October 27, 2008

Righties in un-Warren-ted tizzy

At the popular legal issues blog Volokh Conspiracy this morning, law professors Orin Kerr and David Bernstein discuss Barack Obama's 2001 interview with a Chicago radio station, over which the right-wing is currently foaming at its collectivist mouth.

The latter are led by Matt Drudge, whose headline attributing to then-State senator Obama the view that it's a "Tragedy That 'Redistribution of Wealth' [Was] Not Pursued by [the U.S.] Supreme Court" is completely unsupported by Obama's own statements.

Nowhere does Obama say, as a predictable plethora of conservative bloggers are alleging, that the Civil Rights-era Warren Court should have taken a more active role in economic policymaking, or even that he's "disappointed" that it didn't or "wished" that it did, as at least one local yokel falsely claims.

Prof. Bernstein asks — rhetorically, if you will:
Are people so stupid as to not recognize that when politicians talk about a "right to health care," or "equalizing educational opportunities," or "making the rich pay a fair share of taxes," or "ensuring that all Americans have the means to go to college," and so forth and so on, that they are advocating the redistribution of wealth? Is it okay for a politician to talk about the redistribution of wealth only so long as you don't actually use phrases such as "redistribution" or "spreading the wealth," in which case he suddenly becomes "socialist"?
Because one hears the identical sentiments from Republican politicians, including from presidential candidate John McCain, that well-known champion of nationalizing financial institutions.

Nevertheless, expect conservatives to try and make a huge deal out of this interview, which is more the thoughtfully considered historical observations of a constitutional law professor than anything else.

Prof. Bernstein's post also contains a link to the entire 54-minute conversation, as opposed to the edited snippets advertised by Michelle Malkin and the rest of the other well-practiced onanists.

eta: The McCain campaign gets in on the misrepresentation:

"Barack Obama expressed his regret that the Supreme Court hadn't been more 'radical' and described as a 'tragedy' the Court's refusal to take up 'the issues of redistribution of wealth.' No wonder he wants to appoint judges that legislate from the bench," said McCain economic adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin.

These are brazen lies. Obama neither expressed any such regret nor described any such tragedy. Holtz-Eakin is truly desperate. What we have here is a senior McCain adviser taking his cue from addlepated conservative bloggers in full comprehension-deficiency mode.

Comical or pathetic? Both.


Anonymous said...

In Denmark, atheists are trying to save their Judeo-Christian way of life and here you are trying to destroy it. It must be a matter of doing whatever is convenient at the time rather then doing what is right.

Anonymous said...

In communist Australia, summer is winter! And yet you liberals carp about the occasional brazen lie from conservative spittle-fleckers. How about attacking the brazen logical contradictions of your Antipodean comrades, instead of working to destroy America with your convenient principles?

illusory tenant said...

Wait a minute ... I thought I was working to destroy Denmark.

Anonymous said...

No, no. You're working to destroy Danish atheists' Judeo-Christian way of life.

Presumably you're happy to let the country itself wither on the vine once that's accomplished.

Other Side said...

Why do you hate Denmark so?

illusory tenant said...

I hear the hotels are very expensive.