Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Elsewhere: South Carolina Done It, Judge Smith

Over at Post Partisan today, I made the full case that it was South Carolina -- and not, as Nate Silver says, Michigan -- that turned off the lights on GOP WH 2012.

And at Plum Line, I have some fun with the Jerry Smith flap -- you know, the 5th Circuit Judge who flipped out in court over Barack Obama's relatively mild challenge to the Supremes over ACA. Mainly, reminding everyone that Republicans currently are advocating something really outrageous in attempting to strip jurisdiction from the courts on issue where they expect to lose. I should note that since that one went up, TPM's Brian Beutler and Sahil Kapur have a piece up noting that many conservatives have disapproved of what Smith did. So, you know, good for them.

I'm really just fine with judges as political actors -- they really are whether they think of themselves that way or not, and so I'm not upset by judges acting in partisan ways. However, there are norms that should constrain them to act as partisan judges, and not as if they were some yahoo who learned everything they knew from Rush Limbaugh's radio show.


  1. You know, that brings up an interesting point -- who should be a political actor? There was a truly wretched piece by Gloria Borger at CNN today where she seems to decry the notion of ANYONE acting as a political actor. It was High Broderism at its worst. Essentially it amounted to "Well, the Democrats brought all this on themselves by passing Healthcare in a partisan way. Surely if they had just brought up a small bill to eliminate insurance underwriting the Republicans would have bought into it and we wouldn't be in this mess!"

    Leaving aside that Borger seems to totally ignore, or perhaps be totally ignorant of, the difficulties in eliminating underwriting and the fact that so much of ACA and its troubles are about that very issue, it seems that she objects to partisanship. Okay, but her idea of eliminating it seems to be a version of 1980s Tax Reform writ large -- i.e. that politics as such recedes before pure problem solving and patriotism: This is Congress, no politics here!

    I have to admit, my jaw dropped in disbelief. I had read a lot of liberals complaining about MSM False Equivalence and, although I had some sympathy with their complaint, discounted much of it as irritable whining. But that ... was truly astounding.

    1. what ever happened to the "What Not To Read" feature here?

  2. I vote for 'oops'. Perry was the only plausible alternative to Romney, and after 'you don't have a heart' and 'oops' he wasn't plausible anymore.


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