Right-Wing Already on Attack: Compares Elena Kagan to a Whore

May 10, 2010

(ChattahBox)—The right-wing attack against President Obama’s choice for Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, began to get ugly as early as Friday, as news leaked out that she was his pick to replace the retiring Justice Paul Stevens. A piece published in the conservative National Review Online, attacked Kagan for her stance against the military’s policy of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” while dean of Harvard Law School, calling it cheap moral posturing. And the writer, Ed Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a group promoting the “Judeo-Christian moral tradition,” offensively compared her to a prostitute. Similar overheated and vitriolic rhetoric was used to attack former nominee and now, the first Latino Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, when the right-wing called her a racist.

Ed Whelan is also a former law clerk to conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. In his NRO article, Whelan takes issue with a New York Times article pointing out Kagan’s pragmatic handling of the issue of military recruiters on campus:

“If Kagan genuinely believed that the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law was “a profound wrong—a moral injustice of the first order,” why would she make herself complicit in implementing the grave evil? Yes, of course, it’s true, as the article points out, that “barring the recruiters would [have] come with a price.” But, as George Bernard Shaw would have said to Kagan for selling out her supposedly deeply held principles, “We’ve already established what you are, ma’am. Now we’re just haggling over the price.” (My point isn’t that Kagan deserves the Bernard Shaw slam—she doesn’t—but rather that she evidently doesn’t believe her own rhetoric.)”

After receiving criticism for his portrayal of Kagan as a whore, he updated his post to note the “feigned” offense of his comments by certain “lefty bloggers,” defending his prostitution comparison as commonplace and not intended to be taken literally:

“The Bernard Shaw quip is widely used in political discourse (here’s just one example) to criticize someone for selling out; it obviously doesn’t carry (and in my case certainly wasn’t intended to carry) the particular stigma that a narrowly literal understanding would convey.”

Eric Burns of Media Matters isn’t buying it:

“Ed Whelan’s appalling attack on Elena Kagan degrades the political discourse and women everywhere.”It is disgusting, yet not surprising, that the conservatives’ favorite judicial attack dog would stoop so low as to imply a woman is a prostitute merely because she didn’t to allow her personal views to stand in the way of our military’s recruiters. Imagine the rightwing firestorm that would erupt if a prominent progressive insisted Sarah Palin was selling her body. This should be no different.”

Conservatives are already speaking out against her “troubling” history with military recruiters while dean of Harvard School. But, the fact is, the issue was already raised during her confirmation hearing for solicitor general. And contrary to how the issue has been portrayed by some on the right, such as the Washington Times, Kagan never kicked out” military recruiters from campus.

Media Matters set the record straight in a lengthy post debunking the myths and falsehoods surrounding Kagan’s nomination:

“Kagan consistently followed the law, and Harvard students had access to military recruiters during her entire tenure as dean. Throughout Kagan’s tenure as dean, Harvard law students had access to military recruiters — either through Harvard’s Office of Career Services or through the Harvard Law School Veterans Association. Moreover, Kagan consistently followed existing law regarding access to military recruiters. Kagan briefly restricted (but did not eliminate) access to recruiters only after the U.S Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruled that law schools could do so.”

Hang on to your hats folks, things are about to get even uglier. With mid-term elections just a few months away, Republicans are anxious to establish their fringe right-wing, tea party bona fides, by voting against anything and anyone supported by President Obama.


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