February 3, 2014

"Is Elena Kagan a 'paranoid libertarian'?"

"Judging by Sunstein’s definition, the answer is yes."

13 comments:

chr1 said...

Daddy Cass doesn't like some of the singers in the band.

He looks out and sees the darkened faces of paranoics and libertarians.

It can't be the ideas. It can't be.

mccullough said...

Sunstein is a sloppy thinker.

YoungHegelian said...

a presumption of bad faith on the part of government officials--a belief that their motivations must be distrusted

How can one not presume bad faith by government officials and still maintain a "Republic of laws & not of men"?

Governments by definition have a monopoly on force. They have large, well funded bureaucracies that not only permit malfeasance to be hidden behind anonymity, but also by techniques such as security classifications & sovereign immunity. To believe that government bureaucracies by virtue of being government as opposed to corporate bureaucracies thus transform their members into angelic beings is magical thinking at its most farcical.

I can understand where this sort of thinking comes from in a Marxist, Fascist, or a National Socialist for whom the government is an agent of a higher historical force. But, for a liberal like Sunstein, this sort of willful blindness is stunning.

Eric Jablow said...

Was James Madison a paranoid libertarian?

“If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.” Federalist 51

buwaya said...

Sunsteins reputation is based on his writings on reforms of the bureaucratic process, on which subject he seems to be considered an expert. He is sort of a government-oriented management consultant.

Having dealt with management consultants over many decades, I have doubts about claimed expertise in such things unless there is a proven track record of improved efficiency backed by solid metrics.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

According to Sunstein, paranoid libertarianism is characterized by such pathologies as “a presumption of bad faith on the part of government officials--a belief that their motivations must be distrusted[]”

A presumption of bad faith on the part of government officials was precisely the motivation for writing the Constitution. It's what government always-- always-- does without some effective constraint. The frequent and flagrant violation of the spirit of the Constitution has given us a terrifying monolithic government that can do anything it wants to you. Sunstein applauds it.

Scott M said...

How in the world does that comport with Kagen's Obamacare advocacy?

Seeing Red said...

Uh, oh. Is she about to go off the Reservation?

Bob Boyd said...

"Vatch how some of ze guinea pigs zey don't vant me to grab zem ven I reach into zheir cage. See how zhey scurry about?
Zey are incapable of undershtanding my experiments, yet shtill zey flee.
Zhose are ze paranoid vuns you see. Zhere behavior is not rational. Not at all."

The Godfather said...

Nicest thing I think I've ever heard said about Justice Kagan.

Illuninati said...

For me, Elena Kagan's judicial philosophy is still a mystery. If she is a paranoid libertarian that would be cause for celebration.

Revenant said...

It is pretty obvious few of the people commenting read the article.

The point is simply that Sunstein's definition of "paranoid libertarian" is so broad that it includes universally-held legal principles widely embraced by the Left.

traditionalguy said...

This is the basic accusation that only crazies are not always trusting a horrible liar and tyrant who hasn't been interested in the truth since the day he was born, somewhere.

The US Constitution had been completely written when the founders had to slam on the breaks and add the Bill of Rights to enumerate that standard distrust list developed from years living with the British Monarchy and its trained Revenue Officers and its Murderous Army billeted in the homes here and searching every home at gun point looking to arrest and hang us for being free men.

Maybe the founders such as Madison, Washington, Adams and Mason were not a speck insane but Sunstein is an idiot.