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    Alito: Arch or Flaming?

    alitotwins.jpgQuote: "By selecting the right cases, he can look like a flaming liberal or he can look like an arch conservative." Sen. Arlen Specter at Samuel Alito's nomination hearing.

    Figure of Speech: antisagoge (an tih sa GO gee), the balanced argument.

    Specter points out that Judge Alito has voted in some 4,800 rulings, and the shrill interest groups on either side can use any one of them to make him look bad. To show what a balanced guy Alito is, Specter uses an antisagoge ("compensating arguments" in Greek), a figure that argues -- or pretends to argue -- both sides. But since few conservatives are digging through his records, Specter's statement is less balanced than it looks.

    Why do liberals have to be "flaming"? Why can't they be arch, too?

    Snappy Answer: “One ruling makes him a flaming liberal, and 4,799 make him an arch conservative.”

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