March 4, 2010

Federal judgeships as favors for voting the right way on health care?

"Tonight, Barack Obama will host ten House Democrats who voted against the health care bill in November at the White House; he's obviously trying to persuade them to switch their votes to yes. One of the ten is Jim Matheson of Utah. The White House just sent out a press release announcing that today President Obama nominated Matheson's brother Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit."

How's that for changing the way Washington works?

Remember this:
This past Election Day, the American people sent a clear message to Washington: Clean up your act....

[I]t's not enough to just change the players. We have to change the game.

Americans put their faith in Democrats because they want us to restore their faith in government....

The truth is, we cannot change the way Washington works unless we first change the way Congress works. On Nov. 7, voters gave Democrats the chance to do this. But if we miss this opportunity to clean up our act and restore this country's faith in government, the American people might not give us another one.
Restore this country's faith in government? You are driving cynicism to new heights.

***

I am assuming that Scott Matheson has the credentials to serve on the federal court. So do many others. (Not me. I lack judicial temperament.) But the President chooses from a large pool of individuals with good enough credentials. What are the good enough reasons to pick a person out of the pool? To buy the vote of his brother the Congressmen? Obviously not.

And even if you want to argue that it's a good enough reason, Barack Obama won the presidency by holding himself out as powerfully virtuous, as the man who would change the way Washington works. When I voted for Obama, I didn't think that was going to be the set-up for sarcastic, world-weary jokes.

UPDATE: I respond to Obama supporters who say move along, there's nothing to see.

134 comments:

mvl said...

Who voted for this Chicago politician thinking this kind of shit wouldn't happen...

We had McCain, a fairly honorable guy with credentials whom we knew, and an unknown guy from Chicago, land of the sleaziest politics in the US who spent the most cash in the history of elections to steal the Presidency along with deranged groups like ACORN.

Oh yeah, Sarah Palin is an idiot or something, Joe Biden is a great swell white guy.

Amazing.

rhhardin said...

The shock is that it's to sell the country out, not that it's done.

NewHam said...

Wow, you're kidding. These guys are scumbags?

Whodathunkit?

Ann, come on, admit it. You voted for Barack Obama knowing that he was a Chicago, Illinois politician.

You're not seriously suggesting that you're surprised by bribes, nepotism and other illegal inducements we haven't uncovered yet in exchange for votes, are you?

If you lay down with dogs, don't bitch about the fleas, honey.

Pogo said...

"Nice little congressional seat you've got there.
Wouldn't want anything to happen to it."

William T Sherman said...

Ann -

You had plenty of evidence two years ago that this guy was a first class con man, yet you decided to avert your eyes and hope fore the best.

What are you and the rest of the rubes going to do now to make up for that mistake?


WTS

NewHam said...

Ann,

You're a law professor.

Is it illegal for a politician (even the President) to give a thing of value (job) to someone's brother in exchange for their vote on a piece of legislation?

Is that bribery, or not?

MadisonMan said...

And doesn't this really harm the Congressman Matheson's election chances, or at least make them a lot harder?

Would you want to vote for a person when that person's family gets great benefits from his Congressman status? I wonder if Obama expects him to be grateful!

NewHam said...

"Is it illegal for a politician (even the President) to give a thing of value (job) to someone's brother in exchange for their vote on a piece of legislation?"

Keep in mind this is purely a hypothetical question. I'm not saying this is what occurred (even though that is the appearance).

But assume for a moment that Barack Obama agreed with Matheson prior to the appointment to make the appointment in return for a Yes vote on his health care bill.

Is that illegal? Is it bribery? Or not?

Harsh Pencil said...

Constantly getting on our host for voting for Obama is just stupid. She gets it - lots of people here believe she made a mistake.

What do you want? Groveling? Begging for forgiveness?

If someone moves from a position against yours to your position, it's just stupid to harp on them for their original position. Instead, their movement toward the light should simply be welcomed and encouraged. Otherwise, you're just increasing the price of moving in the right direction. Not smart.

rdkraus said...

Goddamn America, your chickens are coming home to roost.

Whacha got here is your basic high crimes and misdemeanors. And I'm not talking about Clinton's boner either. This is a genuine crime against the system.

WV: bustiksm --- What? I did not kiss that bust. I swear I didn't.

NewHam said...

"What do you want? Groveling? Begging for forgiveness?"

Mawr.

I've seen grudging admission, but no groveling and certainly no request for foregiveness.

So, yes.

Mawr.

Children must be spanked when they touch the stove - it's just a sad fact of life.

We do it for their own good.

k*thy said...

MM, I'd agree on each point. Realistically, I'm beginning to wonder if the system is so big and so entrenched that one guy CAN change it - even if he campaigns on it and even if the majority of voters want to believe it.

David said...

She doesn't have to beg, but a little groveling would be nice.

If there were a quid pro quo, nominating a judge in return for a vote would be a crime. In fact, it might be the rare three-fer, in which the Judge, the Congressman and the President were each guilty of a federal crime.

Of course, everyone knows not to make the agreement explicit and, in fairness, it should be noted that by actually nominating the brother, the President has given up his leverage over the Congressman.

NewHam said...

"Whacha got here is your basic high crimes and misdemeanors. And I'm not talking about Clinton's boner either. This is a genuine crime against the system."

It is the House of Representatives that is empowered to conduct an investigation of any high crimes committed by the President of the United States.

He would then be tried for those crimes in the Senate.

So, first things first: Gotta get Republicans in control of the Impeachment Committee of the House of Representatives. That gives them subpoena power and the power to force people to testify under oath.

(Hillary's strategy used in the Nixon case would be an excellent template to follow).

I'll be asking my Congressional candidate whether he supports the investigation of the President for his high crimes and voting accordingly only for those candidates who assure me they would vote to impeach this third-rate burglar we have in the White House so that the Senate can hold a trial.

Comrade X said...

Realistically, I'm beginning to wonder if the system is so big and so entrenched that one guy CAN change it - even if he campaigns on it and even if the majority of voters want to believe it.

the system made obama do it

NewHam said...

"I'm beginning to wonder if the system is so big and so entrenched that one guy CAN change it ..."

But your guy is the one handing out the bribes?

John said...

"What do you want? Groveling? Begging for forgiveness?"

That would be a good start. She could do it on blogging heads. And then Ann could do a national apology tour where she travels around the country meeting with her readers apologizing in person for her vote.

NewHam said...

"If there were a quid pro quo, nominating a judge in return for a vote would be a crime. In fact, it might be the rare three-fer, in which the Judge, the Congressman and the President were each guilty of a federal crime."

I agree. And since we have significant probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, shouldn't a grand jury be empaneled to conduct an investigation and compel testimony from these people in order to determine if a crime has been committed?

Isn't that how our justice system is used against ordinary citizens who don't enjoy Presidential powers?

Skyler said...

Getting closer to an admission of error anyway.

NewHam said...

"And then Ann could do a national apology tour where she travels around the country meeting with her readers apologizing in person for her vote."

I would be glad to invite Ann into my home to receive my grovel in person.

AllenS said...

For whatever reason, The Professor felt a need to vote for someone. That's over. I'd like to applaud her efforts to bring into the discussion that the person she voted for has flaws. Many, many flaws. More people need to bring this to the attention of the people in this country.

Kirby Olson said...

Even if Obama isn't blackmailing the vote of Matheson the appearance of fraud is still there. Obama knows precisely what he's doing. He might as well call himself Papa Doc.

I know what PT Barnum said, but how did Obama manage to get SO MANY suckers to believe in him?

YES WE CAN bribe and cheat and cajole our way into power, and even take over the whole economy!

Jason said...

"And you voted for him!" is the new "And you, a law professor!!!!11!!!!1!!!!"

Kristian said...

Regarding his qualifications, the guys at PowerLineBlog appear satisfied that even without his connection to his brother, Scott Matheson, Jr is a good choice (for him):
Thus, President Obama could not have found a more suitable nominee, from a liberal Democratic perspective, than Scott Matheson. It would be unfair to assume that he selected Matheson in order to influence his brother; on the contrary, if Matheson had no siblings at all he would be an ideal liberal judicial candidate.

And for all the people saying McCain would have been better, maybe. I still can't forgive him for McCain-Feingold or selling out George Bush's Judicial Nominees. I suppose we will whether his commitment to collegiality is returned by this senate.

NewHam said...

@MadisonMan,

I asked you a question:

Would Hillary be bribing people for their votes?

t-man said...

If Matheson is really the type of person who should get a lifetime appointment to the bench, he would not even accept the nomination under these circumstances. I wouldn't have any respect for him as a judge.

Sloanasaurus said...

Regarding his qualifications, the guys at PowerLineBlog appear satisfied that even without his connection to his brother, Scott Matheson, Jr is a good choice (for him):

Still it's really bad politics. It will now be mentioned in every discussion of the corruption that surrounds Obamacare. How can that Rep vote for the bill now? He is going to get skewered in his own district as well.

Besides, isn't offering government jobs to reps to vote one way or another Bribery. If Obama offers a "job" to a House rep if he were to vote for Obamacare but lose his House race in November, how is that not something of value being offered in exchange for a vote?

NewHam said...

"... even without his connection to his brother, Scott Matheson, Jr is a good choice."

Which is, of course, completely beside the point, since there are many in the pool of good choices from which Barack Obama may choose.

Even if the man is qualified for the appointed job, it is illegal for Barack Obama to appoint him in return for a vote on legislation.

And so we have plenty of probable cause to believe that the crime of bribery has been committed by our President.

The House has a duty to compel testimony and investigate.

Pogo said...

We can now out-banana-republic the best of 'em.

If the health care bill does pass, it's all over.
And I mean the USA, because now anything and everything will be passed under reconciliation given the barest of majorities.

Goodbye, Constitution; we hardly knew ye.

NewHam said...

"If Matheson is really the type of person who should get a lifetime appointment to the bench, he would not even accept the nomination under these circumstances."

The judge is already guilty of creating the appearance of impropriety in his appointment - which is against the judicial canon

He must refuse the posting, or he should be - in my view - removed from the bar.

Of course, some smart Republican would need to file a complaint with the bar first.

I hope some smart Republican is doing that.

jayne_cobb said...

The look of this is so bad that I can't believe it was intentional. Even a Chicago politician wouldn't be this obvious with a bribe.


The funny thing is that the optics of this are so bad that Jim Matheson may have to vote against this just so he can avoid looking corrupt.

And while he may be happy for his brother, I can't imagine that he is happy with the President.

PWS said...

Isn't it possible the brother is qualified on his own merits? Should the White House have *not* picked him to avoid the appearance and blog posts like this one?

What are the facts? Is the cynical narrative always the right one?

WV: untinges
Worth considering some untinging.

NewHam said...

"If the health care bill does pass, it's all over. And I mean the USA, because now anything and everything will be passed under reconciliation."

Not really. Here's why:

"Reconciliation" is merely a process the Senate uses to pass certain types of legislation. It uses that process (or rule) only because they've voted to use that rule.

In the past, the only legislation available for this was passing the federal budget or raising or lowering taxes - budgetary issues.

The "reconciliation rule" could be changed by a 51-vote majority.

Reconciliation was introduced into the Senate operating procedures in 1974 by Democrat Party Ku Klux Klansman Robert Byrd.

It's not part of the Constitution (except for the part that says the Senate can make its own rules of operating.)

What will happen is that the moment "reconciliation" is abused, the Senate will remove it as a process available for passing legislation at all and return to former rules (requiring 51 votes to pass, but 60 votes to end debate).

This is known as the "nuclear option" because it will theoretically destroy Washington. Nothing would ever get done and the gears would grind to a halt.

That's a feature, by the way, and not a bug, in my view.

AprilApple said...

Let's hope Obama's bribe attempts fall on individuals who have integrity.




Obama's integrity is in tatters.

From Inwood said...

That thread the other day about the “first” guy at SCOTUS arguments, reminds me of trolls who want to be the first to comment on the Althouse Blog on things Liberal.

One of them is gonna come out when he/she wakes up this AM with a “Tom DeLay was worse” defense or point out that, unlike Liberal stuff like the AGW fraud where Liberals did not have the burden of proof, Prof A & Obama critics certainly have that burden here.

And in the case of fls, cite supposed holdings from famous SCOTUS cases with supposed pronunciamentos from Justices destroying Conservative positions. (I’d say Conservative thought, but some brilliant Liberal would say, as if he/she had thought of it him/herself: “ ‘Conservative thought’ is a contradiction in terms.”)

You know where fls says something like

“Congress has the power to regulate sex, Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824), where the Court held that “commerce is more than mere traffic—that it is the trade of commodities—it is also intercourse.”

(Verbatim text from that case)

And, posing as Constitutional scholars & challenging lawyers’ Constitutional bona fides advise us that the Fifth Amendment repealed prohibition. (You have to be old enough to get this joke since liquor is now sold in 750ml bottles rather than “fifths”.)

And, NewHam, in Da Bronx (right next to Inwood) the Orwellian term for bribery was “The Favor Bank”. But these low-rent Bronx/Inwood pols (politicians often being referred to as the second oldest profession) were at least honest in speech & were not Ivy grads. Thus, zee foolish Obama worshiping snobs like David Brooks, Chris Buckley, etc. were not fooled by them & actually held their nose if they voted for them. But they tryed to convince us profanum vulgus that Obama 2008 was The Second Coming. (Or The First, if you are one of those people C4 disdains.)

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

……

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
.

NewHam said...

"Isn't it possible the brother is qualified on his own merits? Should the White House have *not* picked him to avoid the appearance and blog posts like this one?

Yes. It's the duty of the President to ensure that he is not creating the appearance of impropriety in the selection of judges - so that we maintain faith that our judicial system is not corrupt.

Barack Obama has corrupted that process by his appointment and this appearance of a bribe.

Obama has forever tainted this judge and cast the bar in an unfavorable light - a violation of the judicial canon.

Obama has also cast aspersions on the Congressman, who, it would appear, is now forced to vote for health care reform in exchange for this appointment.

The appearance of impropriety is important and is why the judicial canon does not permit members of the bar to do things that even appear to be a corrupting influence on the bar.

Obama should be disbarred along with the judge (if the judge accepts the appointment).

The Congressman should be jailed for accepting a bribe (even if he votes against health reform because the jig is up).

Shanna said...

It looks horrible, horrible, horrible. Even is Matheson is the best candidate, the timing is absolutely sewer-worthy.

Absolutely. As I tried to tell people before the election, this guy is from Chicago. He is a Chicago pol through and through. There is no way he’s not going to play dirty.

traditionalguy said...

The One's victory did not happen because of a single vote in Wisconsin. The swing states which lost it were lost because of three factors: 1) McCain was not a trusted man by conservatives who did not flood to the polls for him like they did to support the war President Bush in 2004, and 2)The housing bubble crisis hit and the habitual reaction was to punish the party in power , and 3) the common feeling was that Obama as a first black man with a loving smile would not be so a President. To win the next one we have no worry about 2. All we need to do is unite around a conservative white woman which eliminates 1 and 3 and we win in a landslide.

mvl said...

I remember the hysteria and quite fascist iconography of Obama...

I am an amateur student of stuff like that, the Communists and Fascists that used it, and I saw the same exact methods used.

One can see how the educated classes sold out the proletariat to the state in Germany and elsewhere.

That's kinda unforgivable. People should know that that happened and not fall for it all over again, especially the educated class.

Then again, there is a great love for eugenics in the educated class, it makes them feel so smart!

John said...

"Absolutely. As I tried to tell people before the election, this guy is from Chicago. He is a Chicago pol through and through. There is no way he’s not going to play dirty."

In the one party autocracy that is Chicago, you can get away with this stuff. But, you cannot get away with being this brazen in Washington. As I said above, Obama isn't even a competent crook. Somewhere, really skilled Washington crooks like LBJ and JFK are laughing their asses off at this amateur.

Big Mike said...

Um, some of us tried to warn you about Chicago politicians. Is Madison so far from that city you haven't heard about Chicago-style machine politics?

In the future might you elevate integrity to a higher position in your decision tree about whom to vote for? Like make it the first either-or?

John said...

Madison Man,

The brother has a lifetime appointment. I doubt if he really cares how it looks. The Representative is screwed. I honestly don't think Obama and his Chicago mafia thought that far ahead. I really think they thought they could get away with this.

Pogo said...

Justice now has its blindfold removed and a thumb on the scales.

Now would be a good time to join a union and donate to The Party.

John said...

"That's kinda unforgivable. People should know that that happened and not fall for it all over again, especially the educated class."

The educated class always falls for the worst and much dangerous lines of nonsense. Nowhere, not Germany, Russia, Cambodia, China or any where else, has the actual middle and lower classes ever bought this garbage. It has always been the students and the upper middle and educated classes who have fallen for it. They just can't resist appeals to their vanity.

Pogo said...

And surprisingly, the 70,000 or so health boards and other new gummint health agencies will all have members with Democrat Party bona fides.

NTTAWWT.

Opus One Media said...

After 8 years of the former president picking the least among many to be on the courts, it appears that Obama may select from a better gene pool.

I gather you waited 8 years to write this little thread until someone thought that judgeships were bad deals if in any way political...instead of all ways political.

Pogo said...

Opus One Media (hdhouse)is proof of Fen's rule:
“The Left doesn't really believe in the things they lecture us about”.

AJ Lynch said...

That is a very good Den's rule.

pinkmonkeybird said...

Althouse.
I admire your candor on your mistake.
But you should have known all along. If you were paying attention at all to his background history before Election Day, none of this would be the least bit surprising.

madawaskan said...

PWS said...
Isn't it possible the brother is qualified on his own merits? Should the White House have *not* picked him to avoid the appearance and blog posts like this one?

What are the facts? Is the cynical narrative always the right one?



Matheson, Matheson he's our man-if he can't do it-

Nobody can!

You know there's just so few lawyers out there today, and hardly anyone has a law degree and so these things happen.

The Matheson brothers are the only people standing between us and having to revert back to the lawless days of te Wild Wild West.

And, of course the timing that's just really, really ironic-poor Obama he's snake- bit like that.

Bernard said...

What He said:

"The campaign's over."

I think that about covers it for any attempt to hold Him to His campaign rhetoric.

Fen said...

Ann, is this the Hope and Change you were expecting?

Fen said...

Ann, seriously, you should get on the gravy train before it all comes crashing down.

Justice Althouse has a nice ring to it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Would you want to vote for a person when that person's family gets great benefits from his Congressman status?

I'm guessing the day isn't far off when Obama will be granting knighthoods and landed estates for votes.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Constantly getting on our host for voting for Obama is just stupid. She gets it - lots of people here believe she made a mistake. What do you want? Groveling? Begging for forgiveness?

I'll settle for a year's membership the Wisconsin Beer of the Month Club membership and some fine cheddar cheese to go with my cheesburgers.

Meade you can deliver them personally. I'll fire up the grill and I won't make you share my cheeseburger either.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

When I voted for Obama, I didn't think that was going to be the set-up for sarcastic, world-weary jokes.

@Althouse. You're obviously an intelligent person. I know Obama was an attractive candidate but I have no idea why you didn't see this coming. You took a leap of faith and now Obama is telling you to take a flying fuck. Are you really that surprised? What in his well-protected background led you to expect otherwise?

Bob From Ohio said...

Does not this appointment guarantee that Matheson will remain a no vote?

If he changes to yes, everyone will assume its because of his brother. His brother will never get confirmed because the GOP (and their slave Ben Nelson) will never allow the confirmation to come to a vote. He will probably lose his seat.

But if he stays a no, it shows wahat a man of integrity he is.

MadisonMan said...

some fine cheddar cheese

Fromagination up on the square was selling Hook's 15-yo cheddar, so I had to go and buy some (@ $60 a pound!!!!)

It was so very very excellently pungent and fine tasting. Money well spent.

Joe said...

I live on the border of Jim Matheson's district. Though he's not my congressman (could be with redistricting--we're going to get another rep) I like the guy. I liked his dad too when he was governor of Utah. I simply cannot see Jim changing his vote based on this. His integrity aside, there isn't a chance in hell that Jim Matheson will vote for this monstrosity if he has any desire for a future in Utah politics and I think he does.

PatCA said...

What really surprises me is how open Obama is about his deals. There is little to no effort made to conceal the buyoffs for Obamacare or the breaking of other campaign pledges.

He made direct statements during his campaign and then in his first year, when those statements are still fresh, he contradicts himself! What can he be thinking? I guess that we're too stupid to notice?

madawaskan said...

A Utah congressman is firing back at a political blogger who questions the timing of a well-known Utahn being nominated to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Rep. Jim Matheson says President Obama did not nominate his brother in exchange for a "yes" vote on health care reform.

The blog comes from John McCormack of the Weekly Standard. He says the timing of Scott Matheson Jr. being nominated looks suspicious, especially since Jim Matheson voted against health care reform bills before but is undecided now. Rep. Matheson, D-Utah, says that's not why his brother was picked.


NBC Salt Lake

Pogo said...

"Rep. Matheson, D-Utah, says that's not why his brother was picked."

Oh, well then, nothing to worry about.

It's all on the up and up!

DADvocate said...

Obama proves himself on a nearly daily basis to be an epic hypocrite and liar. He's making Nixon and Clinton look honest.

Sloanasaurus said...

A thought:

If Democrats had the votes to pass the Senate Bill, they would have passed it. Don't they need to pass it to start Reconciliation?

Thus, isn't all this last effort push by Obama a charade so that Obama in the future can shift blame from himself and the Senate to Congressional Democrats. He can say that he tried his best and that Reid tried his best and that it's the Congressional Democrats that failed.

Just a thought....

Pastafarian said...

While everyone's piling on Althouse, I'd like to point out that, as much as her vote disappointed me at the time, she hasn't been proven wrong yet.

Part of her logic for voting for Obama was that it was better to vote for a Democrat with a D next to their name, than it would be to vote for a Democrat with an R next to their name (McCain), so that if (when) everything goes to shit, the proper side gets the blame.

So far, Obama hasn't done any irreversible damage. Crap-and-tax hasn't passed, card check hasn't passed, they haven't thrown open the borders to illegals and given them all ACORN voter registration cards; Hell, they haven't even passed their government-run healthcare yet.

They have managed to spend a whole heaping shit-load of money that we don't have; and things have gone to shit. And Obama and the Dems are receiving the blame, as they should.

So Althouse might have been right, even if she didn't realize how far left Obama actually was, or how Machiavellian he could be in his tactics.

madawaskan said...

Pogo-

Ya, move along nothing to see here.

The 10th Circuit has jurisdiction in Utah, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Colorado.

I don't know how they pick judges so I'm wondering why Utah and not someone from Colorado.

[ok,ok I'm pretending to wonder.]

There's also this from Philadelphia Inquirer linked to by The Weekly Standard blog:

Rep. Joe Sestak (D., Pa.) said yesterday that the White House offered him a federal job in an effort to dissuade him from challenging Sen. Arlen Specter in the state's Democratic primary.

The disclosure came during an afternoon taping of Larry Kane: Voice of Reason, a Sunday news-analysis show on the Comcast Network. Sestak would not elaborate on the circumstances and seemed chagrined after blurting out "yes" to veteran news anchor Kane's direct question.

"Was it secretary of the Navy?" Kane asked.

"No comment," Sestak said.

"Was it [the job] high-ranking?" Kane asked. Sestak said yes, but added that he would "never leave" the Senate race for a deal.


Philadelphia Inquirer

But don't look at that either!

ABP said...

Obama has turned out to be exactly what his history told us he would be. But some people wanted to believe in the Hopey-Changey Unicorn Lightworker, and McCain adamantly refused to campaign like he wanted to win (i.e., by pointing out Obama's history).

So, you get what we had here last [election]. Which is the way he wants it. So he gets it.

vw aughte: as naughty as you ought to be.

raf said...

What do you want? Groveling? Begging for forgiveness?

No, nothing short of going back and unvoting will do.

wv: nofismsa. Because fismsa is bad.

edutcher said...

The people who want a full-grovel apology from Ann sound like the PC university types who demand the same sort of thing from a conservative student for expecting their First Amendment rights to exist on campus. Be interesting to know how many of them voted for The Won (probably the same ones who say they miss Willie).

As for impeachment, he has crossed the line. He thought he could get away with it because, like Willie, he didn't realize the rules in DC are different, not everybody is in on the fix.

John said...

"That's kinda unforgivable. People should know that that happened and not fall for it all over again, especially the educated class."

The educated class always falls for the worst and much dangerous lines of nonsense. Nowhere, not Germany, Russia, Cambodia, China or any where else, has the actual middle and lower classes ever bought this garbage. It has always been the students and the upper middle and educated classes who have fallen for it. They just can't resist appeals to their vanity.


Don't know if I can support that, but Hitler certainly played the upper classes once he got his foot in the door. By very clever maneuvering, he fashioned himself into the Savior who would save them first from the incompetent Weimar Republic, then the Commies, and, finally, the SA. By then, it was too late to stop him.

The upper crust ain't the elite they think they are.

raf said...

More seriously, (you could tell that last was unserious, couldn't you? Really?) I can't fault people for not believing in John McCain. I voted for him (more accurately, against the O) but I suspect that if he were president a sweeping health reform bill would have been passed long ago. JM was always good about cooperating with the other side, and he was good friends with Kennedy.

Meade said...

I'll fire up the grill and I won't make you share my cheeseburger either.

Thanks, Hoosier D. You know I love you, man, but just not in that intimate share-the- same cheeseburger kind of way.

garage mahal said...

This story has about as much legs as the story of all those conservative car dealerships being targeted by Obama. Remember that juicy theory? And if you out a ? at the end of your title, you can say just about anything! Because you're only asking, not stating.

Meade said...

Two things that can be added to what Pastafarian said at 11:21...

1. The U.S. has not cut and run from Iraq and Afghanistan... yet, and
2. The Republicans have been forced to raise their game and try to return to coherent principled conservatism.

ken in sc said...

Hillary would be blackmailing people for their votes. Remember the missing and then re-appearing FBI files. It would be secret. And people who knew about it might commit suicide.

raf said...

In other words, just because Obama is awful does not prove that McCain could not have been worse.

"The campaign is over." I'm sure I heard that somewhere. So it is time to concentrate on the next campaign. Let us celebrate any shift in the right direction instead of driving everyone back in the other direction. "I told you so, stupid" is very soul-satisfying, but not very rational.

edutcher said...

garage mahal said...

This story has about as much legs as the story of all those conservative car dealerships being targeted by Obama. Remember that juicy theory? And if you out a ? at the end of your title, you can say just about anything! Because you're only asking, not stating.

Whistling in the graveyard. This is an impeachable offense. Nixon went down for less.

garage mahal said...

Whistling in the graveyard. This is an impeachable offense. Nixon went down for less.

What about actual evidence. What do you have so far. A Weekly Standard article?

Scott M said...

Okay, garage, I'll bite. When he says it's an impeachable offense, the implication is if it's true.

For the sake of a feat of mental gymnastics, and purely for our own back-and-forth here, let's assume that it IS true and there is enough proof, whatever form that may be, to make it unspinnable.

What would your position be were all that the case?

Night2night said...

In healthcare compliance, the appearance of "quid pro quo" is best established by avoiding situations which could be interpreted as a conflict of interest. As a law professor, I would figure BO would have to be aware of this (or maybe he just doesn't care). I worry about what the second possibility, if true, says about his true character.

garage mahal said...

What would your position be were all that the case?

Oh I don't know. I just think it's funny that the first thing that jumps into McCormacks and conservatives minds is that someone is bribing somebody.

Scott M said...

Oh I don't know. I just think it's funny that the first thing that jumps into McCormacks and conservatives minds is that someone is bribing somebody.

Oh, bullshit. If the shoe were on the other foot, all of the strident, shrill types on the left would be doing exactly the same thing and you know it.

Answer the question with something more substantial than "oh, I don't know" or excuse yourself from the grown up's table.

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't know how they pick judges so I'm wondering why Utah and not someone from Colorado.

My memory is that they pass the wealth around in the Circuit Courts of Appeals. This means that there is, I think, Utah seat(s), Colorado seats, etc.

Now, having practiced law in both states, I can affirmatively state that the attorneys from Colorado are far, far better, and all the seats on that Court should go to Colorado attorneys (ok, I will admit, that is where I grew up and first passed a state bar, but otherwise, I am totally unbiased).

garage mahal said...

Answer the question with something more substantial than "oh, I don't know" or excuse yourself from the grown up's table.

Actually grownups don't speculate mindlessly over things without any verifiable facts, and play "what if" games with people. At least ones I'm in contact with.

Scott M said...

Actually grownups don't speculate mindlessly over things without any verifiable facts, and play "what if" games with people. At least ones I'm in contact with.

Actually...there are entire industries of very well-paid people who do exactly that. You're an ideologue and a !@#$ing idiot.

garage mahal said...

Speculate away. Knock yourself out.

bagoh20 said...

"So far, Obama hasn't done any irreversible damage. "

It's only been the first year. I'd say he has gotten on the trail well ahead of the posse so far.

There have been a series of miraculous events that just barely are slowing him down. Things like Climategate, Accorn, The Tea Party, and mostly his incredible arrogance about what he thinks is OK for him above all others like lying and breaking promises right in your face and being so transparently corrupt and dishonest.

All he had to do was tone himself down and he would have gotten much farther as he likely will before he's done.

I can't imagine any other politician getting away with what he has so far. His support is so invested in not looking like fools for supporting him that they back him no matter what. It's a dangerous dynamic and not new in the annals of national disasters of power.

There is great potential for serious long term damage, which is my only real disagreement with Althouse's justification for voting for him. It just was not worth the risk. I hope she is right and I'm wrong. Nothing would make me happier.

Scott M said...

Sure thing. I'll speculate that people like you, on the left and the right, are what's wrong with our political culture in all of its facets. I'll further speculate that I might be wrong, but like Barkley, I doubt it.

You didn't answer a single question. Why do you even bother posting here?

traditionalguy said...

Garage...Why is Blago in legal trouble? All he planned to do was pick the best man for the Senate seat. By Blago's standards that required an honest quid pro quo instead of a secret and corrupt quid to buy the quo/office that was his to award as he saw fit. the Feds should FREE BLAGO, or impeach Obama.

edutcher said...

garage mahal said...

Whistling in the graveyard. This is an impeachable offense. Nixon went down for less.

What about actual evidence. What do you have so far. A Weekly Standard article?


I haven't heard Barry deny it. Besides, given the fact that the National Enquirer is now our paper of record because the Gray Lady won't report anything it doesn't like ("all the news that fits, we print"), what makes The Weekly Standard automatically suspect? How often have they been caught in a lie, as opposed to CBS or AP?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh I don't know. I just think it's funny that the first thing that jumps into McCormacks and conservatives minds is that someone is bribing somebody.

Smoke=fire

garage mahal said...

You didn't answer a single question. Why do you even bother posting here?

Probably because I don't feel the need to jump on answers to stupid hypotheticals from you.

raf said...

I doubt there will be any actual evidence of a quid pro quo in this case. Politics seems to run in families, and it could easily be (or at least claimed to be) coincidence. Nevertheless, if the shoe were pinching on the other foot, the demsm (Get it? I conflated "dems" with "msm." Okay, forget I said it...) would be braying nonstop. Politics.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Actually grownups don't speculate mindlessly over things without any verifiable facts,

That's why I ignored the Bush Lied People Died and we only invaded Iraq to enrich Haliburton, steal their oil and provide fresh blood for Dick Cheney to drink.

madawaskan said...

Bruce-

Well I was looking at the current judges and given it's relative population compared to the other jurisdictions-Colorado seemed to be under-represented.

Although it wasn't really clear who was from where.

(I recognized Gorsuch as a "Colorado name" but there was no reference to Colorado in his bio.)

Plus I really think after the Dems held there Convention in Denver it's great how it looks like Colorado might trend back Red.

Ritter isn't running again-and Bennet is in trouble.

The internals can't be looking that good for Dems in Colorado.

Lance said...

I live in Congressman Matheson's district, and just talked to his office in Salt Lake. The person I spoke to emphatically denied any connection between Scott Matheson's appointment and Congressman Matheson's support for HCR.

Based on my experience following Jim Matheson's political career, I'm inclined to believe it.

MadisonMan said...

Lance, I'm inclined to believe you, but if it's true, how could the Congressman possibly vote for HCR now?

Is Obama is trying to destroy chances by giving people political cover they can hide behind?

traditionalguy said...

Lance...This is difficult, but the Congressman denying it leaves open the question of corruption. If he had said we discussed it and both agreed on my brother's appointment as Good For the People All Over the Land, then all would be normal politics. Now the amateur President has tried to bribe him unilaterally.

DADvocate said...

What else is Congressman Matheson going to do but deny a bribe attempt by Obama? Say, "Oh yeah, my votes for sale anytime!"

No matter what Congressman Matheson does on the HCR bill his image will now be tainted. If he votes for it, it will look like Obama bought his vote. If he votes against it, he looks like he's trying to cover up the attempted bribe and loses favor in the eyes of our great president.

garage mahal said...

When will Democrats get it through their thick skull that they cannot appoint anybody to a position that might get the Weekly Standard suspicious!

jeff said...

"After 8 years of the former president picking the least among many to be on the courts,..."

You forgot to post any kind of list of those people that were the "least among many". How about a little verification of that?

jeff said...

"When will Democrats get it through their thick skull that they cannot appoint anybody to a position that might get the Weekly Standard suspicious!"

You REALLY need to step your game up. If this happened 5 years ago and the congressman was a republican you wouldn't shut up about it.

edutcher said...

traditionalguy said...

Lance...This is difficult, but the Congressman denying it leaves open the question of corruption.

What's the old newspaper line, "I don't care if it's true, just get him to deny it"? So far, nobody has denied what the WS says; they just deny a connection. I'm willing to say Lance is operating in good faith, but tg's point, given raf's observation (Nevertheless, if the shoe were pinching on the other foot, the dem(s and msm) would be braying nonstop.), is still well taken.

garage mahal said...

When will Democrats get it through their thick skull that they cannot appoint anybody to a position that might get the Weekly Standard suspicious!

If the Congressman involved doesn't deny the appointment, I'd give up trying to throw mud at the people who revealed it (but then, that's me)

Peter V. Bella said...

This is pure Chicago politics. Right from the play book. I have said over and over again that the President is a Chicago political hack.

As to those who voted for him- many, if not most, were voting against something- Republicans and Bush or wanted to see history made. They were independents and fed up Republicans.

Now they all have buyers remorse. The hopium hangover has been cured and they are seeing what they have wrought- Chicago on the Potomac.

His venally corrupt mentor, the man who discovered him and made him, Emil Jones is very very proud.

garage mahal said...

That's why I ignored the Bush Lied People Died and we only invaded Iraq to enrich Haliburton, steal their oil and provide fresh blood for Dick Cheney to drink.

So far no denial from Cheney that he drinks blood. And if he ain't denying it, well, shit, it must be true!

Mark said...

Is Obama is trying to destroy chances by giving people political cover they can hide behind?

Never underestimate how stupid people in power can be. This could have been an attempt to instill a sense of gratitude in Congressman Matheson (of the mutual backscratching variety) that has just gone horribly wrong.

Matheson is in a no-win situation. And the situation his brother is in (and looking at his creditials, he seems immanently qualified for the position) is worse.

Way to go, Barry!

wv: "alies" - who needs enemies if you're on Team Obama's side?

Deborah said...

Given the current political climate in DC - or for that matter, at any time -- is it wise to give even the appearance of bribery? Are we supposed to be so naive as to believe this is just a coincidence? I believe the current administration believes so. One of my "friends" posted an incredibly naive statement on FAcebook about how she really really appreciated Obama's doing what was "right" and not caring about the political consequences and for - yes - keeping his promises. It appears our current administration thinks we are all this brainwashed.

Mark said...

Deborah, ask your friend for a list of promises kept. I for one would be fascinated to see it.

Mark said...

Scott, the one reason I've held onto the hope that Obama was actually the better candidate was that under McCain some sort of half-assed health care "reform" would have been a certainty.

If Obama, Pelosi, and Reid (the Axis of Weasels) do convince enough Democrats to commit political hari-kari, then even that rationale fails.

wv: "ovestspa" - what the Axis practices politically every day in every way.

orbicularioculi said...

My short time (2010) and longer term (2012) goals can be simply stated: Democrat Progressives, Socialists and White House Marxists can GO STRAIGHT TO HELL. And I'm going to do everything in my power both in my home state and supporting Conservative Candidates in other states to get these bastards out of office.

Whiskey said...

Ms. Althouse -- Respectfully you are an idiot in the way that only a Law Professor could be.

The "rubes" who distrusted the sleazy, corrupt, racialist, raised in Indonesia as a Muslim, associating with Black Nationalist preachers and White Radical lunatic figures, Obama, were right.

And you were utterly, predictably, wrong.

The question is, if you were this wrong (and boneheadedly wrong) about Obama, what ELSE are you WRONG ABOUT?

I would suggest, like most of the educated professional class that has told itself a pack of pretty but stupid lies about how the world works, that this category would be pretty much everything.

You can't cheat an honest man, and you cannot con someone who does not want to be conned.

spunky said...

So far no denial from Cheney that he drinks blood. And if he ain't denying it, well, shit, it must be true!

Good job on that straw-man included for sarcasm's sake. It's toast.

Noticed how you left those standard lefty tropes untouched tho'.

Koblog said...

Look people, Ann is way out in front of fellow Obama voters.

She's already blunted the force of anger that's surely coming to the others who voted for the Empty Suit In Chief.

I predict there will be massive numbers (70% maybe?) who will eventually claim to have voted McCain just so mud doesn't get thrown in their faces. Obama? You really think I'd vote for a yokel like that? Hah! Please don't hurt me...."

Meanwhile, Ann will be blogging merrily away, immune from the slings and arrows 'cause she came clean early and paid the price.

dave in boca said...

BHO offered Sestak the Sec'y of the Navy job to drop his primary run against Specter. That is a high crime & misdemeanor by a lot of people's lights.

Jim said...

Wow, you are still admitting you voted for Berry. You lawyers are a special case

Silvio Canto, Jr. said...

Great post.....

cgeteert said...

David said,"...it should be noted that by actually nominating the brother, the President has given up his leverage over the Congressman."

Not at all, the President could effectively scuttle his nomination anytime, seeing that he (the President) seems beyond embarrassment concerning open hypocrisy.doodr

SWWBO said...

William T Sherman said...

What are you and the rest of the rubes going to do now to make up for that mistake?


Hey, I don't know *ANY* of us rubes who voted for Obama!

Don't put me in that group!

Lance said...

This subject is dying down, but I'd like to respond a bit...

@Dadvocate
What else is Congressman Matheson going to do but deny a bribe attempt by Obama?

I'm not basing my trust on the denial alone. I'm basing my trust on years of observing Congressman Matheson in office. That's what bothers me with the Weekly Standard's insinuation of corruption: there's no background, no track record, nothing.

But you know what? After the Louisiana Purchase and Husker Hustle, I don't trust the Obama administration very much. That's why I felt compelled to call Matheson's office and get their first hand response. I think I've got a good read on the Congressman, but even so I needed a cross check.

Now that I've had a couple more hours to think about it, I've decided the WS columnist (John McCormack) is a bit of a sleaze. Without any evidence but a single coincidence, and without any background, he decides to drag Rep. Matheson's name into the gutter. I think that's bad practice, every bit as bad as the crap liberals and progressives pulled during the previous administration.

Peter V. Bella said...

In about two months you won't find to many people who said they voted for Obama. Most will say he stole the election through massive vote fraud.

In about six months it will be Obama who?

Just like every other unpopular president.

SH said...

In other news, he is about to ruin the healthcare system for ideological reasons. The magical / conspiracy theory thinking that removing the profits / free enterprise from it will make it better. Because central government planning and wage and price controls have worked so well every time they were tried before. :)

Fat Man said...

1. Who is the Rube?

2. "Not me. I lack judicial temperament." its an appellate job. Temperament is not a requirement. The only people you ever talk to are lawyers, and yelling at lawyers is not a sin, it is not like you are hurting human beings or anything.

3. Hillary would not bribe anybody. That is beneath her. And if they commit suicide, or their plane flies into a hill side, well that is not Hillary's fault is it?

Hyphenated American said...

Guys, lay off the broad. She was correct to vote for Obama. Only the man with his intelligence and personality could have taken the Democrat party from the very top and brought it down in just one year. The man is a genuis!

And I am happy to say that I predicted all this back in November 2008.
http://hyphenatedamericans.blogspot.com/2008/11/i-can-live-with-obama_02.html

jonstrau said...

In Massachusetts, what President Obama just did is known as "a nationwide search" For example, after ...."a nationwide search"......the retiring Congressman Marty "Two Term" Meehan was chosen as the best person in all of the United States to head up U Mass, Lowell. Obviously, this process shows the energy and diligence Gov. Patrick and the Board of Higher Ed put into competent governance of the Commonwealth. And, it looks much better in the newspapers.

Rod said...

Er, that's "not I", Professor.

madawaskan said...

Lance-

The public has a right to know. Rep. Jim Matheson publicly moves from a no vote to saying he is undecided.

Matheson's brother is appointed a few days after the Democrats determine that framing the Republicans as the obstructionists during the Health Care Summit did not work out so well.

Obama is on about Plan C right now.

First they had the majority of both the House and the Senate and they could not get the bill passed despite special consideration for:

Louisiana, Nebraska, Hawaii, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut-I might have forgot a few.

So Plan A Obama controlling his own party didn't work.

Plan B- Making the Republicans take the wrap for it-didn't work. McCain listing the special favors and deals made by the Democrat leadership to their own members illustrated that.

Now they are on to Plan C-good luck figuring out what that is but it could be that Obama has decided life would be easier without a bunch of Democrats in the House that he can't control anyway.

He'll be free of Democrats having to accept responsibility for everything and they can blame those evil low brow Republicans in the House.

(Democrats do know the value of the Senate and they have probably made the calculation to concentrate their efforts on those races.)

Hell plan D could be to blame it all on the "Tiny Dancer" who's really the evil mastermind, was never for this bill anyway and always knew the House count pretty well.

You could see that maybe they were working at cross purposes and knew that any lawyer would advice Rep. Matheson to vote-NO on this bill now.

And-you calling the Representative's office might have helped to ensure that-which you would have never done if you had been kept in the dark about how the incident all played out.

Get it? You as his constituent had a right o know, and oh btw he is up for re-election in 2010. It will be questionable however, if anyone remembers any of this because not too many are reporting it in the first place.

Moneyrunner said...

I don't blame Ann for voting for Obama, It's what law professors from Madison do. It's in their nature.

Anyone who tries to apply rationality to it misses the point.

Tword: acove=a place at the shore

Ken said...

Who would ever believe that a Chicago machine politician was corruptible? The only excuse for missing that Obama was an accomplished liar is that his main competition on the Democratic side was the wife of a man who has yet to tell the truth.

AST said...

Jim Matheson is my congressman. I think his district was gerrymandered to give Democrats a congressman of their own.

He's a blue dog. His father was governor here and seemed to be a pretty good guy, but he's a Democrat who helped saddle us with Nancy Pelosi.

If I were he, I'd announce immediately that I pledge not to vote for Obamacare no matter what the President does to swing my vote. If that hurts his brother's shot at getting on the bench, so be it. If he does that, I might vote to reelect him, and I've never voted for him before. I'd have to support integrity like that, in one election, at least.

patriot77 said...

You really voted for this guy? In spite of the sleazy associations, the total lack of experience, the marxist tendencies in his own writings, and his obvious disdain for his own country?...Why did you vote for him? Because he could give a speech?....Our country is doomed.

Amuk said...

When I voted for Obama, I didn't think that was going to be the set-up for sarcastic, world-weary jokes.

In all due respect, you should have.

Mick said...

This is a patern. He also promoted
Judge Arthur Gonzalez to Chief Justice of the Bankruptcy Court 4 days before he dismissed the suit to reconsider the Chrysler Banruptcy. 82 Chrysler dealers have joined this suit that alledges that New Chrysler (Fiat) never said that their Franchises needed to be rescinded in order for the Bankruptcy to move forward. Judge Gonzalez committed fraud on the court, and now records of the docket have been scrubbed from the internet. The case is being appealed.
These Chrysler dealers have standing to file Quo Warranto in the DC District callenging the eleibibility of Barack Obama (his father was never a US Citizen, thus he's not a Natural Born Citizen), since the government had taken ownership of Chrysler before their franchises were terminated, Their injury is specialized and different from all other voters. It will happen.
And to think that a Law Professor voted for an ineligible non-Natural Born Citizen POTUS! But then, neither candidate was eligible. John McCain was born in Colon, Panama, and is not a Natural Born Citizen either. G. Washington warned against the power of political parties.

http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/

Ann Althouse said...

Rod said..."Er, that's "not I", Professor."

Write a 500 word essay on why you are wrong.

damikesc said...

And if you out a ? at the end of your title, you can say just about anything! Because you're only asking, not stating.

Is a Leftie actually whining about that? I remember the Left thinking doing that in regards to Beck murdering somebody was the apex o' hilarity.

As for Bush appointing the least of many, well, we also saw Dems claim a man who went after the KKK in MS when they were actually relevant was "racist".

Oxbay said...

Althouse writes: "(Not me. I lack judicial temperament.)"

So what, it didn't prevent Ginsberg from getting confirmed.

Not to mention her husband was leading a formidable campaign out of the public eye to persuade Clinton to nominate her. Was she not aware of that dirty rotten business?