Intellectual [sic] Conservatism: A Lighter Shade of Pale

by matttbastard

My homie Adam Serwer, examining Steven Hayward’s recent paen to the intellectual [sic] conservative tradition through a racial lens, wins the tubes for the week:

…any political movement that places The Bell Curve among its most important intellectual accomplishments can expect to have very few people of color in it.

Heh. Indeed.

h/t Scott Lemieux.

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Beckian, Burkean — It’s All Semantics, Anyway.

by matttbastard

You are forgiven if, upon first reading the following passage from this recent Sunday Outlook op-ed about the ongoing contemporary struggle between conservative populism and heady intellectualism, you too thought that AEI glue-sniffer scholar Steven F. Hayward was taking the piss.

Alas, it appears Hayward is indeed opining with earnest (if extraordinarily absurd) resolve:

About the only recent successful title that harkens back to the older intellectual style is Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism,” which argues that modern liberalism has much more in common with European fascism than conservatism has ever had. But because it deployed the incendiary f-word, the book was perceived as a mood-of-the-moment populist work, even though I predict that it will have a long shelf life as a serious work. Had Goldberg called the book “Aspects of Illiberal Policymaking: 1914 to the Present,” it might have been received differently by its critics. And sold about 200 copies.

Now, there’s a novel line of spin — the razor-thin line between brilliance and buffoonery is merely semantic. Yeah, um, anyone who doesn’t recognize that Goldberg’s remainder bin magnum opus is the literary analogue to I Can Has Cheezburger really has no business taking up the tattered flag of intellectual [sic] conservatism.

Oh, and I won’t even touch the sloppy handjob Hayward delivers to Weepin’ Glenn Beck, or his bold contention that Rush Limbaugh’s “keen sense of satire makes him deserving of comparison to Will Rogers.” Up is down, black is white and Beck is apparently “on to something with his interest in serious analysis of liberalism’s patrimony.” Of course, this charitably assumes Beck can even spell patrimony.

Somewhere, David Frum’s face is getting better acquainted with his palm

Make no mistake: this is pure, undistilled wingnut propaganda masquerading as opinion journalism — articulately baffling bullshit, carefully buffed for high-brow consumption. And it’s all being excreted onto the WaPo opinion page, which is starting to rival The Weekly Standard as the go-to Beltway source for droning Wurlitzer recitals.

h/t Henry Farrell

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In Which matttbastard Puts the Habeas Decision in a Partisan Context

by matttbastard

Ages of the majority:

Stevens 88
Ginsburg 75
Kennedy 71
Breyer 69
Souter 68

Ages of the minority:

Scalia 72
Thomas 60
Alito 58
Roberts 55

The LA Times:

Whoever is elected in November will probably have the chance to appoint at least one justice in the next presidential term. The court’s two most liberal justices are its oldest: John Paul Stevens turned 88 last month, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 75.

McCain promised that, if elected, he would follow President Bush’s model in choosing Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

That could establish a large conservative majority on the court for years. With conservatives in full control, the court would probably overturn Roe vs. Wade and the national right to have an abortion. The justices also could give religion a greater role in government and the schools, and block the move toward same-sex marriage.

If elected, Obama would be hard-pressed to create a truly liberal court. But by replacing the aging liberal justices with liberals, he could preserve abortion rights and maintain a strict separation of church and state.

Related: Marcy Wheeler provides a detailed report on today’s Center for Constitutional Rights conference call on the Habeus decision:

  • The 40 to 60 people who have already been determined not to be enemy combatants will now have court assistance in finding a way and a place to be released. One of the key issues for these men is that they often come from countries like Syria where, if they were to return, they would be tortured. A number of them have petitioned to be released to third countries, in some cases where they have family. DOD has refused to consider this up until now. This ruling gives courts the ability to provide for relief to those being held even after they were determined not to be enemy combatants.
  • There are roughly 260 people at Gitmo who have not received a Combat Status Review. Over a hundred have already petitioned for Habeas, and a number of those have been stayed awaiting this ruling. Some of those stays require the petitioners to restart their petition within 10 days of the ruling, so you’re going to see them move into a Habeas process within the next two weeks.
  • Michael Ratner, the head of CCR, stated that he believes in many of these cases, the government will be unable to prove it has reason to detain these people–either because the evidence is tainted or because there is no evidence. So the government may be forced to release many of these men as well.
  • It’s unclear where and how these Habeas petitions will be heard–so it’s an open question whether detainees will be able to come to DC to present their case.
  • Carol Rosenberg, my favorite journalist covering the show trials, asked if the government will rush to charge detainees under the Military Commissions Act. Gutierrez responded that they’re really limited by whom they can charge; she put the number at around 60-80 people who they have enough evidence to charge.

More on Boumediene from skdadl @ pogge, SCOTUSBlog (round up here), Hilzoy, David Barron and Marty Lederman, who notes that there were two questions that the court did not answer, but, as Lederman goes on to explain, did provide hints as to where it was leaning:

1) Would habeas rights extend to alien detainees held in foreign locations other than Guantanamo (such as Bagram)?

and

2) What is the substantive standard for who may be indefinitely detained?

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Re: the Rise of the Right (Major League Asshole Edition)

by matttbastard

Dubya and Deadeye’s favourite political correspondent, Adam Clymer, talks about his new book, Drawing the Line at the Big Ditch: The Panama Canal Treaties and the Rise of the Right.

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