Politics

"The reality is that Democrats, including liberals, will accept and push whomever Obama picks." 

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That's liberal University of California legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, explaining to the Daily Caller that President Barack Obama's failure to nominate a "Scalia of the left" to the Supreme Court won't be a deal breaker for the president's liberal base. Liberal Salon blogger and outspoken Elena Kagan opponent Glenn Greenwald agrees, though he's none too happy with the implications of this approach:

Yesterday on Twitter, Matt Yglesias supplied the rationale for this mentality:  "Argument will be simple: Clinton & Obama like and trust [Kagan], and most liberals (myself included) like and trust Clinton & Obama."

Just think about what that means.  If the choice is Kagan, you'll have huge numbers of Democrats and progressives running around saying, in essence:  "I have no idea what Kagan thinks or believes about virtually anything, and it's quite possible she'll move the Court to the Right, but I support her nomination and think Obama made a great choice."  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?

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  1. Isn’t that a pure embodiment of mindless tribalism and authoritarianism?

    Yes. Welcome to politics in 2010.

    1. Yes. Welcome to politics in 2010.

      Because, you know, the previous decade had absolutely no mindless tribalism and authoritarianism.

      It just suddenly appeared in 2010.

      1. It was a process.

      2. Because, you know, the previous decade had absolutely no mindless tribalism and authoritarianism.

        It just suddenly appeared in 2010.

        If I recall correctly Bush nominated a Supreme Court candidate that the right hated and was replaced.

        Also Ron Paul ran as a Republican. Obama who ran as THE left’s anti-war candidate is still fighting 2 wars.

        1. The Right was badly burned by the Souter appointment, and didn’t fully trust Bush after 5 years in office. They merely insisted that Bush nominate someone with proven qualifications and a written record. We wouldn’t accept some crony whose views were only known to the same President who looked into Putin’s soul.

          The lefties haven’t been burned by The Great Obama yet. The still trust him without question.

      3. at least your admitting in 2010, that the government has become mindless tribalism and authoritarianism.

        Admittimg the problem is half way to recovery..Congrats!

      4. As a matter of fact, the Democrats were mindless and tribalistic all through the last decade as well. And the one before that. And the one before that. And… Hell, they’ve been that way since about 1968, really.

    2. Wait…I thought that the conservatives and Tea Partiers were reckless and insane because they “are conducting an ideological purge of moderate Republicans” or something?

      That doesn’t quite sound like mindless tribalism to me… So which is it?

  2. Isn’t that a pure embodiment of mindless tribalism and authoritarianism?

    Wow, it only took you 20 years to get that.

  3. We’re all mindless tribalists, now.

    1. I’m sending over a raiding party right now. Go Team!

      1. Let me know if The Left drops any good loot.

  4. I’ll go along with whatever you guys think.

  5. The words “rationale,” “mentality,” and “Matt Yglesias” never belong in the same sentence.

    1. Certainly not without the phrases “lack of”, “laughably naive” and “that motherfucker”

      1. I don’t even know who Matt Yglesias is, but that was funny!

      2. Also, the phrases “bloated”, “balding”, “nasally-toned”, and “butterball.”

  6. 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?

    We Lawn Gnomes cannot help but notice your reverence for all things and peoples of Harvard, as these two are Harvard alumnus, as is the halfling Ms Elena Kagan. It truly is a hive-like mentality you seem to possess; it’s almost like a religion. Was it not founded by a religious group and subsequently bears the name of a clergyman? It has been suggested that the Hallowed Halls of Harvard should perhaps meet an untimely demise.

    We Lawn Gnomes are rugged individualists and proud of our independent and free thinking ways.

    1. You Lawn Gnomes seem surprizingly smart – are there Lawn Gnomes in Harvard’s yards?

      1. Only the Legacy Lawn Gnomes.

  7. Greenwald is still an idiot.

  8. We Lawn Gnomes are rugged individualists and proud of our independent and free thinking ways.

    Time out!

    1. We were hoping you’d catch that. The Lawn Gnome is awash in irony, as our small stature limits us to certain occupations. One must go with their strengths.

  9. LOL, of course they will. No matter how goofy looking she is LOL

    Lou
    http://www.anon-vpn.cz.tc

  10. So the theory here is that if Obama nominated, say, Dick Cheney to the SCOTUS that all progressives would agree it was a great pick?

    Now, it is true that Obama supporters will generally give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to nominating judges that nobody has heard of. After all, that is one of the reasons we elected him – to make these decisions.

    1. Microwave Popcorn

      Ingredients
      1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
      1 teaspoon vegetable oil
      1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

      Directions
      1. In a cup or small bowl, mix together the unpopped popcorn and oil. Pour the coated corn into a brown paper lunch sack, and sprinkle in the salt. Fold the top of the bag over twice to seal in the ingredients.

      2. Cook in the microwave at full power for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, or until you hear pauses of about 2 seconds between pops. Carefully open the bag to avoid steam, and pour into a serving bowl.

      1. This could be very dangerous, especially for The Children???, not to mention a possible fire hazard. Try my new and very safe Spicy Nacho? Microwave Popping Corn, or my name isn’t somebody pretending to be Orville Redenbacher.

      2. “Carefully open the bag to avoid steam, and pour into a serving bowl.”

        Remove one of your 12 Newcastles from the fridge, and pour briskly into a pint glass. Drink, nibble, repeat as necessary.

  11. Isn’t that a pure embodiment of mindless tribalism and authoritarianism?

    BTW, how ironic is this considering the mindless tribalism and groupthink on display on H&R daily?

    1. You don’t have room to talk in that regard, Dan.

    2. Terri was in shock. “For God’s sake, Janet, put that fucking thing down! I mean it!” By this time she had reached the front door and fumbled with the lock as she attempted to open it without looking, as her eyes were glued to her daughter and the dead cat.

    3. I live for your kisses!

    4. BTW, how ironic is this considering the mindless tribalism and groupthink on display on H&R daily?

      Yeah cuz we never disagree with one another here. That is a fucking impossibility.

      Just for the record we all agree Taxes are a greater threat to liberty then spending, a gold standard is idiotic, smart growth caused the housing bubble, and we all voted Barr rather then McCain and Obama.

    5. I thought Libertarians were all too busy shooting each other in the back and arguing who had the purist Libertarian Bodily Fludids to get elected and do anything? But now we all practice mindless tribalism and groupthink? 2 + 2 = 5?

  12. Extreme partisanship is bad for our system. “Advice and consent” means making an independent judgment, not rubber-stamping a nominee because the president is in the majority party. This kind of crap really guts the idea of separation of powers and checks and balances.

    I see no real difference between this nomination and that of Harriet Miers. It’ll be interesting to see how this one gets treated.

    1. I don’t think that saying that she’s Harriet Miers exactly is fair, but Democrats always have a larger solid base than Republicans.

      The Republican base has, for 80 years, been smaller than that of Democrats. Even if the Republican regulars are more homogeneous than the Democratic base, it’s made for by the larger amount of apparently-disparate Democrats who nonetheless have incredible party loyalty. There are significant amounts of the Democratic coalition who agree with Republicans on 60%+ of positions– but agree with the Democrats on the one issue that really moves them.

      Republicans only win by appealing to independents, which means that Republicans who get into ethical or other troubles tend to get punished hard at general election time.

    2. Harriet Meirs was a victim of the corrosive Republican intra-party civil war. We don’t have those disputes over here.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/pol…..tah/56424/

  13. that is one of the reasons we elected him – to make these decisions.

    Whaddya mean “we” white man?

    1. Sorry, by “we” I meant the United States of America.

      1. Who appointed you to speak for anyone other than yourself?

        1. I am speaking for myself. But it is factually true that Obama was elected by the voters of the US.

          1. Elected by a slim majority of those casting votes that day; who were a fraction of those registered to vote; who were a fraction of those eligible to vote; who were a fraction of the population of the US.

            Outside of Nixon over McGovern, there has never been a president elected in my lifetime with anything resembling a “mandate” from the populace.

            1. That’s what Carter, Mondale, and Tip O’Neill told themselves too.

            2. And a goodly portion of those fell for the Obama con game of being a post-partisan centrist type.

              They were sold a bill of goods. The old bait and switch. Pretend to be a pragmatic centrist type to get elected and then once elected, push a purely leftist agenda as far as possible as fast as possible.

              1. And this is why he will have a hard time getting reelected. He needed every one of those centrists and I’m fairly sure a good many of them have now assuaged their white guilt and won’t be fooled again.

                I don’t think he can get elected a second time with just the stupid people and 95% of blacks (who, by the way, aren’t racists).

                1. Obama will need a different coalition from his first one to get reelected. He has known from day one that the fanatical religion of The Great Obama was strictly a 2008 limited edition.

          2. [Insert discussion of Electoral College, here…]

          3. If a majority of the voters of the US elected to jump off a bridge, would you feel obliged to comply?

            No one’s better off for throwing out rule of law for mobocracy.

            1. Most of them already have voted for such, and we’re obliged to comply largely because there aren’t any other countries not jumping off bridges either.

            2. No; I’d push them off.

          4. Dan, that would only be true if every single qualified adult voter, cast every one of their votes for Obama.

            But keep having those delusions of adequacy. We really dig on it.

      2. I live for your kisses!

  14. “So the theory here is that if Obama nominated, say, Dick Cheney to the SCOTUS that all progressives would agree it was a great pick?”

    Even in that extreme example you have to admit that it’s quite likely that many would bitch some but develop some complex double speak reasoning for why it’s a genius choice. I would certainly support it and it would bring unity. See how that works? Obama is a cult leader, plain and simple. There is no way most progressive would vote against this first black President no matter what he did.

  15. I see no real difference between this nomination and that of Harriet Miers.

    Harriet Miers didn’t even attend Harvard law, much less run it.

    I’ll now repeat my question from the other thread:

    Can we bomb the Harvard Law School to smouldering rubble, and claim self-defense?

    1. But then who will rule us??!!

      The economic collapse/reset is really dragging its feet.

      1. We’ll always have that school in Connecticut.

    2. Rush Limbaugh (King of the Rednecks) is repeating this Harriet Myers bit and weighing in with his high-school education.

      Kagan must be eminently qualified.

      1. Limbaugh’s a cunt. That pill-popping impotent putz should be getting daily ass-poundings in federal prison from now until the end of his miserable life.

        1. Ed Schultz is a cunt, as well. Or are you going to give him a pass?

      2. “Kagan must be eminently qualified.”

        Not possible.

        She was nominated by Obama.

        1. Sadly, if she can speak English at a college undergraduate level, that alone makes her more qualified for a high position than Sotomayor or Obama. That’s how low the standards have sunk in modern America.

  16. If the choice is Kagan, you’ll have huge numbers of Democrats and progressives running around saying, in essence: “I have no idea what Kagan thinks or believes about virtually anything, and it’s quite possible she’ll move the Court to the Right, but I support her nomination and think Obama made a great choice.”

    I seriously doubt that anyone Obozo nominates will move the Court to the Right, if by Right one means smaller, less intrusive, less powerful government.

    1. I nominated her precisely for the reason of moving SCOTUS to the right. America needs the court to move just right of communism and just left of socialism. I think I finally found the sweet spot!

  17. In fact, I have an SUV I’m not using…

    1. Really? Do tell! Does it come with a file by chance?

  18. “After all, that is one of the reasons we elected him – to make these decisions.”

    This is what Greenwald means when he talks about trusting Obama. People like you evidently don’t care about civil liberties and limiting executive power, you just trust him. If you cared about underlying principles you would be infuriated by Obama’s actions on Bagram, Guantanomo, torture prosecutions, refusing to release photos of prisoner abuse, NSA wiretaps, and extra-judicial assassination programs. Instead you trusted Obama when he was against it and now you trust him while he’s for it. Its this inability to hold fast to principles when a trusted leader tells you that surrendering them is necessary for your security that will lead to authoritarianism. If you made that argument under Bush it is just as true under Obama.

    1. But I think it’s a bit of a straw man to suggest that liberals have not been pretty critical of Obama on many of the items you just listed.

      What I was saying is that it’s not unreasonable on things like picking the next SCOTUS justice that most citizens would assume that Obama knows more about what is going on than we do and within reason be fine with his pick.

      1. “Milk will stop the transmissions, but it will kill me,” he said in a muffled tone of voice.

        1. It’s okay. He poured the milk. It’s over.

      2. Sure, some “liberals” have been “pretty critical” but by and large the so called respectable serious members of the political establishment who claimed that they thought Bush was being too expansive in executive power have been unwilling to criticize Obama for essentially the same thing. Greenwald has been all over this for the last couple of months at least. Go read Greenwald and tell me it’s “a bit of a straw man”.

        If you’ve been pretty critical of Obama on civil liberties why on earth would you trust his SCOTUS pick? The only way in which I would trust someone he picked is if vocal, trusted defenders of civil liberties could point to instances where Kagen has taken a firm public stand against Bush’s executive power grabs. From what I’ve seen there has been only one instance in 2005 when she has done this and it was about Habeas Corpus, on every other issue all throughout Bush’s record she has been silent.

        1. I suppose that’s true to some extent, although it’s equally true that the Tea Party folks didn’t mind big, intrusvie government when their guy was in charge either.

          1. After the entire incinerating process is complete, a cool down period of 30 minutes to an hour is required before the bone fragments can be handled for further processing. When the time finally arrives, the cremated remains or bone fragments are removed from the cremation chamber and placed on a table work area. It is here that the crematory operator removes all metal debris such as screws, nails, surgical pins or titanium limbs/joints with a magnet and by hand.

            The remaining bone fragments are then placed in a special processor which is kind of like a cross between a disposal unit from under a kitchen sink and a blender. This processor pulverizes the bone fragments to a fine powder called cremains or more commonly referred to as the ashes.

            The ashes are then placed in a plastic bag within a temporary cremation container or an urn provided one is furnished to the crematory. The ashes are then returned to the family.

          2. Granted, people on the right are hypocritical and don’t care about civil liberties. If I say A=X, then you claiming, rightly, that B=X is not a refutation just because B hates A. My point, which still stands, is that it is irrational to trust a president who violates civil liberties, to appoint someone who will protect them. When this is the case it becomes very important for all political players who care about civil liberties to fight for any possible pick who does care about them. The point of the Root’s post, I believe, was to express dissatisfaction that the progressives who he had hoped would fight this choice were rolling over in deference to Obama. If progressive establishment had any ideals or intellectual consistency they would shoot this pick down like the right shot down Myers in favor of someone like Wood who has a record of fighting expansive claims of executive power.

            1. It’s irrational to trust any politician. Except for the ones from Chicago because they are well know to have hide ethical standards. And for those of you who did trust Obama you’ve had a year of betrayal on those key issues you (for no rational reason) trusted him on.

              He knows at the end of the day you’ll fall in line as you have proven it time and time again.

            2. Obama isn’t going to nominate anyone who has a record of fighting against expansive executive power. Remember, he IS the executive power.

      3. I live for your kisses!

  19. I’m too busy riding on my unicorn in Never Never Land to even consider a nomination.

  20. No one ever said life as a lemming was easy.

    1. I’ll go along with that.

  21. I am officially old today. The sitting president of the United States of America nominated someone younger than me to sit on the Supreme Court.

    This dramatically reduces the only bright spot in my life that I might live to see some of the justices I dispise die before I do.

    1. Get out there and work for those dreams, kinnath! Don’t let life pass you by!

  22. Isn’t that a pure embodiment of mindless tribalism and authoritarianism?

    I don’t know what “tribalism” is, but I am sure it’s RACIST!

  23. It’s time for a drink, so let me point out how ironic that the magazine that is in favor of “Free Minds” is once again telling everybody how they are supposed to think.

    1. Before a deceased person is cremated, a funeral director must first obtain authorization to cremate the decedent from the closest surviving family members(s). This is usually in the form of a document provided by the funeral home and signed by the family.

      Next, the funeral director must remove any items not wished to be cremated along with the body such as jewelry. If the deceased had a pacemaker or other type of medical device, it too will need to be removed to prevent an explosion from occurring during the cremation process. It is not necessary to embalm a body before the cremation unless the family wishes to have a public viewing of the body during a memorial service.

      The body is then placed in a cremation casket, usually made of wood, or more often a cremation container which is basically a large cardboard box with a plywood bottom for sturdiness. These types of containers will burn fairly well during the cremation cycle.

      The funeral director or crematory operator will place an identification tag in the cremation container with the body to properly identify the cremated remains once returned to the funeral home. This is a very important step as it insures the family does not end up with the wrong set of cremated ashes.

    2. Is that close enough to trigger the “For a magazine called Reason…” part of the drinking game? Because I could use a drink.

    3. Are you fucking serious?

      1. Sure he is. That’s his problem.

    4. I live for your kisses!

    5. That’s rich, Dan. Criticism over telling people how they should think, coming from a liberal.

      Pull the other one, it has got bells on.

  24. Chemerinsky has been dead to me ever since he maintained in print that making it illegal not to have health insurance was within Congress’ powers under the Commerce Clause.

  25. The picture at the top left of cnn.com is absolutely begging for a caption.

    1. “Yes, Elena… Biden always smells like that. Even right after he comes back from the groomer.”

      1. I expected something more…unsavory from you NutraSweet. You disappoint me.

        1. You people won’t let me grow!

          1. Typecasting is typecasting. Be grateful for the work, like a good Hollywood starlet.

            1. Yes, sir.

    2. Babara Walters to have heart surgery!!!

  26. Just imagine who Ron Paul would pick and thank God that libertarianism is a political fantasy.

    1. ARF-ARF-ARF-ARF-ARF-ARF-ARF-ARF-ARF-ARF!

  27. …most liberals (myself included) like and trust Clinton & Obama.”BWAHAHAHAHAHA…..(inhales)…HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!@111!!!

    “Liberal” apparently means “tell me lies tell me sweet little lies.”

    1. Oh no, no, no, you can’t disguise…
      (You can’t disguise…)
      No, you can’t disguise…!

  28. 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?

    Oh, you noticed that? You noticed your ‘unbreakable’ political coalition of 2008 is little more than groups of mindless lemmings imbibing and regurgitating anything they’re told to by The Leader and his Chosen Ones?

    At least the right had the balls to speak up to Bush and oppose Harriet Meyers, regardless of what the Democrats thought.

    Here, the Democrats are so pathetic that they can’t even bother to look at a SCOTUS nominee closely because (HORROR OF HORRORS) they might not agree with Obama as strongly about it and news of that discomfort may be published in a newspaper and show the unsuspecting voter disunity in their party. NOOOO!

    Behold the temptations of original and independent thinking! Take away the pain, Obama! It burnssss us!

  29. She as disturbing views on free speech imo. She’s pro obscenity prosecutions, anti-porn, anti “hate speech”…. Do liberals not care about this becuase they agree with her? Liberals arent what they use to be.

    Could somebody here at Reason look into this? Maybe Im overreacting. But what Ive read has me concerned. I think its going to take libertarians to do it because its clear that liberals dont care and I doubt conservatives will either.

    1. She is an authoritarian liberal, just like Obama. Obama has appointed 2 authoritarian liberals to the Supreme Court. What more is there to understand?

  30. Is she really anti-hate speech laws? Cause that would be progress if we could make crimes against everyone equal and not favor a few more equal than others groups.

    Murder should be murder, whether the victim is black or white… but not in this social justice society. A black life is worth far more time in prison than a white life.

    1. No, she’s for “hate speech” laws. Not directly though, she thinks the government can regulate hate speech in other ways, other than through direct censorship. You should read her essays on the topic. She also supported the hate crimes law which adds extra punishment for politically incorrect thoughts.

  31. I celebrate our first African-Americna President, our first Hispanic S.C. Justice, and our first Lesbian Justice.

    1. I’ve suspected that for a long time (ever since she became dean of HLS, to be exact). Any facts to support it, though?

      1. It’s a prerequisite.

    2. So, can this be construed as an Ad against diversity? =)

  32. 30% of Democrats believe in reincarnation, 31% in astrology and 16% in the evil eye.

    http://pewforum.org/Other-Beli…..aiths.aspx

  33. Hello! Echo Chamber?! You could write the same post about Republicans, they are no nilly-willy bit better than the Democrats. Whoever the Establishment picks is heralded by the peasants =)

    Hell, it is the way hollywood is built and if there are two systems that are very much alike (in being popularity contests) then it is H-Wood and politics…

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