Home / General / Today at the Court

Today at the Court

Comments
/
/
/
252 Views

We SCOTUSBlog-following geeks did not get a decision on the PPACA in return for our stress. There were, however, major (anti-) labor and (pro-) civil rights cases, as well as a narrow ruling in an obscenity case. Will have more about them imminently, but let me just reiterate that anybody who thinks there’s no meaningful difference between the parties must be particularly grateful for today’s crack sentencing disparity ruling…

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • Anonymous

    Getting back to PPACA, I think Ruth Ginsberg’s recent speech gives it away. She talked about divisive opinions coming out and the value of dissenting opinions. I think it’s going down.

    • jameson quinn

      Yes, that did seem to tip the hand to me, too.

      • Joe

        She talked about the value of dissenting opinions in the past and the fact it along with some other hot button issues (like the crack sentencing case 5-4) will be “divisive” is almost a truism.

  • amok92

    Tom: Thanks again to everyone, and to those who linked to us, including especially Drudge Report and Instapundit, both amazing sites.

    :)

    • SeanH

      Adam Serwer wins Twitter:

      Concur in judgement only that Drudge and Instapundit are “amazing.” My reasoning differs.

      • Joe

        as “the singer Bono” might say: “fucking brilliant”

      • amok92

        Another :)

  • jeer9

    Ohhh, there are meaningful differences alright.
    However, it’s difficult to believe, according to Lemieux, that we are living in a liberal Renaissance which the Left is unable to recognize because of their narcissism and onanism. If the Left would just put away the vibrator and stop gazing at the ceiling mirror, they would find themselves guided by the niftiest leadership since … Louis XVI. The Dems have emphatically not been moving rightward, says Dr. Pangloss, and if you’d only ingest the optimism I prescribe you’d be able to fit all this distressing evidence into a more coherent, happier theory (terrible crack sentencing ruling trumps failure to prosecute banksters or foreclosure fraud).

    • YES! I bet the under!

      • jeer9

        Yes, you cannot grasp tone!

    • Scott Lemieux

      that we are living in a liberal Renaissance

      Jesus, I’m going long on straw; prices are about to explode, what with jeer9 having used half the nation’s supply.


      The Dems have emphatically not been moving rightward

      This isn’t Panglossian, but simple fact. As I said yesterday, Obama is if anything more liberal than Clinton or Carter, Ried certainly more liberal than Robert Byrd, Pelosi more liberal than Foley. How have the Dems been “moving rightward” exactly?

      • Psshaw, who needs things like critical argument? Can’t you see from jeer’s righteous self-assuredness how self-evidently correct he is about this? Obviously the Democrats have moved rightward since the days when the Dixiecrats were members, Scott, and if you say otherwise you must be cashing checks straight from the DNC (making you personally responsible for Walker surviving the recall, I might add)!

      • Malaclypse

        Next you will try and tell us that Carter began privatization, or that Clinton signed DOMA or welfare reform. I call shenanigans.

        • Scott Lemieux

          And it’s certainly not like any of the laws signed by Clinton made much of the scandalous behavior that led to the financial meltdown legal or anything.

      • Democrats might be more liberal on social issues(most of them weren’t even thought of 40 years ago), but they certainly aren’t more liberal on economic issues.

        • Indeed, because as everyone knows FDR and LBJ sat down and shitted out Social Security and Medicare exactly as we know them today.

    • jeer9

      Jesus, I’m going long on straw; prices are about to explode, what with jeer9 having used half the nation’s supply.

      Lemieux never uses hyperbole when characterizing another’s argument. He’s always fair and balanced.

      Carter’s environmental and human rights accomplishments were fairly significant, though no doubt he’d be right in there on Terror Tuesdays these days deliberating over which biography required a death sentence. And I always sort of assume liberal involves enforcement of the rule of law rather than that of men. Maybe you can refresh my memory on Carter’s dereliction of duty in this area. I’ll give you Pelosi (even though she was pretty disappointing when faced with the crimes of Bush/Cheney). I don’t see much difference at all between Reid and Daschle (your first comparison yesterday), though he’s certainly better than Byrd.

      And it’s certainly not like any of the laws signed by Clinton made much of the scandalous behavior that led to the financial meltdown legal or anything.

      And when Cuomo or someone of his ilk becomes president, it’s not like you won’t argue in his defense that Obama contributed to the abuses that are now being expanded.

      More liberal? Always. But then you’re an award-winning hair-splitter at a convention of bald men.

      • Well if you’re going to argue that Carter, who was actually to the right of the median Congressional Democrat, was a more progressive President than Obama has been, I’d say we’re pretty much done here.

        • Scott Lemieux

          So, to summarize, your argument that in fact the Democrats are moving to the right is concededly wrong about Congress, and with respect to presidents tastefully omits any discussion of Clinton and rests on Carter, who as Brien correctly says was the only Democratic president of the last century to be more conservative than the median votes in Congress and had no accomplishments remotely comparable to the ACA or the repeal of DADT to show for a relatively favorably legislative context. Yes, where would we be without your tough-minded truth-telling.

          • Also too, I’m willing to bet that jeer is willing to be a bit…flexible with his newfound standards in order to avoid the obvious conclusion that it means that Obama is, at least, more progressive than either FDR (interment, fire bombing) and LBJ (Vietnam).

            • Scott Lemieux

              And with FDR, let’s not also forget the systematic exclusion of African Americans from quarter-of-a-loaf benefit compromises.

              • Of course, but I figured that I’d grant jeer his premise that only civil liberties and war-making issues count when determining our rankings, just for shits and giggles.

              • Actually, now that I think about it, jeer’s standard would leave the Dubya administration as more progressive than FDR/Truman and LBJ, no? I mean, say what you will about Bush’s civil liberties and war crimes record, but he did at least draw the line somewhere before rounding up all Arabic/Muslim Americans and putting them in prison on the basis of ethnicity alone and engaging in terrorist fire-bombing campaigns against civilian centers, to say nothing of the fucking atomic bomb. And say what you will about the folly of the Iraq War, it was clearly less morally repugnant than Vietnam, which was explicitly fought for the purpose of keeping South Vietnam under the control of a brutal despotic regime that had no legitimacy with the governed population because that government was friednly to us and the people were going to elect a commie President!

                Oh look, a bunny!

          • jeer9

            Your argument, not mine, is that the Dems are more liberal than they have ever been. I remain skeptical. Pelosi does not represent the entirety of the party, nor does the negligible change of Reid signify any great strides. I loathed Clinton, as you might imagine, though I’m sure you were defending him heartily in his day. Nice glossing over of Carter’s accomplishments in order to fluff a bill that has not yet been implemented and the repeal of a law that did not come without serious costs.

            Where you would be without my tough-minded truth-telling is where you currently are: apologizing for Obama and the Dems as the best of all possible worlds; punching hippies; and arguing that if the country has slanted rightward it is no fault of the Party. Good stuff. And Brien, I’m sure the wives and mothers in Pakistan and Yemen are comforted to know that FDR and LBJ were worse. Why don’t you send them a condolence card?

            • “Pelosi does not represent the entirety of the party…”

              As I said when someone else pushed this line last night, I have no idea what this is supposed to imply. Are you saying that the rank and file Democratic voters are more conservative than they used to be? If so, a) so what, and b) wouldn’t the fact that the party’s leadership in Congress is to the left of the median party member speak more highly of the party as an institution?

              “nor does the negligible change of Reid signify any great strides.”

              How, pray tell, is the difference between Harry Reid and Robert Byrd “negligible?”

              “And Brien, I’m sure the wives and mothers in Pakistan and Yemen are comforted to know that FDR and LBJ were worse. Why don’t you send them a condolence card?”

              Touching, but so what? A) No one ever said I think constant bombings in those countries is good policy, B) you were the one who brought up the notion of whether Democrats have gotten more or less liberal, and then tried to argue the laughable notion that Carter was more progressive than Obama by way of insisting war-policy trumped all, not me. Don’t get upset with me that your own ridiculous standard predictably fell on top of itself.

              • jeer9

                Many progressive policies are in fact quite popular but are not adequately represented by Dem politicians when they’re in the majority. I’m sure there’s an explanation for that which will exonerate the Party.

                The negligible difference was between Reid and Daschle – but never mind, you’re a poor reader.

                I’m glad to know you’re opposed to the constant bombing of innocents. It’s almost as touching as your shits and giggles. Of course, when discussing a president’s progressive bona fides one should always leave out foreign policy in order to get the most accurate assessment. But then Carter’s a problem for you in that area, as he was for the Villagers in his day.

                • “Many progressive policies are in fact quite popular but are not adequately represented by Dem politicians when they’re in the majority. I’m sure there’s an explanation for that which will exonerate the Party.”

                  Yes, I’m pretty sure we’re all aware that Ben Nelson and Mark Pryor are more conservative than the average Democratic voter. If only we could figure out why that’s the case, huh?

                  “The negligible difference was between Reid and Daschle – but never mind, you’re a poor reader. ”

                  Hmmm…let’s check:

                  Your argument, not mine, is that the Dems are more liberal than they have ever been. I remain skeptical. Pelosi does not represent the entirety of the party, nor does the negligible change of Reid signify any great strides.

                  A) Nowhere do you specify that you’re comparing Reid to Daschle.

                  B) You compare Obama unfavorably to Carter, so that gives me no reason to assume you’re talking about merely direct predecessors.

                  C) You characterize Scott’s argument as being that Democrats are more liberal than “ever,” so I certainly don’t see why comparing Reid to the Leader who presided over the Great Society isn’t relevant.

                  In any case, waiving off the fact that there’s a substantial difference between Reid and Byrd because there is much less difference between Reid and his immediate predecessor in the job is obviously absurd on its face.

                  “Of course, when discussing a president’s progressive bona fides one should always leave out foreign policy in order to get the most accurate assessment. But then Carter’s a problem for you in that area…”

                  Um, no he’s not. I mean, it’s not as though Carter was a saint, but even if he was close, it quite certainly wouldn’t just erase the fact that he’s the only Democratic President since at least the turn of the 20th century to be to the right of his Congressional caucus on economic policy.

                • jeer9

                  The senate is run by the 1% and nothing short of a drone attack is going to alter their belief in personal power and privilege. The filibuster will not be eradicated by Dems or the Right.

                  In the second response:
                  I don’t see much difference at all between Reid and Daschle (your first comparison yesterday), though he’s certainly better than Byrd.

                  Obama is significantly worse than Carter on foreign policy and civil liberties.

                  Carter’s economic policy was quite poor and his term was troubled by stagflation and the energy/oil crisis, but I hardly see Obama’s response to the present financial/foreclosure crisis as a rousing success (though I understand the desire to blame it all on Clinton). Fortunately, we know that Obama is to the left of his congressional caucus so that makes his policy failures tolerable, if stangely inexplicable (Geithner, Summers, no prosecution of banksters, no pushing of cramdown, the greatness of HAMP, etc.)

  • Jesse Levine

    Poll after poll shows Democratic voters to the left of their elected representatives and settling for the lesser of two evils.

    • Bingo!! Especially on economic matters. The Democratic Party(meaning the “establishment”) is farther to the right on economic matters than at any time since at least FDR.

    • “Democratic voters to the left of their elected representatives

      Then, um, who the fuck elected them?

      I think what you mean is that “the median national Democrat is to the left of Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu,” which is true, but so what?

      • I was trying to make it work…and there are a number of other scenarios:

        1) we’re talking all registered or self-identified Democrats, not just actual voters and maybe include disenfranchised people as well

        2) we’re talking registered Democrats alone, which might be plausible more left than all the voters who vote for Democrats.

        Of course, a lot of this falls down on depressing facts.

      • Malaclypse

        No, he has a point. Look at this. Look at Q7, where only 13.5% of Republicans would accept a major cut to Social Security. Then tell me the electorate is not to the left of either party.

        • Well, not to be pedantic, but the Democratic Party doesn’t support cutting Social Security either.

          • Malaclypse

            Do fewer than 3.6% of elected Democratic officials reject that idea? Do more than 46% of them favor cutting military spending?

            • “Do fewer than 3.6% of elected Democratic officials reject that idea?”

              Well it’s probably not terribly far off once you adjust for the sample size factor, but you still kind of run into the problem of assuming there’s no variance between the constituencies of Bernie Sanders and, say, Dan Boren here, don’t you?

              “Do more than 46% of them favor cutting military spending?”

              How many Democratic voters favor “major defense spending cuts” that close the local military base and cause the local factory to lose their contract to build shit for the Air Force?

It is main inner container footer text