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Bloggers Agree: GM Bankruptcy Good; Sotom. Helps Ds, Hurts Rs:

This week's National Journal Poll of political bloggers asked "Do you agree with President Obama's decision to take General Motors to bankruptcy court?" One hundred percent of the Left, and 54% of the Right said "yes."

I was in the majority, albeit with a qualification: "Even better would have been bankruptcy according to established legal rules, rather than the Peron-style expropriation of money from the senior bondholders for the benefit of the UAW."

Question 2 was "Regarding the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, what will be the political impact on your party?" On the Left, 94% thought it would help their party, and on the Right, 67% thought it would hurt their party.

My answer was idiosyncratic. Although it's listed under "minor harm," I had voted for "minor help." I explained: "As a Democrat, I think it will help the party by mollifying some of the Hispanics who will be upset by Obama's inability to pass an amnesty program for illegal aliens. The nomination may also benefit Republicans, if Republican senators raise serious objections about some of Sotomayor's unpopular and legally weak decisions, such as Ricci, Maloney and Village of Port Chester."

Nunzio:
How many bloggers have bought a GM car in the last year or will be one in the next year?
6.5.2009 11:53am
ruuffles (mail) (www):
Maloney is a non-starter now that three Republicans-appointees (including Posner and Easterbrook) explicitly agreed with her in their decision.
6.5.2009 12:03pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):
Ricci will be the biggest problem since it won't be handled down until right before the hearings start.
6.5.2009 12:05pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):
scotusblog has a post on an en banc 2nd ct case (Arar v. Ashcroft) that is due to be haNDED down with sotomayor in the center.
scotusblog
6.5.2009 12:19pm
Thales (mail) (www):
DK: I've been curious about why you are a Democrat rather than something else. Are you in general agreement with the party except on gun rights, which you obviously are passionate about? I'm not sure I disagree with your views in substance, and I'm a Democrat (or at least I vote for them) as well, I'm just curious about your thinking.
6.5.2009 12:23pm
PeterWimsey (mail):
I can't answer for DK, of course, but I feel compelled to point out that Democrats in large swaths of the US are strong supporters of gun rights. See, e.g., Montana governor Brian Schweitzer.

Dems in more urbanized areas tend to support gun control laws, of course, and this may be the majority of Dems. But I don't think that you will find a meaningful difference between RKBA support between D's in the rural south and rural non-coastal west.
6.5.2009 12:32pm
PeterWimsey (mail):
(Edit to previous post - between D's and R's in the same areas).
6.5.2009 12:33pm
M N Ralph:

The nomination may also benefit Republicans, if Republican senators raise serious objections about some of Sotomayor's unpopular and legally weak decisions, such as Ricci, Maloney and Village of Port Chester."



If Republicans start trying to get into the legal pros and cons of her decisions, then they've lost the public.
6.5.2009 12:36pm
Recovering Law Grad:
"Even better would have been bankruptcy according to established legal rules, rather than the Peron-style expropriation of money from the senior bondholders for the benefit of the UAW."

Does this sound to anyone like the sort of substantive critique you'd expect from an intelligent and informed person? Why no mention of "Chicago-style politics"?
6.5.2009 12:45pm
Steve:
I'm sure Sotomayor's "unpopular" decisions will be just as devastating to her as Roberts' opinion in the french fry case was to his chances of winning confirmation. Oh, and of course if she gets reversed in a controversial case like Ricci, it's obviously sayonara the same way Alito was doomed by his dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
6.5.2009 12:47pm
NatSecLawGuy:
There have been serious reservations raised about the proposition that the bankruptcy is outside of established legal rules. See www.creditslips.org It would be nice to see a more full-throated defense of this proposition.
6.5.2009 1:26pm
Tatil:

Even better would have been bankruptcy according to established legal rules, rather than the Peron-style expropriation of money from the senior bondholders for the benefit of the UAW.

Absent any indication, let alone proof, that bondholders would have gotten more money out of a liquidation "according to established legal rules", this is just a pointless rant. If anything it is expropriation of taxpayers money to UAW.
6.5.2009 1:38pm
Tatil:

It would be nice to see a more full-throated defense of this proposition.

Why let get facts get in the way of opinions?
6.5.2009 1:39pm
c.gray (mail):

I'm sure Sotomayor's "unpopular" decisions will be just as devastating to her as Roberts' opinion in the french fry case was to his chances of winning confirmation.


Methinks you are discounting how many get riled up the issues of affirmative action and reverse discrimination.

In Hedgeworth, the policies leading to the girl's arrest had already been changed, and the only genuine issue at stake was how much the City of Washington, D.C. was going to pay to settle the Hedgeworth family's lawsuit.

The Ricci case will eventually set the legal rules under which decisions on promotions and hiring will be made for civil servants nationwide. Hundreds of thousands of people's livelihoods and income will be affected.

Bit of a difference politically.

Personally, I hope nothing derails the wise Latina's confirmation. At least she appears to be a First Amendment hawk. The potential replacements are more likely to disagree with her on that than any other substantive legal issue.
6.5.2009 1:51pm
Houston Lawyer:
Yes, lets all pretend that the mau mauing of secured creditors by this administration didn't happen. Obama should just don an ostentatious military uniform when he speaks like that.
6.5.2009 1:52pm
Steve:
The Ricci case will eventually set the legal rules under which decisions on promotions and hiring will be made for civil servants nationwide.

You'd think the conservatives on the Court would be content to leave the rule-writing to Congress, but it doesn't seem to work that way, does it?

Anyway, of course there are people who get hyped up over affirmative action, but it's a serious miscalculation to think that the country is in the same place on racial issues as it was in the 80s and early 90s. Heck, even Jeremiah Wright inspired a collective shrug from the electorate. It's a different country and a different populace than it once was.
6.5.2009 1:58pm
glangston (mail):
Houston Lawyer:
Yes, lets all pretend that the mau mauing of secured creditors by this administration didn't happen. Obama should just don an ostentatious military uniform when he speaks like that.



Or some priestly robes and a life-like doll dressed up in the GM logo.
6.5.2009 2:23pm
AndyinNc:
What a zinger!

I can only conclude that Kopel is engaged in some of contest about who can make the cattiest snark, because there's really no intellectual value in these blurbs.
6.5.2009 2:25pm
Desiderius:
Steve,

"Anyway, of course there are people who get hyped up over affirmative action, but it's a serious miscalculation to think that the country is in the same place on racial issues as it was in the 80s and early 90s. Heck, even Jeremiah Wright inspired a collective shrug from the electorate. It's a different country and a different populace than it once was."

Steve, I think the way you're framing the issue may be wishful thinking.

Standardized testing was one of the linchpins of the 20th Century Progressive/Liberal alliance. Rational Liberals loved how it emphasized what you know over who you know. Egalitarian Progressives loved how it lessened the influence of who you know over what you know. Whichever way one looks at it, standardized tests were a great promoter of social mobility and meritocracy.

From inside the education establishment, I can attest that that alliance, at least on the issue of standardized testing, is under great strain, a strain perhaps obscured by the overweening dominance of Progressives, but very much there nonetheless. The silence of liberals and the few remaining conservatives should not be mistaken for acquiescence, and outside the academy, where Progressives enjoy less power, considerable blowback is already building.

To mistake it for racism is to misapprehend its origin.
6.5.2009 10:46pm
http://volokh.com/?exclude=davidb :

My answer was idiosyncratic.

Indeed.
6.5.2009 11:41pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
What was notable with the bankruptcy question, esp. by the leftist leaning responders, was that it was answered affirmatively in the hypothetical. If it were done right, etc. But, of course, it wasn't. Not only was the process extraordinarily political, they won't emerge with their union wages and benefits under control, and their dealer network will be decimated, and that may not be in the best interests of GM (if GM had dumped the weak ones, that might have been ok, but a lot of strong dealers are also apparently getting chopped).

The result was that major decisions were and are being made by car industry and financial amateurs, and likely more likely would have been made by professionals, if the government had not intervened.

BTW, these may be important bloggers, but I really didn't recognize most of them.
6.6.2009 7:46am
Bruce Hayden (mail):
So, I would have voted that the GM bankruptcy, as it is being done, would hurt the D's and help the R's. Why? Because what is important is how it will look in retrospect, in 2010, 2012, etc. Will the company be stronger after the bankruptcy, or before? And after how much of our money was invested/ wasted? My prediction is that it will end up with a notably smaller portion of the market than it has, even today, and the political side of the whole thing will end up being blamed. The more the de facto government control pushes them to produce cars that we don't want, at the expense of those large trucks and SUVs that we do, the worse it is going to look in a couple of years.

Many of those liberal bloggers who thought that it would help the D's, I think, are either looking at things in the (very) short run, or ignoring the likely negative effects of how it is being done.
6.6.2009 7:54am
Bruce Hayden (mail):
On the subject of elevating Judge Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, I would vote slight D advantage. Yes, it will help the Ds with the Hispanic vote, but the way it is being played right now as racial politics, will help the Rs with the people of pallor (i.e. those who don't benefit from, but are disadvantaged by Affirmative Action).
6.6.2009 7:59am

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