NOT April Fools

David Brooks.

“…But Sotomayor and Kagan I think really showed on that public, or the newest justices, how smart they are.”


Kagan: “The exact same argument so, so that really reduces to the question of: why is a big gift from the federal government a matter of coercion?

“In other words, the federal government is here saying: we’re giving you a boatload of money. There are no, is no matching funds requirement. There are no extraneous conditions attached to it.

It’s just a boatload of federal money for you to take and spend on poor people’s healthcare. It doesn’t sound coercive to me, I have to tell you.”

Wow. Just wow.

Oh, wait. I think she said that from the bench, too.

Okay. My bad. Brooks/April Fool. They are practically indistiguishable, regardless.

11 Responses to “NOT April Fools”

  1. AliceH says:

    I have to say I do indeed have a better idea of just how smart they are. Don’t suppose that’s what David B meant by that, though.

  2. JeffS says:

    Money from the Feds, taken in through taxes, is a “gift”?

    Stupid and condescending. In one sentence. The mind boggles.

  3. Greg Newson says:

    Kagan is an idiot.In her confirmation hearings she couldn’t say why the Government couldn’t pass a law saying people have to eat vegetables at least once a day.She’s an idiot”how do these fools rise to such heights in our government?’

  4. Gunslinger says:

    David Brooks is a year-round fool.

  5. Skyler says:

    No she is not an idiot.

    She’s a Marxist, but that is beside the point.

    The quote is from a hypothetical she offered where the ACA were a different law. She asked Clement to pretend an extreme. case where there were no matching funds involved. What if, she was asking, the law were not as it really is but instead were as she described here? In such a fictional situation would there be coercion on the states? And if there were no coercion would the law be Constitutional?

    It was a hypothetical. I’m no fan of hers, but your implication is off target here. No one should suppose that she is stupid. She is instead evil and a Marxist.

  6. Skyler says:

    Jeff, once the money belongs to the Feds, the states have no legal claim to it. And in fact it did come from state governments, it came from individuals, so the states have no claim at any time on that money.

    She was arguing the legal questions. It really wasn’t dumb at all if you’re inclined towards Marxism.

  7. JeffS says:

    Skyler, I really don’t care about the legal aspects of the question. Taxes (all taxes, but especially excessive taxes) returned to people who paid it is not a “gift”.

    A “gift” is (according to the dictionary) is “something given: something that is given to somebody, usually on order to provide pleasure or to show gratitude”.

    If the government wants to show me gratitude, they can stay out of my knickers. Even hypothetically, what Kragan proposes is not a “gift”. It was a cheap rhetorical argument meant to demonstrate the kindness and generosity of the Federal government. Of which (and I speak from professional experience) there is exactly none.

    As to why why I refer to Kragan as stupid and condescending:

    A person can well be well educated (as a lawyer must be), well read, possess many degrees. They may even have some intelligence. But that same person might be so block headed, prejudiced, and so narrow minded that their perception is very much wrong.

    They are unable to step back from a problem, and ask open minded questions. Instead, they want to impose solutions that they view as valid.

    You see, the definition of stupid “regarded as showing a lack of intelligence, perception, or common sense”.

    Kragan — like many lawyers — shows intelligence. But — also like many lawyers — she shows no perception or common sense. It’s as though she was trained not to use perception or common sense. Not being a lawyer, I can’t say if she got that training in law school, or during her Marxist indoctrination. But one can intelligent without using that intelligence, like having perfectly functional legs, but insisting on riding a wheel chair everywhere.

    Kragan is one of the “intellectual elites”
    infecting our world these days, and I view them as without perception or common sense, even if they are intelligent and highly educated. They are stupid by choice or training. Thus, I view her as stupid. Well educated and intelligent, but has deliberately crippled her own intellect in deference to her deity, Karl Marx, and His prophet, Barrack Obama.

    And condescending, if she expects me to buy her spew with a straight face. I hope that’s not a facet of legal training.

  8. Skyler says:

    I hate to say it, JeffS, but you’re showing those symptoms yourself right now.

    First, the quote is taken out of context. She was offering a hypothetical during a long conversation seeking to find a limit to a reach of power.

    Second, I don’t care what your emotional response to tax sources, the law is very clear that the money collected belongs to the federal government and she is discussing the law. Additionally, the money did not come from the state government, it came from companies and individuals, so the state has no claim on the money and made no such claim. (Clement rather weakly claimed that it constituted money that the states were not able to tax from their citizens since there is a limit to how much money can be collected from any source).

    She was suggesting that if there were some law that did not ask anything of the states but simply gave them money and told them to spend it on healthcare for individuals, would that be coercion of the federal government on the state?

    Philosophically she will probably be wrong in her final conclusion in this case and this might be a form of stupidity, but this quote is not evidence of that. It is inflammatory and wrong to use this out of context to make her sound stupid.

  9. major dad says:

    Marxist=idiot. No where at no time has Marxism worked but has failed spectacularly. Those that try to follow it’s tenants are idiots.

  10. JeffS says:

    Precisely, Major Dad. Precisely. That’s my primary premise here, and I really don’t care if they have a PE, MD, or JD.

    Skyler, I at least admit to the possibility of failure on my part. And I can point at examples where Obamacare *is* failing.

    Does Kragan do this? No. She attempts to spin the debate into terms that are favorable for her beliefs. And she does so by falling into the age-old leftie trick of changing the definition of works, wherein mandatory wealth re-distribution becomes a “gift” of the Federal government.

    Out of context or not, that’s an incredible leap of philosophy, and demonstrates her basic values. Sorry, ain’t buying it, and she is stupid for thinking people will.

    That, by the way, is not an “emotional reaction”. Mandatory wealth re-distribution — which Justice Kragan clearly supports — is a real problem. I admit that I don’t like being treated as though I am stupid. I don’t care to be robbed of my liberty through mandatory wealth re-distribution by a bunch of socialists and communists who think they know better how to run my life. If you view that as an “emotional reaction”, then we are all over-emoting freaks.

    Further, this is not legal matter, even if it is being argued with SCOTUS. It is a matter of individual liberty that is being addressed through legal means.

    In other words, it ain’t about the lawyers, Skyler, even if you keep on trying to make this all about the lawyers. I get it, you’re a lawyer, Kragan’s a lawyer, so you’re supporting the legal profession, even if it includes idiot Marxists. You want everyone to understand That Lawyers Are Intelligent (with a capital “I”) Because They Have Lots Of Education.

    (In that regards, I don’t underestimate her, as she clearly underestimates many of the American people. I just wish she was wrong about more Americans. But I stand by my earlier comments that being educated does not mean one is Intelligent. Being willfully stupid is something that we all must guard against, but communists like Obama and Kragan embrace it.)

    No, it’s about how we run this country. The biggest battle is merely taking place in the courtroom by lawyers. Lawyers have their place, but the Constitution was not written to give lawyers a job. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    I’d go one step further and argue that we have too many lawyers in this country, many of whom are ruthless, greedy bastards. Not all of them, of course. But enough that a litmus test that I once read about in a science fiction story sounds more and more attractive.

    The story included a planet where practicing law for any compensation was punishable by death. One was a lawyer for free or one died.

    Rhetoric (and perhaps emotional rhetoric) aside, I just hope that this “discussion” stays in the courtroom and legislative chambers. But Kragan and her ilk don’t give me much confidence in that outcome.

  11. Skyler says:

    No, JeffS, it has nothing to do with being a lawyer. It has to do with the fact that this quote is being taken out of context and is being used to purportedly hold out that she is stupid. Her hypothetical was a way to explore the limits of an argument and nothing more.

    If you want to refuse to see this, that makes you “block headed, prejudiced, and so narrow minded that your perception is very much wrong.” You’re being blinded by your own ideology into branding others as stupid.

    I don’t like Kagan or her opinions or her philosophy, but to hold this out as an example of being stupid does disservice to the popularity and strength of her position. You shouldn’t assume that calling it stupid makes it go away or any less effective.

    This whole conversation is a prime example of why the court is reluctant to broadcast their oral arguments. And it’s why Clarence Thomas is wise to not participate in them.

    You can go off about lawyers and that makes people feel good, but the reality is that lawyers are only able to do what the voters allow them to do. There are good lawyers and bad lawyers. But there are good voters and bad voters, too, who allow the bad laws to get written.

    We have about 80 years of the New Deal under our belts now and its corruption cannot be undone by just calling its adherents stupid. They aren’t, they are grounded in the law and in how it has been interpreted in the past. This case is an attempt to further extend the logic of the New Deal. Hopefully it won’t succeed, but it very well could.

    You may think it “stupid” that a man can’t grow wheat on his own property for his own consumption without running into the commerce clause, but that is settled law. It is not “stupid” to continue to extend the arguments of these cases to the current case. It’s wrong, I hope the justices find, but it is not “stupid” and the hypothetical Kagan used is likewise not stupid. We just hope it’s found to be wrong.

    You complain that this is being treated as a legal matter, but the Supreme Court is bound to only consider it as a legal matter.

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