Kristol's Smear On Kagan

Every now and again, the vileness of Bill Kristol's McCarthyite tendencies are simply impossible to miss. So his first assault on Elena Kagan is the assertion that she is somehow "anti-military." The way in which he does this is the classic modus operandi of the ideological propagandist. First concede the obvious point, so your smear cannot be immediately rebutted:

Kagan has professed at times her admiration for those who serve in the military.

Kagan has a long record opposing discrimination against honest homosexuals in the US military (only liars are currently allowed to serve without fear of persecution). This is a perfectly honorable position, backed by a huge majority of Americans, and has nothing to do with hostility to the military as such. In so far as this position seeks to back all the troops, and not just the heterosexual ones, it is arguably much more pro-military than Kristol's own exploitation of homophobia for short-term political ends. But here he goes:

Consider these words in particular from her letters to "All Members of the Harvard Law School Community": On Oct. 6, 2003, Kagan explained that she abhorred "the military's discriminatory recruitment policy....The military's policy deprives many men and women of courage and character from having the opportunity to serve their country in the greatest way possible. This is a profound wrong -- a moral injustice of the first order." On Sep. 28, 2004: "...the military's recruitment policy is both unjust and unwise. The military's policy deprives..." etc. And on March 7, 2006: "I hope that many members of the Harvard Law School community will accept the Court's invitation to express their views clearly and forcefully regarding the military's discriminatory employment policy. As I have said before, I believe that policy is profoundly wrong -- both unwise and unjust...," etc.

Notice, time and again: "the military's discriminatory recruitment policy," "the military's policy," "the military's recruitment policy," "the military's discriminatory employment policy."

But it is not the military's policy. It is the policy of the U.S. Government, based on legislation passed in 1993 by (a Democratic) Congress, signed into law and implemented by the Clinton administration, legislation and implementation that are currently continued by a Democratic administration and a Democratic Congress. It is intellectually wrong and morally cowardly to call this the "military's policy."

Yes, this is the thin reed on which he and his cohorts will nonetheless seek to spread a canard through the FNC propaganda machine. And, of course, it is a subtle but powerful way of attacking Kagan because she is, according to large numbers of people who have known her, a lesbian. A lesbian who hates the military. It's always worth listening to Kristol first. You get the contours of the coming smear.