A Sad But Chastening Story

Erick Erickson at Redstate:

This proves Elena Kagan is an open and avowed socialist. The woman declares that socialists must stick together instead of fracture in order to advance a socialist agenda, which Kagan advocates. 1


Keep in mind that Kagan wrote her thesis at the height of the cold war praising a group that collaborated with our enemies

The Jawa Report:

Via NewJerseyTeaPartyCoalition

Erick Erickson found this. Amazing. How is it that a Supreme Court Justice nominee could have written her thesis on “Socialism in New York City” – and it is entirely pro-socialism – and it not once have been mentioned?Lovely, just friggin lovely:

“The story is a sad but also a chastening one for those who, more than half a century after socialism’s decline, still wish to change America.” “Yet if ‘the history of Local New York shows anything, it is·that American radicals cannot afford to become their own worst enemies. In unity lies their only hope.


PDF link to her thesis here

David Weigel:

But if this catches on in conservative blogs, expect this to be the takeaway, from Kagan’s conclusion:

The story is sad but also a chastening one for those who, more than a half century after socialism’s decline, still wish to change America.

And if this catches on, it’s quite a coup for RedState.

Doug Ross:

How anyone could perform this level of navel-gazing — longingly pining for the joys of socialism — after the utter failures of Marxism, is beyond me. It’s not like 1910, Elena — we know this crap doesn’t work and has never worked!

Republicans: are you sick of being punched in the face by leftist Democrats yet? Are you sick of having sand kicked in your face? Then stand up and block Elena Kagan. A lifetime appointment for a self-described radical?

Call your Senators and demand they filibuster Elena Kagan. Call the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee and demand they block Kagan’s nomination.

A lifetime appointment for a crypto-Marxist is beyond the pale.

Ann Althouse:

I’ve read the last few pages of the thesis, and a key sentence, at page 130, is: “The story is a sad but also a chastening one for those who, more than half a century after socialism’s decline, still wish to change America.” Does that sentence imply that its author is included in the “those who… still wish to change America”? Does it imply that socialism is required in order to “change America”?

However you answer those questions, remember that the paper was written 20 years ago, when Kagan was a college student. Not only is it likely that she has changed since she was in her early 20s, but it is also nearly a certainty that she wrote to obtain the favor of her teachers in the Princeton University History Department. I think there is a lot more evidence that Kagan knows how to please and win the favor of those with the power to advance her career than that Kagan is a socialist. I’m just going to guess — correct me if I’m wrong — that in 1981, Princeton students were able to discern that their history professors liked socialism.

Dan Riehl:

Ann Althouse suggests Kagan’s college thesis, which has been out and about for a year, may have been about pleasing her professors at Princeton. I took a mostly defiant stance against my more Leftist college profs, but I took a much softer line with Commie chicks – in relation to how hot I thought they were, of course. Okay, maybe softer isn’t the right word. But it often worked, if you know what I mean.

More seriously, in thinking on the Kagan nomination, I’m not sure derailing it is the right play. Elections have consequences and 2008 was a disaster. Bush scored big with Alito and Roberts – with this administration and Congress, what is it people expected? If there’s an up side with Kagan, it may be that she’s more political hack, than Left wing intellect who could prove far more damaging than a single vote. Kagan doesn’t strike me as someone with that kind of truly dangerous influence. So, she may be about the best the Right is going to get from Obama.

Allah Pundit:

Andy Levy’s sardonic reply:


I had trouble loading Red State’s PDF; if you’re having trouble too, no worries. The Weekly Standard was all over this a year ago when Kagan was up for Solicitor General and Doug Ross has compiled some of the more incendiary bits here. (People who knew her at Princeton insist she wasn’t a radical.) I’ve made my own thoughts about college theses clear before, but my esteemed colleague said it better than I did so I’ll just quote him:

I have received a lot of e-mail regarding Princeton’s apparent decision to embargo Michelle Obama’s college thesis. A few purported quotes have begun floating through the ether, which seems surprising if the Obamas have conspired to keep the paper buried at Princeton. The messages all seem to believe that the thesis contains something explosive, especially in terms of racial politics.

Maybe it does, and maybe it doesn’t. Why would anyone be surprised if it did? To paraphrase one of the great lines from South Park, there’s a time and a place for radical thought, and it’s called college. Mrs. Obama wrote the paper 20 years ago, while living in the cocoon of academia. I doubt that it reflects her current state of mind.

It’s not quite as bad as going back to Barack’s kindergarten essays, but it’s just about as irrelevant.

The GOP should and will ask about it — that’s what the Obama standard for “blank slate” nominees requires — but does anyone seriously think she’s going to get Borked over this?


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