Hillary Might Need To Hire A Therapist After She Sees These New Poll Results

Terry McAuliffe, Hillary Rodham Clinton

A series of hurdles – some self-imposed – over the past few weeks seem to have made Hillary Clinton’s all-but-guaranteed presidential candidacy somewhat less certain.

The public’s lackluster response to her latest book and comments that made her appear out of touch with the middle class have defined her fledgling campaign lately. A new YouGov poll indicates that negative press might have taken its toll on her popularity as a potential POTUS.

In a similar survey near the beginning of June, about three in four Democrats said they wanted her to seek the White House in 2016. A total of 42 percent of the overall public voiced the same sentiment.

About a month later, however, a significant drop – exclusively among the Democrats who would ostensibly vote for her – pushed that number down.

More than 30 percent of Democrats now report that they do not want to see a Hillary candidacy. While her support among Independents and Republicans actually rose slightly – to 34 and 14 percent, respectively – approval of her candidacy dipped to just 39 percent in the latest incarnation of the poll.

Expounding on Clinton’s recent claims that she struggled to make ends meet even after leaving the White House in 2001, the poll also asked respondents to determine which social class in which they believe she belongs.

It is clear most Americans feel she benefitted from her husband’s presidency as 75 percent of respondents place her in the most affluent social class, compared to just one-third who said she was wealthy prior to Bill Clinton’s 1992 victory.

Furthermore, it seems a large number of Americans believe Clinton really is oblivious to the plight of middle-class citizens.

Among the population as a whole, 44 percent say she does not understand the problems these working Americans face while just 38 percent believe she does. Among the actual middle class, households making between $40,000 and $100,000 per year, that disparity is even more pronounced.

She is deemed out of touch by those in this segment by a margin of 49 to 34 percent.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Video of the Day: A New Hero Emerges

Election News Bad News for more than Obama

By Curt Levey, Committee for Justice

Last night’s primary election results contain some bad news for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.  The biggest news of the night was the defeat of Sen. Arlen Specter’s (D – Penn.), Kagan’s harshest critic when her nomination for Solicitor General was before the U.S. Senate last year.  Specter hammered Kagan for her failure to be forthcoming during her confirmation hearing and in answers to written questions. Specter’s take: “I use the word ‘replies’ carefully because I didn’t get too many answers as to where she stood on some critical issues.”

With Specter no longer facing the constraints of seeking reelection, the former prosecutor is free to go out in a blaze of glory by sticking to principle and demanding that Kagan fill in the many holes in her notoriously thin record.  Along with senators like Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson, Specter joins the ranks of Democrats most likely to vote against Kagan’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

The other piece of bad news for Elena Kagan last night was the overwhelming victory by libertarian Senate candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky.  It dramatically demonstrated that the American people’s increasing concern about unrestrained federal power has moved from the living room to the voting booth.  That will make it harder for red and purple state Democratic senators to vote for a Supreme Court nominee whose activist view of judging would make the Court an institution of essentially limitless power.

On that note, more evidence of Kagan’s enthusiastic belief in judicial activism was revealed yesterday when her 1983 Oxford University thesis became available.  In it, she writes that

“[J]udges will have opinions, prejudices, values. Perhaps most important, judges will have goals. And because this is so, judges will often try to mold and steer the law in order to promote certain ethical values and achieve certain social ends. Such activity is not necessarily wrong or invalid.” (emphasis added)
Kagan adds that “no court should make or justify its decisions solely by reference to the demands of social justice” (emphasis added).  But she is clearly describing an outcome-oriented vision of the judicial process in which judges “justify a ruling in terms of legal principle” – for largely utilitarian reasons – only after looking to their personal values, goals, and notions of social justice in determining the outcome of the case.  This is the hallmark of judicial activism.
Even Kagan’s statement in her thesis that “Concern for ethical values … has an important role to play in the judicial process” betrays a profound rejection of the Founding Fathers’ view of democratic government. They intended that disagreements about ethical values – whether concerning crime and punishment, gay rights, or abortion – be decided by the democratic branches of government rather than by, in Justice Scalia’s words, unelected judges enforcing "the views and values of the lawyer class from which the Court’s Members are drawn." (dissent in Romer v. Evans, 1996)

This is not the first Kagan thesis to raise eyebrows.  Her Princeton undergraduate thesis, “To the Final Conflict: Socialism in New York City, 1900-1933,” expresses sadness at both “socialism’s decline” and the lack of recognition for “socialism’s greatness,” while advising “American radicals” to unite.  Though thirty years old, Kagan’s Princeton thesis will be an issue in this summer’s confirmation fight, both because of her belief that social justice should play a role in judging and because of widespread concern – fair or not – that the nation is creeping towards socialism.

The judicial philosophy Kagan endorses in her Oxford thesis is consistent with earlier revelations from both a speech about Justice Thurgood Marshall and memos she wrote while clerking for the U.S. Supreme Court.  In one memo, Kagan worries that the Court will recognize only the Constitution’s explicit liberties – freedom of speech and due process, for example – rather than its hypothesized “positive liberties,” essentially welfare rights to governmental aid.

In her speech about Justice Marshall, Kagan describes his decidedly activist view of the judiciary’s mission – to “show a special solicitude for the despised and disadvantaged” and “to safeguard the interests of people who had no other champion” in her words – as “a thing of glory.”  This Kagan / Marshall judicial philosophy was rejected by even the very liberal Sonia Sotomayor in her testimony last summer.

While it’s possible that Elena Kagan has recently changed her mind about the proper role of a judge, Kagan’s thin record and troubling statements about judicial philosophy put the burden of proof on her to demonstrate that the American people have no reason to fear she will be an activist Justice who views the Supreme Court’s power as essentially limitless.  It is, therefore, crucial that Kagan engage in an open and honest debate with senators about her judicial philosophy and other controversial views, and that she and the White House press the Clinton Library to quickly release the more than 160,000 pages of documents from her tenure as President Clinton’s associate counsel and domestic policy advisor.

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Important Links

Politico on Kagan’s Oxford thesis:

Full text of Kagan’s Oxford thesis (see pages 120-22):

Kagan’s Princeton thesis:

Kagan on “positive liberties”:

Kagan on Justice Marshall:

Obama Plays the Race Card for 2010

By Ben Smith, Politico

The Democratic National Committee this morning released this clip of the president rallying the troops, if rather coolly, for 2010. Obama’s express goal: "reconnecting" with the voters who voted for the first time in 2008, but who may not plan to vote in the lower-profile Congressional elections this year.

Obama speaks with unusual demographic frankness about his coalition in his appeal to "young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008 [to] stand together once again."

Turning out those so-called "surge" voters — who turned out for the first time to back Obama, but who sat out gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia last year — has become the Democrats’ central pre-occupation for the midterm elections, and the new Democratic effort to nationalize the election around Obama and his agenda mark an attempt to energize those voters.

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