A Few Words Regarding Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan:
Man, Republicans are some skeevy motherfuckers. They attack Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, for lacking experience as a judge. Beyond the fact that John Roberts had only two years of judging under his belt when he became the Grand Poobah Justice of All, there's one reason and one reason only that Kagan hasn't walked across the robed threshold, and that's because Republicans, who, as previously noted, are some skeevy motherfuckers, blocked her nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court back in 1999, with Senate Judiciary Chair Orrin Hatch not even allowing a hearing. Why? Because the Republicans could. And because she and others were nominated by Bill Clinton.
On May 9, 2003, on Fox "news," Alan Colmes asked Hatch about the failure to move the nominations forward, to which Hatch said, "Elena Kagan I feel badly about. She was one who didn't make it through." Indeed, he felt bad enough that he voted in favor of her for Solicitor General. And time will tell if he still feels like he treated her unfairly back in the day.
As for what kind of judge Kagan will be and what she believes, well, as the Rude Pundit said with the Roberts and Alito nominations by George W. Bush, you can bet that Barack Obama knows how she's gonna vote on every significant issue out there. You know that Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod did everything short of waterboarding to ensure that, no matter her lack of paper trail, that she was going to back the administration's positions. So, in that way, all the hue and cry from the left, while justified as hell (seriously, what fucking rainy day is the President saving his political capital for?), misses the point. Obama wasn't going to pick anyone, left or right, who didn't agree with his positions. The right was going to viciously assault anyone. That's not a reason to back down from the fight. But, by nominating Solicitor General Kagan, Obama has continued doing what he's been doing since the start of his administration, to his credit and his fault: he's fucking with the Republicans.
Just as with the Sonia Sotomayor nomination, Obama is putting a nominee out there who has so little to grasp onto that opposition to her seems absurd. And, as with Sotomayor, the one or two nits that are picked at - the milquetoast stand against military recruiting on the Harvard campus that crumbled as soon as shit got serious - serve only to denigrate the opposition. C'mon, how laughable is it that they're going after her for praising Thurgood Marshall for a speech where he said the Constitution "as originally drafted and conceived" was "defective"? Besides the fact that Marshall was referring to the enshrinement of slavery in the document, umm, even the people who wrote the Constitution found it defective and subject to change. That's why there's a fucking Bill of Rights and an amendment process written into the goddamned thing.
Obama's goal is not merely to get someone on the bench who is moderate in order to appease the right (although that is part of this punk-ass approach). It's also to discredit Republicans in the long-term by making them appear like the fools, the skeevy motherfuckers, the mewling infants that they are. They are seriously calling Kagan a "radical." Yes, you could argue that the right was going to say that anyways and thus Obama should have just nominated an old-fashioned liberal. And you wouldn't be wrong. But the strategy is to get conservatives to keep crying "wolf" until it just gets ridiculous. Everything is political, man, and it is foolish to think that a president is going to nominate the mythical "independent" thinker just because he or she is so goddamned wise.
As far as what Kagan believes, even with her worrisome stands on executive power, well, hell, who knows what's gonna happen. We aren't gonna know until after she's on the bench. That ain't a cop-out. It's the way it goes. The last nominee to be genuinely forthcoming at a hearing was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who still didn't exactly lay it all on the line but sure wasn't shy about talking abortion. John Roberts outright lied at his hearing about his views, especially on respecting long-held precedents. Fuck, if we had a truly pugnacious Democratic Congress, he'd've been impeached by now.
What actually pisses the Rude Pundit off in not nominating Diane Wood is the Ivy League hegemony that owns the court. Really? An Upper West Side New Yorker who went to Princeton and Harvard? How about the woman who went to school at the University of Texas? How about a little diversity in how the justices learned the law?