance company while I plowed ahead at night school. From there I went into the Army, emerging with a storehouse of anecdotes. In retrospect, I learned more by failing than I ever would have by succeeding. I wish that John Roberts had a touch of my incompetence.Trust us, Richard. Nobody else wishes that.
But I think Cohen has an excellent handle on what makes a great Supreme Court justice: a storehouse of zany Army anecdotes. In fact, that's why I actually think Dewey Oxburger ought to be the nominee. His friends call him "Ox."
As if that superlative piece of idiocy weren't enough, Cohen mind-bogglingly further criticizes Roberts for--get this--never having been a politician. Only in Washington could someone, without a hint of irony, regard not being a politician as a character flaw.
Continues Rain Man Cohen:
But it is not only the lack of political experience that I rue today, it is also the lack of life experiences that makes me wonder.What in the world, you may ask, do life experiences have to do with one's ability to read and apply the plain words of the Constitution? How does riding trains as a hobo help one to read statutes? Such things are entirely irrelevant, of course. But Cohen and his ilk are not looking for someone to read and apply the laws and the Constitution. They are looking for people who will write a new one from the bench. That's why Cohen wants someone with political experience who knows what it's like to be "downtrodden." The "good" justices must be able to rule based on emotion and personal identification rather than the law. In the liberal vision, judges must see themselves in a political lawmaking role and impose progressive policy preferences on an unwilling nation.
One thing is not suprising in all this, though. You kinda figured Cohen probably flunked out of school, didn't you?