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All Kagan, All The Time [OPEN THREAD TIME!]

Forget the oil slick, TN floods (oh, Obama forgot already), the Grecian Formula for Disaster, or the Hung Parliament.

At least for the next 48 hours — it will be Elena Kagan 24/7.  So we might as well get the ball rolling.

Rick Klein of ABC’s The Note has the morning pre-game activities summed up well.

And so it begins, again and anew, with everything different, but more or less the same.

President Obama makes his selection of Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court official at 10 am ET Monday — thus concluding the period of time where the White House holds ownership over the all-important narrative.

Supreme Court confirmation battles have become storytelling contests in recent decades. Neither side wants to, or will, give up the chance to tell its own story — and the nominee him- or herself is only a bit player in many of these scripts.

The first chapter belongs to Kagan herself — she’d be the third woman on this court, the first justice named in nearly 40 years never to have been a judge, a legal whiz without a reputation as an ideologue, respected and liked by prominent lawyers and judges on both sides of the political divide.

As for the man making the decision: This is a choice that leans toward caution, from a president who knows full well there are enough other big fights out there than to see the need to pick a new one.

Yet Kagan will find herself wrapped up in the volatile politics of the moment: raging debates over the roles of the courts and the entire federal government; passion over Obama’s agenda, particularly against it; and just a bit of frustration nagging at the president from his left.

In the bigger picture — will she become a justice? — this is an environment where 59 votes are almost certainly plenty. It’s also an environment where one of the 41 on the other side just found out he’s not coming back, for reasons that don’t encourage accommodating anything the president wants to do these days.

Please READ THE WHOLE THING!  Rick does the work, so you don’t have to!

[RELATED: Gay Lefties Ponder — “Is She, or Isn’t She?“]

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

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30 Comments

  1. What most surprises me is Kagan’s apparent opinion on gay marriage – namely that there is no Constitutional Right to it.

    That might make it tough for her on the Dem side, while her ban of the Military from the Harvard Career Office might be an issue for R’s…

    Comment by AblativMeatshld — May 10, 2010 @ 9:10 am - May 10, 2010

  2. Wonderful. A self-hating closet case. I hope she gets outed and changes her position on the constitutional right to marriage.

    Comment by Lloyd — May 10, 2010 @ 9:22 am - May 10, 2010

  3. An absolutely terrible choice. This is the Harriet Miers of liberalism – nobody knows anything about this woman and we’re all supposed to jump for joy just because Obama says she’s okay. Ugh. We can all start looking forward to the most authoritarian court in the history of the country, if her career-long reverence for executive power is any indication.

    Comment by Levi — May 10, 2010 @ 9:47 am - May 10, 2010

  4. Lloyd, I’m not sure if you can out as a closet case someone who’s openly gay…

    Just an observation.

    Also, such a plan of attack is an awesome way of gaining support of people who think y’all’s tactics are just this side of bug-fuck nuts.

    I mean, do you think we can black-list her too? Perhaps demand that she name other gays? Ask if she is now, or has ever been, a member of the Communist Party?

    Comment by AblativMeatshld — May 10, 2010 @ 9:54 am - May 10, 2010

  5. Republicans can’t stop her nomination, but they can hang her anti-military radicalism around the neck of every Democrat who votes for her; and they should.

    Not to mention, she is yet another apparatchik with ties to Goldman-Sachs.

    The fact that she looks like a Russian shot-putter is beside the point.

    Comment by V the K — May 10, 2010 @ 9:54 am - May 10, 2010

  6. I was struck by this quote from the Rick Klein link:

    Erwin Chemerinsky of the School of Law at the University of California at Irvine writes, at The Washington Post. “No one knows whether Kagan will be as liberal as Stevens, more conservative or even more liberal. And no one will know until she’s on the high court.”

    First, I must explain that I find Erwin Chemerinsky to be as cock-eyed as he is cock-eyed. So, if Kagan’s “liberal” credentials worry him, I take delight in his concern.

    Kagen seems to have a mind of her own and the ability to take on new responsibilities with a fresh understanding as to how those responsibilities should be handled. Who knows what “Kagan” will emerge in the job-for-life position on the Supreme Court. I suspect that as a justice, Kagan will be a work in progress for quite some time. When you find “consensus” between ideologies, you are the one shifting. Eventually, you either morph entirely in the other direction or you stop giving in to consensus.

    My hunch is that Obama will not have a pipeline through Kagan to the Supreme Court. If Obama thinks she should/would play Pearl Mesta to Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, and Alito in an effort to win them over from “the dark side,” I don’t think Obama understands Kagan or the court.

    As to any closet Kagan may occupy: so what? Her business is her business. I happen to believe you can be on the Supreme Court without any special agenda obligations concerning race, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference or addiction to tofu.

    Comment by heliotrope — May 10, 2010 @ 9:57 am - May 10, 2010

  7. Levi,

    She has no career as a judge or as someone who is forced to read the Constitution as a business.

    if her career-long reverence for executive power is any indication….

    What justice at the top of one of the three branches of government has been a lap-dog for one of the other two branches?

    What are you seeking in a justice? Perhaps you want someone who is liberal in all the same ways you are liberal and who will seize power through judicial activism and order it to be done. Perhaps you would prefer a Supreme Court of like minded liberals who will form an oligarchy and dictate what the executive and legislative branches may and may not do. Perhaps you yearn for a huge bureau of regulator apparatchiks who will rule the society according to “the plan.”

    Comment by heliotrope — May 10, 2010 @ 10:08 am - May 10, 2010

  8. Kiss gay marriage goodbye.

    Comment by jann — May 10, 2010 @ 10:09 am - May 10, 2010

  9. Perhaps you want someone who is liberal in all the same ways you are liberal and who will seize power through judicial activism and order it to be done. Perhaps you would prefer a Supreme Court of like minded liberals who will form an oligarchy and dictate what the executive and legislative branches may and may not do. Perhaps you yearn for a huge bureau of regulator apparatchiks who will rule the society according to “the plan.”

    Der-hay. That’s what all leftists want.

    Comment by V the K — May 10, 2010 @ 10:18 am - May 10, 2010

  10. Lloyd, I’m not sure if you can out as a closet case someone who’s openly gay…

    As to any closet Kagan may occupy: so what? Her business is her business.

    She lives in a state where gay marriage is legal. There is no excuse for a lesbian who lives in a state like that not to be open.

    Comment by Lloyd — May 10, 2010 @ 10:30 am - May 10, 2010

  11. Lloyd,

    As straight man, I do not have any comprehension of why a same-sex oriented person has to wear a button saying so.

    Can you elaborate?

    It is possible to be gay and oppose same sex marriage. Is it an official offense to gaydom to be gay and oppose same sex marriage? Why?

    Comment by heliotrope — May 10, 2010 @ 10:53 am - May 10, 2010

  12. There is no excuse for a lesbian who lives in a state like that not to be open.

    Um… maybe she doesn’t relish the thought of being called a hanky-headed, shufflin’ Aunt Jemima by the GBLTQetc. Borg Queens just because she doesn’t find a “right to gay marriage” in the Constitution?

    Comment by Throbert McGee — May 10, 2010 @ 11:03 am - May 10, 2010

  13. Is it an official offense to gaydom to be gay and oppose same sex marriage?

    Yes, indeed, it is.

    Why?

    It’s an article of received faith — kind of like Catholics believing that the Virgin Mary was assumed bodily into heaven at the instant of her death. Non-Catholics, and non-gays, are perfectly entitled to regard both beliefs as blind superstition.

    Seriously, I’ve recently been asking that very same Why? question over on the “Independent” Gay Forum, after one of their regular authors derided Carly Fiorina as a “failed CEO” for the third or fourth time in the past month. As far as I can tell, the sole reason that he harps on Fiorina’s firing from HP is that she committed the unpardonable sin of voting “Yes” on Prop8 — in other words, she preferred “same-sex domestic partnerships” to “same-sex marriage,” in a state where the domestic partnership laws are so exhaustively comprehensive that they essentially duplicate “marriage” without actually using that word.

    Which is to say that although Fiorina’s vote for Prop8 and its subsequent passing made almost zero practical difference in the lives of gay and lesbian Californians, the fact that she was rude enough to support it is sufficient proof that she’s a reactionary right-wing gay-hater.

    Comment by Throbert McGee — May 10, 2010 @ 11:25 am - May 10, 2010

  14. VtK:

    The fact that she looks like a Russian shot-putter is beside the point.

    Блядь, иди на хуй, козёл!!!

    [Kicking at VtK with spring-action stilleto-tipped sensible shoes dipped in blowfish poison]

    Comment by Roza Klebb — May 10, 2010 @ 11:39 am - May 10, 2010

  15. Roza, I have no idea what that means….. and for some reason, that just makes it all the more funny! :-)

    Here is the visual of the description.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — May 10, 2010 @ 12:15 pm - May 10, 2010

  16. We are constantly told that conservatism is a fringe political ideology, that most American voters despise conservatism, that conservatives are the kooks and the mainstream is made up of people who are socially liberal and fiscally “moderate,” the political “center” is defined by Democrats and the most liberal of Republicans, and there is no such thing as a radical left (not even Pete Stark or Barbara Lee qualifies).

    And yet… whenever Bammy nominates another liberal race-monger or military-basher to the Supreme Court, the Democrats’ PR wing goes into overdrive telling us how conservative she is? If the country is really center-left, why don’t the Democrats try and sell their nominees as liberal activists who will support a center-left agenda? Why is the selling point always their conservatism, not their liberalism?

    Comment by V the K — May 10, 2010 @ 12:56 pm - May 10, 2010

  17. My reaction to her apparent lesbianism can be summed up as “So what?” Her private life is, and should remain, private.

    I’m still not thrilled about her, if for no other reason than that she’s another Ivy Leaguer. So much for a justice who would understand the common person.

    [GP Ed. Note - I completely agree. My question for President Obama is why was he so defensive about the subject that The White House put out a statement denying her being a lesbian. Why does Obama think being a lesbian is a bad thing????]

    Comment by NYAlly — May 10, 2010 @ 4:32 pm - May 10, 2010

  18. I don’t want a judge to understand the common person, I want a judge to understand the law. Otherwise, so far she’s another “Meh” selection.

    PS. In one respect, I do like the selection. There is nothing in the Constitution that says the SC judge should have served as a former judge, and I think that someone outside the judicial clique might shake thinks up a little. I know there have been more than a few who served admirably with little or no previous judicial experience (John Marshall?). Will have to look that up.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — May 10, 2010 @ 5:00 pm - May 10, 2010

  19. Looks like there have been 40 SC judges with no prior experience. Standouts are Marshall, Rehnquist, Jonh Jay.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — May 10, 2010 @ 5:05 pm - May 10, 2010

  20. Actually, Sonic, I’m pretty sure that technically speaking one doesn’t even have to be a lawyer or have attended law school in order to be a Justice.

    You’d never see such a thing now, mind you, but I don’t think it was ever made a requirement…

    And if I may, I would like to have a small aside regarding the term “gay marriage”.

    It seems to me that a great many people are entirely too hung up on that “m” word, and go completely bug-shit nuts when it comes up…

    The people going crazy, of course, being teh gheys. Seriously, if you poll the country and ask “Are you ok with gay civil unions that perfectly mirror the rights and benefits of straight marriage”, you’d get an impressive majority – enough to get most any politician to back a federal law regarding such a thing.

    Not that I think there should be such a federal law, I think it is far outside the perview of the Fed to handle such things (and as such find DOMA to be disgusting), but I digress.

    The problem is the vehement, almost puppy-eating demand that it be called “marriage”.

    Look, I’m sorry, but it isn’t going to happen. Even California doesn’t want it, and it has LA and San Fran-effen-sisco. I’m pretty down-the-line libertarian (note the small “l”, people), and even *I* can’t get my way towards calling it “marriage”. Call it “Civil Unions”, call it “Domestic Partnerships”, hell you can call it “Purple Tubesocks” for all I care – it isn’t the name of the thing you should be spending (and wasting) your effort on, but instead WHAT THE TERM GRANTS.

    Because the more people go on about “Gay marriage”, and the more people like me are called homophobes for not agreeing, the less likely you are of even getting that much.

    Worry about getting the legal protections and benefits first. Then worry about the name.

    Comment by AblativMeatshld — May 10, 2010 @ 7:03 pm - May 10, 2010

  21. My question for President Obama is why was he so defensive about the subject that The White House put out a statement denying her being a lesbian. Why does Obama think being a lesbian is a bad thing????

    Well, it could be cynical politics. There could be the issue of him not wanting to turn off the Democratic base, which consists of often socially conservative black and Hispanic voters.

    Or… it could be actual homophobia. After all, Obama did campaign through South Carolina with an anti-gay and self-proclaimed ex-gay country singer.

    Comment by NYAlly — May 10, 2010 @ 7:40 pm - May 10, 2010

  22. Didn’t know she was a lesbian. Good.
    Did hear today that if she’s confirmed, John Roberts would still be the hottest Justice there.
    #21 meat you are right. To not offend the religious, just call it something else for goodness sake. You’d gain 20% of the ppl right away. Not unless it’s the fight that gays are really after. ….

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — May 10, 2010 @ 8:51 pm - May 10, 2010

  23. #11 I’m gay and oppose same sex marriage.
    It unnecessarily riles up straight people. I’m all for same sex unions or whatever name you call it besides marriage.
    If we’d do that, call it another name, we’d have it by now.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — May 10, 2010 @ 8:54 pm - May 10, 2010

  24. You would have had it back around 2004, when Bush said he supported Civil Unions (you know, right before Kerry said it and got all the press about how he supported gay Rights…)

    @NYAlly – Eh, that was likely a case of “Say whatever the people in-front of you wanna hear in order to get them to vote for you” – A time-honored tradition in politics made slightly retarded due to the fact that we have this thing called “The Internet” now that puts all that stuff up for anyone anywhere to see…

    Then again, Obama said several times he didn’t support gay marriage… So who knows. It is true that the Black Community is more than a tad bit anti-gay…

    Comment by AblativMeatshld — May 10, 2010 @ 11:39 pm - May 10, 2010

  25. As straight man, I do not have any comprehension of why a same-sex oriented person has to wear a button saying so.

    Heliotrope, I agree with your point in principal. And personally, I never wore such a button, or anything similar. But as a straight person, you probably never had to wear such a button, because it was always assumed you were straight. Now, perhaps, if for some reason, one assumed you were gay, you would not feel the need to correct that person, but, that hasn’t been my experience with most straight people. In fact, gay persons are more likely to not correct a person when assumed they are straight.

    To further illustrate the point, many times, I have seen straight persons act out a role in which they played a gay person, and make a point of saying afterwards, that they were straight. (Funny, I never saw a person playing a role of a murderer declare afterwards they weren’t. Go figure). Now, since these straight persons were hardly ever otherwise assumed they were gay, there was no need for any such buttons.

    I’m sure we can both agree that some day in the not too distant future, there will be no need for buttons. You may feel that we are here already, or there was never such a need. It’s one thing to not be defined by one’s sexuality. But it’s another to be assumed something you’re not. Further, it is not necessarily the case that button wearers are any more forward about their sexuality than the typical straight person.

    Well, it could be cynical politics. There could be the issue of him not wanting to turn off the Democratic base, which consists of often socially conservative black and Hispanic voters.

    NYAlly, I think that’s part of it. Obama may need all 59 democrats/independents on his side on this one. But he also needs at least on Republican. No, this doesn’t mean that all, most, or even some Republican senators would not vote for a gay Supreme Court Justice. But they have to answer to their base as well.

    As for Obama hating gay people, I don’t quite buy that, even though many times he behaves like he does. If Obama really hated gay people, and if Kagan is gay (closet or not, I’m sure Obama knows), he wouldn’t have any need to nominate her.

    I know this blog’s policy is to not out anyone, a policy that I agree with. So my question is, Is Kagan openly gay, or is this just speculation (based on stereotypes, or people who believe they are in the know, or know people in the know who insist she’s openly gay).

    Comment by Pat — May 11, 2010 @ 12:00 am - May 11, 2010

  26. “If Obama really hated gay people, and if Kagan is gay (closet or not, I’m sure Obama knows), he wouldn’t have any need to nominate her.”

    I think you aren’t considering it enough if that is your opinion. If he happens to hate gays (I have no idea if he does, at worst I suspect he doesn’t care one single bit about them in any way shape or form), nominating her is a great idea. It gets attention off of him (defending DOMA, we still have DADT, on and on and on), and onto those gay-hating Rethuglicans. If she gets nominated, eh so what? He’s got his second nominee on the bench, and she’s at least going to be further to the left than Roberts. If she doesn’t “well then see Left, the Rights hates gays… Better donate lots of money and work really hard to get the vote out to defeat those evil righties…”

    It’s a win-win for him.

    Comment by AblativMeatshld — May 11, 2010 @ 12:18 am - May 11, 2010

  27. It’s a win-win for him.

    I get your point, AblativMeatshld. And perhaps that’s what Obama’s thinking would be. At best, it would only be temporary.

    I just think that if Obama was able to accomplish all that, he could do so without nominating an openly gay person (or someone who would potentially come out after approved by the Senate) to the Supreme Court. And then he would have, as part of his legacy, being the first person to nominate such a person to the Court. Something, I would imagine, a person who hates gays would not want. But politics is funny, so who knows?

    Comment by Pat — May 11, 2010 @ 12:47 am - May 11, 2010

  28. What justice at the top of one of the three branches of government has been a lap-dog for one of the other two branches?

    Is there a typo in there? That is meaningless to me, what is it you’re trying to say?

    What are you seeking in a justice? Perhaps you want someone who is liberal in all the same ways you are liberal and who will seize power through judicial activism and order it to be done. Perhaps you would prefer a Supreme Court of like minded liberals who will form an oligarchy and dictate what the executive and legislative branches may and may not do. Perhaps you yearn for a huge bureau of regulator apparatchiks who will rule the society according to “the plan.”

    The problem with Kagan is that over the course of the past decade when we have seen a great number of constitutional crises by the executive and legislative branches, she has not opined on them in practically any capacity. There are a great number of liberal candidates to choose from that have been putting pen to paper on issues like detention and wiretapping that are known, reliable liberals, like Diane Wood. She also has a reputation as building coalitions with conservative justices, a quality Stevens possessed, too. Nobody knows what Kagan thinks of these issues because she hasn’t summoned the basic courage to let her opinions be known publicly. How forceful an argument can you present as a justice if you spent your professional life being sheepish and withdrawn? The little we have seen from her indicates she is firmly on the side of sprawling executive power and secrecy, which probably goes a long way towards explaining why Obama chose her.

    You’re just a jumping around like a schoolboy with these taunts about judicial activism and central planning. I would love to have someone as liberal as me, wouldn’t you like to have someone as conservative as you? Judicial activism, by the way, is just another right-wing slogan to control the flock that has little meaning and which you can probably provide no significant examples.

    Comment by Levi — May 11, 2010 @ 9:24 am - May 11, 2010

  29. Levi,

    given your history of not understanding a democratic republic, free speech or how the constitution works, I’d not want you near a court house. At least not in any official capacity.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 11, 2010 @ 10:33 am - May 11, 2010

  30. Like Levi, most of my Progressive friends and acquaintances don’t like the pick because she’s not nearly Progressive enough. For that reason alone, I can be convinced to support her nomination. After all, this is probably the most neutral pick we’ll see from Obama, so might as well take it.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — May 11, 2010 @ 11:26 am - May 11, 2010

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