Letting others take down E.J. Dionne, so we don’t have to

I read E.J. Dionne’s fatuous defense of Kagan in The New Republic, and started formulating a response to his superficial argument comparing Kagan to Roberts.  (It was so superficial it almost, but not quite, devolved into “and they’re both homo sapiens.”)  Fortunately, I was spared that effort when I read both Paul Mirengoff’s and Ed Whelan’s posts today, both of which say precisely what I would have said if I wrote as well and had as much information at my fingertips as these guys do.

Bottom line: Kagan’s legal reasoning has proven to be less than sophisticated, and is frequently (too frequently) wrong.  Further, any professional comparisons between her and Roberts really do stop at the “they’re both homo sapiens” level.

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  • Oldflyer

    E. J. Dionne is a regular contributor in the Washington Post.  I save a few minutes and avoid a lot of angst by ignoring whatever he writes.

  • BrianE

    I’ve read comments (mostly at Volokh Conspiracy) that Kagan isn’t that bad.
    I would expect that I would oppose any nomination of Obama, but is Kagan less bad than some of the others on Obama’s short list? That’s the inference by many- a sort of damning by faint praise.
    How serious should Republicans be in opposing Kagan’s confirmation? And what would a “centrist” or merely “liberal” be like, given where the center has been defined over the last decade?
    We would expect that anyone Obama nominated would be pro-Abortion, would support a strong “separation of church and state” and would vacillate on the free speech based on whether the offender was left or right. Kagan certainly meets all these requirements.
    Probably weak on the second amendment, favor more federal government intrusion (regulation) in our lives including energy, health, immigration and others.
    So is the issue DADT? Does it reveal an animus to the military, or merely social justice as construed by liberals?
    I do know I was struck by the link suek provided on another thread about the Islamic Studies Program. Harvard liberals no doubt think the engagement with Arabs through the program is very, well– liberal. Increased understanding and all that. Conservatives understand that this is not dialogue and any understanding is more likely propaganda.
    I’m all for dialogue, but I would assume an Islamic Studies Program at Harvard would include a Christian Studies Program at the University of Saudi Arabia.
    A rational for the Islamic Studies Program at their website:
    “Muslim (Christian) communities have created many cultures over the past fifteen centuries and represent a significant part of the human experience. Many of these cultures look back to the Bible and Aristotle as do Western cultures. Their study increases our understanding both of ourselves and of others. As one of the world’s great religious and cultural traditions, Islam (Christianity) has spread far beyond its historical roots in the Middle East to the wider world of Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and the Americas.”- Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program
    It might be a stretch for Harvard to sponsor a Christian studies program, but how about a “Capitalist Studies Program” or a “Freedom from Religion Program” or a “Woman and Gay Rights Study Program”?
    Wouldn’t that foster dialogue between cultures and increase understanding and peace? It seems that dialogue to liberals resembles what others might construe as indoctrination or propaganda.
    Anyway, I still don’t know what to think of Kagan. Could it be worse?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    ““separation of church and state””
    A lie on the Left’s part. They really mean separation of Christianity and state. Islam and all the other fruit cake cults, not so much.
    It is not going to benefit even most of the American people to support judges that are like that. It’s just a down trend. Pretending that it is a good thing, is what’ll make the damage they do in the future all the more catastrophic. It is not telling people about a future problem, and then when the future problem blows up, the people then think you were fooled or not at the wheel.

  • suek

    Their are two separate issues about the banning of the military on campus due to the  DADT “policy”
    First, it is _not_ a “military policy” – it was the law, passed by Congress during the Clinton Administration, of which, Kagan was a part.  That means that either she _knew_ that it was a law – not a “policy” – or she was incompetent.  Take your pick.  To continually refer to it as a “military policy” when it was in fact a law indicates either a willingness to disregard facts or – like Holder – a willingness to express positions and opinions as factual or at least having predominance over existing law.
    Second, even if you assume that she simply found prohibiting the military as an  easy way to express her support for gays in the military,  her support for a program which involves muslims who _kill_ homosexuals simply because they are homosexual indicates a willingness to overlook her own principles  for  groups that she favored for other reasons.  That’s sometimes called corruption.  Quite aside from being stupid.  I’d like to know how much money the Saudis were providing Harvard during this period.  More than the Feds did, I’d guess.
    So.  She’s a Jew.  She may be gay. (I really don’t get the softball thing, by the way.  It may have been a message to other gays, but to the average reader of the WSJ?  Am I that far out of it?  Did all of you see that photo and immediately say “she’s gay!!”?)  If the muslims succeed in establishing shariah – has she any idea how dead she’d be?  How can libs be so blind!!

  • Oldflyer

    My wife played softball when she was a teenager.   I thought she was cute.  I played with her–softball.  That was about all that was allowed then.  Patience is a fading virtue.
    Suek, right on.  I gnashed my teeth every time I heard that “military policy” line.  My Dentist, who is just to the right of Attila, says I must stop listening to Statists or I won’t have any teeth.
    The military has always adapted to whatever crazy scheme the Civilian defense and political leadership imposed.  And sometimes the uniformed brass; the Navy even survived Zumwalt–but, just barely.

  • BrianE

    I was referring to separation of church and state as defined by liberals.
    Did she use DADT as a cover to keep the military off the Harvard campus because of a personal disdain (“loathing the military” to quote a famous politician), or just the knee-jerk liberal reaction to DADT.
    I should have qualified that the quote from the Islamic Studies Program didn’t include Christianity. I tried using the strike feature and couldn’t get it to work so I included Christianity in parenthesis to highlight that Christianity is just as deserving of study in Saudi Arabia as Islam is at Harvard (except Christianity had been around 500 years before Islam.
    The larger point I was trying to make revolved around degree. Can we expect anyone less liberal than Kagan if she were rejected? Is she a degree or two more or less to the left than the next nominee?

  • suek

    Good question, Brian.
    I was thinking about it (car time!) , and  thinking that if it was strictly the gay issue, you’d think that the islamic comdemnations would cause her at least _some_ hesitation.  So I have to wonder if the issue isn’t actually the military itself, and DADT is just an excuse.  Hard to say…   I’m not sure they know themselves … they just lump certain things into their “bad” bag and whack you with it whenever it seems appropriate to them!