I’m a mindless tribalist, and I support Elena Kagan

Save me, please, from progressive Democrats. They’re using the same red herrings and specious arguments right-wingers use. Elena Kagan has no record like…oh, let’s just drag somebody with no record in here like Harriet Miers, and then we get to compare Obama’s thought process with Bush’s, and then we get to say Obama’s no better than Bush, and he’s trying to expand executive power just like Bush was, and because Kagan hasn’t said much about this she too believes in executive power, and therefore she’s definitely going to make the Supreme Court even more conservative than it already is.

And also, by the way, if you support Kagan because you elected Obama for his judgment, you’re no better than the slobbering idiots who believed in Bush.

I know it’s hard to believe intelligent people are actually arguing this way, but here’s just one example, by Glenn Greenwald in Slate:

If the choice is Kagan, you’ll have huge numbers of Democrats and progressives running around saying, in essence: “I have no idea what Kagan thinks or believes about virtually anything, and it’s quite possible she’ll move the Court to the Right, but I support her nomination and think Obama made a great choice.” In other words, according to Chemerinksy and Yglesias, progressives will view Obama’s choice as a good one by virtue of the fact that it’s Obama choice. Isn’t that a pure embodiment of mindless tribalism and authoritarianism? Democrats love to mock the Right for their propensity to engage in party-line, close-minded adherence to their Leaders, but compare what conservatives did with Bush’s selection of Harriet Miers to what progressives are almost certain to do with Obama’s selection of someone who is, at best, an absolute blank slate.

And one more carping comment: Glenn, those people who stick with their leaders are closed-minded, not close.

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