Elena Kagan, our current Solicitor General and former Dean of Harvard Law School, a woman with no real track record of supporting or opposing anything and whose greatest asset, apparently, is being likable, was nominated as Obama’s Supreme Court pick this morning.
Ok, the being likable thing might have been a little pointed (although Obama did introduce Kagan as "my friend" in his announcement) but very little is known about her actual politics because she never, ever expresses them. And while she has very little paper trail, very few academic papers published (if you submit your life to law and academia and vy for public office, you kinda have to write things), what she has written has been criticized as postitionless.
But she’s a blank slate! She’s young! She’s a woman! And there are internet whipsers that she’s gay! However, that is immaterial, the gayness! But you know who’s also a woman? Diane Wood — another possible nominee — a liberal with a past of criticizing executive power.
Obama made a pretty middle-of-the-road maneuver. He did it to appease Republicans (which it will not) and so liberals won’t verbally firebomb him (they already have LOOK AT THE BLOGOSPHERE). Electing Kagan was not the craziest choice. It was, from his stance, the safest.
"If you were Barack Obama, would you want someone on the Supreme Court who has bravely insisted on the need for Constitutional limits on executive authority, resolutely condemned the use of Terrorism fear-mongering for greater government power, explicitly argued against military commissions and indefinite detention, repeatedly applied the progressive approach to interpreting the Constitution on a wide array of issues, insisted upon the need for robust transparency and checks and balances, and demonstrated a willingness to defy institutional orthodoxies even when doing so is unpopular? Of course you wouldn’t." — Glenn Greenwald
I can’t say things like him, but yes: that.