The nebbish nominee
By Bruce Walker
Elena Kagan seems a pleasant sort. She has drifted through those familiar paths to power which lawyers have pursued, especially, as I noted in my article, "The Lawyers Party," those paths which Bill, Hillary, Barack, and Michelle – lawyers all – followed. She went to notionally "good schools," rather like a member of the British Establishment ninety years ago might have been pulled through the "good schools."
Kagan spent almost her entire adult life, after that, was spent in government law or teaching law or administering law schools. Soon we will learn about her judicial philosophy, her attitude towards issues like abortion and affirmative action, and all sorts of other information – all of which really means nothing.
Elena Kagan, soon to be Justice Kagan, is simply a cipher, a reliable leftist vote on a Supreme Court which has devolved over the last fifty years into nothing more rigorous than a political organ for justifying the rising, malodorous, dreary pollution of "Social Justice" in America. The Supreme Court, like much of the federal judiciary, has become an instrument of advancing an agenda.
Social Justice, of course, is an oxymoron. Nazis loved "Social Justice and spoke of it often. Stalinists loved "Social Justice" as well. Fascists in Italy bravely endorsed "Social Justice." In America, "Social Justice" has had a long, predictable lineage. Father Coughlin, the radical socialist priest who naturally drifted toward the leftist movements of Nazism in Germany and Fascism in Italy, founded the National Union for Social Justice. His periodical was the Social Justice Weekly, which had circulation in the millions.
Coughlin, the anti-Semite, was attacked by the Ku Klux Klan, which hated Catholics as much as blacks and Jews. The Klan strongly endorsed public education and the creation of a Federal Department of Education. Many leaders of the American "Social Justice" movement tried to join the Klan (Harry Truman) or did join the Klan (Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark – Ramsey Clark's father, and Democrat Senate Floor Leader Robert Byrd.) Woodrow Wilson, who in many ways fathered "Progressivism" in America, thought well of the Klan.
Elena Kagan is not in the company of giants. She is in the company of pigmies. Any Storm Trooper or Soviet apparatick can support unequal treatment under the law – favoring the official designated victims and condemning the official designated oppressors is the most simple-minded and undemanding process conceivable. All the dull, lifeless systems of political correctness are at their roots the same: all embrace the crude divisions of humanity into races, classes, genders or faiths.
Justice – looking at each case with blinders on, viewing law as having value only when truly objective and equivalent for all, disciplining the mind to ignore natural sympathies or biases – this is the great product of a system of laws fairly and dispassionately implemented. It is hard to do. Only wise and noble people can reach that goal.
Ideological ciphers, what judicial nominees of the left have become, cannot be wise or noble in this way. These ciphers may have a "judicial philosophy," but that is always tainted with the toxin of "Social Justice." Who these ciphers are matters not at all. The tortured reasoning needed to produce the "right" judicial decision has only the most remote connection to cognition. It is, instead, simply rationalization for a jihad against the oppressors and in favor of the victims.
So while we listen to the overly serious pundits discuss Elena Kagan's grade point average in law school or success as a legal intern or cases handled as Solicitor General, remember that none of this matters in the least. It has all the drama of the elevation of a Candidate Member of the Politburo to full membership. Ms. Kagan is a nebbish, maybe a bright person but a person who has decided that all legal cases just be pre-judged according to an ideological formula with wholly predictable results.
Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps we will learn that Ms. Kagan believes that global warming is bad science. Perhaps she will say that reverse discrimination must eventually, even to the dimmest mind, be actual discrimination. Will she stun us by saying that the Tenth Amendment has been trampled and that states really are sovereign under our Constitution? Could we hope that Kagan might suggest that federal jurisdiction in the areas of "general welfare" are finite and have been exceeded?
We could wish and we could hope but we all know what the answer would be: Justice Kagan will be no more than Speaker Pelosi or President Obama in judicial robes. She, like Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, are leftist banality at its most banal. There is no spark of individuality in these automatons. The blank monolith of leftism is all she ever sees.
Conservatism produces people like Barry Goldwater, Rush Limbaugh, and William F. Buckley. Study their lives and you will find contrariness and disagreements with what other conservatives thought. Indeed, a free mind is the very soul of conservatism…but not leftism.
This nebbish nominee follows the sheepish path of Groupthink whose purpose in life is to champion old, failed ideological prejudices instead of seeking actual justice. Ultimately, it did not matter at all who Obama selected. Any nominee was going to be the nebbish nominee, the bland partisan on the Court, the quintessence of ordinariness, the reliable leftist vote – she did not disappoint.
Bruce Walker is the author of two books: Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.