The Supreme Court Pick and Progressives

Everyone is talking about Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan. I was curious about what the left was saying about her, so I took a look at Glenn Greenwald over at Salon. He is apparently furious that Obama didn’t pick someone wildly leftwing. Of course many on the right see her as just that. But Glenn’s definition of a progressive liberal is someone just to the left of Hugo Chavez.

Naturally, I have never agreed with Glenn Greenwald on anything, so I was surprised to actually read in this piece, a truth that the left rarely admits:

The Right appoints people like John Roberts and Sam Alito, with long and clear records of what they believe because they’re eager to publicly defend their judicial philosophy and have the Court reflect their values. Beltway Democrats do the opposite: the last thing they want is to defend what progressives have always claimed is their worldview, either because they fear the debate or because they don’t really believe those things, so the path that enables them to avoid confrontation of ideas is always the most attractive, even if it risks moving the Court to the Right.

I completely agree, and have always said that the right never hides its true values or beliefs. We are ready and willing to debate and defend what we believe. But the left does indeed fear the debate. They realize that their worldview isn’t close to mainstream. They hide behind pretty words and speeches that sound middle of the road. This is how Pres. Obama was elected. But his appointees and Czars have been wildly progressive. Obama knows with a Supreme Court nominee the spotlight burns bright. They are questioned intensely. Obama treads more lightly here.

Kagen is, of course, very liberal (progressive). Her college thesis was on Socialism. She has no judicial experience, but neither did Chief Justice William Rehnquist before he was nominated for the Supreme Court. It seems the biggest problem of her past will be about when she was Dean of Harvard Law School. She kicked military recruitment off campus for their “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of gays in the military.

Even some liberals disagreed with that decision. Peter Beinart, former editor of the New Republic said this about Kagen’s decision:

You can disagree with the policies of the American military; you can even hate them, but you can’t alienate yourself from the institution without in a certain sense alienating yourself from the country. Barring the military from campus is a bit like barring the president or even the flag. It’s more than a statement of criticism; it’s a statement of national estrangement.

Despite all this, I believe Kagen will make it through confirmation. This is the way it is. Americans are tired of bickering. Republicans do need to make the points they need to make and vote for or against, as they see fit, and let the country move on. I never again want to see anything like what the left put Clarence Thomas through. It was a despicable display of hate and smears the likes I had never seen before (at least until Palin came along). I never want the Republicans to behave that way for any judicial nominees, no matter how much they oppose a nominee.

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