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'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

The Kagan Nomination

Whenever I read about an issue, person or piece of legislation, I often find it extremely instructive to then read about what the critics say about it - and sometimes jujst to find out who those criotics are - before deciding how I really feel about it.  After all, I may interpret something in one way, and it might not occur to me to see things the way a critic does.  In much the same way, finding out that "civil libertarians," or "relighious rights groups," or "the 'X' industry," or "environmentalsts" are in favor of or opposed to something can often tell me a lot more about the issue than I can learn from reading the ilterature written by its or their supporters.  And the opposition need not even be principled - this is why I like MMFA.  In showing the opposition to be based on MISINFORMATION, it shows me that there is perhaps nothing LEGITIMATE for them to point to to criticise.  In the case of THIS NOMINEE, Elena Kagan, this type of opposition is a bit distressing.

In the "defense" of this nominee, MMFA - an unapologetically liberal website - goes to great lengths to dispell the Right Wing "myth" that Kagan represents a far-left, radical position.  And they do a good job of dispelling this.  They show, very clearly, that either the conservatives are just flat-out lying, or that their fears are vastly overblown.  They show that this is a nominee that is not necessarily hostile to the institution they hold dear.

And therein lies the PROBLEM.  Personally I'd like to see a nominee that's a little hostile to religion as a political force.  Who IS a bit skeptical of the Military's ability to do anything other than fight wars (IOW: blow shit up and kill people) and who sees WAR as a last resort, rather than the preffered choice in dealing with foreign policy.  When you look at Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito and recognize the absolute rubber-stampt they represent to the Right, only the starkest possible contrast should suffice to replace the retiring Stevens.  I myself found Judge Diana Wood to be an interesting choice.  But instead we get Kagan.

Now... don't get me wrong.  Personaly I think that statements such as "she'll move the court to the right" are ludicrious.  The President nominated the former Dean of Harvard Law School, for Pete's sake, not Phyllius Schlafly.  And I'll be the first to admit that I don't know NEARLY enough about Kagan, or Wood for that matter, to make a truly eductaed assessment of their potential impact.  My biggest complaint about Kagan really come from what I think I know about her views on executive power.  But then I have to realize that my understanding of her positions come from what she did in her role as SOLICITOR GENERAL - where it was her JOB to advocate for the executive branch.  Hardly a position where one's libertarian viewpoint would get center stage.  One could almost argue that fomrer solicitor generals - people who built their resume defending the government's position - should be made inelligible for a SC nomination... But then we'd never have had Thurgood Marshall!

And, going back to my previous post on Wood, I don't necessarily see Kagan VOTING very differently than Justice Stevens did.  And this statement has been made repeatedly by her critcis and supporters alike.  But to me the real question is not how she'd VOTE (which I don't think is really in question) but rather whether she would advocate for the liberal position, and how effectively she would do so.  I liked Wood's politics well enough, but I what I really liked was what I read about her ability to pursuade those who would be inclined to disagree with her.  I saw this as a sign that she could influence Justice Kennedy, and gets some WINS for the Left.  I've read the same thing about Kagan - and as a lawyer, influencing people is waht she DOES - but I just don't know enough about her to know just how OFTEN and on WHAT ISSUES she's USE those powers of pursuation.  (PFAM is not much help in this department - they have a lot to say about the Roberts Court, but little one way or the other about Kagan herself.)

Now... I do NOT, as my friend ClassicLiberal has proposed, belive that the Kagan nomination is somehow grounds for (figurative) impeachment.  But I am disappointed that Kagan got the call over more liberal cadidates.  I would have strongly preferred Wood...

...And I find myself in the rare position of wishing that the conservatives were right!


  1. I have had similar thoughts to yours. I hope that she is indeed a consensus builder and can pick up that fifth vote. I also like to see what the opposition says but frankly I am so tired of the Republican party right now that I am for anything that makes their heads explode. Let the fireworks begin!

  2. I never entertained much hope for Obama in the first place, and I more-or-less washed my hands of him before he'd ever even been sworn in (my first call for a figurative impeachment came when he picked Rick Warren to deliver the benediction at his inauguration, which was really just the culmination of a lot of BS on his part), but this nomination officially ends any support I may have given him for anything. He isn't worthy of my support, and, to put it bluntly, he's unfit to hold the office.

    Or maybe it's that he's proven himself so perfectly fit to hold the office.

    Whichever the case, I've never been one to smile and take it while I'm being fucked over, and I'm certainly not starting it for this POS.

    You're DEAD wrong about this not moving the court to the right, Eddie; Obama is, in fact, delivering up the fifth vote to the fascist block on the court on the most important matters that will be before it in the next several years. Kagan's view of "executive power" is, indeed, fascist in nature, and I don't use that word as some sort of empty curse, as so many on the left do. Stevens was a bulwark against what Bush put in place; she's a cheerleader for it, and the major cases that came before the court and were beaten back wouldn't have been beaten back if she'd been on it. The court will be rife with these continuing cases in the next several years, and having Kagan on it is totally unacceptable.

    I find myself very tempted, right now, to advocate bringing in the Republican playbook on this matter: Beat her back, slander her, politically destroy her by whatever means necessary, without regard for the truth or any sense of decency--whatever it takes to prevent her from being placed on the court. I know that down the road lies madness, and that stays my hand, but I'm going to do everything in my power (which is, admittedly, practically nothing) to keep this monstrous creature from ever being confirmed.

  3. JL,

    I, like ClassicLiberal to an even greater degree, just wish there was a REASON for thier heads to explode.


    Do you have some links that you think I ought to check out RE Kagan? I don't ask as a challenge - I assume you DO have some. It's just that not only is the MSM useless - essentially calling her a "complete mystery" but even hard-core court watchers like PFAM have precious little to say about her either way. Factcheck had nothin', and Politifact only had a few things about some relatively irrelevant CLAIMS made about her, but nothing about HER specifically. MMFA defends her from outright LIES - which is as they should - but as you know they don't really advocate FOR any person or position - only against conservative lies. So I'll be honest that I'm not sure where you get such a STRONGLY negative opinion about her. Please let me know if you have any decent, relatively objective sources.