The 2012 Election and the Supreme Court

Tony Mauro in USA Today writes about the 2012 election and the Supreme Court. He lists the oldest justices. Three will turn 80 during this next presidential term:

  • 79, Ginsburg
  • 76, Scalia
  • 75, Kennedy
  • 73, Breyer

Mauro writes:

If a President Romney gets to appoint replacements for liberals Ginsburg and Breyer, then abortion rights, gay rights, affirmative action and campaign-finance reform could well be in serious jeopardy. If President Obama gets to replace conservatives Scalia and Kennedy, then those doctrines will probably be safer, while regulation of the environment, gun rights, property rights and corporations could win more favor.


The New York Times has a new poll on how Americans view the Supreme Court.

Just 44 percent of Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing and three-quarters say the justices’ decisions are sometimes influenced by their personal or political views, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News.

Mitt Romney has named Robert Bork as co-chair of his campaign's advisory committee on law, the Constitution and the judiciary. Jamie Raskin at People for the American Way discusses what that means in a report, Borking America.

< Thursday Open Thread | Eric Holder Assigns U.S. Attorneys to Investigate Leaks >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    there's a vast difference (5.00 / 11) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 12:26:18 PM EST
    between a centrist appointee and a radical right appointee.

    In a perfect world, we'd get a liberal president and liberal nominees. We don't live in a perfect world. The next opportunity for a liberal president is 2016.

    It's pretty silly for a liberal to say since Obama nominates centrists rather than  liberals to the court, it's no big deal if the guy who may pack the court with up to four radical right replacement nominees wins the election. If that happens, the president who wins in 2016, even if a liberal, can't do a thing to unpack the court since they are lifetime appointments.

    Those who are so blinded by their dislike of Obama they can't see past their nose as to the the difference between a President with a centrist agenda and one with a radical right agenda need a reality check.

    Instead of looking at individual issues, look at the whole picture.

    Or at least ask yourselves on what issue would a Romney appointee be preferable? Gun rights? It would be for me, but I doubt any of the "liberals" here bashing Obama would think so.

    On crime issues, Republicans are always worse. Same for immigration. And reproductive freedom.

    We don't even know Romney's VP choice yet. If he chooses someone more conservative than he is, if something should happen to Romney during his term, that person would become President and  make the decisions as to who is on our Court.

    Any self-professed liberal who is being honest with themselves would admit that the Supreme Court matters a great deal and a Romney win in November would set liberal causes back for decades.

    I agree to a great extent, but meanwhile... (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Dadler on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 02:22:22 PM EST
    ...the complete economic delusion this nation is living under continues unabated, no matter who wins.  The soundness of a fiat economy boils down to nothing more than The Golden Rule, everything else is bullsh*t commentary.  But, thanks to our master pols who are either too stupid or too corrupt to care, we will continue to be enslaved by an inanimate object of our own creation, over which we have complete control.  We will keep chewing our legs off like an animal caught in a trap, the only difference being WE'RE NOT IN ANY TRAP.

    I don't want the SCOTUS to destroy the gains progressives paid dearly for; but I also know that without a genuine economic revolution, at least in terms of our suicidal paradigms, then most of what we care about and debate about will be moot.


    I think you should take a look at (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 08:03:42 PM EST
    the positions taken by the Obama administration and argued on its behalf by the Solicitor General and see if you think Obama is likely to nominate justices who are likely to reject the arguments and reasonings it has put forth to date.  Sotomayor and Kagan were, in many ways, easy nominations, replacing and not changing the Court's ideological split.

    Both of these parties, as currently structured, are heading to the same place; the only difference is that Dems may take longer to get there.

    I am curious about a couple of things, Jeralyn: what role do you see the Congress taking in all of this?   Do you see them rubber-stamping nominations regardless of which party holds the WH?  Do you see Dems putting up any kind of resistance to radical Romney nominees?  Do you see Dems putting up any resistance to too-conservative Obama nominees?

    The real test will be what happens when conservatives get the chance to replace liberal justices, and vice-versa; do you really see Obama using that opportunity to shift the Court to the left?  Or do you see the centrist, post-partisan president trying to split the difference?

    I wish I had the same confidence in Obama that you do, J - he just hasn't shown me any evidence that he has the same vision for the country that I used to think Democrats stood for.


    Let's just suppose (none / 0) (#110)
    by whitecap333 on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 11:14:32 PM EST
    you were representing Zimmerman before the Supreme Court, arguing that the evidence was not sufficient to support the verdict against him.  Would you prefer the majority opinion to be written by Scalia or Kagan?

    I find that a woman's (5.00 / 5) (#26)
    by Makarov on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:08:01 PM EST
    right to abortion and reproductive services has already been curtailed, nearly eliminated, if she's poor. Sure you can have an abortion done IF you can drive possibly 100+ miles, two times a few days apart, and pay cash money for the procedure.

    The right to have an abortion is basically one now for middle class and rich women. This comes directly from a view popular among Democrats that abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare". It's the rare part I have a problem with. That view has perpetuated anti-choice legislation, and enabled anti-choice Democrats like Caseys, both father and son.

    In reality, a more conservative, more anti-choice, Supreme Court would not, could not, make abortion illegal. Rather, it would make it a bit harder to obtain for middle class women who, in some cases, have to travel to another state for the procedure. Overturning Roe wouldn't make abortion illegal nationwide, just in those red states in the bible belt, midwest and mountain west that oppose it.

    Would I like that to happen? Certainly not. Let's not pretend, though, that a poor woman in America has the same rights that a wealthy one does. Anti-choice Dems and 'centrists' like Obama have made certain poor women don't have the right to choose.

    The only way to elect Democrats who really, truly support full reproductive rights for all women is to stop electing the ones that don't. Obama is one of them.

    The idea that we 'better vote Obama or the USA becomes a Margaret Atwood novel' is pure fantasy. I'm done supporting Democrats who don't share even most of my views. Obama's war conduct, assassination program, spying programs, neo-liberal economics platform, unabashed support for 'free trade', and whistle-blower retaliation are too much for me to swallow.

    Maybe they aren't for you. Maybe you share his views on those. That's fine too. I voted for the 'lesser evil' my entire adult life. The result has been a Democratic party that shares more views with Reagan than LBJ or FDR. I can't write them a blank check anymore.

    I know what it's like... (none / 0) (#90)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:56:17 PM EST
    being a clothespin Democrat, holding one's nose and voting anti-Republican in the only way that will have that effect, but even if the lesser of two weasels is still a weasel, at least it's not a Republican weasel.

    We have to get the Republican party small enough to drown in a bathtub before we can risk dismantling the Democratic party.


    The private sector is doing fine. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:26:29 PM EST

    President Obama Says "The private sector is doing fine."  

    With laser like focus on the issue of the day, week, month, year, and the election Obama shows about the only votes he can garner are those based on generating fears about Supreme Court nominations.  It was always pretty clear that Obama gave nary a fig about the private sector other than the care and feeding of his crony capitalists.  President Goldman Sachs has now confirmed it.


    well.. (none / 0) (#37)
    by jondee on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:42:07 PM EST
    at least conservatives care about capitalist cronies AND makin' things hospitable fer Jesus's imminent return by having a well-armed citizenty..  

    abortion rights (4.50 / 6) (#5)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 07:48:37 AM EST
    I no longer have to worry.  Young women who do worry should have gone to the polls in 2008 and supported a primary candidate who supported their right rather than Obama who doesn't really.  When they have to fight for their rights they may learn not to take them for granted.  In other words, can't get me to vote on abortion rights anymore.  Why should I care more than the woman who have skin in the game?
    The supreme court gave us Bush rather than Gore.  
    I have spent years working to get a Democratic president with a veto proof majority in congress and a majority in the senate.  We finally get there and what happens?  We get a president and a congressional leader who acted as if they were in the minority and worried about nothing more than winning some more republican votes.  
    I have come to understand that there are bigger issues for women than their uterus.  Considering we are the majority, we are still a ridiculously small number in congress.  I don't think electing more men who pander to women every couple of years, to get votes is good for women or for the country.  
    So I vote for women. That's the way to move the country left and in the direction of actually helping real people with real problems.
    I know the position of this blog and what you have intended for the political season.  I intend to respect that.  But I have to say that the democratic party (still my party) is no more the party of women or the poor, than the republican party is.

    An analogy (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by CST on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:49:49 AM EST
    I wonder what you would think if I began a post with:

    I just don't care about social security anymore it's not my problem.  It's the elderly's fault they keep voting for to eliminate it.

    There is only one party that is effectively dismantling women's reproductive rights - one state at a time.  But I guess I shouldn't care about that since I don't live there.  I don't need the federal government to protect my reproductive rights either.  But I still want them to, because someone else will.


    Not quite right (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:51:59 AM EST
    You WILL be getting Social Security someday (or some facsimile there of).

    You ARE paying for Social Security right out of your check - whether you want to or not - right now.  That DOES affect you.


    I don't know... (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 11:07:07 AM EST
    I wouldn't bet the farm on CST and I ever getting a SS check, I'd put the odds at even money.

    As for the deduction from our paychecks, a tax deduction is a tax deduction, the difference between SS, FICA, and FIT is for the bean counters, for us there is gross pay and there is net pay.


    It doesn't matter (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 11:53:59 AM EST
    Saying SS "doesn't affect you" and comparing it to the statement that Teresa made "I don't need to worry about abortion now" is an incorrect comparison.  If you are working, SS is being taken out of your check right now - so it does affect young people as well as retired people.

    It just wasn't a good analogy, that's all.


    I thought it a good analogy... (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 12:01:52 PM EST
    I'm too old to worry about abortion rights, f*ck 'em.

    I'm too young to worry about social security, f*ck 'em.

    Not to mention a return of prohibition of abortion does affect everybody...the cost of arresting/prosecuting/caging those who get them/perform them anyway, the cost of raising the unwanted children of women in poverty, possible increases in violent crime in 20 years, etc, etc, etc.


    it wasn't perfect (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by CST on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 12:41:13 PM EST
    but I thought it got the point across.  You're right, it does affect me somewhat, but if my politics are strictly about what benefits me, I should be all for cutting current benefits so that there is more money left over in the future.

    Hell, I'm not gay either so who cares about all that.  And it's not like I live in Iraq, so we might as well keep bombing them.


    Sure - we could go on (none / 0) (#21)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 12:49:37 PM EST
    I'm out of school, so why pay taxes for public school or give out student loans at low interest rates?  I rent, so why shouldn't get rid of the mortgage deduction? I don't take public transportation - why should my tax dollars subsidize it (and the federal government workers who do)?

    Teresa's point, I think, was that she has been active and fighting for a woman's right to choose, but over the past 10 or so years,young women have come to take for granted that it will always be there, and then they vote against their interests for candidates who do not necessarily support that right. She seems to be tired of pounding her head against a wall in what appears to be a losing battle, so why try to convince anyone anymore?  


    I think Teresa's point... (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:06:37 PM EST
    was if ya didn't vote for Hillary, go f*ck yourself.

    Sh*t this is America jack, voting against your interests is a given.  It's a question of voting against your interests, voting against more of your interests, or voting for somebody who has a snowball's chance in hell of winning.


    and the evidence for that (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by CST on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:07:44 PM EST
    "young women have come to take for granted that it will always be there" is that they voted for Obama in 2008.  A man who has proposed free birth control for all women and nominated 2 women to the supreme court - where that question will ultimately go.  Must be time to give up on future generations.

    And yes, I realize the birth control will be factored into everyone's health care costs.  But by that measure young women did vote in their own reproductive interest.

    That being said, you are right, we could go on, with just about every government program imaginable.  Which was exactly my point.  If everyone only looks out for themselves there is never incentive for any of this stuff.


    ridiculous (none / 0) (#117)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 07:08:42 PM EST
    SS is nothing like abortion. Apples and autos, try again.

    That is Complete Garbage (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 12:50:07 PM EST
    So no need to help minority divisions in the country, if they can't get the votes, F 'em ?  Pretty sure your philosophy is exactly why those rights are being eroded, the people effected are left to fend for themselves with the opposition gets the votes.

    Voting for women is the answer, really, off the top of my head the women in Congress, at least the Senate seem to pretty damn conservative, certainly they aren't any more friendly to women's rights beyond the same nonsensical lip service men give.

    And I don't mean this offensively, but the attitude of your post is exactly the reason why IMO women's rights are being eroded, no one else thinks it's worth the effort, and to read a woman who could care less about the rights she enjoyed now that she doesn't need them anymore, well that to me is simply pathetic.

    Maybe you should venture over to the right and convince those folks to take your stand of indifference, it would certainly be far more effective.  Get them to vote for all the women running and blow off all the issues that don't directly effect them.

    I feel your frustration in the party, but simply not caring about about people whom I don't share common traits is not.... whatever.  I dislike your post very much.


    huh? (none / 0) (#118)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 07:14:19 PM EST
    getting more women in congress is the point.  Any legislative body with at least 30 percent women moves to the left....that's the gravy.
    Why the hell should women continue to put everyone else first?  Garbage because I don't think we should continue to put men in office who do nothing but pander to us for votes and then ignore us for the rest of the time?  Excuse me, but think again skippy.

    SC Judges (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by gaf on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:02:33 PM EST
    This happens every Presidential election year - lots of articles about how many supreme court judges are likely to be nominated in the next 4 years. And how if the other side wins the election, the SC is going to be permanently damaged for years. The point of these articles is to drum up support from those democrats who dislike the candidate. These articles say that this is probably the most important election of their lifetime and they should keep their dislike aside till the election gets over.

    I live in the most liberal state in ... (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:17:28 PM EST
    ... in the American Union. Given the rhetoric of this campaign, few citizens realize that Hawaii's Pre-Paid Health Care Act of 1975 provided for near-universal health care (92% coverage) some 30 years before Mitt Romney and Massachusetts undertook to do the same. And in fact, Massachusetts plan is a variation of Hawaii's, except that Hawaii's percentage of residents on Medicaid is less than half that of the Bay State. So, we did it first, and we still do it better.

    But more to the point, regarding women's rights, Hawaii was the very first state to statutorily enshrine a woman's right to reproductive freedom, back in February 1970 -- some two years before before the Supreme Court undertook to hear the case of Roe v. Wade.

    Hawaii was also the very first state to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, which was then enacted locally by the legislature when it stalled during its ratification drive.

    Because Hawaii has traditional the highest percentage of mothers in the nation who are in the workforce (due to our high cost of living), Hawaii was the very first state to provide universal after-school care in public schools for children of working parents, with its A+ program.

    Further, Hawaii Congresswoman Patsy Mink, who was my former boss, is renowned nationally as the author of Title IX (since posthumously renamed the Patsy T. Mink Act after her death in 2002), which compelled educational institutions throughout the land to provide equally for girls and women the same educational opportunities and programs previously afforded almost exclusively to boys and men.

    I'm proud of my adopted home state's legacy in pioneering women's rights and championing women's issues. But given your perverse logic, I suppose that I could say that because I'm a man, I really don't give a phuquing $Hi+ about women's issues and equal rights, because as a he-man manly male, it doesn't affect me personally.

    But you know what? I can't, because I was the son of a working widowed mother, and I have two daughters who are just now coming of age I am not going to stand idly by and allow the mysogynists, ignoramics and the cynics amongst us to undermine their opportunities over the course of this lifetime.

    You best wise up, Teresa. There are no blue fairies who are going to wave their magic wands and instantly cure the ills of this land. Despite our best efforts, the poor will always be amongst us, as will misogyny and bigotry.

    Does this mean, then, we should stop fighting because we're not getting our way -- or worse yet, engage in random political sniper fire against those flawed human beings / politicians who are nominally on our side?

    You need to learn to see the forest for the trees. Why must perfection always be the enemy of the otherwise good and decent? As my late grandfather used to tell us, life is hard -- but it gets a whole lot harder if you're stupid.



    I don't have any idea why (3.43 / 7) (#6)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 08:57:12 AM EST
    people are so confident that if Obama gets to replace any conservatives on the Court that he will nominate liberals to replace them.  I mean, does anyone see much liberalism or belief in liberal ideology attendant to the arguments the Obama DOJ/Solicitor General/OLC has been making these last three-plus years?  Because I sure don't.

    As important as I think reproductive rights are, as important as I think gay rights are, I also think it may be more important that we stop the sacrifice of liberty in the name of security - and, based on Obama's actions and the position of his legal people these last 3 1/2 years, I don't see him nominating justices to the Court who are going to stop the steady and dangerous erosion of so many of our rights.

    And, quite honestly, I also don't see Obama being so committed to women, gays and the environment, either that his possible nominees - even if he has to replace a liberal justice - are going to be solid votes to strengthen the liberal position in those areas.  And hate to say it, but if Citizens United ends up working out for Obama - and it  might, given how the small-dollar donations are not keeping pace with 2008 - I don't see much chance he'll nominate anyone who will help overturn that one, either.

    Romney's choices will be worse, for sure; but can we at least have a reality check on Obama's place on the ideological spectrum and start dealing with the fact that he is not a liberal and isn't going to be nominating any liberals to the Court?

    You can look at these (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:05:00 AM EST
    A list of federal judges nominated by Obama.

    Now, it's better, IMO, to look at the District Judges because most of the Court of Appeals nominees were originally appointed by Clinton, so they are just "moving up".  I don't have time to do all the research on their positions and rulings, but if someone wants to undertake that project and come back with an answer for the class, that would be appreciated!


    Agreed that Romney's (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:09:11 AM EST
    choices for any openings that may occur on the Supreme Court will be worse than President Obama's, but, in my view, would be much, much worse.  The Supreme Court would be a handy place for Romney to prove his severe conservative bona fides with nominations that would make Scalia look like William O Douglas in comparison.  And, the Supreme Court would give him an opportunity to re-assure his extremist base (essentially his party) when he inadvertently or in an occasional lapse, acts somewhat moderately in governance.

    Agreed, too, on President Obama's future nominations on replacements for any of the conservative justices; although they would be vetted for acceptance by Republicans, they may be more of the Merrick Garland variety.  An Obama replacement for one of the progressive Justices would more likely take the route of his previous nominations.


    Obama, SCOTUS and Women's Rights (5.00 / 6) (#13)
    by Michael Masinter on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 11:53:55 AM EST
    It's time to get over the 2008 primary.  Obama appointed two women to SCOTUS, and they are the two, or two of the three most liberal Justices on the Court.  If you prefer Antonin Scalia to Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas to Elena Kagan, keep on complaining and you'll get your wish soon enough.  But if you don't, get to work reelecting Obama.

    As for Citizens United working for Obama, what planet are you on?  Money has flooded into republican superpacs and C4's like American Crossroads, whose secret donor list includes two donors who gave at least 10 million each and more than another dozen who gave at least one million each.  Right wing groups have already spend tens of millions in anti-Obama ads in competitive states, and those are only the first drips in a coming flood.  If Obama wins, it will be in spite of, not because of Citizens United.


    Except (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 12:40:44 PM EST
    Obama took until June of 2009 to nominate his first district judge - 6 months after he took office, even though there were vacancies, and he had the political winds at his back, the votes in the Senate, and a Republican Party so badly defeated that they wouldn't have been able to push back at all.  

    And now, it is entirely possible that he will end his first term with more vacancies than he started with, the administration uses the excuse that he can't get his choices seated because of obstructionist Republicans.  If building a stable of good judges for future Supreme Court justices was a priority, then this would have been taken care of sooner.


    It's not (none / 0) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 12:24:08 PM EST
    really about that. The problem is that Obama has continually caved when the GOP puts up a fight and if Obama has a GOP senate there's no telling who he's going to nominate. He might want the path of least resistance and has shown in the past that he will do what conservatives want instead of putting up a fight. I think this is why people don't trust him with supreme court justices in the future.

    And there's no guarantee that one is going to retire. It could be that Ginsberg won't retire if Romney is President. Remember Jimmy Carter never got to put a nominee on the supreme court so there's no way to know if that issue is even going to come up.


    Consider (none / 0) (#35)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:37:29 PM EST
    Justices sometimes leave because of circumstances beyond their control.  

    And, as for nominees:  Jeralyn really does say it best.  It isn't perfect...nowhere near; but, by any measure for a liberal or moderate, it is far better than the available alternatives.  

    One factoid:  A number of years ago, while reading a SCt decision that would come to reflect an attitude many might not want to remember nor acknowledge, I learned that one of my favorite, lionized liberals of all time, Justice William O Douglas, had voted with the majority...yes, he voted with the majority in upholding internment camps for Japanese-American citizens during WWII.  As I understand, he came to regret his action years later.  He was a human being...a good person...he made a mistake...so does everybody...he was a good Justice overall.


    To your point (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 02:13:32 PM EST
    regarding the WW2 internment. This happens all the time, 70 years later, far removed, physically and emotionally, we sit here all comfy and safe and point fingers at actions taken from another time and situation, BTW, I'm certainly not criticizing you, Christine, I know exactly what you're saying, but, in general, why is it that we universally criticize good people's actions from a situation that was unique, isolated, and under circumstances that have no similarity to where we are today.

    What I'm trying to say is that a great man, FDR, made a decision that is so universally condemned today, more than a half century later. Just think of the situation he found himself in. We had no idea of the complexity, scope, and totality of the attack against us. Did the enemy, in fact, have thousands of espionage agents set up in our country? FDR's job was, first and foremost, to protect the American people. How can you do that when you don't even know who, and where, they are? (besides the uniformed military, of course) Our Intelligence Agencies didn't have nearly the sophistication we have today.

    I've thought about that internment a lot over the years. What should we have done? What would I have done, what would you have done? A gigantic world wide military force was amassed against us. There was no secret as to their aims, complete  subjugation and domination.

    FDR had to prepare for all out war against the Japanese, Germans, and Italians. He had to bring up our woefully unprepared military forces to wartime capabilities. For all intents and purposes, we had no trained soldiers, airmen, or seamen. And now, we had a mortal threat of espionage from within. How many life threatening things can one man handle simultaneously?  

    Like I said, I don't know what I would have done. I do know that an awful lot of really good men did things we find deplorable today. I guess what I'm trying to express is, yes, it was a terrible thing we did to the Japanese-Americans, but when we tell the story a hundred years later we should at least add a whole bunch of caveats.  


    I understand (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:53:07 PM EST
    the ethical dilemma...the ethical reality questions as they occur & as we live them...and I respect the honesty ringing from your words.

    As my aunts & uncles often said: The older you get, the less you know.  I'm older now; and, I cannot say what I would have done in so many long ago, yet always important, crises facing the country.  I've often asked myself about Hiroshima and Nagasaki...and, as the proud daughter of member of the Marine Corps in WWII, I've come down on both sides.  Maybe it isn't for us to "judge"...only to learn, forgive as needed, and face forward armed with the knowledge & humanity that we may have gained.


    Christine, (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 06:28:55 PM EST
    I know that you, and people of good will everywhere, don't have the definitive answer as to what was the "right" action to take during those perilous days. And, that applies to the end of the war, and Harry Truman (Hiroshima & Nagasaki) also. Those actions will always be pieces of unfinished, unsettled & unsettling business.

    Not that "the end always justifies the means" but we should always be grateful that we had the men and women in place that brought us that ultimate victory, and defeated those forces of evil too great to contemplate.

    Finally, I think there's one thing I think we can all agree on: Thank God it wasn't us that had to make those decisions.

    (In case you don't feel like answering, I put an "Amen" for you at the end of that last sentence....:)  



    I don't see the ethical dilemma (none / 0) (#60)
    by brodie on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:08:28 PM EST
    FDR simply caved to the racist rabble that was rampant on the West Coast and within our military at the time.  The J-As had committed no acts of treason or sabotage prior to the exec order.  If they had, then you might have had more of an ethical dilemma situation in deciding to sweep broadly by rounding up everyone.  

    But Roosevelt chose to pronounce everyone J-A as guilty with absolutely no evidence.  (Notice he didn't round up everyone of German or Italian ancestry.)

    He failed on the issue of moral leadership.  Badly.  Lincoln some eighty years earlier was far the greater moral leader on the racial matter that was before him.  FDR gave in to his inner racist; Lincoln rose above his.


    The point: Even FDR wasn't perfect (none / 0) (#81)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:11:37 PM EST
    I actually agree with your (none / 0) (#108)
    by brodie on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 11:07:40 PM EST
    overall point, Christine.  But I couldn't resist on the sub point about FDR.    I have more to say on Roosevelt -- a flawed but overall good president -- but will take that to the open thread.

    To be fair (none / 0) (#82)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:19:16 PM EST
    There was a crapload of panic, mostly over an "invasion" of the US West Coast.

    Anybody who studied the question knew that the Japanese simply didn't have the shipping to move enough men to launch any kind of real invasion of the US West Coast. They arguably, might not have even had the men (even had they had the shipping), because the entire Japanese Pacific Empire outside of China was held by a grand total of 11 and a half divisions. In the simplest terms the Japanese simply could not conduct amphibious landings on anywhere near the scale that the US could, and this fact was known to most military men in the far east BEFORE the war.

    But the American public and press and many politicians and soldiers not in the area -well, they didn't know that. So they figured they might have a "fifth column" in their midst, and this plus racial prejudice played its sad role.


    Internment (none / 0) (#49)
    by kmblue on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:07:05 PM EST
    I visited Manzanar in Cali, photographed it, and talked to a man who used to work there.  It's a stunning sight with a watchtower still in place (but maybe rebuilt.)  Great museum too.  Plus a graveyard for those who died in the camp--and somehow most pathetic of all, a cemetery for their pets.

    That (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 02:23:11 PM EST
    still doesn't answer my concern that Obama will cave to the GOP instead of fight. I guess you could argue the fact that the GOP would give you someone MORE right than what Obama might want.

    Anyway this argument comes up every four years. It's enough for some people but it's not enough for others. As far as Roe v. Wade goes, the votes are there to overturn it already.


    While we will have to await (none / 0) (#45)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 02:45:33 PM EST
    The outcome to see who is elected & what the nominee is/ represents at the time of any nomination, we do know that the reported advisory chair for Romney re the SCt is none other than Robert Bork.   Without starting my own rant about the rightwingedness of said Bork, all I can say is that the issue is way bend Roe v Wade...heck, with Bork, we might think Scalia is a moderate.

    An aside:  Sometimes discussions over what might be among liberals--among us--can seem like large family gatherings.  Differences of opinion there can seem so big, so huge...when, in point of fact, they don't compare (usually) to the cavernous divides with those of totally different philosophies & goals.


    Let's not forget (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 02:48:46 PM EST
    How Joe Biden had a hand in giving us Clarence Thomas.....

    It's (none / 0) (#47)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:01:25 PM EST
    likely that the GOP will take the senate. Do you think they are going to let Obama even nominate a Kagan? I seriously doubt it. I don't think Obama would even be able to nominate a "centrist" with today's make up of the GOP. He would nominate a Scalia to appease them is what I'm afraid of and then we'll hear "he did the best he could" when Obama didn't even try.

    The best that Obama could do is nominate a stalking horse.


    Actually, because of a series of missteps (none / 0) (#52)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:13:18 PM EST
    by the Republicans in their primaries, etc., it is much less likely that the Repubs will take the Senate. The situation is Nevada looks more & more Democratic now that the Paul & Romney factions have savaged each other; Kaine may well win Virginia per recent polls; Nelson is more than holding Florida; and, the Repub ousting of Lugar in favor of Tea Party type Mourdock in Indiana has thrown a ringer into the Indiana Senate race. Hey, the Repubs may even have to work & spend $$$ in North Dakota, as the Democratic contender is showing up this week as one point ahead (almost unfathomable.)  Additionally: The Maine situation has a favored Independent in King who would reportedly caucus with the Dems (Olympia Snowe's old seat.)

    We may not want to count our chickens until the fall hatching.  (In any event, I really do think your speculation about what Obama might do in a second term based upon early speculation about who might prevail in controlling the Senate is a bit of a reach.)


    You are overly optimistic (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:40:21 PM EST
    And meed yo look at more recent polling data.

    Kaine and Allen in Virginia are in a dead heat - and that's before the primary and any focus has been put on the race.

    North Dakota is gone for the D's and probably so is Nebraska.

    You must keep in mind that the R's only need to pick up 4 seats, and the Dems are defending 24. I just gave you two - thry are half way there.  McCaskill?

    Things may change, but you are wildly optimistic at this point.


    McCaskill? (5.00 / 0) (#103)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:03:35 PM EST
    She's so scared she's let it be known that she doesn't want Obama campaigning for her, and if he comes to Missouri, stay far enough away so no pictures can be taken of the two together. That's how toxic she thinks Obama is.

    Claire, you'll remember was going with Hillary, until her daughter, candles, t-shirt and smelling salts in hand, ordered her to switch to Obama. What's a U.S.Senator to do? Go with her intellect, or succumb to a temporarily deranged teeny bopper whose knowledge of issues extends as far as contemplating whether the duly elected Prom Queen should be allowed to keep her crown if the unexpected zitz that popped up doesn't heal by Saturday?


    That's what I meant (none / 0) (#112)
    by jbindc on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 07:55:19 AM EST
    McCaskill could lose too - 3 easy states for the Republicans to pick up without trying and if Romney wins, that's all they need to control because the VP breaks ties).  They have to defend 8 or 9 too, but I see a very easy path for Mitch McConnell to be Majority Leader come next January.

    I call it: Reasoned & renewed optimism. (none / 0) (#59)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:56:21 PM EST
    BTW: Nevada & Maine would represent two steps back for the Repubs, hmmm?

    The critical appointment (none / 0) (#50)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:08:14 PM EST
    for President Obama in a second term would be replacement, if that becomes necessary, of one of the conservative Justices, thereby offering a shift from 5/4 to 4/5 in conservative bent.  This potential shift would bring all the wingers out of the woodwork overlooking, of course, the consequences of the election along with relentless demonizing of the president.

    The stakes would be high and the opportunity to change the Court would require a courageous nomination as well as nominee.  My nightmare scenario, in such a case, would not be so much a cave to a centrist but a grand bargain of  "pairing".  Two Justices would decide to retire, say, Ginsberg and Kennedy (Scalia will never retire, in my view, he will stay until his teeth sink into the bench). Replacements would be "balanced and bipartisan," the status quo retained and an opportunity lost.


    That's (none / 0) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:31:39 PM EST
    what I fear: something that requires courage of which we know Obama has none. I can easily see some sort of nightmare scenario too.

    You raise a provocative possibility, KeysDan (none / 0) (#55)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:31:39 PM EST
    The only thing that I might counter with:After all these years of moving further rightward, the pressure on Obama--with a second term--may be even stronger/bigger/more powerful from the left. Meanwhile, if the right has been seen in the 2012 election to have given its all & still lost the WH (and,one House of Congress), the "no" approach might be revisited by them...e.g., the Tea Party loses its luster (as does Cantor vis-a-vis Boehner) and the ever-marching demographic changes will increasingly favor Democrats (see R. Teixiera's recent evaluation)...the Republicans know this, and have to make some adjustments. Seriously.

    We all speculate, of course.  My speculation is that a second term could offer a certain amount of freedom for President Obama in that the orchestrated "he is an other" drumbeat from Repubs will necessarily stop because the message will be a reaffirming--not a chance, not a first Black ever, not a passing fancy--four years where a number of the basic steps have been taken, the ropes learned, people in place (particularly in the vast bureaucracy), key major social steps taken, etc.  So...continuing my speculation, I contend that it would be more likely for the President to move in the direction of appointments closer to his own background & experiences.  Looking at what we know of his adult networks, I do not see a lurking rightwinger for high-level court appointment. In fact, the default position would more likely be center-left.


    The President holds (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:18:07 PM EST
    that the "fever will break" in his second term, and Republicans will be more cooperative.  However, this, in my view, is just the deliriousness of the fever speaking.  The issue is gaining more power, and that is the White House. For some it is personalized, but for most it is purely political and some ideological.  And, demonizing is just part of the strategy.

    The Republicans have built a case that they are not about to compromise and consider themselves in a battle royal that will continue unabated until they achieve their goal.  It is past time for the president to abandon dreams of unalloyed bipartisanship and good will.


    If Obama (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:43:01 PM EST
    hasn't been pressured to move left in his first term , he's certainly not going to yield to any pressure in his second term.

    You don't know that. (none / 0) (#72)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:48:04 PM EST
    Free from the necessity of having to run for re-election, who knows what the possibilities of an Obama second term might entail?

    I would (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:52:32 PM EST
    think that freed from having to be reelected would not make things better only worse. I mean he rolled the very people who were so excited about him under the bus, made bad policy choices and here we are. What evidence is there that he's going to be any better in a second term? I'm not seeing it. I think he's too invested in his PPUS crap to change.

    Legacy? But, I agree. Pres. is (none / 0) (#89)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:56:08 PM EST
    still touting PPUS.  

    Exactly Don (none / 0) (#74)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:51:24 PM EST
    He has to be in the center to get elected for the most part.   This theory of a GOP Obama in the second term is based on the idea that Obama is fundamentally far more conservative than he's been the past four years.

    If that was true, he could have been President in 2008 by taking a much easier path.  He'd just have to run as a republican.

    If anything I believe that a second term allows him to move left.


    Just got my first Kindle (none / 0) (#78)
    by Mr Tuxedo on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:03:22 PM EST
    And have been introduced to Kindle Singles, essays and other "longer" short pieces ranging from about 99 cents to $3 in price.

    I highly recommend Harvard Is Burning, by Lee Siegel, who excoriates those "liberal elite" Obama worshipers of 2008 who have become the Obama deriders of 2012. Case in point: Frank Rich. Siegel says that Rich "writes about the president of the United States as if he had paid Barack Obama to clean his apartment and was horrified to find the bathroom still dirty."


    Do you also have an iPad? (none / 0) (#79)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:07:36 PM EST
    No (none / 0) (#83)
    by Mr Tuxedo on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:21:23 PM EST
    I just want to read. For audiobooks I have an iPod.

    So, you believe, apparently, (none / 0) (#104)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:21:56 PM EST
     that Obama's overwhelmingly enthusiastic victory in `08 was due to the fact that all those youngsters, AA's, college professors, and Hollywood types knew he was lying when he ran on a Progressive vision for America, and that once elected he'd "move to the center" where they always wanted him to be?

    And, now that the cat's out of the bag, why waste time on Progressive issues? Since those voters in `08 really wanted a right/center president, there's no reason to keep up the charade. Throw the Progressives under the bus and spend all that extra time getting even more right/center voters into his column.



    Scusi (none / 0) (#56)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:33:20 PM EST
    The reference to years of moving rightward refers to the Court (and to the frustration & agony that has caused so many of us.)

    One point often overlooked... (2.00 / 1) (#87)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:51:30 PM EST
    ...in looking back at the internment of Japanese is the question of whether it protected them (and other Asians) from mob violence.

    If you put them all in camps, then the mobs can't get to them and might even be able to figure out that any other Asians they see in public are not Japanese, but from countries like China and Korea who had been invaded by the Japanese Empire.

    I'm just glad it's not a decision which I had to make.


    The lack of perspective (1.00 / 1) (#27)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:09:37 PM EST
    about the disaster Romney would inflict through the court if elected shows the overall lack of perspective about Obama and politics and priorities, etc.

    Jeralyn put it nicely but I see no need to.  Those angry for Obama not being a liberal crusader who are sitting out the election in protest or wasting their vote on a third party are enabling the creation of exactly the kind of society they claim to be passionately fighting against.

    In a perfect world we would have a parliamentary system where you could choose liberals who could form a government that would have influence.  But we have a two choices: a guy some people think is average and a guy some people think is evil.

    And the choice is to act in such a way as to help the evil guy beat the average guy.

    There is no scenario in which that makes any sense. None.

    I think (4.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Makarov on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:37:01 PM EST
    free trade is evil. I think assassination by order of the chief executive is evil. I think neo-liberal economic policy is evil. I think indiscriminate killing of civilians, especially in countries we are ostensibly not at war with, is evil. I think a President who believes he can indefinitely detain anyone for alleged crimes without judicial review is evil.

    Makarov (none / 0) (#63)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:22:37 PM EST
    Well if you think those things are evil, you are going to think that what Romney will bring to the table is downright Prince of Hades type stuff.

    There is a such a thing as degrees of evil.


    Short Term or Long Term (none / 0) (#28)
    by gaf on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:17:19 PM EST
    Those angry for Obama not being a liberal crusader who are sitting out the election in protest or wasting their vote on a third party are enabling the creation of exactly the kind of society they claim to be passionately fighting against.

    May be they are thinking long term instead of short term. Short term thinking means voting for a blue dog for the SC Judges. But Short Term Thinking also means that once elected the Blue Dog is not going to care about you because he knows that because of your short term thinking you have no option but to vote for him.


    Let me see if I follow (none / 0) (#29)
    by CST on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:21:44 PM EST
    long-term thinking means accepting the person who needs to be re-elected by the people you disagree with.  Instead of voting for the person who will never run for re-election again.  Because they think you have no option but to vote for him again, in the election that's never going to happen?

    Long term means... (none / 0) (#31)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:27:52 PM EST
    voting your conscience (and certain defeat), possibly speeding up the "it must get worse before it gets better" process if it leads to the slightly greater evil getting elected.

    Yeah Obama can't run again, but the next Brand D candidate will be the same sh*t...be it Biden, Clinton, or any of the other corporation fellating police state oligarchs with a D after their name.  


    Except... (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:34:17 PM EST
    as we've seen time and time again, it never seems to get better after it gets worse.  

    Sure it does... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:37:38 PM EST
    the Great Depression was pretty bad, but from that we got the New Deal and all kinds of better.  

    Which people like Rmoney... (none / 0) (#38)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:43:11 PM EST
    and his ilk are bound and determined to remove all traces of.  One step forward and two steps back is not how a society advances.  Especially with regard to SC rulings.  

    Can't say I know... (4.67 / 3) (#39)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:49:00 PM EST
    where all this confidence of the rulings of Brand D appointments comes from my friend...Obama's two have voted to further erode our rights.

    Sh*t the only one I half trust on there now is Ginsberg.  


    Well, I guess it comes... (none / 0) (#109)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 11:12:58 PM EST
    from many years of working for and with politicians of both stripes.  The D's may not be all that but I've seen live and in color just how reactionary the GOP has become.  

    Did you see the Iowa GOP platform that was posted here the other day?  Or seen what's going on in places like AZ, NC, LA or FLA were they do have power? I've read enough of their bills and heard enough of what they say when they think nobody is listening to know I don't want them in control here.  

    That tends to influence who I'd rather see running things both locally and nationally.  I just don't trust our future in the hands of people like Joe Coors or Doug Lamborn or Mike Coffman or an apparent sociopath like Rmoney.


    gaf (none / 0) (#64)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:25:10 PM EST
    Long lasting damage that cannot be reversed in 10, 50 or even 100 years can be done in 4.

    The short term, in this era and given the radical nature of the GOP, IS long term.

    Let's keep the boogeyman breaking in the front door out as a first priority.  Then, when that's handled, let's talk about your complaints regarding the construction quality of the door.


    What if (none / 0) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:29:34 PM EST
    no one retires while Romney is President or what if Scalia retires because there is a conservative president? Have you thought about that?

    The point you don't get is that Obama himself with his PPUS junk has pretty much enabled the GOP. If Obama had AT LEAST put a line in the sand on an issue and said NO then there would be a lot less of this kind of stuff going on. Instead what we get is people rolled under the bus and things like Stupak which he didn't even need to do. Obama does not have people's back and has shown that he cannot be trusted to hold steady on any issue. He apparently will listen if you spend literally years like the gay lobby did bending his ears.

    I'm a half a loaf person and I don't expect to get everything but Obama has shown he is willing to fight for exactly nothing. So don't blame people for thinking that he won't put a good judge up should a position come open.


    "What if ..."? (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:45:34 PM EST
    Well, for that matter, what if the dog doesn't stop to take a crap while chasing that rabbit -- will she catch him?

    I suppose there's always a possibility that a two-time cancer survivor such as Justice Ginsberg will remain on the bench until age 84 or 88. But speaking for myself only, I'm certainly not one to re-interpret that possibility into a likelihood, and then bet the family farm on that outcome.


    If this (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:40:03 PM EST
    is such a big concern for all of us, we should have been advocating for her to step down a few years ago. Then we wouldn't be faced with the possibility of Romney replacing her.

    Of course it is possible (none / 0) (#65)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:27:12 PM EST
    that no one will retire, but who on earth is going to take that risk?  Plus, the justices may not have a say in terms of when they want to pass away.

    Nature could retire them involuntarily.  This is all straight forward.  The dangers of Romney are massive.  The downside of Obama, although real, is minor in comparison.

    The choice is clear.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:37:26 PM EST
    if you're so darn concerned about the Supreme Court then you should have been on Obama's case since the beginning with his bad policy choices. The Supreme court isn't going to be enough to push him over the top. The economy is what is killing his reelection chances. He forgot or never knew the basic principal of "it's the economy stupid"

    Oh, he knew all right (none / 0) (#105)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:30:28 PM EST
    but he was dazzled by Timmie constantly telling him, "it's all right, Boss, those Banksters I made you sell out to would never let you down when you need them the most. You'll see, the economy will be roaring just when you need it most."

    you'll see
    you'll see
    you'll see




    Forced retirement (none / 0) (#70)
    by brodie on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:43:12 PM EST
    for health reasons is especially a major risk in the case of Ginsberg, who at age 79 has had one serious bout with cancer.  

    This is so despite her assurances that she is feeling fine and doesn't plan on retiring in the near future.  I think that's what Justice Douglas said just before a serious health issue hit him suddenly causing him to have to step aside.

    Justice Marshall in his 70s or 80s during Poppy Bush said he wasn't going to retire but instead intended to "serve out my term.". Not too long thereafter he stepped down, health reasons (or ?).

    I kinda wish Ginsberg had retired last year.  Too late now.


    Right (none / 0) (#51)
    by kmblue on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:09:35 PM EST
    in your opinion.  Somehow, ABG, you don't make me want to vote for Obama. But someone else might.

    kmblue (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:33:26 PM EST
    I am not trying to persuade anyone here.  If you are reading these comments, you are likely a liberal, and if you are considering giving Romney the White House by not voting, odds are that you cannot be influenced by the logical assertions that Jeralyn set forth in her post.

    We've spent the last 10 months listening to republicans tell us what evil and destruction they will rain upon us if they come back in power, we have watch the war on women, the battle against affordable healthcare, the fight to give corporations more power and the push to go to war with Iran paraded in front of us every day.  They aren't hiding anything.  They told us clearly, repeatedly and in no certain terms that their goal is to destroy everything that people who call themselves progressives hold dear.

    In light of all of that, there are still liberals thinking "Well, I'll show them! I won't vote for Obama to protest how terrible he's been and give the White House to the GOP so they can execute all of the evil things they spent 10 months telling me they would do!!!!!!"

    I must admit that I am more than a little skeptical about the logical underpinnings of that strategy.


    You're making a lot of sense here today. (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:51:49 PM EST
    Thanks (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:55:01 PM EST
    I am trying to unleash my lunacy in a more controlled manner these days.

    Controlled (none / 0) (#116)
    by lentinel on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 06:05:21 PM EST
    lunacy instead of unleashed lunacy.

    Actually, I might prefer sanity when it comes to being an advocate for someone whose finger is on the proverbial  button, but one can't have everything it seems.


    Never underestimate the ... (none / 0) (#68)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:35:45 PM EST
    ... inherent power of the phrase "I told you so."

    Don (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:48:49 PM EST
    True, true, true.

    Let me step back and ask folks then:

    If you do not vote for Obama in November, what is the best case scenario that can be expected to come from Romney winning?

    Help me understand how the country is better by not voting for Obama and giving the White House to the GOP.


    That's rather simple (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:09:19 PM EST
    In the hypothetical best-case scenario:

    A. Due to the loss, the Democrats finally pull their heads out of their rear-areas, and decide that fighting for one principle or another just might actually let them win proactively and give people a chance to vote FOR them as opposed to the same old "The other guys are worse!" arguments.
    B. Despite the near -hysterical doom crying by some around here, no vacancy opens up on the court for Romney. Or else he replaces one conservative justice with another, thus leaving status quo.
    C. War with Iran occurs, because I'm convinced that is where we are headed with or without Obama.
    D. America moves at a noticeably faster pace towards full oligarchical control of the economy, thus destroying the "frog slowly boiling" affect that seems to have our country in paralysis (Dems and Repubs arguing who is worse while they are both heading in the same direction) and instead catalyzes robust political resistance.
    E. Smug sections of the Democratic party who think they have votes sewn up because "There is nowhere else to go" learn a lesson about how you can't take your voters for granted
    F. If, after the defeat , the Democratic party doesn't get the message it splits, and third parties start to look better and more "realistic".
    G. Just think of all the stuff you can now blame on the Republicans instead of having to explain why your guy isn't really -no, believe us, he's not!- Republican-lite.


    Spot on (none / 0) (#119)
    by PatHat on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 09:33:26 AM EST
    Once the GOP gets the reins, they will go nuts and people will either agree (sad) or finally realize that voting for the GOP is not in their best interests. The Blue Dog Dems will want to become Republicans, and perhaps what's left of the Dem party will coalesce around policy that actually  helps Americans.

    Here's the (none / 0) (#86)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:46:51 PM EST
    thing I see. The GOP is going to destroy itself because the voters simply cannot stand the party. We can let them do it now or they can do it in 2016. Do you not think that a holy war is going to break out in the GOP with Romney at the head? Just going by my  nonscientific facebook friends who are tea party nuts, they are saying that Romney had better instate their unpopular agenda or he will have a primary contender in 2016. So the jihad is on within the party. As long as Obama is there they are going to be united against him.

    We can deal with all this now or later. Take your pick. You would rather deal with it later. I would rather deal with it never but it is going to happen.


    But wouldn't it be better.... (none / 0) (#91)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 06:04:04 PM EST
    ...to have the Teapublicans screaming bloody murder when Romney loses, and deciding that happened because he wasn't bats**t right wing enough, so that they finally go over the edge and scare off any semi-sane independents left?

    If more people turn out to vote for Romney than turn out to vote for Obama, that's more turn out to put R's in Congress than D's.

    Do we really want to go through what a Romney with a majority Republican Congress could do to us?


    No I dont (none / 0) (#99)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 09:12:06 PM EST
    but honestly Obama and PPUS stuff has been handing them 99% of what they want so it's between them getting 99% and 100%. Sorry, but that does not excite me one bit and doesn't want me to vote for Obama.

    There are some people who will split their ticket so you can't say that all the Romney votes for president will go to R's for congress.

    Frankly, I think this is going to be a low turnout election.

    And we've seen what winning with someone who has no ideological compass like Obama has got us-- not much.


    I think that President Obama's re-election (none / 0) (#115)
    by Mr Tuxedo on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 02:10:36 PM EST
    gets us President-elect Jeb Bush in 2016. Hate to say it but I think it's true. Hobson's choice.

    Have you considered (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by sj on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 07:48:45 PM EST
    that you might be the one hearing "I told you so"?

    If you (none / 0) (#96)
    by lentinel on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 08:00:50 PM EST
    think that Obama's record is such that you want to vote for him, vote for him.

    I won't be doing so.


    if you won't be voting for Obama (none / 0) (#111)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 05:36:15 AM EST
    you are limited to four comments a day on the topic.

    Fair enough. (none / 0) (#113)
    by lentinel on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 09:48:47 AM EST
    But I wouldn't be posting that many on that topic in any case.

    Robert Bork and Ed Meese were (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 11:26:35 PM EST
    founding members of The Federalist Society:  link

    Which, I thought, in addition to Jeralyn's (none / 0) (#76)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:53:21 PM EST
    excellent post, was all that needed to be said.  Wrong, again.  

    79, 75, 73 (none / 0) (#2)
    by Labour on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 06:34:02 AM EST
    What should we infer from their choice not to retire?

    "The future of the Supreme Court clearly should be a major issue in the presidential campaign."

    Has Ginsburg already voted?


    Well (none / 0) (#40)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:50:50 PM EST
    Just 44 percent of Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing and three-quarters say the justices' decisions are sometimes influenced by their personal or political views, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News.

    If that's roughly how the question was worded, then talk about a push-poll!

    In order to arrive at such ... (none / 0) (#67)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:34:05 PM EST
    ... a percentage, reliable pollsters will most always endeavor to ask variations of the same key question three or more times, as a means to gauge the consistency of the respondents' answers.

    I've done a lot of political polling myself, and I'm always surprised at the number of people who will respond affirmatively or negatively to a given question, only to contradict themselves a few minutes later when the exact same question is asked again in a slightly different framing or context.


    now you know why... (none / 0) (#92)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 06:05:48 PM EST
    ...the MMPI is so long.

    Darn it! I hate (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 06:37:08 PM EST
    all these shortcuts and abreviations today's frenetic texting folks use. Give us old folks a break, will ya?

    Googling MMPI:
    "Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory"

    Somehow I doubt that's what you're referring to.


    Actually, I think that's exactly (none / 0) (#102)
    by Peter G on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:02:01 PM EST
    the "MMPI" unitron is referring to.  It's a very long, and very reliable, personality-testing questionnaire, devised and relied upon by professional psychologists. It asks carefully framed variations of the same questions several times, both early and late in the test, in order to evaluate the reliability of the responses.

    Oh my! Really? (none / 0) (#107)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:48:23 PM EST
    Ironically, that only confirms my exasperation at this type of shorthand.

    Of course, unless I'm the only person in this room that had to look it up.

    Anyway, thank you for clearing it up.


    which party nominates (none / 0) (#44)
    by CST on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 02:38:16 PM EST
    the conservative idealogues?  If you are arguing that Dems only nominate liberal idealogues, I'd say most people here would support that.

    If you think Romney's picks will be a.o.k. I'd say that with the current court balance that's not really a risk I'm willing to take.  Considering Alito, Thomas, Roberts, and Scalia were all also nominated by Republican Presidents.

    I found (none / 0) (#48)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:04:38 PM EST
    this to be a very powerful argument back in 2004 and if Kerry had won, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in but that's all water under the bridge at this point.

    I frankly have no clue what Romney will do because he has two choices: appease the tea partiers and lose or appoint a centrist and have a revolt within the base.


    He could easily (none / 0) (#53)
    by brodie on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:22:38 PM EST
    appease the TPers and still get the nominee confirmed with another one of those semi stealthy far right corporatized like Roberts or Alito.  He would need, if Dems still have a bare majority, only a couple of soft centrist/corporatist D votes to win.  Like Tester or Warner or similar.

    Romney would be unlikely without a senate majority to put up a real mouth breather like Bork or an Orly Taitz complete whack job.  


    He needs to please his base (none / 0) (#98)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 09:09:42 PM EST
    To date, Romney has exhibited nothing to suggest that he would do anything offending that ever-further rightwing base.  So, it is more likely than not that a Borkian type would, indeed, be a Romney nominee.  (rose-colored glasses that you are wearing?)

    You never know. (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 09:13:30 PM EST
    Look at what Obama did to his supporters. Romney might do the same.

    We think differently (none / 0) (#101)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 09:21:26 PM EST
    Without a majority (none / 0) (#106)
    by brodie on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:38:15 PM EST
    Romney would far more likely take the path of least resistance with the Roberts/Alito stealth/corporatist model.  It's almost certain confirmation with a similarly profiled, low key well scrubbed nominee.  And it appeases the TP at the same time in that a Roberts/Alito type ultimately delivers the same constitutional result.

    A real mouth breathing anti-civil rights type like Bork with a long colorful track record of incendiary ideology is more likely with a senate majority of Rs but still overall less likely than going stealth.  The stealth types tend to lull the Ds and public to complacency; the bare-fanged hard Right types tend to rouse our side and cause alarm with a usually indifferent public.


    Moderate Supreme Court Justices (none / 0) (#114)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 12:34:14 PM EST
    appointed by Republican presidents (Stevens, Kennedy and Souter).   Anomalous appointments of yesteryear: John Paul Stevens was appointed by the unelected Gerald Ford in the wake of Nixon's Watergate scandal and the troubled DOJ of convicted Attorney Generals John Mitchell and Richard Kleindienst and the compromised FBI Director Patrick Gray. To restore integrity to the DOJ, Ford appointed Edward Levi, Attorney General.  Levi was president of the University of Chicago (former Dean of the Law School, as well), and Stevens was at one point, a faculty colleague at the U C law school.  Both, Levi and Stevens, were supported by Senator Charles Percy (R. IL) a "liberal" Republican that seems to no longer exist.  

    Anthony Kennedy was appointed by Ronald Reagan after Bork's nomination failed in the senate and his second nominee, Douglas Ginsberg withdrew after admitting to using marijuana. Kennedy got through the senate by 97 to O.  However, Kennedy has been, overall, reliably conservative with forays into moderation, becoming a swing vote on many matters since Sandra Day O'Connor retired.  Kennedy has been enlightened in the area of gay rights.  

    David Souter was appointed by George HW Bush with the promotion of Senator Rudman (R. NH) and the support of John Sununu, Bush's Chief of Staff and former Governor of NH.  Souter may have been the first stealth candidate with very little  paper trail, just what Bush wanted after the Bork rejection--no confirmation battle.  Souter was a good stealth candidate, even Ted Kennedy voted against him.  Later, Rudman claims that he sold Souter to Sununu as very conservative.