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View Diary: [Updated] GIVE HIM A CHANCE!!! President Obama of USA = President Obama of Harvard Law Review! (241 comments)

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  •  So, how good *was* Harvard Law Review that year? (0+ / 0-)

    It's a serious question, though perhaps unanswerable.  Did the Federalist types use their relative clout to keep out progressive voices?  Did they promote insane political ideas for which we are still paying today?  Your diary is incomplete without an analysis of not simply what he did, but how well it worked.

    There are two analytically distinct problems here, one of which your analogy addresses incompletely, the other of which is not addressed at all.

    The first is his putting people in office who ought not be there.  I'm not sure that Gates falls into this category, by the way; if he's being set up to implement a withdrawal from Iraq, and ideally cuts in the bloated military budget, it would be nice to have his fingerprints on the scalpel.

    The second is a restricted range of appointments on the left, which has been a continual problem with Democratic Presidents.  You say that Obama appointed one African-American student to his editorial board.  What was that student like?  Was he or she the equivalent of a John Conyers -- or of a Harold Ford?  All we know from your diary is the person's race, not ideology.

    You say that Obama appointed "the best for the job," and boy does that beg a question.  What is "the job" that is to be done?  In a law review, there is an element of getting the magazine out on time, but there is also discretion in choosing which articles -- and thus which political/legal ideas -- one will grace with visibility, and which professors will get the career boost of inclusion.

    "The job" is not merely one of mundane project management, but one of policy creation.  Looking only towards the former when deciding "who is best for the job" is short-sighted; those Federalist Society editors presumably (if true to form) saw their "job" as promoting their ideological claque.  As a former law review member, this may be heretical for me to say, but: it may be better to have a few more proofreading errors in the service of a great article than fewer errors in service of a bad one.

    I hope that someone will consider looking at Obama's year at HLR compared to other ones and see how his chosen staff -- if indeed he chose them himself, I don't know HLR rules -- exercised their power.  Did they approve the Yoo memo in larval form?

    The netroots is what the Letters to the Editor page wanted to be when it grew up.

    by Seneca Doane on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:50:40 AM PST

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