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May 06, 2017


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Is it his "take on society's obligations" or his take on the constitutional obligations or legal obligations? He was referring to a federal law in the article you link, no? Because if we as a society decide we have obligations to special needs students, I doubt he'd shoot them down for being unconstitutionally strong or generous. My understanding of Gorsuch, for good or ill, is that he is working from the laws (and Constitution) in front of him, rather than coming up with what they *should* say in a better world. And that leaves us with a situation where we can all say, "Hey, this federal LAW is BROKEN if it allows schools to get away with this minimalism, let's bug our LEGISLATORS to write a new LAW, since that's their job, and then we'll have fixed it."

I see the article labels John Roberts conservative, but I think many legal conservatives would disagree with that label when it comes to his pattern of re-interpreting things based on how things *should* be rather than how they *are*.

I don't like listening to much of Catholic radio when they go all goo-ey about "chatting with the White House photographer" etc etc ad nauseum, and I didn't vote for the sitting president (any more than the last one, but I also would never vote for his most successful opponent). However, Gorsuch is one of the few things about him that doesn't bother me... yet, I suppose. It seems a bit disingenuous to blame a judge for the condition of the law he is supposed to be applying, almost like blaming a cop for the posted speed limit.

I would challenge you, Jamie: Consider your unwillingness to listen to Christian music solely because of how its target audience voted last Nov, and whether you are buying into an us-vs-them that I think you would find antithetical from anyone else about any other group. Not as extreme as Ned Resnikoff's fear that his plumber probably voted for Trump and therefore might be anti-semetic, but still.... I think we're called to love even those who voted for Trump, even if they still plan to vote for him again in 4 yrs :) :)

You're right; we are absolutely called to love those who voted for Trump.

I don't know how much space in my head I am obliged to give them. My disgruntlement with Christian radio had been building for a long time.

Hm, this could be a novel-length comment. I have a post in my drafts folder about the hidden costs of the prosperity gospel, which I think fueled acceptance of plutocracy among evangelicals at unimaginable cost to the nation's poor.

Short version: it's wrong for me to make assumptions about my evangelical neighbors. Thanks for the reminder.

Agreed on the head-space. I've mostly stopped listening to all radio at this point, except through a curated podcast list of programs that tend to discuss ideas and policies rather than indulging in adulation or demonization of persons.

I would be interested in your thoughts on the prosperity gospel - sort of at odds with "preferential option for the poor", huh :)

I think some of this discussion is always gummed up by how much we should be using the tool of government (and which level of government) to do a thing. The discussion is not just "Should A be done, or not done?" but rather also "by whom should A be done?" and of course, "How can A be best accomplished?" and "What kinds of collateral damage will such accomplishment cause, and do we accept them?" (leaving aside the always lurking "CAN A be done?" as answered with a cheerful, "of course!"). So when one says, "the federal government should not do A" it doesn't translate to "I am anti-A".

It may be searingly obvious in certain ways that the support of plutocracy hurts the poor. I think sometimes we overlook how governmental support (and underwriting) of family breakdown also hurts the poor more than the middle class and rich (*), and it's hard to evaluate which damage is more hurtful. And then there's always the collateral damage bit, where our well-meaning efforts actually bring about unintended damage....

Thanks for being thoughtful about this Jamie - I have really appreciated reading your thoughts.

(*) certainly not claiming Republicans are not the party of promoting-family-breakdown, and absolutely no way an endorsement pro-anyone in the arena right now. Ugh. Just something that sometimes shows up in platform planks.....

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