Not-So-Hidden Persuaders

Washington-area television viewers were startled last week to see three familiar senatorial faces pop up on their screens above the words WHO WILL JUDGE THE JUDGE? The follow-up question -- "How many of these liberal Democrats could themselves pass ethical scrutiny?" -- was hardly necessary, since the faces were those of Edward Kennedy, Joseph Biden and Alan Cranston, all scarred veterans of highly publicized scandals, from Chappaquiddick to plagiarized speeches to the Keating Five.

The ad, produced by two independent right-wing groups, was intended to bolster Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas' confirmation chances by pointing the finger at three liberal Democrats...

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