The Kagan Nomination vs Obama's Principles


As I understood the core premise of Obama's candidacy, it was that we were not going to continue the "Daddy Knows Best"  attitude of Bush-Cheney. Arguments would be made on the merits of the case, disagreement would be welcome, reason would predominate, sunlight would be the best disinfectant. We were all grown up enough to discuss all these things without partisan knees jerking, and without some sequestered and all-powerful executive doing the governing for us.

My worries about the judicial and political blank slate of Elena Kagan is that the slate is not, in fact, blank. And those in the know fully understand what she will do - and their goal at this point is to prevent the public from knowing. A reader captures my unease:

It’s not that we’re all guessing on Kagan.  As I’ve listened to her supportersLawrence O’Donnell, Lessig, and othersit’s clear that’s she herself and her views are very well known . . . inside the beltway.  She’s obviously been hob-nobbing with a lot of the villagers (as Digby calls them) for years now, and they're comfortable with her selection.

The clear problem is two-fold:  they are asking us to simply trust them that what they say is true, and because they don’t want to give anything away, they’re not telling Kagan’s potential supporters anything of substance, either.

It’s just as bad as Bush/Cheney in that way:  “Trust us!  We’re the good guys!  We’ll pick the right person for you!”  Not something that makes me any more comfortable than it does Glenn Greenwald.

That seems to be what they want with “terror suspects,” too, and it’s exactly like Bush/Cheney.  “Hey, they’ll get full rights unless theyre terror suspectsthen we’ll do all those special things we need to.  How do we know that they might really be terrorists?  Trust us!  We’re the good guys!” Frankly, it’s sickening.

It's certainly not change we can believe in. How can we believe in something we're not even permitted to know?

(Photo: Sen. Scott Brown welcomes U.S. Solicitor General and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan in his office in the Russell Senate Office Building May 13, 2010 in Washington, DC.By Chip Somodevilla/Getty.)