If Obama were a Supreme Court appointee, he’d be part of the Scalia bloc

Monday, July 7th, 2008 · 13 Comments »

One of the ironies of this election is the argument that, no matter how much Obama may disappoint us, we still have to vote for him in order to preserve Roe v. Wade. We must have a President Obama to appoint liberal judges to the Supreme Court! cry the possums. The problem is that Obama is the wrong Democrat for that argument.

The truth is that if Obama himself were being floated as a possible Supreme Court appointment, progressives would be opposing him as too conservative.

We’ve known all along that Obama is rather iffy on women’s rights (despite some propaganda to the contrary), and he even had to be dissuaded from voting for the Roberts confirmation. But with his recent statements on late-term abortions, it’s become clear just how conservative he really is.

First he came out with a stance that is so far to the right of existing abortion law, it’s been espoused on the Supreme Court only by arch-conservatives Scalia and Thomas. The next day he tried to “clarify” — though I’m choking on calling it a “clarification” when he’s reversing what he said the day before and even denying that he said what he saidbut the so-called clarification isn’t much better. The new phrase he’s using, “serious clinical mental health disease,” introduces a burden that is significantly more stringent than what the law has demanded for the past 35 years. He’s still in Scalia and Thomas territory.

Obama also tells us that he’s in favor of “a woman’s right to choose with her doctor, her pastor and her family.” But that’s not the existing legal standard. Obama’s language sounds like the husband notification provision that was struck down in Casey. As Zuzu at Shakesville points out, that puts him in company with Samuel Alito.

As for the “pastor” reference, we can only hope that’s just pure godbag pandering.

And what’s with this talk about “partial birth abortion”? What is that? Doesn’t exist. No such thing. It’s a construct of right-wing forced-pregnancy propagandists. Obama says,

“My only point is that in an area like partial birth abortion having a mental, having a health exception can be defined rigorously. It can be defined through physical health, It can be defined by serious clinical mental-health diseases. It is not just a matter of feeling blue.”

Is he conflating the mythical “partial birth” abortion with all late-term abortions? Does he think “feeling blue” is an accurate representation of what a woman might experience when she learns that she’s carrying a fetus whose brain is growing outside its skull? Does he have any fucking clue what he’s talking about? Is he just making shit up?

I’m sorry, I thought I could get through this whole post without swearing. I was wrong.

So. Scalia, Thomas, Alito. These are Obama’s ideological confreres on the Court. (And don’t forget Obama’s man-crush on Roberts, with whom he apparently shares more “ideology” than we realized.)

I’ll say it again: if Obama were being floated as a possible Supreme Court appointment, progressives would be opposing him as too conservative..

And yet this is the guy we’re supposed to back for President, so he can appoint….liberal justices? Huh?

One word. LEVERAGE.

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13 Responses to “If Obama were a Supreme Court appointee, he’d be part of the Scalia bloc”

  1. Anna Belle says:

    Ha! Awesome. Here’s three more words: Not gonna happen. Me voting for Obama, that is. I don’t generally vote for Republicans, unless they are the lesser of two evils. That’s looking more and more likely this year. I might just have to elect to use my leverage this by voting for McCain, thereby forcing the ONC to find two votes to replace mine. It doesn’t have to be that way. I can just stay home and they’d only need one.

  2. kenoshaMarge says:

    The more Obama talks the less difference there is between him and a Republican. That being so my voting for McCain here in Wisconsin will not be the gut-wrenching act I thought it would be.

    Let’s see, Obama and a compliant congress much like Bush had. Nope, I for sure don’t want that.

    McCain and a combative Democratic congress. Would love to see that. However using the word combative and Democratic Congress in the same sentence doesn’t work for me.

    Greed, lies, and lack of concern for the well-being of the country is a description that fits both parties, with a few exceptions, these days.

    I’ll vote for McCain and hope that enough Democrats find their spines to work with him and not cave into anyone sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Maybe some of them will remember that they serve the people of this country and not the president. He’s just another employee, just like them. And we’re paying way more than any of them are worth at this point in time. Actually at any point in time.

  3. BettyBoondoggle says:

    “It can be defined by serious clinical mental-health diseases. It is not just a matter of feeling blue.”

    If there were ever a snowball’s change in non-existent hell I would vote for this tool, this outrageously cluess and misogynstic statement killed it.

  4. ea says:

    May he get what he deserves. Hat tip to previous poster who reminded me of this toast.

  5. julia says:

    What – even at 40, I’m not old enough to decide to have an abortion by myself? My pastor has to give me the thumbs up? Maybe next he’ll tell us that women have the right to vote WITH their husbands or fathers, not by themselves.

  6. ea says:

    for Julia

    Remember, this is a guy who ¿bragged? that he went to his wife’s job interview with her to “check out the potential boss” or whatever it was he said. I feel sorry for his daughters.

  7. slythwolf says:

    What an asshole. Oh my nonexistent god.

  8. Sapphocrat says:

    Ain’t that the truth!

    Ironically, there was a recent discussion on a certain “progressive” message board dedicated 150% to the election of Barack Obama, with no dissent in the ranks allowed (y’all can guess which one!), in which the conclusion was reached, correctly, that Obama’s stance on same-sex marriage equality (hint: he’s against it) would, according to the rules of that message board, disqualify him for membership _on_ that board.

    Personally, I’m thinking of suing Obama for the extreme case of whiplash I’ve suffered — not in watching him swing back and forth (his positions really haven’t changed much; he’s just exposing himself as the most un-progressive conservative he always was), but in watching his supporters swing so quickly in their sudden and unquestioning acceptance of right-wing positions on choice, equality, surveillance, etc., etc.

  9. Fixie says:

    Just gilding the lily here, but that mental health exception (pre-Roe) used to mean having to claim you were or would be suicidal, in front of a judge, if the pregnancy were to continue. Thus, in Obamaland, you would need an actual suicidal diagnosis on the books to get this medical procedure, which pretty much negates your chance of ever receiving independent health insurance again, because you would thereafter be considered high-risk.

  10. octogalore says:

    I don’t know what’s worse, his reference to “pastor” or “family” in “a woman’s right to choose with her doctor, her pastor and her family.” Clearly, by “family” he means “husband or male partner.” She’d hardly consult with other kids about this and siblings/parents seem unlikely. And male partner should be able to offer an opinion. But his word was “choose.”

    It ties in with what ea said about BO going to meet MO’s boss before she took the job. Hmm, there’s a word for the belief that women aren’t human and cannot make our own choices…

  11. Happenstance says:

    Obama Rejects Charges Of Flip-Flopping

    “(Hoping to counter) this whole notion that I am shifting to the center or that I’m flip-flopping or this or that. You know, the people who say this apparently haven’t been listening to me,” Obama said.

    OH SNAP. That’s gotta smart, for all the fauxgressives who projected “Messiah Of Change” fantasies over Obama’s barely-disguised neocon values-parade…

    Mask’s off now, DU fauxgressives. How now? Nader again?

  12. sassysenora says:

    the only upside i can see to this is that the Dems cannot beat us over the head with Roe v Wade anymore. Obama’s said twice now that he disagrees with Roe. if you care about Roe, there is NO reason to vote for Obama and plenty of reasons to vote against him.

    i knew Obama was horrendously misogynistic. in addition to the points listed above, he made far too many misogynistic statements during the campaign for anyone who was paying attention to believe anything else. this is just a partial list of his misogyny (and his hypocrisy): dismissing Clinton’s foreign policy experience as nothing more than drinking tea at ambassadors’ homes, blaming her for all of Bill’s policies (as if she were just Bill’s appendage without policies or thoughts of her own) while at the same time dismissing her experience when she was First Lady, attacking Bill (while saying that everyone should lay off his own wife who is campaigning for him), “Hold on a second, sweetie. We’ll hold a press avail” (said to a reporter in Detroit), calling Sen. Boxer “a cutie”, the “wipe the dirt off my shoulder and shit off my shoes” gesture in reference to Senator Clinton, calling her “that little woman”, saying “She’s got the kitchen sink flying, and the china flying, and the, you know, the buffet is coming at me,” saying Clinton (and her campaign) was “on edge”, “Senator Clinton, periodically when she’s feeling down, launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal”, “suddenly the claws come out” “She’s (Clinton is) talking like she’s Annie Oakley?”, “You’re likable enough Hillary”, “She (Clinton) is going to be a great asset when we go into November” (as if he owned her – even though she had won more votes than he had and he did not have enough delegates to win the nomination), “What is this silly season?”, “you’re gorgeous, you look like you might be a dancer” (said to a factory worker in PA), “What do I need to do? Do you want me on my knees? I’ll give you a kiss.” (said to a female Hillary supporter at a town hall in PA)

    then there was Jessie Jackson, Jr. saying that Clinton cried about her appearance (when she wasn’t even crying) but not about Katrina (when Clinton had spent far more time down there than Obama – i know that part is not sexist but the media’s failure to challenge him about it was), the Nevada ad that used a Central American colloquialism that means “fucking whore” to describe Clinton, Randi Rhodes calling Clinton a “fucking whore”, Samantha Power calling Clinton “a monster”, JJJr saying “The natural reminder here is O.J.” (really? because a candidate for POTUS is just like a woman-hating, lying murderer. well, you’re his campaign co-chair. i guess you would know. ;) )

    however, until recently, i thought Obama was a centrist. i was uneasy when Obama waxed eloquently about Reagan and dissed Bill Clinton. his University of Chicago connection worried me because it is an extremely conservative school and many of his advisors are from there. (His ties to the Daley machine alarmed me as well because of its corruption). i had some concerns and knew that Obama was to the right of Clinton on many policies but i didn’t know that he was to the right of the current Supreme Court (where seven of the nine justices were appointed by a Republican).

    i didn’t think he would be to the right of the current Supreme Court on abortion. i didn’t think he’d be to the right of the Court on the death penalty and want to undermine the Eight Amendment’s requirement of proportionality. i didn’t think he’d interpret the Second Amendment in an expansive way and side with Scalia and Thomas on gun control. i didn’t think he’d say (i.e., lie) that “in fact what I’ve been saying consistently (about the DC gun ban) is what the Supreme Court essentially said today.” i didn’t think he’d undermine the Constitutional separation of powers and the Fourth Amendment by expanding the President’s warrantless surveillance powers (and cutting back on the courts’ right to supervise those activities) under FISA after promising to filibuster it. i didn’t think he’d undermine the First Amendment’s freedom of association and separation of church and state by embracing and expanding Bush’s Faith-Based Initiative program.

    how can anyone trust this guy? i have no idea what he stands for except misogyny and duplicity.

  13. Anna Belle says:

    The whole thing would be hilarious were it not for the fact that he is the installed nominee, and the voter’s choice was cast aside.