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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Why Do They Hate Elena Kagan?

The left-wing blogosphere hates Elena Kagan. Really. The venom percolating up from the depths of the nutroots is getting pretty toxic.

For the most part, the right-wing blogosphere is sitting back and enjoying how people like Glenn Greenwald are tripping all over themselves to attack Kagan before right-wingers get a chance to do so:
Digby examines what a Kagan selection would reveal about Obama, and she particularly focuses on Kagan's relationship to Goldman Sachs. That relationship is relatively minor, but it is illustrative in several ways and will certainly be used by Republicans to advance their attacks on this administration as being inextricably linked with Wall Street.
But by far the most noxious attack on Kagan is the charge that Kagan was not committed to diversity because she did not hire a single tenured or tenure-track minority law professor. I addressed this charge in my prior post, So Why Am I Already Defending Elena Kagan?

Wouldn't a Kagan on the Court add to diversity? After all, we would get another female Justice and possibly the first gay Justice, not that there's anything wrong with that.

Shouldn't that be enough to justify Kagan's nomination in the estimation of those who attack Kagan's diversity record at Harvard? Or by "diversity" do these people really mean liberal ideological purity by proxy of skin color? In which case Kagan may not fit.

Having Kagan on the Court also would mean we wouldn't have to fill one of the Jewish Seats on the Court when Ruth Bader Ginsburg retires. Which also means we might get a Protestant on the Court the next time around. Another plus for diversity. (Sarcasm intended.)

And why compare Kagan to Harriet Miers? Kagan's record hardly justifies such a comparison. Doesn't this reflect an implicit sexism, similar to how Hillary Clinton was treated?

There is nothing in Kagan's background to suggest that she will be anything other than a fairly reliable liberal on the Court.

Why all the hate from the left? True hostility, or simply bait so that Kagan will appear more moderate?

Related Posts:
Roll The Dice On Kagan?
Kagan Rumors Expose Left-Wing Hypocrisy and Homophobia
Gay Marriage The New Nomination Litmus Test

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  1. Maybe you should make that the first openly gay justice, although she's not really that is she? Open about it I mean. I wonder when we'll get our first Asian-American justice. Clearly a minority group that fails at promoting itself enough. Too busy going to school and working hard I suppose to have time to devote to the grievances demand recompense mission.

  2. I propose a simpler explanation: liberals see in this SCOTUS vacancy possibly the last chance Obama has to do something really leftish and lasting. They realize the GOP will likely take the House, and possibly even the Senate, in November, and they demand a rock-solid, brilliant liberal justice-- not just a Ginsberg, but a Scalia from the left. Kagan may appear to be merely a thoughtful, left-of-center, but not truly tub-thumping choice.

  3. As a non-lawyer and definitely not a lefty, the thing that bothers me the most about Elena Kagan is the sparse written record she brings to the table. I have no doubt she is a good administrator and did reach out to conservatives while at Harvard Law. That she might be a lesbian doesn't bother me in the least.

    Kagan is reputed to be extremely intelligent. As my high school physics teacher used to say, "Prove it." With such a sparse legal research record and no experience as a jurist, how the heck are we to know?

  4. I agree with Bob. What they're going to try until November will need legal backing and Kagan will be a Kennedy not a Warren, and the Left wants a Warren.

  5. First conservatives complain that gays push their sexuality in our faces, and now, since Kagan appears to be out to everyone around her but doesn't go to Pride parades or go on the national talk shows to talk publicly about who she prefers in private, the complaint is that she's not really forthcoming about her sexuality.

    Why can't we just say "it's nobody's damn business" and go back to her record?

  6. Echo both Bob and Charlie Martin.

    Regardless of whom Obama chooses, considering whose seat they're filling it's not likely to swing the balance on the court to the left. The far left want assurances that the nominee is as far to the left as humanly possible, and Kagan's track record hints that she might be somewhat (shudder) thoughtfully moderate, not doctrinaire hard left.

  7. So Charlie is advocating "don't ask, don't tell"?

  8. I think he's just against an American Neo-Inquisition about people's personal lives. I know, less fun but more sensical.

    The problem that Kagan poses, more than anything, is that she actually realizes that there is another side to the question. Her stint at Goldman-Sachs isn't bad, in of itself; it is heresy because she lacks the proper apologetic demeanor for participating in the private sector. Her time there she never described as "working behind enemy lines" nor does she seem to regret working there because it was owned by a private, profit seeking, entity.

    She is, in effect, unclean. for the Liberal body politik. Polluted by a profit seeking motivation obvious from her history. Her left of center ideology is made even more repugnant, not because it is center of left, but because it is center of left because she realizes there is a center of right as well.

  9. Why always Harvard? Haven't we seen enough damage done with Harvard linked people in power?

    Try UF or LSU or even a college like Oklahoma

    Enough with Harvard, it has proven ill suited to create good leaders. Elites pushing up elites.

  10. It's a lot like the way Communists usually regarded Socialists of one sort or another -- from "left lieutenants of the capitalist class" to "social Fascists" to "running dogs of imperialism." Even Party members who didn't adhere scrupulously to the Party line -- and bend themselves out of shape adapting quickly to its many frequent twists and turns -- were suspect (and often punished).

    Sadly, a significant portion of the American Left today comprises people -- especially those in academia, punditry, and on the boards and staffs of countless "activist" organizations -- who are the direct political descendents of the Communist Party, USA (which once had at least a million members and several million "fellow travelers") and often the biological descents of those millions (so-called Red babies and what I have taken to calling Red grandbabies). Raised and coming to maturity in a closed ideological world, they are at heart authoritarians who would brook no disagreements, particularly within their own ranks, if they had the power to discipline those disposed even to mild dissents.

    Mere liberals, not to mention Democratic moderates, frequently find thenselves needing the political support of these folks and are forced to toe the line to get it. Deviationism is almost always repaid with intense hostility. Daniel Patrick Mohnihan, a staunch New Deal-Fair Deal-New Frontier Democratic liberal, incurred this enmity and never escaped it unto his death. Joe Lieberman, another staunch Kennedy-style liberal, will endure it as well for as long as he lives (and not for nothing was his 2006 primary opponent a nephew of Corliss Lamont).

    The can't help themselves; it's what they do. Kagan has the misfortune of having committed an unforgivable deviation -- not so much failing to hire her required quota of Black professors as deliberately setting about to recruit some conservatives and other non-leftists to the Harvard faculty. In short, Kagan is a social fascist.

  11. I think Bob hit the nail on the head, the problem is not Kagan, it's that Kagan can probably make it through a Republican Senate, while a more liberal judge simply can't. So, they see this as a wasted opportunity for Obama.

    They see Stevens as their liberal rock on the court, and believe that he is a proper counter-weight to Scalia. So, liberals want someone who is young, extremely liberal, and who can build a consensus on the Court. And, they just do not see that in Kagan.

    So, because they think this a wasted pick, they are attacking her. To me, it has nothing do with the fact that they think she will somehow become a conservative voice on the court, it's just that they think that she can replace Ginsburg, and that Obama should nominate someone a lot more liberal to replace Stevens.

  12. I don't know, but perhaps it could be just a front? Maybe they're afraid that irregardless of what similarities they have with her, she might find against the Obama administration on an issue like what was reported today, that the same Obama admin that wants to Mirandize foreign enemy combatants, want to restrict Miranda rights for citizens, and place all controls over our rights under Obama and his Coward General, Eric "what voting rights act" Holder.

  13. Geeze, Professor, I'm just sitting here with my Protestant Pride wondering who in this boat shouted "ready to come about hard to lee" and we ended up on this right of center evangelical tack.

    I have to say that of all the cultural/religious groups, Protestants are most apt to confess their sins and then go right back out there and cut their own relatives off at the knees - and you wanted fairness from this group? They don't give it to each other. That's why all of my friends were Jewish and protected me! Seriously, this is a good assessment of where Protestants stand:

    "Protestant" is not, for most, an identity, and Protestants are very far from being unified when it comes to ideology, jurisprudence or doctrine.

    The above from one of your cited works above. You will not find an outcry for a protestant candidate - just a Conservative or Center oh and good looking person - any race will do.

  14. It's 10:39 and it's dark and guess what - a perfect time for NBC to report that it will be guess who? Yes, KAAAAAAGAN. And the beat goes on!

  15. Bingo! Bob has nailed it. The Left hates Kagan because she is not Left enough to suit them.

    Believe me. This is part of their growing discord with their own Holy Man. It is to be welcomed.

  16. Maybe the left hates Kagan because she's Jewish. After all, the farther left you go, the more anti-semitic you become. "Not being lefty enough" is a cover for anti-Jewish racism.