October 27, 2008

TheDemocrats Have Been "Waiting for Bartlet" for 8 Years


Have The Got the Right Man?

From Season 4 "The Red Mass"

JOSH: What does this remind you of?
"I believe in hope, not fear."
"I'm a leader, not a politician."
"It's time for an American leader."
"America's earned a change."
"I before 'E' except after 'C'!"

"It's the fortune-cookie candidacy! These are important thinkers, and understanding them can be very useful and it's not ever going to happen at a four-hour seminar. When the President's got an embassy surrounded in Haiti, or a keyhole photograph of a heavy water reactor, or any of the fifty life-and-death matters that walk across his desk every day, I don't know if he's thinking about Immanuel Kant or not. I doubt it, but if he does, I am comforted at least in my certainty that he is doing his best to reach for all of it and not just the McNuggets.

"Is it possible we would be willing to require any less of the person sitting in that chair? The low road? I don't think it is."

Obama, 2001

“...just to take a, sort of a realist perspective...there’s a lot of change going on outside of the Court, um, that, that judges essentially have to take judicial notice of. I mean you’ve got World War II, you’ve got uh, uh, uh, the doctrines of Nazism, that, that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what we have going on, back here at home.”
Text via LGF

Posted by Vanderleun at October 27, 2008 5:59 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Mistah Kurtz, he dead.

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at October 27, 2008 7:47 PM

Again, he was speaking as a law professor here. "Realist" has a very specific meaning, referring to a legal movement prevalent in the first half of the twentieth century. One of the core tenets of the realist doctrine was, essentially, that the decisions of judges constitute the law, not the documents that purport to guide them. And initially, this was met with some interest. As fascist and totalitarian governments began to rise on the Continent, realist perspective was viewed somewhat more skeptically - the realist argument that what judges did *was* the law could quite easily be seen as legitimizing a totalitarian doctrine. So here we have a burgeoning legal movement in the judiciary... which, in the extreme, looks uncomfortably like what we're fighting. Part of the retreat from realism as a jurisprudential philosophy was the uncomfortable comparison Obama mentions.

That's what that quote is about. Realist perspective is something that looks innocuous that has specific meaning in legal theory, and specific meaning that any decent law student, much less a law lecturer, would understand. I don't blame people outside of legal academy for not understanding it, but it doesn't mean what they seem to think it does.

Posted by: jsl at October 27, 2008 8:13 PM