For some reason, I thought yesterday was Thursday when I put the links together. That was embarrassing.
Professor Scott Lemieux finds the recent interview that Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave The New York Times is not as big of a deal as people think. He writes, “and I do think there are some valid reasons to find Ginsburg comments inappropriate. But I also think that they need to be kept in perspective. Supreme Court justices have political views, and these views are reflected to lesser and greater degrees in politically salient cases, and these things remain true even if we have to merely infer how Supreme Court justices intend to vote.” He continues:
Where I get off the bus, however, is with respect to the question of the magnitude of Ginsburg’s transgression. According to Drezner, Ginsburg “bears almost as much responsibility as Trump for the slow-motion crisis in American democracy.” This conclusion is overwrought. Ginsburg’s comments didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know about her or about Supreme Court justices in general, they won’t change the nature of the Supreme Court as an institution, and they won’t have a meaningful causal impact on the polarization of the Court.
Read the whole thing.
It is generally accepted that Bayh-style politics are necessary if Democrats wish to win in conservative states. (Indiana, which experimented with voting for Obama in 2008, swung decisively back to the GOP in 2012, and Trump is expected to win easily.) The weird thing has always been that the actual policiesof Bayh-style moderates aren’t really popular with anyone. There is no mass constituency for “entitlement reform” or war with Iran. Bayh-style politics work in reddish states mainly through rhetorical distancing from liberalism—not opposition to popular liberal ideas, but careful tribal signaling that you’re not one of those liberals.
Scott Lemieux over at Lawyers, Guns, and Money believes that Bayh running is good news. His argument is that the Supreme Court will be of the utmost importance as it will shift the median vote of the Supreme Court to liberals.
It’s been a long time since the Vice President nominee has meant anything, a piece in Politico magazine argues. Politico magazine is so much better than the regular Politico website. That seems…odd. The political science literature is a mixed bag on the impact of Vice Presidents. They don’t usually help except maybe in small states they might provide a small bump. Otherwise the nominee usually does more harm than good. This is why I want Joe Biden to be Vice President for life.
Why, though, was there any choice to be made? Four years earlier, Henry Wallace had been put on the ticket at the insistence of FDR himself; indeed, Roosevelt was so adamant about running with his then-secretary of agriculture that when serious opposition arose—he was too committed to civil rights, too liberal for more conservative Democrats, too “enthusiastic” about spiritualism—the only way Roosevelt got him on the ticket was by publicly threatening that he’d otherwise decline the presidential nomination.
It’s a very interesting article to read.