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The "Dreary And Tiresome" Folks Who Care What A SCOTUS Nominee Thinks

Judgment, values, and politics are what matters on the Court. And here I am somewhat at a loss. Clearly, [Kagan]ís a Democrat. She was a highly regarded member of the White House staff during the Clinton years, but her own views were and are something of a mystery. She has written relatively little, and nothing of great consequence. - Jeff Toobin, cited by Jack Balkin to evidence that Elena Kagan is not a "stealth nominee."

Coming from a law professor, expressing disdain because people care what a SCOTUS nominee thinks is strange. Coming from the very smart Jack Balkin, it seems incomprehensible:

Liberals and conservatives alike are worried about Kagan's politics once she becomes a Justice. They are pouring over her body of legal writings, scrutinizing elements of her career, and psychoanalyzing her from a distance. Journalists are busily constructing a story of her life to make her accessible to the general public, while her political opponents try to engage in various forms of character assassination or, at the very least, a death by a thousand cuts. I find all of this dreary and tiresome.

(Emphasis supplied.) WTF? And this is BS:

Elena Kagan is hardly a stealth nominee. She has worked in two Democratic administrations and been the Dean of a major law school. If you can't figure out her general sensibilities, you really haven't been trying very hard.

I personally have been trying very damn hard and I can say without reservation that Elena Kagan is, based on her public record, the biggest cipher I have seen nominated for the Court since David Souter. And we know how that worked out for the GOP (it worked out great for the country as Souter was the finest Justice of the past 20 years imo.) Apparently, we are to trust Balkin's intuition:

Elena Kagan will be a fine Justice, and in time the equal, I fully expect, of anyone currently sitting on the Court.

Well, now that Jack Balkin has said so, I feel oh so much better. Sheesh. Worst post Balkin has ever written.

Speaking for me only

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    Kagan in '97 urged Clinton to ban late abortions (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Dan the Man on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:25:48 PM EST
    Link


    As a White House adviser in 1997, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan urged then-President Bill Clinton to support a ban on late-term abortions, a political compromise that put the administration at odds with abortion rights groups.


    That information doesn't surprise me (none / 0) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:32:44 PM EST
    Why? (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:32:51 PM EST
    Since I do not view Obama as a (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:44:24 PM EST
    strong advocate for a woman's right to choose, I never thought that he would pick someone for the SCOTUS who advocated strongly for it.

    Parent
    But isn't that why I voted for him? (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:53:12 PM EST
    DFAR v. W.

    Parent
    O.K. (none / 0) (#61)
    by MO Blue on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:09:09 PM EST
    I'm going to confess to being completely clueless on DFAR v. W. and my attempt to google it did not enlighten me.

    Parent
    Guessing here, but I think it's: (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Anne on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:12:16 PM EST
    Don't Forget About Roe v. Wade - should have been a space between DFA and R v. W...

    Parent
    That makes sense (none / 0) (#68)
    by MO Blue on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:21:42 PM EST
    Although I never bought into the meme of "Don't Forget About Roe v. Wade.

    Parent
    So? (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:34:11 PM EST
    In a May 13, 1997, memo from the White House domestic policy office, Kagan and her boss, Bruce Reed, told Clinton that abortion rights groups opposed Daschle's compromise. But they urged the president to support it, saying he otherwise risked seeing a Republican-led Congress override his veto on the stricter bill.

    If anything her concern was getting stuck with something worse. This does not seem to indicate that Kagan personally believes in the restrictions of the Daschle compromise bill, but that she was making a safe political judgement.

    There is no telling what would have happened had Clinton not taken the advise. It may have turned out that without this compromise the GOP congress would have overturned CLintons veto.

    Parent

    isn't this pretty much (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by cpinva on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:45:15 PM EST
    how george bush got elected?:

    I find all of this dreary and tiresome.

    that was the response, of the MSM, to the debates, and any discussions about actual policies, during election 2000. gore was just sooooooooo dreary and tiresome, bush was your not-so-bright buddy.

    in fact, it's that attitude, expressed with so much disdain by the "village people", that's defined our political discourse, for most of the past 20 years.

    and that's worked out so well.

    My problem (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by lilburro on Tue May 11, 2010 at 08:01:20 AM EST
    with Kagan is this:

    But Mr. Obama ultimately opted to save Judge Garland for when he faces a more hostile Senate and needs a nominee with more Republican support. Democrats expect to lose seats in this fall's election, so if another Supreme Court seat comes open next year and Mr. Obama has a substantially thinner margin in the Senate than he has today, Judge Garland would be an obvious choice.

    I think Obama should've gone for someone more liberal, like Wood, and then had Kagan instead of Garland saved for when Ginsburg wants to go (I'm assuming she is next?).  Not that there are only 3 people who could possibly be nominated to SCOTUS in the next 7 years...I just don't like the framing.  And it would be sad to see Ginsburg replaced by someone who is more moderate than she is.

    Someone (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by jbindc on Tue May 11, 2010 at 12:28:36 PM EST
    At Volokh made the same point yesterday - thought Kagan would be easier to get past the more Republucan Senate we are sure to gave next year.

    Parent
    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by lilburro on Tue May 11, 2010 at 12:34:31 PM EST
    I can see her getting confirmed in a Senate with more Republicans than the current one.  So I'd have preferred she remain in the bullpen.  

    Parent
    Opinion? (none / 0) (#91)
    by squeaky on Tue May 11, 2010 at 09:35:14 AM EST
    And are you kidding? No need to use this silly argument for nominating Wood, because the Republicans will not vary in their approach no matter who Obama nominates.

    The point is to make Obama look bad.

    Parent

    If the Republicans (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by lilburro on Tue May 11, 2010 at 10:01:20 AM EST
    are going to go nuts, why not nominate someone more clearly liberal?  I would even suggest it might've been smarter for Obama to nominate a man to this seat as when Ginsburg retires there is probably going to be pressure for Obama to not nominate another woman.  Hence, Garland.  And it's not like CW about Supreme Court selections has failed for Obama thus far...2/2.  Apparently that's how this sh*t works.

    NYT:

    "Why do the conservatives always get the conservatives, but we don't get to get the liberals?" Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, asked the Web site Politico recently, voicing the frustration of the left when Ms. Kagan was considered a front-runner but was not yet Mr. Obama's selection. "What the hell is that all about?"


    Parent
    Well (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by squeaky on Tue May 11, 2010 at 10:43:43 AM EST
    That is why I suggested that the opinion stated by the NYT writer is a worthless argument. The GOP sees no difference between anyone Obama may pick.

    The one point, which seemed slightly believable was that Kagan, being a so called "cipher" could possibly have more influence over Kennedy because, being a "cipher", she has less baggage.

    Parent

    Dang (none / 0) (#1)
    by robotalk on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:04:02 PM EST
    don't need no stinking hearings.

    She has worked in two Democratic administrations and been the Dean of a major law school. If you can't figure out her general sensibilities, you really haven't been trying very hard.


    I was surprised when I read it too. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:16:02 PM EST
    But, in thinking about it, I think it reflects his theory that the supreme court will always ultimately reflect the evolving views of Americans in general.  So an individual justice and her specific views aren't important, or certainly aren't important enough to expend time picking through minutia.

    I don't agree with him.

    how would you compare (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:18:33 PM EST
    what we know about Kagan to what we knew about Roberts? He really wasn't on the bench for long when he got a promotion.

    Federalist Society (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:30:49 PM EST
    SG memos and other information told us Roberts was everything he has been.

    That said, I urged opposition to Roberts based on his failure to provide the Senate the info it requested.

    Parent

    That's fair enough (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:35:41 PM EST
    I thought it was pretty clear that he was a conservative Republican, based mostly on his service in the Reagan WH and some of the memos that leaked out.

    FWIW, Kagan has apparently said that the Fed. Soc. is not "her people."

    Parent

    But she loves them (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:39:02 PM EST
    Look, I can tell you what I think she will be like, probably like I would be if I was on the Court, except nicer.

    But my thinking it is not evidence that it will be so.

    I think I have been extremely fair to Kagan, supporting her when I thought unfair charges have been levelled at her.

    Buuut, it is not unfair to say that she has been a cipher on most issues.

    Parent

    Is her writing and political activities (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:44:56 PM EST
    from the early 80s enough? I mean, she was supposedly a big Liz Holtzman supporter.

    I guess that's not "on the issues." But we didn't know where Sotomayor stood on the issues either. Remember what Specter said at her hearing?

    Parent

    What writings are those? (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:46:10 PM EST
    Any links?

    But you know what? Answering the damn question in her confirmation hearings is all I ask.

    Parent

    This was in the Times (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:49:07 PM EST
    and in the Princetonian in another form:

    Though shielded from her friends, Kagan's political beliefs emerged most clearly in an opinion piece she wrote for the `Prince' a few weeks after that 1980 election night, in which she described her disappointment at Holtzman's loss and her own liberal views. "I absorbed ... liberal principles early," she said. "More to the point, I have retained them fairly intact to this day."

    In the piece, Kagan also expressed her dissatisfaction with the state of the political left at the time, lamenting the demise of "real Democrats -- not the closet Republicans that one sees so often these days" and the success of "anonymous but Moral Majority-backed ... avengers of `innocent life' and the B-1 Bomber, these beneficiaries of a general turn to the right and a profound disorganization on the left."

    She hoped that the future would "be marked by American disillusionment with conservative programs and solutions, and that a new, revitalized, perhaps more leftist left will once again come to the fore."



    Parent
    Great (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:50:47 PM EST
    LEt her say that again and we are in business.

    Parent
    I think her work for two D Presidents (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:53:23 PM EST
    is pretty good evidence that she hasn't strayed far.

    But that's just me.

    Parent

    And, me too, andgarden (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by christinep on Mon May 10, 2010 at 10:18:54 PM EST
    The clerkships for Judge Mikva and Justice Thurgood Marshall have a lot of credence as well.

    Parent
    Larry Summers worked for Dem Presidents (none / 0) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:56:07 PM EST
    John Brennan worked for 2 Presidents.

    As I have stated, I THINK Kagan will be fine.

    But the Senate does not need to rely on guesses.

    Answer the damn questions.

    Parent

    Did he clerk for Abner Mikva and (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:01:12 PM EST
    Thurgood Marshall?

    Look, I don't really think I'm making an unreasonable inference about her politics.

    Parent

    Answer the quesrtions (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:02:56 PM EST
    How effing hard is that?

    You clerked for . . . is simply not evidence.

    Parent

    By itself no (none / 0) (#36)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:04:51 PM EST
    But it is reinforcement for the evidence we have.

    And honestly, you know as well as everyone else how effing hard it is to answer the questions under the circumstances. I do think she should, though.

    Parent

    Well (none / 0) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:05:57 PM EST
    My position has been consistent and I would like to see it applied to everyone.

    Parent
    That's fine (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:07:25 PM EST
    but I don't think that means you have to ignore what you already know.

    Parent
    Actually (none / 0) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:09:24 PM EST
    I know next to nothing.

    Parent
    Granted :-p (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:12:10 PM EST
    From MKS (none / 0) (#29)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:50:07 PM EST
    Below... princetonian

    Anecdotes, mainly..  but you get a good picture where she is coming from, but now? who knows for sure..

    Parent

    Deep Long Term Planning (none / 0) (#19)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:40:50 PM EST
    At Hunter HS, she wanted to be on the SC...  Kept her mouth shut ever since..

    Parent
    Who knows? (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:44:53 PM EST
    But you know the east effing solution?

    Answer the effing questions in her confirmation hearing.

    Parent

    She should, but we all know (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:45:50 PM EST
    that to the degree she can avoid it, she won't. Despite what she wrote in the 90s.

    Parent
    Then she shouldn't be confirmed (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:47:54 PM EST
    lol (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:46:02 PM EST
    Waterboard her...

    Parent
    How about (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:47:29 PM EST
    not bringing her nomination to a vote till she answers the questions?

    That's what they should have done to Roberts.

    Parent

    As if (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Emma on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:27:49 PM EST
    As if it would have changed the outcome.

    Parent
    Seems Like The Point Is (none / 0) (#48)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:45:44 PM EST
    That it would change the outcome. And the outcome it has a chance of changing is bringing the process of Advise and Consent to something less than a Charade, as a great thinker once said.

    Not that I trust GOPers for anything, but if we play fair, at least we have some standing to demand that they play fair, when they have the ball.  

    Parent

    Ha Ha (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Emma on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:52:04 PM EST
    but if we play fair, at least we have some standing to demand that they play fair, when they have the ball

    Thanks for the laugh.

    Parent

    Yeah yeah Yeah (none / 0) (#52)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:56:22 PM EST
    Well I would be shocked, if they followed a good example, but BTD has a good argument.

    Besides what would Kagan have to hide? Seems as if she is going to get confirmed, as you and everyone else has opined, what do we have to lose by setting a good example for the future.

    Certainly Kagan will have egg on her face, considering the Charade statement, if she does not fully cooperate.

    And certainly if she is as smart as I think she is, she can handle any dirty pool the GOPers dish out, no?

    Parent

    Oh, honestly (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Emma on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:05:03 PM EST
    What's the point about "what does she have to  hide"?  They're going to do what they're going to do regardless of whether she has something to hide or not exactly because no pol worth their salt is ever going to give up their own dirty tricks to set an "example" or whatever.  If it benefits the Dems to have Kagan answer the way BTD wants, they'll use it.  If not, they won't and any "egg" on Kagan's face is easily wiped off with the robes of a Supreme Court Justice.

    Like trial lawyers, politicians use what works.  I can refrain from filing useless motions prior to trial, that doesn't mean I'm not answering 5, 7, 10 motions in limine.  And funnily enough, nobody ever gets sanctioned for useless, time wasting, crap.

    It isn't about Kagan, what she can handle, what she has to hide, or even her particular nomination.  She's a bit player in the drama.  The Supreme Court nomination process is the way it is because it benefits politicians.  Remove that benefit and it will change.  Not before then.  It's all hand-waving in the meantime.

    Parent

    And the reason (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Emma on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:15:34 PM EST
    the nomination farce is going to continue is this:

    "What does President Obama gain by putting forward an unabashed progressive, liberal judicial activist?" asked Leonard A. Leo, a conservative leader who helped President George W. Bush confirm Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito. "Polling suggests that's not something that adds a lot of value to his own immediate political objectives."

    Nobody much cares about the Court as the Court.  It's all means/ends calculations where the Court is the means and personal political power is the end.  If it mattered to Obama's poll numbers, it would be different.  It doesn't, so it won't.

    Parent

    Shouldn't we await the questions (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by christinep on Mon May 10, 2010 at 10:16:20 PM EST
    and the answers?

    Parent
    Party Pooper.. (none / 0) (#74)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 10:38:04 PM EST
    I'm confused. Isn't it a bit PPUS (none / 0) (#77)
    by Realleft on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:16:51 PM EST
    to think anything she says won't simply be twisted by the Republicans as a premise to tank her nomination and deal Obama a loss? If they'll do it for everything else, how is this different?  This seems like the opposite of your advice on how Obama and the Dems should approach passing legislation.

    Parent
    That alone should disqualify her. (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:14:16 PM EST
    Such moxy.

    Parent
    But he didn't even know he was on (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:30:18 PM EST
    the Board of Directors.  Give the man a break.

    Parent
    Good Example (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:23:54 PM EST
    I for one screamed at BushCo for withholding documents under BS exec privilege. And was extremely unhappy with his non response to questions. Roberts did not appear to be a cipher to me though, it was clear from the get-go that he was going to be a right wing judicial activist.  

    I really think it was a crime that the Senate abrogated their responsibility of Advise and Consent with him. Self inflicted payback from Bork.  

    Parent

    We knew a LOT more about Roberts (none / 0) (#10)
    by david mizner on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:33:58 PM EST
    He served on the DC circuit and wrote several dozen opinions, including several related to civil liberties and the terror war. For example, he ruled on Hamdan as part of a decision that was eventually overturned by the court.

    And he was, by all indications, a loyal Reaganite.

    Parent

    A lot more? Nah, I don't buy it (none / 0) (#14)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:36:51 PM EST
    I mean, be serious, what are "all indications" about Kagan? The picture is pretty clear to me.

    Parent
    Your stance confuses me. Do you know (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:33:56 PM EST
    something we don't?

    Parent
    Did you read the Times profile (none / 0) (#45)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:37:35 PM EST
    I linked to earlier?

    Parent
    Yes. (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:41:46 PM EST
    Then I guess we just have different standards (none / 0) (#51)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:53:18 PM EST
    Who knows, maybe I'm being facile.

    Parent
    Did you see this? (none / 0) (#53)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:57:48 PM EST
    A conclusion that she's not a bad scholar and her output was good considering the few years she was a scholar - Link.  

    Parent
    I've actually read a couple of the things (none / 0) (#56)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:01:58 PM EST
    she's written. It's obvious to me that she's competent to do the job, so it's all about ideology.

    Parent
    I've read a couple of her works too (none / 0) (#59)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:06:38 PM EST
    but being far removed from academia I find it interesting when people whose job it is to judge academic writing (and who disagree with her) evaluate her work.  

    Parent
    That's reasonable (none / 0) (#60)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:08:24 PM EST
    But I'd like to think that I can judge the quality of the work on my own.

    Parent
    Typical (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:09:46 PM EST
    law student hubris :)

    Parent
    I keep thinking of your "Jewish/Upper (none / 0) (#54)
    by oculus on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:57:54 PM EST
    West Side" meme and wonder if I would have supported Grassley for SCOTUS if I knew nothing more than he was from Iowan and was Protestant.

    Nevermind.  I know more than I did this morning on the issue most important to me.

    Parent

    BIG difference IMO (none / 0) (#57)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:03:15 PM EST
    Not Really (none / 0) (#55)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 08:59:12 PM EST
    Although your identity politics may be getting the better of you... others may not have as clear a picture of Kagan that you have.

    Besides, oculus is strictly party line when it comes to BTD...  she can't help it.

    Parent

    Not really. I don't think we (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by oculus on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:13:01 PM EST
    should still be in Afghanistan and do not support indefinte detention.

    Parent
    OK (none / 0) (#67)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:20:20 PM EST
    Although you have begged to be convinced...  Just poking fun anyway, as your, um... fondness, of BTD is rather sweet.  

    Parent
    So inquiring whether BTD ever posted (none / 0) (#69)
    by oculus on Mon May 10, 2010 at 09:40:23 PM EST
    his promised diary about why he supports President's decision to increase U.S. military forces in Afghanistan constitutes "begging to be convinced"?  

    Parent
    In A Way.. (none / 0) (#70)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 10:01:09 PM EST
    You are the only one, that ever has asked BTD, repeatedly to fulfill his promised posts... lol.

    Parent
    And I did not support Obama in (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:09:19 PM EST
    the primaries.  

    Parent
    And I thought Rezko's relationship (none / 0) (#76)
    by oculus on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:13:51 PM EST
    with Obama would make a damn bit of difference in the Presidential race.

    Parent
    And I do not think Bill Clinton's (none / 0) (#78)
    by oculus on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:17:07 PM EST
    comment about Jesse Jackson winning primary in S.C. twice was racist.

    Parent
    Well (none / 0) (#82)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:28:37 PM EST
    Maybe you love the big dog more... lol

    Besides, BTD never went there, just said that it was "out of order"...

    Clearly, imo, Bill lost his cool and said something at the very least,  that was stupid.

    Parent

    Your memory is faulty. (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by oculus on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:29:59 PM EST
    Hmmm... (none / 0) (#86)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:34:55 PM EST
    On Saturday, Bill Clinton made remarks about Jesse Jackson and Jackson's wins in South Carolina in 1984 and 1988. The comments seemed to me a blatant attempt to marginalize Obama's win in South Carolina. An attempt to treat Obama as "the black candidate." I thought the comments were out of order.


    Parent
    Whatever. Many, many comments to (none / 0) (#87)
    by oculus on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:40:42 PM EST
    choose from.  But I still disagree.

    Parent
    Please Cite (none / 0) (#89)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:46:42 PM EST
    I do not think you will find BTD actually calling the comment racist.

    Parent
    Crickets.... (none / 0) (#96)
    by squeaky on Tue May 11, 2010 at 12:45:36 PM EST
    For someone who has accused me of having a faulty memory, you seem to be lacking in providing evidence. Considering that the record is readily available in the archive, I am awaiting your apology or link to refresh my faulty memory.

    Chris "Tweety" Matthews asked Obama spokesman David Gibbs if Bill Clinton was a racist. He said no, Bill Clinton is not a racist. Good to know.

    To be fair, Gibbs was incredibly effusive in his praise of President Clinton and Senator Clinton. His appearance was excellent. Struck the exact right tone in my opinion. [emphasis mine]

    links

    Parent

    I apologize. Your memory is not faulty. (none / 0) (#97)
    by oculus on Tue May 11, 2010 at 01:43:47 PM EST
    Back to the original point, I have never felt Bill Clinton was out of order in pointing out Jesse Jackson won the S.C. primary twice.

    Parent
    Apology Accepted (none / 0) (#98)
    by squeaky on Tue May 11, 2010 at 01:51:09 PM EST
    And I disagree, the comment was emotional (mean spririted) and reactive. Quite out of order, particularly for Bill Clinton who has always been a champion for civil rights.

    Parent
    Hmmmm. Following BTD's lead? (none / 0) (#99)
    by oculus on Tue May 11, 2010 at 01:55:16 PM EST
    Or, as I suspect, thinking for yourself?

    Parent
    Actually (none / 0) (#100)
    by squeaky on Tue May 11, 2010 at 02:09:36 PM EST
    I think BTD sets a great example, particularly under Jeralyn's tent.

    And given that, I have gained insight and knowledge from reading his posts. I usually agree with him, I also usually agree with Jeralyn.

    But as far as seeing the interchange between Bill Clinton and David Wright, it is clearly wrong, and makes Bill look terrible, imo. This would have been my position, whether or not I had ever read anything by BTD.

    Parent

    Don't Get That One (none / 0) (#80)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:23:56 PM EST
    Maybe a typo?

    Parent
    J and BTD both opined Rezko relationship (none / 0) (#81)
    by oculus on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:25:18 PM EST
    w/Obama wouldn't make "a damn bit of difference" in the Presidential race.

    Parent
    Oh, I See (none / 0) (#83)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:29:21 PM EST
    They were right and you were wrong..   OK.

    Parent
    Oh Well (none / 0) (#79)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:23:00 PM EST
    Not such an infraction, as BTD was lukewarm anyway...

    Parent
    The NYT article (none / 0) (#73)
    by christinep on Mon May 10, 2010 at 10:20:42 PM EST
    tells me a lot...and almost all of it very positive for a liberal.

    Parent
    What do you think about this article (none / 0) (#4)
    by MKS on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:21:39 PM EST
    from the Princetonian?  

    Not current....but still relevent info....

    Wilentz says (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:26:17 PM EST
    "Elena Kagan is about the furthest thing from a socialist. Period. And always had been. Period," Wilentz explained.

    Is that credible? What does he base it on?

    Parent

    Private conversation? (none / 0) (#13)
    by MKS on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:36:29 PM EST
    Doesn't really comport with (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:38:10 PM EST
    Wilentz also noted that, though he did discuss politics with his student, he was unable to "get a really strong sense of her politics because she was so much a journalist," at times very reserved and discreet.  


    Parent
    Uh, maybe the original comment (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by MKS on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:40:34 PM EST
    was based on his conversations with her about her thesis--a somewhat more limited topic.....and also based on a desire to defend his former student....

    Parent
    I guess that almost works (none / 0) (#25)
    by andgarden on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:47:07 PM EST
    I think Wilentz needs to decide how much he really knows about her and stick to it.

    Parent
    The danger here is one's ego (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by MKS on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:56:00 PM EST
    Wilentz may say more than he knows just because of a natural tendency to appear authoritative on such an important issue close to him....

    Intelligent witnesses are often the worst...they just can't admit to not knowing the answer...

    Parent

    Fascist? (none / 0) (#15)
    by squeaky on Mon May 10, 2010 at 07:37:50 PM EST
    Just trying to think what is the furthest from being a socialist....

    Parent
    Never been burned like that at Balkin's site (none / 0) (#84)
    by catchy on Mon May 10, 2010 at 11:29:47 PM EST
    The Toobin link did not support Balkin's pt. whatsoever.

    Did he even read past the first couple paras?

    A dense and cranky post.