Friday, May 07, 2010


So I'm reading this at Politico...

Look for President Obama to name his Supreme Court pick Monday, and look for it to be Solicitor General Elena Kagan, a former Harvard Law dean. The pick isn’t official, but top White House aides will be shocked if it’s otherwise.

... and I'm wondering if the Times Square incidents makes this pick more of a problem for the White House. I know this is going to sound convoluted, but given the fact that the Fox News Party divides everything into the two categories "with the evildoers" and "against the evildoers," I imagine Republicans and right-wing bloviators, if they choose, will be able to take her period of opposition to military recruitment at Harvard, on the grounds that the military discriminates against gays and lesbians, as a sign that she's a liberal who (how does the boilerplate phrase go?) doesn't believe that we're at war, or doesn't think "they" want to kill us, when it's clear from recent events that "they" do.

I realize the righties may not want to go this route with Kagan -- they may agree with Glenn Greenwald that, as a defender of the national security state, she's useful to people like themselves. There was Joe Lieberman's glee "that President Obama may nominate someone in fact who makes the Court slightly less liberal, at least for a while," along with William Kristol's reference to her "hard to challenge credentials." and Liz Cheney's statement that she "has respect for" Kagan, who, Cheney said, "never let politics into the classroom."

But I'm not sure if the yahoo base will let the GOP accept this one without a serious fight. I guess we need to watch Fox on this -- if Fox goes easy on Kagan, with its foot in both the establishment-GOP and full-metal-wingnut camps, then she's home free.

I think it's going to be hard to restrain Beck -- as I said last month, I think Beck is going to latch on to her Princeton senior thesis, read last year by Michael Goldfarb of The Weekly Standard; it was titled "To the Final Conflict: Socialism in New York City, 1900-1933"; in it she acknowledged "my brother Marc, whose involvement in radical causes led me to explore the history of American radicalism in the hope of clarifying my own political ideas," and it contains the sentence "Yet if the history of Local New York shows anything, it is that American radicals cannot afford to become their own worst enemies. In unity lies their only hope."

And I can't imagine the entire U.S. right sitting back and tolerating the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice who's been described as openly gay -- not just by righty Ben Domenech, but by at least one gay outlet. (The military recruitment issue would seem to be a way to bring up that issue for anyone on the right who wants to be seen as kinda-sorta not gay-hostile.)

Maybe the gazillion-dimensional chess favors a Kagan confirmation. But I think there could be a bigger fight than Obama is expecting.

(Or they may decide that her appointment is more useful to them as something for their candidates to whine about in November.)

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