The political left and the pretenders at centrism enter the Elena Kagan fray kvetching about her … ambiguity.
First, there’s the New York Times editorial ominously titled “Searching for Elena Kagan”:
But where, precisely, has Ms. Kagan been during the legal whirlwinds of the last few years, as issues like executive power, same-sex marriage, the rights of the accused and proper application of the death penalty have raged through the courts? As dean of the Harvard Law School, she spoke out against the military’s discrimination against gay and lesbian soldiers, but many students and professors there have expressed chagrin that she did not take a more forceful stance. And she has stated that “there is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.” Her positions on other current issues are either unclear — or possibly to the right of Justice Stevens.
Translation: We can’t tell if she’s liberal enough. That’s so frustrating!
And then there’s the pretenders Brooks and Frum. Is it safe to dislike something the president is doing or being? The New York Times doesn’t like the president’s actions? Whew! It’s safe to have a “dissenting opinion.”
First, David Brooks, since we’re at the New York Times:
Tom Goldstein, the publisher of the highly influential SCOTUSblog, has described Kagan as “extraordinarily — almost artistically — careful. I don’t know anyone who has had a conversation with her in which she expressed a personal conviction on a question of constitutional law in the past decade.”
Her publication record is scant and carefully nonideological. She has published five scholarly review articles, mostly on administrative law and the First Amendment. These articles were mostly on technical and procedural issues.
Writing at CNN, David Frum criticizes Obama’s leadership style:
Obama leads from the rear. He acts only after the call for action has become a clamor.
Frum doesn’t mention Kagan in his description of the gutless commander he describes, but some liberals feel just that way about President Obama’s choice of Elena Kagan.
I find the criticism about Elena Kagan’s lack of a paper trail amusing. Where were these people when people were trying to find something out about Barack Obama?