In Before Coburn

Ed Whelan opposes Elena Kagan because she does not have enough judicial experience:

Whelan claim: Kagan is unqualified because she hasn’t been a judge

REALITY: Past justices had very little or no prior judicial experience before taking the bench. Dozens of Supreme Court justices had little or no judicial experience before taking the bench. William Rehnquist and Earl Warren — two of the past four chief justices — had never served as judges before being appointed. Both were nominated by Republican presidents. Former Chief Justice John Marshall, frequently referred to as the “great chief justice,” and former associate Justices Louis Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter also had no judicial experience at the time of their Supreme Court appointments. Justice Clarence Thomas had only been a judge for 16 months when he was nominated by then-President George H.W. Bush. Moreover, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT) has stated that “I have long believed that prior judicial experience is not a prerequisite for successful judicial service.”

Jane Hamsher finds that Whelan’s argument is persuasive:

“If I was in the Senate, I would vote no, because like Harriet Miers she doesn’t have the judicial experience.”

“Accepting Kagan just because people like Obama is wrong. That’s appropriate for American Idol, not the Supreme Court. Nobody knows what she stands for but him. It’s just a cult of personality with Obama. This is the Supreme Court.”

Bunning and Coburn are probably pissed they didn’t get to say no first. Plus- you people are cultists! Only free thinkers say no BEFORE the first hearing.






305 replies
  1. 1
    merl says:

    she’s as hard to please as a teabagger.

  2. 2

    That’s appropriate for American Idol, not the Supreme Court.

    Maybe we ought to let Kelly Clarkson make the pick.

  3. 3
    JK says:

    For everyone who can’t get enough of Glenn Greenwald making the case against Elena Kagan, here’s Glenn on Democracy Now making the case against Kagan http://www.democracynow.org/20.....ination_of

    Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, makes the case against Elena Kagan
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....70639.html

  4. 4
    El Tiburon says:

    I’m starting to change my tune just a wee-bit w/ Ms. Hamsher.

    The other day she was absolutely blasting Bernie Sanders and the fed-audit legislation.

    Although I agree with her 100% that simply accepting Kagan because Obama does is lazy, she is beginning to sound a bit reactionary in some of her statements.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    stuckinred says:

    But Jane is so pretty and she always tells the truth. Talk about a fucking cult!

  7. 7
    4jkb4ia says:

    That post was too easy.

    a) Scott Lemieux’s image of Byron White is a much better analogy, because
    “nominees whose qualification is working in the executive branch” is the category.
    b) You have Leahy to answer that one saying “I encouraged the President to look outside the judicial monastery”

  8. 8
    Pug says:

    Jane Hamsher is never happy. She would only be happy if the pick was Noam Chomsky.

  9. 9
    Nimm says:

    Hamsher and Whelan can go piss up a rope. Why do they even bother pretending that they’re opposed to Kagan on anything other than the exact grounds they complain about?

    In Whelan’s case, he doesn’t like her because Obama nominated her, therefore she must be a damn leftist.
    In Hamsher’s case, she doesn’t like Kagan because Obama nominated her, and Kagan isn’t blatantly leftist enough.

    Not that this means anything, but I had a conversation about the nomination today with the other lawyers in my office. Every one of them, from staunch democrat to staunch republican, didn’t give the slightest damn that she hasn’t been a judge.

    It doesn’t matter at the SCOTUS level.

  10. 10

    @JK: It’s going to be a long hard slog. Maybe you should pace yourself a tad. Just a suggestion.

  11. 11
    mr. whipple says:

    Tonight Olberman leads with the ‘left’s Harriet Miers’ and has Turley on for his concern schtick.

  12. 12
    Martin says:

    @Pug: Noam Chomsky doesn’t have judicial experience either.

  13. 13
    robertdsc says:

    Can we haz the “I Read These Morons So You Don’t Have To” tag when it comes to Jane?

  14. 14
    FairEconomist says:

    Justice Clarence Thomas had only been a judge for 16 months when he was nominated by then-President George H.W. Bush.

    I don’t think that helps your point.

  15. 15
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Meh, I’m starting to question everything Obama does simply because of the Obots. It’s like the Dallas Cowboys, good team usually, a lot to like but the fucking fans make you almost wish they’d all go down in a plane crash.

  16. 16
    stuckinred says:

    @robertdsc: How bout a “I came here so I didn’t have to read that shit anymore”?

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nimm:

    Hamsher and Whelan can go piss up a rope.

    I don’t think Jane can.

  18. 18
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Hell, Bunning and Coburn wouldn’t even be the first Senator to oppose her. Inhofe is way ahead of them.

  19. 19
    maye says:

    Ms. Hamsher has turned into a parody of herself.

  20. 20
    jake says:

    The “don’t know where they stand” argument is specious…On the right, it is code for she may not be on our side — Thomas is an idiot, but at least he is on our side. His wife is even a teabagger….

    However, the emerging narrative from the right is less where she stands, and more the fact that she may be a lesbian…Religious wingnuts are mounting what they believe is a strong defense — no one with “abnormal” sexual practices should ever serve on the Supreme Court.

    Day one and it already is sickening…

  21. 21
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    It’s going to be a long hard slog. Maybe you should pace yourself a tad. Just a suggestion.

    The General makes a good point. You will not last through the entire confirmation hearing at this rate.

    “If I was in the Senate, I would vote no, because like Harriet Miers she doesn’t have the judicial experience.”

    There is a reason you have never come close to holding a position of legitimate influence in the world of politics, Calamity Jane. The above quote encapsulates that quandary quite nicely.

  22. 22
    stuckinred says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Delta is ready when you are.

  23. 23
    DCPlod says:

    “It’s just a cult of personality with Obama.”

    Ah, Obot punching: Hamsher and Greenwald’s new favorite sport.

  24. 24
    JK says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    I don’t know about you, but I have a peaceful, easy feeling. If Kagan turns out to be a disaster as a Supreme Court justice, these links will serve as good “I told you so” reminders.

  25. 25
    Davis X. Machina says:

    There are 200 Democrats who would do just fine as a replacement for Justice Stevens, between Federal and state appellate courts, top-tier law schools, interesting and important scholars, and people in the Federal and state executives, and the difference between #1 and #150, maybe between #1 and #200, isn’t worth going to war over.

    The differences between court factions are now so extreme that any other tool — provided there even is one besides “Do I like them” — measures at the margins, measures factors too slight to matter.

    The surface of the sun is pretty damn hot. You can call it 6000ºK or 5400ºC, and even worry about the difference, but it’s not comfortable by either measure.

    Arguments about relative degrees of progressivism in court nominees have roughly the same salience.

    Which is precisely why people will go to war over it.

  26. 26
    John Cole says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Gimme a break. You’re a full-fledged firebagger and have been for some time. That quote right there is up there with Instapundit’s “I was against torture until Sullivan started writing about it.” You free thinker, you.

  27. 27
    JK says:

    @Pug:

    Noam Chomsky is too old. The better choice would be Ron Kuby http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Kuby

  28. 28
    slag says:

    @JK:

    Left is mute on racial double standard in Kagan

    OK. Who’s the “left”? Everybody I know has mentioned it as a concern. Glenn Greenwald has mentioned it as a concern. I think when Roland Ascot talks about the “left” being “mute”, he may simply mean that people like him don’t pay attention to what the “left” is saying. In which case, he may as well re-title his post “Lalalalalalalala I can’t hear you!”.

  29. 29
    jeff says:

    Just wanted to point out: not a single Protestant on the Court. I’m not actually concerned about it, and I cannot find anyone who is. Why is that?

    Let me re-phrase this: every justice is Roman Catholic or Jewish. Is this weird? I know it’s a first, historically; but, does anybody care? I cannot see why it would be a problem, but wanted to note the fact. Any comments?

  30. 30
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole: Dammmmnnnn….buuuurrrrnnn.

  31. 31
    superking says:

    The problem with Kagan is not that she doesn’t have any judicial experience. It’s that she has no relevant experience of any sort.

    NPR was reporting today that she had never argued a single case before any court of any kind before becoming Solicitor General. To me, that sounds like someone who is patently unqualified to be Solicitor General.

    Now, the first case she actually did argue was Citizens United, and she fucked that up royally.

    Someone, please tell me, what makes Elena Kagan qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice? If we accept the judicial-experience-isn’t-necessary argument, then do we also have to accept the claim that no experience is necessary?

    Kagan’s primary qualification is that she has happened to have known people in positions of power for a long time. Being a sycophant and hangeron is not a qualification.

  32. 32
    Mike Kay says:

    Gee, I though Hamsher was against bipartisanship.

  33. 33
    slag says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Moronic. Simply moronic.

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: It sounds like the bromance is hitting a rough spot.
    You may need some more mescal.

  35. 35
    Hal says:

    “It’s just a cult of personality with Obama.”

    Speaking of automatons…

    Do you know how many posts I’ve read on Huffpo and other sites that simply link Glenn Greenwald with not further explanation?

    She sucks because GG or Hamsher says so is just as pathetic as saying; “Hey, Obama likes her, so do I!”

  36. 36
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole: I don’t even know what a firebagger is. You Obots just make up words and act like they mean something outside of your Oclub.

  37. 37

    @JK: Okee dokee then, Do you have any idea how big those, “I told you so” prediction files have piled up the past year and a half? And none of them turned out to be worth the screens they were written on. But this could be the first, who knows. Try your luck, sooner or later you can come back and kick some Obot ass with an Obama pending disaster come true. Until then, yawn.

  38. 38
    Mike Kay says:

    Show Obama you won’t take his outrageous appointment of this stealth nazi justice lying down!

    Make a sizable contribution to jane hamsher’s PACs – send a message to Obama that this will NOT stand!

  39. 39
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Now, the first case she actually did argue was Citizens United, and she fucked that up royally.

    Because the outcome of that case wasn’t determined, like 999 out of a thousand other cases argued before the court, ahead of time, in conference, by brief-shuffling, weeks, or months, before the single hour given to oral argument.

    Outcome-based jurisprudence, people. It’s what this Court does. It’s as if Bush v. Gore never happened….

  40. 40
    cat48 says:

    How about supporting Kagan because I honestly don’t respect the aboved named individuals opinions and rarely agree with either?

    However, after a year, Obama has became predictable to me and; I respect and/or agree with a large percentage of his decisions. He rarely surprises or upsets me.

  41. 41
    stuckinred says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: How bout punk ass motherfucker, you know what that means?

  42. 42
    JK says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    You should be satisfied with this

    Predicting the Kagan nomination
    http://balkin.blogspot.com/201.....ation.html

  43. 43
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @jeff:

    Let me re-phrase this: every justice is Roman Catholic or Jewish. Is this weird?

    No one cared when I brought it up. It seems very weird to me, especially when you consider that we came to America in the first place to get away from Jews and Catholics.

  44. 44
    Hawes says:

    Howsabout being a law school dean? Is that a qualification? Being a scholar?

    The three greatest justices, in my opinion, were John Marshall, John Harlan and Earl Warren. They had piss all of experience on the bench.

    I realize that people worry that she’ll be the Democrat’s Souter, but why on earth would we worry about a Harvard Boutique Liberal…er, Harvard Law School Dean being a closet conservative, just waiting to unleash her inner Bork once she gets her lifetime sinecure? It’s a projection (as Cenk Uygar does) of their own purity problems with Obama unleashed on Kagan.

    When will Hamsher and Whelan start alleging that she was really born in Kenya….

  45. 45
    Pavlov's Dog says:

    Jane just needs to go ahead and merge her blog with Larry “Whitey” Johnson and the PUMA’s over at No IQ. I’ll dare anyone to read the comments at both without looking at the URL…guarantee you will not be able to tell the difference.

  46. 46
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Jane Hamsher finds that Whelan’s argument is persuasive:

    I’m agnostic on Kagan but the above quote tells you everything you need to know about Hamsher.

    She’s just like the right: she objects to Kagan because Obama nominated her.

    Hamsher is all about Hamsher, this is just another example of that. She simply wants to get booked on Faux “News” as some self-appointed token left-winger who opposes “her” president.

    It’s too bad she didn’t make it in Hollywood, that way we wouldn’t be dealing with her now.

  47. 47
    Mike Kay says:

    “..why even the liberal new republic even the liberal jane hamsher says kagan is unqualified….” ~ Mitch McConnell

  48. 48
    JMY says:

    @superking:

    How is being Dean of Harvard Law school, a law professor, law clerk for Thurgood Marshall, & Associate WH Counsel, not any relevant experience?

  49. 49
    Nimm says:

    @superking:

    The problem with Kagan is not that she doesn’t have any judicial experience. It’s that she has no relevant experience of any sort.

    That’s not true. She does have relevant experience. She is an intelligent legal scholar who happened to be the Solicitor General. That’s about as relevant as it gets.

    Now, a few disclaimers: there is no objective empirical standard for what trains one to be a good Supreme Court justice, so this is to a large extent a matter of opinion. However, simply being very experienced and educated in Constitutional law is, imo, a large part of it. I think the SCOTUS is almost an academic position, so an ivory tower egghead is fine.

    As to the rest of your point…I don’t necessarily disagree. She isn’t automatically qualified just because Obama nominated her, and I won’t defend her unless and until I know more about her. Her prima facie credentials seem fine, but you’re right – they deserve a closer look. She may be an incredible choice, but her ability, knowledge, intelligence, and temperament aren’t particularly well known. Ideally, the confirmation hearing and the run-up to it will let us all learn more about those things.

    Sadly, I suspect we’re instead going to learn a lot more about whom she dates and military recruiters on campuses, than we will about the stuff that actually matters.

  50. 50
    jeff says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Yeah, I guess I’m wondering about the silence. I take it as a good sign that at least some of the old prejudices do indeed fade away. We shall see!

  51. 51
    Jay B. says:

    Don’t worry, if history is any judge, we’ll find out all we need to know in her confirmation hearings. Those are usually incredibly honest and enlightening watching people who have spent a lifetime in politics pretend they don’t think of them or have any opinion on much of anything.

  52. 52
    Gravenstone says:

    Christ. Seems Greenwald is going to be on Rachel in 15 minutes to bitch about all that is evil regarding the Kagen pick. Guess it’s a good time to dive into WoW for the hour, instead.

  53. 53
    Mike Kay says:

    @JMY: how can you compare being the first women Solicitor General in US history, the first women dean of Harvard Law with Jane’s lofty credentials.

  54. 54

    @superking:

    NPR was reporting today that she had never argued a single case before any court of any kind before becoming Solicitor General. To me, that sounds like someone who is patently unqualified to be Solicitor General.

    She’s not being nominated to be Solicitor General.

    Now, the first case she actually did argue was Citizens United, and she fucked that up royally.

    Really dude? You think the outcome of Supreme Court cases are primarily determined by the quality of oral arguments? Really? That Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas actually weigh what the lawyers in front of them are arguing and haven’t already committed to being a reflexive vote one way or the other? Really?

  55. 55
    Davis X. Machina says:

    You know, she’d have ten years on the federal appellate bench, and be sailing through the blog comments, at least, if not the Senate, if the GOP-led Senate hadn’t hung her out to dry when Clinton tried to appoint her to the DC circuit.

    I suppose she was manifestly unqualified for that gig, too…..

    We may be running out of oil, but we’re the frickin’ Saudi Arabia of irony.

  56. 56
    JK says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    I hope for the best with Kagan, but I have prepared myself for a major letdown. I would have preferred seeing Obama pick a bona fide liberal before the Democratic majority in the Senate is reduced to a razor thin margin.

  57. 57
    Hawes says:

    We may be running out of oil, but were the frickin’ Saudi Arabia of irony.

    Win.

  58. 58
    Llelldorin says:

    I do have a bit of a problem with the “never been a judge” thing–she was nominated to the appellate bench by Clinton, but was denied a hearing by the (then-Repubican) Senate. I’m more than a little worried that if we make “must have been a federal judge” a requirement for the USSC, we hand the Republicans the ability to deny us any candidate through their permanent floating filibuster.

  59. 59
    slag says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    Hamsher is all about Hamsher, this is just another example of that. She simply wants to get booked on Faux “News” as some self-appointed token left-winger who opposes “her” president.

    I’ve really tried to resist holding this opinion, but honestly, at this point, it’s the only realistic explanation.

    And I may be a Glenn Greenwald Bot (or whatever idiotic name we’re tossing around these days), but I don’t put Greenwald in the same category as Hamsher. He at least tries (sometimes intemperately) to justify his opinions with facts. And he seems much more consistent, overall. I could be wrong on that assessment.

  60. 60
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Corner Stone: He’s just trying to get back on the safe side after a coupla wild-eyed posts.

  61. 61
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I don’t even know what a firebagger is.

    Dubious.

  62. 62
    DCPlod says:

    Surely it’s only a matter of time before Hamsher decides to team up with Dick Cheney because he’s openly endorsed gay marriage, but Obama hasn’t used Rahm’s magic wand to magically get Congress to overturn DOMA.

  63. 63
    BombIranForChrist says:

    I am having a hard time getting worked up about this nomination. I am still really annoyed that Obama has measurably and explicitly sided with the Bush, Jr. administration on many civil liberties concerns, but I am also now a little more weary (and wary) of Greenwald und Hamsher and their ilk, especially when Hammy decided that she would let millions of people die prematurely so that she could enjoy ideological purity in re: HCR.

    I guess I am right back where I usually am: feeling a general contempt for all people living and dead.

  64. 64
    superking says:

    @Nimm,

    I know plenty of brilliant legal scholars who have way more expertise with constitutional law than Elena Kagan. We have no evidence that she is experienced in or specially knowledgeable about constitutional law.

  65. 65
    Hawes says:

    @JK: What difference would the majority make? Susympia Snollins will dither and fret for a few months. Cosmo Brown will throw some red meat to the teabaggers. This will trouble Ben Nelson who will complain that Obama should have picked a (pick one).

    59 votes or 51…Who cares? Obama could reanimate the corpse of Oliver Wendall Holmes and the GOP would just accuse him of necromancy.

  66. 66

    @Mike Kay:

    You win the internet.

  67. 67
    cat48 says:

    @JMY: Don’t forget about clerking for Judge Mivka, also too. He asked Clinton to hire her too since she had clerked for him and he did. He was on TV raving about how brilliant she and Obama are this morning. Quite a cute older, likable man. He also advised/es the prez.

  68. 68
    JMY says:

    @Mike Kay:

    We should protest and demand that Dear Leader nominates someone who has judicial experience, like Harold Koh, oh wait…

    We should protest and demand that Dear Leader nominates someone who doesn’t think Al-Qaeda members should be indefinitely detained during wartime, like Dawn Johnsen, oh wait…

  69. 69
    BombIranForChrist says:

    @slag:

    I definitely think Greenwald is a fair shade better than Hamsher. Both are prone to tantrums and ideological rigidity, but Greenwald just seems 1) more moderate and 2) more willing to give credit to the other side when the other side deserves it.

  70. 70
    superking says:

    @Brien

    I didn’t think I was making a particularly subtle point, but what I was saying was that not only is she not qualified to be on the S.Ct., but that she is always completely unqualified for her current position. Exactly how did she become Solicitor General? If you look at her employment history (available at the washington post), it seems that she is consistently given jobs she is unqualified for.

  71. 71
    DCPlod says:

    @slag:

    Just a couple of days ago Greenwald was comparing people who supported Obama’s choice of Kagan to those who mindlessly followed and pushed Bush’s wishes and policies. He’s getting almost as bad as Jane.

  72. 72
    JK says:

    SG Kagan and the Citizens United Case: What We Know (and What We Don’t)
    h/t http://www.acslaw.org/node/16071

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brien Jackson: Oh for fuck’s sake.

  74. 74
    Hawes says:

    I’ve stopped reading Greenwald. Not because he doesn’t make good points on civil liberties, but because most civil libertarians inevitably are zero-sum thinkers, and that gets exhausting after a while.

    If you don’t burn with the inner fires of purity that animates civil libertarians, you tend to burn out.

    He’s very smart and very committed, but could imagine being stuck in an elevator for ten hours with him? When the firemen arrived with the jaws of life, I might use it to detach my own head.

  75. 75
    Hal says:

    “If I was in the Senate, I would vote no, because like Harriet Miers she doesn’t have the judicial experience.”

    And this pile. Harriet Miers was rejected because she was not considered a sharp legal mind, and…

    All the super conserves were saying she wasn’t conservative enough! Bush had true strict constructionists he could have nominated, but he went with Miers, who could only articulate how much she loved Bushie. That was their big complaint.

    Miers was dead in the water within the first few days, and that was largely because of conservatives. Hamsher knows this, hell, she had posts that pointed out reasons why Miers wasn’t appealing to conservatives on FDL, so why now suddenly act as thought it was purely Miers lack of judicial experience?

  76. 76
    slag says:

    @BombIranForChrist: Being someone who is also prone to both tantrums and ideological rigidity, it’s hard for me to judge. But I agree on the rest.

  77. 77
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brien Jackson: You do understand this disqualifies you for pretty much everything from here on out.

  78. 78
    Jay B. says:

    Don’t worry, once she’s appointed to a lifetime position that affects all our lives we’ll know what she thinks. It’s cool.

  79. 79
    Annie says:

    @JK:

    Thanks…We needed that….

  80. 80
    Corner Stone says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I, for one, have been wondering when he’s going to come out voting for Hilary/Nader/Edwards in 2012.

  81. 81
    superking says:

    @JMY:

    Dean of Harvard Law School is an administrative position, not a scholarly one. She worked as a law professor for 5 years and didn’t produce significant scholarship on the constitution. One analysis of her scholarship indicates that she is actually conservative on free speech issues, i.e. her scholarship shows that she probably agrees with the outcome in Citizen’s United. Being a clerk for a judge means very little.


    http://balkin.blogspot.com/201.....stice.html

    see also http://balkin.blogspot.com/201.....rship.html

  82. 82
    Mike Kay says:

    “If I was in the Senate, I would vote no, because like Harriet Miers she doesn’t have the judicial experience.”

    Only an idiot would say that. Earl Warren, Robert Jackson, William O. Douglas, Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter, Louis Brandeis didn’t have any judicial experience. 8 of the 9 justices who decided Brown vs the Board of Education didn’t have prior judicial experience.

  83. 83
    eemom says:

    This morning we were arguing about whether GG actually did, in fact, compare Kagan to Miers. (He did.)

    I trust there won’t be any dispute about that with Hamsher — she who really, truly, wants the BEST for this country.

  84. 84
    Nimm says:

    @superking:

    I know plenty of brilliant legal scholars who have way more expertise with constitutional law than Elena Kagan. We have no evidence that she is experienced in or specially knowledgeable about constitutional law.

    You seem to be arguing that you don’t know if she’s qualified, yet you know many people who are substantially more qualified.

    You may be right. There may be many legal thinkers with better minds than her. In a country with as many lawyers as we have, odds are that’s the case.

    All I’m saying is that on paper, her prima facie credentials look good to me, and I don’t think that’s going out on a limb. The Harvard law dean/Solicitor General/supposedly very smart and knowledgeable is a good resume. On paper.

    So let’s learn more, ask questions, scrutinize her record to the extent we can. I appreciate the work Greenwald is doing on this point – he’s been informative, to a degree.

    Yeah, it would be nice if there was more of a public record to go on, for the rest of us that haven’t worked directly with her. But there isn’t, and what Whelan and Hamsher are saying is not helpful, enlightening, persuasive, or principled.

  85. 85
    Jay B. says:

    @Hal:

    Not because he doesn’t make good points on civil liberties, but because most civil libertarians inevitably are zero-sum thinkers, and that gets exhausting after a while.

    What does that mean? That the 4th amendment is good and all, but if it’s inconvenient, well, feh..? What an odd thing to believe. Some government trampling is fine, so long as they don’t ruin the petunias, I suppose.

  86. 86
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @superking:

    I didn’t think I was making a particularly subtle point, but what I was saying was that not only is she not qualified to be on the S.Ct., but that she is always completely unqualified for her current position. Exactly how did she become Solicitor General? If you look at her employment history (available at the washington post), it seems that she is consistently given jobs she is unqualified for.

    Well, I guess the Republicans must have known something we didn’t when they filibustered her nomination to the appellate court back in the mid 1990s.

    Of course, I also look forward to your reasons as to why she was unqualified to assume the post of dean of Harvard Law School.

  87. 87
    Davis X. Machina says:

    “If I was in the Senate, I would vote no, because like Harriet Miers she doesn’t have the judicial experience.”

    Shit. That means no Justice Kucinich.

    Now I’m pissed….

  88. 88

    We got Corner Stone and fuckhead. All we need is eastriver to show up and all three stooges will be on this thread.

    Which one of you knuckleheads wants to be Moe?

  89. 89
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hal: Good God. Are you comparing Miers to Kagan?

  90. 90
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom:

    This morning we were arguing about whether GG actually did, in fact, compare Kagan to Miers. (He did.)

    He did not. You screaming simpleton.

  91. 91
    eemom says:

    And once again: ANYONE who compares Kagan to Harriet Miers Is. A. Fucking. Idiot. End of story.

  92. 92
    JMY says:

    I still find it hard to believe that some people believe that he would appoint an individual who would move the court even more to the right.

    They are mad because he didn’t nominate who they wanted. And at the end of the day, it’s his decision. You either like it or don’t. Same way with Bush, Jr.

    “Though I will reserve judgment on how I will vote on Judge Alito’s nomination until after the hearings, I am concerned that President Bush has wasted an opportunity to appoint a consensus nominee in the mold of Sandra Day O’Connor and has instead made a selection to appease the far right-wing of the Republican Party. – Sen. Barack Obama.

  93. 93

    @Nimm:

    I had a conversation about the nomination today with the other lawyers in my office. Every one of them, from staunch democrat to staunch republican, didn’t give the slightest damn that she hasn’t been a judge.

    Interesting.

  94. 94
    mai naem says:

    I would be completely utterly shocked if Kagan ends up being even a moderate. Her background and few comments/pieces of her bio just point to her being a liberal. Hell, she cried when a Dem. lost the senate race in NY? Sorry, but that’s is not a moderate.
    I,too, am getting tired of Hamsher but I can kind of agree with what Cenk Uynger is saying. The problem with the lefties that Obama has a problem with is that he does not throw them even a bone. Everything is compromised to the right. Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t think of one instance where he( I mean him not some admin lackey) had made the right compromise to the left. He could have gone with Diane Woods or the woman from Stanford but, no, he picks possibly the second most conservative from his supposed choices. I am frankly sick and tired of having these Dem presidents who come from broken homes where they end up growing up becoming people pleasers.

  95. 95
    Jay B. says:

    @Hawes:

    Sorry Hal, I meant Hawes. I’m still trying to figure out what a non zero-sum civil libertarian believes.

  96. 96
    slag says:

    @DCPlod: Yeah. I read that. But I don’t judge everyone by their worst stuff. That said, I’m not a big fan of Kagan, myself. I’m not a hater either. I just don’t know enough to know. And if people are claiming that they do know enough to know, I’m skeptical of them. Honestly, though, it pisses me off that the Administration put us in this position by nominating someone whose record we can’t follow. I feel like all of my avenues for judgment are cutoff, and I, as an average person, am left shrugging my shoulders. This isn’t how I like our government to work.

    @Hawes: And totally this:

    If you don’t burn with the inner fires of purity that animates civil libertarians, you tend to burn out.

    I still read Greenwald but my inner fires of purity have dimmed quite a while ago. A change in the Executive Branch hasn’t produced the improvement in that area I would have liked to see. Consequently, I’m a bit jaded about the whole enterprise. Enthusiasm is now below oil-soaked sea level.

  97. 97
    Corner Stone says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Well, I guess the Republicans must have known something we didn’t when they filibustered her nomination to the appellate court back in the mid 1990s.

    They knew then what they know now. There is no penalty for unrelenting obstruction.
    It isn’t instructive in any other way.

  98. 98
    eemom says:

    @Corner Stone:

    yeah, he did, asshole. Learn to read.

  99. 99
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Coming up, imminently, GG will be on Maddow, to tell how awful Kagan is.

  100. 100
    Annie says:

    Really dude? You think the outcome of Supreme Court cases are primarily determined by the quality of oral arguments? Really? That Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas actually weigh what the lawyers in front of them are arguing and haven’t already committed to being a reflexive vote one way or the other? Really?

    Amen…I watched my brother argue a case before the Supreme Court, and the most amazing thing was how the Justices start asking rapid questions immediately…Except for Thomas, of course…He just sat there looking stupid…You can tell by the questions they ask their politics. They are not neutral.

    On a personal note, I know my brother well enough to know the exact moment he stopped being nervous and started enjoying the fight…

  101. 101
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom:

    And once again: ANYONE who compares Kagan to Harriet Miers Is. A. Fucking. Idiot. End of story.

    Moron.

  102. 102
    JMY says:

    @mai naem:

    Again:

    “Though I will reserve judgment on how I will vote on Judge Alito’s nomination until after the hearings, I am concerned that President Bush has wasted an opportunity to appoint a consensus nominee in the mold of Sandra Day O’Connor and has instead made a selection to appease the far right-wing of the Republican Party. – Sen. Barack Obama.

    He’s not going to do something just to make them happy.

  103. 103
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Live, from Brazil, it’s Glenn Greenwald?

  104. 104
    Mike Kay says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    Who’s GG?

    What cases has he ever won?

    What scholarship has he produced?

    What makes him more qualified then any other blow-hard with a keyboard?

  105. 105
    JK says:

    OT

    Consolation song for Labour Party voters in Great Britain
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  106. 106
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom: Fucking moron. He compared the reaction of two different groups.
    Comprehension fail much? Mmmm?
    Yes.

  107. 107

    @mai naem:

    I am frankly sick and tired of having these Dem presidents who come from broken homes where they end up growing up becoming people pleasers.

    So that’s what they call the art of compromise in a democracy in prog circles. “people pleasers” I come from a broken home and you can kiss my ass for that remark. Are you Pleased?

  108. 108
    mr. whipple says:

    Greenwald on Rachel trolling for hits.

  109. 109
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Corner Stone:

    They knew then what they know now. There is no penalty for unrelenting obstruction.
    It isn’t instructive in any other way.

    Thank you for explicitly writing out my point in non-snark form.

    You can never be too sure who just isn’t going to get the point, you know?

  110. 110
    Hawes says:

    Clearly Kagan was selected to be the first Hobbit on the Supreme Court.

    What I meant about civil libertarians, is that as zero-sum thinkers, anything – anything – that crosses their interpretation of whatever civil liberty is being evaluated is equivalently wrong.

    Now, I think Obama caved on Gitmo. But he caved in the face of a 90something-3 vote in the Senate on the issue. He got demagogued out of the park and he retreated.

    Greenwald treats that like he signed off on waterboarding.

    I’d give Obama a C+ on civil liberties, and if he addresses DOMA or DADT soon, I’d upgrade him to a B-.

    With Greenwald, it’s either an A or an F.

  111. 111
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Mike Kay: Eh? You think I buy his BS?

  112. 112
    Corner Stone says:

    @Midnight Marauder: No, you can never be sure.
    Unless it’s eemom – then you can be pretty much 100% she is incapable of normal comprehension.

    I’m glad you agree with me on this.

  113. 113
    eemom says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Go back and read the thread, on which people significantly smarter than you responded to that same stupid argument.

  114. 114
    superking says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Midnight, this case isn’t hard to make. What jobs did she have before becoming Dean of Harvard Law?

    She was a professor for 5 years at U Chicago, and served 4 years in the Clinton White House as a policy advisor and counsel to the president. Most Deans spend a long time in the academy–they tend to be drawn from active professors. See, for example, current Harvard Dean Martha Minow who has been a prof at Harvard for 29 years.

    You’re really going to use the fact the Republicans filibustered her as evidence that . . . What are you trying to prove? If they hadn’t filibustered her, would you think she was qualified to be Dean of Harvard Law? Or a Supreme Court justice? The time traveling counterfactual is too much for me to follow. Perhaps you want to think it through?

  115. 115
    JMY says:

    @eemom:

    He may have not outright said that Kagan was like Miers, but he was definitely implying that. To say that this is Obama’s Harriet Miers moment, is to imply that her qualifications were similar to Miers, when in fact, that is far from the true. Miers was an idiot. Plain and simple. She couldn’t answer questions from a questionnaire, she really didn’t know much about law at all, and conservatives knew this. To compare Kagan to Miers is a slap in the face to Kagan.

  116. 116
    PTirebiter says:

    From BMAZ at FDL

    Obama’s nominee to replace the liberal lion, Justice John Paul Stevens.

    This is what Jane and BMAZ knew about the liberal lion before he was appointed to SCOTUS

    “On the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, John Paul Stevens had a moderately conservative record. Early in his tenure on the Supreme Court, Stevens had a relatively moderate voting record. He voted to reinstate capital punishment in the United States and opposed race-based admissions programs…”

  117. 117
    JK says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    When will Glenn Greenwald be invited onto This Week to refute the prissy, preening, pompous doofus George Will or the insufferable pearl clutching Peggy Noonan?

  118. 118
    kingubu says:

    but I am also now a little more weary (and wary) of Greenwald und Hamsher

    Yup, and it frankly sucks. I’ve been a faithful Glennzilla reader since long before he landed the Salon gig but I can barely read his stuff anymore. Not because he’s critical of Obama– trust me, if the dude is fucking something up I want to know about it post-haste– but because the quality of that criticism is so sloppy. Here’s the general pattern:

    1) Write a 1,000 word piece crammed full of charged language, guilt-by-association, and presumptions of bad faith about how some thing Obama did (or wants to do) is as bad as/worse than Bush.

    2) Include one or two tepid (usually parenthetical) caveats usually amounting to how maybe it isn’t exactly that bad but hey, who knows?

    3) When called on the sloppy argumentation and unjustifiably negative conclusions, he points the commenter to the aforementioned tepid caveat and calls them a lockstep Obot for not accepting that as proof that he wasn’t really saying what he spent the other 950 words saying.

    I’m honestly not sure if his criticisms of Bush were similarly sloppy but it certainly makes me wish I’d read them more carefully.

  119. 119
    John Cole says:

    That said, I’m not a big fan of Kagan, myself. I’m not a hater either. I just don’t know enough to know.

    That’s the RATIONAL position to have. Anyone who is reflexively for her or against her at this point is a pinhead, no matter what kind of bullshit they are peddling.

    I can understand liberal/progressive concerns she is a blank slate. I can’t understand reflexively opposing her before the hearings.

  120. 120
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @JK: How the hell would I know? Who don’t you ask ABC?

  121. 121
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom: Hmmm, I’m pretty sure I read the repeated quote.
    GG said conservatives responded one way to Miers and he expected progressive/tribalists to respond a certain way to Kagan.
    Only morons/tribalists could read it that he said Kagan=Miers.
    So…it’s fairly obvious you will say that he did. Because you’re a moron. And a tribalist.
    And just uselessly stupid.

  122. 122
    eemom says:

    @JMY:

    Implication is lost on people like Stone.

  123. 123

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    we came to America in the first place to get away from Jews and Catholics

    Did we? That is news to me. Where are you from, if you came to the US to get away from Jews and Catholics?

  124. 124
    cyd says:

    @superking:

    I know plenty of brilliant legal scholars who have way more expertise with constitutional law than Elena Kagan.

    Name ’em.

  125. 125
    Davis X. Machina says:

    …we came to America in the first place to get away from Jews and Catholics

    New York, I take it, was something of a let-down….

  126. 126
    Zach says:

    Ways Harriet Miers is comparable to Elena Kagan: hormones and judicial experience.

    Ways Harriet Miers is uncomparable to Elena Kagan: everything else.

    Harriet Miers had never argued before the Supreme Court (and essentially never before a Federal court). Your list of storied appointees without judicial experience gets slimmed down a bit when you add the qualification of having litigated constitutional issues.

  127. 127
    eemom says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Sticks and stones, Stonie. Go play with Fuckhead.

  128. 128
    xian says:

    @mai naem:

    You said, “but, no, he picks possibly the second most conservative from his supposed choices” but you don’t seem to understand how such short lists are constructed.

  129. 129
    JK says:

    OMFG!

    CNN’s lead airhead Wolf Blitzer is about to question Bay Buchanan for her take on Kagan.

  130. 130
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom: And you’re the type that doesn’t realize you’re running into a closed door til the 4th or 5th time you blam into it.
    Brutal.

  131. 131
    kay says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    I think it’s an amazing remark too. I love, love, love how they give Obama political advice. Folks from “broken homes” need not apply!
    That’s a real winner, in Democratic politics.
    Are they allying with the Family Research Council now, in addition to Norquist?
    People from broken homes lack the leadership skills. Incredible.

  132. 132
    Hawes says:

    @John Cole:

    True. There’s no reason not to be agnostic on Kagan, but I think we all know that there won’t be any epiphanies in her hearings.

    All Supreme Court nominees have to be Rorshach tests. (Except for Alito, that was a straight fuck you.)

  133. 133
    Annie says:

    I am frankly sick and tired of having these Dem presidents who come from broken homes where they end up growing up becoming people pleasers.

    WTF…This happens to be one of the more insane comments ever written…

    Let’s see… Stable, two parent home, gave us George Bush. And, that worked out well…

    One point everyone is missing is that unlike the right, where people really are sheep, progressives have and will PUBLICLY debate and argue among themselves…And, that is a GOOD thing. This current debate over Kagan is positive, not negative…

    Isn’t public debate part of what differentiates us from the wingnuts?

    Watching Rachel…This is good. Just saw Glen and now a colleague of Kagan’s.

  134. 134
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hawes: Both Alito and Roberts were clear.
    Everyone knew what and who they were. There was no obfuscation, no matter what BS Roberts spewed about “balls and strikes”.

  135. 135
    mr. whipple says:

    Lessig taking GG apart on Rachel.

  136. 136
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Linda Featheringill: I wasn’t serious.

  137. 137
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Lessig is pissed off.

  138. 138
    JK says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    I was being rhetorical.

  139. 139
    robertdsc says:

    We may be running out of oil, but we’re the frickin’ Saudi Arabia of irony

    Gold plated win right there.

  140. 140
    Hawes says:

    I thought Roberts was more of a cipher. No obvious, Bork-like writings to nail him with.

  141. 141
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @superking:

    You’re really going to use the fact the Republicans filibustered her as evidence that . . . What are you trying to prove? If they hadn’t filibustered her, would you think she was qualified to be Dean of Harvard Law? Or a Supreme Court justice? The time traveling counterfactual is too much for me to follow. Perhaps you want to think it through?

    Your entire argument is that she is unqualified for ANYTHING and that she equally lacks experience for EVERYTHING. I point to the filibuster to make the same point someone else made upthread. People keep harping on her lack of judicial experience on the bench as though she never had an opportunity for such experience. If Republicans weren’t filibustering anything and everything during that point time, she would probably have still been on the bench until today. I cite the example to say that claims of inexperience are dubious at best.

    Moreover, your arguments for why she was unqualified to be dean of Harvard Law fly in the face of…the success she enjoyed in the position as dean of Harvard Law.

    You keep saying she’s unqualified for every position she’s ever been in.
    I think that’s bullshit.

    Did I think that through enough for you?

  142. 142
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hawes: Say what now?

  143. 143
    Mike Kay says:

    @Hawes:

    Now, I think Obama caved on Gitmo. But he caved in the face of a 90something-3 vote in the Senate on the issue. He got demagogued out of the park and he retreated.

    What are you talking about? They just bought the new prison 5 months ago on december 15. it will take a minimum amount of time to convert it to a supermax facility, but the construction is going, as we speak.

  144. 144
    slag says:

    @Corner Stone: I wasn’t as clear on Roberts. But Alito definitely pissed me off as intended.

  145. 145
    kay says:

    @Annie:

    We had some candidates who weren’t “people pleasers”.

    But they lost. No one liked them.

  146. 146
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @JK: Sorry, I didn’t pick up on it.

  147. 147
    Svensker says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    Which one of you knuckleheads wants to be Moe?

    I’m Moe. Moe Bettah.

  148. 148
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Isn’t public debate part of what differentiates us from the wingnuts?

    We debate, then refuse to close ranks. They refuse to debate, then close ranks.

    That’s the difference right there.

  149. 149
    sven says:

    Really fun video:

    NPR’s Storycorp is a project which records individuals interviewing people they know. Storycorp recently posted a sweet and genuine animation to accompany the radio story of a boy with Asberger’s interviewing his mother.

    The video is here, enjoy.

  150. 150
    Hawes says:

    It’s funny though, thinking about Roberts. He didn’t have a paper trail or a long list of controversial decisions. But everyone knew he was a stark conservative and Democrats were going to get screwed.

    Kagan doesn’t have a long paper trail or a long list of controversial decisions. But everyone knows she will turn out to be a stark conservative and Democrats are going to get screwed.

  151. 151
    Mike Kay says:

    @mr. whipple:

    Lessig taking GG apart on Rachel.

    uh-oh. expect a butthurt 10,000 word screed against the fascist, corporatist larry lessig.

  152. 152
    Mark S. says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    You think the outcome of Supreme Court cases are primarily determined by the quality of oral arguments?

    Roberts asked Kagan during Citizens whether she wanted to lose small or lose big.

    I read a lawyer who’d argued in front of SC say that unless the issue was really technical (i.e. something 99% of us couldn’t care less about), oral arguments didn’t make a damn bit of difference. The justices already know how they are voting in the hot button cases.

  153. 153
    Fern says:

    What is this shit about everyone comparing Kagan with Harriet Miers? Greenwald, Hamsher, Olbermann and who the hell all else. I find that comparison to be demeaning to a highly accomplished woman.

  154. 154
    JK says:

    @Annie:

    Don’t worry. All of our concerns can be put to rest now that we have Jim De Mint weighing in on the case:

    The American people expect judges to follow the Constitution and the law, applying both equally to all Americans. Every Senator swears an oath to support and defend the Constitution, which is why we must look for nominees who will not violate our founding document by rewriting it based on personal opinion.

    http://demint.senate.gov/publi.....4143e9974c

  155. 155
    Hawes says:

    @Mike Kay: And we’ll see if they actually go through with transferring the prisoners there.

    I hope as hell they do.

    But you can count on the hissy fit coming.

    What he caved on was immediately closing the facility. That was his campaign promise and he caved on it. He may circle back and get it done, I hope like hell he does. In fact, I think he will eventually get to it.

    But that was a promise so far left unfulfilled.

  156. 156
    Mark S. says:

    @Hawes:

    It’s funny though, thinking about Roberts. He didn’t have a paper trail or a long list of controversial decisions. But everyone knew he was a stark conservative and Democrats were going to get screwed.

    Maybe I was stupid but I thought there was a possibility Roberts would be like Kennedy. I knew Alito would be conservative as hell.

  157. 157
    mr. whipple says:

    @Mike Kay:

    I’m expecting Rachel to make time for updates 12-25 at the end of the show.

  158. 158

    @Just Some Fuckhead: “I wasn’t serious.”

    I didn’t notice the sardonic twinkle in your eye. Sorry. :-)

  159. 159

    @Corner Stone:

    Which, of course, is only relevant if you think Miers and Kagan are similar. If they’re not similar, why compare peoples’ reactions to them?

  160. 160
    sven says:

    @Mark S.: I would go even further and argue that the current court chooses to hear cases in which the current majority will vote to advance an ideological agenda. Cases which either do not relate to that agenda or might go against certain interests are unlikely to receive a hearing from the justices.

  161. 161
    JK says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    The piss poor quality of pundits appearing on the roundtable discussions of the Sunday morning shows has been a sore spot with me for many years

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyo.....he-Skewpot

  162. 162
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Not yer fault. There was a time when that sort of stuff was commonplace in the comments.

  163. 163
    jwb says:

    @Mike Kay: Only 10,000 words? I’m expecting four or five 10,000 word posts with 8 or 9 updates each.

  164. 164
    JMY says:

    @Fern:

    What is this shit about everyone comparing Kagan with Harriet Miers? Greenwald, Hamsher, Olbermann and who the hell all else.

    Olbermann’s on that bandwagon too? Wow. Glenn really started something, huh? I would think he would be smart enough not to stoop that way.

  165. 165
    cat48 says:

    @Hawes: Didn’t Congress freeze the money for Gitmo? I have read that more than once at diff. news orgs. Does he even have access to $ to purchase what he needs? Curious because it is mentioned often, but no one challenges Cong.

  166. 166
    Annie says:

    @kay:

    Sorry…I just have no idea what “people pleasers” means….

    And, to couch policy debate, policy choice, and the choice of a hugely significant political position as “people pleasing” is beyond me…Whether or not one supports Kagan, my understanding of Obama is that his choice has nothing to do with “people pleasing.” Rather, to me, his choice has everything to do with his political philosophy and his approach to governance — small and incremental steps, long versus short-term change, inclusive, etc…

  167. 167
    MinneapolisPipe says:

    Protestant… Shmotestant!

    When are we going to get a Buddhist on the Supreme Court?

  168. 168
    JMY says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    Can you summarize what Lessig said. I missed it.

  169. 169
    Dr. Squid says:

    The Hamshters knees jerk so hard they kick themselves in the head.

  170. 170
    Mike Kay says:

    @Hawes:

    caved on was immediately closing the facility.

    I don’t get this. there weren’t any empty super-max facilities lying around to absorb the transferees. by definition it was impossible to immediately transfer the prisoners.

  171. 171
    cyd says:

    @Fern:

    What is this shit about everyone comparing Kagan with Harriet Miers? Greenwald, Hamsher, Olbermann and who the hell all else. I find that comparison to be demeaning to a highly accomplished woman.

    To be fair, Miers is also fairly accomplished (from Wikipedia: “first female president of the Dallas Bar Association… first woman to head the State Bar of Texas… chair of the Board of Editors for the American Bar Association Journal”). It could be argued that Kagan is much more accomplished, since the deanship of Harvard Law is a big deal; I don’t know enough to evaluate such a claim.

  172. 172
    Mike Kay says:

    @mr. whipple: Hahahahh!

  173. 173
    JK says:

    @MinneapolisPipe:

    When are we going to get an atheist on the Supreme Court and in the Oval Office?

  174. 174
    jwb says:

    @cyd: And, truth be told, she probably would have fared no worse than “undistinguished” had she been confirmed to SCOTUS.

  175. 175
  176. 176
    Corner Stone says:

    @MinneapolisPipe:

    When are we going to get a Buddhist on the Supreme Court?

    Obviously we have them on the SC, have always had them there, and will always be there.

  177. 177
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @JMY: @JMY: Well, hmm, I don’t want to distort what Lessig said. Basically, that Greenwald was being dishonest.

  178. 178
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @sven: Four votes for cert (Roberts, Scalito and Thomas) and all that’s left is to figure out how to play to Kennedy’s ego enough to get vote #5 — lather, rinse, repeat.

  179. 179
    Martin says:

    @JK: Can we use these links to forever brand you as a hysterical douchebag if she’s not a disaster?

    I’m just wondering if you’re willing to see this through all the way. Plus I like my odds on this.

  180. 180
    Martin says:

    @JK: The week after Osama Bin Laden gets appointed. Yes, we’re that distrusted in America.

  181. 181
    MinneapolisPipe says:

    @JK: “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

  182. 182
    Fern says:

    @superking:

    If you look at her employment history (available at the washington post), it seems that she is consistently given jobs she is unqualified for.

    I see. So how did she perform in those jobs for which she was so unqualified? That strikes me as what matters.

  183. 183
    TuiMel says:

    I’m very late to this party, but my view is that – barring some blockbuster revelation missed in vetting or some amazing gaffe in testimony – Kagan is going to be confirmed. So, I am going to put my energy into learning more about her and observing her during the confirmation process (Jeff Sessions is skeptical of her so that’s a point in her favor for me). To me regrets (now) about Obama’s choice (informed, intuitive, or otherwise) are a waste of time. The tale of this appointment will be told over the rest of my lifetime. I have no doubt that Kagan has the smarts to do the job, she will work hard to do well (as she sees that), and I expect to be glad that Obama got to fill this slot rather than anyone on the Republican side. Until Jane or Glenn can get themselves elected as POTUS, they are going to have to (at some point) agree to disagree with his choices and move on.

  184. 184
    cyd says:

    @jwb:

    Well, she could hardly have turned out worse than Sam Alito.

    Apparently, what really sank Miers’ nomination was not her qualifications, but the fact that she flunked her private interviews with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Presumably, Kagan will not flame out in this way.

  185. 185
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Fern: Shorter superking: She’s an affirmative action hire.

  186. 186
    Mike Kay says:

    @Comrade Kevin: I’m Shocked! I’m Shocked!

  187. 187
    Sir Charles says:

    Superking,

    She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton, got a masters degree from Oxford, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, where she was supervisory editor of the Law Review. She then clerked for Abner Mikva at the DC Circuit and then for Thurgood Marshall at the Supreme Court.

    She did a stint at Williams & Connolly in DC and then joined the faculty at the University of Chicago School of Law, where she became a tenured professor. She subsequently worked in the White House Counsel’s office in the Clinton Administration and on his domestic policy staff.

    When she was denied a seat on the DC Circuit by Republican fuckwards, she joined the faculty at Harvard Law School, subsequently becoming its first female Dean, a position that she held until Obama named her as the first woman to serve as Solicitor General.

    If you aren’t impressed with this record, you really don’t know fuck all about what an impressive legal career looks like.

    Compare it, by the way, with the experience of liberal lion William O. Douglas. Kagin blows his pre-Court record away.

  188. 188

    Obot?
    Firebagger?

    Now that’s some Change I can believe in!

    Okay, I’m middle the road on Kagan. I’m glad someone pointed out Miers had skills, and that there were lots of other reasons not to have her around.

    I think screaming “no” right now is probably not the best option, but with Holder talking about how Miranda is situational means that the current zeitgeist is *not* to patronize my current position. It never has been :D

    PS Franzetta is dead? Really? Really!?!

  189. 189
    gwangung says:

    They knew then what they know now. There is no penalty for unrelenting obstruction.
    It isn’t instructive in any other way.

    What?

    That makes absolutely no sense. It’s contrafactual and lacks self-consistency.

    Because they DIDN’T use it on every single candidate and on every single issue, and they DID have penalties. If they used it on select issues or candidates, then it is sure as hell as instructive.

  190. 190
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @JK:

    When are we going to get an atheist on the Supreme Court and in the Oval Office?

    I presume you mean, when will we get an open atheist in one of these positions. Probably after we get an open lesbian or even an open liberal. According to his Wikipedia page John Paul Stevens calls himself a judicial conservative. If you can’t even be an open liberal in America then being an open atheist is a lot to ask of a politician (or pseudo-politician like Kagan).

  191. 191
    Amy says:

    The idea that it’s impossible to know Kagan’s positions seems pretty ridiculous. At the risk of demographic reductionism, let’s take a look at her background: NYer, upper West Side, Jewish:* Those people — my people — are liberals.

    Well, you now say, of course. After all, she clerked for Thurgood Marshall. And she worked in the Clinton White House.

    Yes, of course, she’s liberal.

    [*And even more: A woman who went to Hunter College High School.]

  192. 192
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @JK:

    When will Glenn Greenwald be invited onto This Week to refute the prissy, preening, pompous doofus George Will or the insufferable pearl clutching Peggy Noonan?

    Will that be the all-prissy, preening, pompous doofus theme show, or the all-insufferable pearl clutching theme show? Either way, Greenwald will fit right in.

  193. 193
    gwangung says:

    I think screaming “no” right now is probably not the best option, but with Holder talking about how Miranda is situational

    Given what I know about law, Miranda has been situational for the last 25-30 years.

  194. 194
    JK says:

    @Martin:

    I don’t believe a healthy skepticism of Elena Kagan translates into a hysterical douchebag. Obviously, there are many far worse possibilities than Kagan. At least Obama is making this decision and not that miserable asshole John McCain. I respect and appreciate the perspectives of both Greenwald and Lessig, I just happen to side with Greenwald on this issue.

    I wish you and everyone else on this thread would reserve some hate for the real hysterical assholes and douchebags such as Michelle Malkin, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Eric Cantor, Erik Erickson, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Reynolds, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Joe Scarborough.

  195. 195
    Nick says:

    @JK: And when she doesn’t, those links will serve as good “this is why hippies need to be punched” examples.

  196. 196
    JK says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I take it that you’re not the biggest Glenn Greenwald fan in the world. Whatever floats your boat.

  197. 197
    Paula says:

    @JK:

    I don’t believe a healthy skepticism of Elena Kagan translates into a hysterical douchebag.

    You know, I believe that you think the debate here is about the “skepticism” when it is in fact about what we think of as “healthy”, or better yet, “rational”.

  198. 198
    Annie says:

    @cyd:

    That discounts Roberts, Thomas, Alito…

    @JK:

    It could be argued that Kagan is much more accomplished, since the deanship of Harvard Law is a big deal; I don’t know enough to evaluate such a claim.

    It is a big deal…Certainly a bigger deal than being Dean of Liberty or Regent University School of Law…

  199. 199
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @TuiMel:

    barring some blockbuster revelation missed in vetting or some amazing gaffe in testimony – Kagan is going to be confirmed. So, I am going to put my energy into learning more about her

    That’s weird, because my reaction is the opposite. Given the inevitability of her confirmation I’d rather not know anything more about her than we already do. If she’s a closet Randian I’d rather have a couple of years of blissful ignorance before facing it. If she’s another Stevens it’s just status quo anyway.

  200. 200
    jim says:

    I can understand liberal/progressive concerns she is a blank slate. I can’t understand reflexively opposing her before the hearings.

    When all else fails, you might want to try a reliable barometer of success & failure.

  201. 201
    mr. whipple says:

    @Nick:

    Did you ever notice that when certain people make predictions or comment on issues or about the media that you never hear back from them when they are wrong?

    Only people on the planet that are never wrong. It’s amazing.

  202. 202
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Sir Charles: How do you copy her whole bio over from wikipedia and then spell her name wrong?

  203. 203
    justinslot says:

    I think some of you guys should be less worried about GG and more worried about Sully entering Scooby and Shaggy mode.

  204. 204
    Nick says:

    @mr. whipple: Yes, I’m still waiting to hear from half of the PUMA parade about how Obama can’t win the Presidency…or that healthcare won’t pass.

  205. 205
    John Cole says:

    @JK: JK- What are you talking about? The folks you are parroting aren’t exhibiting skepticism about Kagan- they are voicing outright rejection.

    I’m voicing skepticism. I don’t know anything about her and will wait to find out what comes out the next few months. But the folks you are linking are all screaming she is unqualified or has no judicial experience and should be defeated. That ain’t skepticism. Hell- I predict the FDL crowd will be talking about primarying anyone who votes to confirm her in about a week.

    I wish you and everyone else on this thread would reserve some hate for the real hysterical assholes and douchebags such as Michelle Malkin, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Eric Cantor, Erik Erickson, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Reynolds, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Joe Scarborough.

    And for once, I’d like our true progressive masters to just fucking once side with the Democrats. Instead, they side with Whelan, Grover, etc. But ohh- it’s different, because they’re coming from the left. When they say Obama is worse than Bush, it is completely different than when Republicans say it.

    And spare me that this is based on principle. You don’t have to be an empath to realize that in some quarters of the progressive left there is a deep-seated hatred for Obama that easily matches the zeal of some his most over-enthusiastic supporters, and it has been there from the beginning. Go read the comments and some of the posts at FDL or other sites like it and tell me the opposition to all things Obama is based on principle. Because that is a load of shit.

  206. 206
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole: Oh give me a break, you’ve always hated the left. But now you’ve got a core group of commenters that lets you get away with it and even encourages it.

  207. 207
    JK says:

    @Nick:

    I’ll sign up for that.

    @Paula:

    I’m not fully comfortable with Kagan, but it’s a done deal. I respect Glenn Greenwald for making his case, but it’s game over and I’m ready to finally move the fuck on with other issues.
    Even if Obama had made the worst possible selection to fill this vacancy, that person would still be light years superior to anyone selected by McCain, Palin, et. al.

  208. 208
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @John Cole:

    You don’t have to be an empath to realize that in some quarters of the progressive left there is a deep-seated hatred for Obama

    For the sake of argument let’s say that the commenters at FDL represent a quarter of the progressive left and have a deep-seated hatred of Obama. What do you think is the source of this hatred?

  209. 209
    Corner Stone says:

    @gwangung: C’mon. What?
    This is bullshit.

  210. 210
    John Cole says:

    Oh- and how could I forget what will be the inevitable final act- spend months telling us Obama sold us out and Kagan is the suck, then spend the next couple of months concern trolling about how the base is going to be depresed come November.

    Being a Democratic is like being tied in a movie theatre seat and a shitty movie with the same bad actors who never learn a fucking thing and having to watch it over and over and over again.

  211. 211
    Nick says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    What do you think is the source of this hatred?

    It’s an eclectic mix of “he won, Hillary/Edwards/Kucinich didn’t”, “I’m just a Republican troll with no life” and “Everybody sucks always”

  212. 212
    DaBomb says:

    @JMY: Seems as if Dawn Johnson doesn’t have a problem with Kagan’s stance on indefinite detentions. Might wanna take a look:
    http://www.bobcesca.com/blog-a.....indef.html

  213. 213
    John Cole says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Your troll-fu just gets weaker and weaker.

  214. 214
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole: Yeah. That’s what it is.

    I’m going to go play on the gay jet in the spa.

  215. 215
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    What do you think is the source of this hatred?

    Pick any issue, and you can find a good percentage of the “left” who will be OUTRAGED.

  216. 216
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole: Shouldn’t this have a sig block like +6 on it?

  217. 217
    mr. whipple says:

    @John Cole:

    Oh- and how could I forget what will be the inevitable final act- spend months telling us Obama sold us out and Kagan is the suck, then spend the next couple of months concern trolling about how the base is going to be depresed come November.

    You forgot how they’ll say it’s silly to think they have any part in the base depression because they have no influence while simultaneously claiming to be of major import to the party and are gonna stay home unless they get what they want.

    Twas always like this, John, and always will be. Just go back and read what they said about Clinton, and Carter, and LBJ, and JFK, and…………….

  218. 218
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @Nick:

    It’s an eclectic mix of “he won, Hillary/Edwards/Kucinich didn’t”, “I’m just a Republican troll with no life” and “Everybody sucks always”

    Thanks for the incisive analysis.

  219. 219
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    Pick any issue, and you can find a good percentage of the “left” who will be OUTRAGED.

    John said it was “deep-seated”.

  220. 220
    DaBomb says:

    @Mike Kay: There was this one time when Glenn defended a well known white supremacist, Hale is his name.

    http://www.rickross.com/reference/hale/hale33.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03......html?_r=1

    Does this count?

  221. 221
    John Cole says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Ok. You tell me how I am supposed to respond to “YOU JUST HATE THE LEFT.”

    And tomorrow you’ll be in another thread bemoaning the lack of snark about something, oblivious to your own awesome contributions.

  222. 222
    D-Chance. says:

    The Liberal Blogging Welfare Queen Wannabe (and competent, above-board PAC’er) loves her some Obama-hate, doesn’t she?

  223. 223
    Mark S. says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    What do you think is the source of this hatred?

    With Jane, my guess is she figured out that the real powers of the Democratic party didn’t give a shit what she thought. With GG, well, no one’s pure enough for him.

    As for their followers, I think @Nick: has it about right.

  224. 224
    John Cole says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m +0.

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.): Need to feel relevant, like the sound of their own voice, have fooled themselves into thinking that their portion of the coalition is the only one that counts, a continuation of the DLC wars and the Lamont campaign, a portion of everyone online is noticeably insane (check the comments and front page here), PUMA hangovers, some good old fashioned racism (gasp, even among enlightened Democrats!), and on and on.

  225. 225
    And Another Thing... says:

    @JK: I’ll gladly stipulate that you list some of the most reprehensible creeps on the right.

    But that’s not the issue here. Here’s GG on Saturday.

    … In other words, according to Chemerinksy and Yglesias, progressives will view Obama’s choice as a good one by virtue of the fact that it’s Obama choice. Isn’t that a pure embodiment of mindless tribalism and authoritarianism? …

    That’s a noxious, patronizing insult. It is an attitude of gross condescension towards the intelligence, knowledge, and due diligence of millions of Obama voters and supporters.

    I don’t know and don’t care what is stuck in his craw, but on the Kagan issue he has thoroughly discredited his scholarship, his judgment and his temperament.

    He’s aspiring to be the Krauthammer of the left, permanently angry, unreliable in his scholarship, and useless in either making sound decisions or solving problems.

  226. 226
    mr. whipple says:

    There’s always been a whole LW bitch industry, and blogging has just opened the field.

    They learned that the trick is to be as outrageous as Malkin and Coulter because it generates hits, revenue and media appearances. (The last few days have been proof of that.) It’s a gig/performance art.

  227. 227
    TBogg says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    That was the funniest thing I have read in weeks.

  228. 228
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @John Cole:

    Need to feel relevant, like the sound of their own voice, have fooled themselves into thinking that their portion of the coalition is the only one that counts, a continuation of the DLC wars and the Lamont campaign, a portion of everyone online is noticeably insane (check the comments and front page here), PUMA hangovers,

    You said “deep-seated”, which is a term we usually apply to how serial killers feel about prostitutes. Now that we know it simply means being pissed off because a primary didn’t go your way we’re getting somewhere.

    some good old fashioned racism

    That’s interesting. Can you point to any individuals you think have exhibited racism?

  229. 229

    Being a Democratic is like being tied in a movie theatre seat and a shitty movie with the same bad actors who never learn a fucking thing and having to watch it over and over and over again.

    Never thought of in quite that way, buy yes, it is like that. You may be getting the hang of it.

  230. 230
    4jkb4ia says:

    Further proof that this is NOT about Glenn Greenwald is that the NYT editorial about Kagan sounds remarkably like him. But they do not use the “never been a judge” line or the “never practiced in an ordinary court” line.

  231. 231
    Pavlov's Dog says:

    I think it is pretty simple with Jane, she’s going for the Dick Morris slot on Fox when he is busy…only a matter of time before Attaturk, Thers, Tbogg, and Eli are out of there IMO.

  232. 232
    Brachiator says:

    @cyd:

    To be fair, Miers is also fairly accomplished (from Wikipedia: “first female president of the Dallas Bar Association… first woman to head the State Bar of Texas… chair of the Board of Editors for the American Bar Association Journal”). It could be argued that Kagan is much more accomplished, since the deanship of Harvard Law is a big deal; I don’t know enough to evaluate such a claim.

    You’re not serious, are you? You quote Wikipedia on Harriet Miers and yet you omit the negative judgment of even politicians who tried to help her.

    When it came to constitutional issues, Miers was a precursor of the Unbearable Emptiness of Sarah Palin, someone chosen entirely for her empty-headed adherence to fundamentalist values, without an ounce of competence.

    Miers met with senators after her nomination was announced, and in those meetings she was ill-prepared and uninformed on the law. Senator Tom Coburn told her privately that she “flunked” and “[was] going to have to say something next time.” In mock sessions with lawyers, Miers had difficulty expressing her views and explaining basic constitutional law concepts. Miers had no experience in constitutional law, and did not have extensive litigation experience; at her Texas law firm, she had been more of a manager. Miers had rarely handled appeals and did not understand the complicated constitutional concepts senators asked of her. To White House lawyers, Miers was “less an attorney than a law firm manager and bar association president.”

    There is no reason for any rational person to mention Kagan and Miers in the same breath.

    And clearly, some of the Kagan opponents on both the right and left are irrational fools.

    Miers was another example of Bush cronyism, the selection of loyalists over good people.

    Obama is better than that. Maybe this is what is unforgivable to some.

  233. 233
    John Cole says:

    You said “deep-seated”, which is a term we usually apply to how serial killers feel about prostitutes.

    Oh good christ. I’m done with this thread. I’d rather go argue with Reason magazine writers that what really motivates teabaggers is fiscal policy.

  234. 234
    gwangung says:

    @Corner Stone: It may make sense to you, but it doesn’t to me.

  235. 235
  236. 236

    You said “deep-seated”, which is a term we usually apply to how serial killers feel about prostitutes.

    That’s Jaws you just jumped son.

  237. 237
    slag says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.): C’mon. You can’t tell me that this behavior is in any way just a rational response to moderate policies. If you really think that, then you should maybe consider what an irrational response would look like and describe that crazy world for us.

  238. 238
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @John Cole: Sounds to me like he is trying to compare you to Glenn Beck.

  239. 239
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @John Cole:

    Oh good christ. I’m done with this thread.

    Can you point to any individuals at FDL who have exhibited racism?

    I’d rather go argue with Reason magazine writers that what really motivates teabaggers is fiscal policy.

    Are you backing off from the “deep-seated hatred” thing then?

  240. 240
    Mike Kay says:

    @And Another Thing…:

    but, but, but.. he’s cute and gay and cute..

  241. 241
    Nick says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.): I can’t go back that far, but in the Fall during that “Is Obama dropping the public option to kiss Olympia Snowe’s ass” freakout, some dude with the handle fflambeau or something said Obama was coddling Snowe because black men have a thing for Greek women or something. It was pretty disgusting.

    then there was this kovie dude who once said Obama was trying to be bipartisan because he was raised by white people and believes he’s inferior to white people. That struck me as a little racist.

  242. 242
    Corner Stone says:

    @gwangung: Ok. It makes sense to me.

  243. 243
    Mike Kay says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    Can you point to any individuals at FDL who have exhibited racism?

    Yeah, Hamsher. How quickly they forget Hamsher’s patently racist minstrel-man black-face al jolson caricature of Loserman

    http://www.moonbattery.com/arc.....ckface.jpg

  244. 244
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @slag:

    C’mon. You can’t tell me that this behavior is in any way just a rational response to moderate policies.

    What behavior? All I’ve gotten so far is some vague allusions to “deep-seated hatred” and racism. Tell me specifically what behavior exhibits “deeps-seated hatred” or racism.

  245. 245
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @Nick:

    but in the Fall during that “Is Obama dropping the public option to kiss Olympia Snowe’s ass” freakout, some dude with the handle fflambeau or something said Obama was coddling Snowe because black men

    Awful sensitive to what some anonymous commenter on a blog said six or eight months ago, don’t you think? So this individual represents “quarters” of the progressive movement, then?

  246. 246
    4jkb4ia says:

    @John Cole, acknowledging that he is gone:
    OK, some of it was there from the beginning, but some of it is a function of a load of disappointments, some of which were real and some of which were stoked, so that they have simply lost trust.
    And if you identify as a populist or a crusader against elites Obama is neither. So you can name that either “principle” or “ideological blind spot”

  247. 247
    cyd says:

    @Brachiator:

    You’re not serious, are you? You quote Wikipedia on Harriet Miers and yet you omit the judgment of even politicians who tried to help her that when it came to constitutional issues, she was a precursor of the Emptiness that is Sarah Palin, someone chosen entirely for her empty-headed adherence to fundamentalist values, without an ounce of competence.

    I don’t see where you get off comparing Miers with Palin, unless it’s some kind of crude misogyny (conservative woman, gotta be stupid!). Yes, it turned out that Miers’ expertise lay in legal management, and she had a weak grasp of constitutional law; that’s why she bombed her Senate interviews. (Incidentally, the Harvard deanship that is Kagan’s main claim to fame is also primarily a managerial position). But look: the Dallas Bar Association and the State Bar of Texas are not joke professional bodies, and the American Bar Association Journal is not some kind of fringe publication. I have no doubt that Kagan is far more intelligent and successful than Miers, but portraying Miers as professionally unaccomplished is just dumb groupthink.

  248. 248
    Nick says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.): Well that comment was cheered on by at least half a dozen other commenters, so yeah, that definitely does represent a piece of that quarter as John pointed out, yes.

  249. 249
    Mike Kay says:

    @4jkb4ia: what are you babbling about. they never liked obama. they supported johnnyboy edwards by two to one margin. if you went to GOS during the primaries, 6 of the 8 diaries on the wreck list were love letters to johnny boy. And when he dropped out, they cried and threw a fit.

    they failed with dean. they failed with edwards. they failed with lamont. they can’t even beat blache lincoln.

    nudge me when the born losers win something.

  250. 250
    Nick says:

    @4jkb4ia:

    And if you identify as a populist or a crusader against elites Obama is neither

    I am neither a populist nor a crusader against elites, the latter sounds too much like the anti-intellectualism pushed forward by the fascists and teabaggers.

  251. 251
    Nick says:

    @Mike Kay: Well they’ll take credit for Obama, and they’ll take credit for Sestak if he wins.

  252. 252
    Mike Kay says:

    @Nick: what’s the polling like on sestak-arlen?

  253. 253
    Hal says:

    what are you babbling about. they never liked obama. they supported johnnyboy edwards by two to one margin.

    The John Edwards support always confused the hell out of me. My Green Party friend who could not stand Obama said she actually really liked Edwards, but all I kept hearing about was how the people in his own state couldn’t stand him. He never seemed capable of winning, yet some people were enthralled by him.

    But, I do have to admit I loved Howard Dean, and definitely wanted him over Bush. So maybe the Edwards love isn’t that hard to understand.

  254. 254
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @Nick:

    Well that comment was cheered on by at least half a dozen other commenters,

    We’re up to seven! Only 4000 more and we get an Iowa caucus delegate!

  255. 255

    @Mark S.:

    I read a lawyer who’d argued in front of SC say that unless the issue was really technical (i.e. something 99% of us couldn’t care less about), oral arguments didn’t make a damn bit of difference. The justices already know how they are voting in the hot button cases.

    One of the assistant attorneys in the Solicitor General’s office was present during the reargument of Brown. His quote was that when asked what remedy the NAACP preferred in this case, Thurgood Marshall’s argument might as well have consisted of him singing “Mary had a little lamb.”

    The justices are well-versed in counsel’s arguments. Oral argument exists to clarify questions that exist in the justices minds, and also to ask questions that might help sway justices who are on the fence about a particular part of the case.

  256. 256
    Mike Kay says:

    @Hal: no, you were right, the first time.

    Dean opposed the war. Edwards was a iraqi invasion cheerleader.

  257. 257
    cyd says:

    Wow, Lessig really crushed GG’s argument on Rachel Maddow tonight. It was not even funny. Like a previous poster mentioned, I look forward to a litany of Updates complaining about Lessig in the coming days.

  258. 258
    Nick says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.): don’t even joke about that, that’s scary.

    Seven of them is eight too many.

  259. 259
    Cain says:

    @mai naem:

    I,too, am getting tired of Hamsher but I can kind of agree with what Cenk Uynger is saying. The problem with the lefties that Obama has a problem with is that he does not throw them even a bone. Everything is compromised to the right. Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t think of one instance where he( I mean him not some admin lackey) had made the

    Well considering that the entire D.C. including the press is wired for Republicans, I can understand it. I mean they own the messaging. Our liberals by definition cannot seem to counter the messaging because it requires some kind of uniform vision which we don’t do. We’re like cats.

    cain

  260. 260
    Nick says:

    @Mike Kay: Sestak appears to have taken the lead. He unleashed a rather devestating attack on Specter’s Republican record and now with his record of opposing Kagan as SG.

    Sestak probably pulls out a win, which is good because he’s probably better in the general, but he did that on his own. the blogsphere abandoned him months ago.

  261. 261
    Nick says:

    @mai naem:

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t think of one instance where he( I mean him not some admin lackey) had made the right compromise to the left.

    A healthcare bill in general is an instance where he made the right compromise to the left. Hell., his entire freakin’ agenda is forcing the right to compromise to the left.

    But if you want another specific example…Jobs bill, Consumer Protection Agency in the Financial Reform bill, Judge David Hamilton.

  262. 262
    Mike Kay says:

    @Nick: oh how funny. yup, they gave up sestek, especially after HCR, to chase after lincoln, and now, in the final week, sestek pull ahead. Kinda reminds me of Iowa, when Obama pulled ahead in the final weekend and crushed sex-tape-with-ditzy-party-girl-while-his-wife-recovers-from-boob-cancer edwards.

  263. 263
    Triassic Sands says:

    The post by “bmaz” at firedoglake was perhaps the most idiotic piece of hyperbole I’ve read about Kagan.

    Kagan wouldn’t make it onto the longest of my long lists, but neither is she unqualified. She’s exactly what I’d expect from Obama.

    My hope is that freed from the need to dedicate every ounce of her existence to nurturing her resume, once on the court she will surprise her lefty opponents and use her gifts to become a fine justice. I won’t hold my breath, but stranger things have happened.

    If you don’t like Kagan, the problem isn’t Kagan; after all she didn’t nominate herself.

    @JK:

    I would have preferred seeing Obama pick a bona fide liberal…

    So would I, but why on Earth would anyone expect that?

  264. 264
    Cacti says:

    So the teabagger/firebagger position is that a person who:

    Was Prof. at two Top 5 Law Schools, Dean of Harvard Law, the U.S. Solicitor General, and Author of scholarly work that has been cited more than 500 times by Law Journals…

    Is unqualified for elevation to SCOTUS.

    What a stupid position.

  265. 265
    PanAmerican says:

    It was funny to read kos flounder today and call Michelle Obama “classless” for not mentioning whats his name at some commencement in Arkansas. Your guy getting his ass kicked by Blanche Lincoln? Just let it go.

  266. 266
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Nick:

    A healthcare bill in general is an instance where he made the right compromise to the left. Hell., his entire freakin’ agenda is forcing the right to compromise to the left.

    This is an incredibly salient point that is not mentioned nearly enough. We are talking about an almost century long battle that is now officially over. The only game now is just making the law better and more functional. But that war is being fought on victorious terrain now. There can be no question on that point.

    Really, I’m stunned that more people don’t get this.

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    You said “deep-seated”, which is a term we usually apply to how serial killers feel about prostitutes.

    That’s Jaws you just jumped son.

    I officially submit this gem for Comment of The Year.

    +7

  267. 267
    burnspbesq says:

    @superking:

    her scholarship shows that she probably agrees with the outcome in Citizen’s United

    Good, because Citizens United was correctly decided. What part of “Congress shall make no law” do you not understand, fool?

  268. 268
    burnspbesq says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Are you this much of an ass in the real world, or only where it’s consequence-free?

  269. 269
    JMC_in_the_ATL says:

    If you’re wondering about left racism, you only need to spend some time at the various PUMA sites (hill buzz, no quarter, river daughter, alegre, taylor marsh, etc) to see it in all its hard-working white glory.

  270. 270
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @4jkb4ia:

    And if you identify as a populist or a crusader against elites Obama is neither.

    IMHO “populist” and “crusader against elites” are terms you earn by virtue of other people applying them to you. You don’t just wake up one day and start declaring yourself a “crusader against elites.” Unless you’re David Sirota. “Identify” yourself as one of those and it might as well be cosplay.

  271. 271
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @PanAmerican: That was the Kos equivalent of having a conniption about bowing or giving the Queen an iPod. Ridiculous.

  272. 272

    @burnspbesq:

    Good, because Citizens United was correctly decided.

    As the risk of handing in my progressive credentials to the proper authorities, I very much agree with this statement.

    I don’t like that Citizens United came down this way. I don’t have much argument in the way it was decided. Congress and the People now have a responsibility to act to deal with the practical consequences of it.

    Seems to me that the logical thing would be to push through a Constitutional amendment that limits the kind of influence that large corporations can have on our elections. Make only personal donations acceptable.

  273. 273
    Mike Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig: who specifically called her classless?

  274. 274

    @PanAmerican: @FlipYrWhig:

    You’re both going to tell me this is a joke, right?

  275. 275
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mike Kay: “Classless” was the title of a post about Michelle Obama not acknowledging Bill Halter, who was present, in a list of local luminaries at a graduation in Arkansas.

  276. 276
    burnspbesq says:

    Are my eyes playing tricks on me, or is Elana Kagan actually Chunky Rachel Maddow?

  277. 277
    sherifffruitfly says:

    Sorry Teabagger Jane. Just because you don’t like someone, that isn’t reason to vote ‘no’ on his pick.

  278. 278
    Brachiator says:

    @cyd:

    I don’t see where you get off comparing Miers with Palin, unless it’s some kind of crude misogyny (conservative woman, gotta be stupid!).

    Bush’s preference was to treat his administration as though it were some kind of second-rate country club. And so he had a habit of appointing mediocrities whose primary selling points were loyalty and an adherence to simple minded ideology. Thoughtful conservatives were chased away. Gender was not an issue. You do recall Brownie, the head of FEMA, who had no background at all in disaster management?

    George Will, who has substantial conservative bona fides, went ballistic over Miers’ nomination. He was less harsh, but no less emphatic over Palin’s patent lack of talent.

    I have no doubt that Kagan is far more intelligent and successful than Miers, but portraying Miers as professionally unaccomplished is just dumb groupthink

    I never said that Miers was professionally unaccomplished. I never belittled her legal career nor her work for Bush as White House Counsel. But you cannot dance away from the hard fact that those who found her most wanting were her fellow conservatives who wanted her to succeed, but who instead found her to be singularly unqualified to be a Supreme Court justice.

  279. 279
    Mike Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig: well, no one would ever accuse markos of being classless.

    this kinda bleating and self destruction only happens at the end of a losing campaign.

    never let them see ya sweat, kos.

  280. 280
    Mike Kay says:

    @Brachiator: dude, even jane hamsher wrote at the time miers was rejected because the fundies were raising hell because they were afraid she was another secret pro-choice vote like souter and kennedy.

  281. 281
    Uriel says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    You said “deep-seated”, which is a term we usually apply to how serial killers feel about prostitutes.

    Thanks for the incisive analysis.

    (Hey! This whole dismissive non-response thing is a lot of fun! Thanks for the heads up!)

  282. 282
    Mike Kay says:

    @burnspbesq: I wonder if rachel is jealous that she’ll no longer be the leading butch icon.

  283. 283
    IronyAbounds says:

    @cyd: Being the head of a bar association is not a qualification for Supreme Court Justice. Trust me, people who go into those positions are not the brilliant legals minds. In any event, Meirs biggest shortcoming was not her lack of judicial experience. It was the fact that she was just another Bush toady, almost, though not quite, an Alberto Gonzalez with breasts.

  284. 284
    Uriel says:

    @mr. whipple:

    You forgot how they’ll say it’s silly to think they have any part in the base depression because they have no influence while simultaneously claiming to be of major import to the party and are gonna stay home unless they get what they want.

    Ah, yes- the timeless archetype of the impotent yet all powerful prophet is invoked once again. And, with a wave of the hand, we are all Cassandra.

    How wonderfully tiresome.

  285. 285
    Brachiator says:

    @Mike Kay:

    dude, even jane hamsher wrote at the time miers was rejected because the fundies were raising hell because they were afraid she was another secret pro-choice vote like souter and kennedy.

    Don’t really care what jane hamsher wrote. The major objection to Miers from thoughtful conservatives was that her nomination was an embarrassment, and that Bush was again selecting loyalty over competence.

    Here is a bit of George Will’s WAPO column (October 23, 2005), in which he called Miers’ nomination “perverse”:

    As for Republicans, any who vote for Miers will thereafter be ineligible to argue that it is important to elect Republicans because they are conscientious conservers of the judicial branch’s invaluable dignity. Finally, any Republican senator who supinely acquiesces in President Bush’s reckless abuse of presidential discretion — or who does not recognize the Miers nomination as such — can never be considered presidential material.

    The Miers’ nomination was one of the few times when more thoughtful conservatives broke ranks with the neo-cons and their enablers.

  286. 286
    ruemara says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    Cole can back it off. I doubt he will. I most certainly won’t.

  287. 287
    rootless_e says:

    @Brachiator: nothing “thoughtful” about it. She was insufficiently pro-coat-hanger. Period.

    I like the idea of the court with 2 jewish women from NYC and a PR woman from NYC. They might get Scalia to vote with them against Alito’s bridge and tunnel squad.

  288. 288
    4jkb4ia says:

    @Mike Kay:
    I thought we were talking about FDL and not GOS.
    I am babbling about this because at least at EW’s place, I saw it happen. In the primaries EW’s was an ocean of sanity. Relatively speaking people did not beat each other up on one candidate over another. After the way Hillary behaved in the Michigan primary that wasn’t, EW sent Obama money. Even after FISA and the bailout, people there were willing to give Obama a chance. bmaz wrote shortly after the election that Obama wasn’t going to be perfect, but after what preceded him it was going to be night and day. But drip by drip, (Dawn Johnsen was one of the drips and torture investigations/whether anything was coming of Durham’s were a flood), you saw that it wasn’t night and day. bmaz ended up writing that they were arguing for the same things in court with more competent people, especially where State Secrets were concerned. And by December almost everybody was sullen and angry and writing ridiculous things like “Obama is an empty suit” because they couldn’t have been so disappointed otherwise. If Obama had gotten behind the public option in any committed way, he would have gotten credit for being progressive but the public option is not a rule-of-law issue so there was no reason to lay up on the other things.

  289. 289
    4jkb4ia says:

    And because of that, even if Obama picked Wood or even Karlan, it wouldn’t make the base more enthusiastic in November. Most of the base doesn’t know these people from a hole in the ground.

    Additional meta: Once again, this is where you miss CHS. This is Politico. They want Jane to make a statement because they think Jane is a player. If CHS was there and covering this nomination Jane might have referred it to her and she would have said something impeccable.

  290. 290
    4jkb4ia says:

    @Mike Kay:
    If you look at Orange to Blue from the last election, I think about half of their candidates won. And you might count Alan Grayson who was an Open Left Better Democrat.

    Here’s Blue America’s ActBlue page with all the candidates they took credit for.

  291. 291
    4jkb4ia says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    See, exactly because I lack them, especially when it comes to something like this, I think that people have populist instincts. If you have been screwed by a bank and then you are suspicious of all banks forever after that isn’t any action that you took. Or you could have a populist political culture like Minnesota and Wisconsin used to.

  292. 292
    4jkb4ia says:

    @4jkb4ia:
    In fact, one of those candidates is Eric Massa! Write your own joke.

  293. 293
    sparky says:

    @mai naem: interesting speculation. dunno if it is true but it has at least a surface plausibility.

    as for Kagen, it’s true that previous experience as a judge isn’t and shouldn’t be a requirement. but i think people here are misrepresenting (or misunderstanding) the objections from the cranks like moi. they are (1) that she is a blank slate/establishment suckup–being a law school dean is an administrative job–doesn’t mean you can’t be a judge but it exhibits a certain acceptance of the status quo; and (2) that as dean she has a record of preferring to hire conservative white guys over well, anyone else. so, in the absence of information, people project that forward and say more conservative than liberal. it’s certainly fair to say that this is just supposition but on the other hand support for her is also based on a supposition. smells like…comment war!

    if you are happy with the current supreme court, you should support this nomination. because it sure as hell isn’t going to get any more liberal if/when Kagan is on the bench.

    note to dear leader: John, you can’t seriously think that a Senate hearing will tell you anything relevant, do you?

  294. 294
    4jkb4ia says:

    a) Kagan said that these hearings should be more relevant and b) these hearings are the greatest chance that the Senators have to find out anything about her and get comfortable with her. Cardin’s statement expressed caution and not prejudging until the hearings. If we really know nothing more than we did previously that is a lobbying tool: is “she is certain to be a mainstream Democrat” enough to do due diligence on someone?

    And Jim Webb, 2006. That is a netroots cause according to the good criteria of number of recommended diaries and Markos actually putting the campaign in his book (“Taking On The System”)

  295. 295
    sparky says:

    @4jkb4ia: um if you are responding to me, you are using a kind of shorthand i am unfamiliar with. i don’t read most political blogs as i am an accidental iconoclast.

    what i meant about hearings is that judicial candidates, definitionally, don’t say how they would decide a particular case and offer only platitudes about their poltical and legal philosophy. in Kagan’s case, the woman has spent her entire life inside the establishment without creating a paper trail, so the likelihood of anything coming out of her mouth that would change a vote is, while not nil, pretty close.

  296. 296
    sparky says:

    incidentally, what i think though don’t know that people who make the Miers-Kagan analogy are trying to say is this:
    they are akin in that the reason they were both chosen is that in both cases the President knew he was getting a reliable vote, that is, one who would vote the way he wanted. at least that’s the way i understand it.

    the salient difference, though, is that Miers was not an accomplished lawyer on the national level and lacked any credible constituency outside the WH. in contrast, Kagan is accomplished within legal academia, though as a bureaucrat rather than as a thinker.

    speaking as a person who has spent some time in and around legal academia, i think it is reasonable to infer that Kagan is (a) smart and (b) wholly devoted to the status quo. you don’t get to be dean at HLS by rocking the boat. incidentally, i am disappointed by Lessig’s endorsement–for all his yapping about wanting real change, at the end of the day, he picks cronyism over principle. ah well, such is life.

  297. 297
    taylormattd says:

    @jake: It’s a bunch of garbage. Having less written opinions means less drama at confirmation hearings. Harriet Myers indeed. For god’s sake, this woman ran Harvard Law School and is the effing Solicitor General.

  298. 298
    kay says:

    I wasn’t thrilled with Kagan, but it is fucking appalling that people who call themselves “liberals” and “the Democratic base” are parroting racist asshole and idiot Pat Buchanan.

    BUCHANAN: What he’s done is dummy down. He has dummied down the Supreme Court. He has given two of the best appointments of his administration to people who are not the best and the brightest. That’s unfortunate.

    BLITZER: Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, both of them, everybody who has dealt with them, including their critics, say their very, very intelligent women.

    BUCHANAN: Listen, Harriet Miers is an intelligent woman. She is a fine — just as fine an attorney as you could be.

    6 months ago we were all saying that media’s obsession with repeating that the far Left and the far Right are the same was bullshit, and it was.
    Is that still true? Looks to me like they’re now matched in vitriol and dishonesty.

    Good going.

  299. 299
    kay says:

    @sparky:

    though as a bureaucrat rather than as a thinker.

    Yeah, it takes a real thinker to reach for the stupid, beltway comparison that comes to mind in 30 seconds.

    Kagan = Meirs!

    It’s moronic. You’re supposed to be creative free-wheeling liberals. Spouting these rote Bush/Obama comparisons is really rigorous, let me tell you. You’re about as original and free-thinking as Halperin. Is it really any wonder that these principled standard bearers are booked on cable? That’s where they belong, with the rest of the “thinkers”.

  300. 300
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @sparky:

    note to dear leader: John, you can’t seriously think that a Senate hearing will tell you anything relevant, do you?

    And a top of the morn to you sparky! Starting our concern trolling bright and early today, I see. Could I get you a cup of coffee, or maybe a donut?

  301. 301
    kay says:

    @sparky:

    i am disappointed by Lessig’s endorsement—for all his yapping about wanting real change, at the end of the day, he picks cronyism over principle. ah well, such is life.

    It wasn’t an endorsement. It was a rebuttal. A defense. He says you’re wrong on the facts, wrong on what she said.

    This is your response? There’s that rigorous thought process again.

  302. 302
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @ruemara:

    Cole can back it off. I doubt he will. I most certainly won’t.

    Well, “epistemic closure” is the phrase of the month, after all.

  303. 303
    Brachiator says:

    @sparky:

    as for Kagen, it’s true that previous experience as a judge isn’t and shouldn’t be a requirement. but i think people here are misrepresenting (or misunderstanding) the objections from the cranks like moi. they are (1) that she is a blank slate/establishment suckup

    That Kagan is a “blank slate” is meaningless twaddle, as is any noise about her not being a judge. I find it amusing that Obama is using a strategy previously employed by Republican presidents in fielding a candidate without a big paper trail, and enjoy even more that some who want to insist on a liberal litmus test are also annoyed.

    The “establishment suck-up” thing doesn’t even rise to the level of meaningless twaddle.

  304. 304
    Paula says:

    @4jkb4ia:

    So what I get from this is that the Obama administration specifically wanted to hurt you. There were no Republicans influencing his decisions, no economic issues, no cable news, no general ignorance of Americans on security and counterterrorism issues, no long-term history of trying to justify horrendous American military policy, no CIA, no military industrial complex … just you you you and your hurt feelings.

  305. 305
    Fred Fnord says:

    @Brachiator

    The major objection to Miers from thoughtful conservatives was that her nomination was an embarrassment, and that Bush was again selecting loyalty over competence.

    What, both of them?

    -fred

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