May 26, 2010

Kagan: 41% favorable, 47% unfavorable.

Why? She's the President's pick, an apparently highly competent and amiable person, and she's not on record with much of anything specific. Why the hostility?
By comparison, the president’s first Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, maintained favorables around 50% through the first three surveys following her selection, with unfavorables falling to 40%.
Maybe it's just that Obama himself has gotten less popular.

76 comments:

El Pollo Real said...

Althouse: Why the hostility?

Maybe people don't want another Obama insider.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Two things, neither really relevant to how well she would do on the court:
1) Obama's less popular, and the negatives about him are easily transfered to her, particularly the concerns about socialism.

2) The military recruiters on campus issue- it's an easy story to tell, and it clearly and completely resonates with everything that people hate about liberals.

- Lyssa

Bob Ellison said...

What a stupid question! Favorable/unfavorable on such a thing?

I'm serious: why is this question even worth considering? Is the SCOTUS nominee now an American Idol candidate?

El Pollo Real said...

I mean, they were chummy colleagues from the U of C. People sense an insider track.

mesquito said...

Because, if there's one thing people know about her, it's her snooty refusal to allow military recruiters to despoil her hoity-toity campus.

That tends to rub Normal Americans the wrong way.

MadisonMan said...

I had the same reaction as Bob Ellison.

I wonder who came up with the idea to ask it. Let's see if America has a favorable or an unfavorable view of Kagan!

Well, she can seek solace in the fact that her favorables exceed those of Congress.

Damon said...

In addition to Obama losing popularity her lack of record/scholarship probably deems her unworth in many people's mind.

How long did the discussion of her credentials last - 2 days? Not much there.

Reminds me of Myers, just less glaring.

El Pollo Real said...

That tends to rub Normal Americans the wrong way.

The POTUS keeps demonstrating over and over that he doesn't give a crap about what normal Americans think.

He probably has contempt for the very word "normal".

David said...

Failure to cross ankles while seated?

Betsy said...

Kagan has no judicial experience. She has very little in the way of a paper trail or actions that demonstrate her suitability. Which means that it's unlikely that Obama picked her because she's a towering legal giant and more likely because he knows her well and knows that her politics line up with his, and that he believes that one gets to use one's judicial power to make policy decisions.

So it just doesn't matter what she might have said in the half-dozen instances where she said something -- you have to believe that Obama knows she agrees with his politics based on his personal conversations. Accordingly, it's entirely appropriate to make the judgement Kagan = Obama.

F said...

MadisonMan: Don't everyones' favorables exceed Congress'? F

Pogo said...

Why?
What difference would it make why?

It's become quite clear that Obama and the Democrats don't give a damn what the citizens do or do not favor.

They know what's best for you. Get used to it.

Irene said...

Pogo said, "They know what's best for you. Get used to it."

It's no wonder the appointed judiciary speaks out against judicial elections for state courts.

Daniel said...

Lyssa, the rejection of the right of otherwise qualified Americans to serve their country in the military, and the dislike of institutions and people who support those Americans, resonates with everything that people hate about conservatives.

Ralph L said...

"Is it because I'm a Lesbian?"

Lem said...

"Is it because I'm a Lesbian?"

No.. Its because she plays softball ;)

Calypso Facto said...

I think Daniel and Ralph just posted the same thing at the same time.... didn't they? But Dan, since when has military service been a "right"? Did I miss that Amendment?

Pogo said...

All desires become rights on the left.

reader_iam said...

In lieu of what I first started to write, spontaneously and as a brainstorm list (serious, semi-serious, humorous and semi-humurious) of the possible whys from every POV I can understand or at least can think of, but then that reminded me of this song, and then I realized it'd be better to leave it at that.

***

Just in case, I'll also link to this, just so a couple-so people don't think I've forgotten or something.

; ) : )

Jason said...

Daniel,

What "right" are you referring to? Be specific and point it out in the Constitution. Or are you just making shit up because it sounds nice to the libtard ear?

Daniel said...

Wow, what's an honor and responsibility, if not a legal right, for so many Americans gets downgraded to a "desire" for homosexual Americans. Disgraceful. Seriously. Thankfully, you're all WAY behind the American people on this one.

Jason said...

The recruiters issue is enough for me to viscerally oppose her nomination, all by itself.

She filed an amicus brief against the recruiting effort in time of war.

Then in her first big shot at arguing a case before the Supremes, she lays out an argument that loses, 8-0.

Honestly, if you can't figure out why 47% of Americans would regard her nomination negatively, you need to get off campus more.

Pogo said...

"gets downgraded to a "desire" for homosexual Americans."

All wants are desires.
Whence the 'right', if not merely by your demanding it?

AC245 said...

Lyssa, the rejection of the right of otherwise qualified Americans to serve their country in the military, and the dislike of institutions and people who support those Americans, resonates with everything that people hate about conservatives.

DADT (part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994) was passed by a Democratic-majority House and Democratic-majority Senate, and signed by a Democratic President.

If those wily conservatives would stop using their mind-control abilities on the Democrats to force them to vote against their will, I bet that people wouldn't hate them so much!

Jason said...

Daniel,

Why don't you try again. How about something like "You know, you're right. I was an idiot talking out of my ass when I referred to military service as a "right." Thank you for correcting me. I will try not to post libtard wishful thinking and slovenly reasoning anymore."

Now you can explain to me just how it is that military service is a "responsibility" for people whom the law forbids from serving.

While you're at it, then, ok, let's take at face value your own assertion that military service is a 'responsibility.' How can you take that argument and simultaneously support Kagan's decision to sabotage the effort?

P.S. "Otherwise qualified" = "Unqualified"

Daniel said...

Well personally, I think people have the right not to be excluded as a group from public institutions on the basis of irrelevant personal characteristics. It seems to me that for some of those characteristics, like skin color or religion, that right is codified. Not for individuals. For groups of individuals. I'm not a lawyer, but that sounds like a right to me, and I think/hope it's only a matter of time before that group right is codified.

Daniel said...

Jason, I would be happy to discuss this with you if your first instinct were not to resort to stupid name calling. Go away.

AC245 said...

Oh, and the Kagan favorable/unfavorable ratings? Irrelevant. Or at least, they ought to be.

She's not being democratically elected by the voters, and the people who will be voting on her confirmation shouldn't vote based on her personal popularity in some poll.

She's nominated as a Justice, not a prom queen.

Pogo said...

"Well personally, I think people have the right not to be excluded as a group from..."

"Personally"?
Your argument is based on that alone?
Are you 15?

Daniel said...

No, my argument is based on the logical point I made right after the word "personally". I didn't know this board was like twitter -- I'll try to limit my points to a certain the number of charact

Slow Joe said...

"Not being on the record for anything specific"

OK, this should be obvious enough. This is a lifetime appointment to the very top of a branch of our government. She has no experience judging. She is a lazy academic with nearly nothing to show for her career.

That she's so unknown means people think she's a crony. Of course that Obama turned out to be unready for his job isn't helping, but the core problem is that she appears to be a hideous foul creature who hid every detail about her policy views in hopes of sneaking in.

No one likes her. Sure, some approve, hoping she sneaks in to fulfill their goals, but this kind of slime is impossible to respect. Some level of judicial temperance requires jurists to refrain from saying anything that pops in their head and appearing as objective as possible, but this Kagan is ridiculous. Not only that, but the few times she showed a view, it was an abhorrent one.

The American people are right in this case, and will never come to like this Justice. But elections have consequences. If they don't like this kind of judge, they need to nominate better candidates and elect them too. We failed on both counts last time.

Daniel said...

AC, I know who passed DADT, and it doesn't make me support it or the people who passed it. I also know that DADT did not replace a law that allowed homosexual people to serve in the military.

chuck said...

"why is this question even worth considering?"

It's karma, man. What goes around comes around. Payback is a bitch. Hit back twice as hard. Shrug. Supreme court appointments have become a circus and it all started with the Democrats and Robert Bork. Best just buy the popcorn and settle back for the show.

Flexo said...

Why? She's the President's pick, an apparently highly competent and amiable person

She may very well be a highly competent person, but she is grossly lacking in competence as a potential Supreme Court justice. The American people have seen what happens when you treat top positions like they are entry level jobs, and they are turning against the nepotistic, oligarchical, elitism of the left and this Administration.

Revenant said...

Is the SCOTUS nominee now an American Idol candidate?

Don't be silly. If SCOTUS nominations were like American Idol, we would take the nominee's talent and ability into account during the nomination process. :)

Revenant said...

Wow, what's an honor and responsibility, if not a legal right, for so many Americans gets downgraded to a "desire" for homosexual Americans.

Homosexuals can already have the honor and responsibility part. What they're missing is the government recognition.

Heterosexual married couples have government recognition. Homosexual married couples desire government recognition. Neither group has a *right* to government recognition.

Revenant said...

AC, I know who passed DADT, and it doesn't make me support it or the people who passed it.

But oddly enough it does make you blame conservatives for its continued existence.

I also know that DADT did not replace a law that allowed homosexual people to serve in the military.

That's true, it didn't. The DADT policy (implemented by Bill Clinton) replaced the earlier policy of giving "undesirable" discharges to homosexuals (implemented by President Truman), which had in turn replaced the earlier neutral-discharge policy (implemented under President Wilson). I'm not sure what party these men belonged to, but apparently it must have been the Republicans. :)

The point, Daniel, is that it makes no sense to blame "conservatives" for the ban on gays in the military when (a) the law wasn't enacted by conservatives and (b) the Democrats have done nothing to repeal it, despite having had (until earlier this year) total, filibuster-proof control of Congress.

The truth is that there are two political parties in America: the one that opposes gay marriage and doesn't give a shit about gay rights, and the other party that opposes gay marriage and doesn't give a shit about gay rights.

Joe said...

She's perceived as an intellectual, not a judge, one reason Bork lost.

reader_iam said...

Don't be silly. If SCOTUS nominations were like American Idol, we would take the nominee's talent and ability into account during the nomination process. :)

Not to mention their narrative arcs and their profiles and how all that fits into the over-the-years folding/rolling out of the ongoing show with some tweaks for various reasons and then in addition to what the panel of designated critics have to say publicly in broadcast there's that whole public vote thing:

Text Now!

Jason said...

I think people have the right not to be excluded as a group from public institutions on the basis of irrelevant personal characteristics.

You have not established that these personal characteristics are "irrelevant."

Obviously, all four service chiefs, who are rather more qualified to make this assessment than you are, disagree.

You really need to tighten up this sloppy, adolescent wishful thinking. For example, you "thinking people have a right" does not establish a 'right.' If you think they have a right, then show the language in the constitution.

Otherwise, I could argue that I think I have a 'right' to paint your shoes pink, and be on the same logical footing as you are.

Tell you what. You promise to stop writing stupid things and I promise to stop pointing out that you're stupid, and why.

Deal?

reader_iam said...

As for the one of the other memes on this thread:

BLACKFIVE, well done. You rock!

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that her popularity is tied closely to that of President Obama, and as his slides, so does hers.

Personally, I think that she would probably do a better job than wise Latina Justice Sotomayor. But the later has already been confirmed, and rejecting her would have been radioactive with Hispanics.

Ms. Kagan, on the other hand, would be the third Jew and third liberal woman on the Supreme Court. I am starting to feel a little sorry for Justice Breyer - if Kagan is confirmed, the liberal caucus will turn into a hen party, with three women and one (poor) man. It might be enough to get him to switch sides so he can hang out with all the rest of the guys.

I frankly don't think that judicial experience is an absolute requirement. Justice White did a good job without. I think that she is plenty smart enough to do the job. And they have clerks to do the heavy lifting as far as cite checking, etc.

Finally, she does have a paper trail, and it will most likely come out during her confirmation hearings. She worked as an attorney in the Clinton Administration, and apparently generated a lot of memos, etc. while so employed. Combining that with her actions concerning military recruitment during war time, I think that she may ultimately be in trouble.

BUT, the Democrats do have 59 pretty sure votes, and the Republicans are unlikely to filibuster. So, I still see her getting confirmed. She may be a bit bloody, and if she is, she can commiserate with Justice Thomas.

Richard said...

It's her looks. She simple looks like a left wing nut case even as she tries hard not to sound like one. Sotomayor just looked homely. She didn't have "the look".

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"... an apparently highly competent and amiable person ..."

Do you know her, Ann?

Because I don't think you have any independent knowledge about whether Ms. Kagan is an amiable person or not. So you're speaking out of school - accepting facts into evidence which for which you have no grounding.

A judge would never do that.

It is clear to every American that Ms. Kagan is in fact not highly competent. She would not make a good judge because she's never, ever been a judge. She has no experience whatsoever as a judge.

It would be like suggesting that Jay Leno would make a good astronaut. Jay Leno has never been an astronaut, has never received astronaut training and has no experience as an astronaut. He might be funny ... but he is not qualified to be an astronaut.

Until recently, Ms. Kagan had never even seen the inside of a courtroom as a lawyer - let alone as a judge.

So, if you're looking for the mysterious reason why Americans find Ms. Kagan an unacceptable candidate for the highest court in our country ... it might be that she's never even judged a traffic ticket case.

She has not 1 day of experience as a judge. She is therefor not qualified to be a Supreme Court justice.

Whether she is an amiable person has nothing whatsoever to do with the question at hand, but since you're not even qualified to answer that question, let's just stick to what is on the record, shall we?

Jason (the commenter) said...

Obama's popularity isn't the only thing that's hurting her. Kagan is a "trust me" appointment; she doesn't have much of a record, we're supposed to trust Obama's choice in her, and many people aren't willing to do that.

If she had a clearer history, I suspect she would be able divorce herself from Obama's numbers. But she doesn't. Democrats can complain about Republicans not allowing her judicial appointment earlier, but that doesn't remove the fact that she has a sparse record.

Jason (the commenter) said...

People haven't had problems with government officials having no experience before. Perhaps there was some recent, high profile official, who was elevated to high office and proved a disappointment, turning the public against the practice?

info said...

Uhh...it's called intuition and common sense...sheeesh!!!
Wanna bet she's NOT an over reaching liberal tilted toward socialism...how much???
Obama wants her...look at the rest of his people...can you glean ANYTHING from this???
God help the kids you teach...

edutcher said...

I forget who made the point, possibly Michael Barone, but the Demos are beginning to turn on The Zero. Some of it may be the incompetent response in the Gulf, some because they don't want to be part of the massacre this fall, even some who think it's time to stop spending.

The issue is that he's poisoning the Demos' nest and it's going to effect a lot of people around him. I think the Harriet Miers factor (isn't it interesting that he's made the same mistakes Dubya did, but at year 2, not year 5?) and some her CV also hurt.

As to Daniel's proclamation of new rights, this is how the Demos stay in power. Basically it's the community organizer trick writ large. Find a group, tell them they're oppressed, crusade for a set of newly invented 'rights', and brainwash them into thinking that they can't exist on their own if they don't vote Democrat.

HDHouse said...

Why the hostility?

Gosh let me guess what effect a concentrated smeer campaign by the right wing thugs can accomplish...mostly lies, mostly crap, mostly "well suppose"...

Nice job you thugs.

Sixty Grit said...

A highly competent person does not leave their car running overnight. A person who does that is an idiot.

Fen said...

Daniel: the rejection of the right of otherwise qualified Americans to serve their country in the military

There is no right to serve in the military.

The military routinely discriminates based on age, weight, martial status, medical condition, eyesight, etc.

resonates with everything that people hate about conservatives.

Conservatives have nothing to do with it. I've served in the USMC and have no problem with homosexuals serving alongside me. I simply wouldn't want to share my already limited privacy with those of another "gender".

If you support homosexuals serving in military, you must also support unisex barracks, berthing and showers.

AllenS said...

Obama's positive approval numbers are going south because of the job situation and the stock market. Most people are noticing that the prices paid at the gas pump are going down, a good thing, (thanks, BP) and in WI, we're a long way from the Gulf.

Polaris Industries has a plant in Osceola, WI, not far from me, and they are closing and moving to Mexico. 500+ jobs will be gone. Is anybody in this administration doing anything to keep this from happening. Obama? Obey?

That's what people are noticing. I'm surprised, talking to friends, that they didn't realize that the state of WI and the counties started last month to take out for taxes on your electric bill. I use very little electricity, so they only took $3.08. What do you think that an industry like Polaris would pay for this extra tax every month? Is it enough to make them rethink about producing in WI?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Lyssa, the rejection of the right of otherwise qualified Americans to serve their country in the military, and the dislike of institutions and people who support those Americans, resonates with everything that people hate about conservatives.

Daniel, the question was not whether or not DADT is good policy, nor was it whether or not Kagan was correct in keeping military recruiters off campus, it was why Americans are not feeling favorably towards Kagan.

Your apparent opinion that Americans, in general, are outraged over DADT and "hate" that about conservatives is only so much liberal fantasy.

Americans 3-1 think that the military, not congress, should decide DADT

I don't know of any polls regarding whether or not universities that receive public funding should refuse military recruiters, but I'd be awfully surprised if a large number of evn those who strongly oppose DADT support that policy. This is not a liberal verses conservative thing, it's a liberal verses mainstream America thing.

- Lyssa

Fen said...

Daniele: on the basis of irrelevant personal characteristics.

Not irrelevant.

When serving in a combat unit, romatic/sexual relations destroy its morale, making it less combat effective and costing lives.

"Daniele is never put on point because she's boffing the squad leader."

lyssalovelyredhead said...

jason said: Obama's popularity isn't the only thing that's hurting her. Kagan is a "trust me" appointment; she doesn't have much of a record, we're supposed to trust Obama's choice in her, and many people aren't willing to do that.

But that is directly tied to Obama's (falling) popularity. Nine months ago, Americans might have trusted him; now, they don't.

- Lyssa

peter hoh said...

I am not surprised. The military recruitment issue is a PR nightmare. Ideally, you'd take a weakness like this and address it head on, before the hearings. Kagan and the administration can't, which is why it hasn't happened, and thus the issue lingers, coloring everything else.

Furthermore, I don't think Kagan comes across well on the small screen.

Fen said...

I wouldn't worry. The same GOP that gave a nod to Ginsburg will compromise their compromises and pass Kagan.

J said...

"Maybe it's just that Obama himself has gotten less popular"

That certainly doesn't help, but again, the administration, and evidently many in academia, seem unable to grasp how profoundly offensive her treatment of military recruiters was to the general public. It's a bit of a paradox; if you researched the subject, I'll bet you'd also find that the last thing the public wants is more IL grads in the military.

roesch-voltaire said...

One the recruitment issue has been mis-represented, as usual- see the many articles explaining the continuation of the process that also allowed JAG to meet on other areas of the campus, and two she takes a wide stance over home plate, and three, to confuse everybody, Judge Scalia stated that lack of judicial experience might be a good thing.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

peter hoh said The military recruitment issue is a PR nightmare. Ideally, you'd take a weakness like this and address it head on, before the hearings.

Ideally, yes, but I'm trying to imagine how any administration, particularly this administration (which has proven time and time again that it doesn't *get* most of America) could take this head on and do anything but draw more attention to and make most people more upset by the issue.

Probably better to bury it so that only the folks who follow non-mainstream media will even realize it exists. Of course, the number of folks who do that is growing by the minute.

- Lyssa

Original Mike said...

It's because she sits with her legs ajar.

AllenS said...

PR nightmare for who?

peter hoh said...

Lyssa, yes, this administration can't get ahead on this issue. That's why I thought that they should not have nominated Kagan. Bad chess.

peter hoh said...

Allen, it's a PR nightmare for Kagan and the administration. You can't explain away the recruitment issue in a way that works for the average American.

And I should have affirmed Lyssa's point that it's hard to imagine any administration succeeding in this effort.

Yes, the Obama administration will probably succeed with the Kagan appointment, but they have miscalculated the cost.

peter hoh said...

Vulnerable Democratic Senators will be on the hot seat. Or maybe not. For a vulnerable Democratic Senator, I don't think there's a downside for voting against this nominee. I just don't expect that any of them have the balls to pull this off.

Larry J said...

Daniel said...
Lyssa, the rejection of the right of otherwise qualified Americans to serve their country in the military, and the dislike of institutions and people who support those Americans, resonates with everything that people hate about conservatives.


Daniel, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was enacted by a solidly Democrat controlled Congress in 1993 and signed into law by a Democrat President. Where do you get off blaming "the right" for it? Are you one of those who believe the military should disobey our civilian leadership and refuse to obey the DADT law? Do you really want to go there?

MadisonMan said...

I don't think Kagan comes across well on the small screen.

Well, she's short. That's why sitting behind a bench as a judge is a good job choice for her. She can even sit on a phone book. That way she'll look taller when she stares down impudent lawyers.

Maguro said...

Noted wingnuts John Kerry and Ted Kennedy voted for DADT. I wonder if Kagan barred their homophobic asses from the sacred grounds of Harvard Law School.

AllenS said...

I think that Maguro just killed the thread.

peter hoh said...

Is Kerry on the judiciary committee? If so, I hope somebody makes Maguro's point.

goodbodynut said...

I am not a lawyer. I think a person who is a SCOTUS candidate must have qualifications that are evidenced by a paper trail.

If she has been careful to never leave any evidence of if, when or how she thinks then she is hiding something that is harmful to the Republic.

In the United States we have government of the people, by the people and for the people. The opinion of The People concerning a nominee to SCOTUS does matter in the Unites States.

Hagar said...

In the old days, if you were caught in a sexual situation with a fellow soldier of the opposite sex, it was called "fraternization," and you would be out on your ear with a "less than honorable" discharge. Today, I expect the charge may be "sexual harassment" as well as "conduct unbecoming."

So, how is it different if the other person is of the same sex?

I should think one would want to consider the meaning of "openly gay" in military service.

Trooper York said...

It's because everybody went to see the Clash of the Titans and they are afraid of Obama saying "Release the Kagan!"

Daniel said...

A couple of responses to issues others have raised, if people are still reading this post:

I really don't care if Democrats or Republicans enacted DADT, or any of the others laws that preceded it. I want it gone, and the party that most closely represents this position is the Democratic party. And yes, as Revenant points out, both (national) parties have sucked and lagged behind public opinion on this issue. Let's end that.

On the "right" issue (LarryJ misread this as the political spectrum rather than the moral/social/legal entitlement): not all rights that I believe people should have are codified in the Constitution, which after all is an incomplete normative vision of the world (as it could only be), though a beautiful and historic one. Only lawyers think within the boundaries of the constitution, and things can be legal and wrong, or illegal and right. While you might think of this as a "liberal" way of thinking, I bet it applies to some of the issues that you might care about as well (not to stereotype, but the not yet born come to mind).

On Lyssa's point that we're talking about Kagan -- I was responding to you, not the thread. I don't know why the survey came out the way it did, and I'm sure not going to pick my favorite issue and superimpose it on the results.

Cedarford said...

Some possible reasons, each affecting various groups in the public with lots of overlap:

1. Never practiced in court, never a judge. A "professor" like Obama (who actually never was one, just a lecturer).
2. Another person from NYC.
3. The military issue.
4. Worries she is being nominated as a "stealth" gay activist who will ram the gay agenda through no matter how people have voted in the States.
5. Another Jew. A minority already greatly overrepresented in the courts and legal profession.
6. A looks thing. Another brainy, somewhat ugly woman - who many women and men suspect excelled academically because she was free of a social life.
7. Unmarried, no kids.
8. Not a real centrist.

dick said...

Daniel,

Again you are listening to what they say and not what they do. If the democrats were so het up about DADT and so much in support of it, then it would have been revoked within the last 4 years. I have not seen any effort to do that. Instead what I have seen is what the Democrats do every election. They pat the gays on the head and tell them I support you, vote for me. After the election, then the Dems don't answer the phone and do nothing for the gays. It is Lucy and the football all over again and yet the gays keep falling for it. When are you going to wise up to how you have been suckered for years.