One of the role of political journals is to police their own side. For example, the Nation and the New York Review of Books should call out leftists who play fast and loose with the facts, or who cozy up to the likes of Castro. Likewise, the National Review and the Weekly Standard should blow the whistle on erring rightists who, for example, play footsie with fascists. (You listening, William Kristol?)
Unfortunately, this happens all too rarely. I mention it because the Wall Street Journal editorial page today carries a column that slaps down the talk that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was anti-military during her time as dean of the Harvard Law School. "Outside observers may disagree with the moral and policy judgments made by those at Harvard Law School," writes her predecessor as dean, Robert Clark. "But it would be very wrong to portray Elena Kagan as hostile to the U.S. military. Quite the opposite is true."
I've taken a few pops at the WSJ edit page in the past, so it is only right to congratulate them today.
Meanwhile, invoking the spirit of Roman Hruska (who in 1970 defended a Supreme Court nominee thusly: ''Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance? We can't have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos.''), David Brooks criticizes Kagan for not being more like an op-ed columnist.
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.