June 26, 2012

Jonathan Turley's civility bullshit about my calling "bullshit" on his Court-packing plan.

ABT's Elie Mystal writes:
Jonathan Turley seems hurt that Ann Althouse and other conservative academics acted in a way that shows “we have lost the tradition of civil discourse in this country.” Yeah, umm, Professor Turley, perhaps you didn’t read the footnotes, but here on the internet we don’t have a tradition of civil discourse. We do have a tradition of ad hominem attacks, hyperbole, and pictures of cats.
My posts are "Don't like the Supreme Court's decision? Propose a Court-packing plan!" and "How did Jonathan Turley come up with 19 as the best number of Supreme Court Justices?"

Obviously, Professor Turley doesn't enjoy my fun-loving, bloggy approach to his professorly musings and proposals. It's not what he's used to, and it's not what the Washington Post is hoping for when it publishes all those op-eds from law professors to launder its partisan politics into something with that looks scholarly and thoughtful. These lawprofs who experience the inflation of elite media publication — and I've been there — do not want other lawprofs tweaking and puncturing them. It might seem that I'm just crossing a line and being unprofessional or insufficiently submissive when I call bullshit — and in this case I literally called bullshit. ("Oh, spare me the bullshit.")

What I'm doing might seem careless and lightweight. But I am passionate and serious about what I am doing, which is about speaking clearly and showing you things you might not be able to see. Most law professors write for other law professors (as well as elite media and powerful politicians). In this enterprise of career building, they cultivate and trade on respect. Most law professors accept this discipline, because they imagine it's in their self-interest, and it actually is. In this game, I'm a big outlier. I call out the lawprofs, and I've been doing it a lot lately, because —in advance of the health-care decision — the big newspapers have been publishing a lot lawprof op-eds. (By the way, did you know that "19 of 21 constitutional law professors who ventured an opinion" — and who were elite enough to be polled by Bloomberg  — said the law is constitutional?)

In a later post, I'll respond to more of Turley's long, professorly post which denies that his Court-packing plan arises out of a distaste for the Supreme Court's opinions. In the bloggerly tradition, I'm keeping this post short and clear. My point is: I'm about clear speech, telling the truth, starting conversations, and having some fun. I'm not about being nice to powerful speakers.

And I'm really not about getting pushed back with calls for "civility." As you know if you're a regular reader of this blog, my tag for this subject has long been "civility bullshit." So this is another post with the "civility bullshit" tag — and it's one where someone used civility bullshit against me for saying "bullshit."

***

Here's a cool book on bullshit called "On Bullshit." It's by a professor! ("One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted.")

UPDATE: The promised additional post is here

158 comments:

Brennan said...

Please bring on the days where we are ruled by a committee of experts so we in the committee of dunces will finally have equal opposition.

AJ Lynch said...

This is why so many of us love Althouse!

Icepick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Icepick said...

Obviously, Professor Turley doesn't enjoy my fun-loving, bloggy approach to his professorly musings and proposals.

And I don't enjoy Professor Turley's nakedly partisan calls to action disguised as professorly musings and proposals.

Patrick said...

I'm not about being nice to powerful speakers.

You shouldn't be. I bet there was a time when Turley imagined the same thing. I wonder if it was ever true for him. Now, he's just carrying water for them.

harrogate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
harrogate said...

Shorter Althouse post: "All these people are pretentious windbags. I meanwhile am a nonpartisan plainspoken passionate truthteller in a sea of unreasonableness. And that's what my blog has always stood for; it may seem lighthearted but in truth it is the mostest profoundest. See how awesome I am?"

Matthew Sablan said...

"While Althouse writes a conservative blog and has been something of a lightning rod in the past, I would have thought that she would do a little research before going after another professor."

-- Because conservative bloggers voted Obama! It really seems bad for Turley to complain that people just make assumptions about his idea because they only read the article they were supplied with and didn't dig deeper when he, uh, fails to dig deeper.

Rick Caird said...

When Turley publishes for the masses (as in the WaPo), he should hope the masses read his op ed. It is difficult to understand why he would not expect push back in the same vein as his writing.

Turley is, after all, proposing a massive Constitutional change. It is hard to conclude the idea of 19 justices suddenly came to him out of the blue with no reference to current events.

Jay Retread said...

Ann, I wouldn't call yourself "a big outlier."

I would just call yourself fat.

(I don't buy into the whole "civility" bullshit thing either.)

Fprawl said...

I work around Ph.Ds, M.Ds, and the highly touted M.D.Ph.D.
Guess what, they are human. So are the law professors.

They want socialized medicine so bad they will say anything to get it.

The only way to deal with them is to have someone who went through scout camp with them tell how they wet the bed.

This will become easier in the coming years with Facebook caches.

Rick Caird said...

@harrogate

That was shorter?

harrogate said...

Rick,


LOL. It was too long but yes, still shorter, distilled.

Patrick said...

Harrogate" I meanwhile am a nonpartisan plainspoken passionate truthteller in a sea of unreasonableness.

Nope, that's not what she's saying. She's saying that she favors clarity, and writing clearly. Turley wrote an op-ed calling for more SC justices, while trying to bury his reasons in obfuscations. Althouse called him on it.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

Legal occupations are the only ones where good writing in English is respected. Elsewhere, if Microsoft Word doesn't underline your scribble in red or green, then it's good to go.

RazorSharpSundries said...

From the comments @ Turley's "blog" -
"You have to understand, the money for slop buckets like box-wine Annie comes from intentionally misunderstanding earnest thought. A blind adherence to the GOP and its socially retarded agenda is the key to staying on the wingnut welfare train. Those who do not toe the line find the checks stop coming in from the plethora of front groups funded by a small handful of crackpots. You could get a cut of that cash too since you are already on board with junk like citizens United but you’d have to become a lot more reliable on several other issues. I am surprised that you are surprised – have you not been paying attention to the debate going on in this country over the last 3 decades?"

Civil discourse indeed! I'm shocked @ Turley's non-denial in this matter. Professor Turley you must refudiate! Althouse started pooping on American discourse 30 years ago apparently. Man, I want to get my hands on those retro po . . . sts!

BarryD said...

"Civility" is the new leftie word for censorship, just as "racist" is the new leftie word for calling a bad President, a bad President.

Scott said...

I had considered studying law, but the world doesn't need more lawyers.

D.D. Driver said...

If you want to dig your heels in, it's your blog. But spare us the "look who is 'sliming' me posts" on a going forward basis. You have surrendered the moral high ground on this issue.

I could care less about "civility" but if you want to be taken seriously (by me) you must fairly characterize the positions that you are attacking. And here you air balled in the most embarrassing way possible (and now I suppose we get to hear about how you meant to do that all along).

In the spirit of Nick Lowe, what's so funny about apologizing when you are wrong?

Quayle said...

In this enterprise of career building, they cultivate and trade on respect.

But as the Roman stoic philosopher Epictetus knew, 'reputation' is beyond their power - it is an affair not properly their own.

Which means they'll scurry like cockroaches whenever anything or anyone threatens their reputation, their invitations to the right parties, and their their standing with their sought-after 'in crowd.'

Having endeavored to bring that which they do not own into their control, they are thereby forced to sacrifice to the whims and fads of the crowd their freedom to find and love the truth.,

Just as countless of other servile and slobbering toadies before them have done.

D.D. Driver said...

Turley is, after all, proposing a massive Constitutional change.

What? The constitution leaves the number of justices to congress. No constitutional change is necessary.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

The rhetorical strutting and preening of progressives would be laughable were it not for the fact that many of them get elected to public office.

Icepick said...

Turley: My only point is that the overall commentary following the column shows once again how we have lost the tradition of civil discourse in this country.

Yeah, that's the tradition in this country. Why, Adams and Jefferson and their supporters were always the very model of civil discourse.

Hagar said...

Twaddle is twaddle though it be written by Prof. Kingsfield his very own self.

LarsPorsena said...

Lots of fans of the Fallows' (there's a coup a comin') piece at Turley's blog.

smitty1e said...

Essential (NSFW) Onion article: Poll: 73 Percent Of Americans Unable To Believe This Shit


Money quote: Calling the American people's enormous shit-belief capacity "one of the cornerstones of our democracy," U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) stressed that it is the patriotic duty of all citizens to grant our leaders the benefit of the doubt with regard to their shit.

traditionalguy said...

Delegitimizing the Supreme Court is a way to justify the Lawless Ones's continued reign without submissuion to Congress or Supreme Court.

Hecky durn, the Chinese Red Army/Party boss does'nt have to put up with such a Constitutional system. Ergo: it is a racist system that must be crushed, as all right thinking law professors agree.

Re-elect Obama and the Congress and the Court will be deemed counter-revolutionaries and be treated like Arizona, as all right thinking law professors think.

smitty1e said...

Essential (NSFW) Onion article: Poll: 73 Percent Of Americans Unable To Believe This Shit


Money quote: Calling the American people's enormous shit-belief capacity "one of the cornerstones of our democracy," U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) stressed that it is the patriotic duty of all citizens to grant our leaders the benefit of the doubt with regard to their shit.

Matthew Sablan said...

"She is saying that but she's also obviously just as much favoring anger and attack."

-- I think when the follow up post was talking about numerology, the satire probably should have been clear. The fact it took two pages to get to where Turley says, in an aside set off by em-dashes, why he thought 19 was a good number, while spending a lot of time up front talking about how dysfunctional the current court was and claiming that court packing is a good idea -- I think it is fair to say that Turley, whatever his previous writing, really failed to deliver on that piece. Each piece of writing should stand on its own. The WaPo article, which Turley notes was shortened, was written in a very bad way and promoted by the WaPo in a way that Turley would not have, with the WaPo's headline even implying that this was solely about the Healthcare law.

It's Turley, or the WaPo's editors, fault that people assumed the article was directly related to the healthcare law, since that was how it was framed.

Karnival said...

Cut through the Bullshit and call it what it is. Those who live in their idealized world surrounded by others who knowingly smile at their ever utterance...well, of course it's disturbing for them. They have not had their thinking questioned since sophomore year at _________ University.

Bravo, Professor. Not for sticking it to him, but for staying consistent.

Quayle said...

Turley: My only point is that the overall commentary following the column shows once again how we have lost the tradition of civil discourse in this country.

So let me help out and clarify here:

Ann, the left wants you to behave yourself and not speak up.

Unless you happen to be a female student at Princeton or a woman who wants to make history, in the which case you should indeed speak up and NOT be well behaved.

Got that? Does that help?

Bertram Wooster said...

On Bullshit really is a fine piece of writing. I read it after first reading On Truth by the same author. They're both short and they both cut the bullshit. Insightful and entertaining.

RonF said...

I'm sorry - I was under the impression that professors were the prime source of this country's bullshit inventory.

Scott said...

"If you want to dig your heels in, it's your blog. But spare us the "look who is 'sliming' me posts" on a going forward basis. You have surrendered the moral high ground on this issue."

Oh really. Briefly describe your moral code, and how its high ground has been surrendered.

When Althouse, Malkin, et al turn out the people who slime them, it's a way of using the opposition's own words to define who they really are against who they presume to be. It's a powerful way to answer the progressive double standard -- they can't bitch about you being uncivil when you're quoting their own invective and mendacity.

MadisonMan said...

I do think you have some of the clearest writing. That is a compliment from me. I don't give compliments lightly.

Poking gasbags (not you) so they deflate is highly enjoyable! Both to do it, and to watch it happen when someone else does it.

rhhardin said...

On Bullshit starts well, with perhaps the best bullshit introduction ever.

Frankfurt's conclusion seems wrong to me, that it's about not caring about the truth of the matter.

He was driven to that by Wittgenstein's dog run over story, and wanting to use that as bullshit-defining; while at the same time distinguishing the July 4th humbug speeches as humbug. Somewhere in there, he thought, is the defining characteristic of bullshit.

That was bullshit. And he did in fact care about the truth of the matter.

Nevertheless it was lovely introductory paragraph.

RonF said...

Quayle said:

Unless you happen to be ... a woman who wants to make history, in the which case [the left thinks] you should indeed speak up and NOT be well behaved.

Ah, given that this describes Sarah Palin perfectly, I think your characterization is a bit imprecise.

Jennifer Whatnot said...

I saw that 19 of 21 bullshit. One of the quoted profs is Jesse Choper. Choper, clerk of Warren. Shocking that if you ask Jesse Choper, he wouldn't see any limit to Congressional power under the Commerce Clause. I mean, come on - they're citing that figure like it's a toothpaste commercial: "Nineteen out of twenty-one dentists recommend Crest!"

D.D. Driver said...

Oh really. Briefly describe your moral code, and how its high ground has been surrendered.

My moral code:

First principle---> treat others the way you like to be treated.

If Ann doesn't like it when people make lazy false assumptions about her, she should be careful not to make lazy false assumptions about others.

The assumptions Ann made about Turley (that he is proposing a "court packing" scheme in response to Obamacare) are provably false.

Hagar said...

and Jonathan Turley has generally impressed me more as a David Brooks than a Prof. Kingsfield.

wyo sis said...

Twaddle is sometimes called bullshit. This discussion reminds me of a sermon I once heard on humility. As soon as you say you have it you clearly don't. Althouse calls bullshit and bullshits about it and now we all get to practice it. Now, that's the real state of our discourse in this country and professors are the most outraged and outrageous. Cool huh?

Matthew Sablan said...

"The assumptions Ann made about Turley (that he is proposing a "court packing" scheme in response to Obamacare) are provably false."

-- Unfortunately, that is exactly how the WaPo piece made it look. Blame the editor for not making it clearer. You should not have to dig through books, pages and other articles to glean the secret meaning and history of someone's Op Ed. Up front he should have talked about historic problems in the SC, the historical and organic growth it had, suggested his number -- with a paragraph or two dedicated to explaining why 19 -- then explained how he would let it grow without concentrating all the power in the executive branch that was in power at the time.

Instead, he spends nearly a page complaining about recent cases with the same repetitive points we've heard before. The WaPo editor was lazy to not make him clean it up to get his point across. I walked away with the same understanding Althouse did, because that's how the article was positioned. The WaPo did Turley no good service by making him sound like an agent pushing for a court packing scheme to empower the left. That's where Turley should focus his fire.

Bryan C said...

I'd like to know when this hallowed tradition of civil discourse in politics actually existed. Because my reading of US politics since our founding shows a distinct disdain for artificial civility. The Declaration of Independence is largely an angry recitation of the King's tyrannical, cowardly, and irresponsible policies, phrased in deliberately mocking and uncivil tones:

"The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world."

And that's pretty much the tone we've always employed as a nation. In politics civility is bullshit that allows tyrants to pretend to virtue.

Joe said...

Jonathan Turley is epitome of what is wrong with academia. His arguments are shit and when confronted with any counter argument, he whines that people are being uncivil to him. I pity his students.

D.D. Driver said...

Unfortunately, that is exactly how the WaPo piece made it look. Blame the editor for not making it clearer. You should not have to dig through books, pages and other articles to glean the secret meaning and history of someone's Op Ed.

These are all fair points. Now, that said, wouldn't the appropriate response be: "I'm sorry. Based upon the context, I made some assumptions that were incorrect"?

Chip Ahoy said...

Would you like me to show you how to utter the phrase bull s*** for professorial scholarly works by using a combination of voice and sign so that it veritably screams? Okay, to make it louder you show the bull horns extravagantly and drop the thumb-fist that goes thud forcefully and hard.

No, Jay, you wouldn't. You haven't the cash for that. You come here specifically to offend. Silly child, waste your allowance.

Bertram Wooster said...

There's a reason why Turley makes his living greasing the skids for the powerful. Free people employ not nearly so many Professor J. Turleys nor give them anything like as many fun toys to play with.

I've heard and read several of these types saying that there really aren't any limits in the constitution on the power of congress. I hear an expansion of Dred Scott in that opinion. The proles have no rights that congress is bound to respect.

rhhardin said...

I am always delighted to see spirited debate following a column, including those with whom I disagree.

That's the academic extremely annoyed style.

Find the antecedent of "whom."

Scott said...

First principle---> treat others the way you like to be treated.

Well, you blew that one out of the water, didn't you. Althouse is not the Dalai Lama.

It's the progressive double standard, codified by Alinsky. Attribute high standards to your opposition, and hold them up to it, even though you don't apply them to yourself. People are so sick of that bullshit.

"The assumptions Ann made about Turley (that he is proposing a "court packing" scheme in response to Obamacare) are provably false."

What, because you say they are? If they are proveably false, then prove it. Obviously, you can't. But time and time again, progressives have attributed high motives to low deeds -- again, the double standard.

Walter Reuther said that if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it just might be a duck. And if it looks like court packing...

Joe said...

BTW, I took the time to read comments on Turley's blog. They're written by sycophants. No wonder he takes any criticism as uncivil.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deborah said...

Althouse calls bullshit and bullshits about it and now we all get to practice it.

Bullshit.

rhhardin said...

As in a classroom, I value the debate for its own sake — forcing people to consider alternative views and possibilities. The current tendency to shout down other voices with shrill or sophomoric attacks is degrading our politics and our society.

As in the classroom, sophomores are slammed once again.

Shrill on the other hand is about women, probably thinking of Sarah Palin.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

Althouse on fire! The bullshit is burning, the bullshit is burning!

rehajm said...

The assumptions Ann made about Turley (that he is proposing a "court packing" scheme in response to Obamacare) are provably false.

I'm combing through Turley columns looking for the proof. I see his ex post facto denial that's what he's doing, but I've yet to find the evidence to support his claim. Anyone have a link or two?

Rusty said...

So. Let me get this right. Perfesser Turley steps on his own d*ck. Althouse, (professor), points and laughs.
Perfesser Turley,with sore d*ck, is pissed off people laughed.

It's like the Marx brothers, only with advanced degrees.

wv rageOnl I shit you not.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Bringing back the duel may help restore civility and accountability in the discourse.

traditionalguy said...

Turley has too many bad memories from toilet training so he withers in shame at the written use of bullshit as a decscription of his cover story that he has always wanted to stiff the Supreme Court with his Plan 19 , ( why it started under the Bush administration) and that WaPo screaming about it this week is an accident.

For his delicate soul, we need to start using the phrase "useless drivel by lying scum".

I also reccommend that we kow tow 19 times towards Turley's pristine mountain top while chanting civility...civility...civility, in hopes of atoning for exposing the creep.

ndspinelli said...

Clarity? Althouse is often the antithesis of clarity. Profs like to let everyone know they're the smartest people in the room, even when they're clearly not. Being a woman in a male dominated field, Althouse is uber insecure and that manifests itself w/ convoluted polemics that she considers concise by virtue of the fact that she's so smart.

It's pissing matches like this when the true Althouse is exposed. She's often correct and sometimes insightful, except when it comes to her own transgressions and insecurities. Then she's Mortimer Snerd.

ndspinelli said...

Joe, I've read the sycophant comments on Turley's blog. What you don't see is it's really dueling sycophants w/ many commenters here.

Scott said...

@phx

That's a principle reserved for the Dalai Lama?

I never saw Althouse state that she practices the "Golden Rule." And people who accuse others of not practicing it are not, in fact, practicing it themselves.

We can probably assume that the Dalai Lama practices it, though. And that Mother Theresa did; although she and Christopher Hitchens are probably duking it out in Purgatory.

Quayle said...

Turley is full in the business of selling civility bullsh**.

That's why he's concerned when someone isn't buying.

Lot's of people selling pure, unadulterated bullsh**.

Turley's product differentiation is that his bullsh** is civil bullsh**. He gets to wear pants with cuffs and Italian shoes when he peddles his bullsh**.

Nice work when you can get it.

"Remember, if it doesn't say civility on the label, you can't be sure it's the right kind of bullsh**."

Fen said...

I think it is fair to say that Turley, whatever his previous writing, really failed to deliver on that piece.

Oh, I think he meant to say exactly what he said. He just doesn't have the balls to stand by it in a venue that allows for feedback.

ndspinelli said...

"Paging edutcher, the president of ASS[Althouse Sycophant Society] is needed STAT!!"

BarryD said...

There's a simple litmus test for Turley and his ilk.

Would he support enlarging the Supreme Court when the Senate had 61 Republicans in it, and the President was a Republican?

If the answer is "no" then he's spouting bullshit, and calling it court packing is right on.

Sharkcutie said...

For those who question how recent his proposal is:

"Unpacking the Court: The Case for the Expansion of the United States Supreme Court in the Twenty-First Century." 33 Perspectives on Political Science, no. 3, p. 155 (June 22, 2004). by Jonathan Turley at http://portal.law.gwu.edu/Bibliography/Bibliography.asp?uid=1738

wyo sis said...

Everyone believes their own bullshit. Somewhere in each load there might be a tiny nugget of truth. It's just so messy getting to it. But, judging fron the Internet, we all love to get messy.

Fen said...

A Turley commenter: I left a comment on the Althouse blog, but I didn’t put much effort into it. (It was before Mr. Turley posted this response.) So I misrepresented Mr. Turley myself. Sorry!

1) "I wasn't really trying"

2) "I read Turley the same way Althouse did. oops"

Steve Koch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Koch said...

Althouse deserves a lot of credit for her straight talking, non pompous, entertaining writing. She obviously knows a lot about law and passes that info onto us with a teaspoon full of sugar. Her clarity, brevity, light elegant writing and artistic sensibility are wonderful. I frequently disagree with her politics (imagine John McEnroe's "You can't be serious!") but she has really nailed this blogging thing.

Turley proposed to pack the supreme court and Althouse called bullshit. I don't see the problem.

Scott said...

@Sharkcutie: Yeah, he proposed that just before Bush's second term, so maybe there is some credence to the notion that Turley wasn't just thinking of packing the court with liberals. (Thanks for the ref.)

But Turley is still vulnerable to accusations of court packing if he proposes to expand the court all during one administration. If he suggested expanding the court incrementally over a long period of time -- say, one additional justice for each president's term, until the new max had been achieved -- then he would have more traction.

paul a'barge said...

Describe the percentage that Althouse's gender plays into Turley's rage.

I'm betting 60%.

Scott said...

@phx

I do believe in progress.

What exactly do you mean?

Matthew Sablan said...

"If he suggested expanding the court incrementally over a long period of time -- say, one additional justice for each president's term, until the new max had been achieved -- then he would have more traction."

-- He does that (I believe he says two per term until they hit 19). I don't remember if that's from WaPo (I think it is) or somewhere else.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dreams said...

I'm all for calling them out on their bullshit and I enjoy reading it but the problem is the undecided voters and the independents don't read it because they don't read and so remain clueless.

Richard Dolan said...

I liked the rhythm of this: "careless and lightweight ... passionate and serious ... speaking clearly and showing you things ...." It works better -- speaks more clearly and shows more directly -- as verse (and puts the first phrase in the right context to boot).

Reading Ann's blog, I kept hearing Prof. Higgins' mother saying "Bravo, Eliza" when Ms. E told Henry to take a hike. (I also like the 'bravo' rather than 'brava,' even if memory fails and in the original mom got the Italian right.)

David said...

Well, you could have called it stupid.

That's what I would have done.

Or stupid bullshit.

The ratio of bullshit to actual thoughts is higher in academia than anywhere but Hollywood and Washington. And the disparity between the lowest quality bullshit and highest quality thinking is higher in academia than anywhere else.

Turley's is only mid level bullshit, but it gets bonus points for pretension and wide5 dissemination.

The Powerline boys have taken to calling Obama a historic world class bullshitter. No wonder. The President is academic-Washington-Hollywood all wrapped up in one.

MadisonMan said...

My recollection is also 'Bravo', not 'Brava'

Dante said...

Awesome post.

Turley's arguments seem rather weak. Liberals and Conservatives want a majority of the court to have their ideology. That implies a lot, and in my view none of it good. Unless there is a single meaning to be derived from the constitution, conservatives and liberals will pack the court as best their able with folks aligned with their views, no matter how many supreme court justices.

Steve Koch said...

BTW, if constitutional lawyers want to do something useful, they might figure out a better way of selecting fed judges and supreme court justices. The current approach is too politicized and has degenerated into nominees who the prez selects because he thinks they will agree with him politically. Somehow, some way, we have to de-politicize the judiciary.

For many years dems have used the courts to accomplish judicially what they could not accomplish legislatively. Is there any hope that reversal of ObamaCare in the supreme court might lead the dems to appreciate the wisdom of de-politicizing the judiciary?

Dave said...

I agree with Ann that the court packing notion is self-serving BS, but I think there's a good case to be made that the court is too powerful and needs a solid constitutional check for given decisions that's well short of impeachment. My idea is that state legislators should have the power to limit the SCOTUS decisions. Specifically if 33/50 states (66%) had a law in common the SCOTUS would need at least a 6-3 vote to overturn. It's a nonpartisan approach that adds to local power in a modest way and stems the worst excesses of the court. Another idea is a staggered 18 year term limits ( (9 X 2 = 18, gives a new court every 18 years) where a Supreme is replaced every two years (in years w/o elections). The 4.5 presidential terms this would overlap should prevent partisan court packing. Any retiring judge who steps down prematurely is replaced only for the remainder of the term.

Just a couple of ideas

Barry Dauphin said...

James Fallows said: Underscoring the point, a Bloomberg poll of 21 constitutional scholars found that 19 of them believe the individual mandate is constitutional, but only eight said they expected the Supreme Court to rule that way.

I guess we now know where Turley got the number 19. He wants those 19 "scholars" on the Supreme Court.

DADvocate said...

long, professorly post

As the son of a professor, I learned early on about long, professorly reasoning. The musings usually have a "it's not that simple" component. But, often, it is that simple and the long, professorly treatise is an attempt to hide the professor's personal bias and try to underpin it with the appearance of impartial logic.

leslyn said...

Carnival said,

"Cut through the Bullshit and call it what it is. Those who live in their idealized world surrounded by others who knowingly smile at their ever utterance...well, of course it's disturbing for them. They have not had their thinking questioned since sophomore year at _________ University."

Althouse.

Jacques Cuze said...

Sadly typical Ann,

Instead of just apologizing for your obvious mistake, you double down and rationalize your crappy behavior.

As D.D. Driver said yesterday, you've now lost any excuse on your part to be butthurt when anyone misrepresents your views.

Saint Croix said...

Turley's rage??

Yeah, Turley's rage, covered up with civility bullshit.

Look at his title.

The Limits of Civility: How A Proposal On Reforming The Supreme Court Unleashed A Torrent Of Personal Attacks

He's claiming that he's an ivory tower intellect. And he's describing the "limits of civility." Look, barbarians! And their queen, Althouse, the dirty shit whore.

Turley went outside his ivory tower. And from the internet moat, Althouse, the scum queen, the dirty one, she got her filthy rat claws onto his nice white undershit.

Oh, filth! Disgusting filth! A personal attack on my white undershirt!

His blog is like asterisks on the mind.

leslyn said...

Scott said... "Legal occupations are the only ones where good writing in English is respected."

ROFLMAO

"I had considered studying law, but [I won't because] the world doesn't need more lawyers." That's good, because you and Sky-is-Falling Caird ("it's a huge Constitutional change!) don't have a clue.

cubanbob said...

smitty1e said...
Essential (NSFW) Onion article: Poll: 73 Percent Of Americans Unable To Believe This Shit


Leave it to The Onion to be far more accurate than the media.

phx said...

Look, barbarians! And their queen, Althouse, the dirty shit whore.

Turley went outside his ivory tower. And from the internet moat, Althouse, the scum queen, the dirty one, she got her filthy rat claws onto his nice white undershit.

Oh, filth! Disgusting filth!


Brother, you have some strange issues.

leslyn said...

Patrick said...

Harrogate" I meanwhile am a nonpartisan plainspoken passionate truthteller in a sea of unreasonableness.

Nope, that's not what she's saying. She's saying that she favors clarity, and writing clearly. Turley wrote an op-ed calling for more SC justices, while trying to bury his reasons in obfuscations. Althouse called him on it.

Patrick, harrogate was right the first time.

cubanbob said...

Scott said...
@Sharkcutie: Yeah, he proposed that just before Bush's second term, so maybe there is some credence to the notion that Turley wasn't just thinking of packing the court with liberals. (Thanks for the ref.)

But Turley is still vulnerable to accusations of court packing if he proposes to expand the court all during one administration. If he suggested expanding the court incrementally over a long period of time -- say, one additional justice for each president's term, until the new max had been achieved -- then he would have more traction.

6/26/12 9:41 AM

Bush never had 61 republican senators. Turley's fear is that Romney might. No principle on Turley's part, just fancy pretentious hackery, you know, bullshit.
If only George Carlin were alive today. Yes I know he was politically to the left but his riff on this would have been outrageously funny.

edutcher said...

Being a Lefty, Turley expects civility to be a one way street in his direction. He's doesn't know how to take a little fire.

I think he also lumps the bloggress in with her commentariat.

Fact is, Ann was nice.

We got nasty.

ndspinelli said...

Paging edutcher, the president of ASS[Althouse Sycophant Society] is needed STAT!!

Cute. You can go back to your Valise now.

Or is it Closet?

anandaman said...

It is well known in the military that there are three categories of Shit. Bullshit, Horseshit and Chickenshit.

Steve Koch said...

Jacques Cuze,

I accuse you of having a witty handle.

leslyn said...

Althouse deserves a lot of credit for her straight talking, non pompous, entertaining writing.

"Non-pompous." By that do you mean, "Look at me! It's all about me! I'm important! Look at me!"

Jacques Cuze said...

Steve Koch,

"Jacques Cuze,

I accuse you of having a witty handle."

I so wish I was smart enough to have come up with it on my own. It's from a Philip Jose Farmer story.

Rusty said...

He's(Turley) claiming that he's an ivory tower intellect.

They get that way when they start believing their own bullshit.


If only George Carlin were alive today. Yes I know he was politically to the left but his riff on this would have been outrageously funny.

Because, lets face it, that dude knew his shit.


Funny shit.

Scott said...

@phx

"I believe it's possible to live a life without anger, self-righteousness, or feelings of personal offense."

Well yeah, but with drugs that good, the narcs will be pounding on your door any day now.

MadisonMan said...

Jacques Cuze,

I accuse you of having a witty handle

Witty, but not Sofa King Brilliant.

stealth pundit said...

Got news for those in academia who haven't strayed too far from their safe haven. Most of us only cared what you had to say up to the final exam. If we read what you have to say now it better make sense or we're on to the baseball standings. The only people you're impressing are other professors - or in this case maybe not so much.

Saint Croix said...

Brother, you have some strange issues.

Now you're pulling a Turley!

Althouse's original two posts had zero attacks on Turley's character. None. Zip. Nada. Point them out to me, I don't see them.

What did Althouse attack? His argument. She called it bullshit.

That is rude, in your face language. But it's not actually a personal attack.

Turley's blog post, on the other hand, is filled with personal attacks ("ill-informed, uncivil, vicious, relieved of basic decency") on her character.

Turley's blog is a long grievance session. It's whiny. It's boring. Even his insults suck. But there are insults there, numerous ones, of all the people who are beneath him, the scholar.

On Althouse's blog, we're all free to comment, even to engage in personal attack. People attack Althouse all the time. She takes the high road, all the time. But she allows herself the freedom to go low road and to attack bullshit as she sees it. You are free to agree or disagree or attack back.

Why do you like Althouse's blog? Why are you here and not on Turley's blog?

Paddy O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wyo sis said...

stealth pundit
Probably the only people they want to impress are other professors. Or, in this case, other liberal professors. Bullshit is sometimes very fine tuned.

Actually, that's bullshit too.

wv assockt which my auto correct keeps trying to correct to ass socket

Paddy O said...

I appreciate the notes and comments that this isn't a new crusade for Turley. That makes it certainly more of a respectable, if no less wrong, proposal.

The difficulty I have with his response is that it assumes a clarity in the online article that wasn't there, and because of the lack of clarity is especially vulnerable to charges of partisanship during the very week that the health care decision is going to be handed down. Whether or not his intent was to support a liberal court-packing scheme as a response to the health care debate, the timing of the article is clearly being associated with the the Obamacare debate in particular. Indeed, its publishing now is part of a well-noticed trend to seek to undermine the court's overall trustworthiness by liberals who disagree with the decision.

However much Turley himself opposes the law, the decided implication of the timing of the publication puts his argument right alongside Fallows and the other hyper-partisan respondents. Meaning Turley can be accused of both being mildly obtuse in his arguments as well as being clearly used by the pro-Obamacare folks who are making use of his arguments at a specific time for a specific reason.

That happens in life. The difficulty, and where the civility bullshit issue is entirely relevant, is that in his response Turley argues that Althouse is "beyond the pale" in her assuming his support of Obamacare. That's a clearly hyperbolic phrase that is meant to provide both moral high ground and intellectual dismissal in a situation where a misunderstanding of Turley's position is entirely understandable.

Rather than acknowledge the lack of clarity in establishing his own positions as well as acknowledging the particular, and curious, timing of this article, he lashes out in a guise of shocked sensibilities.

A more measured and academic response by him would have much more undermined Althouse's original post.

Palladian said...

I could care less about "civility" but if you want to be taken seriously (by me) you must...

To be taken seriously (by me), you must learn that "I could care less" means that you actually do care about the subject that caused you to (mis)use a cliche.

LoafingOaf said...

"These lawprofs who experience the inflation of elite media publication — and I've been there...."

Yeah, and that didn't go very well: Ann Althouse - NYT legal expert on a case she knows nothing about

As for Turley (who notes: "Apparently both civility and factual accuracy fall into the same 'BS' category for Professor Althouse"), he's finding out what many before him have discovered about Althouse. She can't stand admitting she was wrong about something and usually acts like a jerk when her errors are pointed out.

BTW, folks who click over to Turley's excellent response should also click on his link to this blog post: Naked Lawprof Mudwrestling: Althouse v. Turley which is critical of Althouse's cult of commenters (known widely in the blogosphere as Althouse Hillbillies).

It concludes: "It was bad enough that Ann Althouse wrote two posts that cost her credibility among anyone capable of thought, but that she lit up her sycophants with hatred toward Jonathan Turley, and allowed it to fester, is sick."

Steve Koch said...

"Non-pompous." By that do you mean, "Look at me! It's all about me! I'm important! Look at me!"

I am not saying whether or not Althouse is egotistical, only that she is not pompous. Being egotistical does not necessarily imply that one is pompous.

leslyn said...

However much Turley himself opposes the law

What? Opposes what law?

phx said...

@ St. Croix
There aren't any personal attacks in Turley's column.

But there especially isn't any of the other weirdness you found in there:

Turley went outside his ivory tower. And from the internet moat, Althouse, the scum queen, the dirty one, she got her filthy rat claws onto his nice white undershit.

Oh, filth! Disgusting filth!


There's nothing at all like that in Turley. That stuff came from you, nobody else. And it's not reasonable.

LoafingOaf said...

D.D. Driver said...
If you want to dig your heels in, it's your blog. But spare us the "look who is 'sliming' me posts" on a going forward basis. You have surrendered the moral high ground on this issue.

I could care less about "civility" but if you want to be taken seriously (by me) you must fairly characterize the positions that you are attacking. And here you air balled in the most embarrassing way possible (and now I suppose we get to hear about how you meant to do that all along).

In the spirit of Nick Lowe, what's so funny about apologizing when you are wrong?

Well said!

leslyn said...

In a later post, I'll respond to more of Turley's long, professorly post

Oh please, spare us!

In the bloggerly tradition, I'm keeping this post short and clear.

Huh?

Jacques Cuze said...

Actually a lot of this can be viewed as Ann "punching up" to Professor Turley.

g "punching up" site:althouse.blogspot.com

Paddy O said...

Leslyn, from Turley's post:

"First, before the health care law was passed, I spoke on Capitol Hill and expressed my personal opposition to the individual mandate law on federalism grounds"

If you're going to jump on the anti-Althousian bandwagon, it's good to read the relevant posts, especially since they're online and not wasting paper.

wyo sis said...

Althouse hillbillies? Why are conservatives always portrayed as hillbillies? Is hillbilly the natural opposite of elite professor? Is the ideal of America as a shining city on a hill a hillbilly notion? Is it noble to see America as a sewer of racism and greed? If you had to choose between being Bill Maher or Glenn Beck who would you choose? If I choose Glenn Beck am I a hillbilly?

Hillbillies seem to be better at detecting bullshit.

Paddy O said...

LoafingOaf, you're doing the same thing as Turley. Using hyperbolic language and supposed posts on moral superiority in order to make your case. It undermines the very position you're arguing for.

Of course, it's merely disingenuous rather than being "sick" or "beyond the pale" or whatever other phrase you like to use to characterize simple disagreements and almost entirely irrelevant blog commenting behavior.

What's interesting to me is that how you insist on making all this a moral cause and/or an issue of psychological problems. Doing that is precisely why the civility bullshit tag is used.

Meanwhile, no doubt, a commenter from Turley's blog and an Althouse commenter will fall in love and then die, then everyone will feel really bad after the fact.

edutcher said...

LoafingOaf said...

These lawprofs who experience the inflation of elite media publication — and I've been there....

Yeah, and that didn't go very well: Ann Althouse - NYT legal expert on a case she knows nothing about


Yeah, Glenn Greenwald has all kinds of credibility, doesn't he?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Everyone believes their own bullshit. Somewhere in each load there might be a tiny nugget of truth

Make me think of this. Don't click if you are easily grossed out or afraid of sophomoric humor.

leslyn said...

@LoafingOaf,

"Naked Lawprof Wrestling": excellent post.

At wyosis: I haven't heard "hillbillies." But "tinfoil hat crowd" is out there.

I prefer the ASS acronym, however.

Saint Croix said...

There aren't any personal attacks in Turley's column.

You are ill-informed and uncivil. I am surprised by your lack of civility. The internet seems to unleash the most vicious side of people. I must confess that I am taken aback by such an ill-informed and uncivil attack. You are something of a lightning rod. I would expect you to do a little research before going after me. I understand some posters are given to hyperbole. What you say is beyond the pale. Such attacks do not present a good model. You are falsely stating my position as a basis for a personal attack. I have never encountered a human being advocating for incivility as a type of personal signature. This is a shrill or sophomoric attack. I do not expect an apology from you.

Patrick said...

Leslyn: ""Non-pompous." By that do you mean, "Look at me! It's all about me! I'm important! Look at me!"

Well that has nothing to do with pomposity. Isn't writing for the public, whether in the WaPO or a blog pretty much doing that? For that matter, isn't commenting? I wouldn't say that publishing should equate with "look at me!!" attention seeking.

leslyn said...

I do not expect an apology from you.

Yeah, that was a useless thing to say.

wyo sis said...

Some researcher with a grant found that commenting on Facebook and other social media is as satisfying as sex or eating.

NAAAAAAAAA!

Ann Althouse said...

Has anyone mentioned that my post *does not say* that Turley is opposed to a decision striking down Obamacare?

You'd think before saying I should be more careful, he should be more careful!

My text -- written with unobtrusive accuracy — says:

Don't like the Supreme Court's decision? Propose a Court-packing plan! It was good enough for FDR, and it's what the Washington Post is pushing in anticipation of the Obamacare decision. Jonathan Turley writes.... You don't like the opinions. It was a bad idea then, and it's a bad idea now."

Note the importance of the role of the WaPo, which I have further highlighted in this post.

I have WaPo structuring the pre-Obamacare-case spin, Turley being used as the lawprof with the useful opinion, and my own expression of belief that he doesn't like "the opinions," which refers to an undefined large category of cases.

My writing is clear and specific, but people who are obfuscating and slogging through obfuscation, find it hard to believe they've encountered a text that says something directly.

leslyn said...

@Patrick and Steve Koch:

Sigh.

"Pompous"--"1. Characterized by excessive self-esteem" The Free Dictionary.

"adjective. 1. characterized by an ostentatious display of dignity or importance" Dictionary.com

"2: having or exhibiting self-importance" Merriam Webster

phx said...

You are ill-informed and uncivil. I am surprised by your lack of civility. The internet seems to unleash the most vicious side of people. I must confess that I am taken aback by such an ill-informed and uncivil attack. You are something of a lightning rod. I would expect you to do a little research before going after me. I understand some posters are given to hyperbole. What you say is beyond the pale. Such attacks do not present a good model. You are falsely stating my position as a basis for a personal attack. I have never encountered a human being advocating for incivility as a type of personal signature. This is a shrill or sophomoric attack. I do not expect an apology from you.

Well you don't have to be too much of a reductivist to get from what Turley actually wrote to here.

I can see how easy it is for you to go from that to telling us that Turley says Althouse is "the dirty shit whore," and "the scum queen, dirty one."

You want to talk about Turley's personal attacks?

I don't want to know where you got your imagery, but where the hell do you get your nerve?

Saint Croix said...

There's nothing at all like that in Turley. That stuff came from you, nobody else. And it's not reasonable.

I think it was the "bullshit" that set him off. People can get really angry about feces. I remember that awful day I was threatened with dog-murder when we had that nice discussion about not scooping the poo. People just don't like shit. Dog shit, cow shit, horseshit. We just don't like it. None of us do. But some of us hate it with a vile passion. Even rhetorical shit is a no-no for these folks.

I think if Althouse had said, "Falsehood!" or "Untrue!" or "I Don't Believe It!", Turley would have cut his rant by at least nine paragraphs. It was the bullshit that set him on his quest to smite the evil one and her hillbilly mob.

And his love of Captain Squish, Mr. Asterisk himself, your Justice and mine, Anthony Kennedy, pretty much sealed the deal for me. YMMV.

Richard Dolan said...

More rhythms proving the verse-better-than-prose point:

"the useful opinion and my own expression of belief ... clear and specific ... obfuscating and slogging ..."

The Queen Bee is hot today. Calling all medes!

edutcher said...

leslyn said...

@Patrick and Steve Koch:

Sigh.

"Pompous"--"1. Characterized by excessive self-esteem" The Free Dictionary.

"adjective. 1. characterized by an ostentatious display of dignity or importance" Dictionary.com

"2: having or exhibiting self-importance" Merriam Webster


Kind of like leslyn.

cubanbob said...

My writing is clear and specific, but people who are obfuscating and slogging through obfuscation, find it hard to believe they've encountered a text that says something directly.

6/26/12 12:32 PM

When your world view is reflected in fun house mirrors the reflection from a regular mirror appears to be a distortion.

If Turley really believed that Obama was going to be re-elected along with a filibuster proof democrat senate his proposal would disappear in the memory hole. He doesn't and that is what he is afraid of. A republican president with a republican senate (particularly a less RINOish senate) filling the judiciary and possibly one or more supreme court seats.

Actually on the shit scale, Turley's is on the chickenshit scale, not worthy of being given the title of bullshit.

cubanbob said...

My writing is clear and specific, but people who are obfuscating and slogging through obfuscation, find it hard to believe they've encountered a text that says something directly.

6/26/12 12:32 PM

When your world view is reflected in fun house mirrors the reflection from a regular mirror appears to be a distortion.

If Turley really believed that Obama was going to be re-elected along with a filibuster proof democrat senate his proposal would disappear in the memory hole. He doesn't and that is what he is afraid of. A republican president with a republican senate (particularly a less RINOish senate) filling the judiciary and possibly one or more supreme court seats.

Actually on the shit scale, Turley's is on the chickenshit scale, not worthy of being given the title of bullshit.

Jacques Cuze said...

Has anyone mentioned that my post *does not say* that Turley is opposed to a decision striking down Obamacare?

You'd think before saying I should be more careful, he should be more careful!

My text -- written with unobtrusive accuracy — says:

Don't like the Supreme Court's decision? Propose a Court-packing plan! It was good enough for FDR, and it's what the Washington Post is pushing in anticipation of the Obamacare decision. Jonathan Turley writes.... You don't like the opinions. It was a bad idea then, and it's a bad idea now."

Note the importance of the role of the WaPo, which I have further highlighted in this post.


Right, so it's Turley's fault for not being more clear.

In fact,

"My text -- written with unobtrusive accuracy — says: "

Your text is unobtrusively accurate! Which is actually another way of saying vague and luckily capable of being parsed many ways after the fact.

It was good enough for FDR, and it's what the Washington Post is pushing in anticipation of the Obamacare decision. Jonathan Turley writes:
"The health-care decision comes 75 years after the famous “court packing” effort of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.... Roosevelt may have had the right idea for the wrong reason."
Oh, spare me the bullshit. It's the same reason. You don't like the opinions. It was a bad idea then, and it's a bad idea now.


What is the antecedent of "You"?

Whose bullshit are you asking to be spared of?

Perhaps before you demand more clarity from Professor Turley, you should be more demanding about clarity on your part.

You certainly weren't going after Professor Turley. It's clear you were going after the Washington Post.

That's why you followed up with your discussion of the number 19.

Perhaps when your beef is with the Washington Post, you should make your beef about the Washington Post, and not some bystander the Post is using as a foil.

Saint Croix said...

You've got issues.

You're unreasonable.

Where do you get your nerve?


I can think of so many rude things to say. Oh gosh, where do I start? Oh golly.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

Someone call Turley a Whambulance STAT.

Alex said...

Mommy! Professor Althouse wasn't niiiiiiiiiiiiice to me! Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

phx said...

All right, my last post is incoherent and is based on a misreading. With no objections I'm going to delete it, unless someone wants it to stand as a tribute to humility.

leslyn said...

My text --written with unobtrusive accuracy

BWAAA haaa haaa

People attack Althouse all the time. She takes the high road, all the time.

BWAAA haaa haaaa

Saint Croix said...

I really shouldn't troll on other people's blogs, but the comments over at Turley's blog are cracking me up.

I had previously read Althouse’s blog post and found it lacking in substance. I was considering it for a post next weekend.

Oh man, I'm so giddy with anticipation. Nal is posting! Next weekend! Here! Well, he's thinking about it. We have to get ready. The weekend is in three days. Nal is coming!

We have to clean up around here. No vaginas. Seriously, no vaginas. Stay off the vagina. Be nice! Why were we talking about vaginas, anyway? I can't even remember.

Nal is coming! This weekend!

And he'll be bringing...substance.

LoafingOaf said...

Matthew Sablan said...
"While Althouse writes a conservative blog and has been something of a lightning rod in the past, I would have thought that she would do a little research before going after another professor."

-- Because conservative bloggers voted Obama!

Althouse is labeled a conservative blogger because her blogging has had a clear and strong conservative bias for many years now. Hardly a week goes by when she isn't writing a love letter to Rush Limbaugh.

The election was merely a choice of one individual candidate or another. People choose which party's candidate to vote for for whatever reasons they like, and it's not always the case that a conservative always votes for the Republican.

Here are some of the things Althouse said as she was deciding to vote for Obama:

"I could see myself voting for a conservative. I would like some good conservatism. But I did not see it in McCain. Certainly, just bringing in Palin was no substitute for having his own clear principles." Link

McCain was not a good enough conservative for Althouse.

And:

"Is there some sort of idea that if you think McCain is too liberal, you still have to vote for him, because if he's too liberal, then Obama is really too liberal? I don't buy that. Better a principled, coherent liberal whose liberal choices will, if they don't go well, be blamed on liberals than an erratic, incoherent liberal whose liberal choices will be blamed on the party that ought to get its conservative act together." Link

I don't know that it was so much a worry that McCain would make "liberal choices" that would be blamed on conservatives when the messes the country was in didn't get magically turned around in record time. Althouse seemed to like Bush quite a lot and he was incoherent and unprincipled. I think it was a weariness that the Bush disasters were not being viewed by enough people as bipartisan failures combined with the knowledge that they were not gonna get cleaned up any time soon.

And Obama was never going to be a principled, coherent liberal president because there has never been a president who has managed to stay true to their principles in a coherent fashion once in office.

Bush's economic and foreign policy disasters were at a peak as the country prepared to pass the baton to another leader. Let Obama deal with that now while Republicans can sit back and obstruct and attack. As the Bush disasters engulf Obama he'll appear as not very different from Bush after all, the blame will be spread around evenly, and then Republicans will nominate a slick "hope and change" candidate of their own to offer the country. And every time Obama mentions what happened in the 8 years before he took over Republicans will say their new guy had nothing to do with that.

Paddy O said...

"And every time Obama mentions what happened in the 8 years before he took over Republicans will say their new guy had nothing to do with that."

Two issues with this. First, you assert the Bush policies as being objectively "disasters" when in fact that's a subjective and partisan decision. A counter-example would be the Obama stimulus. Saying it is a disaster is also an arguable, and often partisan, point. Of course, having those opinions on these issues is often what contributes to choosing a side. But, they are in fact partisan opinions and not established, nor objective, facts.

Second, it's all fine and good to blame Bush for Obama's problems. But that doesn't help Obama. What you're arguing, in effect, is that Obama is an ineffective leader. Leadership isn't about people doing what you want them to do, it's getting them to do it and then responding to situations that alleviate the problems.

Reagan had a mess of the economy and the presidency itself after Nixon, Ford, Carter, but was able to lead in a way that turned things around. And often with an opposition Congress.

We can blame the first Bush for the economy too. But Clinton was able to work well enough with Republicans to pull off a good economy in the 90s.

Good leaders, which is what a good president needs to be, doesn't blame, they lead and they change the context they are given. So, Obama can blame Bush, and maybe the charge is true, maybe it's not, but if he's powerless to do anything about it, then he's an ineffectual President and we need someone else in office.

Lawyer Mom said...

Anyone ever see Turley eat a hot fudge sundae?

http://www.buzzfeed.com/zekejmiller/the-most-dour-man-eats-sundae-photos-ever

edutcher said...

LoafingOaf said...

Althouse is labeled a conservative blogger because her blogging has had a clear and strong conservative bias for many years now. Hardly a week goes by when she isn't writing a love letter to Rush Limbaugh.

No, the Lefties label her Conservative because she's actually willing to criticize the Left and the Democrat Party when they're wrong - which, of course, is most of the time.

Anybody who actually follows the blog, rather than trolling for keywords knows Ann is all over the map on a lot of issues.

Half a Loaf might know that if he actually read the blog once in a while.

Paddy O said...

We can blame the first Bush for the economy too. But Clinton was able to work well enough with Republicans to pull off a good economy in the 90s.

No, Willie left a miserable economy that was mostly his doing. And he didn't "work with Republicans". He was faced with a fail accompli when Gingrich confronted him with a veto-proof Congress on welfare reform and the budget.

EnRon, DotCom, and subprime mortgage were all on his watch, but were swept under the rug by a compliant media under the illusion of "peace and prosperity" (he also had bun Laden offered to him on a silver platter, but was too busy trying to distract the public from L'Affaire Monica).

PS Bush 41 didn't create the recession in '91, George Mitchell's luxury tax did. Poppy should have stuck to his promise, granted, but the blame goes to Mitchell.

Paddy O said...

edutcher, I don't disagree with you.

I'm more trying to make the case that even with partisan conflicts and subjective opinions (no matter what they are), blaming a predecessor is not good politics, as there are examples on both sides. Democrats perceive Bush 1 as leaving a bad economy to Clinton, and Clinton is perceived to have changed it.

Now whether or not that is reality is not the issue, the issue is how Clinton, and Reagan before him, parlayed the apparent mistakes of a predecessor to bolster their own apparent accomplishments. They didn't blame... they made it seem like they were the ones able to make change.

Paddy O said...

In other words, I'm raising the issue of good politics not reality or policy.

Lem said...

My writing is clear and specific, but people who are obfuscating and slogging through obfuscation, find it hard to believe they've encountered a text that says something directly.

Hey.. Althouse is bullying Jonathan Turley.. I'm calling the newly minted Holder Hotline ;)

Matthew Sablan said...

"McCain was not a good enough conservative for Althouse."

-- I see your reasoning. Clearly, the right choice, is the ultra conservative Obama. Althouse is labeled a conservative blogger because it is convenient. If she were commonly described as a political moderate, then it would make the out of hand manner you want to dismiss her. Reading the whole post, it is clear she is talking about she dislikes how McCain backed down from his convictions. She is not saying: "I want to vote conservative," she is asking: "Why is McCain not standing by his previous self-identification?"

Alex said...

Someone get Turley over to the battered girly-man shelter because Althouse has whooped his pansy ass.

traditionalguy said...

I liked reading the push back post that said the Professor whips us commenters into a frenzy of out of control, seething hatred that can cause real damage.

Nobody ever gave me that high of a compliment before. My new persona must be worth three stars, and I am sending my resume to the NO Saints who need me more than ever.

Boo, I am dangerous!

furious_a said...

"19" was the number of highjackers on the doomed 9-11 airliners.

Draw your own conclusions.

leslyn said...

In this game, I'm a big outlier. I call out the lawprofs, and I've been doing it a lot lately

"It's Shane! Shane come to rescue us!"

David R. Graham said...

The Althousian "Bullshit!" is a National Treasure.

God is in the outliers. What is known for sure is without God. (This justifies the atheist.) What is unknown or uncertain has God. (This justifies the humble.)

ken in sc said...

I am more humble than you and proud of it.