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Our national political discourse is oftentimes silly and embarassing. The upcoming back and forth over Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court will be no exception.
I look oh-so-forward to a summerlong display of Silly Congressional Theater.
First remember this: Elena Kagan will be confirmed to the Supreme Court. She will even receive some Republican votes. All bluster about stopping Ms. Kagan's nomination will be just that....bluster.
Secondly....we won't learn anything about Ms. Kagan from the confirmation hearings. Anyone learn anything much about Sonia Sotomayor, or Sam Alito, or John Roberts when they "answered" questions during their confirmation hearings?
What we will witness once again at the Kagan hearings will be more public preening by senators from both sides. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) will flap his Confederacy wings.....Orrin Hatch (R-UT) will go all "golly gee" and "gee wizz" on us....Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA) will nauseously try to outdo one another in praise of Ms. Kagan.
But there won't be anything substantive. Nothing. There never is.
Main media....however....will feature each and every far-right wingnut "objection" of Ms. Kagan. Molehills will become Mt. Everests. It's just the way it works in America today.
Simply recall the "greatest deliberative body on earth" vis-a-vis the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings. Remember the Very Serious Concern that Patriotic and Deliberative GOP senators had about that dreadful "wise Latina woman", off the cuff, Sotomayor comment?
Republican Judiciary Committee members KNEW Sotomayor would be confirmed. GOP members weren't going to filibuster the first Latino chosen for the Court, just as they won't filibuster Elena Kagan now.
Instead, both sides will seek to raise campaign cash and make oh-so-concerned gestures for the sake of their constituencies about this or that insignificant detail in Elena Kagan's background.
With Sotomayor, the Kabuki theater centered around "wise Latina woman".....with Elena Kagan it will be that she is anti-military.
While Elena Kagan was Dean of the Harvard Law School she protested military recruiters being on campus because she opposed the military's discriminatory policy against gays. Harvard has an anti-discrimination policy which applies to all groups on campus.
The U.S. military openly discriminates against gay American soldiers with their "don't ask, don't tell" policy. If the military learns that a soldier is gay....that person is kicked out of the military. Discrimination rarely appears these day that unvarnished. Don't ask, don't tell is a disgrace. More and more military officers, as well as the American population, are coming to acknowledge just how disgraceful that policy is.
But none of that will be part of the Kagan hearings questioning. Kagan will be portrayed by conservatives as simply....anti-military.
The main sticking-point for conservatives, unless something entirely new turns up, is her support for banning military recruiting at Harvard in protest against the law banning people who are openly homosexual from serving in the military. Another law, the Solomon Amendment, withheld federal funding from universities which barred military recruiters. Kagan joined a brief seeking to overturn this law, which the Supreme Court subsequently upheld by a vote of 8-0.
The Village and the GOP senators on the Judiciairy Committee will reduce the military's anti-American, don't ask, don't tell policy to, "Kagan is anti-military"...."Kagan is anti-military recruitment." Dozens of "analysts" will bray on, rendering their "learned" opinion over why Elena Kagan is so anti-military, so anti-national defense.
None of it will be relevant, most of it won't even deal with the facts of the issue.
But the preening must go on.....money must be raised.....foolish constituencies further baited with nonsense.....even if phony diversions must be created and blown out of proportion.
I'm so not looking forward to this summer's confirmation hearings.
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