Monday, July 14, 2008

The Supreme Court Matters. A lot. And that's why this election matters.

Digby makes perfectly clear in this post just how much the Supreme Court matters and just how close it is to being a solid, ultra-conservative majority if McCain wins the election.

That should almost go without saying. But what is incredible is that PUMA sound-alikes are posting in that very same post in the comment section posts about how we'll get Bork-like nominees from Obama. I'm sorry, while I'm extremely disappointed in Obama of late, and think his tacking to the right is incredibly stupid, I have actual functioning brain cells and so I know that he is not a far-right wingnut who wants to appoint Borks to the court.

Basically, the argument seems to be, well, Obama is not a far-left candidate, so that means he's really far right. Uh. Sure thing. Being center or even center right does not make one far right. And Obama, by all accounts, is center left. Yes, some of that "center" is on important things like FISA, but that is the same disappointing crap we get with ALL Democratic nominees for president. Probably more likely than not, this year, given that the consultants (and probably Obama himself) feel even more inclined to "tack right" given the hurdle they have of being the first black president (and Clinton would have had the same hurdle being the first woman president). I think that they both would have, for that reason, been even more "right tacking" than usual. Sadly, I don't think they really need to do that, but that's the CW and the Democratic party follows CW like it was a religion.

But I'm sorry, if a person claims that Obama is going to nominate Borks to the court, then that person is so full of bullshit I'm going to have to get out a shovel to catch it as they talk or else I'm going to be buried in it. But then, that is the sort of talk I'm coming to expect from the PUMAs. Of course, I don't know if these commenters are PUMAs - I just know they sure sound like them.

Oh, and those who comment that they don't want to be "thrown under the bus" and so they just dimiss any arguments about the election involving the Supreme Court - well, your arrogant dismissal of that doesn't change the fact that it matters. It matters a lot. For everyone. For probably decades to come. Stevens and Ginsburg are very likely to retire soon. If those two were replaced by McCain, we'd have a 6-3 extreme right dominance on the court for probably the rest of my working life. My children would grow up under the shadow of that court and have children of their own under that court. I shudder to think of what they will face with such a horriblely slanted to the right court. I'm not privileged enough to just sacrifice all of that and wait until 2012 for the second coming of Hillary Clinton. Sorry. This matters. And it doesn't go away just because you are upset that Hillary Clinton didn't win the nomination. Anyone who claims to be a progressive who also supports McCain is either a liar, a fucking moron, or both. (Sorry for the harsh language, I simply can't think of any better way to put it).


The Barefoot Bum said...

Anyone who claims to be a progressive who also supports McCain is either a liar, a fucking moron, or both.

Agreed. But...

I don't think this election matters as much as you think. Even if Obama were elected, I think he would *at best* nominate center-right judges... and that's only to the extent that the whole left-center-right continuum is still meaningful (a whole 'nother kettle of fish).

I'm all for slowing our headlong rush to economic and political catastrophe, and I have no problem with those who will vote on this basis, but the alternative right now is moving towards catastrophe at a *slightly slower* pace. That's not good enough any more to get my vote.

Obama's court will erode Constitutional abortion rights slightly more slowly than a McCain court. However, constitutional abortion rights have already been cut to the bone. Short of actually overturning Roe v. Wade, it's hard to imagine a McCain court doing more damage to abortion rights than has already occurred.

The real fight over abortion rights is going to be in *funding*, which is not the primary domain of the court. I don't see Obama pushing hard for such funding.

As far as the rest of the constitutional issues go, the Democratic party and Obama do not seem at all vigorous on privacy, wiretapping, the rights of criminal suspects, or any of the other big-ticket Supreme Court issues. So we will still see continued erosion of our civil liberties even under an Obama court.

And again: Our civil liberties have already been so eroded, over the past 30-40 years, Democratic and Republican governments alike, that even a continued slow erosion is much too fast.

When you're in a hole, the first step is to stop digging, not keep digging but more slowly.

If I had my druthers, I'd rather have Obama *lose* on a progressive platform rather than win on a conservative platform. At least then when the country continues to go to shit, the Dems can say, "I told you so" and maybe have some political capital to turn things around.

Until that happens, I'm still voting Green. But no, I will never vote for McCain.

DBB said...

I fully understand your position and have sympathy for it. I don't think Obama will likely nominate anything better than centrist nominees. But I'll still take that over the psychotic rightwing nominees we'd get with McCain.

Because even if Obama basically sucks and things get worse just more slowly, we'd still at least have the court there - while centrists with no leftists on the court isn't the ideal, the centrists have managed to hold back some of the shit that the Democratic Congress has otherwise allowed or supported. In other words, the only thing stopping (not slowing down, but stopping) anything right now is the supreme court in 5-4 decisions where centrists are the deciders. Obama will at least keep that status quo.

As I've said before, I can also understand and respect voting third party, even though that could possibly hand a state to McCain. At least you'd be voting your conscience. But voting FOR McCain and claiming progressivism is just a load of pure, unadulterated, bullshit, and PUMAS like violet socks are full of it up to their eyebrows.