Benny's World

Sunday, May 16, 2010

But, but, but: Greenwald Puts Greg Craig on the Hotseat on This Week

Elena Kagan's nomination to the SCOTUS was at the top of the list (or at least a close second to the BP disaster) of the Talking Heads Sunday this morning. I watched MTP and didn't find it very enlightening on the discussion about Ms. Kagan's nomination, especially when Sen Chuck Schumer couldn't really defend her except perhaps she's a New Yorker and he represents her as a constituent. When NBC News puts up the transcript, I'll link to it here.

The more animated conversation took place on ABC News' This Week, and I was very happy to see Glenn Greenwald (who is garnering more respect as real progressive/liberal and not being criticized for it by other journalists) represent a real ideological view, along with George Will and Ed Gillespie --Ed being the big ideologue from the Rethugs--(I bet Glenn had to wash hands immediately after having to sit next to him) and Greg Craig, a centrist/moderate who was an adviser to Obama recently. Mr. Craig asserted that Ms. Kagan was the most qualified nominee in his lifetime.

Greenwald repeated the reasons for his opposition, posited from last week and added that she would have to share a little more of her legal viewpoints. Mr. Craig tried to counterpoint by saying that Greenwald preferred a judicial nominee. Greenwald was allowed to do something very different from Democracy Now nor on Rachel Maddow's show, which was to ask directly to Mr. Craig to point out anything that would illuminate Ms. Kagan's views. Here's the Youtube, courtesy of Firedoglake:

Like Larry Lessig and other Kagan supporters, Mr. Craig failed to be able to point out any clues, but instead that repeated her resume. I think Greenwald nailed it when requested specific articles and Mr. Craig, who took a very defensive tone--instead of one of a healthy debate--she taught students, administered law professors (I guess he was trying to make a weak argument that administration of faculty is equal to law clerks??), but he failed by not being able to point out one solid article she had written in this past decade.

To follow other discussions, Firedoglake has one here, and at Salon, Greenwald has unedited portions of that roundtable up on his page.

Even George Will complemented Greenwald at the end for bringing the left to the debate, but in a thoughtful way. I guess the two hadn't met before.

One note that hasn't been pointed out: Ruth Bader Ginsburg also said very little about her views during her hearings, except about privacy. And she was criticized for not hiring more women and minorities, similar to this year's nominee. I guess many of the Obama supporters are hoping the same on this nominee, but as Greenwald would likely point out: Ginsburg came from the Appellate.

Congrats to Glenn Greenwald, blogger and now a budding talking head liberal on a traditional network news platform. Some of the bloggers at Open Left think this may be the only time we see Greenwald on the bobbleheads. I disagree. I think he harbored a lot of goodwill as he was intelligent, but calm, and was after facts, not just bomb throwing. Of course, one could say he was a grown-up at the table--for opposing this nominee without a lot more answers, but the difference between him and the GOP is still from a liberal perspective, not just to blow more hot air in the room.

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