Kim Priestap, who blogs at Up North Mommy, got an impassioned email from the Democratic Party, raving about Elena Kagan. Does it rave about her brains? No (although it mentions as an aside that she’s “among the best legal minds this country has to offer,” which is a depressing comment about legal minds in America). Her legal expertise? No. Her judicial experience? No (because there is none, no matter how one puffs up her limited management experience and some government work). Her looks? No, no and no.
Instead, the email is very clear about Kagan’s single most important virtue, along with a little subsidiary fillip to add to the Progressive excitement: She’s a woman and, even better, she’s almost black because she once worked for a black man.
Read the following and tell me if the whole point of the Democratic euphoria isn’t that, after being the first female Harvard Law School dean, and the first female Solicitor General, she’s poised to become the third female Supreme Court justice sitting on the court, and one who is black by association, thereby raising both the female and black liberal quota on the Supreme Court:
Have you been watching the hearings? The nomination of a Supreme Court justice is a special time in Washington, DC. The air tastes different — it buzzes with an electricity even the humidity can’t conquer — and even more so this time.
Elena Kagan’s nomination is special. It took us almost 200 years as a country to get the first woman on the Supreme Court, but now we’re on a roll! If Elena Kagan is confirmed, for the first time, we’ll have three women serving together. We’re still a far cry from parity, but we cannot allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good. We’re making progress, and Elena Kagan is great progress.
Over the past three days of hearings, she has conducted herself with poise, grace, rigor, and humor. She has won praise from liberals and conservatives — prior to her nomination and since. It’s no easy feat to become the first female dean of Harvard Law School and the first female to serve as solicitor general. Her illustrious resume also includes periods as associate White House counsel and deputy policy director under President Bill Clinton, as a teacher at the University of Chicago Law School, and as a law clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall.
Lend your name to help us show that the American people back Elena Kagan’s nomination.
Let there be no doubt: She earned this nomination. It’s not simply because she’s a woman, or because she’s among the best legal minds this country has to offer. I know firsthand the strength of Elena’s character and am certain she is the best choice.
The Supreme Court nomination process, like almost any political contest, is like a food fight where the nominee does his or her best to stay clean and dry while everyone else in the room slings Sloppy Joes. I’ve watched this before (recently) and there’s nothing the Republicans won’t do to take down a nominee chosen by a president they’ve vowed to obstruct at all costs.
Republicans are attacking her credibility, her credentials, and her character. They’ve become particularly focused on her work as a clerk for Justice Marshall, seemingly maligning his long and respected service to our country. As chief counsel to the NAACP, Justice Marshall argued the case of Brown v Board of Education. Later he would become the first African American to serve as solicitor general and the first African American to serve as a justice of the Supreme Court. We would be better off with more justices like Marshall, and Kagan’s work for him should be a feather in her cap, not a thorn in her side right now.
The other side is grabbing at straws, with nothing to support their groundless accusations, but it doesn’t stop the attacks. The Democratic Party is pushing back to ensure that this incredible woman gets a fair hearing, but we must also show that public support for Kagan is overwhelming.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony are rolling in their graves. I think Martin Luther King is also starting to wiggle around in there. This is not what they envisioned when they campaigned for equal rights for women, or demanded that people be measured, not by the color of their skin or bra size, but by the content of their character. These trailblazers wanted women and blacks to enjoy full inalienable, constitutional, and legal rights in America. For women and minorities to be valued just as numbers on some quota list is heartbreaking and as dehumanizing in its own way as the ancient status quo.
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