Listening to Elena Kagan as she was speaking before the Senate Judicial Committee, I was struck by how perfectly she fits her time and place. An overweight Jewish lesbian, whose career seems to have been put on fast track by her political supporters both inside and outside the media and someone who if she held diametrically opposed views, would not even be considered for a grounds crew post at Harvard, she is the quintessential symbol of Obama’s America. Her praise for her mentor Thurgood Marshall, whose “glory” it was to have acknowledged “special rights for the disadvantaged and despised,” does not in any way represent Christian or bourgeois morality. It is a ridiculous parody of what Nietzsche described as the behavior of the “Last Man,” the type of decadent who combines slave morality with philistine tastelessness. Kagan not only looks the part of this Last Man. She is the real article, no less than her fellow-law professors in the Ivy League and their imitators in the Bush League, who spend their time and energy instructing judges and state administrators on the practices and intricacies of victimology.
The major objection that has been raised to her nomination by respectable conservatives (unlike the readers of this website), typified by the Young America’s Foundation and Heritage, is that the nominee opposed ROTC at Harvard. Kagan, who is a gay activist when she is not wearing other prescribed victmological hats, defends her stand on the grounds that the military at the time was not doing enough to integrate self-described gays into the armed forces.
But the issue that movement conservatives have pushed the most vigorously is a non-starter. Kagan can now plausibly say that her grievance has been addressed. The Obama administration, with the full blessings of The Weekly Standard, Charles Krauthammer, and other neocon potentates, has arranged to allow gays who are open about their proclivities to serve in the military, and so Kagan’s onetime objection would no longer apply. The other movement conservative complaint deals with her lack of experience as a working attorney or judge. But Diane Feinstein has ably countered this objection by pointing out that the Court is already top-heavy with former federal judges.
I doubt most Republican senators would want to raise moral and cultural questions. Pat Buchanan might, but then he is not in Congress; and so far Jeff Sessions of Alabama is the only senator who seems eager to take on the nominee. The wussified Lindsay Graham, whose macho quota may have been filled by hanging around John McCain during his disastrous presidential campaign, can’t seem to get beyond inoffensive twaddle about how “some people might think the nominee wouldn’t be impartial.”
But why should the GOP waste its time going after Kagan, who is the klutzy poster child for a yuppified, urbanized multicultural America? Those who call themselves “conservative” will vote R, no matter what vile compromises Republican politicians make and no matter how often they genuflect before minorities. “The media made them do it!” is the excuse that happily gulled Republican loyalists offer for their gutless representatives. With such a following, why bother to go out on a rightwing limb or allow oneself to be identified with homophobic or fascist “hate speech”?
My own first choice for Supreme Court Justice given our circumstances would not be Kagan but someone like Jeremiah Wright or possibly Michelle Obama. At my age, I yearn to see the pompous advocates of multicultural America hoisted on their own petard. No more liberalism on the cheap for white liberals! Let them suffer for the harm they’ve inflicted on the social fabric by being stripped of their honors and by being reduced to servitude in a country run by the onetime “despised and disadvantaged.” At least I can dream!