Sunstein An Advisor To Barack Obama?

AdamB announced his law panel for Netroots Nation and it is an impressive one. But one thing stuck out for me in his announcement - the bio of Cass Sunstein:

One of America's foremost legal scholars, Cass Sunstein is a professor at Harvard Law School and a visiting professor at The University of Chicago Law School, and serves as an advisor to Obama for America.

Cass Sunstein is an advisor for Obama for America? That is extremely troubling as Cass Sunstein holds views that I believe should be anathema to most progressives. For example, Sunstein supported John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court:

The Roberts nomination is not welcomed by those who object to the rightward drift of the federal courts or believe that Justice O'Connor's successor should be no more conservative than she. . . . But at this point in our history, the most serious danger lies in the rise of conservative judicial activism. . . For those who are concerned about that kind of activism on the Supreme Court, opposition to the apparently cautious Judge Roberts seems especially odd at this stage. . .

I wonder if Sunstein still agrees with that. More importantly, what does Obama think of that view. More . . .

Cass Sunstein supported the Bush Administration theory of inherent authority to spy on Americans without warrants:

Hugh Hewitt: Do you consider the quality of the media coverage here to be good, bad, or in between?

Cass Sunstein: Pretty bad, and I think the reason is we're seeing a kind of libertarian panic a little bit, where what seems at first glance...this might be proved wrong...but where what seems at first glance a pretty modest program is being described as a kind of universal wiretapping, and also being described as depending on a wild claim of presidential authority, which the president, to his credit, has not made any such wild claim. The claims are actually fairly modest, and not unconventional. So the problem with what we've seen from the media is treating this as much more peculiar, and much larger than it actually is

(Emphasis supplied.) Perhaps he is advising Obama now on FISA. Consider these thoughts from Sunstein:

Hugh Hewitt: So if we assume, and I do, that FISA is Constitutional, if it puts into place an arguably exclusive means of obtaining warrants for surveillance of al Qaeda and their agents in the United States, does the president's avoidance of that necessarily make him a law breaker? Or does it make the FISA ineffective insofar as it would attempt to restrict the president's power?

Cass Sunstein: Yeah. I guess I'd say there are a couple of possibilities. One is that we should interpret FISA conformably with the president's Constitutional authority. So if FISA is ambiguous, or its applicability is in question, the prudent thing to do, as the first President Bush liked to say, is to interpret it so that FISA doesn't compromise the president's Constitutional power. And that's very reasonable, given the fact that there's an authorization to wage war, and you cannot wage war without engaging in surveillance. If FISA is interpreted as preventing the president from doing what he did here, then the president does have an argument that the FISA so interpreted is unconstitutional. So I don't think any president would relinquish the argument that the Congress lacks the authority to prevent him from acting in a way that protects national security, by engaging in foreign surveillance under the specific circumstances of post-9/11.

(Emphasis supplied.) The question is this - to what degree do the views of Cass Sunstein on these issues reflect the views of Barack Obama? I would like to know.

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    On Alito, susntein wrote (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 08:49:02 AM EST

    A reading of the opinions of Samuel Alito reveals that he is an unexpectedly interesting judge, with a conservative record that shows a very different tone from that of Justice Scalia or Justice Thomas. He does not press ambitious claims, and each of his opinions is firmly anchored in the law. At the same time, his overall pattern of votes shows a great deal of deference to established institutions.

    Unlike, say, Justice Scalia, Judge Richard Posner, and Judge Michael Luttig, Alito avoids theoretically ambitious claims. He rarely asks for large-scale reorientations of the law. His opinions are both measured and low-key. He does not insist that the Constitution must mean what it meant when it was originally ratified. If each opinion is read in isolation, the evaluation, even for those who disagree, would almost always be this: solid, more than competent, unfailingly respectful, and plausible.


    btd (none / 0) (#3)
    by DFLer on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 08:56:21 AM EST
    Please inform me, as I know not. Is this is fair assessment of Alito? Is this praise accurate, yet damning on priciple?

    It is inaccurate (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 08:57:45 AM EST
    I direct you to the many postings on Alito I wrote at daily kos in late 2005 and early 2006.

    Alito is an extremist outside the legal mainstream.


    Also see the more than 100 (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:54:11 AM EST
    posts I wrote warning about Alito around the time of his nomination and confirmation -- type Alito in the search box and start around #82 -- the next 100 detail his abysmal record on the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendmant as well as Roe vs. Wade and captial punishment and his backing of police power and record as a career prosecutor before that.

    That too (none / 0) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:16:09 AM EST
    THANKS (none / 0) (#93)
    by DFLer on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:42:32 AM EST
    I've got some homework to do. ...wasn't reading TL at that time.

    Not that I ever liked Alito, (none / 0) (#94)
    by DFLer on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:43:39 AM EST
    but happy to be better informed.

    Re Sunstein and Roberts/Alito, (none / 0) (#49)
    by brodie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:09:05 AM EST
    there were a few other moderate or liberal legal scholars back in 2005 who also didn't believe Roberts, and to a lesser extent Alito, would be much more than minamalist conservative types.  Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Lazarus also weighed in to downplay concerns about them, as did Sunstein.

    They were all wrong.

    Sunstein, from the little I've read, has briefly acknowledged the doctrinaire conservative voting patterns of both Justices, completely in line with Scalia and Thomas on key cases, but has yet to fully come forward to admit how he misread them.  Imo, he would need to do so before being confirmed, if that nomination does in fact happen.  


    Who Said Anything (5.00 / 4) (#119)
    by The Maven on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:39:32 AM EST
    about a nomination, to SCOTUS or any other judicial position.  Sunstein is acting as an adviser to Obama on legal issues, and as such, would be one of the principal individuals involved in developing the screening scenarios for other judicial selections.

    The point here is that, having been so far off-base in his public assessments of Roberts and Alito during their nomination process, it doesn't speak well for Sunstein's viewpoints regarding judicial philosophy and temperament.  That he will be whispering sweet nothings in Obama's ear only reinforces my belief that a President Obama would not actively seek to steer the Third Branch in a liberal direction but rather go right down the middle.


    Agree. (none / 0) (#66)
    by indy in sc on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:18:48 AM EST
    Roberts pulled the wool over a lot of people's eyes in regards to what kind of justice he would be.  That was due in part to the Bush administration's refusal to release certain pertinent information prior to the vote.  Congratulations to those who were not fooled like BTD and Jeralyn.

    As I have posted in another thread, I doubt Sunstein would be Obama's nominee.  Although he is highly respected as a constitutional scholar, his lack of judicial experience makes him vulnerable to being voted down.  A long judicial record can be a negative, but none at all makes you more risky.


    Why would he need a judicial record? (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by nycstray on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:06:26 AM EST
    They all seem fine with Obama not having a record/experience to be President . . . .

    Being voted down by a Dem. congress? (none / 0) (#95)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:49:11 AM EST
    Boy, I sure don't see that happening.  Judicial experience is in no way a requirement for SC justices, and no friendly congress is going to vote against a nominee.  Geez, a lot of Dems. wouldn't even vote against Roberts and Alito.

    That's exactly why (none / 0) (#103)
    by indy in sc on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:01:45 AM EST
    I don't think he'll pick Sunstein.  SCOTUS appointments usually go through without a lot of real opposition.  He doesn't want to get into a Harriet Miers situation where his nominee is not chosen.  Yes, I recognize that Harriet Miers had a lot more issues than Sunstein would necessarily have, but why take the risk?

    Again, I'd have to disagree with invoking (none / 0) (#108)
    by brodie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:15:15 AM EST
    Harriet Miers.  

    Lack of judicial experience can be overcome with solid academic background and writing -- neither of which HM had -- particularly when it involves a const'l scholar from an elite law school.

    In fact, senators have been burned in recent times by appointees coming to them with some judicial experience -- like the last two -- who have likely been careful on the bench not to take too many controversial stands as they looked ahead to a promotion to the High Court.  They then went before the senate and, one could reasonably conclude, lied through their teeth about their true judicial views.

    Someone like Sunstein, otoh, is much more of an open book.  He has his many writings and op-eds and books and has weighed in on a number of major Ct rulings and appointments.  Such a lengthy and explicit record, assuming a solid Dem senate for the next 2-4 yrs, almost assures a Sunstein with his noncontroversial frankness would be welcomed as a breath of fresh air.


    Exactly so (none / 0) (#139)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:05:39 PM EST
    There's not the remotest comparison between Miers, a hack administration attorney, and Sunstein, a widely respected legal scholar.

    If Obama nominates Sunstein, there won't even be a debate in the Senate.  The GOP would love him, and the Dems. would do whatever Obama wanted.

    If he nominates him, he's a lock.


    Anything wrong with that? (none / 0) (#97)
    by tben on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:55:12 AM EST
    Seems to me to be an insightful analysis of the precise nature of Alito's consevatism. Do you find it objectionable or praiseworthy? I wonder why you post this?

    forget it (none / 0) (#100)
    by tben on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:56:49 AM EST
    sorry - I missed your answer above....

    Well, we never have believed BO... (5.00 / 9) (#2)
    by Shainzona on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 08:51:03 AM EST
    when it comes to women's rights/pro-choice.  This is such a waffle area for him (despite his wonderful record of voting....present) that it's not surprising to learn this.

    There is not a lot of room under the Obama bus...but I am certain - after a life of protest for choice and knowing the commitment you feel when you really believe - that we will soon be looking up at BO's greasy axles with a lot of other people.

    Barack Obama is not POTUS material.

    Shainzona...I could not agree more....obama (5.00 / 9) (#62)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:16:59 AM EST
    speaks out both sides of his mouth and his do as I say, not as I do attitude is finally starting to get noticed, as it should be.  Those who railed that Hillary was republican lite, need to take a good long gander at obama.

    This is not born by the facts, again. (3.66 / 3) (#40)
    by BlatantLiberal on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:04:35 AM EST
    Throughout this thread there seems to be an ignorance of the facts.

    In Illinois the present votes were a campaign to protect reproductive rights. He has always stood strong on this subject and on the need for sexual education in schools. He has a 100% postivie from NARAL.

    I would urge you to consider your thoughts on his position regarding women's rights: he has been a strong supporter throughout his carrer which is why Ms. Malcom has moved so quickly, despite her pain from the primary loss, to support Sen. Obama. And similarly why Gloria Steinmen is supporting Sen. Obama and publically said so in the Boston Herald.

    There is a clear record of postiive support on his part; while the same is not true of Sen. McCain who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and is one vote away from making this possible.


    According to the woman who was president of NOW (5.00 / 3) (#107)
    by lorelynn on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:13:01 AM EST
    at the time of the votes, that's a lie. Now, if Obama telling the truth, then why did he put out a video with Lorna Howard where she mislead people into thinking she was president of NOW at the time of the votes instead of making clear that she hadn't been president in 3 years?

    Obama had to lie to make his case. I don't believe for a second that was the strategy or now. Until someone presents contemporaneous evidence - such as other pro-choice senators from blue districts voting present consistently - I won't believe it.


    All The Pro Choice Illinois Lawmakers (3.00 / 0) (#123)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:45:35 AM EST
    Voted present on the notification issue. It was a tactic organized by planned parenthood, to allow some on the fence a way of voting against parental notification. A present vote in Illinois counts as a no vote.

    FWIW Obama was against voting present and was convinced by Planned Parenthood that their strategy was better.

    MedIA Matters

    You are ill informed.


    LOL. (5.00 / 2) (#187)
    by LatinoVoter on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 04:01:08 PM EST
    FWIW Obama was against voting present and was convinced by Planned Parenthood that their strategy was better.

    Did you bother to read the link you provided? I guess not because if you had you would have seen that you are the one that is "ill informed."

    Sutherland said Obama approached her in the late 1990s and worked with her and others in crafting the strategy of voting "present." She remembers meeting with Obama outside of the Illinois Senate chambers on the Democratic side of the aisle. She and Obama finished their conversation in his office.

    "He came to me and said: 'My members are being attacked. We need to figure out a way to protect members and to protect women,' " said Sutherland in recounting her conversation with Obama. "A 'present' vote was hard to pigeonhole which is exactly what Obama wanted."

    "What it did," she continued, "was give cover to moderate Democrats who wanted to vote with us but were afraid to do so" because of how their votes would be used against them electorally. "A 'present' vote would protect them. Your senator voted 'present.' Most of the electorate is not going to know what that means."

    While Sutherland was happy to give Obama latitude in voting "present," rather than "no," she was quick to note that "it's also not a 'yes' vote."

    As explained by your own link the present vote was prompted by Barack. Why would Sutherland have to give him latitude for a strategy that he did not conceive?


    no way to know if this is true (4.00 / 1) (#163)
    by sancho on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 01:13:42 PM EST
    or if obama just says he wanted to vote no. clearly, he will not do anything that wont get him elected prez. and once he is elected, and only then, will we find out, what he would do. i dont think he gives a damn about roe. no self-respecting post-partisan male would.

    How Does That Square (5.00 / 6) (#129)
    by The Maven on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:51:49 AM EST
    with the responses his campaign officially gave to Reproductive Health Reality Check last December:
    Does Sen. Obama support any restrictions on abortion, or does he believe it should be entirely up to women?

    Obama supports those restrictions that are consistent with the legal framework outlined by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.

    That's a loophole large enough to drive a truck through.

    Please do check as to what the Sen. has (5.00 / 3) (#144)
    by zfran on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:10:15 PM EST
    said on this subject, of course, it's all dependent on who he is addressing as to what course he proposes on "women's rights." He seems to feel we women should first consult our clergy before making any decisions. He says he wants the court to be sensitive to gay rights and women's rights. I have yet to actually hear him say the words, reproductive or protecting a woman's right to choose. I have read various speeches on this subject by him and he is very, very vague.

    Not all women's groups supported (5.00 / 2) (#149)
    by MarkL on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:23:33 PM EST
    him on the "present" votes. I believe it was NOW that was strongly opposed.

    No (1.50 / 2) (#152)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:40:23 PM EST
    Now supported Obama until it was a race between him and Hillary. Then they supported Hillary and all of a sudden decided that Obama's present votes were  unacceptable.

    Lorna Brett, former president of Chicago NOW: "I am a supporter of Hillary Clinton and an EMILY's List donor, but this line of attack is unacceptable. While I was the president of Chicago National Organization for Women, Senator Obama worked closely with us, could not have been more supportive of a woman's right to choose, and there was no bigger champion in Illinois on our issues. What's important is that the candidates do not cannibalize each other on issues we all agree about because we need to win in November."



    IIRC, the women is misrepresenting (5.00 / 3) (#155)
    by MarkL on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:51:33 PM EST
    herself. She was NOT the President when the votes in question took place. I know some misrepresentation of this nature occurred, and I also know that Obama was excoriated by a women's group---I think NOW---for his "present" votes.

    No You Are Misrepresenting Her (none / 0) (#159)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:54:19 PM EST
    As she never said that she was the President of Illinois NOW when Obama cast the present votes.

    IL Now did not support him at the time (none / 0) (#161)
    by MarkL on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 01:01:24 PM EST
    did it?
    I have only read of NARAL's endorsement.

    NARAL Endorsed Him In 2008 (5.00 / 0) (#165)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 01:19:26 PM EST
    Evidentially NOW was against the Planned Parenthood strategy of getting the dems to all vote present. But NOW endorsed Obama in 1998 and 2002.

    It was not until Hillary came into the picture that NOW, (and Hillary) went batsh*t about Obama's present votes.

    Lynn Harris (Salon) has a rather impartial blow by blow, if you are interested, about "Present Gate".


    Excoriated By NOW in 2008 (none / 0) (#160)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:55:13 PM EST
    We're not talking about "record"... (4.85 / 7) (#82)
    by Shainzona on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:35:03 AM EST
    we're talking about personal commitment - you know...down in your gut.  

    I have never found Obama's present votes to be convincing...if he wants/needs to play strategy so that he can hoodwink his supporters then he can play with some other issue...but BO had better keep his g*d d*%N paws off my laws and body.

    And NOTHING you point out in the record will convince me that Roe v Wade is not at risk - with both Obama and McCain.  But at least McCain has some honor in his background.


    Ahhh, tben...I see you're trolling around (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Shainzona on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:41:24 AM EST
    here again.  What a life you must have!  So sad.

    Yeah (5.00 / 0) (#151)
    by otherlisa on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:36:53 PM EST
    Tben looks to be a dead-ender.

    If He Doesn't Convince You (2.00 / 1) (#111)
    by daring grace on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:23:16 AM EST
    Then, he doesn't convince you. Nobody but you can change that (or not).

    As to judging not by his actions and words, but by some reading of his 'gut'...I don't know where we find the means to perform the philosophical colonoscopy to discern that.


    Cass Sunstein Is The Name I've Seen (5.00 / 10) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:00:54 AM EST
    floated as Obama's first SCOTUS pick.

    His statement that he does not believe that the right of privacy is contained in the Constitution or if was it would apply between a woman and her physician is troublsome. Also, he is a proponent of judicial minimalism which believe that Roe v Wade was incorrectly decided. From what I've read, they do not believe that it should be overturned outright but continually modified.

    I have no great faith that Obama will appoint a justice that is fully committed to choice, rolling back "The President Is Above The Law or ruling for people over corporations


    His views about Roe v Wade are (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by brodie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:13:29 AM EST
    founded in an objection to its being based on the implied right to privacy that Court found.  From what I gather, he might agree with the Ct's conclusion, but  thinks it should have been based on a gender equality basis in the Equal Protection Clause, a far more uncontroversial position.

    In this view he embraces the stance of the only woman on the Ct, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who first propounded this sex equality reasoning some 20 yrs ago.

    The other moderates (3) on the Court today also concur with Ginsburg/Sunstein.


    Well, yes, I know that. (5.00 / 3) (#113)
    by masslib on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:26:09 AM EST
    But Ginsburg does believe there is an implied right to privacy in the Constitution.

    And where is the 5th vote (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:01:57 PM EST
    to come from if some on Court decide to change underlying rationale from Roe's right of privacy to the Sunstein position?  What other matters, currently based on the Roe right to privacy, would be put in jeopardy if the Court were to reject Roe for equal protection as basis for woman's right to choose or whatever?  

    We have so many pressing problems to address in this country, why should we all be spending time on an academic argument about the basis of women's rights?  Wouldn't this function as a distraction?  The Court can only hear a finite number of cases per term.  Imo, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  Please tell me if I'm missing something???  BTW, I come from an exceedingly academic/"intellectual" background, and I'm not opposed to the Court's rethinking the basis of its positions from time to time, but I am concerned that our nominee's putting this fellow on the Court may function to distract Dems from more important issues at a time when other Constitutional rights are under blatant attack and when Dems in Congress should not have to be forced to spend time on controversial nominations from one of its own.  Consideration of this fellow as next Court nominee would make sense if a Dem president were to face a Republican majorityh in Congress, but this will is very unlikely to be the case.


    Sunstein, as an academic at Univ. of (5.00 / 2) (#154)
    by oculus on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:46:50 PM EST
    Chicago law school is free to express his opinion as to a stronger constitutional basis for Roe v. Wade.  That is what law scholars do.  But I surely would not want him on the U.S. Supreme Court tinkering.  

    Constitutional Tactics (none / 0) (#98)
    by Athena on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:55:15 AM EST
    Not sure I agree that the Equal Protection route is less controversial.  But had it been used - it would have given us a very solid foundation of legally recognized gender disparities on which to litigate subsequent women's health issues.

    Holy crap! (none / 0) (#10)
    by masslib on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:03:14 AM EST
    I just said that upthread but I was kidding.

    it's been speculated many times (none / 0) (#42)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:05:22 AM EST
    sunstein would be his pick

    That is a scary thought (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by talex on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:13:36 AM EST
    Although Presidents do tend to nominate those who are in within their circle of influence. And that is the case here.

    As others have said here if their was one reason to vote for Obama over McCain it would be because of their choice for the SCOTUS. But in this case if it were Sunstein then we no longer have that reason to vote for Obama.

    It could be correctly argued that it would be easier for a Democratic majority to beat back a bad McCain nomination than it would for them to beat back a nomination from a Democratic President.

    Think about that people.


    Nancy and Harry and the rest... (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Shainzona on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:37:10 AM EST
    of the spineless ones will be dancing in the streets to help out their pal BO.

    You are absolutely right!

    "It could be correctly argued that it would be easier for a Democratic majority to beat back a bad McCain nomination than it would for them to beat back a nomination from a Democratic President."

    And that terrifies me.


    "what does Obama think of that view?" (5.00 / 6) (#9)
    by talex on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:02:00 AM EST
    Well that is pretty easy to answer. One, he has him as an adviser so he wants to hear his opionion and we know what Sunstein's opinions are. That is pretty clear. And second look what Obama did at dkos when he went there and defended those who voted for Roberts! Once again we had Obama doing or saying one thing and then showing his heart was in another place.

    How could one be against Roberts and vote against him and then defend those who help seat Roberts? The answer is simple. Obama knew Roberts would get voted through so he was able to make a calculated and politically expedient vote of NO. And once that vote was cast for the record he showed where his heart was really at and defended those who voted YES.

    Bottom line is that once again Obama let others do the heavy lifting while with his vote he stayed 'safe'. But yet in order to thank those who let him get away with that he went to their defense AGAINST the Left.

    Yeah - this guy will be a great President!!!

    your words bring one thing to mind (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by kimsaw on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:29:16 AM EST
    what will Obama do in discussion with the leaders of the axis of evil? Who's going to do the heavy lifting then? He said he'd meet with them without preconditions. What will he say to us then say to them? Will he placate them like he does everything else. I know I'm  will be vilified, but Obama's political placating has real implications, like it or not.  Mr. President we know not where you stand is the key question on everything.  Will he throw his country under the bus when necessary? I wouldn't doubt it for a nanosecond. I'm not voting for McCain, but I can't vote for Obama either. No trust, no vote.

    My oh my (5.00 / 6) (#23)
    by hookfan on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:29:27 AM EST
    and the reasons for women to vote for Obama seem to be getting less and less. I thought SCOTUS was the big reason to vote for Obama. Couple this with his change on withdrawal from Iraq, flip on Nafta and campaign finance, and now fisa, explain to me again why a progressive would vote for Obama? Is the only reason to be against McCain?
       I'm through. I won't vote for Obama now. Nor will I support a party that has brought us this debacle. Where will I go? I dunno. Guess I will wander in the wilderness for awhile. . .

    Did (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by tek on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:09:56 AM EST
    anyone miss that Obama supported John Roberts and intended to vote for him until his campaign adviser told him it would be a mistake?

    And I was a bit taken aback (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by brodie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:19:51 AM EST
    that O wasn't smarter about the political implications looking ahead, but in the end he did the right thing (and wrt Roberts, nice guy who had only a non-fundamentalist small-c conservative record to look at -- probably an intentionally low-key but deceptive record, imo) and voted Nay.

    Which lib Dems voted Aye on Roberts?

    Well, Leahy and Feingold.  Someone can remind me what ex fed judge Pat Leahy was thinking back in 2005.  Or was he seduced, like other Dem senators and mod-lib legal scholars like Sunstein, by the guy's rather pleasant demeanor and small-bore judicial record.


    I remember (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by talex on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:26:36 AM EST
    that. His statements were he was 'unsure' of how he would vote. Straddling the fence as usual.

    hookfan....independent seems the way many (5.00 / 4) (#70)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:21:33 AM EST
    have gone.  obama makes it very hard for principled, informed people to want to vote for him.  Just what I have read here, i.e. Sunstein,(on top of everything else obama has done) would seal that deal for me, if I hadn't already made up my mind that I will not vote for him.

    Wasn't Obama about to vote for Roberts (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:04:20 PM EST
    when Kerry (and perhaps others) pulled him aside and prevailed upon Obama not to do so?

    Defending them at DailyKos was a political move. (4.33 / 3) (#33)
    by BlatantLiberal on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:58:01 AM EST
    These are democrats that were not safe and this was a point of power for President Bush, to ignore these facts and act like this occured in a vacum is not helpful IMO.

    If you look at the situation he clearly outlinned why these democrats should be supported; through he disagreed with their vote. And how this is how the sausage gets made in goverment.

    I genuinely feel that this post is taking hits on Sen. Obama not born out by his record.


    Political? Who wudda thunk it?........ (5.00 / 7) (#83)
    by Camorrista on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:35:33 AM EST
    Defending them at DailyKos was a political move.

    You must be new here.  As a defense of Senator Obama this is staler than year-old pizza.

    We know he's a politician, we know he tacks with the prevailing wind.  We know he says the right thing for public consumption and then finds a way to do the opposite when it benefits him (public financing, anyone?  "present" votes, anyone?  no to the war, yes to war-funding, anyone? yes to John Roberts, then no to John Roberts, anyone?).

    The difference is you think that's all okay, and some of us don't.  Some of us think that if pols expect to be slippery they (and especially their noisier supporters) should stop mouthing off about their superior virtue.  The point is not that Senator Obama is a pol and a hypocrite; the point is that he's spent a year pretending not to be one--while instructing his surrogates (and admirers) to savage Senator Clinton as not merely a pol, but a dirty pol.      

    Rouchefecauld once said, 'Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue,' but he was talking about the most corrupt courtiers in the most corrupt kingdom in the world.  

    If that's you see things, and that's how you want defend Obama, don't be surprised if plenty of us around here find you ridiculous.


    Obama's broken record on choice (5.00 / 3) (#162)
    by Ellie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 01:05:43 PM EST
    A statement vs many opposite actions. This is from Obama's web site:

    When anti-choice protesters blocked the opening of an Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic in a community where affordable health care is in short supply, I was the only candidate for President who spoke out against it.

    What he did was release a statement on Sept 18/2007 (and consider this my statement that I had a bran muffin and a double shot latte this morning.)

    The new Aurora, Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic has been forced to delay its anticipated September 18 opening. Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area is currently fighting the City of Aurora for withholding its business operating permit. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday. (Feminist Daily News Wire, David Dixon, Sept. 18, 2007)

    ... statement coming after the fact.

    The original opening date of Sept. 18 was delayed because city officials would not grant an occupancy permit while the review was under way. (Aurora Planned Parenthood clinic now open to patients By Tara Burghart, AP, Oct 0, 2007)

    Consider this my statement that I thought about adding a fruit cup to breakfast, but was short on time.

    And I will continue to defend this right by passing the Freedom of Choice Act as president.

    So shall I, so shall I (someday) when women can run for President free from the historically unprecedented barrage of misogyny that came directly from Obama and his campaign.

    An opportune statement buried on a personal web site is a tiny bat-squeak at odds with his massive contradictory actions that aren't the least bit centrist.

    Pandering hard to fanatically anti choice right wing evangelicals, stumping with an anti-choice and anti contraception Sen Casey, and being under the guidance of this anti-choice advisor (and presumptive SCOTUS pick) are FAR right of centrist or moderate actions.

    What's my rapidly vanishing choice on the matter? I choose to judge him by his actions, not words, and by what he's actually done to date, not what he promises he'll do when he's President.

    Randomly: I still can't find what he actually DID to oppose the invasion of Iraq, and he's drilled that so hard it's a wonder it's not gushing sweet Iraqi crude


    What Record (none / 0) (#39)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:04:14 AM EST

    Yes. Sen. Obama's record (3.50 / 2) (#44)
    by BlatantLiberal on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:06:34 AM EST
    He has a clear history of supporting reproductive rights, civil rights, and minority rights. He has an excellent track record and 100% rating from NARAL.

    Sen. McCain is the kind of person who supports Justice Roberts, not Sen. Obama.

    That fact seems to be lost here.


    Some of us (5.00 / 7) (#50)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:09:42 AM EST
    aren't convinced such a record exists.

    At least not to such an extent that questions don't remain relevant.


    Oh, please. Don't lecture us (5.00 / 4) (#89)
    by Shainzona on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:39:51 AM EST
    about NARAL.  If that's all you can do, then you loose.  And, hopefully, so will Obama.

    Obama Has a Pro-Choice Voting Record (5.00 / 2) (#141)
    by BDB on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:06:08 PM EST
    That's different from saying he supports or champions women's rights or reproductive rights.  From what I can tell, Obama is one of those Democrats who have never done a damned thing to actually fight for or support reproductive rights.  When pressed will vote the pro-choice vote, but even then he casts his support using all kind of undermining language.  

    In light of this, I don't see how abotion is any different for Obama than any other issue.  Why would I beleive he's going to fight for privacy rights for reproduction issues are any more sacred to him than privacy rights related to surveillance?  

    If you can name one thing Obama has done to support reproductive rights besides casting a vote, I'd love to hear it.  And, no, telling me abortion is never a good thing and that pro-choice forces don't acknowledge the moral dimensions to abortion (you know, like those forced birth zealonts do), doesn't count.


    This For Instance (5.00 / 0) (#148)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:21:26 PM EST
    In the third, Howard discusses Obama's support for the pro-choice organizations that successfully mobilized to fight the South Dakota abortion ban in 2006. "Sen. Obama was the only U.S. senator to help in this effort," Howard says. "He wrote a letter, he raised money. Every pro-choice senator was asked and Sen. Obama was the only one to step up to the plate."


    Logic would tell you that if a lawmaker feels that abortion is a difficult issue, because of personal issues like religion, morals, or whatever, but stands 100% for the right for women to choose because he or she believes that no lawmaker has the right to impose his or her personal feelings on other Americans, that seems like a good thing.

    IOW Obama may have personal problems with abortion as do many pro choice lawmakers, but he is unequivocal in his supports for others (women's) right to choose what to do with their own bodies. That is a fact supported by his voting record and his public statements and actions.


    why even bother? (5.00 / 0) (#175)
    by moe21885 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 02:49:45 PM EST
    Seriously. They know he's pro-choice and has fought for that cause. Nothing anyone says will get these folks to listen to reason.

    I'm not happy with his FISA stance so far (maybe he will redeem himself when the final bill hits the Senate) but I don't get the uproar over the Roberts vote. My understanding of a Senator's role in the confirmation process is that of evaluating whether the nominee is of sufficient legal mettle for the job. Roberts, like his positions or not, is a brilliant jurist, and he's more than fit for the Court.


    Wow, That's A Lot of Typos (none / 0) (#142)
    by BDB on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:07:25 PM EST
    Sorry.  My main Mac crashed and I'm using my old one which has sticky keys.

    Obama thugged NARAL for support ... (5.00 / 4) (#158)
    by Ellie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:53:32 PM EST
    ... by making an example of them -- for other "issues groups" watching -- ie, by sending out a call for his supporters and the public to funnel funds for such "issues" to his campaign. Then they endorsed him.

    IMMEDIATELY he ran to embrace hard right, anti-choice evangelicals.

    The outcry from (NARAL) state chapters was huge. He deliberately harmed them yet again in the public eye for personal gain, and it's not like this straw (wo)man hasn't been bled out as the preferred whupping symbol by fauxgressives and conservatives alike for freakin' decades now (Even as a placeholder for all "special interests" it's the go-to one to hate.)

    Obama hasn't been a friend to women in his campaign, he has no intentions of being friendly as President and, should he be elected, he will be an active foe to women.


    come on (5.00 / 0) (#176)
    by moe21885 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 02:52:54 PM EST
    What is with this evangelical hate? The basis of that outreach program is clearly to engage young evangelicals where their beliefs match ours - environmentalism and social justice, especially. Polling suggests that younger evangelicals are like younger secular people in that they don't relate to the culture-war paradigms of abortion and gays like their parents' generation.

    I think its a smart move not to cede religious voters to the GOP, especially when a good chunk of those voters are fundamentally liberal.


    Risk const'nl rights on Politico's blather? (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by Ellie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 03:22:48 PM EST
    No thanks.

    What you're asking is a double layer of trust on sheer gossamer:

    Politico's word? Please.

    And the guarantee that Obama's courting ONLY evangelicals who are pro-choice?

    Strangely enough, neither is a compelling or solid reason to set aside Obama's own actions in other cases that would actively diminish women's autonomy, health and well being.


    you're making quite a leap (none / 0) (#183)
    by moe21885 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 03:45:58 PM EST
    with these statements. How is Obama supposed to guarantee to you that he's only looking for pro-choice votes? The point is to GET VOTES, not to enforce ideological purity on people. His outreach to evangelicals is targeted at young religious voters, who, by and large, have shown their ability to personally dislike abortion but want it to remain safe and legal. I am one of these voters (although not an Evangelical).

    With due respect, may I ask about how old you are? I really think there is a generational gap here...I think folks my parents age see the word "evangelical" and think Falwell and Robertson. People my age generally don't have that association, as those two men have been buffoons for the entirety of our politically-aware lives.

    Regardless, I'm just not convinced that there's a threat to abortion rights from a Democratic candidate with a 100% lifetime rating from every major women's organization, regardless of whose vote he asks for.

    P.S. - do you think all of those "Reagan Democrats" Hillary claimed to represent are pro-choice?


    'enforce ideological purity on people' (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by Ellie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 04:00:08 PM EST

    Since when is a woman acting on her right to be unharassed while making her own life decisions 'enforc[ing] ideological purity on people'?

    How is keeping uninvited government and individuals out of women's private spaces 'enforce ideological purity on people' -- who aren't part of the decision making process and don't belong there?

    Put your own body and rights on the block for your own ideology; don't ante up those of others and complain that they won't suffer for your abstract intellectual exercises.


    This is a disappointing conversation (none / 0) (#195)
    by moe21885 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 04:32:58 PM EST
    since you apparently insist on taking everything I write out of context. Ensuring abortion rights isn't "ideological purity", it's smart public health and smart law.

    Insisting that everyone who votes for you have the exact same position you do on this particular issue...THAT is enforcing ideological purity. And as I said, do you think that any Democratic coalition, including Hillary's primary coalition, is uniformly pro-choice?


    Then I'm not the one you should be convincing ... (none / 0) (#199)
    by Ellie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 05:18:01 PM EST
    You should be making your concerns known to Dem leadership and, in particular, Sen Obama and his campaign.

    have i expressed any concerns? (none / 0) (#203)
    by moe21885 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 05:36:07 PM EST
    What hate? Cause I won't let them rule my life? (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by Ellie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 03:48:32 PM EST
    They can do whatever the hell they want.

    They have no business nosing into my medical appointments, legal counsel or religious choices (or atheist, personal code of my choosing).

    I know that's often presented as "hate" by people who need to Jeeb-up public spaces during holidays but they're not invited or welcome in my private business.

    Or to diminish neutral rights that belong to us all.


    You're fighting a strawman (5.00 / 0) (#185)
    by moe21885 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 03:54:31 PM EST
    Yes, there are evangelical voters who want to ban abortion, put crosses in the courtrooms, etc. They vote Republican.

    Then there are others, younger ones, who don't care so much about that stuff and who are focused on the same issues we are: economic fairness, social justice, environmental action, and a charitable foreign policy. For many this is their first presidential election; others have sat elections out having been turned off by the right-wing political action of their parents' generation. It is these votes that Obama is going after with his program.


    When Obama's done sorting the evangelical vote (none / 0) (#188)
    by Ellie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 04:04:23 PM EST
    Then he can work on the millions of Discarded Democrats and Liberals he cut out of the party.

    Yes, there are evangelical voters who want to ban abortion, put crosses in the courtrooms, etc. They vote Republican.

    Well let's hope Obama's outreach Uniting with them will help them see the light, or different light -- whatever.


    Obama isn't reaching out to those voters (5.00 / 0) (#194)
    by moe21885 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 04:28:49 PM EST
    as I explained very clearly in the post you're replying to.

    And if those "millions" of "discarded Democrats" exist, they don't show up in polls. I wonder why?


    They aren't showing up (none / 0) (#202)
    by samanthasmom on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 05:33:25 PM EST
    because the pollsters are not taking into account that a huge number of us are no longer Democrats.  They are skewing their numbers by over-counting the percentage of the population that identifies itself as Dems. And some of us are having fun playing with the pollsters when they call. We're really here, and the numbers are growing, not getting smaller.

    I hope you won't mind (none / 0) (#205)
    by moe21885 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 05:41:08 PM EST
    if I don't take your word for it and ask for some kind of statistical proof :) Just for reference, that's the same thing that the Ron Paul people said when asked why his support barely registered in polls: that they were all just playing around with the pollsters. We know how that ended up.

    (for example, the existence of websites and online petitions does not count as "proof")

    Also, most of these polls also ask for partisan ID - which is why you saw all of those stories come out last week about how partisan ID is now skewed higher for Democrats than ever before. Those numbers are then used in creating the sample. Do you think they're making up those numbers?


    Brilliant Or Not (none / 0) (#179)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 03:15:44 PM EST
    I was really creeped out by Roberts. He seemed the perfect stealth right winger to me. The fact that BushCo refused to cooperate with advise and consent document requests was enough for me to know that Roberts was bad news.

    I am glad the Obama voted against him, at the very least for not cooperating with the Senate requests for information. Feingold et al were a great disappointment to me.


    yeah, I guess that is why (none / 0) (#182)
    by tben on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 03:37:34 PM EST
    that noted misogynist, Hillary Clinton, has endorsed him.

    Still flogging the Bad Obstacle Lady huh? (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by Ellie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 04:08:12 PM EST
    Really, Obama supporters need to move on.

    It doesn't look good on your candidate (or you) that Clinton's your focus rather than Obama's lack of leadership on FISA and SCOTUS.


    WE need to move on? (1.00 / 1) (#192)
    by tben on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 04:13:05 PM EST
    You are the one making viscious, untrue, and downright absurd charges against the Democratic nominee. I only mention Hillary to help you realize how ridiculous your ranting has become.

    Hillary is not, of course, going to support and work her hardest for someone who would even be remotely like the person you pretend that Obama is.

    Just let go of the hate, already. Its becoming disfiguring.


    Refute anything said about Obama on its own -- (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by Ellie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 04:27:45 PM EST
    -- rather than saying that Clinton did this or that.

    As for "hate" -- that's your bizarre interpretation of merely holding Obama to his own stated standards.

    I don't trust Obama based on his own ever-shifting positions.

    I don't think he's qualified to lead after seeing his his own words and actions, not the hearsay of others.


    Hell hath no fury (2.00 / 4) (#201)
    by jondee on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 05:24:34 PM EST
    like one of Our Lady's vestal torchbearers scorned.

    The phenomenon of the infinitly tolerable hypocrisy of the one and the outrageous hypocrisy of the other
    is a mystery that passes all understanding.


    My refusal to support (5.00 / 2) (#206)
    by samanthasmom on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 05:45:02 PM EST
    Senator Obama has nothing to do with Senator Clinton's loss. It's only about Senator Obama. I would have liked to see Senator Clinton as the Democratic nominee, but I accept that she's not. However, Senator Obama is not my second choice. I understand that you find it difficult to accept that this is not an emotional decision, but it truly isn't. You can write nasty comments about Senator Clinton's supporters, but to project your own reliance on your emotions ruling your decisions onto us is more telling about you than us.  

    mentioning someone's name in passing (none / 0) (#196)
    by moe21885 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 04:33:56 PM EST
    doesn't imply that we're "focusing" on them.

    Oh please, Clinton continues to be the 'excuse' (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by Ellie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 05:15:21 PM EST
    ... to deflect from Obama's latest gaffe or letdown, even after suspending her campaign.

    Making her as the predictable deflection from every latest Obama screwup or gaffe -- as the apparent standard Barack "Change / Unity" Obama now has to meet -- isn't just in passing.

    It's continual. It's a failure to explain straightforwardly what Obama is doing based on his latest actions and words. Her endorsement and her record aren't relevant there.


    Again, Obama wanted to support Roberts (4.80 / 5) (#47)
    by tigercourse on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:08:04 AM EST
    but was convinced not to by a political aide.

    why do you keep repeating (none / 0) (#181)
    by tben on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 03:36:15 PM EST
    this silly rumor?

    Not A Rumor (none / 0) (#189)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 04:05:06 PM EST
    But a silly anti Obama talking point based on thin gruel, imo. TL covered it here.

    The idea that Obama based his decision soley because he thought it would harm his bid for POTUS, is absurd, imo. Nonetheless, if he was pandering it is one less thing that I will hold against him.


    thanks for clarifying (none / 0) (#191)
    by tben on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 04:09:22 PM EST
    If they can't trash him for how he actually voted, I guess they need to trash him for actually thinking about how he would vote.

    They do get points for consistency, fwiw.


    You're joking, right? (none / 0) (#134)
    by Boston Boomer on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:56:58 AM EST
    Pat Leahy and Russ Feingold aren't in safe seats?  That's a new one on me.  I never would have guessed.

    This is getting too weird. (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by magisterludi on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:04:56 AM EST
    Obama just keeps getting creepier by the day. Who is this man, for crikessake?

    A man who ::wants:: (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Edger on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:15:04 AM EST
    to become president. And will do what it takes to become president.

    A politician.


    And will do whatever it takes to be reelected (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by prittfumes on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:19:22 AM EST
    to a second term. Now that he has the black vote firmly in his pocket, a vast donor list, millions of committed, unshakable and adoring fans, apparently he believes he can begin positioning himself for 2012, even before the fat lady sings his favorite tune this November. Seems to me he is beginning now to make himself palatable to middle-of-the-road and slightly-left-leaning Republicans.

    Remember his speech at the 2004 convention?

    [T]here is not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America.

    This is just a sample of "who (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by zfran on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:18:04 PM EST
    he is" "Fast Eddie" Obama's a slickster, at least according to David Brooks..

    That's not "necessarily" a bad thing (3.00 / 0) (#166)
    by Edger on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 01:23:09 PM EST
    I think, though perhaps in many if not most cases it turns out to be.

    It take a major league sized ego, the metaphorical and actual ability to outslick and out shuffle and out rope-a-dope all the other contenders, and maybe at least a little bit of craziness or a touch of insanity to want to be president, I think.

    "I am the Greatest!" --Muhammad Ali


    He's a Mainstream Democrat going to the center (2.66 / 3) (#37)
    by BlatantLiberal on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:01:09 AM EST
    In a general election: something we've ALL seen before.

    How do you find the senator creepy?

    He supports ending the war in Iraq.

    He supports judicial judges that uphold precedents like Roe v. Wade and civil rights. Something we're one vote away from losing.

    He supports the ideal of universal health care.

    He supports education reform.

    The democratic platform has been expanded and he has advocated for it publically. I'm very heartened by his foreign policy fights.

    I have yet to see something creepy. Disappointing in the FIFSA case; but not creepy.

    I would like you to please clarify your statement. I am a new poster so do not know your history.

    Thank You.


    But (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by tek on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:11:58 AM EST
    let's don't have hillary Clinton because she's moderate, she's DLC=Obama's biggest supporters.  Rahm Emanuel SAT BILL CLINTON DOWN and told him to shut up and don't tarnish Obama.  Rahm Emanuel IS the DLC.

    I would like you to please clarify your statement. (5.00 / 3) (#87)
    by Edger on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:39:04 AM EST
    He supports ending the war in Iraq?

    He does?

    "The single most important job of any president is to protect the American people," he affirmed in a major foreign-policy statement last April [2007]. But "the threats we face.... can no longer be contained by borders and boundaries.... The security of the American people is inextricably linked to the security of all people." "That's why the U.S. must be the "leader of the free world." It's hard to find much difference on foreign policy between Clinton and Obama, except that Barack is more likely to dress up the imperial march of U.S. interests in such old-fashioned Cold War flourishes.

    That delights neoconservative guru Robert Kagan, who summed up Obama's message succinctly:  "His critique is not that we've meddled too much but that we haven't meddled enough.... To Obama, everything and everyone everywhere is of strategic concern to the United States."  To control everything and everyone, he wants "the strongest, best-equipped military in the world.... A 21st century military to stay on the offense." That, he says, will take at least 92,000 more soldiers and Marines -- precisely the number Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has recommended to President Bush.

    You know, this is really creepy. (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by masslib on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:07:40 AM EST
    Why would this be the guy he would send to a Netroots Nation event, and not that former professor(or something, can't remember, he was in his ads) of his everyone seems to love?  

    Who is goig to save us from..., (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by Aqua Blue on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:13:06 AM EST
    the guy who is supposed to save us.

    I don't see how the nation and Democracy is going to recover.


    Larry Lessig? (none / 0) (#177)
    by moe21885 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 02:54:34 PM EST
    I think he's already on the schedule...

    Well, I'll probably get deleted, but told you so. (5.00 / 8) (#15)
    by Angel on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:11:03 AM EST
    Many, many of us said in the past that Obama is not what he presented himself to be.  Now look who he's hooking up with. Are you Obama supporters sorry for the support you gave him?  We could have had Hillary....

    I think people should brace themselves for (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by tigercourse on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:27:46 AM EST
    the possibility that no matter who is elected, the court might be staying conservative.

    I know BTD thinks that Obama's Unity schtick is just that. I think he actually means some of it. So I wouldn't be surprised if this guy or someone like him is our next Supreme Court Justice.

    Yes (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:56:48 AM EST
    Pols are pols is a good GUIDELINE.

    Sometimes they do what they believe in too!


    Marketing tool? (5.00 / 0) (#24)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:38:22 AM EST
    Between Sustein, Hagel and Colin Powell! I think our only hope is that all this is all a smoke screen to pacify the independant's he's hoping to attract.

    At this point I find I have to be delusional to survive this election cycle. Any carrot will do!

    He did the same thing when he was pandering to the progressive's and look how good that worked out for him. As a politician, he has proven time and again, he'll take any and every side for a vote.

    Obama voted AGAINST Roberts. Furthurmore..... (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by BlatantLiberal on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:54:13 AM EST
    I take this as nothing more than a sign that Obama is moving to sprint to the middle, like every general election candidate must do to win a national election.

    I also think that you should consider reposting the main post and qualifying that Obama clearly voted against Roberts and while he defened those that voted for Roberts on DailyKos; made clear this is not the judicial model he holds.

    You do know that Obama wanted to vote (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by tigercourse on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:06:36 AM EST
    to confirm Roberts before an aide told him that it would hurt him politically, right? It's actually on his website somewhere. But if you did a Google search, I think you could find the article pretty quickly.

    He made the right (none / 0) (#55)
    by indy in sc on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:12:37 AM EST
    vote in the end.  Yes, it is reported that one of his advisors told him that there could be negative political fall-out from voting for Roberts, but that does not mean that his decision was based solely on that.  Read the other contemporary press on his vote at the time, including his own words on the decision.  He has taken a lot of heat for voting with only "the most liberal" wing of his party in voting against Roberts--there was political fall-out from that decision as well.

    The Second Bill of Rights (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:59:43 AM EST
    What happened to the Sunstein of The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More than Ever?

    I also note he was a law clerk for Thurgood Marshall which isn't necessarily a predictor of anything - see Rhenquist.

    Like or dislike Sunstein (I have only read one of his books) he appears to oppose Conservatives and so called originalists.

    His stance on Roe appears to be misrepresented by someone here.

    I am not saying that Roe v. Wade should be overruled. I don't think it should. It's been the law now for a long time. But I am saying that as a matter of pure self-interest, decisions like Roe often backfire.

    So let's say the Roe v. Wade ruling was approached from a minimalist perspective, where would we be then regarding abortion rights?

    The court might've gradually built up to something pretty close to Roe v. Wade without anything like the intense public backlash that Roe itself yielded. We would've eventually gotten there through the slow process of case-by-case decisions.

    What bothers me more about Sunstein than his lack ability to predict behavior of conservative court picks (which the ghost of Thurmon Arnold is no doubt jeering), is any justice who is too committed to his judicial philosophy is too rigid and narrow to serve on the highest court. Felix Frankfurter comes to mind. Frankfurter I believe was one of the proponents of legal realism- or at least recognized the truth of a central tenant of legal realism, which is a judicial decision will  be influenced by the judge's background and to pretend otherwise is nonsense. Frankfurter as a justice so abhorred this that he rejected his own liberal background and became a conservative jurist, ironic for an informal advisor to FDR, who placed many of his proteges in the New Deal.

    In any event, the Frankfurter example is one that I fear Sunstein could become, given his legal philosphy. From all that I have seen and read about Sunstein, his atrocious record on predicting judicial behavior of George W. Bush's nominees is not indicative of his own legal philosophy.  The Hugh Hewitt interview as presented here is noted and eyebrows are duly raised.

    fn: I object to Wikipedia's characterization of Posner as a legal realist. Members of the school of law and economics are not legal realists.  They are the offspring of

    More coffee hit post too quickly (none / 0) (#46)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:07:45 AM EST
    Law and economic school is warmed over Lochnerism.

    Also here is the link for the Sunstein and Roe quote


    This is great. What in Sen. Obama's record (1.33 / 3) (#59)
    by BlatantLiberal on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:15:10 AM EST
    Illustrates worries over his possible appointees to the supreme court. I know that McCain wants justices like Roberts and to overturn Roe v. Wade.

    I also know Sen. Obama is a supporter of reprouctive, civil, and minority rights. He has a record on this.

    Instead of attacking him for moving to the center and having an advisor why  not look at what he said he wants to do and how he has voted.

    I mean, look at the heat he has taken for supporting sexual education in the schools to elementary school. That is the type of thing McCain will never say. Sen. Obama disappoints like on FIFSA, but on balance he is a mainstream democratic senator and pragmatic and supporting the democratic platform.


    Aim your fire at someone else (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:39:48 AM EST
    and read what I wrote more carefully. I said nothing about Obama.

    As I pointed out, Sunstein does not advocate overturning Roe as has been misrepresented here. Sunstein' atrocious record of predicating judicial behavior does not make him a conservative. By all accounts he is not. By all accounts he opposes originalists, like Scalia.

    However, I did say Sunstein may be too rigid in his legal philosophy to serve on the court, pointing out a similar liberal -Frankfurter- once on the court became a very conservative justice, because of his rigid adherence to his legal philosophy. I personally prefer more pragmatic liberals like Warren and Brennan and their ability to fashion majorities. In this respect, I believe I mimic Bill Clinton who wanted a pick with political experience- who could fashion majorities like Warren and Brennan.

    However, many posters on this site like to read the tea leaves and then proclaim Obama is Republican in Democratic clothing- as happend on other blogs re: Hillary. What goes around too often comes around. Destructive behavior on all sides. Then again, I expect FDR was not pure enough for way too many bloggers, had they lived then.


    Concur in part, dissent in part, MB. (5.00 / 3) (#105)
    by brodie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:03:12 AM EST
    As I noted above here, Sunstein appears to only disagree with Roe wrt its legal reasoning and not its conclusion.  In that, he joins a distinguished list of other moderate-lib scholars and jurists -- notably Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the remaining 3 moderates on this Court.  That's hardly evidence that Sunstein is out to undo Roe, quite the contrary.

    And you also rightly note there's some considerable purity testing going on these days wrt Obama, in a sort of damned if he does damned if he doesn't way.  He voted Nay on Roberts, but is skewered for his pre-vote sentiments.  Meanwhile, libs like Leahy and Feingold who voted to confirm this rascal get off scot free here.

    Now, about Sunstein's "rigid" legal philosophy, while I understand that and how he also seems to have completely and naively assumed the best about Roberts' and Alito's pre-confirmation alleged noncontroversial judicial stances, Sunstein otoh has just the sort of "rigid" moderate philosophy which isn't likely to get him in trouble before the senate.  Compare and contrast, for instance, with Bork, the very rigid originalist and anti-Court activist who scared off too many senators with his frankness and anti-individual rights beliefs.

    Sunstein would likely be confirmed, provided he's more forthcoming about his 2005 positions on Roberts/Alito.  And his anti-activism from the center-left won't raise many eyebrows against.  

    But Obama would do better to put another woman on the Court with his first pick.  Sunstein can be #2 or 3.


    Can you and I form the basis for a Supreme Court? (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:24:16 AM EST
    Jesus, (4.20 / 5) (#124)
    by frankly0 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:46:22 AM EST
    still another piece of confusion thrown into the pot.

    Look, the problem is not that Sunstein is merely against the particular "legal reasoning" of Roe v Wade, but ultimately supports the "conclusion" of Roe v Wade. What he clearly thinks the SC should have done with Roe v Wade is to overturn the specific law at question in Roe v Wade, but on grounds that have nothing to do with the general principle of abortion rights.

    The "legal reasoning" that Sunstein objects to is precisely the principle that the Constitution embodies anything like a general right to abortion -- or, for that matter, anything like a general right to the use of contraceptives.

    The point is, Sunstein is basically saying that the real problem with Roe v Wade is something very narrow and specific, and that what lawmakers who oppose Roe v Wade should have done was to compose laws that work around those specific objections, so that a prohibition of abortion could be made general and consistent and compatible with the Constitution -- which, according to Sunstein, embodies nothing like a right to privacy, or to abortion, or to the use of contraceptives.

    Now he may assert that now that Roe v Wade is settled precedent, it should be abided by. Yet nothing could be a weaker sort of argument for Roe v Wade than mere precedence. If you undermine the basic principles upon which that ruling is based, it is exceedingly hard to argue against virtually any way of chipping away at the ruling. And it is almost impossible to find a strong, principled reason for opposing judicial appointments who would be firmly opposed to Roe v Wade, given that their objections to the precedent on basic principles are identical to your own.


    The important point about scholars (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by brodie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:23:52 PM EST
    like Sunstein from the center-left who've objected to the reasoning of Roe is that generally they don't like judicial activism -- whether from the Right or Left.  

    Griswald's famous reasoning involving "emanations" and "penumbras" from the BoR is the classic case usually cited as liberal activism run amok, a pre-ordained conclusion in search of a rational const'l basis.  We libs like the outcome, for sure, but in the long run cases like that opened the door for the Righties when they got control of the Ct.

    Roe is also objected to by certain mod-lib academics because it energized the Religious Right in the 70s and 80s and gave us Falwell and Reagan.  Better to have these sorts of sweeping changes regarding hot-button social issues done in the political realm not the judicial.

    As to "mere" precedence, stare decisis actually used to be a fairly consistent bedrock principle of the Court, and when enough Justices truly believe in it, it carries considerable weight.  But then we got the sort of justices on the Ct who paid it lip service (Roberts, Alito) and then proceeded to undo long-established solidly grounded precedent whenever it didn't fit into their politically-driven pre-ordained game plan.  Such as with Bush v Gore.

    Anti-activist minimalist types like Sunstein seem to be arguing for a return to some sane middle ground of incrementalist jurisprudence.  It may not make you stand up and cheer as with some Warren Ct decisions, but over the long haul of numerous micro rulings it could, possibly, achieve the same result -- only better grounded in solid const'l principles.


    Oops (none / 0) (#125)
    by frankly0 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:49:12 AM EST
    The point is, Sunstein is basically saying that the real problem with Roe v Wade is something very narrow and specific,

    should have been something more like:

    The point is, Sunstein is basically saying that the real problem with the law in question in Roe v Wade is something very narrow and specific,

    FWIW I didn't read it that way (5.00 / 0) (#110)
    by Rojas on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:22:59 AM EST
    I read it as praise for the balance and background in your post ("this is great") and then a general commentary on accusations, the tea leaves readers, in this thread.

    If Obama (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by pie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:28:29 AM EST
    had more of a record to look at, people wouldn't have to make predictions about his future decisions/choices.

    He could go in many directions, some good, some not so good.  That's what has us worried.


    Perhaps you are right (none / 0) (#117)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:34:05 AM EST
    and I misread the poster. My apologies is s/he is still reading.

    Look, (3.66 / 3) (#109)
    by frankly0 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:19:31 AM EST
    can you manage to muster up any real intellectual honesty on this point?

    What Sunstein clearly does NOT believe is that we have a Constitutional right to privacy.

    He doesn't even believe that we have a Constitutional right to the use of contraceptives. (see my post elsewhere on this thread to that effect, where I quote him  clearly making that assertion).

    Perhaps he thinks that Roe v Wade should not be overturned -- for God only knows what reason (presumably its mere precedence is reason enough, by his lights, not to overturn it). But what is also clear is that he thinks that neither Roe v Wade, nor any other general and consistent decision supporting abortion rights by the SC would be justified.

    On basic principles, when it comes to the right to privacy, and what it may entail, he's no better than Scalia or Thomas. Clearly, on his principles, he thinks that we have no Constitutional right either to abortion, or, even more absurdly, to the use of contraceptives. That he's willing to adhere to his "judicial philosophy" -- whatever in God's name it might really be -- even to the extreme of undermining the right to the use of contraceptives as being based in the Constitution tells us all we need to know about him.


    Its too nice a day to trade insults (4.33 / 3) (#115)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:31:35 AM EST
    However, you have no standing to question my intellectual honesty.

    But what is also clear is that he thinks that neither Roe v Wade, nor any other general and consistent decision supporting abortion rights by the SC would be justified.

    Actually that is not clear at all. In the interest of intellectual honesty, you would have to acknowledge Sunstein is indicating he would prefer stronger grounds. Again in the interest of intellectual honesty, you would have to acknowledge that is different than saying there are no constitutional grounds to support abortion rights or that it could be justified constitutionally.  But don't let intellectual honesty get in the way of propaganda.


    Excuse me, (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by frankly0 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:05:39 PM EST
    you are once again not giving a candid account of what Sunstein is arguing.

    He clearly asserts that he thinks there is no general "right to privacy" in the Constitution -- the precise underlying principle for both Roe v Wade and Griswold v Connecticut (which in effect struck down, generally, laws against the use of contraceptives).

    For both Roe v Wade and Griswold v Conn, Sunstein offers up reasons that they might have been overturned which have nothing to do with general principles allowing a right to abortion or a right to the use of contraceptives. Given Sunstein's retroactive recommendations on these decisions, all that would have been required to deal with those objections would have been to compose laws that eliminated those specific objections.

    It's clear that, if Sunstein can only offer up such narrow objections to laws against abortion or the use of contraceptives, he can come up with no alternative set of principles (i.e., other than the right to privacy) that might underlie a general right to abortion or to the use of contraceptives.

    So your pretense that he is merely "preferring stronger grounds" is hardly an honest account of what he believes. He doesn't himself come up with "stronger grounds" that have any generality.

    His position, in my view, is more dishonest than either that of the Warren Court or that of Scalia -- who both at least were honest enough to acknowledge that there was and is, in the Griswold and Roe cases, a major decision point in terms of how the Constitution must be conceived.  

    Sunstein somehow wants to have it both ways, but manages only to be incoherent and ridiculous.


    Ach, (none / 0) (#145)
    by frankly0 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:15:18 PM EST

    For both Roe v Wade and Griswold v Conn, Sunstein offers up reasons that they might have been overturned

    should be

    For both Roe v Wade and Griswold v Conn, Sunstein offers up reasons that the laws in question might have been overturned

    No Standing (none / 0) (#156)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:51:38 PM EST
    You have changed the subject

    This is what you asserted and I quoted back at you:

    But what is also clear is that he thinks that neither Roe v Wade, nor any other general and consistent decision supporting abortion rights by the SC would be justified.

    Neither Roe or abortion rights supporting decisions  are justified is what you wrote.

    That is not what Sunstein said. I called you on your propaganda.  

    To be clear, here is Sunstein:

    The court might've gradually built up to something pretty close to Roe v. Wade without anything like the intense public backlash that Roe itself yielded. We would've eventually gotten there through the slow process of case-by-case decisions.

    Apparently after discovering your less than accurate assertion did not hold up to scrutiny, you play Calvin Ball AND have the audacity to say I like candor. I suppose you were hoping I would not notice.

    Well I did notice. You have no standing at all to question my intellectual honesty or candor.

    Game, set, match.


    What worries me about Obama (5.00 / 3) (#137)
    by Boston Boomer on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:03:35 PM EST
    is that he changes his positions day to day.  He has repeatedly been caught in "misstatements," even about his own biography.  He has no clear ideology and in fact has evinced a dislike for idiological/partisan arguments.  He claims to believe only in "what works."  But for whom does he want things to work?  Finally, I don't trust him because of the people he has advising him, particularly on domestic issues.

    Based on everything Obama has said... (5.00 / 8) (#91)
    by dianem on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:41:19 AM EST
    ...he thinks that we need to be reaching across the aisle to "unify" America. Since the right half of America is vehemently anti-choice, pro-surveillance,  I suspect that Obama will compromise on things(like the FISA bill) that progressives support and seek out advisor's who tend to be right-leaning on some issues.

    Keep in mind that Obama has no experience at leadership. Have you ever worked for a person who has no leadership experience but is in a position of power? Since they have no grounding, they tend to be easily swayed by persuasive people who have considerable experience in areas in which they are lacking. They also tend to lack the judgment to know when they are being conned.

    I understand listening to other views, (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Anne on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:52:45 AM EST
    but I think there is a difference between listening to them and being advised by someone who holds them.  Maybe I'm not looking at this with an open enough mind, but it just seems to me that an advisor with opposing views is going to advocate for those opposing views.

    If Obama wants to listen, there are millions of us who have a stake in this thing, and while our views may not be grounded in legal principle, they are certainly grounded in how the law affects our lives.  We live the reality that legal theory creates, do we not?

    Barack Obama is a lawyer who went to one of the best law schools in the country, where I daresay he was challenged on a regular basis to defend his views; is it unreasonable to expect that he should have some fairly solid core beliefs that survived those challenges, were molded by them and should be guiding him today?

    I think he's too easily persuaded by these opposing views, and I think he's too willing to place his trust in theory when the reality is right there for him to see and understand.

    I still don't get why so many are surprised by (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Angel on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:59:55 AM EST
    this move.  It is not out of character for Obama.  If people had paid attention during the primaries they would have figured it out.  First thing he does out of the gate is go back on his public financing promise.  Like many of us said, he will say and do anything to get elected.  I honestly don't think he wants to govern, I think he just wants to be president.  Sort of like Dubya...

    This is part of the Obama strategy - which worked (5.00 / 0) (#127)
    by carmel on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:50:40 AM EST
    against Clinton - to move his views close to McCain's. Then Obama will argue "look at our stands on the issues, I voted against the war, and we're close on the rest, so vote for Change!" Obama is reaching out to Independents and Republicans so why is any of this a surprise? Has Obama ever - and I mean ever - shown that he stands up for any one issue that he truly believes in?

    Obama is a Con Law Prof, why blame Sunstein? (5.00 / 0) (#130)
    by jerry on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:53:23 AM EST
    I think Obama should be asked point blank about the issues raised in this thread.  He teaches Constitutional Law and was head of the Law Review.  Why does he need an advisor?

    maybe..because (5.00 / 0) (#131)
    by fly on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:53:57 AM EST
    he is spending all that money buying off super delegates????????? perhaps?????

    Obama is the Obama we've been waiting for (5.00 / 0) (#133)
    by RonK Seattle on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:56:19 AM EST
    In fact, Obama is the Obama Obama always promised everybody(at least everybody who was subjecting the words that came out of Obama's mouth to cognitive processing).

    The Black Agenda Report has been covering Obama's (5.00 / 3) (#167)
    by jawbone on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 01:25:10 PM EST
    advisers and the implications of those he has chosen to advise him--and it has not been a good picture for progressives. Browse away--they've been critiquing him for quite awhile.

    Now, since he has become the presumptive nom, he is doing things on almost a daily basis which support those of us who opposed his nomination.

    Granted, he is not McCain. That I can know for sure. But...is he a progressive? Liberal? Democrat? For a powerful executive? Deferential to the powers of the other branches? What kind of judges will he nominate to the Supreme Court? I do have questions about what he stands for and what he will do. I do not know what Obama stands for other than himself. I was about to add "and his family," then I remembered how he threw Grandma under the bus.

    I have a very bad feeling about this person--I really had hoped he would stay in the Senate, build a record so he could be fairly and more accurately judged; but he saw an opening, and, with Axelrod writing the script, went for it. Axelrod had been very impressed with how the Republicans sold BushBoy to the nation--and he's doing it on the Dem side with Obama. Ack.

    This Is Pure Obama (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by VicfromOregon on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 02:04:50 PM EST
    Choosing Cass Sunstein is pure Obama.  I never understood why anyone considered Obama a liberal or George W. a centrist?  Media hype and no foundation.

    His recent speech saying that he will "do everything", (repeating and emphasizing the word "everything" so there was no mistake he meant anything and everything, read nuclear options) to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capabilities is further indication his agenda is not pacifist, either, in the least.

    He's selected Robert Rubin, one of the promoters of helping the rich get richer and the poor get poorer under President Clinton (not his intention, but the results, meaning, he should have looked at the results of his economic policies. )Clinton and Rubin certainly didn't start it, but I felt both were in positions to do more to address the growing inequities.

    Obama didn't get where he's gotten by stirring waters or championing the disenfranchised. I'm still shaking my head people voted for him without knowing anything about him.

    I'm so disillussioned about our political process in this country.  With all the ways to get information, so many people seek out less and less of it.  How can any person make such an important decision as selecting the next president with out first checking into it?  I think they literally give more attention to selecting their brand and grind of coffee than choosing their president.  Very, very frightening.

    Then, again, maybe they are watching Tom Brokaw interview the most powerful banker in Chicago talking about how how Obama sacrificed a good career and wealth in order to help the little people.  Did I miss something?  And, secondly, isn't this a rather bizarre, (but telling) person to be interviewing as a personal reference for Obama?  Banker Daly understands the nature of sacrifice and the plight of the underprivileged?

    I appreciate that Talkleft.com is here.  I just wish more people would use the site.

    Thanks for the post on Sunstein.

    All this shows (3.50 / 2) (#80)
    by illissius on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:32:13 AM EST
    is that Obama is interested in getting and listening to opinions from people who don't agree with him, who challenge his own thinking. That the absolutely last thing he wants is to be surrounded by a bunch of yes-men. This has always been so and (I certainly hope) always will be. It's nothing to get surprised or worked up about; in fact, it's one of the things I like most about Obama.

    Here is an article from Sunstein himself about how it works.

    Not so long ago, the phone rang in my office. It was Barack Obama. For more than a decade, Obama was my colleague at the University of Chicago Law School.

    He is also a friend. But since his election to the Senate, he does not exactly call every day. On this occasion, he had an important topic to discuss: the controversy over President George W. Bush's warrantless surveillance of international telephone calls between Americans and suspected terrorists. I had written a short essay suggesting that the surveillance might be lawful. Before taking a public position, Obama wanted to talk the problem through. In the space of about 20 minutes, he and I investigated the legal details. He asked me to explore all sorts of issues: the President's power as commander-in-chief, the Constitution's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Authorization for Use of Military Force and more.

    Obama wanted to consider the best possible defense of what Bush had done. To every argument I made, he listened carefully and offered a specific counter-argument. After the issue had been exhausted, Obama said that he thought the program was illegal, but now had a better understanding of both sides. He thanked me for my time.

    Incidentally, if Obama now caves to telecom amnesty after all of this, I will be disappointed.

    Does Sunstein's writing here reassure (5.00 / 0) (#121)
    by oculus on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:42:20 AM EST
    you about Obama?  It troubled me, and Obama's statement yesterday on FISA and telecomm immunity bore out my reaction.

    Yes (none / 0) (#143)
    by illissius on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:08:05 PM EST
    There's exactly one sentence in the article which troubles me:

    It would not be surprising to find Republicans and independents prominent in his administration.

    About this, we will see. I don't think Obama is an idiot, and I hope I'm not proven wrong.

    Otherwise, the rest of the article is exactly why I support Obama ever since it became clear to me that Gore really was not going to run. (Since then, I am not sure that I would still choose Gore over him). He's a pragmatist who pragmatically concludes that on just about every single issue, Democrats are right and Republicans are wrong. Which is exactly where I am myself.

    About the FISA statement, I agree. If Obama has one flaw, it's that he's too cautious. So his statement was not so much surprising as disappointing. In any case, my approach is to wait and see what he does when the bill comes to the Senate.


    Why not then Brad Berenson? (none / 0) (#128)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:51:24 AM EST
    Silly comment.

    What? (none / 0) (#146)
    by illissius on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:16:01 PM EST
    You asked:

    The question is this - to what degree do the views of Cass Sunstein on these issues reflect the views of Barack Obama? I would like to know.

    I replied, more lengthily and with a link, that the fact of Sunstein advising Obama in no way suggests that Obama shares his views. Which is exactly what you asked. How is that a "silly comment"?


    Sunstein (1.00 / 1) (#26)
    by festus800 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:42:13 AM EST
    Cass Sunstein was reputed to be Bill Clinton's next nomination for the Supreme Court.  He's an incredibly smart guy and respected scholar, whose quotes pulled out of context and bolded don't do him justice.

    A link to him associated with Clinton? (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:47:05 AM EST
    Perhaps (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:59:24 AM EST
    They have a picture of him shaking Clinton's hand at a luncheon.

    Hey.  Quick search reveals this guy opposed the impeachment thing.

    Some wiki info:



    He also considers (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:18:28 AM EST
    Obama a "libertarian paternalist".  I buy that, and it explains why KOS supports him.  I don't have the link readily available.

    Eeeek (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:26:30 AM EST
    [a person who maintains the doctrine of free will ]


    [the system, principle, or practice of managing or governing individuals, businesses, nations, etc., in the manner of a father dealing benevolently and often intrusively with his children]

    = ?


    It means (5.00 / 5) (#81)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:34:10 AM EST
    letting some do whatever they want, while others (possibly, women for instance) should be monitored by him.

    Remember his stance that abortion decisions should be between the woman, her doctor -- and her minister (bleh).


    Gave me a strong whiff (5.00 / 4) (#90)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:41:08 AM EST
    Of passive aggressiveness as well.

    Anglachel did a piece (none / 0) (#99)
    by waldenpond on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:56:17 AM EST
    on that Cassidy item... Libertarian Paternalist

    Well, that was 8 years ago, before (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by masslib on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:02:39 AM EST
    he would have written any of these opinions.  Further, Bill Clinton is not actually Hillary Clinton.  I doubt this guy was on her short list.

    Which quote did I pull out of context? (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:12:30 AM EST
    Your lying smear of me is duly noted.

    consider yourself warned for your false smear. One more and you will be suspended from commenting in my threads.


    Maybe this guy will be his (none / 0) (#4)
    by masslib on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 08:57:22 AM EST
    Supreme Court pick.

    I would urge a filibuster of such (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 08:58:16 AM EST
    a nomination.

    Sunstein Is The Name That The So Called (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:09:21 AM EST
    in the know Obama supporters are floating as Obama's first pick for SCOTUS.

    A Democratic controlled Senate is going to rubber stamp any person Obama puts forth.

    If we were unsucessful in getting them to put forth enough effort to keep Roberts and Alito off the bench, can't see how we will can pressure them on Sunstein or any other Obama appointment. No way will they lift a finger to stop any Obama pick no matter on bad they might be.


    Ohhhhh.....this is a nightmare (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by Aqua Blue on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:16:54 AM EST
    Now...if he picks a Republican for VP...to unify the country,..don't ya kow.

    This is why (5.00 / 5) (#27)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:46:00 AM EST
    My first pick is Hillary Clinton
    My second pick is divided government where the congress is adversarial to the president.

    Obama has shown that he's interested in too many issues that conflict with my interest, making him with a rubber stamp congress exceedingly dangerous.


    VP Pick not going to be Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by VicfromOregon on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 02:33:54 PM EST
    IHillary would be my first pick, too, becuase she can get things done and is willing to risk her political career doing it.

    But, I don't see Obama willing to pick a woman who publically challenged him and who won the popular vote.  He's still calling women "sweetie".  He also gets petulant and I think his many dismissive gestures, derisive comments, and sexist statements about Hillary are an indication he has no intention of sharing anything with her.


    My first pick was Edwards. Still is. (none / 0) (#41)
    by cosbo on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:05:18 AM EST
    I thought him to be a less divisive figure than Clinton or Obama and considered that he went through the 2004 campaign with little or no dirt the best thing that could happen for us. The republicans and 527s would have had little or nothing to work with against Edwards...a lovely supremely intelligent wife, and nice family and an overall great candidate. Electorally, we would have ROCKED with Edwards. With Clinton I thought her to be very intelligent but had too much baggage from the past Clinton administration and was a divisive figure to the republicans making it harder to bring the country together. With Obama, his unity schtick didn't work for me and I thought the 'inexperienced black man" thing would be too much for the general electorate to buy into. I thought all that BEFORE rev. Wright and all the other little stories coming out about Obama.

    After Edwards dropped out, I just knew we'd lost our best chance at an aggressive progressive administration. Then the campaign continued with just Clinton and Obama. Then something remarkable began happening. The longer the campaign went on, the more Obama's crazy radical friends made Clinton and her baggage appeared just normal. Obama's crazy associations actually transformed Hillary into someone who is actually admired, respected and acceptable to REPUBLICANS. Did anyone else found that to be as remarkable as I did?


    Yes, I did (5.00 / 3) (#75)
    by befuddledvoter on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:25:38 AM EST
    I was an Edwards supporter and then swung to Hillary. She just amazed me as time passed.  She became much more wholesome and fairminded and far less threatening than Obama.  She was familiar and in a good way and showed the greatest stamina I have ever witnessed.  I am so sad she is not our candidate.  She knows how to fight; we need a fighter.  Obama is no fighter; never was; never will be.  I don't mean that as a criticism really; it is just his personality.  He wants to get along with everyone and for everyone to get along.  Now, just how does that work on pro-choice vs. anti-abortion fronts and other progressive fronts?  It really does not.    

    I was extremely late in deciding on voting (5.00 / 3) (#126)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:50:06 AM EST
    for Hillary. In fact, I decided to vote for her right before my primary on Feb 5th. The straw that broke the camel's back was Obama's Harry and Louis ad against UHC. I had other things on my list why I didn't want to vote for Obama but those ads pushed me into the Hillary camp.

    Since that time, I became increasingly impressed by the shear knowledge that she had on the issues. Hillary really knew what she was talking about.

    While I know had she been elected, there would be various things that I would disagree with her on, I do have faith that she would have fought for health care for everyone and to protect women's and children's rigths. I have no faith that Obama will fight for anything that I care about and his statement that Social Security was in crisis puts that program at risk.


    It's funny how many people (5.00 / 3) (#164)
    by Grace on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 01:15:24 PM EST
    started liking Clinton after awhile, even those who couldn't stand her at first.  

    On a right wing website, I read a comment by another person who initially hated Hillary but came to like her and I thought it was interesting.  This person wrote something like "She got up everyday and made herself look like a million bucks knowing that she was behind, and then she just went out and fought.  I really liked her after awhile.  The Republican party could use some leaders like that."  


    sure it does (2.00 / 0) (#102)
    by tben on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:00:14 AM EST
    the last presidential candidate we had whom everyone said was obsessed with being loved by everyone, and was therefor not a fighter, was...Bill Clinton.

    Bill Clinton (none / 0) (#116)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:32:07 AM EST
    WAS a fighter. He was a fighter in 1992 and then slacked off a bit until he went up against Newt and won.

    well, so is Obama (2.00 / 0) (#118)
    by tben on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:34:46 AM EST
    if you hadn't noticed. He fought a tough fighter and won. And he is in the process of taking on the next, and will bury him too.

    Obama (5.00 / 3) (#120)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:41:53 AM EST
    is NOT a fighter. He's already whining and playing the race card. While that obviously worked in the primary, good luck with it in the general election.

    From this Congress? (none / 0) (#7)
    by masslib on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 08:58:54 AM EST
    Well, so would I.

    And how here wouldn't? (none / 0) (#12)
    by talex on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:05:28 AM EST
    That's a no brainer. Now what would be bolder is to make sure these kind of nominations don't take place at all from a Democratic President.

    opps! (none / 0) (#18)
    by talex on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:16:36 AM EST
     And WHO here wouldn't?

    How you all are getting this far is baffaling. (none / 0) (#31)
    by BlatantLiberal on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:55:51 AM EST
    Obama has clearly indicated the models he holds for judicial judges; and while I have no doubt he respects CS he would be far more likely to go to a justice of the type of Ginsberg.

    I was responding to a comment (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:15:07 AM EST
    I have no idea who Obama would nominate. I would strongly object to Cass Sunstein.

    How can you be surprised? (none / 0) (#20)
    by songster on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:22:27 AM EST
    Sunstein's name has been associated with Obama's for a long time, even in my awareness, and I have no connection to the legal profession.  A quick Google confirms this.  Just to take the most obviously ironic link, this Salon article.

    I've been commenting about Sunstein (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:16:13 AM EST
    as a possible Obama SCOTUS appointment ever since a connected supporter said that we could take it to the bank that he would be the first appointment. Even with my limited google skills, I found him to be troubling. I knew that his statement about Roe concerned me and that he approved of Roberts and shared his legal philosophy (although somewhat more liberal) but did not unearth his opinion of presidential powers as BTD describes here.

    As far as I'm concerned Sunstein would not change the direction of the SCOTUS in the areas that are important to me. This is the reason that the argument about the SCOTUS being the reason I MUST vote for Obama has not been a convincing agrument with me.


    Um, uh oh? (none / 0) (#25)
    by andgarden on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:42:10 AM EST

    I thought Sunstein (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:59:12 AM EST
    was one of Obama's early official advisors, the same way Ted Olson was Giuliani's. Here's a Talking Dog interview with Sunnstein from Dec. 2007:

    The Talking Dog: Let me turn briefly to your former Univ. of Chicago colleague Senator Barack Obama (and coincidentally my college classmate at Columbia)... and I understand you are informally advising Sen. Obama. You have commented that you believe he is less disposed to surround himself with his own "echo chamber" than other politicians, and is the kind of person encouraging of contrary views... how would you rate his use of the media amidst his overall campaign themes (Facebook recruiting, web fundraising, Oprah, etc.) in light of your best hopes for how a democratic discourse best operates?

    Cass Sunstein: I am a big admirer of Sen. Obama, and I think his overall campaign has been excellent, in terms of democratic discourse. He's almost always generous to those who disagree with him, he's substantive, he's among the fairest candidates in the last decades, and he doesn't condescend to the electorate. Sometimes he even tells people things that they don't want to hear. I haven't followed his use of Facebook and web fundraising, but I think the founders would be impressed with his campaign.

    Has got to say; even while voting opposite.

    I think this is a positive trait. You need to constantly be challenged on your views.


    learn to express your disagreement (5.00 / 0) (#64)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:18:24 AM EST
    without attacks on this site or its authors or go somewhere else. You are a chatterer and limited to 10 comments in 24 hours. I suspect you'll be banned before then due to your inability to state your views without insults, but that's the maximum.

    Can he still answer my one question (none / 0) (#73)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:22:59 AM EST

    I'd like to hear it.


    This infuriates some of us (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:22:14 AM EST
    Simply because while you might not be one of the Obama supporters in question, I have come in contact with a great many who said that when Clinton went about hearing what the other side had to say, she was a triangulating pandering centrist sell-out.

    So that's irksome you know.

    So the primary's over you know.

    An object lesson for the rest of us.

    How do you view Clinton when she hears what the other side has to say?

    Do you view that as a positive trait of hers, letting herself be challenged on her views????!!!!


    if that's all it is, then big relief (5.00 / 0) (#72)
    by DandyTIger on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:22:51 AM EST
    and despite my doubts about his commitment to choice, I'll of course be very happy if I'm wrong. But this among other things makes me worry.

    seems consistent to me (none / 0) (#43)
    by DandyTIger on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:05:44 AM EST
    after all, Obama is not pro choice (still hasn't "decided" when life begins, right) and he was for Roberts by what he said (but strategically voted against him when it wouldn't count) because pols are pols. And let's not forget, he's a fundamentalist evangelical christian first and foremost. This all seems completely consistent when my assumptions about him.

    I don't understand the problem. Pols are pols, all you have to judge them by is their voting record, not what they say. If you have a pol without a voting record, don't complain when they aren't what you think they are.

    WRONG (5.00 / 0) (#86)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:39:04 AM EST
    Just because he doesn't know when life begins, that doesn't mean he is anti-choice.  That is the whole point of CHOICE, it is yours to make.  He has a consitent record of voting for reproductive rights.  I have seen the moderators of this site telling people that they will be band for attacks, but this line of arguement has no basis in fact, and as such is a smear.  The facts are he supports choice.

    voting records (none / 0) (#174)
    by VicfromOregon on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 02:39:35 PM EST
    Voting records are important.  But, just for the record, when did Obama have an opportunity to vote on a woman's right to choose?  I know he has made statements, but when did he actually vote?

    UCC is NOT (5.00 / 0) (#104)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:02:26 AM EST
    "fundamentalist evangelical Christian."  I think you don't know what those words mean.

    There's more than enough real stuff to find objectionable in Obama, so let's not make things up.


    However, his church was not (5.00 / 0) (#132)
    by Cream City on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:54:27 AM EST
    typical of UCC, by any means.  I know UCC. . . .

    But Trinity is still not (none / 0) (#136)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:02:32 PM EST
    "fundamentalist evangelical Christian."

    I've seen people say this more than once, and it's completely false.


    Agreed -- it's based on black (none / 0) (#168)
    by Cream City on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 02:02:35 PM EST
    liberation theology, which is different from fundamentalism.

    However, Trinity's style does seem to be very evangelical, so the confusion may be about methodology more than Christian ideology.


    Really? (none / 0) (#170)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 02:15:12 PM EST
    Maybe you are out of the loop.
    Obama remains a member of an apostate, heretical church that makes no distinction between faith and politics. Trinity United Church of Christ adheres to a black liberation theology, a strain of heresy that makes Christianity subservient to a twisted, racialist political ideology. The purpose of Black theology is, as the movement's founding theologian claims, to make political "liberation" the "central theme of the biblical message."


    I guess that religiousrighter is voting for McCain.


    I really don't know what (none / 0) (#197)
    by Cream City on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 04:37:27 PM EST
    you're saying or debating here.

    Are you also a UCC member?


    Not A Member (none / 0) (#204)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 05:40:48 PM EST
    Of any church or religion. I thought that you were arguing that Trinity is evangelical, which as gyrfalcon points out is far from the case.  
    Trinity's style does seem to be very evangelical,

    Since you were talking style, you have lost me. All I know is that black churches, 25% of which are BLT, share a similar style.

    Since I have not been to an evangelical service, I have no idea if it is like a black church in style.


    Apparently, (none / 0) (#74)
    by frankly0 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:23:33 AM EST
    Sunstein doesn't even believe that we have a Constitutional right to the use of contraception.


    Just to explain, (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by frankly0 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:29:31 AM EST
    look at this lame argument:

    I think that some of the Warren Court's decisions were a little lawless and jumped too far too fast. In so many areas the court's ideals didn't have clear constitutional foundations. The Griswold v. Connecticut case, which created the general right to privacy, was that kind of ridiculously weak opinion. The court didn't identify a clear constitutional basis for saying that the ban on contraceptives within marriage was impermissible. The court referred to "penumbras" and "emanations"[in the language of the ruling] from the Bill of Rights. But the Bill of Rights doesn't have "penumbras" and "emanations"; it just has a catalog of rights. It would have been better to say that the ban was never enforced and it was a recipe for arbitrary and unpredictable action by the police in a way that does violence to the rule of law.

    Yeah, sure, you could really make sure that the spirit of the Constitution was well served by finding one technicality after another to throw out laws against contraception.

    What happens if the law were simply to disallow the sale of contraception in a state, and imprison those who were caught buying and selling it? How would that introduce an "arbitrary and unpredictable" element?

    Sometimes these "distinguished law professors" reason like idiots.


    Just to explain a bit further, (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by frankly0 on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:36:46 AM EST
    the obvious remedy for a law being "arbitrary and unpredictable" is to make it uniform and consistent in its application. So if the law against contraception in Connecticut were regarded as "arbitrary and unpredictable", the clear message to legislators is: make it apply in all cases without exception. In other words, make it far more, rather than far less reaching in its effects.

    Sunstein can't see that that's the clear consequence of his idiot judicial philosophy on the right to privacy?

    Deep thinking, there, boy.


    Hey, let's don't put down (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by brodie on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:43:32 PM EST
    technicalities.  It's how we put Al Capone behind bars (iirc from the Kevin Costner movie), and it's how victimized Ollie North got his conviction reversed.  

    Fact is, reasonable people could argue like Sunstein about deciding Ct cases only on the most narrow grounds.  Actually, in some areas the Ct has a long history of, let's say, taking the least controversial  argument proposed and deciding it on that basis as opposed to handing down a ruling that uses an alternative argument but which touches upon a very hot button area (the religious clauses, for instance).

    Deciding on narrower grounds tends to make for a stronger precedent too, thus strengthening whatever right is being upheld and making it less likely to be later overturned.

    As for the scenario where a state lege decides to enact draconian laws, such as anti-contraception, then presumably you'd see a Ct looking to see whether the law is too sweeping as it violates certain other const'l principles (equal protection) and/or important public interests (avoiding massive #s of unwanted pregnancies).  At the same time, such controversial legislation would probably be met by a huge public backlash, depending on the state, and many of those legislators would soon find themselves out of public office.


    ah great scholar in the mold of Alito (5.00 / 0) (#79)
    by DandyTIger on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:30:55 AM EST
    Now I see why Obama would value his opinion then. Snark.

    To Adam B: please invite (none / 0) (#122)
    by oculus on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:44:28 AM EST
    Armando to be on your panel.  He is very informed on Sunstein and would ask questions all Democrats would like answered.  

    Sunstein Not a Friend of the First Amendment Eithe (none / 0) (#157)
    by kaleidescope on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:51:52 PM EST
    Sunstein was a big supporter of the Minneapolis anti-pornography civil rights law Katherine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin drafted.  According to the Wikipedia the Minneapolis ordinance was:

    closely associated with the anti-pornography radical feminists Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon, that proposed to treat pornography as a violation of women's civil rights, and to allow women harmed by pornography to seek damages through a lawsuit in civil court. The approach was distinguished from traditional obscenity law, which attempts to suppress pornography through the use of prior restraint and criminal penalties.

    The ordinances were originally written in 1983 by Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon, and supported by many (but not all) of their fellow members of the feminist anti-pornography movement. Versions of the ordinance were passed in several cities in the United States during the 1980s, but were blocked by city officials and struck down by courts, who found it to violate the freedom of speech protections of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    I had Susntein for Administrative Law and got to know him personally.  We lived in the same building while he was visiting at Columbia.  He's a great teacher, a nice guy and an ardent feminist, which partly explains his support for the Minneapolis civil rights ordinance.

    Sunstein's argument for its constitutionality is based on his notion that there is a hierarchy of speech, with political speech at the top and "mere masturbatory aids" like pornography at the bottom.  Given that research shows a very weak correspondence between violent pornography and a tendency toward violence against women, Sunstein believes the social utility of pornography is outweighed by the slight increase in possible harm it might cause.  And Sunsetein believes that such a balancing test is allowed under the First Amendment.

    Sunstein got into a famous shouting match with  Andrzej Rapaczynski, who had made the point that some pornography -- such as the writings of the Marquis de Sade -- was also political speech.  Sunstein lost it and accused Rapaczynski of just wanting to be able to have pornogaphy for his own purposes.  This at a reception for Sunstein with practically the whole Columbia faculty present.  It was pretty embarassing.

    Pornography and violence (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by VicfromOregon on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 02:22:40 PM EST
    Just a heads up.  There is a plethora of research that show a direct link between violence against women and aggressive or violent pornography, as there is between violence on televison and violence in society.

    So, I'm not sure what research you are referring to.  Perhaps you can find it and post it.

    Additionally, there is a further violence, the actual making of the pornography, that is a violence towards women.  This part is not free speech and is not protected, but goes unchallenged by such legal minds as Sunstein because it doesn't involve weighty issues such as "free speech", but rather only women's rights.  I refer to a brief in the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 1989 by Margaret Baldwin.

    If you should ever happen to help women and children recover from pornography and prostitution, you will soon learn that what appears as "choicemaking" is more often conditioned responses from having experienced profoundly coersive and invasive acts by familial adults when the person was developing "sense of self" and "separate self" between the ages of 2 and 5 years old.  Sexual invasion was the norm for these women and children growing up.  Pornography and prostitution simply take advantage of this "societal secret" and reabuse these victims for pleasure and profit.

    See also Debra Boyers work out of Seattle.  She is an anthropologist who studied and helped street kids in the 80's and 90's.

    Or, you can just stay alseep.  It's your choice.  But, then, that's what it means to have privilege, isn't it?


    Thank you so much for this (5.00 / 2) (#200)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 05:23:11 PM EST
    I have tried to bring this up here before but been roundly chastised by the free speechers who deny any link between pornography and violence. I've also tried to argue how lame the 'prostitution is a choice' lark is. I've worked to help prostitutes get off the streets and it is heartbreaking to see the emotional, psychological, and physical damage this 'choice' causes. It is exploitation, pure and simple. I have nothing but contempt for those who look at these issues in abstract intellectual ways and disregard the very real human toll.

    I don't have your eloquence or expertise and am very happy you wrote this.


    addendum (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by VicfromOregon on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 02:27:13 PM EST
    Sunstein's support was lukewarm.  I was a part of that process of launching that effort, and while some lawyers gave lip service or mild support, they wouldn't go very public and out and out support the issue as there was a counter arguyment that being against the "sex industry" was anti-feminist itself since women appeared to be choosing to exploit themselves.

    His support, as so many for women's rights, is like Obama's.  You hear about it but  never actually get to see it.