In an article about the Supreme Court, outlining the differences between the two presidential candidates, something became abundantly clear: Sen. John McCain is a jerk.
A jerk that has a serious problem. It is one of the following: 1) he thinks stupid is preferable to intelligent, 2) he himself is stupid, 3) being qualified to judge something only matters when he is the one who is qualified, 4) he believes conservative points of view are trump—beating all others regardless of the logic, 5) he thinks critical analysis is watching your stools, 6) he thinks the legal system should be run by robots—assuming they are programmed with a conservative ideology, 7) he actually thinks that a conservative frame of mind is objective—and doesn’t see the irony, 8) he thinks we are all idiots, 9) he places the welfare of his narrow mind above the welfare of his own children, and 10) all of the above.
Take a look at the article. It is a typical piece that shows why Sen. Barack Obama represents a traditional liberal view of the court, while McCain represents the new conservative movement of the last thirty years. Nothing new here. But scroll down. Take a look at the second half of the article. It points out that Obama taught constitutional law. Instantly he has a whole lot more legal experience than McCain. His word carries a great deal more credibility. He also held the prestigious position of president of the Harvard Law Review. McCain’s experience in this arena? (can you hear the crickets?) And they try to argue Obama has no experience!
But look at the last three paragraphs:
"Both a Scalia and a Ginsburg will arrive at the same place most of the time," Obama said during the Roberts confirmation hearings. "What matters at the Supreme Court is those 5 percent of cases that are truly difficult. ... That last mile can only be determined on the basis of one's deepest values, one's core concerns, one's broader perspectives on how the world works and the depth and breadth of one's empathy."
This seems like a pretty fair assessment, especially considering the proclivity of conservative justices to use that 5% to push an agenda! Especially in light of the pressing constitutional concerns, not the least of which includes Cheney’s Law and the ‘imperial president.’ But let’s continue:
McCain answered derisively in a recent speech recalling Obama's reference to a judge's "deepest values" and "empathy."
"These vague words attempt to justify judicial activism," he said. "Come to think, they sound like an activist judge wrote them."
Hmm. “Judicial activism.” These vague words attempt to justify conservative ideology over a rational interpretation of the constitution. Come to think, they sound like a partisan hack wrote them.
But isn’t the root of this statement more devilish than it sounds at first?
- McCain is advocating for a Supreme Court that does not exercise its power: a hands off court. This has led to the current state with the unitary executive.
- He is suggesting that it is only activist if it is a position other than Conservative. Or, more specifically, the so-called ‘strict constructionalist’ ideology that is a bastardized ‘historical’ reading of the constitution.
- He is name-calling in an attempt to paint Obama as some crazed radical with some strange agenda: an interesting development when his perfect judges (Roberts and Alito) are hell-bent on repealing Roe v. Wade.
- He is trying to say that Obama’s experience is not credible because of his mainstream ideology.
- He is making an attack on Obama as an “elitist”, and suggesting that he is average.
The frame that McCain is trying to create here, albeit very weakly, is one of safety and security in him: even though his judicial agenda is neither supported by the law community at large, nor by traditional conservatives. Think the neo-conservative equivalent for judges.
Regardless of what McCain’s intentions are, what he is saying, implying, and trying to get you to believe is reprehensible and down-right wrongheaded. If you need another reason to recognize that McCain is a jerk, let it be this one.