Folks, I tried to keep an open mind. I really did. And most of you should know by now that while Liberal, I'm no moonbat. My numerous dustups over the past couple of months with ClassicLiberal (who I'd say is DEFINITELY a moonbat! LOL) should be evidence of that. I cast my vote for Obama knowing that he was a Left-Center moderate, and NOT any kind of the socialist, etc... that the Right have tried to paint him as, using crude stereotypes barely applicable to the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, and seemingly 180 degrees off the mark when applied to Obama. But if there is one area where I hold hard core liberal (socially libertarian views, actually) and that is the Supreme Court. And while there STILL isn't much to go on with Kagan, what little there is showns here to be on the WRONG side of free speech, the WRONG side or Corporate influence andf the WRONG side of Executive Power. And these three things pretty much top my list of Constitutional issues. OK - if she came out as a hard-core anti-theist / seperation-of-church-and-state type, I could probably come around to her. But she's said and written so little on any topic that I don't see how I could believe that at this point.
But my once open mind is now made up, and I feel compelled to say this, on no uncertain tearms: ClassicLiberal is RIGHT. Kagan SUCKS. And this nomination is nothing short of an abject BETRAYAL on the part of President Obama. This is not "change I can believe in." This is more like "shit I can't believe."
I'm going to re-post the links to the two excellent artices that he pointed me too: Johnathan Turley's piece, and Glenn Greenwald's post on Salon. READ THEM. Between those two and this piece by Marvin Ammori on HuffPo, as well as some of the other articles I linked to yesterday, I am convinced that Elena Kagan (and by extension, apparently Barack Obama) has her head up her ass when it comes to the First Ammendment. And I'll throw the Right a bone on this: The SECOND Ammendment is there in case they forget about the FIRST. And if this nomination goes through, it would take SIX applications of the second ammendment to fix the court, when today it would take only four. She ABSOLUTELY needs to be "Harriet Mierred." She WON'T be... because the Democrats have NO BALLS AT ALL. But she needs to be. And Obama should be firmly rebuked for this BETRAYAL. He won't be...because the Democrats have NO BALLS AT ALL. But he needs to be.
And just to show this is a principled opposition, and not just a case of "she's not liberal enough" I want to refer to a couple of recent examples of free-speech where the speakers were punnished for saying something downright CONSERVATIVE; and which seem to be cases where Kagan would seem to vote that these punnishments were acceptable.
First, the students sent home from school for wearing American Flag T-Shirts on May 5th. Now I'm no fool: I know exactly why they were doign this. A do you know what? Why I despise what they were saying - both for the inherent racism of the message and the disrespect it showed the FLAG - I'm willing to fight, kill and die to protect their right ot SAY it. And in case you feel so inclined, don't bother citing precident to me. We went through that on MMFA and I'll stand by my original judgement that the school GROSSLY over-reached. Kagan seems to think, in her support of broader anti-hate speech rules, that the school would be justified because of the message the students were sending. And that is the EXACTLY, 180 degrees WRONG way to read the first ammendment. To think that, I wonder if she's even READ it!
The other, far more disturbing case, was the one of the United States Marine with the Anti-Obama facebook page. Now, in the military their are well known restrictions of basic freedoms. In the military you follow orders. And traditionally speaking freely is something that requires specific permission. What's more - this is an enlisted man who was openly critisizing the COMMANDER AND CHIEF - his MOST superior officer. But do you know what? I think the ACLU has this one right. As long as this soldier confines his remorks to his time OFF-DUTY, and carries out the orders he's given, to support the foriegn policy of the administration to the best of his ability - IOW, as long as he mainatins discipline in the field? He should be able to say whatever he wants. How can we honestly say we fighting to protect freedom (either theirs or ours) if we seek to silence those doing the fighting, during the times when they are not on actve duty. And given her views on executive power, as well as free speech, (and her less than enthusiastic support for the military, not that this is a facor for me) I don't see her standing up for this soldier. And I would - even though I think his message is treasonous!
Now you can agree or disagree with me on these cases (and I don't mind discussing them, though I'd prefer to do so in another post) but you have to concede this point to me: Most Liberals are willing to defend speech that they don't agree with, as a matter of PRINCIPLE, to protect the FREEDOM of Speech. Conservatives have shown time and time again - most recently in Citizens United - that they are NOT willing to do this. And, as descirbed in the HuffPo piece, Kagan argued Citizen for the Government and LOST. Now... whether she did so deliberately (which the post seems to imply, IMHO) or merely due to incompetence (as laid out in that same piece) she is NO STRONG, PRINCIPLED DEFENDER of Free Speech.
I will stop short of saying that I won't vote for Obama in 2012 - although I won't, if there's a primary challenger! Is she preferable to the likely McCain/Palin nominee? Yeah, probably. But I was NOT voting for what I though was the 'lesser of two evils.' I though I was voting for the lesser GOOD, over the greater EVIL. Now I see that I was not. That I did, in fact, merely take the lesser of two evils.
Kagan has to go. Show me a petition and I'll sign it. Send letters, call your Senator- especially if he's a Democrat! I'd love to see every one of these spineless jellyfish GO. The only thing that stops me is the knowledge that those without BRAINS (Tes Bag Republicans) will replace those without BALLS if the Democrats lose. (And if the Republicans gain MORE influence, there won't be any restraint of the continued corporatization of this country, and the increasing drowning out of opposition voices.) That's the reality and the reality sucks. But this nomination is just intolerable.
I say: Let the Right attack her. Let them tear down with even the worst, most absurd slander. I hope the win this one. Then maybe Obama will get his head out of his ass and pick someone like Judge Diane Wood.
Kagan needs to go.
One point of clarification: Why don't I believe that corporations deserve the same Free Speech protection? Why am I so against the decision in Citizens United?
Let me get to that in my next post.