October 21, 2010

Ted Olson says: "It would be appropriate for them to say 'the law has been deemed unconstitutional, we are not going to seek further review of that.'"

I agree.
"It happens every once in awhile at the federal level when the solicitor general, on behalf of the U.S., will confess error or decline to defend a law," said former George W. Bush administration solicitor general Ted Olson, who is leading the legal challenge of California's ban on same-sex marriage. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state attorney general have both declined to defend the law in court.

"I don't know what is going through the [Obama] administration's thought process on 'don't ask, don't tell'...."
He doesn't know, but I bet he has some ideas. He's too dignified to tell. But I think we know.

91 comments:

Montagne Montaigne said...

Really? Then do tell, for Christ's sake. Really.

Fen said...

Obama is using gays as a poltical prop, Montagne.

Fen said...

And before you start lecturing the rest of us on bigotry:

Montagne Montaigne said...
we should make all blacks go through special screening anyway. ...anyone sort of brown should be submitted for additional screening. There should be a whites-only line - @ 10:41AM, 10-21-10

Just to set the record straight.

/hat tip to Maureen Dowd

Jim B said...

Obama's many supporters seem to forget that Obama has two REAL bases: unions and blacks. Everybody else is projecting onto Obama what they want, and is bound to be severely disappointed at Obama's ultimate decision if their agenda comes into conflict with either of those two self-described identity groups.

Without Obama's nearly monolothic support from blacks, his current approval rating would be in the mid-30s and he would likely face a primary challenge in 2012.

Without union support, he would have ZERO ground game to GOTV or generate "spontaneous grassroots" rallies for him.

I only mention this to explain his SEEMINGLY contradictory stand on DADT and other gay rights issues where he SAYS one thing but actually DOES something 180 degrees opposite his words.

Little known "secret": blacks may be fiscally liberal in general, but they are also generally SOCIALLY CONSERVATIVE.

Look at any poll of blacks, and you'll see that there is majority opposition to homosexuality. Not just gay marriage or DADT: but the very morality of homosexuality. PERIOD.

Now if you're a politician whose most fervent supporters are against a given policy, what are the odds that you're going to stick your neck IN ANY WAY to support that policy?

If you said ZERO, congratulations.
You now understand Obama's REAL stance on DADT (and other gay rights issues) perfectly.

Everything else is just pretty words.

Chase said...

If Obama and his administration do not seek further review - and this is not solved legislatively, then you and others taking your position can take credit for another Roe v Wade and the results that has had on the fabric of this nation.

Congratulations.

Fen said...

A commenter over at BlackFive raised an interesting point:

does this mean a federal judge can countermand lawful orders?

Its not a good precedent.

edutcher said...

The Zero really doesn't like homosexuals.

And the homosexual vote won't help the Demos enough this year.

Scott M said...

Are we seeing that heretofore best left unspoken hatred of gays from the male black community? Could it be that simple?

Probably not, but it would make an excellent after school special.

garage mahal said...

Sweet, another open thread for criticizing Obama for not doing something we ourselves don't want him to do, and would criticize him even more if he did do it. And heap on some faux concern for gays and liberals who we hate with a passion for good measure.

Jim B said...

garage -

And heap on some faux concern for gays and liberals who we hate with a passion for good measure.

Speak for yourself about hating gays. Don't heap your "faux concern" on anyone else.

I can't even say what Obama's personal beliefs are re: homosexuality, so I wouldn't pretend to say what his personal preferences are.

But if you want to pretend that Obama's political calculations are anything other than what they are, then YOU are either a fool or a liar.

Which is it?


WB: toustsp: the dance that garage is doing around recognizing reality

ndspinelli said...

Black folk have been slaves to the Dem party for decades. The great Jackie Robibson saw it coming back in the 1960's. I think the same playbook is being used w/ the gay vote.

Fen said...

Libtard: Sweet, another open thread criticizing Obama for being a hypocrite

/fixed

Montagne Montaigne said...

The article itself suggests about 4 different things. Presumably, since some of them are reasonable, that's out of the purview of this discussion.

Fen said...

Montagne Montaigne: [...]

Racist scum said what?

Original Mike said...

I am surprised at this; why doesn't he just do what Olson suggests and be done with it. There is no way in hell his black support would suffer over this issue.

AllenS said...

Once DADT is repealed, the military can go back to what they were doing before. That is, the dishonorable discharge of homosexuals that has been in place forever.

Do you understand this, Professor?

Bruce Hayden said...

Look at any poll of blacks, and you'll see that there is majority opposition to homosexuality. Not just gay marriage or DADT: but the very morality of homosexuality. PERIOD.

I am not sure if it is just morality here. The other thing to keep in mind is that a significant percentage of black underclass males spend time in prison, where rape is an issue. And, the rape there is mostly about dominance. And, so, I think that homophobia is a natural reaction.

Combine that with religious conservatism, and, yes, you get serious homophobia.

garage mahal said...

But if you want to pretend that Obama's political calculations are anything other than what they are, then YOU are either a fool or a liar.

So the best explanation you and the Einsteins on the right can come up with is that Obama is purposely pissing off a large part of his base two weeks before an election by going through this painfully slow and arduous process. But in the Age of Obama, there is literally no theory deemed to far fetched for conservatives.

Scott M said...

a significant percentage of black underclass males spend time in prison, where rape is an issue. And, the rape there is mostly about dominance. And, so, I think that homophobia is a natural reaction.

It's been my direct experience that they don't like dogs much either. How many dogs are there in prison?

Fen said...

Garage, Obama the Narcisist is a failure. He can't blame that on Republicans if the Dems keep control of Congress.

Scott M said...

Garage, it doesn't have to be political calculation. It could just be rank incompetence and pure misunderstanding of how things work at that level. Seriously...given the number of unforced errors this administration has managed to seat itself with, there really doesn't need to be much speculation on cabalist theory over this one.

Fen said...

Even his fellow Dems are saying this. They come out from meetings with him more scared than when they went in.

That, patterned with all the other "gaffes" he's made in the last 2 months.

He's throwing them under the bus to save his Legacy. The Diversity Hire needs another scapegoat to ride.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Combine that with religious conservatism, and, yes, you get serious homophobia.


Again with "Homophobia" let's just say OPPOSITION to Gay Issues...I'm not letting you pollute the discourse with a Leftist ASSUMPTION/Meme...that not supporting gay issues is some sort of "phobia".

I did think JimB. nailed it...at least one if not two of Obama's bases of support are NOT in favour, of gay marriage or gays in the military. And you dance wit the wun wat brung ya...

Obama may or may not be pro-gay/anti-gay only Yhwh knows for sure. But in an era where his support is rapidly dwindling, where he's about to lose at least one House of Congress, Obama isn't going to make any more enemies, within his own camp.

Original Mike, OBAMA might not suffer if he supports gays in the military, BUT his party might...The Right stayed home in 2006 and 2008 and who suffered? The GOP. Obama and the Democrats need all the support they can get this Novemeber. IF gay issues depress Black support or turn-out Obama suffers. They might vote for HIM in 2012, no matter what, but he needs them to vote for Pelosi and Barney Frank and a whole lot of other Democrats, too.

former law student said...

DADT unconstitutional? A no-brainer says Ted Olson. Letting it stand for 17 years must have been a paperwork error.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
So the best explanation you and the Einsteins on the right can come up with is that Obama is purposely pissing off a large part of his base two weeks before an election by going through this painfully slow and arduous process. But in the Age of Obama, there is literally no theory deemed to far fetched for conservatives.


Stunning in its ignorance...and the RIGHT is stoopit?

Now let's see, gays/lesbians are about 2-3% of the US populace...Blacks about 11%. Now both groups vote(d) for Obama in about the 90% range.

Now who to anger with DADT, 2-3% or 11%...man Garage it's not difficult.

It's electoral math...I say it's fairly obvious why Obama is adopting this approach. I don't see why YOU can't grasp it "Einstein?"

It shores up Black support, fighting DADT, throwing it over onto the Courts, "It's not MY fault" whatever the OUTCOME, in fact if SCOTUS upholds DADT, now Obama can go to gays and say, "See that's why you need a liberal POTUS and Senate to rid us of this EXTREME SCOTUS." By throwing it over to Congress, soon to be Republican, he avoids any blame, "It was the "homophobic" Rethuglikkkans, not me that did you wrong."

I guess you just don't want to confgront the power politcs being played here, at least openly.

garage mahal said...

Garage, it doesn't have to be political calculation. It could just be rank incompetence and pure misunderstanding of how things work at that level.

I'm sure he's just pounding his head against his desk, and totally lost. No lawyers or advisers available to inform him of his options, and what the legal framework is. I'm sure that's it.

Fen said...

Garage, Obama advisors admit that The One thinks he's the smartest person in the room.

But lets hear your explanation for it...

Scott M said...

You mean those same people that were there to hell him with the Gates thing? The Sherrod thing? The Gitmo/Illinois thing? The shovel-ready thing? The same old tax and spend liberal thing?

No caricature head-pounding necessary. Nobody's perfect, despite what you think of him or his administration.

Scott M said...

d'oh

"hell" = help, but I suppose either one fits depending on how surreal you want to be.

garage mahal said...

You mean those same people that were there to hell him with the Gates thing? The Sherrod thing? The Gitmo/Illinois thing? The shovel-ready thing? The same old tax and spend liberal thing?

These aren't really "things". He would get criticized from the right on any position he takes. Like I said he gets criticized for doing something the right agrees with. It's all posturing.

Fen said...

Libtard: Like I said he gets criticized for posturing.

/fixed

Scott M said...

He would get criticized from the right on any position he takes.

Untrue as I've given kudos where kudos are due. It's just be sparse for the last, oh, 10 years. That being said, make your sentence about Bush and change right to left and you can see wherein the problem begins.

By the by, those are indeed "things" and they were all unforced errors that the administration foisted on themselves...complete with advisors, lawyers, and iReggie's.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here's another story for Althouse to ignore:

Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas attended a political and fundraising event hosted by Koch Industries, the very politically active fossil fuel conglomerate founded through riches won by trading with Josef Stalin.

This is an openly political activity and the two justices should recuse themselves from any cases with involvement by Koch Industries or their vast network of right wing think tanks. And a huge question is whether they participated in these Koch political activities before the Citizens United decision. Wow.

Really, they should be impeached. Thomas, especially, as his wife is raising millions for her Tea Party group, allowing special interests to stuff money in to the Justice’s pockets.

Corrupt!

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/20/scalia-thomas-koch/

c3 said...

Ted Olson has lead the legal charge to undo the ban on gay marriage in Cal. In every write up of this effort its pointed out he was the Solicitor General under Bush. Presumably that is noted to suggest his effort is not political but based in a deeper sense of right and wrong.

Some who have opposed his efforts have wondered what his "deeper" motives are?

Now this plays politically in the opposite direction. So are those who are right of center now less likely to "wonder" about deeper issues for Ted Olson and more likely to emphasize his experience and wisdom regarding the options for the Solicitor General?

Or could it be that, for whatever reason (agree or disagree with him) Mr. Olson feels strongly about any barrier to equal rights and protections for homosexuals and that that conviction colors his opinions?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
You mean like Armand Hammer, the CEO of Occidental Oil, and the foundation for the AlGore Family fortune?

So dealing with Commies is bad, NOW, eh?

Poor Alpha, you don't know much history, but just keep betting we know less, eh?

Bob_R said...

@Chase - There's a big difference between the outcome of the current decision and that of Rowe v. Wade. Right or wrong, one results in death and tears of grief, the other results in Champagne and tears of joy. Whatever you think of the legal reasoning, political process, or even the morality of result, there will likely be a huge difference in the social reaction to the two outcomes.

Mark O said...

I think Ted Olson is really talking about the appeal of the case he won in California and likely will lose on appeal. For his personal benefit, it would be better if those involved simply said that one federal district judge should be the one to determine whether something is constitutional or not.

This is silly in so many ways.

Jim Howard said...

I'm a retired USAF officer. I'm fine with phasing out DADT in the way Obama says he wants to do.

I am outraged that a Federal Judge would think she has the power to impose her judgment over that of our Commander In Chief in a matter of military personal management.

Is not the Constitution clear on the subject of who is the Commander-in-Chief?

Is it not settled law that military members do not enjoy all the rights of civilian citizens?

The framers designed a system with three equal branches, not one unelected all powerful branch and two subordinate agencies.

The Judge in this case greatly exceeded the authority granted to her by the Constitution.

Fred4Pres said...

That is an option Ted. But Obama has elections to win, so get thee under the bus with homos, grandma, Wright and the rest of them.

Bob_R said...

I'll add that judicial tyranny producing a good outcome has a worse effect on the judiciary than tyranny producing a bad outcome. It's pretty easy to argue that judicial hubris expanded as a result of Brown and contracted (or at least was constrained) as a result of Roe. ("Good" here meaning one that society grows to like, "bad" meaning one that remains controversial.)

garage mahal said...

But Obama has elections to win, so get thee under the bus with homos, grandma, Wright and the rest of them.

This makes no sense. If he had an election to win he would electrify the base by coming as out as the Imperial Gay Liberator. It would guarantee wins. The public doesn't give a shit about gays in the military.

The Juice said...

As a vet, I think DADT is stupid policy. But Ted Olsen is dead wrong here - this is an incredibly dangerous precedent, and
Obama is right to fight against this judicial encroachment.


Whatever “damage” might be caused by permitting the military to discriminate against gays (or for that matter, “damage” caused by gays being allowed to serve openly), it is nothing compared to the damage we risk as a country with a military crippled by constant lawsuits for any person or group who feels aggrieved by its policies. The Constitution rightly leaves the military to the two political branches. Whatever our disagreements are over military personnel policies are, they MUST be resolved through our elected officials, and not by judges who simply don’t understand either the military or the Constitution.

Cedarford said...

Observations:

1. I think even Democrats know the danger of another "Roe" case of social engineering shoved down the American public's throat. It would become another great sore and many decades-long wedge issue over yet another matter of great societal significance stripped from the democratic process and determined by Court diktat.

2. Like progressive Jews, gays are small in number but disproportionately influential because they are active in the media and have plenty of discretionary dollars to spread around. But the danger is that if you give 3-5% of the population what they want - they will be greatly countermanded in future voting by greater numbers of voters angry and energized by the new wedge issue. Just like large numbers of people that went Republican over "Roe v. Wade".

3. This is a time when America is fighting 2 wars, Congress has legislated DADT, the military is deep in developing a slow, non-disruptive implementation program. The security risk is that you demoralize the troops, jeopardize recruiting...and you do not get compensatory benefits of masses of liberal gays rushing to join up. (Gays in the military is like the feminists agenda of "women in combat" neither gays nor liberal feminists want to rush to a recruiting station - but they see the power of "if _______ fight and die, how can the (glass ceiling, ban on gay access to boys in Scouting, gay marriage bans, woman who make less because they left the work force then rejoined, a female cafeteria worker should make as much as a male truck driver in the name of equal pay, etc.) be allowed to persist.

4. Lets be honest, this is simple political science. Besides the Congress, the military, the families of military or potential recruits - this move would immensely tick off black churches, white and hispanic ones - lead to likely drops in hetero enlistments, particularly hispanics. The RCC opposes it. Every State has opposed gay marriage in referandum vote.

On the other side, you have liberals, progressive Jews, liberal arts campuses that have embraced it as the great cause of their times - students and faculty, Hollywood, and females who love gay men because they are sexually non-threatening. And Lady Gaga! All not generally noted for their respect and support of national security or the troops.

Blue@9 said...

Sweet, another open thread for criticizing Obama for not doing something we ourselves don't want him to do, and would criticize him even more if he did do it. And heap on some faux concern for gays and liberals who we hate with a passion for good measure.

I would think that you've been here long enough to know that not every conservative thinks the same thing about every issue. There are quite a few pro-gay-rights people here (including me), whether they identify as conservative or not.

I'm kind of in opinion limbo about this right now. I'm definitely pro-gay marriage, and I would like to see integration in the military--if it can be done without disruption of the military's rather heavy responsibilities.

The realist in me says that Obama is doing this because he's stalling for time--effective integration will take more than a judge's order. But the more we get into his Admin, I start to wonder if Obama really is just giving lip service to the gay community. He hasn't lifted a finger for gays, whether it be gay marriage or DADT. He says he's with us, but his actions belie that.

Last thought--isn't the court here getting really close to stepping on the Constitutional prerogatives of the Executive and Legislative branches? Does a court have the constitutional authority to mandate a change in the composition of the armed forces? Yeah yeah, the disposition was on Constitutional grounds, but so what? The Constitution doesn't really apply to the military in the same way. (For instance, there's no right to free speech once you put on a uniform.)

paul a'barge said...

Have you folks who want to crap-can DADT been to the Zombie Time blog and looked at the pictures of the San Francisco Folsom Street Fair and Gay Pride Parades?

And if so do you still want to force the military to tolerate "out" gay activists, with all their intolerant and intolerable behaviors.

Please.

Skipper50 said...

why is it up to one government lawyer to decide all of Congress was wrong?

traditionalguy said...

The sudden anti-gay and pro-military attitude shown by Obama here was never expected. He is disappointing folks big time. That loses him respect. As John Stewart said to Larry King last night about Fox News,that Stewart respects them for being determined to build a position on things and to stick to it, even if its a wrong position. That also reminds me of my wife's favorite aphorism, "I can deal with the truth, but it is the hidden things that have power to wreck our lives".

c3 said...

AL:
Here's another story for Althouse to ignore:

SQUIRREL!!

c3 said...

garage;
This makes no sense. If he had an election to win he would electrify the base by coming as out as the Imperial Gay Liberator. It would guarantee wins.

You mean in the races where only the left base votes?

Didn't Bill Clinton's experience tell us that the issue can have very unintended consequences.

John Burgess said...

I think the issue is that Obama--being smart for once--would rather avoid the problems that ensued with Roe v. Wade. By having the law (enacted by elected representatives) changed rather than a court--filled by appointed officials) saying that the law is bad, there's a lot of flack dodged.

MadisonMan said...

As John Stewart said to Larry King last night about Fox News

This could be more meta if Althouse had linked to it via metafilter and then been mentioned by Insty.

Beldar said...

It bothers me that Olson -- and this thread -- tend to conflate whether something's unwise with whether something's unconstitutional.

It's entirely consistent to contend, simultaneously, that DADT is constitutional, but that it's bad as a matter of public policy.

All of Olson's eggs are in the constitutionality basket right now. But relying on courts to impose gay rights that legislatures aren't yet willing to recognize will end up perpetuating discrimination on the basis of sexual preference for decades longer than it would otherwise persist.

Obama's hypocrisy is not in defending DADT in court. It's in refusing to fight to overturn it in in Congress.

garage mahal said...

c3
Most people, conservatives included, just don't care anymore. It's not the 1990s anymore. I think people care more how it's actually implemented. And that's why Obama is taking this path I feel. No short term upside politically that I can see though.

rhhardin said...

It's not unconstitutional so it should be appealed.

What Obama is up to, who knows. It's some calculation.

Olson has chosen a side for another reason.

Beldar said...

By the way, those who suggest that commander in chief authority "obviously" or "clearly" authorizes the POTUS to make these decisions in complete independence, without any interference from or second-guessing by Congress, are ignorant of history and of the Constitution.

There is, and always has been, tension between the legislative and executive branches when it comes to the military: Yes, the executive commands, but the legislature has the power of the purse and the power to declare war, and as a practical matter a great deal of power in between. The struggle between executive command prerogatives and legislative oversight actually predates the Constitution, going back to the earliest days of the Revolutionary War.

Remember, folks, the genius of the Founders lay in their crafting of checks and balances. I have a whole lot less trouble with the idea that Congress has a role in establishing qualifications for service in the military -- something it's done since even before the Constitution was ratified -- than I do with, for example, the notion that Congress can compel me to purchase an insurance policy I don't want.

former law student said...

Obama's hypocrisy is not in defending DADT in court. It's in refusing to fight to overturn it in in Congress.

DADT repeal has already passed the House. The lame-duck Senate will pass it by Christmas.

Crimso said...

Oh come on AL, that's a real hoot. You raise the terrifying spectre of the Kochs and link to Think Progress. First off, you seem to imply that any connection to Stalin is a bad thing. When did people on your side of the aisle start admitting that the ideology he followed killed far more people than the Nazis? Why are Nazis so reviled (which I understand and agree with) when the ideology of Marxism is celebrated and accepted (despite the much larger death toll they have amassed)? And it's not a cheap shot to bring Nazis into this discussion since Think Progress funder George Soros was a Nazi collaborator. He is also a convicted felon. So you keep screaming about the Kochs, and I'll keep screaming about Soros. At least you seem to hold Stalin in low regard, so that's something positive in your comment.

dbp said...

This kind of change should not be done by the courts. If it must be done this way then it should be done by the Supreme Court.

That a district court judge could change the law of the entire nation seems capricious.

former law student said...

Nazi collaborators included GW Bush's grandfather:

While there is no suggestion that Prescott Bush was sympathetic to the Nazi cause, the documents reveal that the firm he worked for, Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), acted as a US base for the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s before falling out with him at the end of the decade. The Guardian has seen evidence that shows Bush was the director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that represented Thyssen's US interests and he continued to work for the bank after America entered the war.

Tantalising


Bush was also on the board of at least one of the companies that formed part of a multinational network of front companies to allow Thyssen to move assets around the world.

Thyssen owned the largest steel and coal company in Germany and grew rich from Hitler's efforts to re-arm between the two world wars. One of the pillars in Thyssen's international corporate web, UBC, worked exclusively for, and was owned by, a Thyssen-controlled bank in the Netherlands. More tantalising are Bush's links to the Consolidated Silesian Steel Company (CSSC), based in mineral rich Silesia on the German-Polish border. During the war, the company made use of Nazi slave labour from the concentration camps, including Auschwitz. The ownership of CSSC changed hands several times in the 1930s, but documents from the US National Archive declassified last year link Bush to CSSC, although it is not clear if he and UBC were still involved in the company when Thyssen's American assets were seized in 1942

jr565 said...

Fen wrote:
Libtard: Sweet, another open thread criticizing Obama for being a hypocrite

/fixed

and at the end of the day isn't that what the libs are most up in arms about? So called hypocricy? They therofore can out gay republicans who act against gays legislatively and say they don't want to pry into peoples personal lives, but then look for the damaging scoops and relish when conservatives get caught with their pants down, not to mention play up the puritan family values angle when its a conservative. Not because they believe in it, no, it's all about the hypocricy.
Well Here is Obama, the biggest hypocrite of all. And suddenly the libs don't like talking about hypocricy.

former law student said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar

Richard Dolan said...

Using the constitution to override social policies (be it DADT or Obamacare) is a very bad idea. The losers don't accept the legitimacy of the process, and the winners only care about the result. That reality has enormous, and very unfortuate consequences.

We see them already. It is already quite difficult to move judicial nominations through the Senate, even for lower court nominees. Glenn R (linking to one of Ann's posts) noted that many public interest lawyers and their cheering squads already look at the Constitution as a wish fullfilment device. The usual assumption is that thsoe most infuriated by a judiciary using the Constitution to direct national policy on controversial social issues are conservative. But that's just an accident of the times, and the nature of the cases that the SCOTUS has taken. In the 1850s and 1930s, for example, it was the 'progressives' who were up in arms.

Whether Team Obama pursues the appeal or not, the view that the judiciary is willing and available to use the Constitution to achieve partisan objectives on matters that cannot be adopted legislatively has taken hold. As Glenn R's comment reflects, the notion that the Constitution, fairly read, has nothing specific, and in most cases nothing at all, to say about these social policies is widespread. The 'spin' individual judges (or 5-justice majorities) want to put on the Constitutional text tells you a lot about the judges and nothing about the text.

Some folks approve of that process because it's part of our history; the power of changing majorities on the SCOTUS to set social policy reflect, they would say, is an aspect of government that's built into the Constitution itself -- after all, the Constitution is the ultimate law, and law is what judges are supposed to apply. But some law is just too vague, existing mostly in the eye of the beholder, to fit that model of adjudication, leaving nothing that is actually being applied other than the judge's personal policy preferences.

Because the political classes have internalized that view, the judicial confirmation process is already a train wreck. Is there anyone out there who thinks that, when the new Congress convenes in 2011, with Senators Angle, Buck, Miller, Toomey, Lee, Paul, Rubio and many others joining the club along with Leahy, Schumer, Sanders & Friends, it will be possible to confirm someone like Kagan (or Scalia or Sotomayor or Thomas or ...)? For the judiciary, the coming decade may bear uncomfortable similarities to the 1850s and the 1930s, except this time around the Congressional majority won't be nearly so protective.

The "I agree" team should beware what she wishes for.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Some thoughts...

> Could be President Obama wants to lose, but in the U.S. Supreme Court; if he stops at a lower court, doesn't that leave open a future resolution beyond his term?

> Could be Obama is taking the position that it's not about DADT, but about the freedom of action of the military. I.e., his position--which he doesn't choose to explain very well--is that while DADT is bad policy, it is well within the power of the government to have such a policy in the military.

> I would like to have President Obama answer some questions about what happens if/when DADT is repealed; I think the American people would be helped in grappling with this issue if they knew his answers:

* As far as I know, males and females in the military are generally housed separately. If so, would sexual orientation differences now give rise to separate housing? If so, what will that mean for the military, both on base, and in field deployment? And if not, why not?

* If gay and lesbian service members are to be housed separately, what will this mean for those individuals? Will there be situations where the numbers are rather small? Is that a problem?

* Without DADT, presuming military policy will be non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, will sexual orientation become a question asked, just as sex is? If not, how can housing be assigned according to it? Will the military presume someone is heterosexual unless the person says otherwise? Is that the right thing to do?

* Once being out is no longer a problem for enlistment, will being out become an expectation? Will those gay service members who nonetheless choose not to be be out, be viewed as "deceptive?"

* What about the blackmail problem, particularly for sensitive positions: if someone is gay, but closeted, even after the end of DADT, is that person still not subject to blackmail? How does the military avoid such peril? (I.e., back to, will it become a question that will be asked of enrollees?)

* A large number of Christians, as well as many Jews and Muslims, believe that homosexual behavior is sinful. Are such individuals, who are in the military, still free to believe and profess that openly? Are their chaplains in the military free to teach that? Or will the government seek to quiet such expression? How will talk of "sensitivity training" address this?

* Many advocates of this change have maintained that sexual orientation issues should be treated almost exactly like issues of race relations. Will the military adopt that policy? If so, does that mean that believing homosexual behavior is sinful, and opposing "same sex marriage," will be deemed bigotry?

Miriam said...

.
I think his appeal of the court's decision has less to do with satisfying a particular base, or even upholding the constitution (oh, he really sincerely cares about that) - but rather is a manifestation of him being 'thin-skinned', in the sense that he sees the court's decision as a form of personal disrespect to his royal highness.

Someone who had been around him alot (a reporter, I think it was) described him as 'imperious'. I think what we're seeing here, cloaked in constitutionalism is really imperial hauteur.

.

c3 said...

All of Olson's eggs are in the constitutionality basket right now.

Now I can't get that image out of my head. I don't want to think about Mr. Olson's "eggs"!

Michael said...

FLS: I suspected you might be a conspiracy theorist of some variety, but the Brown Brothers Harriman/Bush/Hitler nexus is one I would have given you credit for avoiding. "Nazi Collaborator" is a bit much.

FLS once drove over a bridge repaired by Halliburton and one of his mutual funds was heavily invested in oil stocks.

Cedarford said...

Skipper50 said...
why is it up to one government lawyer to decide all of Congress was wrong?

Yeah. As long as American democracy is immobilized on worship of "Rule of Law(yers"!!! we remain bent over to the individual whims of 3,168 Federal judges.

The 5 greatest advances in American democracy after the Revolution are:

1. Andrew Jackson telling John Marshall to fuck off.
2. Abraham Lincoln telling Roger Taney to fuck off. (I'd add a number of states in LIncoln's time telling the Feds to fuck off, but we all know how that turned out)
3. The farmers Grange revolt which told the Legislators AND judges bought by the railroads to fuck off.
4. The unions that ignored "back to work, cease picketing, the bosses, bought government officials, and even President FDR and Truman's " got the courts to order until strikes were settled and good faith bargaining existed.
5. The Civil Rights movement and both non-violent and violent civil disobedience that had to co-exist in order for black goals to be taken seriously and gravely.

It's been 40-50 years since a high official or a large portion of the population has said "fuck off" to a lawyer dressed in robes. Who among the 3,168 almighty Fed judges is pushing their agenda, "their peeps", or trying to aggrandize more power for the appointed lawyers of the judiciary and away from Congress, the Exec, the States, and the People who elect them.
It is time for some pushback against the judiciary and their fearful slaves serving as State and Federal officials. Time for another "fuck off" moment - if not on the Delta smelt, if not on crippling judicial mandates on state expenses (like free school and medical care for illegal aliens) - then soon, as America cannot sustain it's finances and some judge wades in and says " I order you to spend more and I can because I am a lawyer dressed in black robes who shall be worshipped!".

Alex said...

Sweet, another open thread for criticizing Obama for not doing something we ourselves don't want him to do, and would criticize him even more if he did do it. And heap on some faux concern for gays and liberals who we hate with a passion for good measure.

Garage doesn't like it when leftist hypocrisy is pointed out. He only wants right-wing hypocrisy pointed out, because well that's the ONLY way to go! Garage - don't go away mad. Just go away!

former law student said...

A large number of Christians, as well as many Jews and Muslims, believe that homosexual behavior is sinful.

Jews and Muslims believe that eating ham sandwiches is sinful, too. Do they freely preach the anti-ham message in the military now?

Do chaplains explain to the troops that killing is wrong? Or do they somehow find a loophole in order to maintain morale?

former law student said...

"Nazi Collaborator" is a bit much.

As a general rule, no one should call anyone a Nazi collaborator without evidence. And if Soros is no more of a Nazi collaborator than Prescott Bush was, how seriously should we take that accusation?

Fen said...

FLS: And if Soros is no more of a Nazi collaborator than Prescott Bush was

FLS, do you realize your "evidence" is Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?

Just checking.

Next you'll be insisting that steel can't melt....

Joe said...

(Th Crypto Jew)
Do chaplains explain to the troops that killing is wrong?

Your understanding of the Ten Commandments is juvenile, at best...I once thought that too, BTW.

It says, "Thou shalt not MURDER."

Obviously killing is NOT wrong, lots of Yhwh-sanctified killing in the Old Testament.

As to Jesus, there's no evidence he was a pacifist. Jesus did not fight the Sanhedrin because it was wrong to do so, but because his Father, according to Christians, told him not to.

FLS, you really need to stick to topics you know better, whatever those may be.

traditionalguy said...

Late to this thread, but was struct by two ideas. 1) Olson is an Advocat and he advocated his opinion which turned out to be: we win and they lose.That is not news. 2) FLS was correct about the Patriarch of the Bush Family being a Nazi collaborator, as was the Patriarch of the Kennedy Family. What that means for their descendants no one knows. But Palin's family were not collaboators.

BJM said...

@garage

This makes no sense. If he had an election to win he would electrify the base by coming as out as the Imperial Gay Liberator. It would guarantee wins. The public doesn't give a shit about gays in the military.

Bullshit, black voters put Prop 8 over the top. Black churches have long preached against homosexuality. Being gay carries a heavy stigma in the black community where anti-gay violence is common and many gays remain in the closet.

Have you never heard the term "undercover brother"?

luagha said...

Jesus also commanded that his disciples carry swords to protect themselves from being abused on the roads, and he used a scourge (many tail lash) to flay the moneylenders out of the temple.

stevenehrbar said...

The analysis is extremely simple. Obama is, in his person, an anti-gay bigot. He knows a Democrat needs gay money and gay votes to get elected, so he's willing to talk the hypocritical talk . . . but when it comes down to actual action, he's not willing to take it, except in the most very limited ways. He will do everything in his power to maintain discrimination against gays that he can manage to get away with.

And as long as people like Montagne Montaigne, Garage Mahal, Alpha Liberal, Beth, and Former Law Student keep making excuses for Obama, he'll be able to get away with quite a lot of anti-gay discrimination.

Michael said...

FLS; Dude, Soros? What the fuck? Prescott was as much a Nazi collaborator as you are. I have no idea what you are talking about re Soros.

Crimso said...

Soros himself has said he worked for the Jewish Council in Hungary during WWII. The fact that he is himself Jewish doesn't mean he didn't collaborate with the Nazis. He admits it, though he tries to put a positive spin on it.

As for crazy conspiracy theories and whatnot, we know for a fact (as in "it is documented") that Soros can and will engage in manipulation, both legal and illegal. If he has no scruples regarding currency manipulation and insider trading, why should I trust that he isn't using his enormous wealth to manipulate anything else? He is clearly an untrustworthy person, and I'll work under the assumption he is up to no good with regard to any of his endeavors. He has earned that distrust. Anyway, no one who believes him to be a force for good will be swayed by anything I write, and it's off topic, so I'll shut up about it. I just wondered whether AL saw the irony.

former law student said...

Your understanding of the Ten Commandments is juvenile, at best...I once thought that too, BTW.

It says, "Thou shalt not MURDER."

So manslaughter is OK? Good to know.

But as a Christian, I must pay attention to Christ's teachings.

21 You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. 22 But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
...
38 You have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. 39 But I say to you not to resist evil: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other:
...
43 You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thy enemy. 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: 45 That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. 46 For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this? 47 And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this? 48 Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Jesus says LOVE your enemies, not acquiesce...

Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you

Do good and love, does not mean don't fight...in fact, fighting may be good for your enemies, case...Germany, by FIGHTING GErmany we defeat the Nazi's and liberate the Germans from their evil....

21 You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. 22 But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

The ANGER is the sin, not the fighting....

Best for last...You have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. 39 But I say to you not to resist evil: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other:


Jesus speaks of PERSDONAL HUMILIATION hre, Jesus does NOT speak of mortal actions, especially against third parties...

Again Jesus did NOT say, "Amen, amen I say to thee if John Wayne Gacy sayeth I shall kill thy neighbors and befoul their corpses, I say go thee forth and tie thy neighbors up and sharpen John Wayne's knife."

Jesus said that when reviled, "plucked beard" one should not respond, not that one need to acquiesce in one's own death or in the death of innocent third parties...Jews in Germany, Europeans 1939-45...the abusive family down the street...

Finally Jesus says, "Love others as you love yourself." Not love others MORE than oneself...You have a right, dare I say it...to self love...you don't have to die or be abused...you have a RIGHT to love yourself enough to defend yourself.

As I said, Jesus did not resist because he was fulfilling, in his mind, Yhwh's commandment to him...his example of non-resistance is NOT an example for Christians, only those who wish to be MARTYRS or charcoal bricquets.

traditionalguy said...

Joe...That was pretty deep stuff for the Althouse gang to take in. But you certainly shot a possible with your last comment

Blue@9 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue@9 said...

Have you folks who want to crap-can DADT been to the Zombie Time blog and looked at the pictures of the San Francisco Folsom Street Fair and Gay Pride Parades?

What a keen mind you have. I live in SF and have been to Pride, Folsom Street Fair, Love Parade, etc. What you describe are people at the extreme end of "out" gay behavior. It's like walking around a fetish club and saying "Look at all the women here! You want women to raise our children?"

I very much doubt gays in the military are donning hot pants and feather boas. Heck, most average gays look like... average people.




As for Bush' granddad being a Nazi collaborator, there seems to be some debate about it, but why is that relevant to anything today? Shit that happened 70+ years ago? What, did W somehow inherit the sins of the grandfather?

I really have to wonder about people who bring up decades old shit done by dead ancestors as a way to impugn their current political opponents. It's just a "Five Minutes' Hate" type of pumping yourself up emotionally so you can feel better about who you are and how eternally rotten your enemies are.

Blue@9 said...

Same goes for people who start going off on the spouses and children of politicians. They're irrelevant to any legitimate disagreement you may have with the politician's politics. One only goes after the family and spouse because it eliminates any remaining sense that the politician is an actual human being with loving relationships.

kcom said...

I've only read a few of the comments because I'm short on time so I don't know if anyone has said this yet, but I don't think a policy change of this magnitude, affecting as many people and institutions and as much history as it does should be made by one person and one person only. Whether the judge is right or wrong on the morals of her decision, that decision should get some review by someone at some other legal level. Preferrably a group of someones. No decision like that should rest solely in one person's hands. Even a majority on a three judge panel would be a vast improvement. One single individual, unchecked, sitting in one corner of one state shouldn't wield that kind of power. It's an invitation to abuse and could very well lead to another unnecessary Roe v. Wade situation. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.

Fr Martin Fox said...

FLS asked if Muslim and Jewish clerics are preaching anti-ham doctrines as military chaplains...

I hope so.

I am not aware of Muslim doctrine, but I'm virtually certain Jewish doctrine is that Kosher laws apply only to Jews.

If the military is chilling Jewish chaplains from teaching about, and preaching the virtue of Jews observing Jewish ritual law, then I have a big problem with that on the basis of the First Amendment.

As far as Muslim doctrine...Muslim chaplains should be free to preach Muslim teaching. And same for Christian chaplains teaching Christian doctrine.

Ralph L said...

That a district court judge could change the law of the entire nation seems capricious
The word you were looking for is "tyrannical."

I want to sign up for whichever Army regiment is doing exciting things with color and texture.

stagemanager said...

Obama is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

And it's because of actual conservative reaction to Roe V. Wade.

If the courts overturn DADT, then Obama fears the conservative push back to liberal court activism. And so, let Congress overturn it, after all, the conservatives complain that the problem with Roe is that it happened by judicial activism, not by Congressional action.

Fen said...

I want to sign up for whichever Army regiment is doing exciting things with color and texture.

Blood makes the grass grow.

Cedarford said...

Fr Martin Fox - "If the military is chilling Jewish chaplains from teaching about, and preaching the virtue of Jews observing Jewish ritual law, then I have a big problem with that on the basis of the First Amendment."

Hate to break it to you, but the US military is not a 1st-Amendment worshipping place to be. The mission comes 1st.

Same with many other "rights" civilians take for granted, like needing a warrant to search soldiers places.

Jew preaches to Jews in the medical corps that they shouldn't treat casualties on the Saturday shabbath, time to get rid of that Jewish chaplain (they call then chaplains by tradition).
Muslim says his faith won't let him or his followers fight other Muslims, get rid of them.
Lately they have been cracking down on Fundies "god-given mission" to obnoxiously prosyletize other soldiers.

Got a soldier demanding to see a search warrant as some jerkwad Army Investigative Service goons are getting a hard-on rousting a barracks looking for drugs? Laugh at the soldier and his ignorance about the 4th applying to him.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Cedarford:

Please don't condescend to me. Thanks.

I think I already made the point earlier that the military doesn't operate according to the same rules as civilian society.

But that doesn't mean that members of the military have no rights or claims under the Constitution.

After all, why do we have chaplains in the military? Is it not to serve the spiritual needs of the service members?

You posit a "Jew preaches to Jews in the medical corps that they shouldn't treat casualties on the Saturday shabbath, time to get rid of that Jewish chaplain (they call then chaplains by tradition)."

Instead of a hypothetical, cite an actual case of that happening--ever--in the United States military.

"Muslim says his faith won't let him or his followers fight other Muslims, get rid of them."

Now that's about the soldiers in general; anyone whose faith does not allow him or her to carry out the mission need not volunteer; and when there is conscription, there is conscientious objector status. No problem.

"Lately they have been cracking down on Fundies 'god-given mission' to obnoxiously prosyletize other soldiers."

So I have heard. I don't agree with the military cracking down on soldiers sharing their faith with one another. Surely our fighting men and women can handle someone pushing a tract in their faces. And the issue isn't sharing faith, it's being a jerk. Again, I think our service members can and will find appropriate ways to deal with that. We don't need to "protect" our fighting men and women from each other sharing their faith.

There is an option: the military could just say it won't have chaplains. Or else, if it too restrictive, some religious bodies could withdraw its chaplains. Good luck on recruitment when that happens. But I have a lot more confidence in the good sense of our military leadership and not take the religious-hostile approach you seem to advocate.