The usually canny John Scalzi demonstrates a flawed heuristic:
It looks like the Court’s ‘Split the Baby’ rulings on the 10 Commandments in courthouses and on government land hasn’t made anyone happy, so I figure that probably means it’s not a bad pair of rulings.
You know, whatever you think of today’s rulings on the pair of Ten Commandments cases (I haven’t followed the story in detail, and don’t really propose to argue about it), the fact is that “everybody’s unhappy, so it must be fair” is magical thinking. Justice isn’t a function of averaging.
I’m reminded of the number of times I’ve seen modern reporters and editors announce that they get flak from angry right-wingers and angry left-wingers alike, so they “must be doing something right”. (If I had LEXIS/NEXIS I could probably compile pages of links to media professionals regurgitating this odious cliché.) In 1859, many Americans were angry about slavery, and many other Americans were angry about the idea of limiting slavery. You know something? The justice of the matter wasn’t “halfway in between.” Quite the contrary, the radicals on one side were pretty much entirely right. Slavery was wrong.