Obama Nominates Bush-friendly Corporatist to Supreme Court

From the article: Obama Supreme Court Nominee Endorses Indefinite Detention:

Elena Kagan told Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) last year she backed the Obama Administration’s policy of “indefinite detention.”

From the article: Shafting progressives:

For more than 15 months, evidence has mounted that President Obama routinely combines progressive rhetoric with contrary actions. As one bad decision after another has emanated from the Oval Office, some progressives have favored denial — even though, if the name “Bush” or “McCain” had been attached to the same presidential policies, the same progressives would have been screaming bloody murder.

But enabling bad policies, with silent acquiescence or anemic dissent, encourages more of them. At this point, progressive groups and individuals who pretend that Obama’s policies merely need a few tweaks, or just suffer from a few anomalous deficiencies, are whistling past a political graveyard.

If President Obama has his way, Elena Kagan will replace John Paul Stevens — and the Supreme Court will move rightward. The nomination is very disturbing, especially because it’s part of a pattern.

The White House is in the grip of conventional centrist “wisdom” [Neocon/Corporatist]. Grim results stretch from Afghanistan to the Gulf of Mexico to communities across the USA.

It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills,” President Obama said in support of offshore oil drilling, less than three weeks before the April 20 blowout in the Gulf.

One can almost hear those exact same words of absurdity tumbling (or bumbling) out of the mouth of George W. Bush.

On numerous policy fronts, such conformity to a Neocon/Corporatist baseline has smothered hopes for moving this country in a progressive direction. Now, the president has taken a step that jeopardizes civil liberties and other basic constitutional principles.

“During the course of her Senate confirmation hearings as Solicitor General, Kagan explicitly endorsed the Bush administration’s bogus category of ‘enemy combatant,’ whose implementation has been a war crime in its own right,” University of Illinois law professor Francis Boyle noted last month. “Now, in her current job as U.S. Solicitor General, Kagan is quarterbacking the continuation of the Bush administration’s illegal and unconstitutional positions in U.S. federal court litigation around the country, including in the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Boyle added: “Kagan has said ‘I love the Federalist Society.‘ This is a right-wing group; almost all of the Bush administration lawyers responsible for its war and torture memos are members of the Federalist Society.”

The departing Justice Stevens was a defender of civil liberties. Unless the Senate refuses to approve Kagan for the Supreme Court, the nation’s top court is very likely to become more hostile to civil liberties and less inclined to put limits on presidential power.

Here is yet another clear indication that progressives must mobilize to challenge the White House on matters of principle. Otherwise, history will judge us harshly — and it should.

From the article: Kagan Pro-Tribunal, Anti-Justice Record

Kagan opposed legislation designed to prevent terrorists convicted in military tribunals from using civilian courts to challenge their arbitrary convictions.

She even compared Congress’s effort, on a bipartisan basis, to clarify the laws governing the War on Terror to the “fundamentally lawless” actions of a “dictatorship.”

This is going to be a judge with a Cheney-esque, authoritarian, pro-detention, anti-Habeaus Corpus, pro-Torture(?), illegal Worldview.

The corporate-military centrism of the Obama administration has demoralized and demobilized the Democratic Party’s largely progressive base — the same base that swept Nancy Pelosi into the House Speaker’s office and then Barack Obama into the White House. National polls now show Democrats to be much less enthusiastic about voting in November than their Republican counterparts.

The conventional political wisdom (about as accurate as the claim that “oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills”) is that when a Democratic president moves rightward, his party gains strength against Republicans. But Democrats reaped the whirlwind of that pseudo-logic in 1994 — after President Clinton shafted much of the Democratic base by pushing through the corporate NAFTA trade pact against the wishes of labor, environmental and human-rights constituencies. That’s how Newt Gingrich and other right-wing zealots got to run Congress starting in January 1995.

For progressives, giving the Obama administration one benefit of the doubt after another has not prevented matters from getting worse.

At the moment, U.S. troop levels are nearing 120,000 in Afghanistan.

Massive quantities of oil are belching into the Gulf of Mexico.

The White House has signaled de facto acceptance of a high unemployment rate for several more years, while offering weak GOP-lite countermeasures like tax breaks for businesses.

Nuclear power subsidies are getting powerful support from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, while meaningful action against global warming is nowhere in sight.

The Justice Department continues to dismantle civil liberties.

And now, if the president’s nomination of Elena Kagan is successful, the result will move the Supreme Court to the right.

Progressives should fight the Kagan nomination.

Unfortunately, progressives are probably not smart enough or thoughtful to do that. Kagan is “pro-choice”, so therefore the failed logic goes that she is “progressive” and satisfies the key test on civil liberties. She is also a woman, which makes people mistakenly think that minorities are “getting ahead”. Nevermind that she is anti-Labor, pro-NAFTA, pro-Corporatist, and that she supports the insane and anti-American Bush-Cheney worldview of “civil liberties” (as Obama also happily does).

At what point then will progressives finally say enough is enough!


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    • banger on May 11, 2010 at 03:59

    It’a all part of that. Obama represents a class of officials that wants you to see them as an antidote to the crazy savages on the right who wish to burn people at the stake for heresy and believe that believing in the Easter Bunny will bring earthquakes and pestilence and so on. The half-wits on the left are scared of the witless on the right and vice-versa. Kagan will not doubt inhibit night-riders in sheets from burning our homes. If they have to use a little torture now and then and turn a blind eye to some indiscretion on the part of coroporate executives, well so be it. It’s worthwhile to have  stable society. One rule for the aristocrats another for the middle-class who are easily kept in line for fear they will end up in the lower-class of which we shall never speak.

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