It’s great to be Jewish in the year 2010. The latest evidence is the appointment of Elena Kagan as the third Jew on the Supreme Court. Philip Weiss puts it this way:
The Kagan appointment means that we have entered a period in which Jews are equal members, if not actually predominant members, of the American Establishment. Obama’s two closest political advisers are Jewish, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, and are said to be his foreign-policy braintrust. The economy is supervised to a large degree by Jewish appointees, Larry Summers and Fed Reserve Board chair Paul Bernanke (Time‘s man of the year last year, a selection overseen by Rick Stengel, the Time magazine editor, who is also Jewish).
Of course, that’s just scratching the surface on Jewish representation among the elites in politics, law, the financial world, the media, and personal wealth. Weiss goes on to take the standard line that Jews have achieved so much because of their bookish culture. But if there’s anything that stands out about Kagan, it’s how utterly ordinary she is in terms of scholarly accomplishment or anything else that would qualify her for the court–very few publications, no experience as a judge, little courtroom experience – the Harriet Miers of the Obama administration. (I stole that one from someone on the Rachel Maddow show, maybe Maddow herself. But it shows the depth of her inaptitude that even liberals are sensitive to it. For example, Paul Campos writes on the Daily Beast, “if Kagan is a brilliant legal scholar, the evidence must be lurking somewhere other than in her publications. Kagan’s scholarly writings are lifeless, dull, and eminently forgettable. They are, on the whole, cautious academic exercises in the sort of banal on-the-other-handing whose prime virtue is that it’s unlikely to offend anyone in a position of power.” Here’s my version: “When she received tenure at the University of Chicago in 1995, she had exactly two scholarly articles published in law journals — a record that would ordinarily not get her tenure even at quite a few third tier universities much less an elite institution like the University of Chicago.”)
Her only talent seems to be getting really prestigious jobs without any obvious qualifications apart from her ethnic background. And her appointment is a sure thing for the left: Whereas Republicans have been disappointed several times by nominees who converted into liberals (like John Paul Stevens), Kagan’s ethnic identity ensures that she is on the side of all things multicultural.
My take (see also here) is that this is an affirmative action appointment of someone who has benefited greatly from Jewish ethnic networking and has dangerous views on the First Amendment that are in line with the views of the ADL, the SPLC, and the rest of the organized Jewish community. (See also Patrick Cleburne’s post at VDARE.com.)
It’s amazing to see liberals expressing doubts about Kagan. (In fact, one wonders where these people were before her nomination was a done deal. Kagan’s name has been floated since the Sotomayor nomination, but suddenly we see all these doubts about her – mainly from liberals feigning concern.) She is clearly on the left, perhaps with some neocon tendencies regarding executive power. But that is hardly reassuring. Put these tendencies together and you have someone who could be very dangerous to an incipient racialist movement: Anti-”hate speech” and comfortable with using government power to suppress political action that conflicts with the aims of the regime.
Another thought that crossed my mind was that Obama and his advisers may have wanted to court Jews [bad pun] because of the fallout from the tensions with Israel. Despite the fact that, as John Mearsheimer recently noted, the confrontation with Israel was won hands down by Israel, a recent poll shows that American Jews are defecting from Obama in droves, with only 42% saying they would now vote for Obama (down from 83% who voted for him in 2008). A recent visit to the White House (“Obama Tries to Mend Fences with Jews“, NYTimes, May 4, 2010) by Elie Wiesel indicated shows that Obama sees a need to placate the Jewish community:
The lunch meeting between Mr. Wiesel and Mr. Obama came three weeks after Mr. Wiesel took out a full-page advertisement in a number of United States newspapers criticizing the Obama administration for pressuring Mr. Netanyahu to stop Jewish settlement construction in East Jerusalem, where Palestinians would like to put the capital of an eventual Palestinian state.
The advertisement, in which Mr. Wiesel wrote that “Jerusalem is the heart of our heart, the soul of our soul,” alarmed White House officials, in part because it came on the heels of similar advertisements from the World Jewish Congress and grumbling from members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, that Mr. Obama was pushing Mr. Netanyahu too hard.