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Monday, May 10, 2010

I Guess Because Fear is Fun

Elena KaganLet the insanity begin. We now officially have a Supreme Court nominee. Solicitor General Elena Kagan is President Obama's choice to replace the retiring John Paul Stevens. An unnamed Republican aide previews part of the GOP game plane from here; "A third of the Senate said she was unqualified for the [solicitor general] post," the aide told Politico. "It will be hard to ask them to turn around and say she now qualified, for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. And we'll be busy in the coming months looking over her whole year of courtroom experience."

See, Kagan -- like former Chief Justice William Rehnquist -- has never served as a judge. This explains the snide "whole year of courtroom experience" remark. A former Dean of Harvard Law School, there can be no doubt that understands the law well enough. And if a third of the senate thought she wasn't qualified to be solicitor general, two-thirds thought she was. Hell, if two-thirds of Americans voted for a presidential candidate, it'd be a historic landslide. Suddenly, being confirmed by a filibuster-proof majority is a bad thing. Apparently, unless someone was confirmed unanimously for another post, there's no way they're being confirmed for the Supreme Court.

Of course, this is just the right seeing the opportunity to pry open the wallets of their gullible and panicky base. It's all a big show, a pretend outrage, a phony fear campaign by a party that has no plan to offer any real opposition to Kagan's confirmation. "Barring extraordinary circumstances," reports the Associated Press, "Solicitor General Elena Kagan should have a relatively smooth confirmation to the Supreme Court if nominated by President Barack Obama."





"But there could still be a substantial culture war dust-up over her actions at Harvard to exclude military recruiters because of the ban on gays in the armed services," Politico reports. "Conservatives have indicated that one line of argument against Kagan is that her tireless efforts against the military recruiters shows Kagan is more activist and advocate than fair-minded judge – and such an argument could also nick Obama, who has had to defend his toughness on national defense matters from attacks by the GOP."

Now there's a bonanza; siding with those perverted gays against the military in a time of war. If I wanted to, I could write a whole "hates America" screed right now and probably not be too far off the "hates America" screeds we'll see from the right. Maybe she's even a closet lesbian -- as an Obama nominee, we can be sure she's a closet commie. Oops, my bad, the "closet lesbian" rumor is already spreading.

For the vast homophobic wing of the Republican Party, to be gay is to be literally insane. Homosexual behavior is a mental disorder than can be cured. Of course, that "cure" has an awful track record, sometimes with hilarious consequences. But more often, the consequences are tragic. 90% of so-called "ex-gays" -- people who've undergone this "cure" -- reported "depression to the point of attempted suicide or strained relationships with family and parents," according to a 2002 study.

But complete and utter failure has never been an impediment to belief among the right before and it's not going to start being one now. The right believes whatever it is they want to believe and the facts be damned. So Elena Kagan will be a horrible anti-American lesbian pervert -- which means she's insane. I guess because that's the most fun to be terrified of. I'll admit, I don't get this whole herd mentality that goes with falling for fearmongering. I assume it's fun, but I don't know. There has to be some sort of emotional reward associated with it, but I don't understand what that is. Being constantly terrified of things that never actually materialize would just be tiring otherwise. I don't understand how you could answer the call to panic again and again and again, only to find out every time that the Boogieman isn't really under the bed. Unless it's fun, it makes no sense.

Whatever the fear consumers' emotional itch is, Republicans are sure to give them reason to scratch it. At least their motivation here is easy to understand. If you give the base something to wet their pants over, they throw money at you. Of course, it won't be the Senators themselves who do all this hysteria whipping, it'll be their surrogates in the media -- Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, etc. GOP Senators will just go to great lengths to avoid agreeing or disagreeing with these surrogates. As always, the rightwing media will be the freelance, de facto press office for the GOP.

If Republicans won't offer anything but token opposition to Kagan, they'll certainly be rewarded by the phony opposition in their media. It worked that way during the Sotomayor confirmation and there's no reason to think the same thing won't play out now. Things are going to get very stupid, yes. But unless Kagan has a bona fide crime in her background, you wouldn't go broke betting her nomination will be confirmed.

-Wisco


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2 comments:

M said...

I suppose for the right, calling her "the former Dean Of Harvard Law School" is a little self-defeating.

sofa said...

It is because data and history confuse you.