Monday, May 10, 2010


At first, I had more or less the same thought as CBS's Bob Schieffer:

... CBS News chief Washington correspondent and host of "Face the Nation" Bob Schieffer said the confirmation fight to get her onto the High Court will be "a really bitter and vicious one."

... Schieffer said that he believes she is eminently qualified but that this is, after all, an election year, an "especially toxic election year" at that.

"Just this weekend, you saw the very conservative Bob Bennett, the Senator from Utah, lose the Republican nomination because members to the right of the party, a lot of Tea Party people, thought that he was not conservative enough. I think you will see some Republican Senators, moderates, giving very careful consideration to their vote on Elena Kagan. In a way, a vote against her would be 'Tea Party insurance,' to let people know that they're moving to the right...."

Except that, well, Utah has (as Newsweek's Andrew Romano reminds us) an unusual nominating system, and an even wingier set of wingnuts than most states, so it's probably not representative. Most non-teabag righties elsewhere are holding their own in primaries -- even McCain, according to polls. I think that explains why there isn't all that much noise about Kagan out in Crazy Town -- hell, the best Lucianne Goldberg can come up with in her "Must Reads of the Day" is a Jennifer Rubin blog post from Commentary that says conservarives could do much worse:

... should her nomination be opposed with a full court press?

At this point -- and more might be revealed in hearings and upon the examination of her written work -- I would think not. She frankly has not proven herself to be as adept a legal scholar as someone like Diane Wood, who would wow and sway the other justices.... So there could be worse -- that is, more "dangerous" picks from a conservative perspective. Kagan has not made her life's work the promotion of minority victimology. She isn't without academic qualifications. So, while she's not a judge conservatives would nominate, it’s hard to conceive of a reason for rigorously blocking her nomination....

And Drudge's first headline regarding Kagan was innocuous: "ELENA SUPREMA!" As I write this, he's going with the somewhat cryptic "JUDGE NOT!"

... Though, actually, that's not so ambiguous -- it appears that the right's line of the day is that Kagan is a stealth nominee. Saying that gives the wingers room to maneuver, but is also meant as a dog whistle to the crazy base, which thinks Obama is hiding all sorts of secrets (birth certificate, college transcripts, his status as the lifelong puppet of Bill Ayers, etc., etc.). As one commenter in the Fox Nation thread writes:

obummer loves folks with no paper trail. Makes him feel less lonely.

In fact, that's the title of the Fox Nation thread -- "Obama's Court Pick: No Judicial Experience, No Paper Trail?" So the right, for now, has found the sweet spot: no full-throated opposition to Kagan, at least so far, but the mad dogs of the base have been tossed the tasty What's she hiding? What's Obama hiding? bone.

I don't know how long this will satisfy the base. Note what, unsurprisingly, is coming up from commenters in the Fox Nation thread:

Balance is important to the SCOTUS? Why are there no Protestants? We'll get an atheist first!


How does one get a position as high as this (in any capacity)? Answer: be a jew and/or a radical, a commie or in Obama's case a person of color.
Obama would never nominate a white christian man or woman it would go against his bigot radical agenda.
People of color get affirmative action (even tho it should be for african americans only) but the jews are not victims of affirmative action like the rest of us are.

As I've said a couple of times, I think Beck will find a way to turn her into a New York Jew-commie (without mentioning the "Jew" part) by invoking her Princeton senior thesis on socialism in early-twentieth-century New York. Kagan's Goldman Sachs ties will fit in here, too, because, according to this worldview, big-money capitalism is socialism, though I still have trouble grasping how that's supposed to work, at least in the way Beck sees it. (I think he thinks it's more than just socializing the losses.)

Still, for now the right-wing reaction is on a low boil. I'm waiting for the talkers, and for J.D. Hayworth -- or I should say I'm waiting for McCain to try to head off Hayworth's inevitable denunciation of Kagan by preemptively announcing he'll support a filibuster of her nomination. But maybe the righties in office will just decide it's easier to let her through with very few GOP votes and then whine in the fall about how her appointment was "rammed through."

No comments: