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Comments: Week of December 12, 2011

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1. In a cover story on Occupy Wall Street, John Heilemann compared the movement to the unrest of 1968 and suggested that, much like the protests of that year did, OWS might scramble the upcoming presidential election (“2012 = 1968?,” December 5). “This New York Magazine article on the Occupy movement is interesting, and that’s not a euphemism,” wrote Moe Lane at Red State. “You really need to read John Heilemann’s long reported piece on the Occupy movement’s strategic retreat for the winter,” added Rod Dreher at American Conservative. “If you thought the movement had finally petered out, think again ... It’s easy to see how they could turn Obama 2012 into Humphrey 1968.” Many liberals also found the comparison provocative. “It doesn’t take much to make a media mêlée. There were no more than 10,000 demonstrators in Grant Park on that fateful August night in 1968 ... Occupy Wall Street has already shown it can draw a crowd that large,” wrote Linda Hirshman at Salon. “The really interesting question is not whether the occupation movement poses a 1968-style threat to the reelection of Barack Obama. The interesting question is why his people are so dreamily oblivious about it.” At nymag.com, though, some commenters wondered whether OWS, going forward, would really have an impact. “The big question is, will the Occupy Wall Street protesters be able to move from the public square to the voting booth?” asked one. “Whether you despise it or love it, the tea party was able in 2010 to make the move from public protest to voting. 2012 will tell us if OWS is able to do the same thing.” Another suggested OWS would never achieve that kind of focus—but that this was precisely the point. “This movement isn’t about mirroring the past, it’s about calling for change and reformation that will fundamentally impact and transform the future and have no resemblance to any system that has failed the people of global nations in the past. I think this movement is unfolding the way it should. It’s not meant to be organized.”


2. In a profile of Elena Kagan, Dahlia Lithwick presented the newest Supreme Court justice as a picture of moderation—and nothing like the ideologue caricatured by conservatives who demand that Kagan recuse herself from cases on health care (“Her Honor,” December 5). “Excellent piece on Elena Kagan’s first term,” wrote Jaime Fuller at the American Prospect. “Paints a multidimensional and favorable picture of the new justice, and argues that Kagan has no reason to recuse herself.” “Not ‘Thurgood Marshall 2.0’ but an intelligent and compelling justice,” tweeted @CounterPointMag. “The praise for Justice Kagan—her politeness at oral argument, her moderation in voting and writing, and her overall thoughtfulness as a jurist—can’t help cause a reader to wonder: Could the same be said of Justice Sotomayor?” wrote David Lat at Above the Law. “The two justices are almost like the Goofus and Gallant of President Obama’s SCOTUS appointees.

3. Moving from Elena Kagan to Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr, profiled by Amy Odell and Jada Yuan (“178 Minutes With Miranda Kerr,” December 5): “I couldn’t tell you why, but I have a sinister obsession with the Victoria’s Secret Angels,” wrote Rachel Krause at the Frisky. “I find myself kind of intrigued by whether or not they’re real people … There’s something innately bizarre about all of them, especially their questionable grips on reality … I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that they kind of tear her apart.” “The supermodel comes across at once self-deprecating and totally oblivious,” wrote Julia Rubin at Styleite. “Shutting her down with her own quotes? New York, 1. Kerr, 0.” At least one commenter at nymag.com, though, found the story a bit harsh. “You had to call her banal? You’re interviewing a model, not Fran Lebowitz.

Send correspondence to: nymletters@nymag.com


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